Post isolation fantasy choices challenge

Kezzie has put together a challenge with some questions about what people will do when all the restrictions are lifted and we can safely go about our lives again. I thought it would be a fun thing to ponder so here are my answers.

1. Restaurant you would go out to.

We usually go to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Tibits whenever I’ve had to go into the office in Germany. We haven’t been since the beginning of March and I’m actually starting to miss it! Or I might like to try a restaurant that we haven’t been to yet.

2. Friend you would meet up with first.

As I mentioned in this post, I don’t really see many friends at the best of times, but I had been planning to meet up with my friend who lives Karlsruhe and her boyfriend once the weather got warmer so  hopefully we will get to do that before the summer is over!

3. Place you would go.

Realistically it will probably be Germany to work since I’ve now missed 3 of my regular trips there 😅. But if we’re talking fantasy answers I would love a weekend away somewhere. Maybe up a mountain somewhere in Switzerland.

4.  Shop you would go to.

I don’t really do much shopping outside if supermarkets – Switzerland is too expensive! So it would probably just be the department store Manor to buy stickers (I use them on the envelopes when I send cards for Post Pals or letters to my pen pals). Or I would go to the bookshop, wistfully read all the synopses then leave without buying anything because they’re sooo expensive. I can honestly order a book from Waterstones in the UK and pay less for it including postage to Switzerland!

5.  Food item you would buy/eat.

The only thing I haven’t been able to buy is yeast and since I planned to make hot cross buns with it I feel like that ship has sailed!

6.  Cake you would eat.

If I want cake I can make it (as long as if doesn’t involve yeast!) but I do love the chocolate, pear and hazelnut cake from the restaurant at Papiermühle so I would have to say that.

Toblerone cheesecake
Toblerone cheesecake

7.  Show you would/will go to see

We didn’t have any planned so I would have to see what’s on once events are allowed again. I’m hoping for another good comedian to come to Switzerland. Bill Bailey would be nice!

8.  Concert you will go to watch.

Jan is still hoping a project he’s involved in will go ahead in October so most likely that.

9.  Relative you will hug first.

My mum had been planning to come over in June so if we can rearrange that it will be her. But honestly I don’t even know when I will see any member of my family again. Flights probably won’t be going for a long time 😦

10. Holiday you would go on.

It would be great if we could rearrange the Poland trip we had to cancel. Or maybe I’ll take a trip to the UK and hug all my family!

11.  Other activity you would take part in.

I had been planning to sign up for a beginner’s crochet course at the end of March so if that’s repeated when things open again it will most likely be that.

12.  Thing you would do at work.

I am still working as normal and I already worked from home apart from on two days a month, so there’s no task that I need isolation to be over to be able to do. However, things were really slow this week so I am hoping our customers will get back to work so they can send us things to translate!

13.  Item you would buy.

I don’t think there is anything I want/need that I couldn’t just order now. Maybe we will finally get round to buying balcony furniture?

That’s it. I really enjoyed thinking up these answers. Hopefully I will get to actually do some of them this year! If you want to answer them too I would love to see your answers and please also link to Kezzie’s post and stop by to say hi/let her know you’ve done it.

It’s all the same to me (but also not)

As everyone else laments everything that’s changed for them recently, it occurs to me that my life is mostly continuing as before.

I’ve been working from home for almost five years now. My two trips to the office in Germany are on hold for the time being, but basically my situation is the same as always… at least for as long as there is work for me to do. So far I’ve had just about enough to keep working me normal hours, so keep your fingers crossed that continues to be the case!

Jan working from home as well is, of course, unusual. He has occasionally in the past but never for multiple days in a row. But since he’s set up in the spare room and seems to have multiple conference calls with California  (which means they take place pretty late in our time zone) I think I’m actually seeing less of him than before. At least when he goes to the office once he’s home for the evening he’s generally done. Now more often than not he’ll emerge briefly to eat whatever I’ve cooked then disappear back to the spare room until long after I’ve gone to bed.

I only ever managed to make two friends here… or possibly more acquaintances. They are the other half of our quiz team. But even before the pandemic we hadn’t yet managed to find a date this year when all of us had time for the pub quiz. The only other people I know here are from Jan’s choir, and while I occasionally get to join them to socialise (and even hosted one of them who needed a place to stay when Jan wasn’t even in the country) they’re really his friends. This was never more clear than when I decided to join them for a virtual beer last week only for it to end up as the three of them speaking Swiss German while I contributed nothing because I was too busy concentrating on trying to understand what they were actually saying! The rest of my friends and all my family are in other countries so not socialising regularly is nothing new for me.

Most of my hobbies are solitary, indoor activities. I read, I cross stitch, I make cards, I read blogs. My friend recently sent me a colouring book so I’ve been working on that. All of those are things I can still do.

bookcases
I won’t run out of books any time soon…

Day to day, my life is the same as it always was, except that I no longer go for walks on my lunch break, but only venture out to the supermarket once a week (whichever day we run out milk) and stock up on all the foods we’ve used since my last shop, hoping each time that what I buy will ensure I don’t have to set foot in the supermarket again until the following week.

The things that have really changed for me are more long term. I may not socialise regularly, but my friend K – who lives in Berlin – and I had been making plans to meet up in the summer. Who knows whether that will be able to happen now. I also had tentative plans with another friend and her boyfriend  – we went to the Christmas market in Baden-Baden last year and thought it would be nice to meet there again when the weather was nice for a look around the town. Now the weather is stunning but the border to Germany is closed and we’re all supposed to be staying at home anyway.

Speaking of nice weather, now is the time of year that we would be starting to go on day or weekend trips whenever Jan wasn’t busy with choir practices. And on the weekends that he wasn’t around, I would take long walks by myself or explore local places. That’s all out the window now  – we can still go for walks, we’re not in total lockdown yet, but we’re supposed to only take short walks close to where we live and avoid popular places where other people might want to go, so it will be a long time before I even get to see the Rhine in Basel again never mind anything further afield!

basel-rhine
One day I will get to see this view again…

Finally, my mum had been planning to visit us in June. Will some of the restrictions in Switzerland have been lifted by June? Maybe. It’s possible that at least some businesses may be able to open again by then (like dentists). Will the UK be back to normal by then? I doubt it. Will there be flights? Also doubtful. When will I get a see any member of my family again? Who knows.

But while I am sad that I am not going to be able to take any trips or see friends and family who live in other places, I feel like I am actually comparatively lucky. I have a job that I can still do even while self-isolating and a life that was already mostly spent indoors, alone (sometimes with my boyfriend). For other people, staying home is a much greater adjustment. Take Jan for instance: no going into the office every day and seeing colleagues, no practice every Monday with one choir or on several weekends and evenings a month for another, no regular meetings for another project he’s involved in, no going for beers with his friends. And his one choir’s trip to Sweden in May is also cancelled. How long do we think it will be before he’s entirely sick of only having me for company?  😉

I feel for all those of you who have had to cancel plans and are missing spending time with your friends, family and even co-workers. I hope this is all over soon and you get to be with them all again. And as for me… well, I’ll be just fine. I’ve been training for this situation for years. Who knew being anti-social and terrible at making friends would one day turn out to be a super power? 😂

How much has your day-to-day life changed since everybody started to stay home?