Now what?

Did it really happen? Yes. It really happened. Shocking. Also, a little amusing. Amusing to see people breaking into the democratic heart of their own country to…to do what exactly? After watching some footage from inside the building I could hear the mob think: ‘Hey, we’re in! Now what?’ A bit like my parents’ dogs, two Lhasa Apso‘s, who sometimes would be allowed to ‘guard’ the house. Both of them would be on their leash, tied to a pin in the wall of our porch. They barked intensely to every dog that passed. Until one of them broke his leash in the heat of the moment. He just stood their, watching in silence, not sure what to do with his gained freedom.

Nevertheless, the thing that happened yesterday is a logical climax to the four year long story that one man told. Anyone denying the importance of language is a fool. Words do matter.

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Covid Confessions

It’s Wednesday Jan 6th 2021 and today, as last country in the EU, the first person got vaccinated. A nurse working in a care home got the honour. Today is also the day word got out that lock-down, the unintelligent kind, probably gets extended by at least two weeks. Considering the number of people who still get infected on a daily basis that doesn’t come as a surpise to me. Still, I’m not looking forward to more weeks of keeping Daughter entertained while working and starting my data science course later this month. It will be hectic and not the most fun period for Daughter, the Man and myself.

Somehow people feel less urgency to keep their distance. Most people I speak to have been visiting multiple addresses during the holidays. When you visit multiple people over multiple days, one person can easily infect two or more people. Who then might infect others in their household. Who might have visited others before showing any signs of infections. And the virus spreads happily ever after.

The Man, designated groceries shopper, notices people feel less inclined to keep their distance to others inside the supermarket. Perhaps this is indeed a psychological effect of wearing face masks, giving people a false sense of safety. Others have reported to avoid certain supermarkets at certain hours as they’re overly crowded.

I hear people talk about going to the office, but only a few days a week. I wouldn’t take that risk. Especially not when working together with people in their (early) twenties, who behave their age (drink in life), or their parents (between fifty and sixty). These two groups are overly represented in the infection rates.

As long as people keep doing what they’ve been doing the pas month, we will be in this situation at least until Spring. Or however long it takes for the Sun to start shining and burn the virus from the air with stronger UV radiation.

At some time during Spring or Summer 2020 I played with the idea of renting a place somewhere in Europe for a longer period, so we could at least change surroundings for a while. That idea is back. Go somewhere warmer. Or somewhere where there is snow. Of course that will never happen. But one is allowed to imagine.

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Niet meer zoveel leeftijd

Zegt Dochter in de auto terug naar huis na een paar dagen logeren bij opa en oma:

“Ik vind het wel jammer dat opa en oma niet meer zoveel leeftijd hebben.”

Gelukkig kunnen ze die leeftijd best nog een beetje oprekken. Mijn overgrootmoeder werd 97.

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The effect of the Apple Watch

In the charts below you can clearly see the effect my Apple Watch has on my behaviour. I got it at August 30th. The data before that date is incomplete, as I don’t carry my phone in my pocket around the house. Therefore all data before August 30th only includes outdoor movement. That said, I made a strong commitment to myself to go outside for a brisk walk of at least half an hour every day, starting September, and apart from the days I was ill I stuck with that commitment. It also shows a downward trend so after publishing this I’ll put on my shoes and coat, select a nice podcast to listen to and make my round again.

Number of steps per day I took in 2020
Distance per day I walked (in km) in 2020

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Back to work

I felt grumpy, sad, tense, focussed, improductieve, refreshed and content today. The roller coaster of emotions during the first day of (attempting to) work in 2021. Yet another new rhythm to get used to with Daughter not attending school for at least two weeks (I wouldn’t be surprised school closures will be prolonged as we’re nowhere near low infection rates). She has some assignments from school to keep her entertained, but our main focus is to keep her busy with fun stuff and play outdoors as much as we can, despite the wet and grey days. I’m finishing this day with a large mug of green tea and Melody Gardot singing for me. A great recipe to melt the tension and feel…slightly relaxed even.

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Read: The Midnight Library

The first book I’ve read this year. Or rather, finished reading this year. I loved reading it. It’s a book by Matt Haig. Although a bestselling author, I didn’t read any of his other books, so this was my first acquaintance with his writing style. I can tell he writes for children as well as his prose is very accessible.

The central idea of this book is what happens if you are able to live the infinite number of lives you could have lived if you’d made different choices in your life. This is what happens to the main character of the book, a woman called Nora. In her mid-thirties she feels too miserable to live on and ends up in such a space. She gets the opportunity to try on different versions of her life.

The finale of the book carries a message across that there is no such thing as a perfect life. Anyone who feels the burden of missed opportunities and wrong decisions in their life could be inspired by this book. At least I was. Due to its accessible writing style I would even recommend it to teenagers aged sixteen and up.

Order The Midnight Library from your local bookshop
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