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Published: November 5th 2021
Before I went to Switzerland for Christmas I visited Jenni, and it snowed one night...
I just discovered it's been slightly more then a year (2 days to be exact), that I wrote my last blog. Embarrassing! It also means I haven't really travelled for two years, not counting my visits to Germany. And that Covid-19 is still a thing. So this is another Intermezzo blog, which is strange. An Intermezzo blog, following on a year old Intermezzo blog! But these are weird times we are living in. On the up side, my carbon footprint is probably the lowest it's been in years. No flying to far flung destinations, a few train trips with trains running on green energy (so they claim), and there you go. My contribution to COP26!
During this year a lot has happened. A Christmas and New Year in Switzerland with my sister, a surprising late snow-stormy winter, a spring of hope with vaccines, an exciting hip operation for my mum, a cold and wet summer, which was great for the garden and nature as a whole, since the last two have been too hot and too dry, and now we are back in the golden light of autumn.
We'll start with the Christmas, it was green and warm, and
She made me an advents calendar, a present for each day.
that in Switzerland! Jenni, had her first introduction to our family Christmas traditions, which she had heard of from me for so long. The Swedish Christmas dishes, the songs, the aquavit. Exciting too, because she hadn't properly met my sister and her family yet. Not in person anyway. Since there has been plenty of other contact, it almost didn't feel like it was the first time.
Then came the surprise winter in Holland. I had just returned from a visit to Jenni, when a snowstorm blanketed our country. Now that's something we hadn't seen for a long, long time. The wind whipped up some pretty big snow dunes. It was great! I know, if you come from a place where snow is normal, or even an annoyance, you might not understand that, but for me it was fantastic. And unlike per usual, it didn't all melt away the same day, or the next day. No, it stuck around for a week or two. A week or two of magical whiteness and many walks.
And then one day it all disappeared and from under the snow the first snowdrops and crocuses appeared. Spring was saying hello!
Snowy Schwaebish Hall
exciting. A long overdue operation on my mother's hip was scheduled in. Rather suddenly. She was called a week before, with the announcement that they had found a spot on the operating table for her. A big operation. It was replacing an old prosthetic hip, for a new one. Her old prosthetic had done well, but after 35 odd years (10 more then expected) it finally had given up. Getting it out wasn't that easy, they had to cut it out of the bone, then put the new one in and close the bone again with steel wire. As you can imagine I was pretty nervous during the operation, but Jenni came over from Germany during this time to stand by me, which helped. Still I was obviously very relieved when I got the call that she was out of surgery and awake and all had gone well. Mind you, she was fit going in, and that I am sure makes a difference. What followed were six months of recovery. And recover she did. Faster than anybody had expected. The physiotherapist was amazed. But, as I said, she was and is fit. That's not to say there weren't any bumps
on the road, ups and downs, as you would expect after such a big operation, but really, I'm not sure I would have recovered as quickly as she did.
By the time summer had arrived, my mum had recovered physically, but mentally she was still very tired. For the first time in two years, my brother and his family could leave Peru for Europe. And they stayed for 3 months, which wasn't the plan. The reason was vaccines. In Peru, it was unclear when and if they would get one, so they decided to use their time in Europe to get them. They got them in Finland, but there was 3 months between the two doses there, so they had to wait. In between they came to Holland and stayed here for over a month. My sister, of course also came by with her family, so we had a family reunion again, after far too long a time. And at the very end of it, Jenni managed to squeeze some time off from work, so she could finally meet my brother and part of his family as well. Now she has nearly met everybody!
For my mother it
More snow pictures
was very nice and very tiring at the same time. She was quite exhausted by the end of it all. To be honest, so was I. Actually I think everybody was. My brother and his family also wanted to get back to their own home and own beds. And they did, vaccinated and all.
Jenni, in the meantime found herself a new job. She starts in January. It means moving to the north of Germany. Closer to me! Yay!
As for me, after all this, I decided that I wanted to get out in the world again. It didn't have to be far, I just wanted to see something new and experience the road again. So, Jenni and I went on a little trip... And I'll tell you all about it in my next blogs.
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