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A list of things that get me through self-quarantine.

  • I painted my nails in a very light pistachio shade only to remove it a few hours later. Turns out that constantly washing your hands while singing my loneliness / is killing me is a manicure's worst enemy. [EDIT: But my Mermaid Fantasy 90's inspired polish actually lasted for days with a top coat.]
  • Instead I got my hands dirty and potted some cuttings I had made of my house plants. I also planted some bulbs on the balcony: freesia, anemone and a third variety whose name I forgot. Some kind of tiny lily, yellow with orange stripes. Sweeped the balcony floor, cut off dead twigs and leaves. I keep bringing in new plants and seeds whenever I go to the supermarket. I also attached my rainbow crystals to a bamboo stick and put it up over the door. Got my lawn chair from the cellar. Enjoyed a nap in the sunshine. Still in a jacket and scarf but the sunglasses were necessary as well. I even marked some essays like that.
  • I cooked or baked something pretty much every day.
    • wheat tortillas and dozens of burritos with lettuce, sriracha and chickpeas or peanut tofu and hummus (current obsession)
    • veggie stew
    • vegan baking: apple mango cake, banana bread and mango raspberry cake
    • pizza with mushrooms, olives and capers
    • baked granola
    • broccoli potato curry with coconut milk
    • a huge batch of pasta bake
    • asian noodle stir-fry; twice
    • baked bell peppers filled with spinach and couscous
    • a loaf of spelt bread with sunflower seeds and some rye bread as well; another one with pumpkin seeds and extra sourdough
    • sour coconut soup
    • potato goulash
    • pancakes with dudes (I made them with Alex and Manu before the curfew)
    • cheese toast
    • a surprisingy good batch of chocolate strawberry porridge
    • Greek salad with chickpeas (I had been craving a big bowl of salad for days)
    • my signature Thai curry recipe
    • strawberry-raspberry ice cream with roasted coconut chocolate
    • sticky walnut cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting (what a sugar such but still such a treat - now I'm left with one little sachet of dry yeast, oh no...)
    • a Russian-style potato salad with dijon mustard, dill, pickles, beetroot and caramelised onions
    • pan-roasted potatos with bell pepper, courgette and halloumi, some fresh herbs like dill and cilantro; toasted sesame and cumin seeds
    • a cheery crumble
  • An evening ritual: sitting outside on the balcony at night. The sky has been crystal clear those last few nights. Checking the constellations with Sky Map. Realising that my window is currently facing the Leo constellation. Watching out for shooting stars. No such luck. Enjoying the cold, smoking makes me light-headed. Going inside. Undressing, slipping into bed. I keep my bedclothes fresh and clean these days because that fresh laundry smell is intoxicating and makes me very happy. Lighting a candle with cedar and lavender oil. Listening to Bayonne. He is my favourite artist at the moment and I am amazed by the coicidence that made me find him. I was in Montreal and wanted to explore the city on a random week night. So I just got a ticket for the only concert near my hotel; he played at a cool venue called Le Ministère, right off my favourite street - Boulevard Saint Laurent. I was super tired that evening and didn't fully enjoy his show but his tunes have been growing on me. I remember a night in Delhi, lying in my hostel bed after an evening with Christie, Nici and the Brit brats; listening to trippy Bayonne tunes. I actually stood right next to Roger at his concert in Munich last year when he was smoking outside but I was too shy to say hello. All these missed opportunities...
  • Games. I think I haven't played this much in ages. The Beat Saber demo version with Manu's VR goggles. A board game afternoon with Lena and Sash - a Skype video call, Cards Against Humanity, Wizard, Transamerica and Verflixxt. JackBox party pack rounds (my favourites are Drawful 2 and Dictionarium) with Dennis, Margit, Betty, Marina, Stefan and even Manu joined us once. A few days later Steffen showed up as well after apologizing for being distant - he had broken up with his weird girlfriend. Phew. Oh and the nasty addictive Cat App I downloaded one fatal Saturday that's still got me hooked.
  • Making a pub quiz (quarantine edition) for my team because I was sad about missing our regular Monday nights. I even created a quizmistress twitter account to send some hints for the upcoming rounds, just like Darren usually does. We ended up playing on Thursday after postponing a few times. Steffen, Merlin, Em and Sophia didn't show up after all but whatev. It was a lot of fun with three teams as well. Maggi and Dennis won but it was really close. I got drunk on a leftover bottle of red wine from Lena's and Christian's wedding which made the ensuing Cards Against Humanity round straight up hilarious. I might make a new quiz for next week! Actually I asked Manu, Lena and Frank to come up with topics and questions for me so there's gonna be quiz editor guest appearances.
  • A throwback to my teenage days. Sitting in front of the computer, chatting and talking to friends on Discord. Re-installing programmes I had ten years ago (Skype, BSW).
  • A conference call with my students. Henry forcing his chubby cat in front of the camera. Highlight. Grading essays is so much easier when I can type what I'm thinking. Also, I'm definitely going to keep using the messenger system with the kids. I love how efficient and easy it is.
  • Grading dozens of essays. That's basically my job now. Reading the articles and letters, correcting mistakes, writing feedback. Helping out other teachers (Sophia) who are on a tight deadline. Working at elementary level and for a private school must be so much harder than what I'm doing. I'm really lucky - I mainly teach arts and crafts this year so I don't have to worry about missing any important content; and my English students are older and used to working on their own.
  • Not reading. I kinda miss my two-hour-long public transport rides, just because of this. Reading is my form of escapism, it helps me vanish into a parallel universe when I don't want to be where I currently am. But I'm too happy here. Too much at ease. Constantly eating is extremely soothing. [EDIT: I finally finished my Siri Hustvedt book and followed a sudden inspiration to start reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - I must have started this book at least two or three times but never finished it.]
  • Not going out. The furthest I got from my house was a slow walk to the mailbox the other day because I needed to post my ballot papers. Not even moving all that much. I know yoga would be so good for me right now but somehow I can't get myself to do it. This is not the time to diet...
  • And then: going out. A bike ride on the first really warm day of the year. Planning on joining Manu on his Pokémon Go walk. Sitting down on a yoga mat in the middle of the meadow instead. Eating my raspberry mango sakura cake. Practising the cup song. Making videos. Blowing soap bubbles [BREAKING NEWS: long-haired terrorist attacks children with tiny Corona bombs] until two policemen (actually one was a policewoman) asked as to leave and keep moving. Apparently sitting down somewhere is prohibited.
  • Cabin fever counteraction: a Sunday morning dance parties with Lady Gaga's former backup dancer Mark Kanemura. His energy is extremely joyful and queer - I love people wearing outrageous wigs and waving rainbow flags around. Also, it feels good to have someone tell you that you're doing great and that you're loved.
  • Oh, and I was forced to serve as a polling clerk after the elections last week. A very weird situation: they closed the schools, cancelled all events - and then they crammed thousands of people into the exhibition halls. My team was kinda nice though but I suspected the leader to be an AFD voter. Ugh. Since they had cancelled the support trains the U2 was extremely crowded on Monday morning. But apparently I didn't get infected, I'm still fine. And I got to know two teachers from Maria-Probst-Realschule who invited me to check out their school after I had mentioned that I was thinking about finding a new school with a crafts major.
  • I remembered one of my happy places and went into the forest. I love the atmosphere there. The light situation, the smell, the soft, almost bouncy floor. Budding leaves, greens and browns. Quietude. The forest reminds me of my childhood, Good Friday walks with my mother and my grandma who would throw chocolate eggs on the floor when we weren't looking and told us to find what the Easter bunny had lost due to a hole in its bag. I lay down on the moss in my favourite clearing and read in the sun for an hour the other day. Perfect.

Easter Monday was extremely cold but I really wanted to go to the forest so I went anyway. I love being alone in there, avoiding people whenever possible, taking the small, unbeaten paths. It was windy. I hugged a few trees and when I put my ear onto the trunk I could hear deep moaning noises because the wind made the crowns sway and the wood had to adjust. Eerie. I had never heard that before or maybe I just didn't pay enough attention.

  • Establishing a self care routine. Trying to do as many things on my daily list as possible. My skin has never been better - I religiously massage it and apply creams and serums. I even use dental floss and the blackroll every day. Apart from that I'm trying to do something creative every day, practise Spanish and the Cup Song, get some work and reading done. Eat fruit and vegetables, clean or tidy something at home.
  • Another novelty: Waking up at 5am, going for a walk at 6:30am. Alone, before the sunrise. I ended up in Neuried and decided to queue for breakfast at the local bakery. So on my way back I ate a croissant on a park bench in the morning light, reading a book. Some nordic/dog walkers passed me and said good morning. Such an unusual but energizing start to the day.
  • Watching Studio Ghibli movies for the first time. Magical stuff. I get what the hype is all about. Spirited Away is probably my favourite so far. About half way in I suddenly realised that Nina Hagen is the German voice of Yubaba!! Mind blown.
  • When I crave a hug or need some comfort I often watch some of these soothing videos: Goodnight Moon | Li Ziqi | BA test kitchen.
  • And then the calm went away again. I had to go back to work for three days a week. Only for 90minutes at a time which is laughable but just the fact that I had to leave the house, deal with other people, spend 2 hours on public transport was enough to let my cosy routine die. I'd lie down after my first two days back at school because I felt so drained. My eyes hurt, I had a headache, all I wanted to do was sleep. I really hope I'll get used to this again quickly. More than that, though, I'd love to feel calmer again when I'm at home, more creative and at peace. I want to take care of my plants, prepare a delicious meal in the kitchen, work on one of my many projects (working with clay, hand stitching, drawing, knitting and crocheting, carving my wooden bird, making collages, I could go on...)
mar 26 2020 ∞
apr 30 2020 +