Knowing How to Enjoy Life in spite of New COVID restrictions in Germany, April 2021

Today, further restrictions have begun for schools, doing sports, and the placement of a curfew from 10pm – 5am. None of them affect me. Even if they did, it is quite easy for me to adjust my life style accordingly. That’s what I learned from living in foreign countries for almost ten years.

Since the COVID situation is not getting any better, I have opted for ‘Outdoor Isolation’, which means we have picnics (restaurants are still closed for indoor and outdoor dining) as often as we can. This way, we are isolated from others, but not from sight. It is nice to see ordinary people passing by without a mask.

Today, we went to the Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel, where we have not been since our kids were in primary/elementary school.

Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel

What’s this swimming in the water..? This is a nutria (or: coypu), a native from Louisiana, USA.

It fetched something in the water to eat it on the bank.

After our picnic of British Tea sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, and white wine (not for the driver), we took a stroll around the pond.

We can see St. Ursula Church in the background. It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon.

A new initiative to save the bees is taking place in Oberursel. The yellow vending machine sells bee food for 50 cents. On the left, there is a container collecting the empty capsules for recycling.

Oberursel has many half-timbered houses, but this one is a half-timbered villa.

The Significance of Keeping Order – German Style

Germans are known to be orderly. Whether we truly are or not can only be based on personal experience. My husband will tell you we are. And he claims to suffer from it… 🙂

The forest workers have been very busy for the past few years. Storms, parasites, and extreme heat have taken its toll on the forest. But this stack of trees near our home was a good reminder of how we supposedly are. Orderly.

For some interesting observations from an expat to Germany, visit: BBC – What Makes Germans so Orderly

When I saw this neatly stacked pile of wood, it just warmed my heart, gave me a sense of pride, and put a smile on my face.

Oberursel Forest

I would even take it a step further, and claim Germans have national pride for this sense of order. More so than for the German flag, as we only use it when it comes to soccer championships and the likes. On national holidays, we do not display the flag. Instead, we clean up.

We are proud when our garden is tieded, the grass has been mowed, our car has been washed, the flower boxes are neatly arranged, the windows have been washed, and the sidewalks swept.

Keeping things orderly might be our own ‘national flag’.

Flowers and Insect Hotels in Josselin

This Hôtel à Insectes is down by the canal in Josselin. This is a very inspiring construction in regards to  sustainability. I wish we had one like this in Oberursel, so I plan on spreading the word in the right places.

Insect Hotel in Josselin

Along the canal, my husband and I stopped for a cold beer at a restaurant’s garden terrace. We got to meet the owner’s cat coming around our table and she let us pet her. Halfway into our beer, the cat came back with a rat in her mouth! We tried to keep up our conversation, but got sidetracked by the ‘cat and mouse game’ going on in the hedge…

Hydrangea is dotting the landscape around Josselin.

We took a nice long walk around the remaining parts of the city wall.

Winter Landscapes around Oberursel

We’ve had a fairly mild winter up until mid-week. A few days ago, it started getting colder and we got some long-awaited snow. I recognized my photo opportunity right there and then. El Niño could be back in a flash.

‘GlĂĽck ist der Zufall, der auf Bereitschaft trifft.’, I heard on TV yesterday. Basically, your real chance comes when conditions change, and you are prepared and willing to go along. Off I went to capture nature’s rapture on camera.

With the above statement, the announcer was describing a German skier’s luck in yesterday’s Ladies’ Ski Cross World Cup qualifications in Watles, Italy.

 

snowy path Germany

Somewhere near Oberhöchstadt, about 6km from Oberursel

On the Road in the USA – Addison, ME

We came to Addison, ME to visit a friend for few days. He was a kind host for letting us use his converted and refurbished boat house for three days.

boat house

This is the view from the porch. As an early riser, I got to observe koons and seaguls during their morning business of hunting for food.

porch

We also went to buy hard and soft lobster for an evening meal to be cooked at my friend’s home. Well, I am no friend of boiling and eating lobster, but I had to give it a try. Lobster sold for US$ 5,75/lb (hard) and US$ 3,50/lb (soft).

lobster

I read on a restaurant’s menu somewhere, quoting this now:

“Concerned about the lobster? There is no need to worry. Lobsters are believed by many scientists not to feel pain, due to their primitive nervous system.” I still find it hard to believe.

These are the gloves which fetch them.

gloves

What I like much better is observing animals in their natural environment, such as this little squirrel which knew when to come around at feeding time.

squirrel

Another shot taken from the porch on a very foggy morning. Staying at this boat house, we got to experience a heavy dose of Maine life. Quiet and soothing, tranquil and in tune with nature. High and low tide, the wind, the smell of the sea, looking for sea glass, and getting in tune with the wilderness. Including many mosquito bites.

foggy morning

Thanks to my friends D and P for their hospitality!

For fun reading: Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them: And 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking . . . Plus 25 Recipes to Get It Right Every Time from Amazon.com

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