Gratitude, progress and a cat coming of age

I am immensely grateful that we live in and explore this wonderful landscape here on the northern rim of Germany right now. Many people around the globe are either trapped inside at the moment or live in crowded cities where it’s so much harder to get out of each other’s way or take a stroll. We’re still in our modest temporary accommodation (and will be for another four weeks until our new house is ready) where we have 80 square meters and sheep as next-door neighbours and the few people we do meet are very welcoming and friendly.

We have plenty of space here and can start beautiful walks in nature right from our doorstep, and even the beaches are mostly empty these days.

Now to put this into perspective, it’s worthwhile to note that within Germany, the northerners have a certain reputation. They are said to be difficult to connect with and not really talkative but to be frank we are experiencing the exact opposite right now. Nearly every person we come across seems curious and friendly. We met the mayor of our little village this week and had a nice chat and a good laugh with him. Actually, the meeting was only to clarify a question about our rain run-offs but we ended up talking for a lot longer than was necessary because he was so keen to hear our story and plans for the future.

Phoebe crashing on the sofa after one of her first self-guided outdoor adventures

Phoebe is discovering a completely new lifestyle these days. We let her go out on her own now and she roams the surroundings of the house for an hour or two and then comes back when I call her. It warms my heart to see how much she is enjoying her outdoor adventures. She always comes home exhausted and hungry but also with what I interpret as a spring in her step. A bit like a teenager coming of age and discovering nights out as a new pastime.

One of the recent highlights was that the number plates for our car arrived and I finally managed to get hold of someone at the vehicle registration office, too. Only two more weeks to go now before we get rid of the CH number.

After many unsuccessful attempts we are now one step closer to getting our car registered, yay!

On the building site there is steady progress, too: The preparations for the bathroom installations are done, there is fresh paint on ceilings and some of the walls downstairs, the floors that needed work have also been reinforced, our cork flooring has arrived and is ready to be put into place now.

Our living and dining room with a new lick of paint on ceilings and walls and the heating back in place again.

We also have our struggles and challenges, of course. Working from home, the two of us together in a small living room with an open plan kitchen is not always easy, as I am sure many people reading this will agree from their own experience in the past couple of weeks 🙂 There are free webinars popping out like fresh mushrooms, online meditation sessions, virtual birthday celebrations and game nights, virtual coffees with like-minded people, chats with my Les Enfants Terribles buddies – I just love it! While Klaus sometimes can’t help but roll his eyes at my neverending need to communicate and connect – he much prefers some peace and quiet. This I also relish: I meditate and practice daily yoga – it’s just that I do this in the mornings, when he’s asleep so he only ever sees me buzzing.

I am positively overwhelmed by the many opportunities to connect online with people nowadays. So many possibilities and choices!
My husband inspecting his new room under the roof.

I enjoy the simplicity of our current life here. It’s perfectly possible to get by with three hoodies, a couple of tops and two pairs of jeans – who needs a big wardrobe? I also enjoy that we don’t go shopping that often (same as most people, to reduce the risk of the virus spreading) and therefore need to plan meals a couple of days ahead and/or get creative with what’s left in the fridge and the larder. I see this as a welcome challenge from simply popping over across the road to coop once or more times every day which is what we did before. Some of the farms offer their own produce and we try and take advantage of that, too. Ah yes and then of course we’ve become regulars at the Danish take-away close by.

This digger foreshadows events to come: we need rain run-offs and a baseplate for our sauna.

Proud to say that I co-facilitated my first remote leadership development workshop this week! I enjoyed the experience a lot. This one had been planned as in-person and was changed to remote due to corona. I was surprised how easy it was to establish trust and a sense of connectedness in the group. Workshops like this one I would have thought a month ago could not work online at all for lack of human contact that is much needed in sensitive topics like personal reflection and development. Why did it work regardless? I think it’s down to the variety of methods we used to make it interactive and relevant, the sense of “we’re all in the same boat with this crisis” and then of course it’s easy to surpass expectations when they are fairly low – no-one expected a miracle :-). In any case, I am happy and proud that it worked so well and am looking forward to continuing the journey.

Wherever this finds you – take care, do good things for yourself and stay well!

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