It has taken awhile but it’s back: my long winter’s nap has given way to a rush of January positivity.

It was easy to feel sorry for myself as the year drew to a close and we found ourselves celebrating Christmas alone in our new home in a still-foreign place, and still feeling the lingering effects of the virus. Nothing tasted like much, the family Zooms were fun but pumped what little energy I had, our Christmas presents for family sat unwrapped under the tree like a reproach: Nope, this ain’t any kind of Noël like you know it. You are a stranger in a strange land who can’t understand a word of what people are saying behind their masks. Who knows how long it will be before people can enjoy getting together again?

I don’t do well with pity parties. After two weeks without leaving home, we decided it was time for a change of scene. So, cleared of our contagion, we packed the gifts into the car and headed to Geneva on Boxing Day. Booked a hotel that could provide a room but alas no breakfast (current lockdown rules) and visited our son and his girlfriend who, like us, had come through Covid and were out of the infectious period. The next day we went to Lyon and had a socially distanced visit with my father-in-law. Gifts were exchanged, champagne corks were popped. I began to feel a lot better.

And it got better. Returning home to Brunnen after being away for two days really felt like coming home. For the first time since we’d moved, with our house sale well and truly behind us, our new place feels like home. Another week went by and we cocooned a bit more, inviting friends for dinner just after new year’s. Gradually my energy — and sense of taste — has returned to almost normal. Getting back to work this week has felt good. And for the first time in months, I am motivated to move ahead on my personal writing projects. I even picked up my German books again.

That’s not to say I haven’t had some bumps. One day this week was one of those hugely frustrating days in which everything seemed to conspire against me. My technology didn’t work. I got lost while driving to the shopping centre, entered the store on the wrong side (Coronavirus-oblige, there are shopping traffic flows) and couldn’t find a darn thing I wanted. Tried to ask for help and got muddled between three languages, not able to utter any kind of clear request even in English, reverting to my automatic responses in French and then attempting to insert a German word here and there to help the poor person who had no clue what I was on about…Gah!

Another frustration has been that, as I was unable to get a positive PCR test, I’d been hoping for a positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test to prove that I’d had the miserable virus. The first test, one week in, came back negative and the doctor was entirely dubious about the value of doing another: “You’ve certainly had a brush with the disease but probably not enough to generate a proper immune response. You can try again but I suspect it will come back negative, or not strong enough to justify immunity.” But I wasn’t going to give up without a fight, so we did another test anyway. And bingo! Yesterday I learned that it had come back positive. I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is to have proof that my immune system did its job. Which obviously will not spare me from masks, distancing and eventually, a vaccine shot or two. But in the meantime, having at least some immunity for now is another reason to be positive. Don’t we all need as much positivity as we can get these days?

Plus, it snowed this week. The white stuff always makes my heart sing.

Feel free to share at least one thing you feel good about going in to 2021.

Wishing you all a very happy — and above all, healthy — new year!


  1. phildange · January 9, 2021

    Thanks to this post, I remember that I love your heart . Good girl, through the downs and the ups, you are deeply POSITIVE, indeed …

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Thanks, Phil. Your praise is hard-won and warms the cockles of my heart. Forward-ho!

  2. margaret21 · January 9, 2021

    My good thing is similar to yours. A good hearty tramp in deep fresh snow this morning: and yesterday morning – snowdrops. So glad you are beginning to feel healthy again – and at home.

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Snowdrops, so pretty! We have a deep freeze here and my winter rose froze overnight. I think we need some more fresh snow to warm things up. Thanks for your wishes. Hope you enjoy lots of snowy winter walks.

  3. Garfield Hug · January 9, 2021

    I am very happy you beat Covid-19. Stay safe and still maintain safe distancing and mask up. There are different mutant strains now. Take care and am very glad you are ok now.

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Thank you, Garfield! 🤗 I will be careful as they say you can get reinfected, although it is rare. Let’s hope we get through these next few months until everyone is vaccinated.

  4. chezperrier · January 9, 2021

    Wasn’t it a strange and quiet Christmas? I’m so glad you’ve pulled through that horrible virus and see brighter days ahead. I love the photos of the beautiful Swiss scenery and looking forward to seeing many more in the future.

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Glad you enjoy the photos. We wonder if we’ll ever get used to the views. I think not but if so, will probably have many more photos to share before we do! A strange Christmas indeed. Here’s hoping it’s a one off!

  5. Becky Ross Michael · January 10, 2021

    Happy new year; love your gorgeous photos!

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Thank you! Glad you enjoy the scenery….a very happy new year to you,too!

  6. davidprosser · January 10, 2021

    I’m so glad you beat the bug and came through with some immunity. It’s great you were able to retrieve a little of the Christmas spirit with your family visits. Apart from Christmas Day itself, we seem to have been in the deepest lockdown forever and I hear that in Wales at least we are not yet able to stop the spread of Covid 19. Roll on the vaccine and the chance to visit with humans again, if I don’t just talk budgie by then.
    Have the happiest of New Years and stay well.

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Cheers, David! It would have been wiser to wait for the vaccine for immunity but I’ll take what I can get. We were very fortunate and I’m grateful for that. Just wish we could somehow end this isolation or at least see that the confinement is working. Hopefully you will get your jabs soon and be freed from the cage — if not your feathered friend! Bonne année, bonne santé to you and your family! xo

  7. francetaste · January 10, 2021

    I’m glad you got to see family and that you got your test results. Be careful–the latest research seems to find that immunity lasts only about 8 months, and I think I’ve mentioned here that a relative has had it twice.
    Here’s to hoping that 2021 is truly better in every way. Meilleurs voeux et surtout la santé!

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Thanks, I’m tempted to think it can only get better too…but almost afraid to jinx things. Happiest of new years to you!

  8. weird weekends · January 10, 2021

    The photos are amazing! I miss read and had to double back thinking you wanted a “positive test” for having COVID not for the anti bodies proving you “had” it… (was wondering why you wanted COVID… I am so glad you were able to get through it…) HAPPY NEW YEAR…

  9. Dale · January 10, 2021

    Happy New Year Melanie! So very glad you were able to change your sadness to gladness and that your immune system did its job (knowing, of course, that you still must remain vigilant). I have been keeping my goal of 10K steps, minimum, per day which forces me to go out and walk to obtain said steps. I’ve been snapping away happily which brings the positive level way up.

    Keep on keeping on!

    • Dale · January 10, 2021

      I pressed “post” before telling you your photos are beautiful!

      • MELewis · January 10, 2021

        Merci! 😎

      • Dale · January 11, 2021


    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      Good for you: getting out in the fresh air, however frosty, is good for the body and soul! Happy new year to you Dale!

      • Dale · January 11, 2021

        Yes! It’s been great. I’ve gone out seven days in a rowl
        Happy New Year to you and yours!

  10. Ally Bean · January 10, 2021

    I’m glad you’re healthy and agree that it was an odd Christmas season. I also agree with your line: “Don’t we all need as much positivity as we can get these days?” That’s the subtext of my intentions and actions for 2021– even if the year did get off to a rocky start. Stay safe and keep snapping your beautiful photos.

    • MELewis · January 10, 2021

      I like your approach! Thanks for your wishes and let’s hope the positivity gains momentum. I’m no Pollyanna but I can’t help but feel there are good times ahead!

  11. acflory · January 10, 2021

    It feels totally wrong to congratulate you on a positive Covid-19 test, but we have to take our silver linings where we find them these days, and with luck, you will retain your immunity when this new variant blows through like a bad smell.
    Enjoy feeling settled again, and stay well. 🙂

    • MELewis · January 11, 2021

      Thanks, Meeks! I do realize this was not the optimal way to obtain immunity, but as you say I’ll take my silver linings where I can. At least it’s one more for the people vs. virus in the short term. May this new year bring us all back together again!

      • acflory · January 12, 2021

        Amen to that, Mel. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a real hug more than now.

  12. CompassAndCamera · January 11, 2021

    Snow! It makes me happy too. Your view is amazing! And so happy to hear you are healthy after Covid. Happy New Year!

    • MELewis · January 11, 2021

      Thanks! The views are keeping us entertained as we see them change with the seasons. Snow is definitely a mood-booster, eh? Bonne année, bonne santé to you!

  13. Colin Bisset · January 11, 2021

    Glad you’ve got your mojo back! Nonsense though it is, I agree, and feel glad to see the back of 2020 (the number was the only thing balanced about it) and get stuck into this year. Hope springs…

    • MELewis · January 11, 2021

      Hope may indeed ‘spring’ this year as it will probably not be before (our) spring that things will lighten up. But I am hopeful that we’ll get back out there soon, appropriately armed with weapons to stay well. Just itching to book a vacation somewhere… Wishing you a return to happy travels in 2021!

      • Colin Bisset · January 12, 2021

        Local travels only, I think…

      • MELewis · January 12, 2021

        I certainly hope not! 😒 In that case my interpretation of ‘local’ will be liberally based on continents rather than borders.

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