Dies und das

It’s been a weird few weeks, leading me to skip a post or two (I’ve been doing that a lot lately — corona fatigue anyone?). A series of public holidays in May plus some erratic weather has left me not sure if I’m coming or going. Hence a post on ‘this and that’ (dies und das) because I am still trying to get my head around German (or German into my head).

The crickets have been chirping away in the fields for a month now and yet the weather remains cool. Who knew that spring crickets were a thing? Yesterday the sun came out in all its glory and I went for my first bare-arm and bare-legged walk of the year, despite a chill wind from the north. I watched as the paragliders circled down from the mountain above, enjoying the vicarious thrill of flying.

My daughter’s birthday is on Sunday and I’m feeling sad that it will be the second one she celebrates without us. She’s across the Channel in the UK and had originally hoped to come to visit for a couple of weeks. Sadly, it’s not going to happen now and probably not until later this summer. And although Madeline is a front-line worker as a practicing veterinarian, she has not yet qualified for a Covid vaccine. Her age group is coming up soon in the UK where the NHS is taking a strict age-related approach to vaccination. But she would have needed multiple negative PCR tests to travel and to make matters worse this week France announced a 7-day quarantine for visitors from the UK due to the Indian variant.

In other news, it seems that Switzerland has pulled out of talks with the EU on various bilateral agreements. This article from the BBC (me loves the Beebs!) explains it better than I could. I have no doubt we will get there in the end but things take time in Switzerland and, like every other country in the world, there are politics. The Swiss value their independence and refuse to enter into any arrangement that compromises this, so they’re sticking to the existing if outdated agreements for now. Still, it felt like disturbing news for us as EU citizens living here.

We finally have our Covid shots scheduled for June 12 here in Schwyz, where it seems we’re not exactly ahead of the pack. Oddly, my husband and I have two separate appointments, at different times and locations, with mine an hour away in the furthest corner of the canton at 9 pm on a Saturday evening! No idea which vaccine we’ll get but probably either Pfizer or Moderna as Astra Zeneca is still not approved in Switzerland. My son, who lives in Geneva and is somewhat at risk due to a chronic illness, got his first shot of Moderna a week ago. He reported fairly strong side effects of fever, chills and headache for two days. You may recall that we all had Covid just before Christmas, so the first shot is the one with the greatest impact. Fingers crossed!

After that I think we’ll be ready to make travel plans. But where? All I know is that a beach will be involved, and preferably an ocean. I’m not keen on flying for now simply due to the shifting requirements for various tests and the additional delays that will inevitably entail. Besides, the news of the Ryanair plane being forced to land in Belarus this week only added to my reluctance. I can only imagine the panic on board that flight and in the hours that passengers were held in Minsk. Greece has called it a state-sponsored hijacking and there’s no doubt Lukashenko is one scary guy. Here’s hoping that dissident blogger Roman Protasevich survives his custody.

So maybe we’ll drive. Brittany is on my bucket-list and I’ve been away from France long enough now to start looking forward to a holiday on its coasts. There’s also the train that can get us to Italy. I have fond memories of a ferryboat we once took from Venice to Porec, Croatia.

It seems insane to be worrying about where to travel when you live in such a beautiful place. I’m looking forward to getting out for a paddle soon. Maybe we’ll just stay home for the summer after all.

What’s new with you?

20 comments

  1. margaret21 · May 29

    I’m glad you love the Beeb. With some reservations, that could be said for most Brits, but our Tory government is keen on abandoning it to the free market, so goodbye niche stories and (reasonably) independent reporting. I hope you do get a break. Your new home sounds glorious, but a break to set us up for what will probably be another long winter is required I think.

    • MELewis · May 30

      I hope the government gets voted out before they can do lasting harm to a national treasure! As for holidays, we have a psychological need to change scene. And even if your day-to-day is pretty nice, a change of pace makes coming home all the better. When are you off to Spain?

      • MELewis · May 30

        Oops, just checked — no general elections until 2024. 😠 I Hopefully the normally keep-on-and-carry-on Brits will revolt if BoJo touches the Beebs!

      • margaret21 · May 30

        You’re right about a change of scene being necessary. Spain? Fingers crossed – in a fortnight. But our sailing has already been cancelled once, and going through France is a no-no (quarantine). Dream on about our present government being voted out any time soon. For reasons quite beyond my comprehension, it’s popular, as is the egregious Johnson.

  2. Taylor · May 29

    It makes me so mad that your daughter still isn’t eligible for the vaccine.
    I’m a veterinarian in the US and we were second in line after human medical staff, ambulance workers, etc.
    Since the pandemic, I’ve worked tirelessly, with other people (i. e. not just animals). And here, that meant even durning the time after George Floyd was murdered–strict curfews were imposed and the national guard
    were dispatched, I and had to go to work (with a letter saying I was out for work).
    All this to say that she deserves the vaccine regardless of her age!
    I hope she stays safe and that you’re able to holiday soon, safely. It’s looking good for my trip to France en septembreb(j’espère)!

    • MELewis · May 30

      Wow, sounds like you have more than earned that holiday to France! I agree it’s frustrating to see such a lack of recognition for the veterinary profession in the UK. I admire the work you all do and cannot even begin to imagine how stressful it is to be worrying about Covid on top of everything else. It’s my daughter’s first year of practice since graduating last summer so she also deserves a break. Vive les vacances!

  3. Dale · May 29

    I, too, am displeased your daughter hasn’t been eligible all this time. Jeez.
    It goes to show that all countries have their various issues. Here, we have to wait four months to get the second shot – though I think there are murmurings that this will be moved up. I hope so. Just yesterday, for the first time since last September, restaurants with terraces (sorry, I will always spell it the French way 😉 ) were allowed to open. Despite the temps being at 11-13 – they were all FULL. Needless to say, it has been a LONG time coming.
    I can understand wanting to travel to get away. Feel like you are doing something else, elsewhere. I sure hope we can sometime soon.

    • MELewis · May 30

      It’s galling, eh? Each country has its own problems indeed, and I think the one common denominator in this pandemic is that people are mad at their leaders. I know my Dad, who is 89 this year, is furious about having to wait 4 months for his second shot. But my sister shared an article saying they were shortening that time period in Ontario. 🤞 Glad to hear you guys can get out for a drink again no matter the chill. After so long I can understand why the terraces were full! 🥳 I do hope you can travel soon, Dale and also that I will get to see some of my Canadian family!

  4. Becky Ross Michael · May 29

    Good to read you’re getting your shots! I’m venturing out a bit more after getting mine, but not that much. Too many people around who probably haven’t gotten them yet (and may never).

    • MELewis · May 30

      Thanks! I really don’t understand why people would refuse to get the vaccine, whether for themselves or for the general good. Ignorance, fear, fake news…? Glad to hear you have yours and I hope that things gradually begin to feel safer and get back to ‘normal’ again (what’s that? 😬)

      • Becky Ross Michael · May 30

        I know what you mean. I no longer really know what normal is…

  5. Katherine Wikoff · May 29

    Your “driving” vacation options sound wonderful to me!

    • MELewis · May 30

      We are pretty lucky with the ‘local’ options! Too far right now for the family and friends in Canada, though….

  6. Vanessa in France · May 30

    I’m sorry your daughter can’t be with you on her birthday. Also that she hasn’t yet been eligible for her shots. In her profession, she really should be. At least you are getting yours soon. Having had Covid yourselves, I think I’m right in saying that you’ll only need one shot, but this may depend on national policy. Like you, I’m not keen on the idea of flying, mainly because of the additional hassle involved. It was bad enough before. At least there are plenty of interesting places within driving distance. Also like you, my blogging has been very sporadic recently, partly because going anywhere has been so restricted until this month.

    • MELewis · May 30

      Thanks, Vanessa! Yes, it’s strange that vets are not considered front-line workers, especially considering the degree of care the Brits give their pets, and never more so than now. She works for a big animal hospital and the human factor is huge. As for our Covid vaccines, I’m hoping for only one shot as you say but will see what the authorities say given my ‘advanced’ age! 😉

  7. acflory · May 31

    After all the disturbing news coming out of Europe, it’s great to see life starting to become ‘normal’ again. I hope your vaccinations go smoothly and without much in the way of side effects. Enjoy your summer. 🙂

    • MELewis · June 3

      I’m prepared for some bumps along the way but really hoping that life will return to some kind of new normal! Hope things go smoothly in your parts as you head towards winter — and that you get your vaccines soon. 🤞

      • acflory · June 3

        Fingers crossed for both of us. 😀

  8. Ally Bean · June 2

    I’ve had a weird couple of weeks, too. Maybe it’s to be expected as we try, once again, to adapt to another summer with restricted movement courtesy of Covid-19. I like that you’ll be paddling soon. That sounds normal and safe and fun. Definitely fun.

    • MELewis · June 3

      Fingers crossed for this weekend, although the weather is still very contrary to any plans! Let’s hope the weirdness begins to resolve as the summer progresses. 😎

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