Corona holidays

So this is a bit strange. Most of Western Europe is in some kind of lock down and here in Belgium only essential stores remain open. Cafés, restaurants, any stores except food, pharma, etc.: all closed. And Belgium is a ‘red zone’, so if you travel to another country you have to remain in quarantine, not exactly the best holiday plan. On top of that, the rules change every month so it’s not like you can plan ahead.

Nevertheless I have to take my paid leave or lose it, so I had requested two weeks of leave for November, even if we have no idea what to do. Luckily, when the government announced the new lock down rules two weeks ago, there was no rule against travelling with just the two of us in our own country. We immediately booked a holiday home in the Ardennes region of Belgium! Museums, castles, activity centers, .. are all closed, so we’ll hike during the daylight hours – let’s say 9 am to 4 pm, with pick nick for lunch – then cook dinner and spend the evening reading or watching TV. I spent some time these last two weeks looking up hikes and castles – and hikes around castles – in the area, adding everything to a Google MyMaps. I just hope there will not be a multitude of hikers: honestly there’s nothing else to do in the whole country and people are flocking. Nah, I’m not too worried: if there are a lot of people, they will be mostly on the easy trails in a 1 km radius around the parking lot.

We leave on Friday and will be gone a week, so that leaves me with four more free days at home. I spent most of today with my e-reader, either reading in the couch with the cat or behind my computer organizing my e-library and finding new titles. I read a lot of books, about five per week, so it requires a bit of an effort to always have the next books ready before finishing the ones I’m reading now. The effort today paid off, I’ve listed some titles I already have, to read again, and marked five or so to buy, that should tide me over until this corona holiday is over!

Tomorrow morning is shopping time and I’ll go to the wholesale store to top up my pantry: canned butter beans, kilos of nuts, a few bottles of wine, a big bag of 70% Valrhona chocolate, .. yum. Some of that stuff cannot be bought in retail stores, other items are available in much larger boxes, which brings down the plastic waste, which I also find important. The rest of my free days I will be spend with my Mom: she’s the one person I see outside of my home and we can work on sewing projects even while keeping a safe distance.

Strange times..

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