April 20, 2020

Corona times - The seventh week of isolation

By the seventh week of isolation measures were taken to start loosen the lockdown and get things back to normal, how that normal was gonna look, no one really knew. It was certain that holidaying in the summer was over and we would be lucky if we could go to visit our parents. I think what is most dangerous right now are believing the rumours. I have faith in the decisions the Luxembourgish authorities take and up to now the authorities in Arlon are mirroring. What is certain is that all public events are cancelled until July 31st in Luxembourg and August 31st in Arlon, that means both national day celebrations, we are required to wear face masks in public places, schools will gradually restart and also garden centres and recycling parks will reopen.
I have a subscription at the crafty/hobby magazine, Flow and they also shared these colouring sheets. It started with the blue tiles, but it got me colouring again :)
Despite de lockdown and the constant menacing of the corona virus we are lucky to live in this area and live walking distance from this beauty. This is the view from Belvedere Arlon or St. Donat Church.
This wall hanging came with a bunch of things I've ordered before I gave birth to our daughter, from Next. I kept moving it from place to place not finding a spot for it in Ilinca's room. In the end I used a blob of patafix :) it's not aesthetic, but it will do.
I've told you a few weeks ago that I've enrolled into a bunch of online classes or workshops, well I've managed to actually take part in one. They are organised by Calea Victoriei Foundation in Bucharest and this particular one was about Brancusi. It was interesting to a point, I can't wait now for the next one about magic and folklore.
Cherry trees from Arlon Belvedere
I've already forgot about the Easter Monday in Luxembourg and Emaichen
So tradition calls in every Easter Monday for a clay market to be organised in a small town in Luxembourg, Nospelt the epicentre of the clay industry in the area, now extinct. And from that market children would buy little bird shaped clay whistles. The picture is from last year, but I do hope to share this wonderful tradition with our daughter again, next year. 
Speaking of, they are my wonders, Luna and Ilinca. 
Luna is very sad about the whole situation, because she is a sociable dog and lacks the pets and hugs from the postman and the sniffs of other dogs on the street. I don't know why the dog owners do not allow their dog to smell each other, but I do hope things will get back to normal as Luna is very unhappy.
Ilinca is all smiles and she is a very good child. You have one guess who dressed her for this walk :) Not me.
In this region we were lucky to have free travel. I would not go as far as saying we took it for granted, as we realised how lucky we were, but now that the travelling is put to a halt, we miss having the opportunity to visit a castle in Germany or a town in France or even to walk in the Luxembourg's Grund area and visit Melusina. The small things, like seeing our friends for a game night, or going to a terrace, or to a park, I think we miss those the most.

Instagram made me buy it :) 
It's not just me, each of my friends say they are tempted to buy a lot of things online, as we still have the possibility. Ilinca started grabbing things, but only small ones as small as fingers and while I was browsing Insta I've spotted these toys, Matchstick Monkeys. She seems to like them, but now she is too little to chew stuff. Still they are very nice and well made and in these times helping small businesses is important. 

The third banana bread :)
From the forest
This was our seventh week of isolation. I tend to keep busy on Instagram so if you want to stay in touch you can find me there @mademoiselle.ralu

April 16, 2020

Corona Times - Isolation week six

I don't know what happened, I lost track of time. As we were advice to telework or work from home a week before Luxembourg entered the lockdown, because we have a newborn at home, for me/us this is the sixth week of lockdown although for everybody it is the fifth. Just to be clear, this is the week which will end with the Catholic Easter so the week 6-12 of April 2020. 
I am mesmerised with the state of my garden. I love my tulips and we found small tomato plants so all is good.
We had to trim them, but first I took a picture. We are fortunate to have a garden in this quarantine times.
We did not do much this week, but on Saturday we went for a walk in Arlon as the city was empty as everyone was busy celebrating Easter. It was warm and I took a lot of pictures of the bloom trees. Here we are on the stairs to Belvedere Arlon where someone wrote in English a lot of cute expressions.
I was impressed by the Queen of England speech and by "we will meet again" phrase used in the speech. This "I can't wait to hug you when this is over" is in the same spirit and it made me feel less alone in this French speaking town.
The cherry trees not yet in fool bloom, but amazing none the less
My bear hunt bear on my windowsill office

Have I told you already how much I love the creative energy on Instagram? It seems like all the artists I follow got even more creative during lockdown. This t-shirt is designed by a Romanian artist, Madalina Matache on Instagram and it says "T-shirt for staying home" in a gorgeous font. Of course I've got it, but it will arrive after the lockdown is over.
The Palais in Arlon, it's an exhibition centre in a lovely building. As I'm writing this we already started phase one of getting off lockdown, but still public events will be banned until August 31st :(
My husband's apple crumble pie
This week the rules loosened a bit and we were allowed to drive in recreational purposes if we have a child younger than 5 years old. So we took the car and went to a nice forest.
The Arlon Cathedral and Covid-19 posters
Sunset from Belvedere Arlon
St. Donat Church at the Belvedere Arlon and the cherry trees.
The pictures are mixed from different days as this was again on Saturday.
It was a quiet week. Somehow the time seems to pass quicker now that we got accustomed with the quarantine and the lockdown. Now we start a new week and in a blink of an eye it is over. Six weeks in isolation without physically see our friends or family... :(
Again I'm grateful we are all healthy and alive and we have Internet and apps that keep us closer, but I miss most hugging my friends, having a drink on a terrace, walking in the Grund Area, the English stores in Germany, the easy life we all had here. I hope it will all come to a new normal and I hope this new normal will not be much different from what we had.
Happy Easter, friends!
You can follow me on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu

April 11, 2020

Corona times - Fifth week of isolation

There are good weeks and there are bad ones. The fifth was a bad one I had no desire to take pictures of. Life continued as I've already told you in the previous post, work, food, Ilinca, Luna, tulips.
The week started the same as all the ones before, except this week I was determined to acquire a new skill and that was to make a decent flat lay. 
As the Internet tells it "A flat lay is a picture taken from a birds eye view of a collection of items laid out on a flat surface. Usually there will be one item that is the main focus of the shot known as the hero, all the other items in the flat lay are there to complement the hero piece.", first definition on google. 
You all know the pictures with objects arranged to form a perfect square? Well that is an easy flat lay. A complicated one and eye appealing is hard to get if you do not have an eye for photography or Instagram. Usually we share on Instagram pictures taken by professionals, but as during the lockdown it is challenging to get all the objects to a photographer, as they are secluded artists who prefer in these difficult times to take pictures of the empty cities, we had to make do. My mistake in doing the flat lays is I want to cram as many objects from the same category as possible and usually I do not focus on just one main object. I still don't have the skill to do them, but at least I now know the technique. 
I think I complained too soon about the empty city, as the warm weather came everyone was outside and we again had to either walk Luna early in the morning or late in the evening. I took the picture using the timer on my phone (I still don't know how to take a proper selfie).
I've made a list with everything I want to do, but can't. One of the things is to go shopping in Ikea Metz, France. I know, essential problems, but this is my coping mechanism. I think the thing I miss more living here is free movement. Yes we are allowed to go to Luxembourg, as we mostly depend on that country with our jobs, medics and so on, but we cannot go to Germany or France except if we have a damn good reason to do so and shopping at Ikea is not a good reason, a walk on the streets of Trier is neither. Before Corona Times we used to buy vegetables and fruits in Belgium, flour, sugar, water things like that in France and detergents or makeup or things for Ilinca in Germany. So much so when the borders closed and I had to go shopping for everything in Carrefour Arlon I was lost and had to read the label of everything.
On the fifth week of isolation Spring finally came to this area, the fruit trees bloomed, my tulips bloomed and somehow life in quarantine was not as tough as before. I don't know how this tree is called in English, but my neighbour has one and I took a zoomed picture of it to show it to my firends.
My tulips
Empty supermarket
The meme of the week, very on point, as people kinda forgot why we have to stay inside and started going out in crowded places.
Again my tulips. You have to understand that I grew up on the concrete of communist towns of Romania so having a garden was out of the question and growing things was a completely unfamiliar thing for me. So now experiencing that I can seed something and it comes out is a great feeling. We bought the tulip bulbs on sale at Aldi, 50 bulbs with under 5 euros and planted them with little hope they will actually bloom, but they did, not all 50, but we had 20 some flowers.
Since the lockdown was enforced in this area, the sun made an appearance and it has been sunny for the past five weeks now. So we have the most gorgeous sunsets.
Luna happy to spent more and more tine in the sunny garden
Actually one would think that dogs would be the happiest in this quarantine times, but Luna suffers a lot. Yes we are all home and she is walked for longer times, but no one pets her on her walks and other dog owners do not let their dogs sniff her, the postman which was very friendly, now talks with us from a distance and does not pet her like he used to, so except us and occasionally our neighbours, she interacts with less people. I don't know how she will feel once this is over and she will have to stay again alone in the house, but we will have to wait and see.
Arlon is a quiet town and although in Belgium is mostly dependent on Luxembourg. People living here are locals, but mostly expats and they do not feel the connection with the land so I feel that in Arlon more than anywhere is everyone for himself. 
So we do not cheer at 8 p.m. for medics and people still forced to go to work and expose themselves. I was the only one doing it and after two weeks I felt irrelevant and stopped. I am still at my window at 8 p.m., but not clapping. 
Another thing was bear hunt. "Taking a page from Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book , members of a number of communities across the globe are placing teddy bears and other stuffed animals in their homes’ windows to create a scavenger hunt-esque activity for kids who are stuck at home. While taking walks or drives around the neighbourhood with their parents, kids in participating communities can have some fun by keeping an eye out for any number of stuffed animals that have been put on display at other houses." Times. As mostly the anglophone countries participate in bear hunts, imagine my surprise to see a bear on a window in Arlon.

At the supermarket
Bloom in Arlon
A little mismatched week as my head was all over the place. As usual you can find me on Instagram,  @mademoiselle.ralu

Corona Times - Forth week of isolation

By the forth week, we realised it is what it is and we cannot change anything, but we can enjoy this time spent together. Our routine is, I wake up in the morning, feed Ilinca and do social-media, then my husband wakes up and goes to the office, we have lunch together in the kitchen, then some more work and Ilinca time and then the working day is over, I walk Luna, we make dinner and stay a bit at the TV, bed and reload. Although challenging, I am glad he is at home, he gets to see our daughter every hour of the day and we both share the time spent with her.
Walking Luna on an empty town makes you notice things such as this little emblem plastered on the sidewalk, a campaign of the Water Company advising citizens to not through garbage in the water. It was funny as on this particular week on social media there was a challenge to post the last picture or video you took of the sea. I am usually enthusiastic about those challenges, but not that week. Still as the sigh clearly says "Here starts the sea" I've posted that with the #challengeaccepted :)
I had to boost my moral somehow and usually a good book helps
Ilinca is growing, please don't start with dressing her in pink as she is a girl, because first I don't have the nerves for that kind of an argument and second because my favourite colours are orange and blue, of course I will dress her in something I like until she will be old enough to have her own opinions.
I did them all :)
In the absence of people, flowers started blooming in the city
My favourite houses in Arlon. I like them because they remind me so much of Holland.
As usual you can find me on Instagram,  @mademoiselle.ralu