The sounds of silence (sort of)

Ewww walking through the Grand Place a few minutes past curfew — we’re such rebels. That said we high stepped it to get back inside before the horse police had their chance to spot us.

Badger and I sipped (okay he sniffed) on the balcony this morning. Birds busily tweeted their morning chores, a lonely school bell pinged its shrill on centuries-old stone and brick, construction vehicles groaned, growled, gnashed their way through steel and earth. With all that action, you know what wasn’t included in this morning’s orchestra? School children squealing their last bits before the bell, impatient drivers using their horns to hammer out their frustrations, and pedestrians staggering on cobblestone to get to work.

We’re on an “Easter pause.” We’ve been mandated to retreat back into our living rooms — our year-long game of hide and seek with those spiky corona particles. Belgian schools have closed a week early (basically getting a 3-week spring break) while employers have been warned there better be a darned good reason for any of their employees to be coming to work versus working from home. This apparently doesn’t apply to construction workers. We also didn’t hear the scrape of train moving on rail, but that’s because they’re on strike (again). That’s one way to get an extra break (and good timing since it won’t affect a lot of folk).

Shops also can no longer be visited without an appointment, and you can forget about getting your hair, face or nails done. They’re closed for a month. The sun, of course, is out. It’s become a local joke that if we go into stricter lockdowns, the sun comes out. I’m okay with it because I can take long walks during my breaks. My school has gone virtual for the week. Since it’s the end of our grading quarter, we have more planning/grading time built in, so I’m happy about having this extra time to do the things I need to do. I’m not happy about having to delete some difficult stuff because I just don’t have the time I need with the kids. They, on the other hand, are pretty darn excited about having easier work. Fingers crossed they don’t get too enthralled in their video games and forget to do the easy stuff, which then means me pestering them and their parents with “oh child” emails.

I do, however, LOVE getting to sip my morning coffee on the balcony. Sure I can do it on normal work days too, but it’s rushed because I’ve gotta get dressed and factor in my commute time.

Spring is most certainly here with all of her glory. Since I’ve had both my shots, I didn’t mind visiting our Sunday market yesterday where I bought some adorable seasonal plants to spruce up my home.

Well the gin was from a local store, and it’s quite nice with Italian citrus soda — my now after-work balcony beverage.

So yeah, here we go again. We’re getting good at this work from home, celebrate via take away, don’t leave Belgium thing.

And I would have missed out on seeing men hover outside my window installing some sort of cable. We wish we knew what it was for, but I guess we’ll eventually find out. It is good to see that the city is working on its improvements, so that maybe she’ll be ready for full-fledged fun when we can finally partake in it again.

So, there you have it folk. I have a week of lovely weather and the chance to walk in it to look forward to. I also have a week of accomplishing more planning than I normally would get the chance to, and then I have two weeks off to look forward to (I plan on reading, walking and sipping my little heart out). So, while I’m bummed that our hospital numbers are again rising too rapidly for anyone’s comfort, over all I’m thankful for the time to enjoy my time at home (while plotting and planning for when I can also travel again).


Posted on March 29, 2021, in Belgium Year three. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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