Sunday, 31 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 81-82

Day 81, Friday 29 May
Oh my... the no-sleep situation sure didn't get any better by our air-conditioning packing up in the middle of the night, aaargghhh... The maintenance team came and fixed it again this afternoon, so all good for tonight. Phew.

What else to tell for today? Can you guess!
Yes, morning coffee (about three of them..!), workout (a long one today), reading a book (half way through another Jojo Moyes), cooking dinner (beef stroganoff today), TV (some lousy movie) and bed. Did you get it right..?! Ha ha, not that hard, this blog is really dull at the moment, I could just keep copy-pasting the same day over and over again!

Day 82, Saturday 30 May
Today at least was a little bit different. I met a friend for coffee at the mall.
Yes, we can do that, it's allowed. It's still not allowed though going on a house visit to anyone else than family, but anyone can meet at a café or a restaurant... Ah well, I take what I can get, and considering the cafés in the mall all were full (at their 30% capacity), so does other people. Everybody seems to hunger more and more for real human interaction by now.

Later on this afternoon I cooked up a storm from a new Skinnymixers cookbook 'A little taste of Greece': lamb and chicken souvlaki, tsatsiki lemon-and-oregano potatoes and kolokithokeftedes (which ended up as mush rather than fritters, but tasted good anyway!). Yum!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 79-80. Tenth week of home school

Day 79, Wednesday 27 May
We are into the 10th week of e-learning, although it's hardly a whole week, only two days left of it now after the long weekend.

I can't sleep. I actually can't even remember any other period in my life I've had so much trouble with my sleep. I can't settle, it takes forever to fall asleep, and when I do I keep waking up what feels like every 20 minutes or so. It is really, really starting to get to me and I don't know how to deal with it.

Today I escaped the daily humdrum after my workout to take a drive all by myself. I ended up at the mall (ha ha, where else, there's nowhere else to go) and just went walking about for a couple of laps. I have had enough of living so "still". I feel like I physically need more space than there is in our house, and my body wants to move, more than just during my daily workouts or walking up and down the stairs. Even though it was inside, it was actually good to go walking a bit.
On the way back I took the long way home, and gave myself a guided tour of Yas Island - just to see if all the information is still there! Boredom people, makes you speak out loud to yourself.

Day 80, Thursday 28 May
Today I went to meet my friend Linda for lunch at a local café. It was at it's full capacity considering the distancing needed between tables etc, but it certainly seems people are thirsting for human interaction. So nice to talk to someone in person instead of on a screen for a change, and have a yummy lunch. Although I actually brought my own cutlery from home, to avoid having to eat with the boring disposable cutlery on offer.

Even though it's been a very short week, it was celebrated with take-away for dinner - Burger King today, very gourmet. Linnea has started 'That 70s show' as her new series to binge so we watched a few episodes of that together.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 74-78. Eid Mubarak

Day 74, Friday 22 May
A long weekend ahead. The moon sighting committee is meeting today and then we will find out how long. Ha ha, not that it matters, every day is the same for us anyway really! This must have been the most unnoticed month of Ramadan we have ever experienced after 13 years living in Muslim countries. (Edit: No moon, so Eid starts on Sunday. Five-day weekend it is.)

Today I just had enough enough enough of this thing we currently call life.
Enough. Completely.
I read somewhere that people go through quarantine a bit like grief, and it seems like I have hit the phase of aggression. I'm not sad anymore, just angry. I'm so sick of "trying to make the best of every day"; I'm sick of our house, sick of being at home, sick of being inside, sick of looking outside at the 50 shades of beige, sick of waiting,waiting for - better times? So sick of it. So SO sick of it.

(Change sourdough bread for banana bread and it's right on!)

I'm envious of the freedom they have in Sweden (even if I still don't agree with their overall strategy), and I really don't want to see or hear anymore about the lovely spring sunshine there. I can't help but spitefully just wish for an endless summer with rain or that it was October so all the people in Sweden would have to creep back inside too. Sorry.

Day 75, Saturday 23 May
Don't really have much to write about today (either).
A friend got in touch with "Good to see that you are keeping busy at least!" Busy? Well, if you consider busy not thinking further than planning your next meal or which TV-show you'll watch during your next workout, ha ha!
Did a Zoom with my Mum & Dad today, as it's Mormor's birthday.We had spruced up fried rice for dinner, from the left-overs of yesterdays Chinese take-away.Did my workout, read a book.
That's about it. Again.
Busy? No, not so much...

Day 76, Sunday 24 May. "Cov-Eid al Fitr"
Sure, I probably could've stretched it another day or even two but I really needed to get out of the house for a bit, so I did the only thing we can do for a change of scenery - I went for groceries, all we have for slight entertainment. Today being the first day of Eid, there was very few people in the supermarket for a change, and no queues nowhere.

Many people hope things will maybe open up a bit more after Eid. I do too of course, but I couldn't care less about more restaurants, bars or more shops - I had hoped that the beaches, parks and mangrove areas would be allowed to open before it gets too hot to enjoy them. I also hope we will soon be allowed to do house visits, since visiting family has been allowed all this time; but how many expats have actual family here? People are people, the virus certainly doesn't care if you are related or not.

Day 77, Monday 25 May

This long sure weekend has given us a preview of how the summer holidays will look like if we have to spend those nine weeks here. Everybody stays up really late, and then sleeps in for the whole morning... Not that we have anywhere to be, but still.
Today was just another Groundhog Day with the same few holding points - morning coffee, workout and cooking dinner. We cooked more delicious homemade ravioli, but unfortunately we seem to have now broken the pasta machine, so now we have to wait for the KitchenAid attachment I have ordered to turn up before we can have more fresh pasta.

Day 78, Tuesday 26 May
Oh my, this is not a very interesting post, but it really has been some rough days mood wise.
Today was another repeat of yesterday, and the day before, and the day before.
Roast beef for dinner. Finished one book and started another. That's about it. Yay.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 69-73. Ninth week of home school

Day 69, Sunday 17 May
When I asked Linnea did morning if she had slept well she said she had been having trouble falling asleep last night, "because there is nothing to dream about"... Oh, how I know exactly what she means... Another week starts, another Groundhog Day.

I did a very early outing for essentials today as I had heard that IKEA had got 'Kalles Kaviar' back in, finally! MOST essential for a Swede! But, there wasn't many left apparently, so I made sure I was there at opening this morning - and yay, now I can last for a few more weeks of this, easy!
It's the little things.

I felt very "housewifey" today preparing dinner already at lunch time. I mean, it's not like I don't have the time, but I had nothing else to do really. Made it really easy late afternoon too when everybody got instantly hungry! Sheperds Pie, mmm!

Day 70, Monday 18 May
Another night of really bad sleep. I walk around a bit in a daze every day anyway these days so I'm not sure how much is caused by the bad sleep, but I've really had enough of not sleeping.
I still managed to get a short but sweet workout in this morning before I head off to the mall. I've realised that 25-30 minutes is better than nothing, often that's actually all I do. But if I use the time wisely, it still gives me a good workout and I still get sore the next day. Yesterday I found myself doing squats and lunges in the kitchen while the potatoes were cooking, who AM I even?!

Today it was time for groceries, but before heading to Carrefour I had a coffee with a friend in the mall square. It was so nice to chat and talk about all sorts, and hear her share her thoughts and her feelings about all that's going on. All anyone can do of course is speculate and guess about what's next and how things will evolve, but it was interesting to hear someone else's speculations too.

Day 71, Tuesday 19 May
Some days are more fun than others to sum up.
Today didn't contain much more than an hour and a half on the treadmill and a couple of Zoom-calls. I also baked a foccaccia, took a nap, cooked dinner and watched 'Fast & Furious 5' (we have done one each evening for the past week). That's about it.
Another day in this thing we call life.

Day 72, Wednesday 20 May
I had a slow start this morning but finally got going and had a good workout Tabata-style today. Still so very very grateful for my exercise space and equipment.

Today was also cleaning afternoon, as... Nathan is finally back home tomorrow after his three weeks in the hotel! Yay! Another 'Fast & Furious' installment tonight together with one of my favourites for dinner - dahl - and then today was done.

Day 73, Thursday 21 May
Nathan is home!
Now he needs to do home quarantine for the next two weeks (...) but at least we are all together again. Celebrating with having slow cooked lamb shanks all day, can't wait for dinner, it smells divine! Take-out night have moved until tomorrow instead. We are on a long weekend this weekend because of Eid, not that it really matters... we will still just be here, doing more of the same things we've been doing for... 73 days...

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 67-68

Day 67, Friday 15 May
I just read through the previous post about this past week as I forgot to publish it last night. Man, this blog really is a depressing read at the moment, I'm sorry.

I can't remember having any weird dreams last night and I've slept alright, but still woke up with a massive head ache. I'm also experiencing some all over aches and pains, which is also weird as I haven't at all exaggerated any workouts lately. Quite the opposite, I've just done the basic to keep the fitness up - no crazy long distances or new movements.
It doesn't help the on the mood though. I woke up today in a kind of a... not bad, nor sad mood - more a "non-mood", if you get what I mean.

Today, after a long sleep-in I started my day with coffee after coffee to try and get rid of the headache. I did a few Zoom calls and then my workout in the afternoon. It turned into a real good one, with a lot more energy and pep than normal, so it gave me a good boost for the rest of the day. Although there wasn't really any other happenings today. Didn't even cook dinner, I decided we should finish off some left-overs instead.

Day 68, Saturday 16 May
These slow, lazy, no-happening weekends would be heaven if the weeks otherwise were full of tempo, work, school, activities etc; but when every day is pretty much the same, the weekends are no weekends really. Every day is pretty much the same, and at the moment it really feels like such a waste of life, just seeing the days through until... well... I don't even really know... until later?

I fell asleep really late last night so when I came down in the kitchen this morning I was quite grumpy, so grumpy that Linnea even told me I'd better go back to bed..! Ha ha! So I did, and watched a live virtual tour at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Then Linnea brought me this:

Lucky me! She's a gem. ♥︎ How could I not have a good day after a start like that!
Not that much else happened around here today either, but at least we were all in a good mood, had a good dinner (chicken & saffron pasta) and watched a movie together.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 62-66. Eight week of home school

Day 62, Sunday 10 May
It was 10th of March we last socialised with anybody. Two whole months ago today. Two MONTHS! I'm so over all of this now. Can it please just go away, pretty please.

Today Linnea and I went for a quarantrip after school into the city to visit the new bookstore. Kinokuniya finally opened here in Abu Dhabi last Wednesday!

Yes, we have got our own branch now, wii-hoo! It's not as big as the one in Dubai, but it sure is easier to get to, so - AWESOME! First I was disappointed they chose to open it in one of the gallerias in the city, but in hindsight I guess it's actually a good thing that it's not in Yas Mall as I would be going there way to often, ha ha. It really is my happy place.

Day 63, Monday 11 May
The days are floating into each other, now more than ever. My life seems to have reduced to these VERY few routines which reminds me which day it is: Sundays we change the sheets, Mondays I put out the empty water bottles to get replaced, Tuesdays we clean the house and on Thursday nights we have a take-away to celebrate the weekend.
I do still get up every day and have my morning coffee. I do my workout, I shower, get dressed and all that every day. I don't just lay in my bed with a blanket over my head waiting for better times - but, my mental state currently is pretty much the same as if I was. Although I'm not sure what kind of better times I'm waiting for anymore. What kind of normal will we get? What kind of life do I want?

Nathan has been in the hotel for 11 days, but we are still only just halfway through his time there. Never has time apart from each other felt this long.

Day 64, Tuesday 12 May
We made a decision today to move our cleaning days to Thursdays. That way we can combine the after-cleaning treat with pizza night, not to also have to cook after having spent a few hours cleaning.  Not sure it's a good idea or not, maybe Thursday afternoons should be just for chill after a long school week? Ah well, we will see how it works out this week.

This afternoon I went for groceries all by myself. I always offer the kids to come, but today I had no takers, which I didn't mind actually. Although I realised coming home unpacking the bags that this isolation must be starting to get to me - I hardly bought any "real" food, mostly just treats, snacks, chips, ice cream and chocolate, ha ha!

I guess it is because we are properly stocked up already. Or is it..?! (Edit: I DID buy more groceries than what's in the photo, I only photographed the treats.)

Day 65, Wednesday 13 May
Another day in the life. This "trying to make the best of every day" is getting harder and harder.
Today I decided to flip my day and do my exercise in the afternoon instead of the morning. I even went outside for a walk, for something different. Just around the block of course, on all the small streets in my hoods, the same streets I used to run for my C25K-challenge two years ago. I rarely saw anyone else out then, but today there was quite a lot of people out and about, walking their dogs, running, getting some air. Everyone following the distancing rules carefully, crossing the streets to avoid even meeting on the same sidewalk, barely smiling to each other. What a strange world this has become.

I had set the kids the task of getting dinner ready while I was gone, so when I got back we enjoyed Swedish meatballs with the final episode of 'Friends' which has been the series of choice lately. Linnea and I have rewatched the whole thing, again.

Day 66, Thursday 14 May
This morning I sat downstairs at the dining table with the kids and finished this puzzle while they were at school.

Some really good results and grades have been coming through lately, so I guess at least when it comes to the quality of their work, home school is working for them.
I'm still worried a lot about the recent news that normal school most probably will not happen here next term either. There are so many other things they are missing out on by being isolated like this; and so many ways they are getting affected.

Cleaning day today, with pizza delivery when we were done. Another school week bites the dust.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 60-61

Day 60, Friday 8 May
I have been thinking a bit lately about when I will stop writing these Corona Diary entries. Technically we are not in isolation anymore as we are allowed to go outside for a few hours every day. But life is still far from normal, whatever kind of new normal we will get eventually. I guess I'll continue for as long as the kids home school, as home schooling definitely isn't normal. Then we will see how I'll approach the blog posts once we reach the summer holidays.

Today was one of those so-so days. We all got up late and just mooched around.
I got stuck into a puzzle about lunch time, and spent the whole afternoon finishing that off; then made dinner and had to do my workout late at night for a change. It was actually kind of nice to have a whole day with nearly no screen time!

Well, that goes for me - Lucas has been gaming in his room and Linnea has binge watched all of season 6 and 7 of 'Friends'. Maybe I'll keep it up and do another puzzle tomorrow!

Day 61, Saturday 9 May
I didn't do another puzzle today. Linnea and I took advantage of the clean table and played 'Cluedo' instead. (During the week the dining table is full of school supplies.)

In other news I finally had a delivery today of a small shelf I ordered back in the beginning of April. I wanted it for all the spices and things I use the most while I cook with the Thermomix and I was so happy to see that it fit perfectly and looks really good! It sure is the little things these days, so pleased!

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 55-59. Seventh week of home school

Day 55, Sunday 3 May
So already in the morning today was a better day than yesterday, thanks to some deliveries! Today wasn't really anything too exciting though, a new bank card for me and a new gadget for Nathan for while he is in the hotel. We got him a Wacaco Nanopresso, a kind of travel/mini coffee machine. With the right attachments (which we also got of course) it can make both espressos from pods, and larger coffees; anything to avoid the hotel provided instant coffee.

In the afternoon Linnea and I went to have a walk around at Yas Mall. We needed to get out a bit but honestly, it's not really an enjoyable experience since you have to wear a mask and gloves, and constantly be on your toes to keep the social distance to other people. There was actually quite a lot of people there for being just a Sunday afternoon. I guess since there is nowhere else to go at the moment - that's where people go to get a change of scenery.
Since you are not allowed to try things on or return anything you have bought, we didn't want to take the chance on too many things. Also, nobody has a big need for new clothes since we hardly ever leave the house. Only got Linnea some new lounge shorts and underwear, and I bought some kitchen gadgets at Daiso.

Day 56, Monday 4 May
One of those nothing-special-days today. Good workout for me in the morning, had some fun TV to watch which made time fly. Linnea baked a batch of cinnamon buns after school and I finally got all the rubble sorted in the guest room cupboards. It took a nap half-way through sorting to get there, ha ha, but felt good when it was done. Other than that, the day finished with dinner and TV, as per usual.

Day 57, Tuesday 5 May
Today it's as many days left until summer holidays as we have been in isolation, which coincidentally also is as many days as the summer holidays will last! Although I'm not sure I'm actually looking forward to the holidays this year.
It really will all depend on whether or not we can travel by then or not. Which in turn depends on what kind of restrictions will be in place in Sweden. Is there a point in going if we still can't see my parents? Will we be able to enter back into the UAE by then without any trouble? Will we have to quarantine upon returning? If yes, how long, where and in which way?
Actually, I try my best not to think too much about all of this just yet, as it's many many days away still and a lot can happen. It's no secret that I sure hope we will be able to leave somewhere though. Even if it will only be for a few weeks, we will need the change of environment. We will need some space, some action, some outdoors and some greenery by then! Also I don't think about it just yet, as the alternative to traveling will be to spend the full nine weeks here, in near 50 degrees heat. All of us cooped up inside, and have every day be "weekend"... Nooo, la-la-la-la-la-la - as I said, let's think about all of this later!

Cleaning day today. It's Tuesday again don't you know!
I can see some of my neighbours still have cleaning companies in, but I'm not sure about the rules for that just yet; plus - I actually think it's good for the kids, and us as a family too, to do this together. I think at least for as long as this isolation continues, and while we have plenty of time, we will continue to do the cleaning ourselves. Considering not much else is going on in our schedules, this is our only recurrent 'happening' each week!

Other things that happened today was a banana cake (have you even been in isolation if you haven't made banana cake??) and homemade pasta with ricotta and red spinach filling. Linnea and I upped our ravioli game thanks to our newest purchased kitchen gadget, a ravioli tray!

It was so easy to use and made the raviolis looking super professional!

Day 58, Wednesday 6 May
I went back to Yas Mall today, by myself. Yes, I know, second time in a week.
I have decided that "essential outings" also need to include those that are necessary for the mental well-being. Today I needed a time-out from those other only two people I am cooped up with, just for a little bit.

There are these cute little robots driving around, I guess keeping track of how people social distance?

Even though we are in the middle of Ramadan, you are allowed to eat at the restaurants at the mall. New restrictions obviously, you can only have two people per table, and everything is served on disposable cutlery or is individually packed.

The menu was digital and you had to keep your gloves on, but hey - I enjoyed eating something that wasn't cooked in my own kitchen for a change!

Day 59, Thursday 7 May
Last school day for this week and kids have persuaded me to order pizza tonight.
I'm more than ok with a treat to end the week, they have deserved it. I'm very proud of how they are tackling this home schooling. They miss their friends of course, and have realised they even miss their routines and the whole school environment; but when it comes to the actual school work it seems like they get more qualitative work done here at home with no distractions. Results are good.

I realised while compiling this post that I haven't taken many photos at all this week.
I guess there is nothing much to take photos of as every day is pretty much the same with very slight variations: school for some, workouts for me, cooking, baking, organising, napping, waiting for the delivery guy. Well, written a bit tongue-in-cheek of course. I'm by no means a shopaholic at all, but when you haven't socialised with anyone for 45,698 days, you take the small conversation you get when the delivery man brings you something or when you are paying at the grocery store.

Actually, if anything, isn't that what this time in isolation has taught us? That nobody is missing the material things. We miss the company of other people, the hugs, the conversations - the things life really is all about.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Corona Diary, Day 53-54

Day 53, Friday 1 May
So. It's now spring. It's now May, how did that happen? Feels like last time I was slightly 'alive' it was the beginning of March. Can't we just Ctrl+Alt+Del this whole 2020 and start over?!

I'm still not sleeping through the nights properly and wake up all groggy in the mornings. It's starting to get to me, but at least with Nathan in a hotel I can starfish across the whole bed.
Today has been a really sucky day. One of those days when I've just felt like going back to bed and wake up maybe in July, or October? I've mostly spent today on the sofa binge watching TV (quite unusual actually) while binge eating chocolate (also quite unusual).
I did do my exercise this morning, although I was rather unmotivated. Got Linnea going in tidying up her wardrobes and continued a bit myself with the wardrobes in the guest room, but lost interest. Heated up leftovers for everyone for dinner and am now (it's 8pm) seriously considering just giving up on today and going to bed, in hopes of a better day tomorrow. Isolation in all its glory.

Day 54, Saturday 2 May
I've realised I don't like weekends. Actually I never really have. Weekends means pressure to DO something, which we normally don't really do, and now can't do anyway. So weekends suck, especially now - when not even the delivery companies work on the weekends.

"Most young kids will remember how their family home felt during the corona virus panic more than anything specific about the virus".
This is a quote from a psychologist on Instagram that a friend of mine pointed me too a while ago. So my kids are not that young anymore, but I still think this is everything. Together with my current mantra "One day at a time", I have tried to also use this quote to keep me going through all of this. I have cooked nice meals, baked lovely treats, roped everybody into family activities (not just the weekly cleaning) and really made an effort in creating and holding on to new routines and keeping the spirits up.
But to be completely honest, I'm seriously running out of positive pep, of mojo and motivation. I feel like I have failed completely as a mother when I tell the child who is hungry to grab something in the fridge and the child answers "But there is nothing to eat in the fridge, just things to make food". Failed. Completely.
This also gives me NO hope that someone will surprise me with something nice for a change (other than order take-away to give me a break from cooking) as the kids have no clue how and I have another three weeks of isolation single-parenting in front of me. Yay.

On a positive note, the Yas Mall reopened today, and even though Linnea was very eager we will probably go one afternoon after school this week instead of on the first day of reopening. We will have to wear masks and gloves, and follow all the other rules and regulations implemented - but hey, baby steps.