no hair-dresser is operating because of the pandemic regulations
Under normal circumstances, I probably would have been on Helgoland last week and this post might have been entitled with “I’m back …”. Unfortunately, that’s currently not possible and, to be honest, not suitable. During the pandemic, everyone should travel as little as possible.
Instead, I picked my swap disk containing my backlog of undeveloped images. One folder on that disk contains a couple of folders with images taken during quite larger trips. One of the oldest folders on that disk contains the images taken 5 years ago on Helgoland. So, I transferred them to my computer again and started developing them. In the past, I already developed some of the images. Maybe 20 or 30.
My plan is, to have the images developed by mid-February this year!
The image above is taken on day 1 on the island when we were on our first trip to the seals. Suddenly, a snowstorm started and snow was collected by the stones laying on the beach.
Take care and stay healthy!
Snow! Because of the pandemic, traveling is currently not possible. So, no skiing vacation in Austria, Switzerland or Bavaria. Instead, people try to go to the Eifel (an average mountainous region near the Belgium border) or the Sauerland (an average mountainous region in the middle of North-Rhine Westphalia with hills up to 800 meters). Both regions would be reachable among an hour’s drive and attracting skiing tourists in ‘normal’ winters. But, everything is closed there, too. Why should I go there? Personally, I don’t ever go on a winter sports trip. But, many, many people are going despite the skiing tracks, the ski lifts, the restaurants, the toilets and even the parking lots are closed. Why do they go???? The TV news reported about people from all areas up to 300 km around these areas were found in that areas despite the closing! You can say very easily where people are from because of the licence plate on their cars. The letters in front of the dash in the licence plate are referring to the town or county, where the car is registered.
The above image is taken on Saturday afternoon. It’s neither Sauerland nor Eifel. I simply drove uphill in my town for about 4 or 5 kilometres. Coming from 200m above sea level, where we have no snow anymore (despite we got some the night from Wednesday to Thursday), to 250-300m I saw this right beside the street.
Stay home and us the opportunities you have in your county instead of carrying the virus throughout the whole country, I would like to say to those driving to touristic attractive locations despite the pandemic. This year is not a normal one. Survive the pandemic and you can go skiing again without regulations.
Take care and stay healthy!
This image is taken during our photographer’s roundtable in January 2010. It’s 11 years old. But I guess, it’s a symbol for this year: a vaccine is available, distribution of the vaccine hast started and the bright area in the sky is proposing a “back to normal” to come soon. Until then, keep safe!
I wish you a belated Happy New Year with this image taken in December 2009 a few kilometers away from my home. Since then, we didn’t have had that much snow again. Overnight about half a meter of snow felt and made us a white Christmas. But, the untouched snow in this image is in my opinion also a great symbol for a new year. Some of your plans might already throw a shadow and pop out of the plain, but most of what the future will bring is still covered by uncertainness.
So, start with me in a new year and see, what the future will bring.
December 31st, the last day of the year! Time for a look back. I guess all of you are happy, this wired year finally came to an end. All of us are tired of the regulations, limitations, and lockdowns we were faced this past year and had to follow even if we didn’t want to.
Right before Christmas, I got my 2020 yearbook. During the lockdown in March-May, I feared, my 2020 yearbook would be quite thin, there was no possibility to go out and take photographs. But, I was wrong. I even had to work very hard, to reduce the number of images to fit in a book. So, I want to name the major topics now:
In the end, I created 4 books this year Iceland, Iceland monochrome, Iceland wildlife, and my yearbook. So, 2020 was a very productive year and without the limitations, it wouldn’t have been possible to have all my 2020 images developed up to now.
But, there were also a couple of downsides this year. Our vacation at the sea in April was canceled because of the lockdown. Our family vacation in May was also canceled because of the lockdown. The extended weekend trip end of September for visiting my brother in Switzerland was also canceled. But this time for bad weather (first heavy snowfalls and closed streets). Our plan was to make a trip to a wine-growing area in October. But, because of the increasing number of infections. We didn’t book a hotel in advance to be able to react short-term to the weather conditions. So, we stayed home instead. Around the first of Advent, my wife wanted to visit a couple of Christmas markets. You guess it: canceled – no Christmas markets were planned or set-up. Visits for Christmas with my parents or our moved-out children??? Very distributed and no gathering.
When looking at my job, it came out, I’m not affected by the lockdown and the limitations to go out for work. I can do my work perfectly from home. All I need, is my company notebook, a headset to telephone, and a connection to the internet. Lucky me! My wife is working at a pension home to keep the inhabitants mentally active. So, she’s working in a secure place.
All in all, it’s good to know, the first vaccines are already approved, and also the pop-up vaccination centers are ready. So, the most endangered people are getting their vaccines now (if they want) and all others will follow during the next months following a priority plan.
In my personal life, there were also a couple of changes. I started a completely new job. I changed from being a project manager for IT projects to vendor management. Instead of reporting to clients, I now get the reports from our vendors. A very interesting change of view.
My daughter also started working again in February. Back in 2016, she started getting educated in nursing but had to quit because of her baby. Despite being a single mum, she’s working shifts (early and late, but no nights) as a nurse in a pension home. She got employed in March after 4 weeks of working voluntarily in that pension home. For 2021 she’s planning to start again to get educated in nursing so that she will be able to earn a bit more money. She also moved to a new apartment in June (after living again with us for about 9 months, because of some problems with her apartment and since February because of her work). Now, she lives only 300m away from us, so that we can take care of her son when he’s not in kindergarten.
Our older son was able to convert his fixed-term contract into an unlimited one and our youngest wasn’t limited too much by the lockdowns to learn for his job. By the end of 2021, he has to pass the written exam and in January 2022 he has to pass the oral examination.
My wife is currently recuperating from the lung inflammation she got surprisingly early December.
This is the sun at noon on Dec. 24th. That’s a very typical winter sky here in my region. You can see, how low the sun is in the sky. It’s taken from your bathroom window on the second floor. From the street, I would be unable to see the sun at all. The trees are not that large and are about 100m away from our house. But the sun is standing so low during winter.
The image above is also a good illustration of my year 2020: there was a lot of struggling and complicated situations. We were pained by strict regulations to fight against SARS2-CoV. But, there was still some light. Think about your past 12 months. I guess you are also able to find some enlightening memories. Keep them well and let them carry you through the remaining time of the pandemic.
See you next year! Happy New Year!
8 years ago! What a day. Perfect weather. Even stars above the scene!
Our monthly photographer’s roundtable led us to this closed former steel plant in the north-western Ruhr area. Instead of tearing it down, the area was converted into a park and many parts are accessible for the people. This was neither my first, nor my last visit. Unfortunately, it’s nearly a 100km drive.
I took this image a couple of years ago, but it could be taken today.
This image is illustrating, how I currently feel: bored, annoyed but at the same time lacking drive. I have so much to do, but I’m not motivated to do anything. So, I’m waiting for the time passing by when I’m back from work.
Only three weeks until winter solstice. Today, sunrise was at 8:24h and sunset is at 16:22. On Dec. 21st the sun will rise at 8:33h and set at 16:22h. But, when having so deep hanging clouds and fog, the days don’t get bright. People living further north even have way shorter days at the moment.
The weekend before last, the temperature was below 0°C even during the days with crisp blue skies. But, on the next Monday, the temperatures rose again and brought this uncomfortable weather: slightly above the freezing point, drizzling rain (with the ability to create black ice on the frozen surfaces of the streets), and the bad sight. A thick, warm jacket or better coat is important. Not because of the low temperatures, but because everything feels colder because of the moisture in the air. An umbrella does not help much. The drops are so fine, they find their way under the umbrella and make your clothes wet.
Unusually we have this kind of weather during November (but with much more rain). This year, November was way too dry. Forests are dying because of the lack of water. Lakes, and especially the artificial lakes for ensuring we have enough drinking water, are dramatically empty. Three hot years in a row without enough rain to refill all the reservoirs have consequences. Nature is fighting back!
We need more large forests to make sure, the rain will come back. But, without water, no forest can grow. Even, if it could, it would last decades.
This is flu weather. Keep yourself warm and take care of not getting infected by any of the bad viruses roaming outside at the moment. You know, there are a few viruses around much worse than flu.