Hello dear friends! If you read my other update from today, about the situation in Austria, then you know the COVID-19 numbers are still increasing faster and faster in Austria.
That is why I am so glad I won’t have to go out, for nearly a month. In the beginning of the Pandemic, I was out my mind from worry about Ralph potentially catching the Virus. Now that I see how well our government is handling this crisis and that patients are not left without their medication, I feel a lot better. We have what we need at home, including my medicine and of course more than enough supplies for the cats. I’m much more at ease, especially because it keeps Ralph safe when I stay at home and avoid people altogether.
There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.
Every day is a lovely day with our cats
As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…
Hero, Lisa and Sonic usually sleep on top of me, or cuddled up on my tummy, my legs, arms, or my side, depending on the way I’m lying. It’s usually these 3 in any order that are all over and around me. Samantha loves to either be curled up next to Ralph’s legs, or she watches the birds from the bedroom window (that’s where Samantha was when I took these photos).
It’s impossible not to smile first thing when I wake up with my little family of Ralph and the cats all around me. No matter how anxious I feel, or how bad my migraine is when I wake up, I still wake up feeling happy thanks to them.
Spring is definitely here with flowers everywhere and birds who are building their nests again. The temperatures before the weekend were amazing! Almost like summer. Unfortunately, it got really cold again over the weekend.
Especially today, the wind was awfully strong and ice cold. I really hope it will warm up again soon, the cats and us really missed the warm sun.
Despite the cold, Lisa and Hero always enjoy some fresh air and love to watch the birds for a few minutes. Also, Lisa and I have a little game where I throw one of the toy balls out onto the balcony and she will run out to bring it back in every single time! She usually carries her ball to the same spot, there she’ll wait for me to get it and throw it again.
But at long as it’s sunny, the cats are getting their fill of sunshine inside as well. With every day we’re getting closer to summer, the sun will shine into our apartment longer.
A small earthquake with the epicentre in Croatia
Yesterday, there was even an earthquake we slept through (at 5:24 UTC). Well, I’m sure the cats noticed, but Ralph and I didn’t. Here in Graz it wasn’t anything serious. The epicentre was in Croatia, a little less than 200km from us, where earthquakes aren’t anything unusual. I’ve experienced a couple of them when I was in Croatia myself as a child.
Small earthquakes with the epicentre within Austria are not unusual either, as the African plate meets with the Eurasian plate in the Alps. Especially our region is rather active for these little earthquakes.
Since it’s almost midnight again, I will go to bed in a bit. I’ll hopefully feel more rested soon, as the day seems way to short when I need more sleep than normal.
I keep thinking of everyone, hoping that you’re all safe and well, and have everything you need.
It’s now officially a Pandemic. But that was apparent for a while now anyway.
I really wasn’t sure if I should write regular updates about how things are going here in Austria and in general, since I didn’t want to add to the constant Corona Presence in every headline, posting and new article. As people are hearing about nothing else anymore almost.
But then I thought it’s going to be a record of our life, that I can look back on years later, and in this way I can let everyone know how we’re doing and that we’re ok.
Case update for Austria, March 11, 2020 at 3pm
246 cases so far in all of Austria. Cases for each state: Lower Austria (45), Vienna (50), Styria, our state (25), Tyrol (57), Upper Austria (35), Salzburg (14), Burgenland (4), Vorarlberg (13) and Carinthia (3).
New temporary emergency laws and recommendations during the Corona Pandemic in Austria
Anything with gatherings of more than 100 people indoors (which also includes any staff) is temporarily forbidden.
Outdoor gatherings with more than 500 people, including staff, is temporarily forbidden
Universities and any schools for higher education are being closed
No entry into Austria from Italy, except with an up to date document that proves the person is not infected with the Coronavirus
Austrian citizens still in the now locked down Italy will be brought home by the government, but they have to stay in quarantine for two weeks in Austria
People should avoid private contacts and gatherings and stay home as much as possible
Older people and people with compromised immune system should not receive visitors if it can be avoided
Life seems as it always is, in the city and of course at home
While case counts are multiplying extremely fast now, and there is panic and fear among people in many countries, it’s very calm and normal here in Graz and Austria in general. Austrian people usually don’t panic quickly. It has to get really bad before there would be widespread panic.
Today was a wonderfully warm and sunny spring day, with temperatures over 20°C / 68°F. As I went out this this afternoon around 4pm, people were out in the usual numbers. The large park in our neighbourhood was filled with people sitting on the grass and taking walks, enjoying the warm sun. The outside seating area of every Cafe I saw in the city was quite full and the streets were just as busy as always around that time.
Just like last year, the spring flowers are everywhere, the birds are building their nests in the garden, the neighbourhood kitties are walking around in the garden. Hero and Lisa saw two of the neighbourhood kitties yesterday and got all excited. Unfortunately it was past sunset and too dark to take pictures of them.
It was a mostly sunny afternoon yesterday, and you can feel that the sun is getting warmer and warmer now, as the northern hemisphere is getting closer to the summer. Especially this year, we can hardly wait.
The kitties are crowding in every sun puddle, especially on the bed.
Our life is still normal in Graz
While the Corona cases are multiplying every day, things are still as always pretty much. Thankfully, we do not have a huge number of cases in our state and city yet. 18 for the whole of Styria, our state. They aren’t mentioning where those cases are, or if they’re spread out over the state or concentrated in an area, I don’t know why. But in the way it began and the few cases they mentioned, the cases were in the east of our state, and just one in our city of Graz. But it was about 10 days ago when they mentioned that patient from Graz, so I’m sure there are more by now, and probably people who were in contact with that person.
Thankfully, my doctors office, the pharmacy and the health department are all working as usual. I haven’t heard of any more closed doctors offices for Austria and haven’t heard of any pharmacy or other larger health care provider closing down. And there is no atmosphere of panic among people. I hope it’s going to stay that way.
I can still go out without worry as of now, but I do take all the precautions I can possibly take. I keep away from people and I’m always using my bicycle to go where I need to go even more.
There are just as many people around as always, from what I can tell. People are still sitting in Cafe’s, stroll through the city and stores, people are still doing they’re daily runs along the Mur and the parks, and you don’t really see any panic buying going on in the stores. But the sanitizers, disinfectants, and tinned food are still sold out for the most part, although they’re being restocked.
We still have enough toilet paper in stores.
Even in the smaller stores, like the one I took this photo in, there is no toilet paper missing.
There was more toilet paper stored at the top of the shelf and even more around the corner.
Plans for next week
Since the risk to become ill myself is still very low for Graz, especially with the precautions I take, I still go out to pick up a few necessities, but I go during times when hardly anyone else goes shopping. Though seeing how fast the cases multiply, I will stop any shopping in stores by next week possibly.
Also, I will try to talk to my, doctor on Monday, to use all my vacation allowance and pick up all my months medication at once to take home with me. Not only would I not have to keep worrying to suddenly stand in front of closed doors at my pharmacy, if they have to shut down because of a case, and I won’t have to keep going out so much, and put Ralph at risk with it.
My immune system is really good and strong, I never become sick, my health problems are pain related, but organically I’m perfectly fine. Though since everyone above the age of 60 is at a higher risk to develop severe problems if infected with the Virus, I really don’t want to risk anything, even if the chances to catch it, as of right now in our area, are rather low.
That’s why I don’t like people getting dismissed with their worries, as it keeps happening at the moment. People here are so used to nothing bad ever happening, that they can’t seem to grasp the possibility that it could be different this time.
I much rather take precautions as much as possible and not need it, than risk the health of my most beloved husband and the well-being of our little family.
Lets hope I’ll be able to get this done, so I can stay home for the next 4 weeks. Of course it might not be over by then, but it might start to get better by then. Also, it might be foreseeable in which direction the pandemic is going by then.
Please stay safe my friends, especially in all those areas with a high number of cases. Also be careful, as people are unpredictable when panicked. Stay home as much as you can, until this “storm” has passed.
On Saturday I noticed just how low the sun already sits in the sky as it slowly sinks below the roof of the house across from us at 4:55pm (summertime). During the summer, the sun is still high in the sky and the tall tree gives us shade from it in the late afternoon, early evening.
Here are a few photos of the sun’s positions
On October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm (summertime) the sun was already vanishing behind the roof. Now, the sun is going down behind the roof much farther to the left, and at 4:55pm (summertime).
On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).
In the summer, on June 25, 2019 the sun was high in the sky at 5:06pm (summertime) and it would stay sunny for many more hours during that time of the year.
It’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and it’s interesting to see the seasons change in the plants and trees of the garden. So I thought it might be interesting to post a bunch of pictures showing the different seasons in the garden.
I was worried the number of photos would be too much for one post, but considering I decreased the size of all the photos a lot, it should not cause a big impact on loading time and bandwidth.
Over the two years we lived here, I took a lot of photos of the garden. Many times when it was cloudy, because I just love to photograph clouds and cloudy skies. So it might look like it’s often cloudy here, even though it’s not ;-) Also, the photos are from different years, so things are looking different in some photos, like the small tree in the middle, which was destroyed more and more over the course of a couple of storms.
The season’s changes in the garden
Time change to Wintertime
The cats and I aren’t used to the daylight savings time change. Sonic comes up meowing for me to come to bed at 9pm, because to him, it still feels like 10pm. He doesn’t care that silly humans have silly time changes twice a year. Murli and Samantha don’t care either, they want their breakfast at about the same time. So, of course, they feel like I’m late in getting up. Therefore, I’m getting up at 7am at the moment, since it would be 8am normally.
Just like with the cats, my feeling for the time is screwed up and exactly an hour wrong too. I keep feeling as if it’s exactly an hour later than it is.
Today I had to use my bicycle light again for the first time since last winter. It was completely dark by the time I was on my way home from the pharmacy and grocery shopping at 5pm. It was a dark day anyway, with thick overcast and rain all day. The temperatures are a lot lower now.
In another sign that winter is definitely coming now, they are starting to put up the Christmas lights in the city. Usually, I saw them mount the lights near my old home on November 1st. Though they have probably always started earlier in other areas of the city and I just never noticed it. The huge Christmas tree on the main square will be put up around the 1st of November as well usually and the Christmas markets will be opened soon after. The Christmas lights remain dark until the 1st of December though.
I really can’t believe how fast time goes by. I’m not feeling any Christmas vibes at all yet, but I’m looking forward to decorating our home in a few weeks ;-)
Also looking forward to the long weekend! Hope you all have a great week <3
By now it really looks like Autumn here. Back in the beginning of September, it was just a few leaves here and there, while everything was still green. But within the last two weeks, the leaves really started dropping fast. The temperatures we’re having are great though! Very warm in the afternoons. 20°C / 68°F to 25°C / 77°F and sunny every day. Only the mornings can be quite foggy, and the temperatures overnight and the mornings drop to around 10°C / 50°F or 7°C / 44.6F.
During the day, I don’t even put the heating on.
This is one of the foggy early mornings these days. But as soon as that clears, the sun comes out and we have beautiful sunny Autumn days.
Since the afternoons have been so warm, we put everything outside for the cats and us of course, and we’re able to leave the balcony door open and the windows too.
But even if it’s too cold to be out, the cats still have sunny spots to hang out at if they want.
We have a sweet little hedgehog we often see wandering around in the garden at night, so it was always too dark to get a pic or video. But I was lucky on Saturday and got a lovely video of him/her digging for worms and looking for slugs/snails. He found quite a bit and I hope this sweetie had a nice full tummy afterwards. Unfortunately, the video always loses lots of quality once it’s uploaded to YouTube, even though I record it in full HD.
I picked up the kitties meds from the Vet and I always go through this park to avoid the busy street with my bicycle. This awesome and huge tree is so lovely! It’s so big, I can’t even get it all into the frame (I also can’t go back much farther either…). This tree already looked huge like that when I was a little kid (I was born in 1980). I really wonder how old it really is. When this park was founded sometime in the late 1800s, there were only fields and farms with lots of trees already in place. So this tree could have easily been there before the park.
The sunsets we’re getting in fall are stunning as well! Here’s a little slideshow of the sunsets in the last couple of days.
Today was a lovely summer day. We closed the balcony door for a few hours while the heat was the worst, but later opened it up again. Murli and Samantha enjoyed themselves out there, relaxing. Thanks to the two umbrellas and the tall fence on the side, there is shade covering the whole balcony.
Hopefully, the coming week will be a good one for us and everyone else!