19 April 2019

Within 48 hours we moved from winter coats and mittens to "too hot for lunch outside". I went to bed last night with the plan to write down the names of all plants in bloom in the garden - with pictures.

 I woke up at sunrise with the familiar throbbing in my ears that accompanies an attack of vertigo. After some cursing and punching of pillows I crawled below the open window and listened to the morning activities in the almond tree (mostly insects but also a somewhat lost woodpecker and courting pigeons).

Today being Good Friday means that it's very quiet. The church bells had their last fling yesterday evening and will stay silent until Easter morning. There will be no cinemas open today, no dancing or music for the few who will stumble mistakenly into a sorry pub tonight. Also, Sunday rules apply. Only bakeries are allowed to open for a few hours in the morning because: bread (one day I'll explain, there are currently five bakeries within walking distance in our suburb with a total of 55 different  varieties of bread alone on a normal day). If you run out of milk or toilet paper on a Sunday or Good Friday or Easter Monday your only hope is the next petrol station. And good luck to you.

You see, this secular country takes its church holidays very seriously. May is the busiest holiday month with Whitmonday, Corpus Christie and Ascension  (both always on a Thursday - excellent for bridging day planning thank you Jesus) and for good measure we also get the 1st of May off for no holy reasons but to celebrate trade unions.

As for today, R made waffles for lunch and we have a decent supply of milk and toilet paper. We will manage.

I am officially under doctor's orders to show up at the A&E with the next vertigo attack but we decided to stay under the radar for now.  It's a holiday after all. I'm afraid that's all my spinning head can type for now. Actually I am impressed myself but then I am a vertigo veteran.


  1. I wish you didn't have to be a vertigo expert!
    It's so windy here right now that Christ would have been blown off the cross. Is that blasphemous?
    Interestingly, although the religious right sure wants us to believe that the US is a Christian country, nothing shuts down until Easter itself and even then, you can find places to buy toilet paper.

  2. Hope your vertigo resolves without a trip to A@E. I don't know why, but it surprises me that everything closes down for so long there for the holiday. Take care there and I hope you feel well enough to enjoy some of the sunshine.

  3. echoing Ms Moon, you'll find stores open every day here no matter the holiday. stores may close for half a day, some may close all day giving their employees a holiday but really, nothing is sacred here except money and can't make money if the store is closed.

    sorry to hear about the vertigo attack.

  4. Interesting that the religious holidays are taken so seriously there. I don't think we'd have a problem finding an open store here, although I must confess I didn't try today. Hope your vertigo subsides quickly!

  5. I grew up in a part of Northern Indiana that was predominantly Catholic. My city was divided into parishes. Church holy days were honored and accommodated throughout the city. I don't think they do that anymore. Everything is open here in the Orlando area today. Sorry to hear about the vertigo. Like Robin, "Hope your vertigo resolves without a trip to A@E."

  6. I can just about recognise a woodpecker face to face; you by its tone of voice and what it is saying ("Gonna widen this hole by 5 cm before I sit down to a glass of cider."). A woodpecker is the brand icon for Bulmers, Britain's biggest brewer (Is that the correct term?) of cider here in Hereford, before being swallowed up by the moneymen.

    I wonder where, how and why our lives diverged.

    As to toilet paper, those from the southern states of the USA allude to used corn pones. I always thought this was a joke. The fact is they'd be just as rare as toilet paper in Germany at Easter.

    When I lie down to do exercises that I hope and pray will keep sciatica at bay it's as if my brain had a self-levelling mechanism and it swings - rather gracefully - through ninety degrees. The effect is disturbing but not entirely unpleasant, providing I'm not setting out on a tight-rope stretched between the twin spires of the K├Álner Dom.

    Go on, correct the adjectival ending. You know you itch to do so. Or, if you wish, go the whole hog as the French would. "Actually the entire sentence needs discarding and then rewriting in the Gallic way."

  7. I get vertigo too and I hate it. It makes everything more difficult.

    When I was growing up, everything would have been closed on Good Friday but not anymore. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. I'm on the fence:)

    Glad you have bread and toilet paper, two very important things, both ends of the gut so to speak.

    Happy Easter. Hope the vertigo goes away on it's own and you can walk again without looking like a drunk, at least that's how I walk when I have it.

  8. Holy week in Ireland, when I was growing up, was a somber time. We always had to attend church for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Good Friday was alright but the Thursday service was long and, for fidgety children, boring and interminable, involving kneeling down and standing up again over and over. I had the knees for it then if not the inclination. I don't go much to church these days but find myself out of sorts and moody and restless. I think it's because all the rituals and observance of holy days gave a rhythm to the seasons. Here that is so missing. It almost makes me want to go to church! I hope your vertigo leaves you in peace to enjoy Easter.

  9. Sorry about the vertigo. I hope by now the world has righted itself, and you are enjoying a peaceful Easter.

  10. Oh, geez, I'm sorry about the vertigo. I had it only once and remember the horror of it. Be better.