Learning to Live Differently

Beautiful sparkles down by the lake one Sunday morning
before everything changed
with the arrival of the Covid-19/Coronavirus.

People were still taking public transport and mixing with friends in groups

Going out freely with my camera to capture some wild plum blossom

On my last day of freedom, I came home with two little pots of Primula

Before planting them on the balcony, 
I arranged some little flowers in my favourite circular vase.

Tulips came home with me too, the last ones before a strict lock-down
especially on people over 65 who are more at risk of catching the virus.
I'm not going to talk a lot about it here.
We all follow the news and know the devastating effects.
Switzerland is very hard hit and there are now over 8000 cases.
The more people stay at home, the less the virus will spread.

Asparagus has appeared in the shops
and that's a sure sign of spring!

Being confined in my home, I have a great deal of time to make delicious recipes,
read, do masses of crochet and choose uplifting films or comedies to watch on Netflix!
Here is my breakfast; French toast, cooked blueberries
 served with a spoonful of coconut yogurt.

I've been baking bread again too
This one is a gluten-free version and very delicious

Being confined to my home, I have set up a plan of exercises to remain supple
which I do twice a day.
I'm also fortunate enough to have a balcony
 and can take fresh air several times a day
or sit outside and read when the spring sunshine is warm enough!

The first day of spring this year will certainly be one that none of us will forget.
I have some tiny violas growing in three of my window-boxes
and can see them from each room of my apartment!

A new habit:
Ringing my Tingsha bells every evening at 9 pm, when lots of folk in my neighbourhood
go outside to shout and applaud for a few minutes.
It's to thank all the medical staff, doctors and nurses
who devote their lives to try and save as many people as possible from the Covid-19.
I also include everyone who is working to help us all survive:
the farmers who produce our food,
the delivery services which deliver it,
the postmen and women who sort and bring our mail,
the pharmacies which remain open
and the post-office workers,
and the men who pick up our dustbins twice a week.
There are so many devoted people out there.
They all deserve recognition and our appreciation.

The spring flowers are in bloom everywhere, even if I can't see them.
These Forget-me-nots were photographed before lock-down
exactly one week ago on Tuesday 17th of March.

A little sapling growing in the grass separating my building from the one in front.
So lovely to see everything come alive again.
The grass is dotted with primroses.

Do you remember the start of this blanket?  I have named it
"January Sunrise"
You can see the photo of that sunrise which I took from my balcony.
I started the project on January 1st this year and finished it six weeks later.

Here it is finished!
I have several crochet projects on the go and I'm trying out a new stitch for the first time

It's called: 'Corner to Corner' and is really fun to do
especially in this self-patterning yarn which makes it more interesting.
Not my usual colours, but very cheerful and Springlike!

Since no one can shake hands at the moment, I thought it might be a good idea
to practice a 'Windscreen-wiper wave'!
So hello to you all!
I hope you are staying safe and respecting the advice of the country and area you live in.

Another crochet project which I started in January
which had been momentarily put on one side:
This is called 'Spring Garden'
and I love using these lovely colours which make me think of spring flowers.
There are different sources for this particular pattern
and the one I am following is from Lullaby Lodge.
Isn't it beautiful?
I will be putting up more crochet flowers from the 2020 Flower Challenge in my next posting.

I hope you are well and adapting to this new and different way of living
We cannot change the course of events, but we can change how we approach them.

"You have power over your mind - not outside events.
Realize this and you will find strength."
Marcus Aurelius

Stay safe
Keep optimism shining in your heart
and only take one day at a time!


  1. Hi Sandra (wave wave...). Thanks for sharing your projects and routines. Hope you're doing well "down-town" and that this will be over preferable sooner than later but who knows? Just hang in there, stick to your exercise routine and continue to make those pretty circles in squares. Lovely colors. So spring like!

    1. So nice to see you here, Annette, and waving too! Living downtown is frustrating on the one hand, as I can't get out. On the other hand, it's really useful for getting shopping delivered! I live above the centre, so it's much quieter up here in Chailly. I'm really enjoying my exercise routine and feel good afterwards. The lock-down gives us the perfect opportunity to crochet up a storm too! As soon as the Bise stops blowing its Polar air, I'll be sitting on my balcony soaking up some sunshine!

  2. Beautiful pictures! I might have to think about getting a circular vase - the effect is lovely, and it would be perfect for all those flowers that just cannot make it into a decent vase. And I envy the pretty crochet you're making right now as I hardly have any time left for crochet these days (months actually). I've been taking courses, working on a business plan (which thank God still is in a planning stage), setting up a homepage, alongside day job (which has become more demanding - though sadly enough not more pay). But, this will pass and we're not giving up our dreams, are we?

    1. Thank you, Marie-Lucienne. We're defintely not giving up our dreams, just putting them on hold! I have masses of time for my crochet now and I can't get enough of it. I have a huge yarn supply so will never be lacking in that! This circular vase has been in my family since I was a little girl!

  3. Good morning Sandra . . . another day in this new world order. Still, we ARE an adaptable race and I, for one, definitely choose optimism and hope over anything negative. MA's quote is very appropriate.

    LOVE all your photo's of SPring and your lovely crochet projects.

    Waving back to you from a very safe distance!

    Sending love and wishing you well.
    Sarn xxx

  4. Thank you for your friendly waves from over there! There's always something to be positive about, isn't there? When I can no longer get out to see and enjoy the spring flowers, I can create them at home with my yarn and hook!

  5. Hello Sandra!! Love seeing your beautiful creations every time. Thanks for sharing! Also, we hope you are well and safe during these uncertain times.

    1. Thank you for coming in to say hello! It's always so lovely to have visitors here during this period. This home confinement is a perfect time for creating and also for trying out new recipes when they suit my new way of eating: no sugar and gluten-free! I hope you are both well also!

  6. Hi, Sandra. Once again, I’ve had to step back from online participation due to eldercare responsibilities. Last time, it was for my mom. This time it’s for my mother-in-law. But as before, when I have a moment, I find myself turning to your blog for a dose of self-care. Just scrolling through your beautiful photos slows me down and fills me up. I can breathe again here.

    I’ve enjoyed seeing and reading about how you are spending your time in isolation—so much beauty and color and yummy goodness! I’m so glad you have your gorgeous balcony so you can be outside sometimes. And I love that your neighborhood makes a joyful noise every night for all those who are working to get us through this pandemic. Your bells are wonderful.

    Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing some of the things you’re doing for your own self-care. Stay well!

  7. Hi Susan! How lovely to have you visit. I'm so happy that you find pleasure in slowing down and coming here.
    You have been busy helping out older family members and you also need some time to renew yourself.
    We are all finding a new way of being. Essential aspects of our existence are being revealed. We are taking one day at a time and creating special and beautiful moments in our days. I even look forward to the daily balcony meeting at 9 pm each evening to applaud and appreciate all those who are helping us in every way.
    Take care!

  8. I’m a homebody by nature, so on the surface, my life appears to be little different from what it’s always been. But beneath the surface, I am, as you said, having to find a new way of being.

    Decisions, especially around consuming, must be increasingly thought through. Groceries, cleaning products, and paper products are in short supply or non-existent in my area. What meals can I create out of what’s already in my pantry or freezer? What can I use to make my own laundry soap? What can I substitute for that paper towel?

    Even ordering something like a book from Amazon requires more consideration. With delivery times in the US now stretching to 6-8 weeks, impulse buying is less of a temptation because immediate gratification is no longer as possible. Is it something I would still want, or even need, in another 2 months?

    So I am looking for other ways to self-care, like taking a few minutes to read an uplifting blog or sit in my backyard with a cup of tea. NOT spending money is even becoming a form of self-care in our unstable economy. Agreed, many changes are out of my control, band I’m finding that I can create a new way of being out of the ones I can control that is even better—more intentional, slower, calmer, simpler. A very good thing.

    1. I do like the way the present situation is changing our priorities and making us more creative. You say it all so well in your comments. Self-care is also very important. We need to resource ourselves with good books and uplifting films or documentaries. Thinking before we spend is a very wise measure - and food seems to be the number one priority, getting it delivered is a little more tricky!

  9. I heard someone say once, when they wanted to redecorate on a budget, that they were going to shop their own home and just rearrange things from room to room. I look at what I’m doing now in the same way—shopping my own home for ingredients or books or movies or craft supplies. There is a lot here I can make use of. We don’t eat out much, but restaurants are doing all they can to offer curbside pickup or delivery services, any little bit to stay in business and keep at least some of their employees working.

    1. I find this period is making us so creative, as you explain so well above. I'm discovering a lot of things that I can use differently instead of buying something new. My only expenditures these days are for food and for helping small businesses to stay afloat by preferring to order from them. On the home front, the word 'recycling' comes to mind too!

  10. Hi Sandra! Glad you are staying safe and being creative while doing so... I find myself baking and cooking lots of comfort foods these days, and, of course, I have my beloved cross stitch. Your crocheting is lovely--fun to go outside of your usual color palette at times, too :)

    Take good care now--and thank you, as always for sharing your beautiful photos with all of us ♥

  11. HI Carol! Yes this time at home is perfect for doing all the things we love doing like handiwork and cooking and even photography! You home must smell wonderful with your baking and cooking! Getting shopping delivered is proving to be more of a challenge, but now the scouts have offered their services and I'll be getting a small order soon to see how that works out!
    Always nice to have you visit, Carol!

  12. Your spring looks very lovely! I know you treasure those last few photos before you were more confined. It's good that you have your balcony where you can sit and get some fresh air. I am certainly thankful for our piece of land. I can go outside anytime I choose. Your crochet projects are, as always, lovely! The colors of the sunrise afghan are among my favorites. We are homebound here too, but since I stay home a lot it's not too different. I have lots of things to keep my busy! Stay safe!

    1. Thank you, Cathy. Well spring is happening now without me getting out to enjoy it, but I do enjoy getting fresh air on my balcony! I have lots of extra time for my crochet and reading now too! From that point of view it's wonderful. My daughter dropped by today with some shopping as people in my age group have been told to stay within the home and not go out at all.

  13. your spring is so far ahead of ours. I am considering lighting my burn pile as I have 8 inches of snow around it still. Your photos and glimpses are lovely. As is your crotchet projects, each one.

    Wishing you a healthy spring and beyond Sandra.

    1. Thank you, Tammie. Yes, there are signs of spring everywhere, though now I can no longer go out to enjoy them as Switzerland is in lockdown and we have been told to stay at home to avoid spreading the Covid-19, but also to protect ourselves.
      My days are well occupied and I am enjoying sunshine on my balcony! I hope that you are quite well, Tammie.

  14. It's a different world and yet, still beautiful, as you have proved it here with your photos. I really like all the flowers you've captured here.

    Honestly, I have never liked handshaking people. I like the idea of windscreen-wiper waves instead.

    Your crochets is always lovely, I really like that use such bright yarns.

    Have a lovely day.

  15. Thank you, lissa! I always found all this handshaking was strange when I came to live in Switzerland many years' ago. In England, my home country, we didn't do this all the time! My crochet is a marvellous passion to have to express creativity and working with colour is one of my favourite things! There will be new crochet in my next blog entry this weekend!

  16. Confinement, done right!

    Thank you for visiting my Bern post - how did you find me?

    1. Thank you for your comment here in my space! I found the link you gave on Lissa's blog at The Memory of Rain. I saw you mention Bern, so I thought I would have a look!

  17. I'm so glad you were able to buy some flowering plants before things got locked down! That circular vase is a treasure, and perfect for small flowers.

    Your crochet projects are lovely, and that bread looks delicious. I hope you'll soon be able to get out again to walk and take photos. Sending you a virtual hug from Wisconsin!

    1. Thanks so much, Sue! These are such strange times, but the most difficult part is having to stay within the home because of the Covid-19. The biggest message we get every single day is "Stay at home." It stops the virus from spreading and lightens the load of the hospitals which are working exhausting hours in the intensive care units.
      I am never bored, but I do miss human contact and going for lovely walks and enjoying nature!

  18. Hi Sandra, It's been a roller coaster ride since we last talked about RA but finally I am on a medication that is working and my life was getting back to order until the virus hit. I, like you, am finding a new normal while being confined at home.
    Having so much time on my hands, my thoughts immediately returned to blogging and you are the first person I wanted to check on. I am so glad that you are doing well during this "shut down"....The balance with which you are spending your days is inspiring for me....exercising, baking, crocheting, photography, and fresh air on your balcony.....sounds like a well rounded plan that will keep you healthy.
    All of your pictures are filled with beautiful color and that is uplifting within itself.
    I am planning to return to my blog soon. I find that I am missing the individual touch of kind and gifted women from the blogging world. So many have stopped and I am very glad that you haven't. Stay well and I hope to talk to you soon.....Hugs

    1. So lovely to have you visit, dear Nancy! I am glad that you haave found a solution that suits the troubles you've been having with RA. Yes the Covid-19 pandemic has been a big shock to everyone.
      Getting back to your blogging sounds like a wonderful idea! I shall look out for your first posting. In the meantime, take care!

  19. Wow, look at those gorgeous flowers and love your pots of Primulas. It's a lovely time in Switzerland! I love your crochet projects thank you for sharing them with us! So beautiful, as always. Stay safe and healthy!! Take care!

    1. So kind to catch up with my blog postings!The spring flowers are my favourite and bring me so much pleasure with their freshness and colour! Thank you!