5 things I learned in self-isolation

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I had caught Covid. Once I had tested positive, I was required to self-isolate for at least seven days. Since the duck and I do not live alone (as in just the two of us), self-isolation for me meant spending virtually all day in my bedroom. The duck isolated with me in solidarity for the most part. Fortunately, I could convince the duck to go on occasional solo outside walks. Since there are no duck-specific Covid regulations, we decided that as long as the duck kept a safe distance from other strollers, it would be okay. Just because I was stuck in a room – at some point, I had resorted to counting the wood fibers in my sand-colored ingrain wallpaper (that was beginning to look like a delicious oatmeal waterfall) – didn’t mean the duck shouldn’t get some fresh air from time to time.

Whenever the duck came back from a solo outdoor adventure, we had a lot to talk about. The duck told me about the first heralds of spring. In return, I shared some of my most interesting isolation-induced insights:

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Here’s Covid!

Even if you’ve never watched The Shining, you’re probably familiar with the clip of Jack wrecking the bathroom door with an ax, peeking in, and exclaiming: “Here’s Johnny!”

Well, that’s the image that popped into my head several weeks ago when I read the result of a COVID-19 lateral flow test I had just taken: “positive.” The duck and I had had a positive case at home the previous week, and I was recovering from flu symptoms, so the positive result didn’t come as a complete surprise. However, being the homebodies that we are (we were socially distancing before it was cool), the duck and I had always secretly expected to be among the few who would never catch Covid. At least I stayed true to my lazy lifestyle and got infected at home. Even though everyone at our place (but the duck)* was triple-vaccinated at that point, and we had been careful, especially after that first positive test result, that sneaky virus outsmarted me somewhere along the line. Maybe this will be a new ducktective case for us to solve?
Either way, I’ll leave it at that, for now, brew myself another cup of lemon ginger tea, and pin all my hopes on the duck, who will now have to defend our honor as lazy, Covid-free homebodies alone!

I hope you’ve managed to stay healthy throughout the winter/summer. And that you will never have to experience the disintegration of your favorite excuse for at-home laziness! (Well, at least I gained ‘self-isolation’ as an excuse for a particularly lazy few days.)

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Our favorite jogging podcasts

I will start off by admitting that it was very hard to not write “jogcasts” instead of “jogging podcasts” in the title – the duck had some serious convincing to do. With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual post:
Two weeks ago, the duck and I credited the power of our running podcasts for our uncharacteristic endurance in completing our slow jogs.

Today, we want to share a list of our top five fiction podcasts that have kept us engaged distracted enough to not give up in the middle of a jog. Maybe there are one or two among them that you’d like to listen to yourself. Be it to accompany your most dreaded* exercise or your chores, daily commutes, relaxing sessions, or anything in between:

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How we create a comfy reading environment

One of the duck and my 2022 New Year’s resolutions is keeping up our reading habit. In fact, within the past two years, the duck and I finished twice as many books as in the four years before. There were times in the past when I read even more than that, but the duck and I are lazy, so I’m happy with our mini achievements. Because I don’t love all the books I read (well, didn’t; I’m working hard on no longer fearing being haunted by unfinished stories), the duck and I have a few methods targeting different senses that make our reading experience more appealing. Ready to read duckOf course, we have compiled them into a checklist (the love is real!). Who knows, maybe there even is a decent idea, or two, in there that you’d like to use for enhancing your own reading experience:

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List – noun /lɪst/

This one was a long time coming.
When the duck and I talked to our friend about her work one fateful day, I came to a sudden realization: I thoroughly enjoy lists. While real-life me instantly began using any remotely suitable opportunity to declare this newly denominated character trait (much to the duck’s embarrassment), it took a while until I typed out the proclamation that “I love lists, especially pretty ones.” I am ashamed that, one year later, there still are very few lists on here. To change that, I took the duck and my favorite season (the one that had us believe two years ago that it would be a great idea to post on here 24 days in a row which, of course, it isn’t if you’re a self-confessed lazy person with sudden bouts of perfectionism in the most inconvenient situations) as motivation to finally dedicate a whole post to this obsession.List duckLook at the duck pretending to help me come up with some of my favorite kinds of lists for this post. Here they are: Continue reading

An unspecific timeline of a long layover

Even though the tagline of this blog was “adventures of the traveling duck” at some point, I wouldn’t consider the duck and myself frequent travelers. We’re too lazy and chronically broke for that. Despite that embarrassing lack of travel experiences for the self-proclaimed travel enthusiasts we are, there is one specific category of travel experiences that the duck and I could easily do without: spending too much time at Heathrow Airport. Some time ago, I learned that we would get to add another seven hours to the tally, this time bound to a comparatively tiny terminal 2, an experience the duck and I had been lucky to have avoided up until that point. Can you imagine the stress I felt beforehand, considering that falling asleep to then miss my flight or have my stuff stolen is one of my biggest travel fears? Thinking about all the things that could go wrong wasn’t fun. But the duck and I made it through and even ended up somewhat enjoying it –
airport memory duckwith the help of some purchased pals once the voluntary ones had left to catch their flight. This picture shows the duck among our seven-hour layover exploits, remembering this unexpectedly entertaining (and surprisingly expensive) airport session. Here’s how we got there: Continue reading

Running for ten seconds

That’s about the extent of my stamina. When the duck and I lived in Tokyo, our window looked out onto a trail. Sometimes, when – chocolate in hand – we observed the outside world, we saw super motivated joggers run by, some of them twice our combined age: a regular reminder of how unfit we were. “Running for ten seconds” was, in fact, supposed to be the title of a blog post about how we finally took up running so that no runner would ever be able to mock us again – by simply running past our lazy tail feathers. Of course, the titular ten-second run would never happen (not while we were living in Tokyo, anyway) even though, a few weeks before the duck and I set off on our Japan adventure, we visited our inspirational friend who used to go running every morning. She told us that she loved Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and recommended we read it, too.pre run duck 3+ years later, we finally did. And, weirdly, after a life of feeling sick for hours after having had to run for more than ten seconds, reading about the experiences of someone (granted, one who never shared our specific lack-of-running-stamina-problem) who started running regularly as an adult made the duck and me finally attempt to properly take up the practice ourselves (if only we’d read this earlier):

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Green Rider and maple apple coffee

The duck and my last attempt at writing about some food we made and a thing that our friends recommended to us was pretty messy, so messy, in fact, that we decided to try again. Now that we have Coco, our beloved coffee maker, we decided to try and come up with our own little fall coffee drink that is not pumpkin spice related (because our morning oats tend to be – a lot! – these days). Oh, how we have missed fall themed foods (Germany, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be as big on them as Japan is)!
maple apple duckFall is a season the duck and I connect with sitting at home, reading a good book and drinking a nice cup of tea or: an apple maple latte macchiato! In our imagination, however, the duck and I like to spend the perfect fall afternoon with a walk, collecting colorful leaves and enjoying the warm golden sunlight on our faces as the day slowly turns into evening. This feeling reminds us of one of our absolute favorite book chapters, the one that describes Karigan’s time at Seven Chimneys, the Berry sister residence, in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider, one of the many amazing books that our amazing friend R has recommended to us: Continue reading