The beginning of this week marked half way through the official four week lockdown. I am fully aware that I have the easiest of lockdowns but nevertheless continue to journal them.

Saturday 28 March – Friday 3 April.

Three weeks into the lockdown now, and it looks like we might have some easing of the restrictions after the Easter weekend. I am hopeful that we will be able to reopen our business. There is no doubt that our behaviour will have to change though, as a nation. Social distancing, face masks, number of people in the shops and so on. This is the foreseeable future. But so be it.

Had a Zoom meeting with some friends in different places around the world, including NYC. One of the guys was riding a bike through downtown. As he rode along 6th Avenue, he showed us the empty and desolate space. We all have disaster movies burned into our brains, and this looked like a scene out of one of them. Dismal.


Monday was still Monday, the mood matching. Woke up to snow and freezing temperatures, but that did improve throughout the day. Ran for 45 minutes in our underground parking garage. My knees hurt the next day, I bloody hate running, and in reality, it is gonna take more than a pandemic to get me to do it regularly. Which means I quit.

Wearing face masks in the supermarkets will be mandatory as of the coming Monday, and also where there are larger groups of people. I ordered a material one, which I should get tomorrow. There are some people walking round looking like stormtrooper rejects, I wonder if they can breathe at all?

I did vacuum this week, but things still not bad enough to clean the windows. Watched the third series of Ozark.


Managed a 42km ride on my carbon frame Rocky Mountain. I have been riding an e-bike for the last couple of years, and it is most excellent fun to be back on a light bike. We rode through the country side, where there is next to no traffic at the best of times. Nothing looked wrong, and made you wonder it was all just a dream?


Chris took grocery shopping over to his parents yesterday. They are well into their eighties and fall into the high risk category, although it did take someone in their town to give Oma a bollocking for doing her own shopping during the first week of the lockdown. We never come back empty-handed from their place and yesterday was no exception. There is a small biscuit that is very popular in Austria during the Christmas season. “Vanillekipferl” – and to some they are the Holy Grail of all the “Weihnachtskekse”. It is an unwritten law that these are only made at Christmas time. (Actually knowing the Austrians it probably is written down somewhere.) These are my very favourite biscuits in the whole world. Oma had baked me a boxful and sent them home with Chris. This act of kindness totally blew me away.

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It was Vero´s birthday this week.

I had a text from Neela early Wednesday morning saying “Trump is dead.” I knew that it could not be true, but confess to checking my BBC updates! (I assumed she meant that he was dead because of his horrific handling of the whole pandemic. ) Before I could message back I got another one – “April Fool.” Still laughing.


NVC Mohur – several times. Vero’s Rozy Extrait and Kiki EdP. Malle’s Superstitious. and PoaL. Hermès Cuir d’Ange.


A few people asked me if I could put a photo up of my buzz cut, on Instagram or here in the post. Over my dead and mangled body. But …. I spent the best part of an hour this morning taking selfies. Cringe. Close up ones, and then ones in the mirror. I sought help from my daughter, who suggested I try a few more poses. Scream. Seriously who bothers with this shit? But I did learn something from the close ups, apart from never taking them again – I have a lot more wrinkles on the right hand side of my face, no doubt caused from only ever sleeping on that side. Time to switch.


You guys know that I know how serious this is don’t you? May your weekend have some joy in it regardless.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow, but if we are wise, we know there’s always tomorrow.” Lean on Me. RIP Bill Withers. 1938 – 2020.



Filed under Perfume Reviews


  1. Gina T.

    Oh yes, I wish someone dead, too. Yes, you and photos! This is serious. Thank you for sharing your wonderful self with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gina! Isn´t that really crazy? To have such a hated politician, worldwide. I still find it quite unbelievable that he is still there. Has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats, and everything to do with him and his awful family. But I digress!! Thanks for reading, if no one read them it would be fine too, I like to write them, but it is nice when people do. I am wearing Galop today, inspired by you over at Undina`s. xxx


      • Gina T.

        Yay! Do you actually own a full bottle of Galop? Swoon? I would bathe in it like we are with hand sanitizer after we leave the grocer.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do own one yes. I bought it within a coupe of weeks of the launch. I fell in love with it nd the love has only grown. Expensive? Yes. I justify it by the fact that I only buy maybe three of bottles a year. If that. I rarely like something enough to to do so. xxx


  2. matty1649

    I haven’t been out of my house for 4 weeks. Some of my family live nearby. They have been shopping for me and leaving it at my front door.They then go to the end of my path and we can have a shouted conversation. It’s not the same is it ? I miss seeing my Greatgrandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great grandkids? WowI. I had you down as like fifty or so in my mind. Just goes to show huh? I cannot imagine. Now listen, am I correcting remembering that you like Mitsouko? I have a couple of vintages bottles of the parfum, and when this is all over maybe you would like one of them? I do not get on with it. And to be honest it will take to the end of a pandemic for me to get it together to go to the post office, as I ave a complete inability to do so. Still – I will. Big hugs. I hope you get out soon. xxxxx


  3. You really are in an ideal place to see out a global pandemic Val
    Nothing feels the same in London and we don’t have your scenic spaces for exercise, far away from anyone. But I’ll be with family soon and have access to a back garden at least.
    Please God let British people not congregate in the warm weather coming up.


    • There are still so many deaths in Italy, I was talking to my friend there only this morning. They will just not stay TF in. I fear the UK may do something similar. Everyone single person will be affected by this because we all have to live in a post-coved19 world. So everyone needs to contribute by doing what we are asked to. It is for such a short time in the big scheme of things. A garden will be a godsend. Just to breathe in fresh air. I am I a good place, it is just the luck of the draw. Many times I have wished I lived in London. So you know, whatever. We all have to deal with it in the way that suits where we are. ❤


  4. Tara C

    I am so envious of your lockdown situation, I feel like a rat in a trap in my Montréal flat. We sewed masks yesterday to start wearing to the supermarket. So grim. But I love Neela’s April Fool’s joke, if only it could come true.

    I am hopelessly incompetent with selfies as well. My hair hasn’t been cut in two years so it’s just long and uneven. Two more months won’t make a difference. How sweet of your MIL to bake your favourite cookies. Here some people have put their christmas lights back up to make things look more cheerful and our two main bridges are lit up with rainbow lights.

    Monday I’m out of quarantine and will be able to take the dog out for walks again, hallelujah!!! The weather is shit but I don’t care. I need to pull out Kiki today. Thinking of Vero on her birthday week. I really hope I can find a big bag of flour and lots of butter to start baking cookies again. Wishing the same soon for you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two years? I would have wallpapered myself into the living room. I see no reason for selfies, or very little. Had Chris been at home I would have gothic to have taken a picture. I love the idea of having Christmas lights up. I will think of you on. Monday. Cannot believe you have actually stayed in so long. Walk walk walk. I have loads of flour, should I send some? And so much butter I really need to nip to the shop and put it in the freezer. Lots of love from here. ❤ xxxx


  5. Really enjoying following your experience of lockdown in Austria: mask-heavy, but freer in other ways. How sweet of Oma to bake you your favourite biscuits. She’s a keeper! Or ‘safekeeper’, even? Love your hair and shiny trainers too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don´t think they are as shiny as they look in the picture. Think about, me and shiny pink? These were the only ones they had. I wanted white, but no e does them, not a proper running/gym shoe. All these bright colors freak me out. Still, everything else I wear is black so —- Oma is the best. ❤ xxxx


  6. Here in US, I would love the April Fool’s joke…. I finally dyed my hair. I was also on Zoom for work and thought I better “try” at least. But it’s so nice not having to dress up. Clean shirt and leggings are my go to. In America we are all experiencing chaos. One bright light is the governor of California where I live, a real leader. Because my husband and I live in the country, mountains and no neighbors we see no one!!! So it’s very isolating. We both ride too, but ther roads here are too narrow, steep and dangerous; cars don’t have a shoulder, and people hate cyclists so we have to go into the valley to ride and can’t leave our county. He’s setting up his stationary this weekend. To get thorough it all I thought how short life is and stop hoarding all my Serge Lutens, so I’ve been spraying them with abandon just for myself. The baked goods look delicious! Great MIL.
    Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Shiva-woman. Nice to see you. I hear a to of good things about California. I keep more of an eye on it as I have a lot of family there, even though they are a bunch or rednecks. 😉 I am off for a bike ride now, far away from the lake. There are a lot of police down there controlling the number of cars from out of the area that might turn up. They have been told not to, but lets see. I never hoard perfume. Use it all – and lots of it. Stay in touch. Hugs. 🙂 xxxx


  7. Hamamelis

    How lovely to be treated with weinachtskeke from Oma, I think you know a grannies are called oma here too!
    I have been so busy, and working very hard, I think working from home (with video meetings etc.) is very tiring.
    We are still in what our PM calls an ‘intelligent’ lockdown, meaning please stay home, but go out if you have to. Our business(es) are still closed, and managing this situation has taken most of our time and energies. We are working hard to get our studio’s opened with the government’s permission (all sportsfacilities and bars/restaurants etc. are closed) as we can train clients without touching them and keep more than 1.5 meter distance, all within the current regulations Also should you wish to try a home routine that will not end up in hurting knees or painful hands/backs etc. you could have a look at our international facebook pages as our top trainer has done some home routine video’s (in English too), most of them have 3 levels (regular, adapted for lesser fitness (=me) and tough guy/girl). It takes less than 10 minutes to do them, and if you do them to the moment you really can’t anymore (which will be quick) it is very effective! 1 time per week is nice, 2 times a week is good, 3 times is fantastic. Not all video’s have been uploaded internationally but they will be. Tara if you are uncomfortable with our business name here please remove it, I totally understand. Look up fit20 uk or usa on facebook and you should find it. It is not meant as an advert at all, just to be helpful for those looking for a doable and safe home routine.

    In my circle of friends and acquaintances 4 have (most probably) covid and are recovering, no hospitalisation was needed, but it took a a lot out of them. A dear friend of my late mother died probably of covid, she was 86 and prepared to go. Still, spring has sprung, and it is a lovely day (thank you Bill Withers!). Big hugs for you Val, I hope to have the time to mail you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Intelligent lockdown. Sweden are kind of doing that too I think. Video meetings are tiring. I meet up once a week with a bunch of friends for fun, and I have had one radio meeting (a proper meeting), and I feel drained afterwards. I think it takes some time for the brain to get used to seeing people but them not being there? I will take a look at the page. Cool. I have my eights and stuff here in the spare room/computer room and do workouts on most days. Running was being little over-enthusiastic. I think pounding the tarmac of the garage may have not been too smart. Hahahahahahahahaha. I should know better. I have had three friends with Covid, twi recovered, and one getting better, but she had a hell of a ride with it. 😦 Spring has sprung here too, and today feels more like early summer. Off to hop onto my bike. Loads of love, and ISM vibes. ❤ xxxx


  8. Amy

    Oh if only NV’s April Fool’s hadn’t been an April Fool’s. I hate to think that about anyone, but his actions are making a lot of people sick and killing others; it is driving me right around the bend. I mean I know that the situation would be bad regardless of government policies, but what is happening in the US does not have to be happening in quite the way it is. I could rant more, but won’t.

    Instead, I have been busy, although at home and through the mixed gift of Zoom and other devices. It is great to have and yet as you and others point out, particularly exhausting. I think it is the difficulty moving; the blue light form the screens; and the inability to cross-talk, which is vital to me in conversation and in teaching. Yet despite complaints the situation would be much more difficult for me to tolerate without it.

    My accomplishment of the day: reading ten pages of student work in German, a language I used to know how to read and thought I had entirely lost. There is still some there! Amazing. I’ve often wondered how polyglot you are Val. And so many others in the perfume world. I am extremely monolingual in all but the passive sense.

    All best and stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amy 🙂 This is no place to get into politics, (or maybe it is?!) but I see the Trump thing so. He is the leader of a cult, and his followers cannot be swayed in any way, in the Jim Jones kind of style. And this is so disturbing. One can only hope that when some of his worshippers start to drop like flies, that something may click.
      Oh gosh – I could not imagine how different life would be without the interest and the so many ways we have to keep in touch. If that was to break down the results would be a lot lot worse than those of this pandemic.
      Ten pages on German? I don’t think I have ever down that and I live in a German speaking country! Hahahahahah. Fantastic. Maybe we should start to throw in some random German words here? You too, hang on in there, this too shall pass. Lots of love. ❤ xxxxx


  9. Kathleen

    Good to see you Val in your post and hear how things are in your part of the world. Agreed, wear the perfume! I find working from home depressing, but thankful to still have work for now. And I miss going to the gym. I’m trying to workout in my home workout room, but not as motivating. My dog and walking/running with him in nature is my saving grace. I had an Oma, and miss her so. She was a fabulous baker as well.
    Stay safe and healthy Val! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Kathleen! Nice to see you! ❤ Omas are most certainly a wonderful thing and I love mine, well, she's the kids but I call her Oma too. And Opa, Opa. As I mentioned before somewhere, the second I knew that we were going into lockdown I borrowed weights and a long handle from my gym. I am actually really good at motivating myself, as I drink a booster beforehand! I don't think I could do it drug free. Long live caffeine. Then I crank up the music and do it. And it keeps me as sane as I can be. A dog must be the best thing to have right now, keep on running. Any you take care too, and keep in touch. I shall continue these posts in one way or another until we are all free again. Bussis.


  10. Hey Val,
    Sorry i’m so late to the party. Not quite sure what’s wrong with me lately. I’m landing days late everywhere.
    Fingers crossed for your business to open again ASAP.
    Glad you’re coping well. Jin and I are keeping our steps up most days. I get really annoyed with myself when I forget to have my phone on nee while cleaning because it ups the steps so well.
    He’s been home for 6 days, back to work tomorrow. It’s felt like a holiday. We’ve never had a StayCation and I’ve loved it so much.
    The lack of income has just started to make itself felt for me. This month’s bills will eat away the businesses pitiful savings and it will be time to start eating my life savings. Applying for Government help this week. If I get it they will backpay me from the date the business stopped functioning. Fingers crossed.
    All in all we are in a fine position. No one is starving here and we are able to cook and food/grocery deliver to a few of our friends who are old or ill.
    How funny is Neela!
    Thanks for keeping us updated, it’s nice.
    Love you beautiful, hug the clan for me. Especially BJTG.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Portia Honey, what exactly is late? I mean no one is actually going anywhere are they? 😉 I think Chris can open again in two weeks, but don’t know about me yet. I can do cookies for the shop, but here has not been any talk about when exactly the restaurants will reopen, so Cookie Runs may take some time, and maybe end forever. I hope and pray not but this shit is serious, and will have repercussions for all of us. My life saving are in my Red Bull piggy bank, and may or may not add up to a hundred euros. No joke! But hey we have survived since Amsterdam in our own special way of running a business, and we own my inlaws house, and I am so very thankful that we have that in the background. No one is starving here, quite theoposite, more than enough food. I now have two cotton masks that have been made for me, and will get myself a stash of them, as I think this mask thing is gonna go on for a long time. Hugs back to you and all the rest. ❤ ❤ ❤


  11. I’m glad you posted a picture of your haircut: I was extremely curious 🙂 We’re facing a strange problem: my vSO has great hair. I mean, his hair is such that I wouldn’t dare to try to cut it. He’s already a week overdue and at least 3 more to go (and then they still might extend). So, we’re not sure what to do. On my side, the first (in, probably, 12 years) experiment with covering roots wasn’t successful: either I chose a too light color, or it didn’t stick but the result is that I need to try to do it again – if I can buy hair color, of course.

    I’m thinking about taking a day or two off this upcoming week because I’m tired: it seems that in the last month I worked even more than I did when working from the office before.

    We haven’t been to anywhere but to walk around for the last 10 days, so we’ll probably need to get to a store for some bread and fruit soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Undina! ❤ Well I wear my hair so short anyway it was not a such a huge deal. I mean in the big scheme of thins, No, wait. That is bullshit. It was a huge deal and I was shaking before we did it! But I wanted to so, yeah. I am soooo glad that I do not dye my hair any more, that would I think have caused me more stress than the cut. Yeah you may have chosen too light a color or not left it on long enough. The dyes used in professional hair salons are different. Good luck with that! I will not ask for a picture. 😉
      Take a couple of days off immediately. You need to do that for your sanity. Everyone is tired, and in a kind of shock and mourning period. Yes some are affected a million times worse than many of us are, I know that. But we need to keep our marbles, those that have any left. So take time off, and do whatever you need to to draw a deep breath.
      Hairdressers they announced yesterday, will be the last places to open, as they stagger the reopening of businesses. I cannot pretend that does not make me wanna scream. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Love a! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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