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Blog Entry No. 15 – The year 2020

Dear readers,

I’m back again. I am truly sorry for the unclompleted advent calendar, it was a pretty rough time and a really needed the holidays, but as it is still cold outside (at least at the part of the earth where I live) and I often talk about it I wanna share at least my recipe for good chai latte. Maybe I’ll find some place for the other ideas I had in some different context or in a possible next years advent calendar.

Chai Latte

I discovered this delicious drink in a lovely cafe in Ireland. Since then it’s my absolute favourite warm drink and I tried to find a recipe that comes near the chai latte I drank in Ireland, but it’s impossible. In this one I found a quite delicious variation, which is not as perfect as the first chai latte I ever consumed, but close.

You need:
– 0.5 l black tea (assam ceylon)
– 4 cloves
– 1 piece of ginger about a cm thick
– some cardamom and one stick of cinnamon (or as much as it tastes good for you)
– 0.5 l milk
– 4 big spoons honey

How to do:
Cut the ginger into thin slices. Roast the cinnamon stick, cardamom and cloves in a coated pan until nicely fragrant.
Then bring the water to the boil. When it boils, remove from heat, add tea bags and let it steep for 3-5 min. Remove the tea bags and add the spices. Simmer the tea 5 min on low heat.
In the meantime, heat the milk and honey, best in the microwave. Once the 5 minutes are up, add the heated milk to the tea brew and bring it to the boil briefly. I poured the whole thing into a coffee maker (french press) and used the strainer to press down the spices. You can also pour the finished chai through a straining cloth into a suitable container.

I hope you enjoy it.

At last, there stays to talk about the nearly gone year. It was a difficult year, no question. I am not able to speak for anyone but myself of course. How could I even though I never experienced the life of another person? But I can talk about what I witnessed and what I experienced.
In Germany we have a saying: Schaltjahr ist Kaltjahr. Which means as much as “A leap year is a cold, a bad year.” I wouldn’t consider myself much superstitious, but I trust in many things my grandma teached me and what was confirmed by experiences and this saying is both. Especially this year the saying proofed some truth. 2020 was a lonely year, a year of many dissapointments. It certainly was a year, which lead to more people feeling mentally ill. I saw friends suffering without being able to help them and I broke down every time (well, that two times it happened) I got to know there will be another strict lookdown, another period of working at home, of not talking to anyone else than my family personally and I’m seriously not sure, why. I really like my home, I live in the countryside, so I’m always able to go for a nice walk in the nature (and I’m very happy about it, I can barely imagine how terrible it must be sitting all day in a small apartment, outside only streets and concrete buildings, inbetween one or maybe two trees) and I have no major problems with my family, everything should be fine and always turned out to be fine, but still I couldn’t bear the thought of such an unpredictable, big change. But besides the mental problems 2020 caused, there are extreme, physical ones too. So many people died. Of course, every year many people die, but the pandemic caused a large amount of poeple, who wouldn’t have to die, if some governments would have treated the pandemic as what it is, a threat for life. I mean not only the patients that died from Covid-19, I also mourn all humans, who starved to death or had no clean water to drink since support from important organisations wasn’t possible because of the risk of an infection. I mourn all the people, who died or got injured in a war or similar actions, just as they took place in the last month in Ethiopia. I mourn all people, who needed to flee from their home country and needed to live or even died in such horrible circumstances like in Moria. I mourn all people, who have no possiblity to escape inhumane living conditions. I know it doesn’t change anything and I wish I could do more, but I hope to raise at least a bit more awareness of all the violations of human rights and exploitation of humans, animals and our planet.

But 2020 wasn’t all bad. Folks learned to worship family and time at home, in peace, more. Health care workers got finally some attention, even if not enough in my opinion. A big movement around black lives started and in Scotland there will be free sanitary articles for everyone. The United States will have a Democratic President again and there was luckily no war betweeen them and Iran. There is much to be thankful for. As always.
Personally, I had a pretty great summer, it was as normal as possible in these times. I finished a great piece of work (scientific paper) for the last one and a half year a few weeks ago. I didn’t lose loved ones. I made a big step right into the direction of finding help for some of my mental issues. I am thankful. For all that was done for me this year, for everything I learned how to deal with, for all the people I had the pleasure to meet and for everythinh I did not lose.

At home we are blessed with some snow, I’m reading Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina and listening to the audio book of Obama’s A Promised Land. Life treats me good right now, I hope it does so with you too. Soon I’ll write a review to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak as start for 2021, I’m looking forward to write new content in a new year and hope you will read and enjoy it.

I wish you the best and a most healthy and happy new year,
Aly

2 thoughts on “Blog Entry No. 15 – The year 2020”

  1. I love your snowman photo, so cute! With the new year on the horizon, I wish that you embrace it with an open heart and go forward with faith, hope, and courage. Happy New Year. Aiva 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really happy you like them, to build these snowmen was the very first thing I did outside after I saw it had snowed. I wish you a most happy and healthy new year as well. 🙂 Yours, Aly

      Liked by 1 person

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