This week I allowed myself to take a break and relax, and it happened to coincide with the most beautiful weather we have seen in months. Spring finally came to Aachen! So I was determined to spend as much of the week outdoors as possible.
Over the weekend we went to the Bauhaus and stocked up on supplies, and on Monday I got started cleaning our balcony. The balcony was a mess — we hadn’t used it much in the past year. (We also have a roof terrace, which holds our grill and got most of our attention last summer.) We had inherited over half a dozen terracotta pots from the previous tenant, along with a teak bench and table. Needless to say, after a year of neglect the patio furniture was looking a bit sad:
The furniture was weathered and even a little mossy, given the copious shade the balcony gets in the afternoon. I started cleaning, sanding, and finally applying some teak oil to the wood. In my recklessness, I didn’t bother to protect my hands — and I paid by puncturing myself with a centimeter-long splinter while I was sanding. Thankfully, after a lot of grimacing and whining, I pulled it out and it seems to be healing just fine. I even put on gloves after that.
And all of the hard work was totally worth it. It doesn’t look as bright and new as I was hoping — the back of the bench was the most sheltered and looks the best right now — but it looks way better than it did before:
We also put up a couple planters on the balcony railing, with seeds that will hopefully sprout into basil, dill, rosemary, parsley, and chives. They aren’t much to look at yet, though. I even started to clean the terracotta pots, and with a little elbow grease and some sunlight from sitting on the terrace upstairs, I think they’ll turn out just fine. I’m hoping to bring a few of those back down to the balcony to hold some lavender and other flowers.
The balcony still isn’t the most beautiful part of the apartment, but I am starting to actually like it. My desk is now sitting in front of the window that looks out on the balcony, so I appreciate this week’s improvements. I can see myself going out there with coffee to take breaks as the weather gets consistently warmer and my new plants start to grow.