As of yesterday, Jan and I have been together for 7 years! Time really does fly… it doesn’t feel like that long. We started the day with a nice breakfast together… scrambled eggs on toast. Mmm. Then, after we’d both had showers, Jan suggested we go to Bauhaus (DIY type place) and see whether we could find a bathroom light we liked this time. Amazingly we actually did! It’s only about th 6th time we’ve looked and either not found anything suitable or just plain hated everything available. We picked up a few other things as well, including a ladder so we don’t have to keep borrowing the one in the cellar, and ordered a mirror for the bathroom. We have to get a special size cut so we couldn’t just take one of the ones that was there. Then we came home and Jan set to work. First he put up the kitchen light, which actually came with us from my old flat, so it’s been sitting around for 9 months waiting to be put up!! We need an extra piece of cable for it, which we also picked up while we were at Bauhaus. Then he went and installed the new light in the bathroom. SO now I’m no longer relying on clip lamps for any room. We have proper lights all over the flat. Not a bad anniversary present We finished the day by going out for a meal at a lovely restaurant just round the corner from where we live. We’ve been saying for about 3 years that we should go there at some point, and now we finally have. And it was certainly worth the wait! My starter was a rocket salad in some kind of white wine dressing with gorgonzola cheese, slices of fresh pear and roasted pumpkin seeds. For the main course I had the best duck I’ve ever tasted with ginger potatoes (delicious!) and vegetables, and I finished things off with orange parfait on chilli-chocolate sauce. Also fantastic.
Here’s hoping we last another seven years!
Slowly, slowly we’re getting there with the flat. The boxes are almost all unpacked now and we’ve got all the furniture put together… apart from Jan’s desk which we still can’t find the screws for! I just know they’re going to turn up somewhere obvious… Other than that it’s looking good, if you can ignore the fact that there are no curtains anywhere (we have some for the spare bedroom but need a drill to put the rail up) and most of the rooms have no lights. We’re still relying on lamps for most of our light! Why are nice ceiling lights so hard to find?! Everywhere we go they’re either ridiculously expensive or we just can’t find a nice one that we can agree on. *sigh*. We need to go back to IKEA for another bookcase though (the two we have are actually overflowing!) and some curtains – maybe this time there’ll be some decent lights too. Fingers crossed! Photos of the flat will follow as soon as I have access to them – Jan has uploaded them under his name, which makes things a little difficult, and for some reason I’m unable to upload them via the USB cable. I promise they will be here soon though, no more waiting for weeks and weeks between blog posts! Right now I have to go and catch up with all my favourite bloggers. This moving lark has caused me to miss out on so much. Boo and hiss! It will all be worth it in the end though, I hope…
Actually, that’s a blatant lie. I have not got the key. Jan’s got the key…. the key to the new place that is. He went to pick it up on Thursday, so we could get in to measure walls and things. Only one key for now, one which unlocks the main door to the building and the door to our flat. We get the rest on the day of the official handover… which is 30th April… Friday. Cue squeals of excitement. We very, very nearly have our very own flat. No more living at opposite ends of town. No more feeling out of place in each other’s homes. No more wondering why he doesn’t want to live with me.
Now all I have to do is pack. And clean. And contact the electricity company, my Internet provider… Okay, so there’s still a lot to do. But still… squeals of excitement
Hmm, another new week. I seem to have entirely missed most of last one. All I remember is that it involved working like a mad woman all day then returning home to work like a mad woman some more, but this time on something that I’m not getting paid for. And all this while trying to recover from my monster cold. I’m all better now though, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know. And the dissertation is moving forward. I even managed to have some fun at the weekend, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while. On Friday night Jan and I went out for a meal then some cocktails with a friend. It was 2:30 by the time we got in and I was up again by 9:30, but the reminder of what it’s like to have a real life made up for the tiredness.
I also started putting some things in boxes on Thursday evening. It wasn’t much, and my place is still as chaotic and crowded as ever, but it’s a start. Somehow actually starting to pack things away makes the move seem so much more real. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get the keys soon, then we can go in and do some measuring so we can figure out where to put what. We already have a list of things we need to do – and buy. I think another trip to IKEA will be on the cards fairly soon. Not until after payday though. My university are now demanding money from me again. *sigh*. Thankfully this is the last installment, so hopefully they’ll leave me alone after that. Unless of course I have to pay for the privilige of having my certificate sent out to me. That is a bridge that shall have to be crossed when I come to it though… I have to pass the dissertation first!
We have the contract! It’s here, sitting on top of Detolf, waiting for us to read through it, which will happen later this evening once Jan returns from playing football with his friends. We met at the flat to pick up the contracts, so I got to see it again. It’s still as nice as I remembered Jan even admitted to me that he’s excited (I asked if I could have it in writing!) and of course I’m overjoyed. A flat with my boyfriend! An actual home together. I thought this day would never come. So it should have been a day of celebration. Instead I’m sitting here attempting to work on my dissertation while nursing a spectacularly awful cold. It started yesterday with a sore throat and a runny nose and today has progressed to constant sneezing, aches and pains, a head that feels like it’s full of wet cotton wool and a nose that’s sometimes blocked, sometimes running. Not that it matters which version it chooses – either way I can’t breathe properly! Oh, and I’m also freezing despite the fact that it’s quite warm today. But apart from that I feel fine.
I need to get better by Monday. My colleague is off next week, which leaves me as the sole English translator, and there’s lots of work to be done. Anyone know any quick fixes for a cold? And please don’t say sleep… dissertation, remember?
My friend is coming tonight. It’s most exciting! I’ve never had a visitor in my new flat before! I still have loads to do before she arrives though – including sweeping the entire flat, putting an insect net on the living room window and blowing up an airbed – but before I get on with things I need a few minutes to sit down and recover. I’ve just returned from town where I spent 40 euros in Karstadt!! Now, I’m sure many people out there are now thinking “so what, 40 euros isn’t that much” (all those that are not still busy trying to work out how much 4o euros is in their own currency that is) and in other circumstances I would agree with you. Like if I already knew I was going to get that job, preferably on a contract starting on 1st August, and would therefore be back to earning money again fairly soon. Unfortunately I do not know any such thing and whether I will ever be back to earning money again is still pretty much up in the air. So right now 40 euros is a lot of money. It is, for example, exactly the price of a return ticket to Mannheim on the fast trains, and I’m going to need one of them next week. It’s also roughly half the amount my electricity and gas currently costs, although that has luckily already been paid for this month. Why did nobody ever tell me that growing up (and having your own place) was this much hassle?!
Anyway, I promise I will tell you all abou the things I’ve been up to soon (and yes, I know I’ve been saying that for almost a week already!) but right now I have to go and get my flat into a fit state for people other than Jan and I to enter it. Becasue despite the fact that I tidied up just the other day in case his parents wanted to come round (which they didn’t in the end) my flat seems to have morphed back into its usual state of untidiness. No idea how that could have happened… clearly it can’t possibly have had anything to do with me…
- I could write as well as I thought I could when I was 10
- I knew what I wanted from life
- I could get my Master’s without having to write a thesis
- My flat would clean itself
- I understood the German tax system well enough to start working as a freelance translator (I have to do taxes every month for the first year? What?! But I can’t even remember to do my taxes at the end of each financial year!)
- Crumpets existed in Germany
- … and Hula Hoops and Heinz Cream of Chicken Soup and Red Leicester Cheese
- I had a washing machine
- I could afford to buy this… or this
- I could do something creative. I totally admire people who can paint or sew or even take great pictures
- Everyone I know would stop getting married/having babies (I’ve heard about two pregnancies in the past week and have known about a third for a couple of months)
- It would stop raining
What’s on your wishlist today?
I’m at the French centre again. Can you believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve had internet access at home? I’m going mad here people. Mad I tell you!
The flat is starting to look good though. I bought a table and chairs yesterday. Now I can actually have people round and not have to force them to sit on the floor! Admittedly I still have a stack of boxes in one corner of the living room, but at least they’re stacked neatly so I don’t have to be ashamed of the mess. Also bought a cheap shelving unit thing from IKEA for the kitchen, so my food no longer has to live in the bedroom and my cups and glasses have their very own place to live. No more storing them in a cardboard box. Woo hoo! Once I actually have my own internet again I’ll see about putting a few pictures on here.
And in other news, in 2 weeks time I’m going to Paris! My Grandma turned 80 last month so my mum and aunt are bringing her to Paris as part of her birthday treat. What my Grandma doesn’t know is that a whole bunch of other family members are meeting them there, including another of my aunts who is flying all the way from New Zealand! When my mum mentioned it to me I decided I would like to come too, seeing as there’s now a train that gets you from Karlsruhe to Paris in 3 hours. So Jan booked train tickets last week and today we’re going to look at hotels. I can’t wait! Paris is excellent and it will be nice to see my Grandma again. I missed her surprise birthday party so I at least have to be there to surprise her in Paris.
I’m sure there is much more that I need to say, having been away for so long. But I didn’t come on here to try and beat the record for world’s longest blog post so I’ll leave it here. Hopefully I’ll be back with you properly soon. Not this month though – I can’t afford furniture, Paris and the internet on my wages. I paid my rent the other day and almost cried when I saw what my bank balance was reduced to…
The boyfriend has very kindly let me use his internets while he’s at the bakers buying our breakfast (although he’s back now so I’d better be QUICK).
Despite the fact that it’s Thursday we’re up mega ridiculously early because he’s going away with work tomorrow and while they’re there he has to present what he plans to do for his thesis. He’s going to Spain. Spain!! My work never even lets me go into town, never mind Spain!
This is the third, or possibly fourth, time he’s been away this year. Not too sure, I’ve lost count. I’m a bit like a work widow. Except without the part where I actually have a husband. Hmm.
Anyway, the flat is what I should talk about I suppose. I’m sure you’re all dying to hear about it
The living room is still a box-filled disaster zone. It’s driving me mental! Not much I can do about it yet though, unfortunately. I can’t afford furniture until I get paid and until I have furniture my things can’t come out of their boxes and be put away. One shelf of my bookcase is already doubling as a kitchen cupboard and there’s only so much you can stack on the windowsills – especially if you still want to be able to see what’s outside! But as long as I completely ignore the living room all is wonderful. My bedroom is really starting to look like mine. I stuck postcards on the back of my door the other day (sooo late teens, I know). It looks really good! Now if only I could get round to having my art framed. And actually remember to buy some nails so I can put it up once it is. Can you believe I have to go to an actual DIY store to buy nails here? Supermarkets don’t sell them! Why can’t Germany just have one place that sells everything like normal countries do? You can’t even buy paracetamol here without going to the chemist!
Ooh, and almost forgot. A billion thanks to the amazing Just Me, aka the chocolate fairlyfor my yummy scrummy chocolate eggs. From Thorntons! Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had Thorntons chocloate? A long, long time, that’s for sure.
And also, my thanks go out to the wonderful Odette. My happiness prize arrived just the other day and I heart, heart, heart it. I’ve already sent one of the tree pictures to the boyfriend’s sister, because I just know she will love it to.
And now I must go and let the boyfriend do his work. Until next time I manage to sneak my way onto a computer that’s connected to the internets…
No, I haven’t managed to get internet at home already. That would be way too efficient for me! I’m at the French-German cultural centre in Karlsruhe. Jan works for them sometimes, sorting out their computer problems, and so he has a key.
Thanks to everyone for the good wishes! I am starting to get settled in a little, but, as the title suggests, am almost entirely furnitureless. Actually, the bedroom is beginning to take shape. I have a bed, small chect of drawers, bookcase and have even hung up my dreamcatcher. I also have a fridge – not in the bedroom obviously. In the kitchen. The kitchen is far from sorted though. Most of my food is currently living on the bookcase, with the bigger stuff in a cardboard box next to the fridge. The kitchen is seriously lacking in storage space! So after next payday I shall have to do something about that.
And as for the living room… all I have in there is two beanbag style cushions to sit on. That is it. No sofa, no table, no shelves… not even a simple footstool. Instead the floor is littered with boxes and bags that are yet to be unpacked. I think I shall be ignoring that room for a while…
I got my very first item of mail at the new flat today! The lovely Katyboo, whose blog you should really read, sent me a housewarming present. A book (The Timewaster Letters) which looks excellent, a very pretty little makeup bag and the cutest little card ever. As soon as I am in a position to put photos on my blog again i shall take one and show you all. Thank you millions Katy!
Must go now – I worked til 6pm today and have to be back at work at 8am tomorrow in order to be allowed to go to my appointment at the bank on Thursday….