Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


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Why must everything be so complicated?

Once I move, I will no longer be able to have an account at my bank in Karlsruhe… because Germans are awkward and only allow you to bank at a specific branch. But I will still need a German bank account for my wages, so I decided to open one at the online bank where Jan has his account. I got all the forms, filled them in just fine and was ready to send them off… or at least I thought I was…

To send these forms, you have to use a procedure called “PostIdent”, which means you place the filled in form in an envelope then take it to the post office, give a separate little card to the post office employee and show your ID. The post office employee uses the extra form to confirm that you are who you say you are, sends your completed form plus the PostIdent thing to the bank and your account is set up. Easy! I had planned to do that tonight after work, but then I noticed the small print: “If using a passport for ID, you will also need to include a copy of your registration confirmation that’s no more than 6 months old”. So now I need to go to the citizen’s office (which is only open while I’m atwork!), pay 8 euros for a copy of the bit of paper that says I’m registered as living in Karlsruhe, put that in the envelope and then I can finally go to the post office and send off my form.

Could just one thing in this moving process not be complicated?!


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35 Before 35: Make cheesecake

A few weeks ago, somebody posted a recipe for Toblerone Cheesecake on Facebook. I love Toberlone and I love cheesecake, so I immediately made a note of it. Then, when I was looking for simple, quick recipes for our leaving party, my mind went back to that Facebook post. With only five ingredients (chocolate Digestives, butter, cream cheese, cream and, obviosuly, Toberlone) and no need for baking it was definitely both quick and easy! I used this recipe from the BBC Good Food website. The Philadelphia website also has one that’s basically the same, but of course they insist you use Philadelphia rather than any old cream cheese (as it happens, I did buy Philadelphia, but only because it was on offer!). Here’s my finished article:

Toblerone cheesecakeEveryone who tried a bit said it was delicious and I liked it so much I actually ended up having some for breakfast on Monday because I couldn’t possibly wait til I got home from work to taste it again ;-)

And that’s another item crossed off the 35 Before 35 list.


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A photo an hour: Saturday, 21 March 2015

I managed to quickly upload these photos last night before Jan took the computer apart so that I could spend my lunch break writing up Saturday’s photo an hour. The chosen date happened to be the day of our leaving party, so for once the photos aren’t just drinking tea, cross stitching and doing housework! However, I also forgot to take any more photos after the party started so the day ends at 9 p.m. ;-)

8:30 a.m. Faaar too early to be up on a Saturday, but I have loads to do. But first a cup of tea is needed! (Will there ever be a photo and hour day that doesn’t start with tea? I doubt it!)

9 a.m. (switching back to on the hour because I prefer it). Trying to find a recipe for the evening’s vegetarian option. It shall be curry, but which one?

10 a.m. Showered and dressed. How amazing are these tights?! I fully expected them to be ripped by the end of the evening, but they lived to see another wearing. Woo hoo!

11 a.m. Crushing biscuits, a.k.a wishing I owned a food processor!

12 noon. Melt chocolate, melt!

1 p.m. Taking a break from the kitchen to put together another box to be filled with things from the spare room.

2 p.m. Back to baking. Mixing flour and cocoa powder together.

3 p.m. The dairy-free chocolate and coconut cupcakes are out of the oven. Now they just need to cool so they can be frosted. Also, look at my fabulous new cupcake holders!

4 p.m. Switching to savoury food. Time to make cheese scones. (And immediately after taking that photo came the thought “Aaargh, it’s 4 p.m. and I haven’t even started peeling the potatoes for the curry yet!)

5 p.m. The potatoes are peeled and chopped, so I’ve decided to make a start on the chilli while I wait for Jan to return from the shops with the remaining curry ingredients.

6 p.m. Curry and chilli coming along nicely. (Please ignore the stack of dirty bowls in the background that I hadn’t got round to washing yet.)

7 p.m. First batch of sausage rolls done!

8 p.m. Moving things over to the table.

9 p.m. Finally everything’s ready (ages after our guests arrived)… let’s eat!

Aaaand that was it as far as photos are concerned. I didn’t get to bed until 3 a.m., but a photo an hour ended there. A very busy day, but the food was yummy! (I’m just glad the chosen date wasn’t the next day, otherwise this post would have consisted of 12 photos of half-packed boxes with different contents!)

You can see who else joined in this time on Jane’s and Louisa’s posts. Thanks for hosting, you two!


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Preparing to move: a photo post

I don’t really have time for blogging at the moment, but I felt the need to give a small sign of life, so here’s a quick dump of the photos I’ve taken recently. Some were taken on my tablet, so the quality is correspondingly not great.

Lunch on the train a few weeks ago on my way to yet more flat viewings. Totally healthy, right? ;-)

"lunch"

I’m trying to use up as much stuff as possible because the removals company said it can be difficult getting food into Switzerland. Here’s a cake I made for my colleagues in an attempt to get rid of some instant coffee.

cake

All our boxes need to be given a number and we need to provide detailed packing lists for customs (the joys of moving to a non-EU country!). Here’s a note I wrote to Jan the other morning. I wasn’t sure what number he’d got up to the night before and the file with the packing list is on his computer.

Packing note

Boxes, boxes everywhere! The current state of my living room (also apparently the white balance is off on the tablet? My living room isn’t actually blue!).

boxes

The removal men are coming on Tuesday morning, then I’ll be spending roughly a month living with next to no furniture and one of each kitchen item! The computer is leaving too, so other than at work I’ll only be able to access the Internet via our mini tablet, meaning my posting will probably continue to be erratic for a while! Then, as of May, you can expect plenty of pretty pictures of Switzerland :-)


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Lucky Friday the 13th…

WE HAVE A FLAT!!

We went to Basel yesterday afternoon and sign the contract… I didn’t want to mention anything beforehand in case I jinxed something. But we made it there, handed over 6,000 francs(!!!) in cash for the deposit and picked up the keys. It seems Friday the 13th is lucky for some. Afterwards, we had enough time before our train to briefly head over there and see if it was as nice as we remembered. It was. We have 2 bathrooms – one with a shower, one with a bath, both with a toilet. Two toilets! How convenient? There’s also a balcony and the kitchen comes fully equipped with a dishwasher. No wooden shutters, but you can’t have everything. Here’s a crappy photo of the doors leading to the balcony:

Balcony

Now we just have to sort out all the bureaucratic stuff… closing bank accounts, opening new ones, de-registering from German, getting residence permits for Switzerland…
And, of course, we have to pack. Not looking forward to that one! But we have a flat. Woo hoo!!


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Friday letter(s): For Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett booksDear Terry Pratchett,

I must have been about 14 when I first picked up one of your books. I’d read all my own books – most of them several times – and was bored. I don’t remember whether my dad suggested that I might like the Disc World novels or I just picked one up from the bookshelf downstairs myself, out of curiosity, but either way I was instantly hooked. Soon after, I got my own mini set with the first four books in the series. I still have those tiny books, somewhere (in England I suspect). I loved you so much that when my dad said he was getting tickets for a play of Guards! Guards! I jumped at the chance, even though going to the theatre as a teenager was “uncool”. I’ve even seen the cartoon version of Wyrd Sisters! (Anyone else?). Later, when I first got talking to my (now) boyfriend, Discworld was one of the things we discovered we had in common. My first gift to him was a copy of one of your novels (Carpe Juggulum, I believe), and to this day one of our favourite ways of spending time together is to read your novels allowed to each other. So it was fitting that he was the one to tell me the news. The text message consisted of just four words: “Terry Pratchett is dead,” followed by a sad face, and it was like a punch in the gut. Even knowing it had been coming (and let’s be honest, we all knew) didn’t make it any less of a shock. I immediately hit the Internet, hoping he had made a mistake. The first result I was confronted with was your Wikipedia page with the words “Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of fantasy novels…” Was! Those Wikipedia editors are quick! Two results down was the BBC News article. Not long after that, the tributes started to flood my Facebook and Twitter. It was true; another legend had gone from us.

Sir Terry, ever since that first day, your books have been the ones I would turn to when nothing else would do. No matter what mood I was in, even if I was feeling too restless, down or just plain lonely to concentrate on any other book, the Discworld would always suck me in. I laughed, I cried and I learned so much about human nature and about our very own round world. Sam Vimes, The Librarian, the Nac Mac Feegle, Esme Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Death of Rats and, of course, DEATH himself remain among my favourite characters in literature. And as the granddaughter of somebody who has been diagnosed with dementia, I was awed by your response to your own “embuggerance”. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself, you chose to fight, to raise awareness and, above all, you handled everything with humour and humility. Any bitterness you may have felt certainly didn’t show. For that, if nothing else, you were a true inspiration.

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…” – and I expect it will be a very long time before your ripples die away.

Farewell, Sir Terry Pratchett and thank you for everything!


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The best laid plans…

At risk of boring you all to death, here are my plans for combining work and flat hunting this week, at least until we (hopefully!) get offered one of the places we’ve already looked at. Jan is in Munich for work, so I have to do it all on my own.

Monday: Start work at 7:30 (this didn’t happen… I got caught chatting to a colleague and it was 8 am by the time I actually started working – so I’ll have to have an extra short lunch break instead). Leave work at 4, catch a train to Basel (pray for no delays!) and view a flat at 7 p.m. Arrive back in Karlsruhe at 10 p.m.

Tuesday: Start work at 8:30 a.m. (normal time), work til 6 p.m., then go straight to pub quiz from work.

Wednesday: Work from home from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Afternoon off! Take train to Basel and view two flats in two different small towns just outside the city (one at 3 p.m., one at 5:30 p.m.). Possibly view a third flat in yet another small town between 6:30 and 7 p.m., if the person gets back to me.

Thursday: Work from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. I have no evening plans, so I’ll either work some more from home later or finally get round to doing the dishes that will have been waiting for me since Sunday!

Friday: (Current plan) Work from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (First normal working day of the week!). However, if somebody offers me an appointment after 6 p.m. on Friday, I’ll be doing the same as Monday – start work at 7:30 a.m., leave at 4 p.m. and catch a train to Basel.

As of now, I have no appointments for the weekend, but this may change if I find the time to phone people or if anyone else responds to my emails.

Things I will not be doing this week: eating, sleeping, finding time to breathe!

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