At the start of 2013, I wrote a month-by-month account of what I’d been doing the year before. It helped me remember that I had actually done a few interesting things in 2012 and made me really look forward to the year ahead. I enjoyed writing that post, so I’ve decided to do it again this year. Photos are being kept small to avoid an overload (and the crashing of slower computers… i.e. mine!).
Jan and I have a tradition of spending every New Year somewhere different, and in 2013 it was the turn of Luxembourg, so I saw in 2014 standing on a bridge over a giant gorge watching fireworks.
Later in the month, we took a trip to nearby Schwetzingen to see a talk about the making of marionettes. We had a brief look at the gardens, but it was cold so we decided against going for a walk. We’ll have to go back some day when there isn’t snow on the ground!
Not much else of note happened in January. I seem to recall spending most of it eating soup, drinking tea and trying my best to stay warm!
At the beginning of February, with my 30th birthday rapidly approaching, I came up with the idea of thinking of 35 things to do before I turn 35 and made a start on adding things to the list. On 5 February, Jan and I celebrated 9 years of being in a relationship. Considering my previous “longest relationship” lasted about six months, nine years seemed like quite an achievement! Shrove Tuesday also came around in February, so naturally pancakes had to be consumed. Yum yum!
At the end of the month, Jan went away with work… and came back minus his appendix! Not my favourite week of the year…
Jan’s birthday was in March, but he was still in Turkey so there was no celebrating. St Patrick’s Day was spent in the Irish Pub, of course. We all dressed in green and wore silly hats… and winter coats! Despite the fact that March is officially spring, it was still snowing as late as the 25th!
Easter arrived at the very end of the month, and Jan and I made use of the long weekend for a trip to Rastatt and the Schloss Favorite.
The first day of April was still the Easter weekend, so we took the opportunity for another day trip. This time the destination was Bad Dürkheim, home of the world’s largest wine barrel (which has never actually been used to store wine…).
While I was there, I also managed to cross something off my 35 before 35 list – play blacklight minigolf. And that was pretty much it for April…
May is one of my favourite months in Germany, purely because there are sooo many public holidays, starting with the Maifeiertag on the first of the month! This year, it was on a Wednesday so Jan and I took the Thursday and Friday off work and went to visit his dad for his birthday. Also in May was a trip to a wheelchair rugby Champion’s League match, which was happening in Karlsruhe.
The second of May’s public holidays was Pfingstmontag, aka Whit Monday. A long weekend… hurrah! Jan and I went to his colleague’s wedding celebration and I baked a cake for it. The following week, Jan and I went hiking in Baden-Baden and I discovered I can walk a lot further than I think I can!
June 2013 can basically be summed up in one word… Ireland! I had been to Dublin before and enjoyed it, but now I’m head over heels in love with the entire country. So green! Such friendly locals! And they do proper Sunday roasts just like back at home in England. Also, while I was away my blog turned five!
In July, I started to get serious about trying to lose weight (after going on about it since about February!) and began a new series on my blog– Weigh-in Wednesdays. Also in July, Jan and I visited Nagold, Rottweil and Horb am Neckar all on the same day, meaning I had now visited all the towns I needed to be able to complete my 30 German Towns Before 30 challenge… all that remained was writing up the last few in time for my birthday!
The rest of the month sped by, and before I knew it, it was time for me to visit England (Jan was supposed to come too, but he fell ill the day we were due to fly and ended up in hospital with some kind of “mystery virus”). I spent my time in the motherland becoming godmother to the most gorgeous little boy and celebrating my mam’s 50th birthday. On the way back, my connecting flight from Amsterdam was cancelled! I was able to transfer to a flight to Stuttgart, but unfortuately my luggage never made it on to the plane! Luckily the suitcase quickly turned up and was delivered to me at home two days later.
My birthday month!!! Cue major panicking. In the event, turning 30 wasn’t so bad… apart from the minor drunken meltdown after drinking lots of whiskey on the actual day. I didn’t mention it at the time (and wasn’t fully aware of it myself until a few weeks later), but that little episode almost cost me my relationship! Jan was definitely not a happy bunny. We’re all good again now though. When I wasn’t getting drunk and emotional, I celebrated my birthday with the Rocky Horror Show auf Deutsch and a birthday party (or “bee-day” party) that was made extra specially amazing by my wonderful friends and boyfriend (even when he was mad at me, he made sure my party was good!). At the end of the month, I decided to stop my weigh-in Wednesdays series at just above my goal weight.
The annual Bierbörse also came to Karlsruhe at the end of August.
September 2013 will forever by remembered as the month that I got my wisdom teeth out. But I did manage to make it to a wine festival in Bad Dürkheim before my diet was restricted to nothing but soup for days on end! Oh, and it turns out being practically incapable of eating was exactly what I needed to finally reach my goal weight. I wouldn’t recommend the wisdom teeth diet though (and I’ve since put half the weight back on. Sigh)! The rest of September went by in a blur of pain, dental appointments and work, leaving me with the feeling that I’d done nothing all month!
At the beginning of October, Jan and I went to Trier to meet a friend and go elephant hunting. A few weeks later, my favourite Irish pub celebrated its 5th birthday… on a Wednesday! Cue a night of drinking and live music followed by a day of feeling like a zombie at work after getting roughly three hours of sleep. That weekend brought sunshine with it, so Jan and I took advantage of one of the few nice autumn days and took a trip to Triberg im Schwarzwald – apparantly it was the month of visiting places beginning with Tri…
Near the end of the month, my maternal grandma ended up in hospital with pneumonia… and I only found out by chance via Facebook!
November started with a trip to the place I used to live in Austria. It turns out Feldkirch hasn’t changed much! I really enjoyed getting to spend a weekend away with my boyfriend and meeting my friends’ adorable baby boy! While we were away, we also stopped by Garmisch-Patenkirchen, Neuschwanstein Castle and Augsburg. Later in November, I went to a whiskey tasting at my local Irish pub – on the same day that I’d signed up to take a photo an hour with Jane of Is That You Darling. Anda few weeks later, I made blue cake with a Dr. Who theme for a friend’s birthday party. November was also the month that my grandpa (dad’s side of the family this time) went into hospital to have his right kidney removed after a cancerous tumour was found on it… and the month Jan left for South America for two weeks, leaving me all on my lonesome!
Since it currently still is December and I’m sure you can still remember what I’ve written about over the past few weeks, I won’t say too much here ;-) Basically, this month consisted of a lot of overtime, stressing over the buying of Christmas gifts and several trips to the post office to spend way more money than I had bargained for on sending parcels. I also visited the Mediaeval Christmas market in Durlach, and my boyfriend returned from South America. I also made my annual Christmas dinner for friends. Currently, I am in the UK celebrating Christmas with my family.
Overall, I don’t feel as positive after writing this post as I did at the end of 2012. Despite my trips to Berlin and Ireland, I don’t feel like I’ve travelled as much this year. Instead, 2013 basically seems to have been a whirlwind of work and illness… between Jan’s hospital stays, illnesses within my family and getting my wisdom teeth out, this hasn’t been the greatest year healthwise. And with all the extra hours I’ve been doing at work, it feels like there’s been very little play. Obviously the year hasn’t been all bad – my personal highlights being seeing Eddie Izzard, two weeks in Ireland, becoming a godmother, my birthday party and meeting my friends’ baby in Austria – but I have to admit I will be very glad to see the back of 2013! Jan and I are going to Madiera for New Year though, so hopefully the year will finish on a high note and January will herald the start of a much more nicer year!
*Please note: This is a scheduled post as I am still away for the holiday season. I will reply to comments as soon as possible*