Let there be light!

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! 🙂

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Multi-tasking

I’ve managed to get quite a lot done today, most of it at the same time. Write some notes for my dissertation, wash the dishes, a few more notes for my dissertation, spray cleaning stuff on the shower, sweep the bedroom floor, back to the shower to rinse. Who knew I could be so productive?

Last night Jan and I went to see out with some friends to see a… well, not really a band. A choir really, I suppose. An A Capella choir. But instead of choir music they sing pop songs. Covers of pop songs, songs using the tunes of pop songs but with the lyrics changed. They were very good and very, very funny. Unfortunately, most of their stuff is in German, but there were a few English bits too. Anyway,  they’re called Füenf and you can find their website here in case you feel like checking them out.

I made cupcakes today as well. I even put little hearts on the top, in honour of Valentine’s Day. Jan and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day. It falls right after our “anniversary” (it still seems weird saying that when we’re not married), which is obviously way more important. And everyone knows Valentine’s Day is just a card manufaturers’ scam anyway. So we didn’t exchange any cards or gifts today. Instead, we took a break from our respective dissertations to eat cupcakes and drink coffee together. It’s always nice to spend time just being together, no matter what the occasion. But coffee and cake… I’m turning into a German! Oh well, happy Valentine’s Day anyway. Cupcake anyone?

That was the weekend that was…

Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last blog post. We celebrated six years of being together by going for a meal at an Italian restaurant close to my flat. It’s fairly new and we hadn’t been there before, but every time I’ve walked past it was packed. As it was again on Friday night. We arrived at just before 8 o’clock and were told they did have a table for 2 free, but only until 9pm! We had a lovely meal, complete with wine and actually were finished by 9… not bad! Will definitely be going there again, but perhaps with a reservation next time? After the meal we came home and watched the Goonies on DVD. I bought it for myself the other day as a treat, because it was cheap, and Jan had never seen it! Slowly, slowly I am filling in the gaps in his education… I’ve already introduced him to Edward Scissorhands and The Breakfast Club… and now The Goonies. I wonder what other classics he’s missed out on?

Yesterday we drove over towards the Pfälzerwald (Palatinate Forest) and went for a bit of a walk through the trees. There’s still deeo snow up there! Afterwards we drove into Landau, had a bit of a walk around then went to a wine tavern for something to eat. I had pike-perch fillet in a really nice sauce. And a glass of wine of course… what else should one drink in a wine tavern?
We had a lovely day, culminating in a talk about the possibility of actually getting a flat together… but more on that tomorrow, it’s such a mile stone that I think it deserves a whole blog post of it’s very own 🙂

Today I have mostly been working on my dissertation.. or at least attempting to. I have a grand total of 536 words so far, which I may or may not be able to use in the actual dissertation. *sigh* Can someone please remind me why I wanted to do a master’s?

Oh, and I’ve just heard (courtesy of my sister) that a friend of mine back in England has become a father today. He’s actually the son of a family friend and I’ve known hi since I was about 10 years old… rather strange thinking of him having a new born daughter! We are all growing up, alas…

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Six years

The boyfriend and I have been together for six years today.

We met in 2003, when I was in Germany for the year abroad that I had to do as part of my degree. At the time I was with someone else, but that ended in January of 2006. 10 days later, Jan and I got together. After six months, when we were just starting to get beyond that honeymoon stage and settle down into a “proper” relationship, I had to go back to England to finish my degree while Jan went off to America for a year. Neither of us was sure about the whole long distance thing, but neither of us wanted to end things either, so we agreed to try. I visited him once, for a week over new Year. Other than that we didn’t see each other for a whole year. And phone calls to America were expensive. Somehow we kept our relationship alive via texts, MSn messenger and the (very) occasional phone call. Then Jan came back to Germany to finish his degree and I moved to Vorarlberg in Austria to be a British Council language assistant. Closer, but still long distance. For 10 months, we survived on weekly phone calls and an average of one visit a month. Then, in November 2005, I received a letter from British Council telling me I could stay on as alanguage assistant for a second year. I decided to do it, but instead of sticking with the schools I was in I applied for a transfer to Germany. I put down Baden-Württemberg as my first choice, with a specific request for Karlsruhe in the comments section. In March 2006 I got the news that I had been assigned to Baden-Württemberg. In mid-June I had leftAustria and was  staying with Jan for a while when I was given the exact location of my school… a small village in Pfinztal. We looked it up on Google maps and found that it wasonly a 45 minute tram journey from Karlsruhe! the next step was to go and see the head of the student residence Jan was still living in at the time and ask whether I could have a room. Mr. Z asked me how much I would be earning, then told me he would arrange something. I was in! A few weeks later, I returned to England for a few months to see the family then, on 1st September 2006, I officially moved to Germany. No more long-distance relationship.
3 and a bit years later, here we are, still together. And we’ve finally reached the point where I can say we’ve been in the same country for longer than we spent apart. I know I wouldn’t have been able to put up with me for six years, even if two of them were long distance, so I’ve no idea how Jan does it. But I’m very glad he does.

Happy six years sweetheart! ♥

I wish it were simple but we give up easily*

long-distance-relationshipJan and I will have been together six years next month. Six whole years! I was practically still a kid when we got together. In those six years we’ve gone from being “in a relationship” to “in a long distance relationship” and then back to where we started. While every other relationship I was aware of has either moved on or ended we seem to have come to a complete standstill. Of course there have been changes in both of our lives, but they seem to have only happened to us as individuals, at different times as if we were two entirely separate entities who just happen to know one another (well, obviously we are two separate entities but you’d think there would be some mutual stuff in a relationship as well, right?)

So while all my friends are moving in together, buying houses, getting engaged, exchanging vows and having babies the two of us have moved out of our student residence and got our first flats separately, attended engagement parties and weddings as “boyfriend and girlfriend” (in what seems to me is the same sense of boyfriend and girlfriend that is uttered by 15 year olds) and bought dozens of gifts for other people’s children.

It’s not like I even want to get married and have babies at this stage in my life. I don’t even particularly want to get engaged yet. But it would be nice to feel like some day it might be my turn. What I would like is for us to get a flat together. I mean, I adore my flat, it’s the first place I’ve ever lived that was truly mine and it really is a nice place but only being able to have my boyfriend with my for some of the time… well, it gets a little lonely sometimes. I want to be able to wake up beside him every day (not just when he happens to be staying at mine). I want to know I’ll see him in the evening without having to ask. I want a bed that’s not mine, but ours. Is that really too much to ask?

quarto-desarrumado
Would he want to live with me if I cleaned up more often? (Photo: nanquimvirtual)

Sometimes I’ll find myself trying to work out reasons why he might not want to live with me, despite the fact that he tells me he dosn’t even know why. But it’s as if I need to have a cause so I can start trying to fix it. A while ago I got the idea into my head that once I had a proper job he would want to stay with me. Except then I found a proper job, moved into a flat (by myself), lost my proper job again and found a new one… and I’m still living alone. Now I occasionally think that maybe once I’ve got through my probation period things might start to happen. Then there was the time that I decided I needed to give him a reason to come home to me every night, so I started making sure tea was ready when he came home and he always had something clean to wear. He tells me he likes cooking with me though, so I guess that one’s backfired. A recurring theme (and something that I guess is always is that back of my mind) is thinking that he doesn’t want to live with me because he’s seen the state that my flat gets into, so every few months I’ll make a vow to myself to keep on top of the housework. Unfortunately, as I keep telling you (I am the proverbial stuck record!) my housewifely skills leave much to be desired. So I’ll clean and tidy the entire flat once and manage to wash the dishes immediately after we eat for maybe three days in a row, but then I get bored and the thought of the dishes waiting for me in the kitchen just makes me want to cry, and so I stop and once again Jan has to come home to a messy kitchen once again.

In my more logical moments I realise that whether he wants to live with me or not doesn’t depend on my job or my cooking or how tidy I am, but my logical moments are few and far between. Before long the crazy catches up with me again and I start obsessively cleaning the kitchen and dreaming up new and interesting dishes to win over my man’s heart (because we all know the way to that is through the stomach). And so it goes on, over and over again.

Sigh I know nobody said relationships were easy, but I wish someone had warned me it would be this hard…

*Title blatantly stolen from the song The Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall

Resolution Recap

It’s almost June already. How the heck did that happen? Surely it was only just January?
Anyway… since we are now nearing the sixth month of the year I thought it would be a good idea to dig out my new year’s resolutions and let you all know how I’m doing with them. Goodness knows why I though this was a good idea… perhaps I just like torturing myself?

Soo, resolution number 1 was to try and improve my relationship… to be a better girlfriend and try to make my boyfriend happy (God, remind me why I chose to make the hardest one number one?). I also said that I was going to give it a year, and if my relationship still wasn’t going anywhere I would leave – walk away and let Jan figure out exactly what it is he wants. Much as I would hate to do that, at the time it seemed like the most sensible solution.
Well… if this were a school report the verdict on that one would be “could try harder”. I have managed to be a little nicer… at least intermittently. And as long as I have access to the internet we seem to be arguing less. We’ve also managed to have the occasional talk about things without Jan either going silent or changing the subject and me either crying or shouting, neither of which has the desired effect. OK, so we’ve only managed that about twice, but that’s still two more times than zero. And I still have the rest of the year to work on this…

Number 2 was to become better at work. This mostly involved becoming more emotionally intelligent, less socially incompetent and a good project manager.
The least said on this one the better (mostly because I don’t like to say too much about work on here just in case). I do still have a job though, which is something. And I seem to have got better at pretending not to be utterly terrified when phoning customers. Now I suppose I just have to work on not being utterly terrified.

Number 3. Stop procrastinating. Don’t leave university assignments til the last minute. Actually do the reading that’s set for each week.
I have now actually handed in the assignments for my last two modules, so this one isn’t relevant any more (unless I fail text lingusitics, in which case it will become horribly relevant again soon). But with those two assignments I did exactly what I told myself I wasn’t going to do… left them til the last minute, rushed to buy some books in a complete panic and just about managed to get them finished in time for the hand in date. I think we can write that one off as a big fat FAIL! And next year is thesis time. I already have my suspicions about how that’s going to turn out…

The fourth and final resolution was to get out more and meet up with actual rela live people instead of socialising entirely through my blog and facebook.
I don’t think I really need to tell you how this one is going. I mean, you lot read my blog, right? How many times have you seen me mention a night out or a meeting with friends? My point exactly… (Although I did meet up with a friend on Friday night. She moved to the Netherlands 5 months ago and I hadn’t seen her since so of course I made the effort. And I went to the Maifest at my old student residence. But other than that not much socialising going on over here… especially since my flat became connected to the internet).

Well, that’s the lot. Now you tell me how you’ve been getting on with your resolutions. Only if you’ve failed miserably though… you wouldn’t want to depress me now, would you? 😉

Other people’s children

After yesterday’s epically long blog post (sorry about that!) I shall try to make this one a little shorter…

So, I went into the kitchen yesterday to make a cup of tea and ended up staying there for over an hour.  Two people who used to live here were there with their 4 month old daughter. The baby was asleep when I came in, but after a while she woke up and I got to meet her.
It was great to see the three of them. C&K seem really happy and the baby is gorgeous – she has the most beautiful blue eyes (I know babies are born with blue eyes but I think hers will stay blue now). I’m really pleased for them – but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel just a teeny bit jealous. Not that I want a baby now, or even any time soon (oh God, please no! I will murder anyone that even suggests it (watch out Grandma!)). But… I do want children at some point, and preferably while I’m still young enough to enjoy them (and while my remaining Grandparents are still alive – my dad’s mum is desperate to be a Great-Grandma. Desperate I tell you!) I also want to a) move in with someone, b) get engaged and c) get married at some point in the future. But right now I honestly can’t see any of those things happening. I have a boyfriend who would rather live with someone he was never even all that friendly with (they are part of the same circle of friends but what they had before getting a flat together was more of a business relationship) because “he doesn’t know what he wants”. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but surely if he doesn’t know what he wants then what he has can’t be it. Because once you’ve found what you want you know it. And I know I’m difficult (I sure as hell wouldn’t want to put up with me!), but I do try. And I love him. Surely that must count for something? So yeah, I promised to try for another year (Remember my resolutions?). And after that? Who knows. Maybe it’s about time I started getting over my hatred of cats…

I also went out yesterday afternoon and bought a birthday card for my friend’s son who is one soon. Then I came home and wrapped up the presents I’ve bought for him, ready to send them to England next week. Yup, yesterday really was all about other people’s children.

Oh yes, and I bought myself a Valentine’s present yesterday as well. See, I’m perfectly capable of celebrating love day all on my own 😉