Cocktails!

Last night, I met up with my friend K for food followed by cocktails. We decided to eat at Litfaß, which I like because it’s fairly cheap and does huge portions. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to finish my meal there!

The Litfaß sign... this is an old photophoto not taken last night
The Litfaß sign… photo not taken last night

After eating, we were going to head to a bar called Carlos for cocktails (I’d never been there), but it’s really small and turned out to be too full, so we moved on to Kap because I knew they do cocktails too. Jan joined us at around 10 o’clock and we finally left the bar at close to 3 a.m.!

I’d forgotten what it’s like to have a night out with a girl. Yes, I’ve been out with K before (Jan, K and I went to Freiburg Christmas market together, actually), but usually as part of a group and most times her (now ex-) girlfriend was there, too and I didn’t get to speak to K much. (Yes, I said ex-girlfriend. Yes, K is bi. Get over it already…).

Most of my friends here are male, and a lot of my friends back at uni were too. I seem to get on better with men… they’re less likely to get offended when I unthinkingly say the wrong thing, they don’t seem to mind when I go quiet because I’m feeling shy and don’t know what to say. Women tend to find me bitchy, weird or antisocial – and this is not me reading too much into things, but what people have actually told me. Men, for some reason, don’t – or maybe they do but just don’t care. So it’s been a while since I last went for drinks with a girl.

Another commentary on Friendship...
Friendship… (Photo credit: was_bedeutet_jemanden)

At the end of this conversation, K told me that she’s my friend. And I don’t think it was the cocktails talking ;-). Not bad for a random night out – yummy cocktails and a confirmed friend!

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By popular demand…

I don’t tend to post photos of myself (or other people for that matter) on my blog, but several people have asked to see my Halloween creations, and I am rather proud of what I came up with, so I thought I would make an exception. Here I am dressed as a bat, made using a broken umbrella, a black hat, cardboard and some black fabric.

(Yes, that is a Christmas card behind me. It’s Jan’s… from last year). I won’t post a photo of Jan, but I did take one of the scythe I made him for you. As I’m sure you’ve now guessed, he went as Death.

We spent most of the evening watching a friend’s band play in a local student bar (our friend is the keyboardist) before heading to the Irish pub at 1 a.m. for a few drinks. Amazingly, it was almost 4 when Jan and I got home! I’d been so tired all day that I hadn’t even expected to make it til midnight. Unsurprisingly, we had a lie in this morning. It was a good night though. Now to start planning my costume for next Halloween… (just kidding… I think ;-))

Little snippets

We have been doing stuff recently, but not enough to make up a whole blog post. Nevertheless, I promised to post more this year, so here are some little snippets from my life for you.

First of all, to the person who found my blog yesterday by searching for the term “German shopping blog”… sorry, but you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. Can you imagine anything further removed from my ramblings than a shopping blog? 😀 And now to the snippets…

Yesterday we came third in the pub quiz. At the last one, three weeks ago, we were first. Go us! The team that usually come first did really badly last time and left before the results were announced, knowing they weren’t getting a prize anyway. Talk about sore losers! This time they came second and didn’t seem happy about it at all. I would never have thought someone could pull such a long face after winning a round of drinks!

Jan’s dad turned 60 last Thursday, so at the weekend we headed up to Lower Saxony for his birthday party. It was a bit weird at first seeing as I barely knew anybody (only the 3 or 4 family members who were there), and Jan kept going off to talk to family friends he hadn’t seen in years, but I ended up having a great conversation with his dad’s neighbour, so that was nice. Also, Jan’s cousin brought her daughter along, who is almost one and who we had only seen in photos until now. She’s incredibly cute and was so well behaved! Even when she was getting tired there was no major tantrum – she just cried briefly, then as soon as she was in the sling on her mother’s front she went to sleep. If I ever have children, I hope they’re just as lovely.

At the end of April, Jan and I went to Ettlingen (next town over) to se some English folk music. A duo called Broom Bezzums was playing, who we had seen by complete coincidence in Ludwigshafen a couple of years ago. One of them is from the same area of England as I am, so it was nice to have a bit of a chat with him when he was signing my CD during the interval. They were followed by a second act – an Irish group called Beoga – who I didn’t enjoy as much (they were good musicians, but after a while everything started to sound the same), but we were only there for Broom Bezzums really so that was okay. The second act was just an added bonus.

On 1 May (which was a public holiday in Germany) I met up with some colleagues to go to a performance by the University of Mannheim’s English Theatre. They put on Black Comedy, which was hilarious and very well acted (in my opinion). We also went to Heidelberg to see the King’s Singers in April  (apparantly the best A Capella choir in the world – says the boyfriend who is into that kind of thing and who I bought the tickets for as an anniversary present) so I’ve been very cultural recently. And I bet you’re all really impressed 😉

And just generally, life is good at the moment. Jan and I are getting on really well and have been enjoying spending time together just doing nothing (almost unheard of for Jan – he usually wants to watch a film, play Scrabble, read a book… anything but just sit and have a cup of tea and not have to be involved in any other activity). And I’ve been able to (almost) stop worrying about doing/saying the wrong thing and causing an argument. Strangely, knowing that our relationship could be over by January has made me less afraid that it could end suddenly the minute I do something Jan doesn’t like. I’m sure a psychologist would be able to give me a really good explanation for that, but honestly I’d prefer not to go there. I’m just enjoying being happy while it lasts.

Alright winter, you’ve made your point!

I am sooo sick of being cold!

09 04 03
Photo credit: mattjiggins

In English (or at least in the UK) we have a saying – more like a proverb – “April showers bring May flowers”. The German equivalent is “Der April macht was er will” – April does what it wants (April is pronounced A-prill with an A like in the word “alphabet” and to rhyme with will). I’m starting to think the German version is more accurate. This April certainly has no intention of sticking with one kind of weather! We’ve had dark, threatening clouds, we’ve had fog, we’ve had lots and lots of rain, we’ve had a tiny bit of sun peering from behind the clouds (mostly while I was at work), but what we’ve mostly had is cold. Today the temperature got up to a whole 10°C (Google tells me that’s 50°F, non-European readers), but mostly it’s been somewhere between 5 and 8°C. I’ve had to get my winter coat back out and have been wearing a scarf in bed (oh… I forgot to mention that I’ve had my hair cut and my neck now feels incredibly exposed…. and cold!). Did someone forget to tell the universe that it’s actually spring now? You had your chance winter… April is not your month!

On a brighter note, my team came first in the slightly-delayed-due-to-Easter pub quiz last week. The next one is on 8 May when we shall have a title to defend! We then went out on Friday night to watch our quiz master’s band perform, and got in free in exchange for doing the door for them (taking people’s money) as the person that usually does it couldn’t this time. All together now: “It’s not what you know…”.

Also, Newcastle United are currently fourth in the Premier League and it’s looking more and more likely that they’ll be coming to Europe next year, either in the Europa League (which I only recently found out is what they’re calling the UEFA Cup these days) or the Champions League. Jan and I are actually kind of hoping they end up with an Europa League place, that Stuttgart get one too, and that they happen to play each other. In Stuttgart. So we can travel to Karlsruhe’s greatest rivals, wearing Newcastle shirts and cheer on my football team. Unlikely, but the fact that I can even dream about it shows how far the Toon has come this season.

Life is good. But it would be sooo much better with a bit of spring sunshine!

Plans and potatoes…

Despite all my promises to get back to regular blogging, once again it’s been over a week since my last post. That pesky little thing called life has reared up its ugly head and got in the way again! So what have I been doing that’s kept me so busy?

~ Learning Spanish! Jan and I started another Spanish course recently (our third), so now that’s where we go on Monday evenings. Each lesson is an hour and a half and let me tell you it’s hard work! Hopefully it will be worth it in the end though!

~ Socialising! Last Saturday a friend of Jan’s who moved to Frankfurt was back in town for the day, so we met up with him and went to Stadtfest. Then in the evning we met up with friends for “Dirty Old Town”, the annual event in which all the pubs in Karlsruhe’s old town have live music all night. And on Wednesday our favourite Irish pub celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary, so of course we had to be there.

~ Cooking Sunday dinner! The meat was fried pork steaks, so it wasn’t a real Sunday roast, but my roast potatoes were absolutely perfect. Crunchy on the outside and lovely and soft in the middle. Luckily I made extra so I get to enjoy them again for lunch tomorrow. Mmmm.

~ Making plans! We’ve decided to go to Edinburgh for new year as we only got such a short time there (one afternoon!) during our trip around Great Britain this summer. And since we’ll be heading to the island anyway, it makes sense to spend Christmas there as well this year. So we’ve been looking at flights, trains and B&Bs and have finally come to a decision. We’ll be staying at my dad’s for 9 whole days! My little brother won’t know what’s hit him – he’s never seen me for that many days in one go!

Nothing to say, but I’m saying it anyway

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!

Where did my week go?

I have been so, so tired all day. Mostly, I suspect, because we went out last night to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and didn’t get home til after midnight, but to be fair I was tired before I even left the flat last night so it wasn’t entirely my own fault…

But what I would really like to know is where on Earth this week has gone! It’s Thursday evening already. Tomorrow is Friday… the last working day of the week. Then it will be Saturday again. How? Why? Time seems to have sped up again and I don’t think I like it! Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m feeling guilty because I haven’t managed to write one word of my dissertation since Sunday.  I have around 1,300 words now but I need something like 15,000 and the deadline is drawing nearer. Eeek!
Also, you know things are bad when you end up eating instant pasta (just add hot water and stir!) with a pastry fork because you’ve run out of all other cutlery. There are only two of us living here (well, officially only one but Jan’s place really is just a storage area now)… how can all the forks and all the spoons be dirty? It’s a good job I actually bought pastry forks otherwise I would have had to resort to a teaspoon… or do some washing up. I think we all know which option I would have gone for…
Time to go to log off I think. My lovely, lovely bed is calling my name…