Photo an hour: 19 November 2016

A slightly abbreviated photo an hour this time as I only took photos until 5 p.m.! We were at Jan’s mum’s birthday celebration for most of the day so at least there was something to photograph…

9 a.m. Reading while I wait for the shower to be free.

10 a.m. Getting ready to go. Do I have everything I need?

11 a.m. In the car. Snapshot of the view while moving.

12 noon. Almost time for the buffet. We were sitting in front of dessert so I took a photo of it.

Bonus noon photo! Inserting this to preserve symmetry later. My plate of food.

1 p.m. After the food, they brought out coffee.

2 p.m. The celebration took place in the cafeteria at Jan’s mum’s workplace, and after brunch we were given a tour. The photo was taken froom the roof terrace – pretty autumn colours!

3 p.m. When we got back to the cafeteria, cakes had appeared.

4 p.m. It took me another hour to actually fetch myself a piece of cake.

5 p.m. Admiring the table of gifts.

We arrived back at Jan’s dad’s house (where we were staying) at 5:55 p.m. so my 6 p.m. photo should have been taken there, but it felt weird taking random photos of somebody else’s house so 5 p.m. ended up being my last photo. The rest of the evening was spent watching Jan sort something out on his dad’s partner’s computer, eating more food (buffet leftovers that we had taken along) and drinking a beer.

How was your Saturday?

Stitching for boys

I find it incredibly difficult to stitch for the little boys in my life, mostly because my stitching magazines tend to feature cute, anthropomorphic animals, flowers and things that are generally more often associated with girls. (Yes, I am aware that boys can like cute things and flowers just as girls can be into superheroes, cars and dinosaurs, but quite frankly most of my friends’ children are boys and they are into stereotypically boyish things, while the one little girl I stitch for is perfectly happy with fairies and cute critters. I’m not about to make something up just to prove how open-minded I am am!).

Occasionally, a cross stitch magazine does include a “stitching for boys theme”, but they’re few and far between. So when I ordered a cross stitch book entitled “Babies & Children” I was over the moon to discover it contained entire pages of dinosaurs, rockets and planes. Between that and my magazines, I was able to stitch up quite the collection for all the boys’ birthdays I needed to cater for within a 27 day period in August and September! (All my friends’ little boys seem to have their birthdays close together as well…). Here are some of the boyish birthday cards I stitched up this year.

If you took part in this year’s guess the cross stitch game, you should recognise the dragon.

Which of these is your favourite? What would you stitch for a little boy? Give me some new ideas for the next set of birthdays!

Friday letters

I meant to post more this week – and also actually respond to my comments – but then work got busy and I was tired. Blah, excuses. Anyway, I thought I would at least pop in briefly to write some Friday letters.

Mail box

Dear weather. So I see you decided to give up on summer right before the weekend. How kind of you! (Me, sarcastic? Nevah!)

Dear whatever bit my little toe in the night. My toe? Seriously? Now wearing shoes makes it itchy and swell up. And I can’t exactly walk around in sandals right now (see previous letter). I guess leaving the hose is not in my immediate future…

Dear godson. I hope you had a wonderful 4th(!!) birthday. Sorry your gift was late!

Dear sister. Congratulations on your engagement! We will celebrate when I see you next.

Dear weekend. You’re almost here! I can’t wait to catch up on some sleep after getting next to none last weekend!

That’s all for now. The church bells just told me it’s 1 p.m. and therefore time to get back to work… 4 hours to go!

Friday letters

Is there any point in doing a Friday letters post when I just did a catch up post for the entire month of August yesterday? Could I possibly have anything left in my life to write letters to? Well, yes I could actually! Here they are:

Basel-postbox

Dear Switzerland. On Tuesday, I saw Lebkuchen in my local supermarket. On Tuesday it was still August! I know I’ve been stitching Christmas designs, but that’s no excuse for you to get the Christmas biscuits out. Just no, okay?

Dear little brother. I hope you had a fantastic 10th birthday yesterday. (Also, how is it you’re in double figures now?! Aargh, I feel old!)

Dear weather. If you could just stay like this for a week or two that would be fine. Warm but not OMG I’m actually going to die at any minute hot works just fine for me.

Dear autumn. I don’t need you short, miserable days and rain yet, but I am excited about all the autumn products that are starting to appear in the supermarkets. The return of pumpkin season? YES PLEASE!

Dear pumpkins. Speaking of your arrival in shops, why must you be so hard to cut? I would eat you every single day if only you weren’t so much work to prepare!

See, I told you I still had stuff to say? That’s enough for now though. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Recent doings #9

Umm, I know I say this every month, but how is it time for another What’s New With You link up? It’s September guys! September!! We’re officially in the final quarter of 2016! Waaaahh!! Okay… and breath…

Here’s what I got up to in August:

What's New With You

Reading. Actually, I already told you what I read in August (see my reading challenge check ins here and here), but I’m including this category anyway to say that Brave New World marked my 100th book read from the BBC Big Read list. Sadly I had read most of those before starting my 35 before 35 challenge so I still have 98 books to read, but still!

Watching. Pete’s Dragon! Not the new film, sadly. I bought the 1970s version on DVD a while ago and we decided to watch it one night. It’s a lot cheesier than I remembered, but still good.

Listening to. Alice Isn’t Dead, a new(ish) podcast by one of the writer’s of Welcome to Night Vale. Jan doesn’t want me to continue with Night Vale without him – although he currently has no interest in actually continuing with it – so I started listening to Alice Isn’t Dead on the recommendation of my friend K (the same person who originally introduced me to Night Vale!) and now I love it! So that’s what I’m listening to while cross stitching these days.

Swimming. In the Rhine! We’ve been three times this year (it was mega hot last week) and so far I haven’t drowned. I feel a bit like I’m tempting fate😉 Everyone here swims in the Rhine and there are even special waterproof bags to put your clothes in called Wickelfisch (which means wrap fish or wind fish because you fold down or “wind” the edge seven times to close it). When they’re closed, they fill with air and you can use them to float down the river – although you do need to be able to swim as well to avoid obstacles and – most importantly – actually get out! Don’t go in the water if you need to rely on the bag to keep you afloat!

fishes
People (not me!) in the Rhine with their Wickelfische last year

Celebrating. My birthday! I am now 33, which means I officially only have 2 years to complete my 35 before 35 list. Gulp! K came down for my birthday and we spent the day in Germany before having cocktails in the evening then took our portable barbecue down to the river on the Sunday and had a barbecue with the two whole acquaintances (can’t even say friends yet!) I’ve managed to make in over a year in Basel. It was a pretty nice way to start my 33rd year.

Travelling. To Bad Säckingen on my birthday (see above!). We had a lovely day, but you’ll have to wait to read all about it… my travel posts are still stuck in June😉 I also went to Luxembourg for a wedding at the beginning of the month (should that also be under celebrating?)

Cross stitching. Birthday cards galore! Why do all the children I know seem to have birthdays in August and September? Also Christmas cards. I know, I know… in August! Please don’t hate me – it’s the only way I can actually get them all done in time!

Buying. Surprisingly only a few books this month. Actually what I’ve mostly been buying is birthday presents for the recipients of the aforementioned cards.

Failing. Miserably at adulting… specifically at maintaining standards of cleanliness. Let’s just say it involved hot weather and some organic waste that I failed to take away in time. Trust me, you do not want any more details than that… (I am a disgusting person and to prove that I haven’t learned my lesson, yesterday I had to deal with a potato that had rotted in the potato container. Oh well, it’s not like I actually wanted to eat lunch or anything…)

Aaaand on that note I shall leave you. I can’t think of anything special I ate or drank in August. What have you been doing lately?

Check out the link up to see what everyone else did in August.

A labour of love

As you may or may not remember, I went to England at the beginning of January. The reason for the trip was my sister’s 30th birthday! It’s not every day your younger sister turns 30, so I decided to give her a special gift. I had a photo of her dog as a puppy converted to a cross stitch pattern and then stitched it for her. I started it last June and finished it literally on her birthday, 7th January 2016! Stupidly, I forgot to take a photo of the finished article, so I only have one of my sister and her boyfriend holding it after I gave it to her. I’ve cropped the photo so you can’t see the people in it (which is a shame because the smiles of joy say it all!). So, I present to you, Loki:

puppy

This is the biggest project I’ve ever done (over 1000 stitches, mostly in shades of gray!) and I’m extremely proud of it. My sister’s reaction was exactly what I had hoped for – I actually have a video of her literally jumping up and down with joy!

By the way, the extra fifth hand holding the bottom corner is my brother’s… neither of them has an extra arm! (Pity… I’m sure we all wish we did at times!)

Friday (the 13th) letters

Good morning! Today is Friday the 13th, which is my favourite date! I’m not sure why – maybe because everyone else hates it? In fact, I was just lamenting to Jan last night that I won’t get to have a Friday the 13th birthday for aaaages! It should have been next year. but I am to be foiled by the stupid leap year. Gah! He then suggested that I could celebrate my 32-and-a-quarter birthday today😉 I wouldn’t though. Or would I…?

letters

Dear birds. We still haven’t bought you a feeder. I’m so sorry! But at least it’s currently still unusually warm and you are hopefully able to find food elsewhere.

Dear scales. Finally the number you’re showing me is lower! Not as low as I would like, but we can’t have everything. At least I’m now back below my highest ever weight!

Dear vegetables. Healthy eating would be so much easier if you were as addictive as cheese!

Dear readers. I’m sorry I’m making you wait so long for the reveal of my cross stitch guessing game. I didn’t expect it to take so long to finish!

Dear self. When the DHL man makes a comment that there’s “always something for you” it’s probably time to stop ordering random stuff from the Internet!

Dear Jan’s mum, my cousin and my first cousin once removed (that’s you, Anna!). Happy birthday to all of you for tomorrow! Apparently 14th November is a popular date to be born😉

Right, that’s all from me. I do actually have to work you know😉 Have a good Friday and a fabulous weekend!