… and it still isn’t Christmas

Does anyone else feel like “the season” has been going on forever? The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of buying and wrapping presents, trips to the post office (the last of my parcels to England finally went out last week), parties and Christmas markets. And in between all that I’ve had to do the assessment for my science course (a last minute job which I’m dreading getting the result for), work and keep on top the mundane every day things like cleaning the flat and making sure we have actual food to eat. The upside is that I now have lots to tell my blog. Unfortunately I still don’t have any time, so it’s going to have to be another boring bullet point list. Sorry about that…

  • I want to Mainz last Saturday with my ex-colleagues. I had never been to Mainz before. We went to the Christmas market, where the Glühwein was much cheaper than everywhere else I’ve been. Mainz is a bit of a strange town. It’s really pretty around the market square then you walk into the shopping street and it’s all horrible grey concrete buildings and huge glass monstrosities. The Christmas market was nice though.
  • It’s been snowing here on and off for the past few days. This is worth mentioning because it’s so unusual. Not that Karlsruhe never gets snow, but the little bit that does come is not usually this early. It’s also freezing. Yesterday it was -12°C! I had to go out in it to buy stuff for a Christmas party I hosted last night. It was so bad that I actually got on the tram to go one stop, which I usually think is a waste of time.
  • I had a progress meeting at work last week. There are a few things I’ve been asked to work on, but the verdict was generally positive (and no mention was made of my social skills… or lack thereof. There is something to be learned from this I’m sure…)
  • Last week we went to both my work Christmas meal (at an Italian restaurant) and Jan’s work Christmas party. Mine was more fun, although we missed the last train home and ended up having to wait until 1:06am for a train that would take us to Bruchsal, where we had to change onto an S-Bahn. I also had to work the next day. Tired is not the word…
  • I received a parcel last week, from the lovely Katyboo. It contained a Christmas card and a book – The Children of Green Knowe. Unexpected and very nice – I’ve been wanting to read that book for ages! 🙂
  • On Friday I went to the Christmas market in Mannheim with my colleagues. It was nice but so cold that we only stayed long enough to have something to eat and drink one Glühwein. I was back in Karlsruhe by 9pm!
  • Two more days at work then I’m off for Christmas. We’re staying in Germany this year (at Jan’s dad’s place) then going to Italy to visit his sister for New Year. Exciting stuff.

And now I have to go and do something about my flat, which is still suffering from the after effects of a Christmas party. It may take some time…


Organising my brain

There is so much going on this week and I have so many things to do and think about, both right now and over the next few months, that my brain feels as if it might explode. The only way to deal with this I feel is to misuse my blog to write a list of all the things that I keep forgetting then remembering again. Hopefully it will all seem much more manageable when I can see it all written down (or rather typed up).

  • Cleaning. My floor has to be cleaned this week. (Not floor as in thing you walk on but as in thing you live in, ie. in my case ground floor). I am unavailable on the 2 nights they’ve chosen for us all to do together (Tuesday and Wednesday) so I will be given an individual task. This must be completed before I fly to England on Friday. I would also like to sort out my room before I leave. Yet more cleaning.
  • Work Christmas meal. This is on Tuesday evening after work. We’re going to a hotel/restaurant in Ettlingen.
  • Spanish homework & Spanish course. My last Spanish lesson before Christmas is on Wednesday evening. Before that I have homework to do. Must not forget.
  • Job hunting. I still don’t know whether I’m going to have a job after January, and even if they do decide to keep me I’m not 100% sure yet whether I want to accept. Either way it would probably be a good idea to have another option open to me. Must update CV and send out job applications before going home for Christmas…
  • Flat hunting. I have decided I am definitely moving out in March whether I have a job or not. If I don’t have a job I won’t be able to afford the rent here anyway, so I’m either moving into a flat or moving to England. Hopefully I will have a job, which means I’ll be needing somewhere new to live. Only 3 months to go… definitely about time I started trying to find a flat!
  • Floor Christmas party. Taking place on Thursday. There will be food, Christmas biscuits and Feuerzangenbowle (sort of likeGlühwein (mulled wine), except after making up the wine they put it in a big pan, stick a cone of sugar over the top pf it on a metal thing, pour run over the sugar and set it on fire. The sugar/rum mixture then melts into the Glühwein. It’s pretty good and very, very strong!)
  • Buy last few Christmas presents. Nearly there. I only have 3 more to buy. Phew!
  • Finish wrapping Christmas presents… and then hope I can actually get them all in the suitcase without going over the weight limit
  • Write and send Christmas cards. Some of them have already been posted but I do still have one or two more to write. If any of you would like one I’ll be needing your address…
  • Pack. This will probably be done in a massive rush on Thursday night/Friday morning, after the Christmas party and before catching the train. I will most likely be shoving in last minute items as I’m rushing out of the door…
  • Sort out fridge. I’m going to be gone for almost three weeks! Better make sure there are no stray vegetables or out of date cartons of milk lurking around while I’m away…

OK, I think that’s it. The plan didn’t work though. I still think it’s going to be an exhausting week!
Oh well, only 4 more days then I’ll finally have some time to relax.