Freezing February

Just as we finally made it to the end of January, the horrible grey month after Christmas when all the pretty lights have gone and there seems to be nothing left to look forward to, a cold front from Siberia decided to move across Germany. Things should have been starting to look up this week. I was looking forward to longer days (perhaps actually seeing the light), mildish weather and maybe a few snowsrops here and there. Instead, it is freezing. And I mean that literally. Yesterday it was -7°C in the morning and minus 2 later on. Right now it’s -5°C, but the wind makes it feel even colder. My cheeks were numb this morning, and my hands felt cold despite my gloves. And the forecast says it could go down as far as -10°C tomorrow! I just hope my train to work isn’t delayed again! This weekend I think I shall be staying indoors with the heating on!!

No time for sniffles!

I’m currently drinking cold tea. That is tea that’s supposed to cure colds as opposed to tea which is no longer warm. Sometimes having one word for many things can be confusing!
After 3 very busy days off, ending with a lovely day out in Bad Wimpfen (pretty but seemingly underpopulated village about an hours drive from here) and at the Heilbronn Christmas market with Jan, I woke up at 6 this morning ready for work to find my throat was sore and my nose blocked. The latter was temporarily cured with a hit shower and menthol sweet, but that didn’t stop me from feeling like death warmed up all day. So now I am driking cold-curing tea and willing this illness to disappear as quickly as it came. I do not have time for illnesses! I have a Christmas dinner to cook on Saturday, and I will not cancel! After I paid 13 euros for it the turkey that is currently defrosting in my fridge must be eaten! And next week I have the final pub quiz of the year to go to, followed by a friend’s 30th birthday party at the weekend. And on 14 December its my work Christmas meal. No illnesses allowed! In just over 2 weeks I start my Christmas holidays, then I can get a cold if I really must. But until then Lemsip and strepsils are my friends!

Why don’t humans hibernate?

Some days I wish I was a hedgehog. Or a squirrel – with a nice bushy tail to wrap around myself while I curled up to sleep for the winter. I would sleep and sleep and sleep, only popping out occasionally for a bite to eat. Sounds wonderful!
Hibernation sounds like heaven right now. I am sooo tired. And the tiredness seems to be there, no matter how much sleep I get. Not that I’ve ben getting much sleep (usually six hours a night, seven if I’m lucky), but that’s normal. And usually I’m not this tired. I blame the weather! It’s dark when I get up (and when I leave the house) and dark again by home time. Currentlyit’s at least light when I get off my train in the morning, so I at least get to travel the last few metres to work in the light, but soon it will be dark then too. And it’s cold. So, so cold. Despite the fact that it isn’t officially winter until 22 December(!!) according to my calendar. Remind me why humans don’t hibernate…

At least it’s the weekend…

All week I’ve been wanting to write a nice, positive post to counteract the whines of the two previous ones, but then I came down with this horrible cold thing, which meant I left work early on Wednesday (to be fair I had nothing musch to do anyway) and actually ended up calling in sick yesterday and spending the day in bed. Unheard of for me! The last time I was off work sick was at my previous job, and then I was sent home because I was annoying everyone with my coughing! I stayed home again today as well. I was feeling somewhat better, but not enough to face the journey to work. Luckily we have the option to log on to the server remotely from home, so I sent an email saying I could work, but wasn’t feeling up to coming in. The offer was gratefully accepted… my colleague took yesterday off as well and called in sick again today. Since there are only two of us translating into English you can imagine the chaos that can cause both of us being ill can cause! Luckliy yesterday remained quiet, but the colleague who deals with order management was understandably relieved to have one of us at least able to do a little work from home today!

Jan has been wonderful through this! I was already feeling crappy on Tuesday (but still well enough to go to work) so he got out of bed while I was in the shower and made me an Erkältungstee! That’s tea that’s supposed to help with colds. (Cold tea would be the literal translation but that just sounds weird in English). Usually I have to wake him up to say goodbye when I leave, so him getting up at 6:30 a.m. just to make me a tea was quite frankly amazing! Even more so when he then did the same thing on Wednesday morning! Yes, I do realise how lucky I am (although reading back through my posts you’d probably be hard pushed to believe me). I seem to be on the road to recovery now. I feel less weak and my head’s stopped feeling like it’s been stuffed with cotton wool. Now if only my nose would stop alternating between running and being blocked and I could stop coughing for longer than 5 minutes at a time everything would be perfect! At least it’s the weekend. Two whole days to recover…
And now I’m off to make chilli con carne for tea. Hot food sounds like such a wonderful idea right now!

Bleurgh

Dear Throat,

Please do me a favour and stop hurting. And tell your friends the sneezes to stop lurking at the back of my nose waiting to come out as well. I don’t have time to be ill this week. I have deadlines you know. And we’re having a party to celebrate the boyfriend’s birthday on Saturday. There are going to be pancakes! I shall be most upset if you cause me to have to cancel pancakes! The party cannot be postponed as I have a seminar the following week.
I am now going to drink some Lemsip and get an incredibly early night. By the time I wake up in the morning I expect you to be at least almost gone, understood?

Yours, Beverley

Bleurgh

I’m completely confused by the new WordPress. They went and did things to it while I was away and now it takes me ages to figure out where the “New Post” button is. Humph.
In other news, we’ve been back from holiday exactly one week today and I’ve already managed to come down with a cold, or something. My throat is killing and I’m aching all over. I suspect it may have come from my colleague, who was off sick the last few days, meaning I got to do her work as well as my own. I’m now so behind that I’m going to have to do some translating today to catch up. I would have done it last night, but I was so tired that it wasn’t even an option. I was in bed by 10 (on a Friday night!), read my book for a bit then slept for about thirteen hours. Seriously! It was 5 past 12 when I woke up. Now half the day has been wasted and I haven’t done a scrap of work… or hoovered, done the shopping, put any washing. And I’m going out for a meal at six because one of my ex-colleagues (from when I did my interneship… seems so long ago now!) is leaving and wants to see everyone again before she goes. The benefits of the holiday have now officially been cancelled out…

I should be celebrating…

We have the contract! It’s here, sitting on top of Detolf, waiting for us to read through it, which will happen later this evening once Jan returns from playing football with his friends. We met at the flat to pick up the contracts, so I got to see it again. It’s still as nice as I remembered 🙂 Jan even admitted to me that he’s excited (I asked if I could have it in writing!) and of course I’m overjoyed. A flat with my boyfriend! An actual home together. I thought this day would never come. So it should have been a day of celebration. Instead I’m sitting here attempting to work on my dissertation while nursing a spectacularly awful cold. It started yesterday with a sore throat and a runny nose and today has progressed to constant sneezing, aches and pains, a head that feels like it’s full of wet cotton wool and a nose that’s sometimes blocked, sometimes running. Not that it matters which version it chooses – either way I can’t breathe properly! Oh, and I’m also freezing despite the fact that it’s quite warm today. But apart from that I feel fine.
I need to get better by Monday. My colleague is off next week, which leaves me as the sole English translator, and there’s lots of work to be done. Anyone know any quick fixes for a cold? And please don’t say sleep… dissertation, remember?

Frog’s legs, football and snow all in one week

You know it’s been too long since your last post when you go to WordPress only to find you’ve been logged out! (I have mine set up to keep me logged in).
In my defence though it has been a busy, busy week.

On Monday it was Jan’s birthday. He turned 30 (causing a friend of mine to say “Wow, you have an old boyfriend” when I told her. She thought he was only a year or two older than me, not 3 and a half). Thirty being a special birthday I obviously wasn’t going to let him ignore it – like he has pretty much every year since I met him! So I started asking him what he wanted to do at the end of January, and finally managed to persuade him to let me take him out for a meal. We went to a slightly more expensive than usual restaurant which we had both seen from the outside but never been in. Actually, the prices were slightly better than I thought they would be, but the total still ended up being over €100. That did include an apertif each, a bottle of wine, starter, soup, two main courses and a dessert though, so not too bad. And we tried frog’s legs. In case you were wondering no, they don’t taste like chicken! They were nice and I wouldn’t object to eating them again but it’s not something I need to do every day.
Jan has decided he’ll be having a proper party once the two of us have found a flat, so there’s still that to look forward to as well. (We are officially looking now… exciting, yes?)

On Tuesday I went out for dinner with a friend. I hadn’t seen her since before Christmas and it was sooo good to meet up. This time we went for a slightly cheaper option – a bar/restaurant type place that mostly students go to. I think it was the first place I ever went for a drink in Karlsruhe, way back in my Erasmus days. That was the same year I met my friend, so we spent some time talking about homw time has flown since then… my year abroad was 2003/2004 and now we’re three months into 2010. Unbelievable!

Wednesday was the day of the long awaited Germany-Argentina match and I was right there in the stadium! A friend of Jan’s got tickets ages ago, and since I had 2 days holiday from last year that had to be taken before the end of March I decided I would go along. Some things just have to be done at least once in a life time. The match was in Munich, so Jan hired a car and we left the house at 7:30 am to drive down there. I still can’t believe I was up that early on my day off! It took us until nearly 12pm to get to Munich (damn traffic! Damn roadworks!) so the first thing we did was go and get something to eat. I had the biggest burger I’ve ever seen! That alone would have been enough for me, but it came served with homemade potato wedges (with the skin left on. Mmmm) and salad. The best thing about it though was that the gherkins and tomatoes had been left on the side of the plate, so I didn’t have to pick them out before I could start eating. It also came with three types of sauce – ketchup, mayonaise and something that may have been mustard (I didn’t try it) all of which came in proper little jars. Excellent! We then went for a wander around town, did a bit of shopping (I got a new coat) took some photos and finally headed for the stadium. Those who watched the match on TV thought it was boring and that Germany were week, but from where I was sitting it was pretty good. Germany at least seemed to try for once (number 24 played excellently!) and I enjoyed myself, despite freezing to death the whole way throguh – the Allianz Arena is completely open and unheatable! Germany lost 1-0, which is a shame, but the goal was so pathetic that they almost deserved it. We left Munich after the match and drove back to Karlsruhe, finally arriving at just after 3 am. I’m very glad I didn’t have to work on Thursday!

Last night we were invitied to a friend’s place for a DVD evening, to celebrate Jan’s birthday. We watched Office Space, which is funny if a little strange in places. By the time we left (at just after 2am) it had started to snow. Not the nice kind of snow either, horrible little flakes that are basically just freezing rain… and all blown about by a nasty cold wind. We missed the tram as well, but luckily our friend has a car so he gave us a lift home. We went straight to bed when we got in, then woke up this morning to find it was still snowing (at least I did, it’s now 1:20 pm and Jan’s still in bed!). Snow in March is unheard of for Karlsruhe, and it’s meant to continue for the rest of the weekend. And there was me thinking Spring was on its way.

That was my week. Very enjoyable, but now it’s time to get back to the boring stuff. Housework and my dissertation are calling…

Miscellany

The shopping is put away, tea is just about ready… all I need now is for the boyfriend to arrive so we can eat. In the meantime, I shall blog.

Things have been much better since the last time I blogged, thank goodness. Another day like Monday may just have driven me insane! I am very much looking forward to the weekend though, when I shall hopefully be buying my washing machine. (Yes, I did just say I was looking forward to buying a washing machine. My life is really is that exciting). If I can find one that’s cheap enough I may even see if I can pursuade Jan to take me to IKEA. I’ve been looking at their website and several things have caught my eye. Like this, and this. Can you tell I got paid yesterday?

Things had started to warm up a bit here last week, but now it’s gone cold again. It was -8°C here this morning! I had to wait 5 minutes for my tram to turn up and even in that short time I could feel my cheeks turning to ice. I’m just glad I don’t live in the north of Germany… up there -9 has been the highest temperature, with lows in the minus twenties. Brrr, just thinking about it makes me shiver!

Hmm, what else can I tell you? It’s my Grandma’s birthday today. The last of the (many!) January birthdays in my family. I hope her card got there on time… I’m not holding my breath though. Royal Mail have been annoying me lately… two things I sent my sister have not yet arrived (one of them was a Christmas card so you can imagine how long it’s been since I posted that) and my friend’s wedding present has only just arrived, 3 weeks after I sent it for the second time! The first time it came back to me over a month after I took it to the post office.  Not at all impressed! Oh, and I’ve also been invited to four hen parties today… all for the same person, and to a second one for someone who had already invited me to one of theirs. Is this he new thing now, having millions of hen nights? Any excuse for a party I suppose…

Right, I’m off to grate some cheese now. Hopefully Jan won’t take too much longer… lunch time was hours ago and my poor stomach is rumbling like mad!

OK, the season can start now (but not until I’ve had some sleep…)

It was my last day at work today. I’ve taken tomorrow off then we’re closed from Thursday until 4th January. Now the Christmas season is officially allowed to start (not that anybody actually listens to me or anything… as those who read my last post will know, the seasonal stuff has been going on for so long now I’m actually starting to wish it was all over!)

We’re travelling up to Jan’s parent’s place tomorrow, which means right now I should be sorting out the flat to prevent the leftover food and dirty dishes from going on a rampage while I’m gone and killing all the neighbours. In case you hadn’t guesed from the words “should be”, that is not in fact what I’m doing. Instead I’m sitting in front of the computer sulking because I’m cold and tired (I was up at 5:30 this morning!) and because Jan is coming back from Hamburg tonight (where work sent him at short notice on Friday and where he should have been back from yesterday!) and he has to go straight to his place to pack for going away tomorrow, so I won’t see him until we’re actually on the train which just isn’t faaair. I have bought and wrapped the very last of this year’s presents and managed to pack all my stuff though, so I’m not entirely useless.

Anyway, in case I don’t manage to blog again I shall take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010. I promise to be a better blogger next year. Love to you all. ♥