Cross stitch woes and Friday letters

Hiiii!

Posting on my blog has been a bit sporadic recently. I do apologise! Cross stitching like mad was the main culprit. I really needed to get the finished article in the postbox before the first collection this morning to be in with even a slight chance of it being delivered on time (the wedding is tomorrow), but despite staying up until midnight last night, this is as far as I got:

Unfinished...
Unfinished…

I will still complete it tonight and get it sent off first thing tomorrow morning, but the earliest it will arrive now is Monday. Most disappointing! I suppose more cross stitching and less going to the Irish Pub for the Champion’s League final would have helped…

Anyway… it is Friday again, and that means it’s time for some letters.

Snail Mail Terminal
Snail Mail Terminal (Photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers)

Dear Dublin. This time next Friday I will be boarding a flight to you! So exciting.

Dear weather Gods. I very much appreciate you sending the sun out to play yesterday for the fourth (and final) holiday of May, but was it really necessary to follow up be chucking buckets of rain at us today? Sitting at work with wet legs was not fun!

Dear waist measurement. Why aren’t you getting any smaller? I know I haven’t exercised quite as much as I was intending to, but it’s definitely an improvement on before!

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for taking pity on me on Monday (when I ended up working for an extra hour and  half after arriving home) and suggesting we order pizza so I wouldn’t have to cook. Love you.

Dear self. Pizza (and brownies and other treats) are probably the explanation for the waist measurement thing. Just saying….

OK, that’s all. I need to go and have a cup of tea then decide what on Earth I’m going to cook tonight. Happy weekend folks!

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Friday letters time already?

Another week has gone by, already. Next time I write my Friday letters it will be May! Please could somebody make this year stop already?! I need some time to catch my breath! Ah well… on to the letters…

Rural Mailbox
Rural Mailbox (Photo credit: Big Grey Mare)

Dear Ireland. I’m coming to visit you in 42 days. That’s actually really close! Aaah, excitement!!

Dear fellow Ireland trippers. I hope we can agree on the return flight when we meet up tomorrow. I want to book!

Dear weather. Yesterday was bright sunshine and 28°C (too hot for April, in my opinion – what do you have in store for us in August?!)  Today we got rain, which forecasts say is going to continue all weekend. Thanks a lot!! I bet the sun comes out when I’m back at work on Monday…

Dear boyfriend. I feel like I’ve hardly seen you all week and this weekend is looking just as busy. I hope we can find at least an hour or two to spend together in between!

Dear belly. I have been good all week. Well… apart from the beers on Monday and Mexican meal on Wednesday, that is. BUT I’ve been exercising like mad. So why, after two whole weeks,  is my waist measurement exactly the same? No fair!!

Dear sleep. I miss you! I hope we can manage to catch up at some point this weekend… maybe on Sunday when I have a little more time?

OK, gotta go. The living room won’t tidy itself! Happy weekend everyone!

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Friday letters

Briefly interrupting my Berlin tales because it’s Friday again already, and that means it’s letters time!

English: Red Norwegian Letter Box
Red Norwegian Letter Box (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Berlin. I had a wonderful time visiting you. Shame it was so short. I promise to come back some day.

Dear self. Your holiday is over now, so it’s time to start exercising and eating healthily again. Don’t forget, in just over three months you’re going to have to stand at the front of a church!

Dear readers. No, the above letter wasn’t some weird way of subtly telling you I’m getting married (HA! The chances of that EVER happening are slim at best). Actually, I’m going to be a godmother, and I couldn’t be any more excited. It’s such an honour to be asked!

English: A Twix candy bar, broken in half.
Mmmm, Twix! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear muesli bar. At just 82 calories I am aware that you are much better for me than a bar of chocolate (246 calories for a 50g Twix!!), but why do you have to taste so awful?! Today I had an apple and pear one, which I managed to force down because it was my breakfast and I would be getting nothing else until lunch time, but it was not nice! All sweet and sticky and just ugh!

Dear Rach (aka The Pink Rachael – read her blog here). Thank you sooo much for my Easter bar of Cadbury’s chocolate! It was waiting for me when I came back from Berlin and has already been consumed. (Well, I had to get rid of it before returning to my healthy eating plan, right? ;-))

Dear boyfriend. Every time I think things are moving forward, we have another conversation like the one on Tuesday night and I’m back to feeling like nothing has changed. Admittedly whisky was involved on Tuesday, but why does it always have to feel like one step forward and two steps back?

Enough for today! If you feel like joining in, don’t forget to link back to The Sweet Season blog (click on the image below to go there)

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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Happenings

Okay, enough snow pictures! What else has been going in in the land of Confuzzledom?
Well, I bought these shoes:

Polka dot shoes

I spotted them through the doorway as I walked past H&M and I just had to go in and see if they were available in my size. They were – and they only cost €9.95! Bargain. And yes I am aware that some people will consider me the devil incarnate for shopping at H&M (think of the poor Chinese workers…), but I’m already boycotting Proctor and Gamble (which, by the way, means no Pringles for me, ever!!) and Lidl. A girl can’t give up everything you know… and especially not polka dot shoes! Unfortunately, so far I’ve only been able to wear them inside the flat. It’s too cold out for anything other than boots!

Hmm, what else?
I’ve been trying to incorporate exercise isn’t my daily routine, so that I can still work off my daily treats even when there’s no time for my exercise DVD. So whenever nobody else is in my office, I do some weight lifting with my water bottle (1.5 l of water isn’t exactly light!) or lift up each leg in turn and hold it straight for a few seconds. Then, at home, while waiting for water to heat for pasta or potatoes, I do star jumps*. I’m hoping this will at least slightly counteract my inability to walk past the Easter basket at work without taking just one or two tiny chocolate eggs…

stare
Stare (Photo credit: Hen3k Hen3k)

I heard a girl speaking English on the tram the other day and she had the exact same accent as my American friend. I kept looking at her thinking “You sound just like L… but you’re clearly not L!”. If you’re an American in Karlsruhe and you noticed someone staring at you on the tram towards Ettlingen, I swear I’m not a psycho!

Yesterday was the monthly “Stammtisch with my colleagues”. A Stammtisch can either mean your regular table at your local pub or a regular meetup for people with similar interests (such as an English Stammtisch for people who want a chance to speak English). In our case, the Stammtisch simply involves going for a meal with our colleagues and having a chance to chat outside of work. Former colleagues/interns, etc. are also invited, but don’t often show up. This month, the chosen meeting place was an Indian restaurant (there’s a vote), so I had a delicious curry for last night’s tea. The first few times one of us ordered something, the waiter would say in broken German “You can’t order that – it’s not real Indian food!”, then the person would change their mind. It was pretty funny (although I suspect you had to be there to think so). I actually managed to order something that he had no objections to first time round. Yay me!

That’s about it, I think. There haven’t really been any happenings around here lately. But tomorrow is the start of my four-day weekend, so hopefully I’ll have something to report after that.

*These appear to be called jumping jacks in American, as I learned a few months ago. When Jillian Michaels instructed us to do jumping jacks for the warm up circuit, I watched her demonstrate for a few seconds then, as realisation dawned, said “OH, star jumps!”. Out loud. To myself. I’d always wondered what a jumping jack was…

Let there be light

LightThe last few days, it’s actually been light outside when I left work. I’m not used to such luxuries. On Monday, I had to check the time to make sure I hadn’t inadvertently left an hour early. I hadn’t – it really was still light at 5 o’clock in the evening!

For the moment, it’s still dark when I wake up. Once the mornings start getting lighter, I will awaken in a panic the first few times, thinking I must have set my alarm to the wrong time or snoozed it once too often. I’ll soon get used to it though… at least until the clocks go forward, confuzzling me once again.

The lack of darkness was such a refreshing change that I haven’t been waiting for the bus in the evenings nights, choosing instead to walk from work to the train station. There’s something about actual sunlight that makes the idea of getting some exercise so much more appealing! (I doubt this will last…) Right now, it’s still cold outside but there’s something about actually being able to see my surroundings once in a while that makes me feel like spring might actually show its face this year after all.

It’s amazing what a bit of light can do!

Friday already! (Letters time)

Looking back on this week, it seems to have both flown by and dragged. It’s strange to think I’ve been back at work a whole week already and Christmas was nearly 3 weeks ago! It feels like I only got back from Luxembourg a couple of days ago. But, on the other hand, now that routine has set back in it’s as if I’d never been away from work. Monday and Tuesday sped by because I had plenty to do, then the stream of jobs slowed to a trickle and I spent lots of time wishing either a translation would come in or home time would finally arrive. But now it’s Friday, the end of my first week back at work, and time for another edition of Friday letters!

Letters
Letters (Photo credit: MadalenaPestana)

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for doing the dishes the other night so I could go to bed. You’re a star!

Dear Internet service provider. Putting someone on hold for 20 minutes only to then disconnect them rather than actually answering the call is not good customer service, okay!

Dear Karlsruhe train station. When you write on the board “This train is cancelled. Please listen for the announcements” it tends to help if you actually make announcements! Just saying…

Dear new dress. You look just as beautiful in real life as you did on the Internet. Can’t wait to wear you!

Cheddar cheeses
Cheddar cheeses (Photo credit: richard_north)

Dear self. If you really want to get rid of your trouble zones, doing one circuit on your exercise DVD one day a week is not going to be enough (even if it is the thighs one that makes you want to cry)! Be better next week. The alternative is giving up Cheddar cheese and I know you don’t want that…

Dear weather. Was it really necessary to bring back the cold just in time for the weekend? Me no likey!

That is all. Not much has been going on this week.

For more Friday letters, check out: http://www.thesweetseasonblog.com/2013/01/fridays-letters_11.html

Resolutions time

I am back in Karlsruhe, it’s 2013 and so it must be time to post my new year’s resolutions…

  1. Get back to doing my exercise DVD. What with illness then the stress of Christmas I’ve been neglecting it lately, and I can tell! I feel weak, sluggish and some of my clothes are getting tight. Must get my Jillian on again this year!
    Little N Large
    Little N Large (Photo: Will-Joel-Taylor)

     

  2. Keep on top of the housework better. I’m a firm believer that life is too short to spend it cleaning, but over the past few months the flat has looked bad even by my standards.
  3. Become a better translator. I want to improve my style this year and maybe get at least one or two translations back from the proofreader without any corrections or style suggestions. Maybe then I will also get to do some nice translations for a change, instead of always being responsible for the technical ones!
  4. Finish visiting 30 German towns before I turn 30 and blog about them. I believe I am up to 7 blogged about (although I have visited loads more!) so I have a lot of work ahead of me…
  5. Save up and do some OU courses. I have a whole list of short courses that sound interesting and this year I actually want to do a few.

That’s all. I think 5 is enough for one year!
Now that I’m back I’m going to atempt to visit all the blogs I read and see what I’ve been missing out on – providing this computer will let me! If you don’t get a comment from me it’s probably because Mr. Computer has taken a dislike to your blog and decided to freeze rather than actually loading it…

The “ultimate” game

I played frisbee this afternoon. No, not standing around in a circle throwing a plastic disc. Ultimate frisbee. Basically the aim is to get the frisbee from one end of the field to the other. The person with the frisbee isn’t allowed to move but has to look for a member of his team to pass to. Once the team have reached the other end of the field they need to catch the frisbee in the “end zone” to score a point. Obviously the other team aren’t just standing around while all this is happening. Their job is to try and get the frisbee back so that they can have a go at trying to score aa point. It’s a non-contact sport, so no taking the frisbee out of each other’s hands allowed, but they can try to catch it, knock it to the ground and just generally get in the way of the person trying to get the frisbee. So really you spend 90% of the game trying desperately to get free of your marker and only 10% catching and throwing the frisbee (which under official rules is called a disc by the way). We played for about an hour and a half. That’s a lot of running! Especially when you have a cold. I spent the first 15 minutes of the game barely able to breathe. Things got better later on though and I actually had fun. Despite the fact that I haven’t played for at least half a year I did reasonably well. My throwing wasn’t completely off, I managed a few good catches and unusually I was marking someone I could actually vaguely keep up with. Plus it gave me a chance to get some much needed exercise. I bet I’ll be aching all over tomorrow though. A long hot shower shall be in order tonight methinks.

And now I need to go and collect me tea from the oven. I’ve made a yummy looking potato bake with lots of grated cheese on top. After all, what’s the point of exercising if you’re not going to treat yourself to something nice and fattening afterwards? 😉

Things to do when you’re bored

My stats are telling me that those people that aren’t enquiring about Joachim Loew (please can someone explain to me what the obsession is?) mostly find my blog via Google searches for things like “I am bored”, “I’m getting bored” or “so bored now”. Unfortunately my blog isn’t very interesting, so all these poor bored Googlers probably went away feeling even worse than when they’d started. But just in case any of them does decide to stop for long enough to actually read something on my blog I thought I’d compile a list of things to do when you’re bored.

  1. Read a book. If you’re not normally much of a reader try getting hold of a book that a film you like was based on. The books are almost always as good if not better than the film. Stephen King’s The Green Mile for example is an excellent book, and one of the few I’ve read where the film actually stuck to the plot. If you’re female and enjoyed the film Beaches, see if you can get hold of the book by Iris Rainer Dart. Much, much, much better than the film.
  2. Go somewhere. If you have a bike go for ride, otherwise take a walk. Even in the smallest of villages there’s always somewhere you can walk. Take your mp3 player with you if you like and listen to your favourite music while breathing in the fresh air. Maybe you’ll find something else to do on your travels – a football game you can join in or a new shop to look in. You won’t be bored anymore and you’ll be getting some exercise. Double bonus!
  3. If you can afford it, try getting on the train or bus and going somewhere new for a day trip. You could even go by car if you have one. Take a trip to a nearby town that you’ve nevr been to before, take a look around and see what’s there. Or go to the zoo or sealife centre. Always fun, no matter what your age.
  4. Learn a new language. There are plenty of websites where you can learn the basics for free. To start you off here’s the URL for the BBC languages website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/
    If you don’t feel like learning one language properly try learning four words in a few languages: Hello, goodbye, please, thank you. Brilliant for impressing the locals on your next holiday! They’ll be so much more friendly if you can thank them in their own language…
  5. If you’re not interested languages there are plenty of other skills out there waiting for you to discover them. You could learn to knit, or the art of paper folding or even teach yourself to play an instrument. The possibilities are endless.
  6. Start a blog. Write about whatever comes into your head. Before you know it loads of time will have passed.
  7. Bake a cake. Always fun, and you get to eat it afterwards. The only part that isn’t so fun is cleaning up the mess you make…
  8. Write a letter. It’s all about e-mails these days and hardly anyone sends proper post anymore. Sending snail mail is guaranteed to brighten up someone’s day as well as making you feel less bored.
  9. Play a game. A board game or a card game. Get your whole family to join in. Games nights are a lot of fun.
  10. Take an Open University course. They have so many there’s sure to be something you’ll like!
  11. Go out ans get some exercise. Join a gym or a football club. Take salsa lessons. Go jogging or take up yoga. There’s bound to be some kind of sporting activity you’ll like doing.
  12. If you really can’t think of anything better to do watch a DVD or play a computer game.
  13. Take a nap. You can’t be bored when you’re sleeping…

That’s all for now. I’m sure there are many more things I do when I’m bored, but right now I can’t think of them. If anyone else has any suggestions feel free to leave them in my comments. Maybe the next time a bored person stumbles across my blog they’ll find something more interesting to do than telling Google how bored they are…