Friday Letters and Daily Diaries: 19–25 April 2014

There were no Friday letters or Daily Diaries last week because I decided to start my Easter long weekend by being lazy and not doing anything… including walking to the other room to switch on the computer! We then ended up spontaneously having friends over to watch films in the evening, so I didn’t do any blogging then either. But today I’m linking up with Kate again.

Friday letters

Dear nails. I don’t know what your problem is, but I wish you would stop splitting and breaking all the time! Not only do I find it very unfair that most of you are now shorter than when I used to bite them… your sharp edges and rough bits are ruining all my tights! Please stop it.

Dear Deutsche Bahn. Thank you sooo much for sending a train with one carriage missing on a Friday when loads of people who are going away for the weekend are catching said train. //End of sarcasm.

Dear healthy eating. I promise I will start you again soon, but there was no possible way I could resist my colleague’s cake. I mean, the base tastes like Forrero Rocher! How could I not take a slice for breakfast this morning before it was all gone?

Dear Germans. There is no such word as advices! And while we’re on the subject, informations is not a word either.

Daily Diaries

Amneville zooSaturday/Sunday. As I’ve said above, we hosted a movie night on Good Friday (Hmm, I always insist on saying film because I am not American, but somehow movie night sounds better…). Everyone left pretty late, so I didn’t exactly get up early on Saturday! Once I was awake, I don’t really remember what I did, other than have a cup of tea and some toast. In the afternoon, I did a gorcery shop then, once I’d unpacked the shopping, Jan and I went over to our friends’ place to check on their birds, who we were looking after for a few days. They seemed pretty happy, so we gave them some fresh water and a bit of food then left them to it. On the way home, we finally tried out a little Italian café near us. We each had a delicious pastry and a coffee – espresso for Jan and cappucino for me. Back at home, we watched the Newcastle vs Swansea match (wish I hadn’t bothered!) then Jan got on with some work while I made sausage rolls to eat for lunch the next day. Then I made tea and we ate it while watching the first two episodes of Fawlty Towers (I got Jan the boxset for his birthday). And that was Saturday. As for Sunday, well I’ve already told you we went to the zoo in France. In case you missed that post, you can read all about it here.

Monday. It was Easter Monday, so no work. Hooray! To be honest, I have no idea what I actually did all day though. We went to check on the birds again and I did some cross stitch (a new baby card this time) but that’s all I remember…

Tuesday. Back to work… not much to tell. I made sweet potato and chickpea curry for tea and we watched more Fawlty Towers.

Wednesday. Work. In honour of St George’s Day, tea was bangers and mash followed by home made apple crumble. Jan was home late so there was no time to watch anything before my bed time. I also discovered downloading Welcome to Night Vale onto my BlackBerry actually works. Woop!

Thursday. Woke up with a sore throat (booo!). Tried to listen to Welceom to Night Vale on the way to work and discovered that an episode is about five minutes too long for my commute. Noooo! My colleague brought cake into work with a base that tasted like crushed up Ferrero Rocher (see letter above). The middle layer was cream and the top consisted of sour cherries. Soooo tasty! After work, I took a package to the post office, popped to the supermarket then came home for food. Jan had choir practice (not at my place this time) so I downloaded another episode of Wlecome to Night Vale and listened to it in bed while sipping on Beechams hot blackcurrant (which I’m sure tasted less horrible when I was a kid!).

Friday. That would be today. I’m at work, obviously 😉 I ate some more of my colleague’s cake for breakfast, then got on with some proofreading. Currently I’m on my lunch break eating a Thai chickpea curry ready meal (I may have developed an obsession with chick peas…). Tonight I’m invited to a leaving party, but before that I have two more jobs to complete this afternoon. Annnd tomorrow I’m off to Heidelberg to meet up with some other expat bloggers in Germany. I’m both excited and terrified (what if they don’t like meeee)! And now I’m off to finish my lunch… have a great weekend everyone!
Daily Diaries with Diaries of an Essex Girl

If you too would like to tell us all about your week, you can join the linkup by clicking the picture above or this link. Please don’t think your life is too uninteresting – this is the linkup where anything goes! To quote Kate herself: “NEVER think something isn’t interesting enough to share. Did you get a Starbucks on Thursday? AWESOME! What flavour did you get? I. Want. To. Know.

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What’s in a name?

E
Photo credit: duncan

*No Friday letters today because I couldn’t actually think of a single one…*

Recently, Linda over at Expat Eye on Latvia was talking about some of mistakes her students make in English – both the amusing ones and those annoying ones that come up over and over, no matter how many times they’ve been corrected (you should really read her post by the way, some of the things her students come out with are hilarious!). This got me thinking about something that really annoys me when Germans speak English… their absolute insistence that we pronounce the letter “a” as if it were an “e”. The classic example was when somebody from the student residence I used to live in started telling me about “Nettley Portmen”. What? She is not covered in nettles. Her name is Natalie! No nettles involved, thank you! Also, it’s Portman. With an A!

Coincidentally, my friends and I were talking about something similar the other day… namely most Germans’ complete inability to cope with my name. This is an actual conversation that I’ve had more than once with native German speakers:

Me: Hi, I’m Bev.

German: Beth… like Elizabeth?

Me: No, Bev. Short for Beverley.

German: Aaah, Bethany! Pleased to meet you, Beth.

Me: No, it’s Beverley. Like Beverly Hills Cop.

German: Ohh, right! (Pause) But… isn’t he a man?

Me: *Stunned silence*

To be fair, I’ve only had the “but isn’t he a man” comment about twice. The rest happens almost every time I meet a German though. And don’t even get me started on the trouble that the e between the l and the y causes! (Yes, there really are three e’s in my name. No, that does not magically change the pronunciation… I’ve only had this name for 30 years, I do know what I’m talking about!). Ironically, all three of my siblings have names that would be perfectly normal in Germany (although my middle brother’s name would be pronounced differently here). My name is as English as they come, but I’m the only one who lives abroad…

Do you ever have trouble getting people to understand your name abroad? How do you deal with it?

A “sweet” workout

*I know I’ve already posted once today, but I want to get this out there before I forget it…*

Leaving work this evening, I passed two students, a male and a female, who were presumably discussing the activity they had just come from. For some reason, they kept inserting random English words where a perfectly good German one would have worked. Here’s the conversation I overheard. The words marked in blue are what they actually said in English.

Girl: We just did a 45 minute hard workout!
Boy: Hard? You mean like situps and stuff?
Girl: No… he made us do crunchies!

At that point, I had to physically bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud.
For those who are unfamiliar with English chocolate bars, this is a Crunchie:

Photograph of a Crunchie bar made by Cadbury, ...
Cadbury’s Crunchie, showing its honeycomb toffee structure. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Sounds like my kind of workout! 😉

Vee are very sorry for ze late

I am just not finding the time to do anything lately, despite now having a ticket for the fast train. There are dishes from 2 days ago still waiting to be washed, I really need to clean the fridge out before I go away on Friday (it still stinks of mouldy raspberries even though I threw them out like a week ago) and I wanted to have a shower tonight to save me going out with wet hair in the morning, but it’s 8:05 pm already and I’m still waiting for tea to cook (stupid ridiculously slow oven!) so I shouldn’t imagine too many of those things are going to get done tonight. OK, I could probably be cleaning out the fridge right now instead of typing this, but do you honestly think I’ll still want to eat anything if I do that? See… point made!
So instead let me tell you a few things I learned over the weekend…

  1. Never, ever go food shopping at 8 o’clock on a Friday night when the Saturday is a holiday.
  2. Teenage wannabe goths dress exactly the same way now as they did when I was 15
  3. No amount of chocolate covered marshmallows can make up for a lack of sex. They will, however, make you feel sick and cause your teeth to hate you. (Before anybody makes any comments I would just like to add that this is no longer relevant. And now we change the subject, ok)
  4. Getting dressed on a Sunday is totally overrated
  5. So is exercise
  6. Amazon is incredibly hazardous to my bank account

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering about the title… my train to work was delayed this morning and that was what the English announcement sounded like. German rail workers’ accents are so much fun 😀