Friday letters time already!

Both the weekend and this week seemed to go by incredibly fast – I can’t believe it’s Friday again already!
After an incredibly busy weekend last week, this time I have no plans whatsoever. The flat is a tip though, so it seems like a cleaning sesssion should be in order. If I can be bothered, that is. 😉

Here come this week’s Friday letters.

Mr Zip
Mr Zip (Photo credit: ian.crowther)

Dear Eddie Izzard. Two weeks today, I shall be at your show in Berlin! This thought makes me so excited that I may have actually just squeed aloud. I actually, genuinely cannot wait!

Dear Berlin. Do you think maybe you could start to show signs of spring by the time we arrive? I’ve seen photos of the snow that’s currently lying and I really don’t feel like walking around in it! There’s been enough snow now, I think… after all, it is officially spring!

Two fat ladies
Two fat ladies (Photo credit: duncan)

Dear body. First it was the extra huge bum that crept up on me, now I seem to have developed a belly as well. I hadn’t thought much of the bit of extra padding I’d noticed until Sunday when I tried on a dress. A year ago, it looked good on me. Five days ago, it clung in all the wrong places and made me look about six months pregnant (I’m not, before anyone asks). Where has this fat explosion come from?!

Dear self. You’ve managed to do a circuit of your exercise DVD twice this week. It’s a start, but nowhere near good enough. This belly seriously needs getting rid of!

Dear Easter. You are just around the corner, and while I’m looking forward to the four-day weekend you bring, I knid of wish you weren’t this close. Not sure I’ll be able to resist the huge basket of treats that’s now appeared on the table at work. Normally, I would be excited to dig into all the chocolatey goodness, but this year I’m sensing it’s a bad idea (see fat explosion letter above…)

That’s all folks! If you want more Friday letters, click on the button below. Have a great weekend!

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The chocolate box of life

As Tom Hanks once so aptly pointed out in his role as Forrest Gump, life is like a box fof chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.

Most of yesterday was pretty relaxing. I stayed at Jan’s on Tuesday night and since it was a holiday we decided not to bother getting up too early. Once I finally did decide to get out of bed I spent the next few hours lazing around reading Stern (a news magazine) before watching an episode of The Thin Blue Line while we ate something. Finally, at 4pm, I decided it was time to make my way home.
Back in my flat I took down the Christmas decorations then started to tidy up. I didn’t get very far though – I’d just finished cleaning the loo when my Grandma phoned (I wonder what the chocolate equivalent of scrubbing the toilet is? A mouldy one perhaps that everyone forgot about several Christmas’s ago and which has been lurking in the supposedly empty tin ina threatening manner ever since?).
I couldn’t really do any housework while on the phone so instead I decided to upload my photos from Italy to Facebook. Then, once the grandparents had hung up and tea (tuna and potato bake) was in the oven I was hit by a sudden pang of conscience and found myself checking my university e-mails for the first time in… ohh, at least a month. I discovered that I have to write a progress report. Or, to be more accurate, had to write a progress report. It was due in on 31st December. A definite strawberry cream moment right there. Or ‘strawberry dream’ as Quality Street call them… as if that’s going to fool anyone into thinking they might actually taste nice. So it looks like I’m going to be spending the weekend trying to rustle up some kind of progress report. But first, I have a wedding to go to. At Castle Frankenstein no less! Let’s just hope there are no scarred monsters or mad scientists waiting for me up there…

In which I am an idiot…

Let’s go back in time shall we. Back to the day Jan and I left for England, Friday, 9th October 2009…

Picture the scene, if you will.
Amazingly the boyfriend and I have both managed to be packed and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. We head off to the train station, arriving there early enough to have a meal before we leave, then we jump on our train to Frankfurt airport. So far, so good. But then, about five minutes before we reach our destination a thought occurs to me. I turn to Jan and say:
“We’ve got a problem. Or at least I’ve got a problem. I didn’t pack my passport”.
Yes, dear readers. It is true. Your eyes do not deceive you. On the day I was flying from Germany to England, via Amsterdam, for my Grandparents Golden wedding anniversary I didn’t think to take my passport out of my work bag and pack it in the handbag I was actually taking on the plane with me. I’m not even sure the word idiot covers it…

The first thing we did after getting off the train was rush to a ticket machine to see whether there was any possible way to get back to Karlsruhe, pick up the passport and then get back to Frankfurt without missing our flight. Naturally there was not. So we turned to thought number two – finding out whether we could make it in a taxi. “Run like mad” said Jan, and so we did. Or at least he did. I was unable to keep up with his long, long strides, then my bag decided staying on its wheels was overrated. Not wanting to slow down, I attempted to get it back onto its wheels while running… and then the inevitable happened. The stupid bag got under my feet somehow and I went flying across the airport floor. Luckily hardly anyone was around (only one man who asked if I was ok) so I wasn’t too embarrassed, but my knees hurt. A lot. It’s now a week later and I still have the bruises! So at this point I was not only passportless, but also limping and alone… I no longer had any idea where Jan was! Luckily I hadn’t broken my mobile phone during the fall, so I phoned him and found out he was down by the taxi rank, where the driver had told him there was no chance of making it to the passport on time… not on a Friday evening right around coming home from work time. So we took the shuttle bus over to terminal two and headed to the KLM desk. There we found out that there was no chance of changing flights… at least not in that price class. We could upgrade to business class, said the KLM lady, but only at an extra chage of 1000 euros! But then she had a brainwave: “the German border police sometimes give out replacement documents for Germans,” she said. “I’ve no idea whether it works for other nationalities but you can always give it a try…” And so we headed up the stairs to the German border police. We explained our story and the very nice policeman asked me what ID I did have on me, if not my passport. I gave him my (provisional!) driver’s licence, which he said was good, but he would need something else as well, did I have anything else with my date of birth and a picture on? Luckily my UWE student card has both of those things on it. I was saved! All that remained was to go and get some passport photos taken (10 euros it costs! Ten!). Then, for a fee of 25 euros, he made up an emergency travel document for me, valid until 14th October… or, in other words, long enough for me to fly to Englsnd, go to the party and fly back to Germany. Not exactly the best beginning to our trip, but all’s well that ends well as they say, and from that point on everything the rest of the journey was just fine…

Let’s try again…

I wonder if wordpress will actually let me post something today instead of deciding to eat my carefully thought out words. Only one way to find out I suppose…
Here’s an update on what’s happening in the world of Bev.

  • I’ve been at the new job one month today. I’m loving it so far. Everyone is nice, there’s lots for me to do and I can actually make mistakes without worrying that I may be (metaphorically) hung, drawn and quartered for it. Not that I purposely go out of my way to make mistakes or anything… but you know what i mean…
  • The one bad thing about work is all the commuting. An hour’s train journey means having to get up at a ridiculous hour of the morning, meaning by the time it gets to Wednesday I’m exhausted (of course, it doesn’t help that I have a boyfriend who is incapable of coming home at a sensible time, meaning we rarely get to sleep before midnight). And by the time I’ve sat on the train for an hour in the evening there isn’t exactly much time left for me to have a life outside work. All this will (hopefully) change now though. I’ve been paid, so for October I have a ticket for the fast train. My travel time is now reduced to 20 minutes each way, meaning I get an extra half hour in bed. Yippee!
  • My brother started university last week. He also turns 19 on Friday. I now feel old! Also, I haven’t managed to get him a present yet. Ooops.
  • I needed to take 20 photos after work today to complete my photo challenge for this month. I managed to take 5, leaving me with a grand total of 35. I think it’s fairly safe to say I’ve failed this month. maybe 50 photos was a little over ambitious…
  • My grandparents are having a party next friday to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. After looking at what felt like a million airline’s websites, Jan and I have finally managed to book flights. We’re going via Amsterdam of all places. Why can’t somebody just start providing a direct flight from Southern Germany to Newcastle? It would make my life so much easier!
  • Everyone seems to have gone baby mad at the moment! One of my dad’s cousins has just had a baby boy and I know 7 other people who are currently pregnant. 2 of those people are my dad’s cosuins. And another of his cousins is getting married in January.  My family just will not stop growing! It’s almost like we’re trying to take over the world…

OK, I think that’s everything. And even if it isn’t I need to stop now so I can go and sort out some food. Hopefully Jan won’t be too much longer… it’s 10 past nine now and lunch time was soooo long ago…

Return to Oz

I am back. Actually we got back last night but then I discovered my camera’s memory card had broken and destroyed all my pictures so Jan spent most of last night and this morning on the computer trying to rescue them. He saved about half, the rest are gone forever. Most irritating.

Anyway… we had a great time, despite having to rush around like loonies to fit everything in. We arrived on Wednesday morning after spending Tuesday night at Dublin airport. Strangely enough we were tired, so we went to bed for most of Wednesday afternoon. We were forced to get up again fairly early though when my Grandparents came over to see us. Then that night my dad took us out for curry. Thursday was spent in Edinburgh where Jan and I went sightseeing before meeting up with the others again to take my brother to a pub for his first legal drink. Later we went off on our own again and met a girl who I used to be an intern with before catching the train home. And Friday was the busiest day – a trip to Halifax in Morpeth to take out some money which then had to be paid into my other bank so that my uni can steal it for tuition fees (booo!) then we went to my Grandma’s for lunch before my dad drove us back to Bedlington where we popped across to see my friend Shell and her baby boy Dylan. He’s 7 months old now and gorgeous! After playing with the baby for a while and drinking a cup of tea it was time to dash back to my house and beg my dad for a lift down to the doctors. I had an appointment with the doc first then one with the nurse. The first appointment was fine – the doctir was running about 15 minutes late but that’s to be expected at a doctor’s surgery. But then we had to wait… and wait… and wait for me to see the nurse. It turns out the receptionist had only registered me as being there for the doctor’s appointment then when the nurse came out to see if I was there (while I was in with the doc) she was told I must have gone home!! Eventually I did get in to see the nurse though. By the time we finally got back home it was practically time to get ready to go out for my brother’s birthday celebration – a meal at a Mexican restaurant in Newcastle. In case anyone reading this is from the North-East of England and likes Mexican food you should definitely go to Blue Coyote in Newcastle. The food is excellent, massive portions, lots of choice and reasonably priced. Exactly what I like in a restaurant.

So much fun was had by all. It’s just a shame I have to be back at work tomorrow. I’m not ready to stop relaxing yet…

Bevchen predicts….

I’m never going in one of those stupid Kart things again. My arms are still sore, as is my back, which made my half hour tram journey to work lots of fun this morning. The next time Jan’s friends decide to organise a reunion I’m making sure we do an activity that I like!

So, did everyone hear about the flooding in Morpeth? Apparantly it was bad enough to be mentioned on German news! Jan called my last night to tell me about it – he’d seen it on Tagesschau and thought I should know because my Grandparents live there. Both sets, or rather one set and the female half of the other set. I’m pretty sure none of my family were affected though. I mean, surely someone would have told me if they were. Anyway, Grandma S lives on top of a hill so she’ll have been fine. Morpeth High Street wasn’t though – BBC news says “at its peak Morpeth High Street was under 2 ft of water”. Slightly soggy then! Where my dad’s parents live wasn’t mentioned though and according to another site their street was only on flood watch, as opposed to flood warning, so that’s alright.

I don’t know what else to write about now. I was going to do question time seeing as I did the last two Mondays but I haven’t had enough interesting questions this week.
Oh, here’s something though. A few months ago I wrote a blog about Amazon seeimg to think because I own The Secret Garden I might be interested in a Gordon Ramsey cookbook, a connection that I still haven’t quite managed to understand. Well, over the past few weeks I’ve had about 20 hits on my blog from people searcing Google for things like “Secret Garden Ramsey” and “Gordon Ramsey Secret Garden”. What’s that all about? Has Mr Ramsey actually gone and made himself a secret garden? Did my blog predict it? Am I the next Nostradamus? So many questions…