Friday letters

Good morning! I am sooo pleased it’s nearly the weekend. This week has gone both really fast and really slow… I was surprised when it was Wednesday already, but then Wednesday and Thursday felt like they lasted at least 2 days each! Jan has choir stuff tonight and tomorrow, so I plan to use the time to relax and sleeeeeep! But right now I shall give you my Friday letters.

Postkasten

Dear Britain. I still can’t believe you actually went through with the “Brexit” thing. Even though we have two years, I’m already in mourning for my freedom of movement in Europe and a home country that didn’t hate foreigners. R.I.P GREAT Britain… there’s nothing “great” about isolationism and xenophobia 😦

Dear hair. I will never understand how you can be fine with a shampoo for weeks and then suddenly decide to become immune to it or something and feel sticky/greasy while I am washing you. I can’t keep switching shampoos halfway through a bottle so please sort yourself out!

Dear self. If you stay up two hours past the time you were planning to go to sleep because you can’t put a book down  you then forfeit your right to complain you’re tired the next day. You can be well rested or well read, not both!

Dear trees. You are looking very pretty right now all dressed in your spring colours. (Well, most of you… some are still looking a bit bare!).

Dear sparrows. You are cute and always a welcome visitor to the balcony but how can something so small be so loud?! I would very much appreciate it if you wouldn’t sit out the bedroom side of the building chirping on and on and on for half an hour at half five in the morning!

I can’t think of anything else. have a great Friday and an even better weekend everyone!

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Friday letters

It’s been another loooong week, It started off slow… so slow, in fact, that I was pleased my colleague was off ill (well, not actually pleased she was ill… but you know what I mean) because it meant all the work that came in was automatically mine.  Beats trying desperately to find some other work to do!  Monday and Tuesday still dragged though. Then on Wednesday things went crazy and I spent the rest of the week trying to get everything done and find people to proofread things as said colleague remained ill for the entire week…

Mailbox - Bonita Flamingos
Flamingos mailbox (Photo: Atelier Teee)

Dear boyfriend. I’m happy that we’ve booked our flights to England for Christmas. No getting ill this time please!

Dear Irish Pub. Celebrating your 5th birthday on Wednesday was fun, but I swear next year I’m taking the following day off! Tired isn’t even the word for my state yesterday…

Dear Austria. Can’t wait to see you in two weeks!

Dear Amazon. I almost cried when I saw the total price for my order the other day. And none of it was even for me! Yes…. Christmas present shopping has commenced. *Sigh*.

Dear dresses. Stop being so pretty! I’m not supposed to be buying any more clothes this year…

Dear Christmas. I’m convinced you get more expensive every year! Why are none of my family easy and inexpensive to buy for?!

Dear readers. Thank you for all the compliments on my sun-kissed hair. You inspired me to make that photo my header!

Dear weekend. The weather forecast seems to indicate that we should be seeing some *gasp*… dare I say it?… SUN! I feel like I should do something to celebrate this. Day trip perhaps?

Photobucket

Have a great weekend everyone, however you’re spending it.

My hair through the ages

This post was inspired by Jane at Is That You Darling, who recently shared some of her past hairstyles on her blog. Unfortunately, a lot of my old photos are in England so I can’t go back quite as far as Jane (no baby photos here), but I’ll do my best.

I was born with black hair (as was my sister), but it wasn’t long before it became clear that I was going to be a red head. By the time I got to about 10, I hated my hair colour, mostly because the other kids called me gingernut – even though my hair colour was technically too dark to be properly ginger! My mum always referred to it as “the colour of autumn leaves” because if you looked closely, it had bits of blonde and brown in it, as well as the red.

This first photo was taken when I was about 3 or 4. I do apologise for the quality of the photo (and most of the ones from when I was a kid). I have no scanner, so I had to take photographs of photographs…

B and Cindy

The dog in the photo with me is Cindy. She belonged to my grandma and I was devastated when she died. In this photo she’s probably about 5 years old.

The next photo shows me aged 7. I’m sure on the age this time because that was the age you had to be to join the Brownies! I was so proud of my uniform.

Brownies

Now for a few “special occasion” photos. One was taken at my cousin’s christening in 1991, which would make me seven (it was before my birthday). I’m including it despite my looking less than impressed because it gives you an idea of how different my hair can look depending on the light.  The other picture is from an official family photo session (was anyone else dragged to those every few years?!) – my brother and sister are actually in the photo with me, but I’ve cropped them out seeing as I don’t have their permission to post them all over the Internet. You can see my brother’s arm still, though. Judging by how little my brother is, the photo must have been taken in late 1991 or early 1992, making it less than a year after the other photo and me 8 years old.

In the christening photo, the light makes my hair look almost blonde. The other one shows my actual natural hair colour. See, I told you I was a redhead! Also, note the crimped hair in the second photo. That was the 80s/early 90s for you… the minute there was a special occasion, the crimpers came out!

Once I got older and was given permission to start doing what I wanted with my hair, I started dying it various colours to get rid of the red. Ironically, as I got older, my hair’s natural redness began to fade to a more brownish colour, at which point I started dying it shades of red that are much more intense than my natural colour ever was. In between, I’ve experimented with plums, browns and even blue (it went green… not exactly the look I was aiming for!). Meanwhile, my natural is still red, but you can only tell in the right light, so most people assume I’m naturally a boring mousy-brown. Here’s a photo that was taken after my hair started to darken:

Shirl

I’m not certain of my exact age in the above photo, but I can’t have been older than about 11 because the woman in the photo with me is my step mum and she died only a few months after I turned 12. Look how thick my hair is! That was the reason my mum went and got it cut really short at some point. I then moved to a new school at 13 and spent months being asked “Oi, are you meant to be a boy or a girl?” Needless to say, I soon grew my hair out and have never dared go any shorter than chin-length since! I can’t show you any photos of the short hair phase because (thankfully) I don’t have any here…

How about some more recent photos?

Both of the above photos show my natural hair colour at roughly the same time. The difference is, one was taken outdoors with the sun shining on it and the other is indoors away from the light. Notice how one looks plain brown while on the other one the ends at least seem to have a hint of red?

Above are some more of the various colours and styles that have graced my hair over the years, from left to right:
1. Dressed up as a goth, aged 17, for a sixth form Halloween social. The black dye was temporary.
2. Me at uni in 2003 after an attempt to lighten my hair (I later did it again and ended up an orangey-blonde colour)
3. Year abroad, either the end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004. Natural colour and far too long! I acheived those waves by putting my hair in two plaits over night.
4. Year abroad, June or July 2004. By this time I’d had my hair cut and dyed it dark red.
5. Austria, December 2005. Back to my natural colour. I’m including this because I cut my hair myself! And yes, it’s a selfy!
6. A different shade of red, 2012

And finally, the most recent photo I have of myself. This one was taken at the Weinfest on Saturday. Considering I still had toothache here, it’s actually not a bad photo 😉 (This time it’s my friend who’s cropped off, not a sibling).

2013

Phew… I think that’s more photos of me than I’ve posted on my entire blog until now! I do hope no dodgy people are going to track me down because of it…

Christmas in February

I’m going out in a minute. It’s my work’s Christmas meal. Yes, I am aware that it’s now February – we had planned to have it in December but the day before we were due to go two out of the four of us were off work ill so it seemed like a good idea to cancel it. Now it’s taking place tonight. We’re going to a fairly posh restaurant. At least I think it’s fairly posh – I’ve never actually been before! It’s in Ettlingen, 20 minutes from here on the tram (10 minutes from where I work). Usually I tend to go to restaurants in Karlsruhe – unless I’m pretending to be posh, in which case I go to the Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden-Baden for a six course meal (actually I’ve only done that once, but it sounded good!)
Normally I’d be quite excited at the prospect of going for a fairly posh meal, but tonight I really just want to go to bed. It hasn’t been a good week on the sleep front. And I’ve been busy, busy, busy at work – regular readers will be aware that I even stayed for an extra half an hour on Tuesday. Sooo tired. Unfortunately the bed thing is not an option, so instead I’m off to brush my teeth and attempt to make my hair look presentable. It’s gone all weird and stringy despite the fact that I washed it this morning. Apparantly it’s time for me to change shampoos again…

A hairy problem

I may just have the most annoying hair in the world. The top part, close to the roots, tends to get greasy really quickly. The ends, on the other hand, get dry really easily. So shampoo for greasy hair is great for the top half of my hair but leaves everything from the middle down looking like straw. Auburn straw with split ends. And shampoo for dry, damaged hair leaves the bottom half of my hair silky smooth while the top half looks like explosion in a vegetable oil factory. It makes finding a good shampoo for me rather challenging, so I’m always pleased when I find one that’s just right.
Unfortunately, the just rightness never seems to last for long. I’ll use my new shampoo quite happliy for two or three months then BAM, my hair suddenly seems to become immune to it. I’ll wash my hair perfectly normally, rinse out all the shampoo and a few hours later my hair is so limp and greasy you’d think it hadn’t been washed for three days. It’s slightly strange and very, very annoying.

So last night as the boyfriend and I were going to bed he said to me “Didn’t you wash your hair this morning?” “Yeees,” I answered, suspecting I knew what was coming. “I thought so,” replied the boyfriend. “It’s just that it looks really greasy now.”
*Sigh* Time to find a new shampoo again methinks…

My night of pretending to be posh

It took me an hour and a half to do my hair last night. I just don’t have the kind of hair that you can do things with. It’s incredibly thick, which hairdressers will tell you is a good thing, but it’s not. Next time you’re in a place that sells hair accessories take a look and see how many of them have a little sticker saying “for thick hair”. If you manage to find more than 3 it will be a miracle. If more than 1 of those is not ugly please tell me where that shop is, I need to go there right now!
Anyway, last night. I knew I couldn’t leave it down, not for a posh restaurant, so it had to go up. My first attempt took 10 minutes and a dozen hair clips. From the front it looked ok, but then I saw the back. It was a mess. So down it came. I then tried putting part of it up and leaving a bit down at the back. It didn’t work. At all. Six tries later I was sweating, exhausted and frustrated, but at least I’d managed to get my hair up. By the time I’d managed to get my make up done we were running late and had to rush into town. Rushing in sandals with heels isn’t good. I now have blisters on the balls of my feet, which hurts a lot and makes it difficult to walk, I won’t be wearing those shoes again for a while! It was worth it though, the rest of the night was amazing!

When we arrived at the hotel we were first shown to our room. Yes, we had a whole room all to ourselves! The nice waiter man took our jackets then suggested that we head over the the bar for some aperitifs. They called it a bar, and there was indeed a bar at one end, but the room itself looked like something in a stately home. It was amazing! Portraits on the wall, nice carpets and posh armchairs everywhere. Wow! We ordered our drinks, which were incredible. I had a cocktail of champagne with strawberry liquer and strawberry juice. To go with our drinks we were rought some hors d’ouvres. Little pieces of bread cut into circles and squares with tiny but perfectly arranged toppings. Fabulous.

After the appertisers we headed back to our room. We were served our starters and the wine expert came by to advise us on what to drink. We started with a sweet white wine that tasted almost like lemonade. Later we switched to a dryer white wine, which I then stuck to for the rest of the night. There was also a red wine to go with the later courses. I tried the red wine but didn’t like it. The starters (can’t remember what they were) were followed by foamed goose liver pate with goose mince arranged on top of it. It tasted a lot nicer than it sounds! Next came the fish course. We had kingfish fillet, which I really enjoyed. Then came something that was called “Flusskrebs” in German. I’ve just looked it up and found out that means crayfish, so there you go. It was quite nice anyway, but I couldn’t have eaten too much of it. Good job posh portions are only little! After the crayfish came the part I had been waiting for all night. Meat! It was ram I believe (trying to translate from the German here). I usually prefer my meat well done, and this was only medium, but it actually tasted incredible. All of these courses were served by 3 or 4 waiters at a time, who then placed the plates in front of us all at once. Before each course our waiter came in and explained what we were about to eat.
The meat was followed by cheese, which was brought in on a huge trolley. A waitress explained what was on the trolley and then put together a selection on a plate. This took a while as she had to do it for each of us individually. And finally we had pudding – a gorgeous chocolate cake, followed by coffee (I had cappucino), little chocolate covered fruit sweets (the waiter insisted that everyone had to take at least one) and finally some liqeur. We all chose a pear one which came from Vorarlberg in Austria. I had to go for that one of course because I used to live there. I was told that the final bill came to over 2,000 euros. Wow! Jan insisted on paying for my share. I have such a wonderful boyfriend 🙂

So that was my posh night out. I would definitely recommend everyone to do it at least once, it’s an amazing experience. And I found out this morning that Baden Baden and Brenner’s Park Hotel are on the list of 10,000 places to visit before you die. Only 9,999 places to go then 😉

Shoes and other things that girls worry about before a night out

Loking at my stats, I’m quite pleased to see that my bookcrossing blog got 25 views yesterday and another 5 today. Now if only all 30 of those people have signed up things would be perfect. The more bookcrossers there are out there the higher the liklihood that I’ll find a free book lying around just begging for me to take it home and read it. Free books are definitely among my favourite things in the world. Actually, I quite like anything that I don’t have to pay for, but books are definitley among the best.
Good old Joachim Loew and his cigarette are still getting me a lot of traffic as well. His nickname is Jogi you know, which amuses me greatly. In German a ‘j’ is pronounced like an English ‘y’, so Mr. Loew shares his name with a certain cartoon bear. *snigger*

I’m feeling quite excited today. Jan and I are off to Baden Baden tonight with 6 other people. We’re going to a rather posh hotel called Brenner’s Park. I’m not sure how many stars it has… 4? 5? I just know it’s posh. And we’re going to have a 6 course meal there. Six courses! I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in! I’ve spent the whole morning making random comments like “I really need to pluck my eyebrows” and “I’m not sure what shoes to wear”. I expect Jan was quite pleased to escape back to his flat where he’s going to do computer sciency type stuff until it’s time to get ready. He wanted me to meet him at Marktplatz later so we can get the tram to the train station together, but I insisted that he come here first so I can take a photo of us in our posh clothes. It’s not often that I get an opportunity to get dressed up in posh clothes. I need photographic evidence to prove that it is actually possible for me to look good.

I have to go and write another job application now. This time for a company in Mannheim. Then I can get back to wondering what on Earth I’m going to do with my hair tonight.