Friday letters

How is it Friday again people? This week has gone way too fast, again. I had another public holiday yesterday (the last one until October!) and I was hoping to get lots done, but I didn’t even manage half of it. *Sigh* Anyway, on with the letters.

Friday letters

 

Dear kettle. I’m sorry I have to boil you so many times before I actually get round to making a cup of tea. You can blame your being overworked on all my work, okay?

Dear parsley. It was very exciting to put some of you in my salad last night having grown you from a seed!

Dear WordPress. What happened to the media space upgrade option? Apparently the only way I can get more space for photos now is by purchasing a domain. I don’t want a domain, just more space!

Dear weather. I’m glad you’ve cooled down a little bit – over 30°C is just too much for me!

Right, that’s all for today. Lunch break over… back to work! Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Heidelberg

I did not enjoy work at all today. It was between 29 and 33°C all day (roughly between 84 – 91.5 °F if you prefer) and we have no air conditioning. Also, I work upstairs and you could literally feel the air getting hotter with every step you walked up. I was aware that heat rises but unti, I started working here had no idea of the extremes. Also, I ended up working on a financial translation pretty much all day, which is not exactly my favourite type of text at the best of times. And on top of that, a customer had complained about one of my translations while I was off, so I had a lovely e-mail to come back to as well. Cue hot, bored and grumpy Bev. Ugh. But enough about that. I am now going to cheer myself up by reliving my sister’s visit, starting with day one.

So my sister and her boyfriend arrived on Wednesday evening. I went to pick them up from the airport straight after work, then we went to get a train home… which turned out to be 50 minutes delayed. So much for German efficiency… We did, however, arrive home eventually where we immediately opened a few bottles of beer and set about making our evening meal: Chicken enchiladas. Or it may have been turkey. Some kind of bird. Either way, they were delicious.

The next morning (the first of my days off), we were up bright and early for breakfast before heading off to Heidelberg. I’ve been there many times before, but it’s pretty, it has an English shop, which I never have any objections to checking out, and it was one of the places my sister wanted to see, so off we went.

If you ever decide to visit Heidelberg, there are two things you should know:

  1. It is absolutely beautiful
  2. It is incredibly – and I mean incredibly – touristy, to the extent that they actually sell T-shirts with the slogan “I’m not a tourist – I live here”.

The first thing we did on arrival in Heidelberg was go to the English shop, because it’s opposite the train station and I needed proper English gravy and crumpets. Unfortunately, they are currently getting ready to close down for a while for refurbishment and had almost nothing in. I managed to get some gravy granules for chicken (I actually wanted ordinary granules), but there was no self-raising flour, no crumpets… basically no anything. A (the sister’s boyfriend) then went into the Jack Wolfskin store and after much umming and aaahing decided to buy a rain coat, then we finally managed to get round to taking a tram into Heidelberg proper. Our guests requested that we stop for lunch before doing anything else, so we took a walk down the main shopping street on the look out for something suitable. I don’t remember the name of the place we decided to stop, but the entire menu was translated into English (see, touristy!) making it the first and only menu that we didn’t have to translate. Our guest then got to try their first taste of German food (my Enchilidas may have been delicious, but traditional German they were not!). I had Wiener Schnitzel, which is technically Austrian (Wiener = Viennese) and the other three all had a platter of various goodies including potato fritters (which the menu called fried potatoes), Nürnberger sausages and Pfälzer Saumagen (Sow’s stomach – it tastes better than it sounds – honest!). And we all tried a glass of Heidelberger beer. When in Rome and all that… Suitably stuffed we then went off to explore the town and work off some of the food we had just eaten…

We looked at the castle from down below…

DSCN0684

Walked down to the river and took photos of the old bridge…

Heidelberg bridge

Then crossed the river and walked up Schlangenweg (Snake’s Way) to Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Way). I had never been up there before and Jan chose not to tell us just how looooong the Schlangenweg actually was! I certainly worked off my beer… and then some! Apparantly up on that hill is where the photos for most postcards of Heidelberg are taken, so we took some too:

DSCN0695

Heidelberg

Also, on the way up we spotted an East-German style Ampelmann, which I got slighted excited about.
I think my sister may have thought I’d gone insane, but I don’t care. I took photos anyway 😉 Isn’t he cute in his little hat

Then we took the long walk back down into town and rewarded ourselves with a nice cold beer before taking the train back to Karlsruhe.
The evening was spent meeting friends and eating delicious food at Marktlücke in Karlsruhe, until we were asked to leave because it was 1 a .m. and, it being a week night, they wanted to close.

… and that was day one of our adventures. For the rest, you will have to wait.

Feeling hot, hot, hot

After days and days of weird, wintery, can’t-make-it’s mind up weather, with rain one minute, then five minutes of sunshine followed by wind and rain again five minutes later, the sun decided to come back out in full force today. It has been boiling! Too hot for me – as we all know, I get sunstroke at the drop of a hat. I’m definitely a Spring kind of girl! (I do like snow, but winter gets depressing after a while with all its dark nights). It was hot enough in our office, with the fan going full blast, but once I got outside it was so much worse. I had to go into town anyway though, then I had to slave over a hot stove making tea for myself and the boyfriend. Naturally he is not home yet, and his half is still sitting in the kitchen waiting to be reheated. Luckily that task will fall to him – I don’t fancy spending any more time near sources of heat today!

My charity tea party plans are coming together. I’ve actually managed to find a free date for it now, and a few people have already accepted the invitation so there’s no going back! It shall be on 9 July. Now I just have to complete my list of foods and get on with the baking! I’m going to start by making Yorkshire Parkin a week before – it actually gets better if you leave it in an airtight container for a couple of days so there’s no risk of having ruined cake on the day. Although it will require a lot of willpower to stop myself from eating it all! Perhaps I’d better make extra… By the way, those don’t know what I’m talking about should read this post then go over to The Dormouse’s Last Stand to find out how to host their own charity tea party for a rather excellent cause, namely The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

That’s all for today. I have some work that needs to be done before I go to bed.

It’s a good job I was wearing a long skirt…

I arrived home from work today and immediately had to go and sponge down my entire body with cold water. I was seriously that hot! First my train was delayed, then they sent a replacement IC (Inter City) instead of my usual ICE (the express train). For some reasone ICs are always really old, have hardly any seats and, in this particular one, no air conditioning. In a stupidly full train on a day where it’s 33°C outside. Well done Deutsche Bahn. The window was open, but apart from blowing hot air around the carriage (it was a bit like a hair dryer, but less noisy) all it did was practically pull my hair out of its roots. That and cause my ears to feel like they were going to explode when we went through the tunnel. And while the top half of my body was being buffeted by warm wind, I could actually feel sweat trickling down my legs. I told you it was a good job I was wearing a long skirt!

Apparantly it’s going to be 38 degrees tomorrow. If you haven’t heard from me by Monday I’ve probably melted into a puddle somehwere and been evaporated by the sun…

Turn down the heat!

Somebody seriously needs to turn down the Earth’s thermostat! I’m actually dying here, and the forecast says it’s set to get even hotter. And before all you people from Australia and wherever start telling me that 30°C is not hot, in my world it is! You are talking to the girl who managed to get sunstroke after half an hour of being outside without a hat. Well, actually you’re not talking to me,  but you know what I mean… It really doesn’t help that our office is a bit like a greenhouse either. It’s bad enough downstairs, but as you get closer to the top you can actually feel the air getting hotter with every step, and by the time you reach our room – at the very back – the heat is almost like a physical weight resting on your shoulders. We found a fan, which helps a bit, but it’s still hotter inside the room than it is outside… and I’ve already told you how hot it is outside, so I’m not sure I even want to know the temperature I’m actually having to work in. Woe is me, etc, etc. On a brighter note, it’s July tomorrow (how on Earth did that happen?! I think the person with the thermostat needs to take a look at the world’s timekeeper while they’re at it!) and that means only one month and eight days til I’m off on my holidays. And we’re going to the UK, where temperatures are reasonable 😉 Just one more B&B/hotel to book and all will be sorted…

On trial

I had an interview yesterday. With 2 scary men in suits. Black suits. On a day where the temperature was above 30°C. I would have actually died! Thankfully I was not wearing a suit – just black trousers and a blouse. I still ended up all hot and sticky though – mainly because I got lost trying to find the place and ended up walking around in circles for 45 minutes. In the end I took a taxi, only to find out that the place was litterally round the corner… about 10 minutes walk from the train station. I had been going in the completely wrong direction! This was after travelling for an hour and a half on two trains. Then after the interview I had to do it all again in reverse. The train part anyway. Not the taxi, or the getting lost.

Then today I had my trial day. I had 3 more practice translations to do and also a proofread. Then I went around and met everyone else at the company. I had a good day, but whether anything will come of it is still up in the air… my practice translations need to be read first. Hopefully I will be able to tell you more by the beginning of next week. In the meantime my fingers shall remain firmly crossed… metaphorically at least. It may be a little hard to use a knife and fork if they were actually physically crossed….

It’s too hot to cook…

…so I think tea shall have to be a whole packet of (rather expensive) mature cheddar flavoured crisps and a couple of half melted mini Galaxys. Sounds like a plan, no?

Also, they are selling parasols in a shop in town and I desperately want one. But when I went in today I couldn’t find any. I really need to get over that fear of asking German shop assistants for the things I want (that dress in my size… the other show… parasols…)

Please excuse the crapness of this post. Not only is it too hot to cook… it’s too hot to think as well. If the temperature ever gets below 30 degrees again I’ll try to write something more interesting. Right now though I’m going for a shower. A cold shower!

Welcome to Costa del Karlsruhe

The boyfriend and I have just been out for icecream. At 9 o’clock at night. It is that insanely hot here. I’m talking 29°C at 8pm kind of hot. Sitting there outside the icecream cafe wearing only three quarter length trousers and a floaty vest top it felt almost like we were on holiday in Spain or somewhere. Even all the people speaking German around us didn’t spoil the illusion… everyone knows Mallorca might as well be another German state 😉

Unfortunately we are not on holiday. Jan has gone back to his own flat tonight because he has to wear a suit for work tomorrow (his department have just moved into a new building and they’re having an opening ceremony tomorrow) and I also have to go to work tomorrow (and the next day… and the next day…). We have had a lovely weekend though. My flat now has lights, the icecream was delicious and the boyfriend and I did not fight once. The only dark spot on the landscape is that the one and only Newcastle United lost against Aston Villa and have now been relegated… while Sunderland managed to stay up. Booo. (Not that I’m a massive football fan or anything… but you can’t come from the North-East of England and not feel some kind of passion for the good old Magpies).

And now I’m off to figure out just how a person is supposed to sleep when it’s still 24 degrees outside after 10 o’clock at night. And this is only May… the really hot months are still to come! Anyone who tries to tell me gloabal warming is a myth needs to be locked up somewhere for their own safety I think…
Good night all!

I’m melting…

For some reason I really didn’t enjoy work today. It’s not like anything went wrong. Normally I would have considered it to be a pretty good day. I had jus the right amount of work to do – not so little I spent most of my time twiddling my thumbs, but not so much that I was stressed out for the entire day and had to cut my lunch break short to get everything finished (I have done that in the past). No, it was just an average day as far as work load is concerned. The texts were all really nice as well, interesting and not too difficult. And yet I’ve spent the last 4 hours counting down the minutes until I could get out of there. This isn’t how I wanted to spend the last few days of my internship. I really want to enjoy the last of my time there. But today it just wasn’t working.
I think it’s the heat. It was bad enough outside, but I swear in our office it’s about 5 degrees warmer! The window is always open but no breeze comes in, the various electrical devices we have standing around  seem to be competing to see who can produce the most heat and when you try to breathe the air tastes like it’s full of moisture. I stil feel like I’m melting now and I’ve been home nearly half an hour!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. It’s just this this excessive heat I detest. If I was in Spain or Greece I would understand, and I might even enjoy it (if only because I’d most likely be sitting in the shade somewhere), but it really doesn’t need to be 29.2°C (according to wundergrund.com) in Karlsruhe, Germany at quarter to seven at night.  And there are people out there who think global warming doesn’t exist? What the hell do you call this then, coincidence?

I’m off for a shower now. A cold shower!

Resisting the temptation to shop

It’s that time of year again. The time of the Sommerschlussverkauf, or translated into English “the summer’s end sale”. Yes, the shops are already selling off their summer clothing to make room the autumn range. As far as I’m concerned we are currently in the middle of summer. It’s July. July is summer. August is also summer. Therefore we are nowhere near summer’s end, but the shops it seems are in some kind of twighlight zone where it’s autumn already. Not really surprising… they also seem to think October is the right time to start selling advent calendars.

Usually I love sales. The summer’s end sale… the winter’s end sale… the random middle of the season let’s-get-rid-of-some-stock sale… fantastic the lot of them. But for the past year the word “sale” has been like a new and unique form of torture for me. I am a self-confessed shopaholic. I like to buy things. It’s fun, it cheers me up and I like stuff. Mainly I like to buy clothes and books. Right now I desperately need shoes. But for almost a year now I’ve been unable to do any shopping. I earn just about enough to pay the rent and eat. If I’m really careful I can save up enough to buy the occasional birthday present, but shopping for things for myself just isn’t possible. The last time I went on a proper shopping spree was last July. That’s a whole year ago! Since then I’ve resisted temptation, despite that fact that I work right in the middle of Karlsruhe’s main shopping street, in an office that’s next door to a shoe shop! But now it’s all getting to be a bit too much. I want to go shopping. I want to buy summer clothes before there aren’t any more left. I’m sick of baking to death in long sleeves and fur-lined boots while temperatures soar to 29, 30, 35 degrees. I’m sick of half of my socks having holes in and not being able to afford to replace them. I’m sick of walking past the shops every single day on my way home from work and seeing stuff in the windows that I really, really want to buy.

Roll on September. Hopefully by then I’ll have enough money to at least buy a pair of sandals… just in time for the cold and rain to start again.