Recent doings #30

Hi friends! Can you believe it’s August already? That means I will be turning 35 this month! And with so much of my 35 before 35 list left undone 😉 I have done a lot of the things on the list though – and also quite a few that weren’t even on there so I’m fine with it. Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… today I’m here to talk about what I’ve been doing in July.

whats new with you

 

Eating. Lots of salad – it’s been far too hot to cook! Trying to eat fish twice a week. And before you start thinking how virtuous I am, a  lot of ice cream has also been consumed 😉

Reading. I didn’t manage to read as much this month partly thanks to work being crazy busy and also because I had a lot of cross stitching to do and also I feel like work has been trying to drown me in translations…. I did so much overtime in July! I managed to read 6 books for Erin’s challenge though, plus 3 other full books and I finished one I had started in June. I also started 2 other books for Erin’s challenge but one I couldn’t manage to get into and the other is long so I haven’t finished it yet.

Watching. Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars… which means we’ve actually finished a whole series. Woo! Also football because World Cup and Young Sheldon.

Cross stitching. Birthday season has begun! Actually, it started with my mum’s birthday on 26 July but I didn’t stitch her a card this year so the first cross stitched card was one I started last month for my friend’s son’s 1st birthday. I then stitched a card for another friend’s son, whose birthday is on 27 August. Next up are my brother’s birthday (1 September) and my godson’s birthday (13 September). And I also started my Christmas stitching in July… yes, I know that sounds crazy but past experience tells me if I don’t want to be stressed in December I have to start now.

Going. Up mountains. As I mentioned last month, we took an overnight trip to Vitznau on Lake Lucerne on 30 June. On 1 July we took the cable car from Vitznau up to the Wissifluh – part of Rigi – then drove down to Stans and went up the Stanserhorn. We saw loads of butterflies on both mountains. I’ve never seen so many different types outside of a butterfly house! It was pretty amazing. Then last Sunday we spontaneously decided to drive to French-speaking Switzerland last week – St Ursanne and Neuchâtel.

butterfly

Seeing/hearing. The Basel Tattoo! Jan was performing with the tattoo choir again and I had a ticket for the first Saturday. It’s definitely an experience I can recommend.

Buying. Too many books, as usual. Also a bird necklace from Etsy. Anything else? A birthday present for my friend’s son, which also happened to be books 😉

Wishing. Things would cool down just a little. This is Switzerland – there’s no need for it to still be 28°C at 9 o’clock at night!

And that was basically my July. Work, boil to death, prepare food that preferably doesn’t involve generating more heat, attempt to sleep even though I apparently live in an oven, wake up, repeat. With a little trip at the beginning and end of the month to balance things out.

How was your July? Anything new you want to share? Check out the link up to see what other bloggers have been up to lately.

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A Photo An Hour – Saturday, 27 August 2016

Yesterday was August’s photo an hour link up with Jane and Louisa, and here I am actually writing my blog post the day after. Will wonders never cease? Here’s what I got up to:

9 a.m. Stop the press! My first photo is not of a cup of tea! We had no milk so I had to shower first then run out and get some.

10 a.m. Aaah, there’s the tea! You can stop panicking now 😉 I also bought myself a yoghurt fruit roll from the shop – they’re very tasty!

11 a.m. Checking out some cross stitch patterns while I wait for Jan to come out of the shower.

12 noon. Jan had to go to a choir practice weekend so I went into town with him. At 12 I was roasting to death in Basel. The immature among you should take a close look at the names of the shops on the right. *Snigger*

1 p.m. Still in town – seriously starting to question my sanity at this point! Nobody should be walking around when it’s 34°C (“real feel 38°C” according to Accuweather!). For the above photo I swear I didn’t even have to cheat… I saw the blackboard, took the photo then realised it was 1 p.m. and I needed a photo anyway!

2 p.m. Home. After 20 minutes and lots of water I’m finally starting to recover from the heat of town!

3 p.m. Just colouring my unicorn (and pretending not to notice that the flat needs tidying…)

4 p.m. Ventured onto the balcony with a cuppa and my book. Yes, I drink hot tea when it’s a million degrees. It’s a British thing.

5 p.m. Had to come back inside when the sun came round further and stole my shade. Still reading.

6 p.m. Tea time! Being home alone means I get to shove stuff in the over and call it “cooking”. It also means I get to eat alphabet potato things because my mental age is 5 😉

7 p.m. I found Ab Fab on BBC Entertainment!

8 p.m. Sorting out some photos for a future blog post. To be quite honest I was a bit bored by this point.

9 p.m. Back to reading, but this time in bed.

10 p.m. Still reading. Must finish Megan’s challenge!

At 10:30 p.m. I went to bed… no further photos were needed since I managed an even number.

What did you do with your Saturday?

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…

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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:

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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….