Back at work

The wisdom tooth pain was much better by yesterday afternoon, so I went to watch Jan’s choir perform. It was part of a festival that was taking place in Karlsruhe’s Weststadt (literally West Town – such creative naming!) and they were singing three times. The first, and best, performance was in a bar where I managed to drink a whole orange juice without wincing too much.

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English: Sable short-haired Syrian Hamster.
I looked just like him.. except less furry. And with an ice cream cone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second performance was outdoors and the members of the choir couldn’t hear one another properly. They also sang some harder songs this time, and not all of them sounded as good as they could have. I don’t think the audience noticed though. After the performance, the choir members were offered food and drinks. There was bread with soft cheese on top (the same texture as cheese triangles, but actual cheese) so Jan give me a piece of his, which I was able to let melt in my mouth. The first time in four days that I’d eaten something other than soup or ice cream! It was delicious, let me tell you! Later, I had an ice cream and even managed to eat most of the cone (by nibbling off the bits that had been softened by ice cream then letting them dissolve in my mouth… yes, nibbling! I literally was a hamster!)

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Performance three was outdoors again, at a massage practice. The program consisted of a mixture of songs from the first two performances and was a mixture of good and not-so-good. Some people had never sung outdoors before, which explains a lot. The indoor performance at the start was definitely the best of the three… even non-musical me noticed that!

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By the time we got home, I was starting to feel pain again but nowhere near as bad as previously! It was annoying, but bearable. I still took a painkiller before tea though. Jan made me some Heinz Mulligatawny soup with a slice of bread in (minus the crusts) and I ate all the bread plus about two thirds of the soup. Last night, I slept all the way from 11 pm to 4:30 am – my longest sleep in about two weeks! I woke up in some pain at 4:30, but rinsing my mouth with cold water was enough to make it die down enough to get back to sleep.

*Warning: Squeamish people, skip to the next paragraph!* As yesterday went on, I found I was able to open my mouth more and more. The last few days I’ve been convinced I could feel the end of my stitches scraping on my tongue (at one point I was worrying that the stitches were coming loose!). Last night, I was able to open my mouth wide enough to actually see the stitches. The ends were indeed quite long, so they probably really are scratching my tongue! The stitches on the right are nice and neat – just one or two visible and neatly tied off. On the left, where I originally had toothache and where my tooth was almost sideways, the stitches look like a spide sitting inside my gum! No wonder the swelling on that side hasn’t completely gone down yet… The wounds looked pretty healthy though (as far as I can tell anyway, not being a dentist or anything…). they’re not red or diseased looking and there were no bits of food hanging around. No bleeding any more either, so obviously the feeling that my wound was coming open every time I swallowed was just paranoia…

This morning both the pain and the swelling were almost gone, so I decided to come to work. I took a painkiller just to get rid of the nagging pain, and so far I haven’t felt a thing. Swallowing is still uncomfortable and weird, but no longer horribly painful, and this morning I managed to eat a Milch-Schnitte.* I still can’t chew, but I was able to mush it up enough to swallow using my tongue and top front teeth. Tonight, I shall try some carrots and potatoes mashed together… if I can be bothered to peel, chop and mash them!

* For those who don’t know, Milch-Schnitte consists of two thin slices of chocolate cake with a smooth honey/milk filling between the slices. Those who speak German may be interested in this Chefkoch recipe for home-made Milchschnitte: http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/2027691328706900/Milchschnitte-fast-wie-original.html

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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!

It’s Saturday, hip hip hooray

Actually Saturday is pretty much over at this point but the title was too good not to use. (OK, it wasn’t actually that good but I couldn’t think of a better one).

A friend of mine who used to be a language assistant with me has come back to Germany to do a second assistantship. This time she’s living in another town roughly 45 minutes away from Karlsruhe, but today she came into town so Jan and I went to see her. We went to Cafe Emaille for lunch then to Gelbe Seiten Cafe so that we could have coffee and I could pick up some books. I needed new ones to read on my daily journey to work and they have a bookcrossing zone there. Hooray for free books!

After coffee we headed to C&A so that Jan could buy me some clothes. (And before you start thinking I’m one of those girlfriends I should point out that normally I buy my own clothes, but this particular shopping trip was part of my birthday present. He doesn’t like to surprise me with clothes in case a) I don’t like them or b) they don’t fit, so instead I got a birthday card promising me a shopping trip at a later date).

Currently Jan is at his flat where he has to pick up a few things. But soon he’ll be coming over again so we can have dinner. Then we plan to spend the rest of the evening eating Ben & Jerry’s icecream and watching films. Not a bad Saturday I’m sure you’ll agree.

The A to Z of me

Somone sent me this as an email. You’re supposed to complete the sentences that apply to you then send it back to whoever you received it from plus a bunch of people you think should do it too. Instead of emailing it I thought it would be a fun thing to blog about, so I’m going to do it here. I also think it would be great if my blogging friends did it too, so I hereby tag Katyboo, Welsh Girl and Hails over at Coffee Helps. Only if you want to of course. If anyone else reading this would like to do it too please feel free – just leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can pop over and have a read.

Did I by any chance just make my very first meme?
OK, here it is.

The A-Z of Me

A is for Ann. That’s my middle name.

B is for books. I like those a lot. In fact, I’m slightly obsessed with them. I would hate to live in a world eithout books. B is also for blogging, which I feel deserves a mention as it seems to be developing into my new obsession.

C is for Canada, somewhere I have never been but would like to go. Visit Canada is on my list of things to do before I die.

D is for dolphin. My favourite animal. I swam with dolphins at Zoo Marine in Portugal. It was a present from my mum and sister for my 24th birthday. D is also for dog. I am definitely a dog person. Cats are mostly either evil or stupid. Sometimes both.

E is for exercise, something I really need to start doing more of. The ten minute walk to the tram stop just isn’t enough…

F is for friends and family. My friends are the most important thing in my life. I don’t have many and find it hard to make new ones, which makes me appreciate the ones I do have even more. It’s just a shame most of them live so far away. My family come a close second in the important things stakes. We don’t always get along but when i need them I know they’ll be there for me.

G is for Germany, the country I’ve lived in for the last two years. I first came over at the end of 2003 for my compulsory year abroad. Jan and I got together in February 2004 then six months later I had to retrun to England. After spending a year there completing my degree followed by a year as a language assistant in Austria I decided it would be nice to actually live in the same country as my boyfriend again. It also didn’t hurt that I actually like Germany and still had a few friends here.

H is for homeless. I have no real home any more. Here I have a room in a student residence. In England I have a room at my dad’s place. Nowhere do I have a real home to call my own.

I is for icecream. I like icecream, especially posh icecream or the kind that comes in interesting flavours, such as those made by Häagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s. I is also for igloo. Wouldn’t it be cool to go inside a real one, built by actual eskimos?

J is for Jan, aka “the boyfriend”. We’ve been together 4 and a half years now and I can’t quite belive he’s managed to put up with me for so long. Mind you, for 2 years it was long distance so really we’ve only been in a regular relationship for 2 and a half years. Not actually living together probably helps too.

K is for kitchen. I love to cook, but not for myself. It’s much more fun when someone else is going to be tasting the result. I also love baking but unfortunately don’t often find the time for it.

L is for languages. I currently a speaktwo – English, as my native language, and German. I would like to learn a lot more, including Spanish, Ukranian and Italian.

M is for mother. I hope to be one some day. Ideally I would like three kids, but that’s looking less and less likely as the years go by.

N is for names. I’m fascinated by names – the meanings behind them, the fact that a name that’s definitely female in one country may be male in another. It’s all very interesting… honest!

O is for orangutan, just because they’re cool. When I was little I thought the word was “orangutang”.

P is for potatoes, my favourite food. I could live on potatoes. Baked, roast, fried… anything goes. Except boiled – boiled potatoes are just boring! Mashed potatoes on the other hand are the ultimate comfort food and fantastic on a cold, miserable day.

Q is for quiz. I used to go to pub quizzes with my dad. Occasionally my team even worn. I like the pub quiz at Flynn’s here in Karlsruhe – you can win a special prize for putting down an answer that they think is funny or clever. Usually the special prize (a bag full of crisps, sweets and maybe a random alcopop) is better than the real prize (whiskey, which I hate).

R is for red, my favourite colour. I wore a red dress at my 21st birthday party. It cost me 150 pounds, the most money I have ever spent on one item of clothing.

S is for Shirley, my future daughter’s middle name. My step mum was called Shirley. She died when I was 12. My first daughter is having Shirley as a middle name in her honour. Any man that can’t understand that isn’t worthy of being the father of my children.
S is also for siblings, of which I have three. A sister, who is two and half years younger than I am, and two half brothers one from each side of the family. The brother on my mum’s side is almost 18 (how did that happen? He was just a kid a few years ago!). The brother on my dad’s side has just turned two.

T is for translator, what I will hopefully be in a few years time. Right now I’m a trainee translator. The ideal job for me would be translating children’s books, but there’s not much money in it so it would have to be on the side.
T is also for travel. There are so many places to see, so many cultures to learn about. Why stay in one place all your life?

U is for university. I’m currently studying part time for my Master’s in Translation, via distance learning. U also happens to be for the name of my university, UWE, the University of the West of England.

V is for variety, the spice of life. The old saying is definitely true for me – I would get so bored if I was forced to do the same thing all the time!

W is for writing. For a long time I wanted to be an author. I still haven’t entirely given up on that dream, although now I don’t think I have the talent. I did do an OU fiction writing course last year though so you never know.

X is for x-ray, because it almost always is. I’ve never had one though – no broken bones here!

Y is for yellow flowers, something else I like. My favourite is daffodils, but I also love sun flowers. Yellow roses are pretty too.

Z is for zzz, as in sleep. I’m good at sleeping and tend to get irritable when I don’t get enough. Sometimes, when I’m really tired, I’ll just cry for no reason.

OK, that’s me done. Now it’s your turn…

Getting somewhere on the job hunting front.

The woman from Ettlingen called today – at 9:30 this morning. They were drilling in the rooms abover our office again (it’s been going on for almost a week now!) which made it slightly difficult to hear her, but I think I managed to get everything. Goodness knows what she thought of me though!They’re going to send me a practice text to translate and then 2 translations to do trial proofreads. I’ve taken Thursday afternoon off, so they’re going to send the texts then and I have a certain amount of time to finish them (an hour for the translation, longer for the proofreads). So things are progressing. If I do a good job the next step will presumably be an invitation to come for an interview. It’s all very exciting… in a horribly nerve racking kind of way!
Today has been hot, which is nice when you have access to a swimming pool and unlimited cold drinks. Not quite so nice when you’re stuck in an office with 3 printers, a fax machine, a photocopier and 5 computers (4 of which were switched on). I shouldn’t complain too much though – Mother Nature might hear me and cause it to rain non-stop for the rest of the summer. I prefer roasting to death in the office than drowning trying to get there thank you very much!

On the way home I decided I’d pop into Aldi and get myself something for tea. Jan isn’t coming over tonight so I wanted something quick, easy and suitable for one person. Of course, me being me “something quick and easy for tea” ended up being 10 euros spent on crap which I then had to carry home. It’s Asia week at Aldi Süd this week, which means they have loads of Chinese and Indian stuff in that they usually don’t sell. This meant I just had to buy a bag of prawn crackers for no reason othet than that they were there and it’s been ages since I had any. Then I spotted the 5 spice. Oh yes, never know when you might need some of that. And oh look, coconut milk. Always useful to have around… I just can’t go food shopping without buying rubbish.
I’m now hot and tired after carrying all that stuff home so I’m off to get an icecream. Yes, before dinner. That’s the advantage of being a) over 21 and b) in a different country to your parents…