Recent doings #15

Another month, another link up with Kristin and Gretch. I know the use of the progressive form makes it sound like this is what’s happening right now, but I like the way it sounds, so just think of it as what I was doing in February, okay?

whats-new

Reading. All of these books for the bonus round of Erin’s challenge plus The Mysterious Howling, which is book one of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (I had originally planned to use it as my 6 word title for the challenge until I realised the six words were the series title, not the book title. *Sigh*). It was cute and fun and I loved it so much that I immediately ordered book 2 (but have yet to actually read it). I also read a children’s book called Hatching Magic to see whether my little brother might like it. I don’t know about him, but I LOVED it… but what’s not to love about a baby wyvern that’s addicted to chocolate? And right at the very end of the month I squeezed in The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag. The author is new to me but I will definitely be reading more of her books! This one reminded me a bit of Sarah Addision Allen or some novels by Joanne Harris (who I adore!), except set in England and with books. It’s very quirky, whimsical and it just made me happy. It’s maybe a little cheesy and some may find the ending too perfect, but I don’t care. This book is like the literary equivalent of comfort food and it was exactly what I needed in that moment.

Watching. An animated film called Igor that featured the voices of Eddie Izzard and John Cleese but wasn’t as good as those names would suggest and Inglorious Basterds, which my mum gave us for Christmas when it first came out on DVD and we hadn’t actually got round to watching until now! Umm, I think I managed to sneak in a few episodes of Pointless as well, but that’s about it. Actually, Jan always has the TV on when he’s home but I rarely pay attention to what’s on it. Boring (to me) documentaries usually.

Celebrating. Our anniversary (way back at the beginning of the month). We’ve now been together for 13 whole years! Here’s hoping that turns out to be a lucky number for some 😉

Eating. Apples. I’ve been trying out that old “an apple a day” thing. I have them with almond purée (which is expensive by the way, even by Swiss standards!). Although I didn’t actually manage to have an apple every single day. I’ve also been trying to have fish twice a week – and not just in the form of tuna pasta bake. I may have resorted to fish fingers a few times… And of course I ate pancakes on Tuesday – some traditions are worth hanging on to!

Drinking. Dandelion tea and ginger & lemon tea in an attempt to cut down my caffeine intake. I still can’t bring myself to abandon my morning cup of normal (i.e. black) tea though!

Designing. My own cross stitch pattern! It will get its own blog post, but here’s a sneak preview of my designing process. So hi-tech 😉

cross-stitch-design

Cross stitching. The above design, for one thing. Also birthday cards – one of which is still waiting for you to guess what it is. Just sayin’…

Buying. Apart from books you mean? 😉 I bought a long black skirt a few weeks ago and have worn it almost constantly since then, except when it had to go in the wash because I spilled almond purée all down it. I also bought a necklace from Etsy. Plus birthday presents for my friend’s son.

Building. IKEA furniture. Technically it was also purchased during February, but Jan paid for it so it felt wrong putting it under “buying”. Elaine was wondering where my tights had been stored before so I took before and after photos for you. The white thing is a fabric storage container that went in Jan’s old wardrobe but is the wrong size for the one we have now, so it had to live alongside it. The chest of drawers makes things look so much neater, don’t you think?

Organising. My books. One of the other items of furniture we got was another bookcase, so some of the books that were piled up on the shelves moved over there while others got rearranged. I’m sure it won’t be long before the chaos of more books than shelves reigns again, but for now it’s looking good!

Enjoying. The fact that it’s actually light when I finish work now! The first time it happened I got so excited that I went for a walk to the further away supermarket then only bought a carton of milk because that was all I could afford.

Going to. Winterthur, near Zurich the day before our anniversary. We walked around the town then went to the nature museum where there was an exhibition about bees. The bee exhibition was kind of disappointing but the rest of the museum made up for it.

Planning. A trip to Berlin at Easter and potentially a trip around Britain in the summer. One of those things is more finalised than the other.

Wishing. I was in Belgium so I could visit Kerri and her new puppy. Seriously, just look at that little face!! I so want a cuddle.

Wondering. Why doctors don’t just let people arrange appointments online already. It would save me a lot of attempts to say/spell my last name over the phone to German speakers who just cannot (or will not?) understand!

Hoping. That things go well with all the projects that Jan currently has going on at work. Please send good thoughts our way!

And just like that February is done and dusted! So, how was your month? Been doing anything fun recently?

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Friday letters

Finally it’s Friday! Music to my ears this week… work has been busy, particularly the last couple of days (somehow I have about 6 translations that are all due today?!). Actually, my working week still won’t be over after today – we’re having an open day thing tomorrow, so I’ll be on a train heading into the office at 7:15 a.m. But that’s a different kind of work at least… less brain power required. And then next week I’m off! Not that I’m doing anything, I just had to use up some holiday from last year.
Buuut anyway… letters time!

letter box

Dear IKEA. I am looking forward to you bringing my new furniture on Monday. Finally my tights will have a proper place to live!

Dear spare room. I am so sorry about the state you are in (world’s worst housewife strikes again…). Don’t worry, you will be sorted out on Sunday!

Dear EasyJet. Considering you are supposed to be a cheap airline the prices you’re giving me are ridiculous! I know we want to fly over Easter, but that’s still no excuse to charge over €100 for a one way flight!

Dear parcel delivery people. Is it really necessary to hold down the doorbell button for ages? No wonder I have a heart attack every time it rings!

Dear books. I don’t know what I would do without you! You are my escape from all the problems and horror in this world (although the book in the book I’m currently escaping into isn’t one I would particularly like to be in either…).

Right, that it for today. Happy weekend, dear readers. I hope the weather where you are is better than here!

Just let me SLEEP!

I know, I know: I promised to get back to blogging regularly then failed yet again. I’m sorry! I’m just so tired at the moment… I can barely string a coherent sentence together, let alone write an entire blog post! This morning I hit snooze on my alarm, think I would just have five more minutes… only to wake up half an hour later wondering why it was light already! It’s a good job I have flexi-time at work… plus enough overtime saved up to make up for the fact that I’ve already worked about 2 hours less than I should have this week. And today was only Wednesday. Two more whole days before the weekend and sleeep… plus a trip to IKEA to spend the money my Grandma gave us. Yes, I lead such an exciting life.
Anyway, Jan is out tonight (he has choir practice), so I suppose I’d better go and attempt to make some food for myself. I’m thinking Supernoodles are the way forward! I won’t promise to write again soon, cos we all know how well that worked out last time… however, I will post some more photos of the flat once we’ve got the yet-to-be-bought IKEA furniture up and arranged. How’s that for a deal?

Even slow progress is progress…

Slowly, slowly we’re getting there with the flat. The boxes are almost all unpacked now and we’ve got all the furniture put together… apart from Jan’s desk which we still can’t find the screws for! I just know they’re going to turn up somewhere obvious… Other than that it’s looking good, if you can ignore the fact that there are no curtains anywhere (we have some for the spare bedroom but need a drill to put the rail up) and most of the rooms have no lights. We’re still relying on lamps for most of our light! Why are nice ceiling lights so hard to find?! Everywhere we go they’re either ridiculously expensive or we just can’t find a nice one that we can agree on. *sigh*. We need to go back to IKEA for another bookcase though (the two we have are actually overflowing!) and some curtains – maybe this time there’ll be some decent lights too. Fingers crossed! Photos of the flat will follow as soon as I have access to them – Jan has uploaded them under his name, which makes things a little difficult, and for some reason I’m unable to upload them via the USB cable. I promise they will be here soon though, no more waiting for weeks and weeks between blog posts! Right now I have to go and catch up with all my favourite bloggers. This moving lark has caused me to miss out on so much. Boo and hiss! It will all be worth it in the end though, I hope…

Furniture and things

First things first… some photographs for those who requested them (or actually just answered my question with a yes, but you know what I mean…).
We’ll start in the bedroom, just because those are the photos that appear first in the folder…
Photo one is the chest of drawers (well, duh! Talk about stating the obvious!). Currently looking very neat and tidy, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the same chaos that reigns on every other sufrace in the flat has made it on to there to. *sigh*. That cardboard box you see to the left of the drawers contains the bedside table. It was only put up yesterday and I was working on my dissertation all day so no photo yet I’m afraid.

Moving on, and the chest of drawers has been joined by a wardrobe. Just a small one for now – we only really needed somehwere to hang stuff up since the drawers will do just fine fo things that can be folded. Eventually we’ll get a bigger (and probably slightly more expensive) wardrobe for our room in the new flat, but that wasn’t the purpose of this weekend’s mission.

And now let’s take a trip to the livign room…
Here you see Detolf, the cabinet. I am so overjoyed to finally have some storage space! Those plates you see at the bottom had been living on on the floor gathering dust up to now. Finally, after a little more than a year, I’ve managed to find them a home…

And that brings us to my final photo.
It’s a lamp! Eventually it’s place will be next to the sofa – which Jan will be bring with him from his flat. I actually can’t wait to have a sofa to snuggle up on! For now, though, the lamp has to be content with standing to one side of my living room, looking slightly lonely and out of place.
And that, my friends, is that. Not bad for an afternoon’s shopping.

And in other news, we had an appointment to look at another flat today. It was at 9:15 this morning, so I arranged to work from home today instaed of taking a half day and not starting til around 12 pm (and before you ask yes I did actually do work!). The flat was nice but would need a fair amount doing to it – like a proper kitchen putting in for one! – which of course would be expensive. Once again it all comes down to the money factor! We’l discuss it tonight though and I’m hoping a decision will have been made by Thursday at the latest. Stay tuned!

Aches and pains

We went to IKEA yesterday and I am now sore! My arms hurt from carrying heavy furniture up three flights of stairs, my legs ache from walking up and down said stairs about six times, both with and without heavy furniture, my knees are stiff from bending down then getting back up then bending down again in a different place while putting the stuff together. But it was worth it – I now have a wardrobe to hang things in (we had been using the built in cupboard in the entrance area, but that has lots of shelf space and barely any room for hanging.. I’m so sick of finding Jan’s shirts draped over every one of my dining chairs!). We also bought the chest of drawers to match my bed because it was reduced by a ridiculous amount and a second bedside table to go with Jan’s bed as it was down to 9 euros from the original price of 49! Bargains all round. It made sense to get a second bedside table for Jan’s bed as it seems that’s what we’ll be using in the new place… while my beautiful, beautiful bed is relegated to the spare room where it will be used roughly every 2 years (I never get visitors).  And I got a little cabinet to put wine glasses and things in, which means the plates and cups that had been living on the living room floor can now be moved into a cupboard. Hooray!
If anyone is interested I’ll post some photos of the new furniture later.
Now I’m going to do some dissertation until Jan wakes up, at which point it will be back to furniture building (I hear my arms protesting at the mere thought of it… ouch!).

Happy Easter everyone!

Miscellany

The shopping is put away, tea is just about ready… all I need now is for the boyfriend to arrive so we can eat. In the meantime, I shall blog.

Things have been much better since the last time I blogged, thank goodness. Another day like Monday may just have driven me insane! I am very much looking forward to the weekend though, when I shall hopefully be buying my washing machine. (Yes, I did just say I was looking forward to buying a washing machine. My life is really is that exciting). If I can find one that’s cheap enough I may even see if I can pursuade Jan to take me to IKEA. I’ve been looking at their website and several things have caught my eye. Like this, and this. Can you tell I got paid yesterday?

Things had started to warm up a bit here last week, but now it’s gone cold again. It was -8°C here this morning! I had to wait 5 minutes for my tram to turn up and even in that short time I could feel my cheeks turning to ice. I’m just glad I don’t live in the north of Germany… up there -9 has been the highest temperature, with lows in the minus twenties. Brrr, just thinking about it makes me shiver!

Hmm, what else can I tell you? It’s my Grandma’s birthday today. The last of the (many!) January birthdays in my family. I hope her card got there on time… I’m not holding my breath though. Royal Mail have been annoying me lately… two things I sent my sister have not yet arrived (one of them was a Christmas card so you can imagine how long it’s been since I posted that) and my friend’s wedding present has only just arrived, 3 weeks after I sent it for the second time! The first time it came back to me over a month after I took it to the post office.  Not at all impressed! Oh, and I’ve also been invited to four hen parties today… all for the same person, and to a second one for someone who had already invited me to one of theirs. Is this he new thing now, having millions of hen nights? Any excuse for a party I suppose…

Right, I’m off to grate some cheese now. Hopefully Jan won’t take too much longer… lunch time was hours ago and my poor stomach is rumbling like mad!