We (sort of) have a kitchen!

Hello friends! It’s time for another update on the building site that is our home. I was going to write one at the weekend but then we returned home on Friday to a note on the door requesting access at 8 the next morning. That’s 8 a.m. on a Saturday! So I decided to wait until that was done and then ended up not having time to post, so you get an extra two days of progress… and what progress it is. This is how our kitchen looks now:

Above the long drawers at the back there is a hob (for my American friends that would be hotplates), the doors to the right of the oven house a fridge and a freezer and the “cupboard” beside the sink is actually home to a dishwasher. Also, that squareish mark on the ceiling above the cupboards/shelf part? That’s actually where the fridge used to be, so from that you can see where the kitchen has been extended slightly into the dining area giving us a little more kitchen space.

The bathrooms, on the other hand, haven’t progressed a great deal. Here they are:

Without referring to last week’s post you probably won’t even be able to tell what’s been done. An additional frame has been added on top of the one that was previously fitted and there are a few more pipes/hoses back there. I’m interested to see what will be happening next…

Apart from that, work has now started in the next door part of the building, so there are no longer empty flats with bathrooms over there. Instead, a temporary shower/toilet/sink unit have been set up downstairs. Things actually worked pretty well with the bathroom next door – having to go over there was slightly annoying, but nothing I couldn’t deal with and it was always free when I needed it (there were two flats each with two bathrooms, which meant a total of four toilets and two showers available (plus two bathtubs)). Now there is one shower/toilet for everyone who is left in the building and today, on the very first day of having to use it, our upstairs neighbour went in there right as I was about to go downstairs. So tomorrow I’ll be getting up even earlier. (Jan, meanwhile, opted to get up a little earlier this morning and use the showers at his work.) Surprisingly though, the shower situation isn’t what annoys me most. The most annoying thing – apart from having to be up early on Saturday – is the dust. It’s everywhere! The dust sheets on the doors do a reasonable job of keeping most of it out, but they can’t stop it from being tracked in on our feet. And given that we have to walk through the dusty corridor no matter which room we want to enter the dust always follows. The second most annoying thing is that they’ve done something to the electricity so even though the trip switch is on there is no electricity in our bedroom. Getting ready for bed by the light of my phone torch is not my idea of fun…

Only this week and next week to get through and then we’re on holiday. We can do this! (She said, hopefully.)

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35 before 35: Cross stitch something for myself

When I added “Cross stitch something for myself” to my 35 before 35 list, I was initially planning on stitching a proper cross stitch kit – I now have two lying around waiting to be started, one huge one with poppies and a map of Northumberland. However, when I saw little pictures of various kitchen equipment in one of my cross stitch magazines, I instantly knew I wanted to stitch some of those for myself. My kitchen had been in need of some decoration, and they were in my favourite colour (red). Jan agreed that I could have them in my kitchen so I got stitching. I’m allowing this to count for the item because I think four little pictures adds up to a big enough project to be counted. Here they are in the order I stitched them. Maybe some people will recognise one that I was part way through a few months ago… 😉

Aren’t they the cutest? Now I’m just waiting for Jan to iron the interfacing onto the back so I can frame them. It’s his kitchen too, so he should make a contribution 😉

The flat!

I promised my mum (who I usually call mam) that I would take some photos of the new flat for her. So while I was over there this afternoon I did so.
Here are a few of them for those who were wondering what it looks like…

living_roomWe begin our tour in the living room, which will eventually also have to serve as a dining room and study, it being only a two room flat. I couldn’t figure out how to get two images next to each other on this thing so I’ve pasted both photos into one document and just uploaded that. As you can see, the ceiling slopes down at one side. That’s because I’m on the top floor, right under the roof. This means I get lots of light in and, from the back windows especially, a brilliant view. The only downside is that I have to carry everything all the way up to the top of the building – no lift you see. Oh well, it’ll keep me fit I suppose…
Let’s move on shall we.
bedroom1

Here’s the bedroom. Again with the slopy ceiling at one side. This photo was taken from the doorway, as you can probably tell by the fact that said door appears on the right of the picture. I’m thinking of placing the bed underneath the window, to the right of the radiator, then getting some kind of bedside table to go next to the wall. There’s a plug socket down there so I’ll be able to put a lamp on the bedside table, meaning no getting up to turn out the light when I want to go to sleep.

bedroom 2

And here’s the rest of the bedroom, the bit that’s round the corner from the previous picture. I don’t have a proper bathroom, just this sink at one side of the bedroom plus a shower (we’ll come to that in a bit). There’s a rail in the ceiling just in front of the sink where I shall be hanging a curtain at some point, so the “bathroom” bit will at least be kept separate from the part I’m actually sleeping in. Anyway, I don’t mind the sink being in my room – I’ve managed to live with it for the past 2 and a half years in the student residence.

shower And here’s the shower I was talking about. It’s just to the left of the sink. Now I won’t even have to leave the bedroom when I go for a shower in the morning!

kitchen Our final stop is in the kitchen area. This photo was taken from the bedroom, which is to the left. The door you can just about see on the right leads into the living room. I’m really pleased that the kitchen cupboards are red – it’s my favourite colour!

If you were to stand in my little kitchen area then turn around to face the other way you would see three doors on your right. Number one leads into the bedroom (yes, it’s on the left here. So if you turned around it would end up on your right. See what I mean). Door number two leads to the toilet. I did take a photo of it for my mummy dearest but shan’t post it on here. It’s a toilet – what more do you need to know? The third door is the entrance to the flat, or I suppose in this case it would be the exit since it would be pretty difficult to do any entering if you were already standing in my kitchen.

And that is it. My very own flat. It’s small, but not if you compare it to my room here, and – most importantly – it’s all mine! At 25 and a half years of age I’ve finally got a place of my own. About bloody time too, don’t ya think?

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…