Things I do when I’m home alone

I actually stole the idea for this post from Katrin at Landy of Candycanes… it seemed somehow appropriate seeing as I am, in fact, currently home alone. Katrin did it is part of Random Thursday, but I obviously can’t do that  seeing as today is, in fact, not Thursday.

Things I do when I’m home alone

Not cook proper meals. Unless I’m really craving something, when I’m home alone meals do not involve any chopping, peeling or crushing. If it can’t a) be heated up in boiling water (hello Kartoffelknödel!), b) be shoved in the oven, c) be poured from a tin into a saucepan and then heated or d) be made in the toaster I ain’t eating it!

Watch TV. We’ve only had a TV since this year – and we only bought it because in Germany you now have to pay for a TV licence whether you actually have one or not, so I still haven’t got used to having it around. Also, when Jan’s home I’m usually too busy doing bloggy type stuff, cleaning and cooking after work to switch on the TV, so it tends to only be on if we’re watching a DVD or if Jan switches it on to watch the news or some history/nature programme. But when he’s away, I will occasionally look for some programme that doesn’t require the use of my brain (no history documentaries here!), make a cuppa and then sit back and enjoy.

Leave the dishes for a few days. When I’m not cooking full on meals, I don’t use as many dishes… and I also don’t need to wash half the things in my kitchen just so I can get started on cooking! One small saucepan, a cup and plate don’t need to be washed up straight away, right?

Eat peanuts. Jan is allergic to peanuts, so usually I try not to have anything containing them in the house. He’s not severely allergic.. so it’s not like he’s going to die if I open a packet of peanuts near him… but the symptoms he gets are pretty annoying, so to be considerate I simply don’t buy anything with peanuts in. When he’s away, all that goes out the window. Peanut M&Ms? Gimmeeee! (And yes, I will eat an entire large bag in one sitting. Who knows when I’ll next be able to eat peanut M&Ms?)

Go to bed early. I knoooow, totally pathetic. But when Jan is home, we don’t even eat until 8:30 p.m. at the earliest (I actually have a rule that if he isn’t home by 8:30, I will eat by myself, but often enough I misjudge the time cooking will take and it’s not even ready until closer to 9). If I try to go to bed on a full stomach, sleep is not going to happen, so I usually don’t make it to bed until around midnight… and I have to be up at 6. When I’m home alone, I occasionally manage to be in bed early enough to get a whole 8 hours of sleep!

That’s all. It doesn’t seem like much, but with the hours Jan works I’m basically home alone most of the time anyway. The only difference is, when he’s in town I do expect him to be home at some point so I will actually cook real food and wash the dishes ready for his arrival (leaving me no time for TV!).

What do you like to do when you’re home alone?

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35 Before 35 – The complete list

Fiiiinally I’ve finished gathering things for my 35 Before 35 list. It does have its own page (which you can click on at the top), but for those of you who don’t bother with them tabs up there I thought I would repost the entire list. Here are the 35 things that I want to achieve before I turn 35 (in 5 years time… minus two months). Items that are crossed out (okay, one item…) have already been achieved.

  1. Visit the Ukraine
  2. Eat fondue in Switzerland (again)
  3. Learn Spanish
  4. See another musical
  5. Get over my fear of sewing machines and learn to use one
  6. Travel round Britain again
  7. Complete a cross stitch picture for myself
  8. Do 3 OU courses
  9. Make cheesecake
  10. Go whale watching
  11. Spend a night in a 5 star hotel and order room service
  12. Ride in a hot air balloon
  13. Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books (Read: 1/50)
  14. Go back to Austria and finally try Marillenknödel
  15. Read 20 books in German (Read: 3/20)
  16. Spend new year in Madeira and see the fireworks display (it previously held the record for the world’s largest!)
  17. See a Shakespeare play (not performed by Oddsocks)
  18. Bake 10 different kinds of biscuits (Baked: 2/10)
  19. Find a recipe for garlic soup and make it
  20. Attend a world cup rugby match
  21. Read all those books from the BBC Big Read Top 200 list of books that I haven’t before (132 books – I had read 68 before starting) (Read: 7/132)
  22. Visit the Postojnska cave in Slovenia
  23. See the Northern Lights
  24. Go to 5 different Christmas markets (other than Karlsruhe and Durlach)
  25. Either attend a cake decorating class or buy a book and teach myself at home
  26. Paintball!!
  27. Spend the night in a wine barrel (http://www.tourism-bw.com/Gourmet-Country/Spend-the-night-in-a-wine-barrel)
  28. Play blacklight (i.e. glow-in-the-dark) mini golf (Done on 8 April 2013, read about it here.)
  29. Visit a continent I’ve never been to before (following the seven-continent model, this means Africa, Asia, South America, Antarctica or Australia)
  30. Learn to crochet or knit (or both)
  31. Watch 15 films I haven’t seen before
  32. Start paying off my student loan
  33. Have a poem published
  34. Drink champagne in Champagne
  35. The KVV beer tour (drink a beer in each of the local breweries that can be reached by tram/S-Bahn)

Stamp of Approval Saturday: Maps, books, badgers and a blog analyser

I’m linking up with Alex at Ifs, Ands & Butts again for Stamp of Approval Saturday. Here are the Internet finds that have caught my eye recently:

1. My first link comes from Alex herself – she posted it on Stamp of Approval Saturday last week and I had to post it here for those of you who don’t read her blog (although you really should) to check out. This list of maps that will help you make sense of the world from Twisted Sifter is just ace!!

2. Next up, Buzzfeed: I felt like a nodding dog reading this list of problems only book lovers will understand. So true, all of it! And there is definitely no such thing as too many books!

Badger
Archaeologist? (Photo credit: Tatterdemalion!)

3. This next link would have been included on last week’s Stamp of Approval Saturday if I hadn’t been way too busy to post. There’s something about a badger discovering a medieval tomb that appeals to me. Who needs archaeologists anyway? 😀

4. Another Buzzfeed. This one’s about brilliant British people problems and it’s so true!! I have definitely done 16 and 18…

5. Finally, here’s a link that a friend shared with me this week. UrlAi is basically a site that analyses blogs. You put in a URL and it tells you whether it thinks a male or female wrote it, how happy the author is and other things. Here’s what it says about me:

confuzzledom.wordpress.com is probably written by a female somewhere between 18-25 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time.

I was going to give you a screenshot of the little graphs it came up with for my blog, but for some reason my computer was unable to take one (“Unable to capture screenshot. All possible  methods failed”), which is kind of a shame, because the visualisation thing that shows you which words went into which category is pretty interesting. Here’s a small excerpt from mine:

♣ The words “ribbon”, “cupcake” and “feet” were in the female category, while the male category had “assistant”, “astride” and “casinos”. (Astride also came up under “business”… which made me laugh. Am I the only one whose mind instantly goes to the gutter on hearing the word “astride” without any context?)
♣”Hate”, “trouble” and “scary” made sense for the upset category, but I’m not sure why “air” ends up there?! Meanwhile “excited”, “lovely” and “birthday” put me firmly in the happy category… but so did “ice”. What?!

Anyway, you should check the site out and see what it has to say about your blog.

Found anything interesting on the Internet this lately? You too can link up with Alex for Stamp of Approval Saturday and share your finds with the rest of the blogosphere! This week’s edition is the last one, so get in while you can.

The list! The list!

OK, before I get on to the actual topic of the day, which is my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, there is something I have to share with you.
According to my stats someone found me last night be searching Google for penis shaped friendship bracelets. I can think of only one thing to say to that, and that thing is WHY?!!?

And now, without further ado, I shall move onto the list.
I am also going to make a page with it on, so in future you will be able to see my progress without having to search for this blog post. Errm, that is, of course, if anyone’s actually interested in my progress. Other than me. Right. Anyway. The list!
I have split it up into sections for ease of reading and stuff…

The Places I will Go
1. Take an intensive Spanish course in Spain
2. Visit 5 places in Germany that I’ve never been to before
3. Eat frog’s legs in France, fondue in Switzerland and goulash in Hungary
4. Go to Europapark (theme park near Freiburg)
5. Go for a ride  in a hot air balloon
6. Go to the Christmas market in Ettlingen
7. Go to 5 other Christmas markets (not including Karlsruhe)
8. See the Northern Lights
9. Go on the London Eye
10. Go to Berlin with my boyfriend
11. Go to Luxembourg
12. Buy a 24 ticket for the Karlsruhe transport network and spend the day visiting different towns
13. Go on a boat on the Rhine
14. Go on an overnight train journey and spend the night in a sleeping compartment
15. Have a picnic in a town I’ve never been to before

Reading, Watching, Listening

16. Read 50 books from the list of books I want to read (which you can find here).
17. Read 15 non-fiction books
18. Read the Little Vampire books in the original German
19. Read War and Peace
20. Read all of the Anne of Green Gables books
21. Read 5 biographies/autobiographies (these will not count towards the 15 non-fiction books!)
22. Read 5 German children’s books
23. Watch every episode of ER – to make life easier for me I will count it down by season.
24. Watch 27 films from the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die” list
25. Watch a film in Spanish
26. Go to the cinema 10 times
27. Watch 5 films from the year I was born
28. See a Shakespeare play (not Oddsocks!)
29. See a German play
30. See Eddie Izzard live
31. See a musical
32. Discover 3 new (to me) bands that I like and buy an album of theirs
33. See 3 bands/artists live (not at Das Fest)

It’s All About Us
34. Kiss my boyfriend under the mistletoe
35. Cook a 3 course meal for my boyfriend on 3 different occasions
36. Bake Jan a birthday cake
37. Go for a nice meal together at a restaurant we wouldn’t usually go to; get dressed up for it
38. Kiss outside during a thunderstorm
39. *Secret* (No, it’s nothing naughty. Just something I want to surprise Jan with. Keeping it secret until after I’ve done it in case he decides to read this)
40. Get a flat with my boyfriend

Getting Creative
41. Complete a cross stitch picture converted from a photograph that I took
42. Complete 3 other cross stitch pictures
43. Hand make 10 birthday cards and send/give them to family/friends
44. My photo challenge! Assign a theme to each month of the 1001 days & take 50 pictures during that month.
45. Make something and sell it
46. Make a dreamcatcher
47. Take a photo for each letter of the alphabet and make an alphabet book with them (A is for…)

For My Health
48. Eat a portion of fruit every day for 2 weeks
49. Do not eat chocolate, cake or sweets for 1 month
50. Be in bed before 10pm 50 times
51. Walk home from the train station instead of taking a tram 10 times
52. Take vitamins every day for 30 days in a row
53. Go to the dentist

Learning and Education
54. Take 2 more OU courses (apart from the one I already have booked for October)
55. Learn calligraphy
56. Learn basic Russian
57. Learn basic Japanese

Eat Me! Drink Me!
58. Find 10 restaurants in Karlsruhe that I’ve never been to and have a meal there
59. Bake 10 different cakes
60. Make jam
61. Have sparkling wine for breakfast
62. Go vegetarian for 2 weeks
63. Make lemonade
64. Drink a cup of green tea every day for a week
65. Eat fish twice a month for all months of the 1001 days
66. make gingerbread people
65. make mango chutney
66. Find a recipe for garlic soup and make it
67. Find 6 recipes that use avocados and make them
68. Attend a wine seminar
69. Eat one meal with chopsticks every day for one month

Because other people are important too…
70. Host a pancake party
71. Host a tea party
72. Give (at least) 50 euros or pounds to 3 different charities
73. Visit someone I haven’t seen for a while (= more than a year)
74. Bake cookies, put them in a nice tin and give them to someone as a birthday present
75. Write a letter to my grandparents
76. Send 20 postcards for no particular reason

Getting Organised
77. Get all my photos from Hamburg, Prague, belgium, Paris and Rome printed and put them in albums
78. Sort out my underwear drawer. Thow away anything that is holey, losing its elastic or just generally looks shabby.
79. Sort out the clothes I still have at my dad’s. Give anything that is too small or I’m obviously never going to wear again to charity.
80. Find all my recipes and put them in a folder. No more searching the entire flat every time I want to make something!
81. Do my taxes
82. Find all my bank statements and put them in a folder

Money, Money, Money
83. Pay off my overdraft
84. Buy a pair of red shoes
85. Buy a printer
86. Pay Jan back
87. Start paying off my student loan

The Flat
88. Get a new quilt to go with my new bed
89. Get tubs/jars for everything in the kitchen that evil moth beasts might be interested in
90. Get curtains for the bedroom
91. Wash the dishes on the same day I use them for 3 weeks

I like making  lists!
92. Identify 101 things that make me happy
93. make a list of 101 quotes that I like. The list can include song lyrics.

Other stuff, or the I couldn’t be bothered to think of more categories section
94. Build a snowman
95. Buy a colouring book and colour in the whole thing
96. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
97. Join trip advisor and write 10 reviews
98. Go bowling
99. Buy myself flowers
100. Release 10 bookcrossing books into the wild… the proper wild that is, not official bookcrossing zones!
101. Leave the computer off for an entire weekend. Not when on holiday – it has to be a weekend where I am actually at home!

That is it. And I must tell you it took ages to come up with 101 things!
If you decide to do your own 101 things in 1001 days list let me know in the comments box so I can come and look at your ideas 🙂

I will be starting to 1001 days on 13th August 2009, which makes my end date Thursday, 10th May 2012.

So many books…

I was looking through my Amazon recommendations again today trying to find some more books to add to my list. I seem to have written most of them down now though – really I need to stop listing and get reading, but until I’m earning a proper wage that’s impossible. So for now I’ll just keep writing of my list and dreaming of the day I can order something new to read.
For now I wanted to ask if you could recommend one book that everyone should read before they die what would it be? And why? Answers in my comments please. If I like the sound of what you suggest I may even add it to my list…