Recent doings #28

Another month has been and gone… does anyone else feel like life is passing by too quickly for them to have a chance to do anything? Please say it’s not just me! Anyway, it’s link up day with Kristen so I’m here to tell you what I did in April.

whats new with you

Eating. I think I actually managed to eat fish twice a week in April, so yay for that! At the beginning of the month I ate way too much ice cream, then I made the mistake of getting the tape measure out so for the last week of the month I got back on My Fitness Pal and started trying to eat healthily again. There have been a lot of salads…

Drinking. Still too much black tea. At the beginning of the month I tried to cut down, limiting myself to one cup of black tea in the morning and drinking strawberry cheesecake tea (which is really an infusion) in the afternoon, but that only lasted maybe a week. Since then it’s been all normal tea all the time.

Reading. Show us your books is coming up so I’ll tell you all of them then, but a book I started reading in April was The Godfather. I’ve actually finished it now, but it was already May so it will be recapped in next month’s round up.

Watching. We’re still keeping up with Young Sheldon. I tune in to Pointless and Eggheads occasionally. And Jan has started putting CBBC on for Dragon Riders of Berk (I think that’s what it’s called), so slightly randomly I’ve been watching that. Toothless is the cutest!

Making. Many more birthday cards for Post Pals children.

Cross stitching. I stated a wedding card for a friend, but I didn’t have all the colours so I will be finishing it in May when the new threads I’ve ordered arrive. And while I’m on the subject…

Booking. Flights to England for the wedding of the aforementioned friend.

Buying. All the books, all the time. Also, a dress (I couldn’t resist – it has butterflies on!). Also, three-quarter length leggings to go under skirts in summer. I spent too much in April and have now put myself on a spending ban for May. *sigh*

Receiving. Don’t you love it when things come in the post that you don’t even remember ordering? That was the case with these Super Mario themed fridge magnets. I love them!

Mario magnets

Seeing/hearing. Jan performing with a choir… a different one to the one I saw in March.

Walking. On Easter Monday (which was just about in April) I went to a nearby town and walked up to a castle ruin on the hillside. I’ve also walked into town and along the river a few times (about an hour of walking). And, as evidenced by Saturday’s photo an hour, I walked half an hour through the woods (uphill!) to St. Chrischona, then we walked some more in the woods at the top of the hill. And that has basically been my exercise in April… my poor yoga mat has yet to justify its existence by being used!

Listening to. Yeah I actually remembered the existence of the music player on my phone… Anna Nalick’s Wreck of the Day album. Billy Joel’s greatest hits. The Eagles.

Playing. Mini golf. I started off okay but Jan still ended up beating me by loads. I will achieve my 40 before 40 goal though!

I can’t think of anything else I did in April so I’ll stop here. What have you been doing recently?

Check out the link up to see how everyone else spent April.

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Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge – Day 2

It’s day two of the three quotes challenge, for which I was nominated by the wonderfully hilarious Irish Procrastinator.

A reminder of the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

Yesterday’s quote was from a book. Today, I decided to go with a song lyric.

Well it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table, but you only want the ones that you can't get

 

Sometimes it’s really hard not to spend all your time thinking about the things you want in life while ignoring the fact that things are actually pretty nice the way they are – especially when everybody else seems to have the one thing you want! This serves as a reminder to me to look around once in a while and realise how fortunate I really am.

Also, I just really love that song. In fact, I’m going to include another quote from it. I know the rules say one… but if it’s from the same song it’s like only having one quote – right?

It may be raining, but there's a rainbow above you

Basically every cloud has a silver lining, or every bad situation has some good in it.

Today I nominate:

Elaine

Lyndsay

Ericka

Again, please feel free not to take part if you would prefer not to!

The Liebster Award (again)

Dubliner in Deutschland nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you my dear! 🙂

liebster-award 1

I’ve been given the Liebster award before, but usually the rules say to list some number of facts about myself and that’s haaaard 😉 With this version, I’m supposed to answer some questions set by the person who nominated me and then make up some questions of my own before passing on the award. Here are the questions from Dubliner and my answers:

  1. What do you mostly blog about?
    Everything! Although I suppose books, travel and food are my top three themes.
  2. What do you love about blogging?
    The community. I love reading/responding to comments and seeing what my favoruite bloggers have been up to. But I also like that it gives me an outlet for my thoughts. Even if I didn’t have a single reader I would keep blogging to save myself from insanity.
  3. What is your favourite movie?
    I have to pick just one? That’s impossible!I can narrow it down to three for you, but no further (and please don’t ask me to put these three in order!). 1. The Princess Bride, 2. Clue, 3 The Crow
  4. What makes you happy?
    many things! Sunshine (as long as it’s not toooo hot), spending time with my boyfriend, spending time with friends (and also actually having people to call friends!), good food, dogs, seeing the red pandas when I walk past the zoo…
  5. Tea or coffee?
    Tea! I am British after all 😉 When I drink coffee it has to be drowned in milk and preferably flavoured.
  6. Do you have a favourite song?
    That’s even harder than the films! There are so many good songs. I’ll give you four, okay? 1. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler, 2. No Time to Sleep by Tina Dico, 3. Quick Fade by Feeder, 4. Belgium by Bowling for Soup.
  7. What’s the last book you read?
    The Surgeon of Crawthorne by Simon Winchester It’s the story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary and one of its main contributers, an American who was imprisoned in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Very interesting. I can recommend it.
  8. Name three places you would love to travel to, if money were no object.
    Canada, Japan and Denmark
  9. Why did you start blogging?
    My first blog was an MSN space (later MSN Live Space) that came with my e-mail address. I started using it out of curiosity, having no real idea what it was. Later, I used it to blog about my time in Austria. I started this blog shortly after I moved back to Germany. I was bored, basically friendless and my boyfriend was busy writing his Diplom (German version a Master’s) thesis, so I started a new blog to keep myself occupied and get my thoughts out of my brain – hence my tagline.
  10. What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)
    You Know You’re Turning German When… is the first one that comes to mind.

I nominate:

Beth from Ami in Schwabenland
Marianne from Californienne
Becster
Sophie from Sophie in Clogs
Molly from The Move to America

And now here are my questions (only 5 because I’m not imaginative enough to think of a whole 10!):

  1. What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2014?
  2. What is your favourite food to eat in autumn/winter?
  3. Where was the last place you travelled to?
  4. What is your favoruite snack food?
  5. If you could learn any language (and were guaranteed to actually manage it!), which would it be?

Trivia Tuesday #6

It’s quiz night again tonight, and we all know what that means… time for me to regale you with fascinating facts that will probably never actually come up in the quiz 😉

  1. The artist who has featured most often on the “Now That’s What I Call Music” compliation series (which recently turned 30) is Robbie Williams.
  2. Sticking with music… the only person to appear at both Live Aid concerts (London and Philadelphia) was Phil Collins. He used Concorde to fly between the two cities.
  3. 5,000-year-old chewing gum made from bark tar, with tooth imprints, has been found in Kierikki, Yli-Ii, Finland
  4. The Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2013 is Selfie. 
  5. The sorceror that Mickey Mouse is apprenticed to in Disney’s Fantasia is called Yen Sid (Disney backwards)

    Epcot - Fantasia Topiary Scene - Sorceror's Ap...
    Epcot – Fantasia Topiary Scene – Sorceror’s Apprentice (Photo credit: keristars)
  6. The music duo Simon & Garfunkel originally performed as Tom and Jerry
  7. Tupperware is named after its inventor, Earl Silas Tupper.
  8. The Picture of Dorian Grey was Oscar Wilde’s only novel.
  9. The first commercially sold video game of any kind was called Computer Space.
  10. The closest country to Australia is Papua New Guinea.

That’s all for today. I hope you learned something 😉

 

Trivia Tuesday #5

I do plan to write about the rest of my weekend trip, but I won’t have time to sort out the photos for my next post before going to the quiz tonight, so for today you’ll have to make do with some more Tuesday trivia. Here are today’s 10 random facts.

Television in Question Marks.
Photo : Wikipedia
  1. The Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch was originally orange. He became green in Season 2.
  2. Sir Cliff Richard (birth name Harry Rodger Webb) will release his 100th album on 11 November 2013. He is is the only artist to have had at least one UK top five album in each of the last seven decades (1950s-2010s).

    Shredder as seen in the opening credits.
    Mr. Banks, is that you? (Photo: Wikipedia)
  3. James Avery, who plays Will Smith’s uncle (Philip Banks) on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, was also the voice of Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series.
  4. Botanically speaking, a strawberry is not a berry… but a banana is.
  5. Depending on the species, a jellyfish is between 95 and 98% water.
  6. A group of hyenas is known as a Cackle – very appropriate!
  7. Kazahkstan is the largest landlocked country by area. At 2,727,300 square kilometres (1,053,000 sq miles), its territory is larger than Western Europe!
  8. The Michelin Man has a name… it’s Bibendum, or Bib for short.
  9. Tina Turner’s real name is Annie Mae Bullock.
  10. The Visitors album by Abba was the first CD to be produced, in 1982

Happy Birthday, Train Station

I mentioned in my neighbourhoods around the world post that Karlsruhe’s main train station is turning 100 this week. And how do you celebrate such a momentous occasion? By lighting it up in pretty colours, of course. What else would you do? 😉 Here are some photos I took this morning:

Red train station Blue train station

Lighting the building up in red and blue isn’t the only thing that’s happening though. The real celebration is this weekend, with live music – Blues/Jazz on Friday night, three bands on Saturday night, including the one belonging to our quiz master and a “classic brunch” on Sunday with music from the Federal police Orchestra – and children’s activities, including a puppet show on Saturday. Exciting stuff 😉

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.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

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!)

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

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!

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

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