Oh, hi! Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. Work has been craaazy. To the extent that I was up at 5:30 a.m. today and yesterday so I could go in early and get stuff done. It’s only half an hour earlier than I usually get up, but my “normal” time of 6 a.m., but somehow it just kills me. As I’m sure you can imagine, the weekend is very welcome this week!
Dear boyfriend. Now that your paper deadline has passed, I hope that you’ll be able to spend at least a little less time working so I can spend some time with you!
Dear Newcastle United. I know Yohan Cabaye has been sold, but please don’t panic and forget how to play. The last thing we want is another derby day loss! (Especially considering how far below us the Scum *ahem* Sunderland are in the table).
Dear scales. Your number has been slowly creeping up for a couple of weeks now, but today was the highest weight you’ve shown me since August! I would like to believe you’re lying to me, but in reality I know exactly how much cake, chocolate and clotted cream I’ve been eating recently…
Dear unhealthy food. Why must you be so tasty? Cream, butter and bacon just make meals taste So. Much. Better. Is it any wonder my weight (and waist line) have taken a turn for the worse recently?
Dear godson. The videos that your mother posted on facebook are very cute, but you’re growing up far too fast! What’s with all this walking and saying actual words? I wish I could see you more often…
Dear February. Welcome! I’m hoping you’ll be a more exciting month than your brother, January.
That’s all from me for today. I hope next week I’ll have both the time and the inspiration to keep up with my blog better. Happy weekend, everyone!
Oh, hi there! Apologies forthe radio silence over the past couple of days… I’ve been given a big translation job at work which will keep me busy right up until we close for Christmas and actually means I need to do overtime for the next two weeks for there to be any chance of meeting the deadline. The result of this is a) I’m notdoing anything worth posting about and b) I have neither the time nor energy to think of other things to post about. I can’t even do a recipe post for you because I’m cooking while doing other things, so it’s just a case of chucking a few ingredients in a pan then running from the room to get on with sorting washing/writing Christmas cards/doing more work. No time to take food photos! Soooo, to tide you over for the time being, here are a few links to things that have caght my interest lately:
This BBC article on“murdering” robotsraises some interesting points. Could you harm a cute toy robot after first spending an hour playing with it and teaching it about the world?
Three Newcastle players made thePremier League Team of the Week– nice to see us getting some credit after the match report seemed to focus almost entirely on the Man U’s struggles while ignoring their opponent’s performance!
Thanks to yesterday’s public holiday, I’ve spent most of today completely confused. Back to work means Monday, right? Except today was actually Friday. Brain. Can’t. Cope. Anyway… it is indeed Friday, and that means I need to write some letters.
Dear Friday. Back again so soon? Not that I’m complaining… you just kind of snuck up on me, that’s all. Time is flying again!
Dear boyfriend. Conferences suck! I’m looking forward to actually getting to see you for longer than 20 minutes tonight!
Dear work. It’s flattering that you trust me enough to let me be the guinea pig for new software, but please could it be someobody else’s turn next time?
Dear Newcastle United. Whatever you do, please do not lose against QPR this weekend! You are too close to relegation to be doing anything stupid.
Dear unhealthy foods. Why must you be so tasty? (Yes, Cheddar Cheese, I am looking at you. And you Sour Cream & Jalapeno Tortilla Chips!)
Dear self-raising flour. You need to be used, so I’m thinking baking sesh this weekend. Healthy baked goods only, of course – I mean, Blueberry Muffinsmust be healthy, they contain fruit 😉
I have more to tell you about Berlin, but the photos are taking ages to sort, so for now I shall tell you about my weekend instead.
Yesterday my friend brought her Wii round and a few of us had a games night. We invited my downstairs neighbour over so we couldn’t disturb anyone and did Just Dance. It was a lot of fun but sooo exhausting! And I can really feel my thighs today! At least I can definitely say I got my exercise this weekend! Photos do exist, but they will not be finding their way on to this blog ever.
Today, the sun was shining, so after watching Newcastle United lose horribly in a football match against their local rivals (I wish I’d stayed in bed!!), Jan and I headed out to look for signs that Spring has finally sprung. We found them in the form of blossoms… finally here a month later than usual!
My new shoes finally got their chance to go outside! Hopefully this is the start of this year’s good weather and I won’t have to get my winter boots back out again!
Our yearly passes for the zoo ran out a week ago, so we decided to go and renew them, and pop in to the zoo while we were at it. We got to see the new baby giraffe! Very cute.
We also went to visit the alpacas, but they were too busy eating grass to pay any attention to us.
Walking round zoos is thirsty work, so we decided to head to a cafe and have an iced chocolate (well, I did. Jan had some yoghurty fruit thing).
Then it was time to head home for our tea (or dinner, if you prefer), which is currently cooking. Meanwhile, I’m off to watch The Big Bang Theory.
Yesterday afternoon, I was following the Newcastle v Swansea match on the BBCs Premier League live service. I thought it was going to end in a draw, but about a minute before full time Swansea scored. Meh! I immediately sent Jan a text, thinking he might like to know. As usual, minutes after I sent the message my phone beeped – I have delivery reports switched on. I checked the message, expecting it to read “Delivered”, as it always does. Instead, I was confronted with the following: “Jan Mob. Message failed.” That has never happened before. If the recipients phone is off, my phone doesn’t beep and I receive a message saying “Pending”. Once they switch their phone back on, the phone beeps and the “Pending” message changes to “Delivered”. I tried again. Beep beep. “Message failed”. I went and fetched the house phone to call him… “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later,” said a female voice – first in German, then in English. Hmm, odd. But he’d told me the night before that he might be allowed to go to the beach. Perhaps he was somewhere with no reception. I went to distract myself by reading some blogs.
Half an hour later, I could stand it no more. I dialled his number from out house phone. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I went into the kitchen and plugged in the hoover. Another half an hour, another attempt. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I made a cup of tea, ate a packet of Monster Munch and tried not to worry. For half an hour, then I tried again. It was 7:30 pm by this time, 8:30 in Turkey (he told me the night before that they’re an hour ahead). Even if he had been to the beach, surely he couldn’t still be there? Again “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” It occurred to me that if anything had happened, I wouldn’t find out until a member of his family thought to contact me. In emergencies, the authorities call your next of kin. Parents… siblings… wives. Not girlfriends. I pushed that thought out of my mind and resolved to try again later.
After each failed attempt, I tried to force myself to wait longer before dialling again, thinking up different things to distract me each time. I washed dishes, played Freecell on the computer, ate a small tub of icecream sitting on the floor in front of the radiator, got out the playing cards and had a game of Patience (sorry, but no it’s not called Solitaire… that’s a game with marbles!).
Half an hour ago, I sent another text message, asking how he was and whether he’d been allowed to go to the beach. It failed.
I know he’s probably fine and the issue is with his phone. If anything had happened I’d have heard by now, right? But still… aargh! I cannot wait to have him back here where I can keep an eye on him (at least while I’m not at work). One more sleep…
*Update* I have now spoken to the boyfriend via Facebook. His phone has been blocked for security reasons (pesumably because he went over a cost limit, leading them to think it was stolen), but he is fine. Good job I managed not to worry too much!
Most of the time, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Seeing the bunnies that occasionally appear on the grass verge by the train station in the town where I work. A colleague bringing in a tub of sweets for everyone. A rainbow. Eating a packet of Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch that a friend sent me all the way from England (every time a friend sends me a package it contains junk food. Funny that…)
Here are some things that have made me smile this week:
☼ Positive feedback from a normally hard to please customer ☼ Being able to see out of the window on my train journey home ☼ The pork enchiladas I made for tea the other night. They were delicious (and yes, I am blowing my own trumpet ;-)) ☼ The recommended tags for this post – Train, Train station, Florence, Switzerland, Toys, Duffle bag, Woking, Goat. ☼ My new socks
☼ Newcastle United winning their Europa League match against Metalist Kharkiv (which sounds more like a rock band than a football team) and getting through to the final 16 ☼ Seeing a large, tough looking man tenderly cuddling a Dachshund puppy ☼ This picture:
Another week over, and another busy one it’s been. Ill colleague always means lots of extra work for me. It’s over now though, thank goodness. Will have to make this a short post as I’m off to a birthday party tonight and need to get ready. Here are this weeks Friday letters:
Dear Americans at the bus stop. In the 4 minutes we were standing there, I actually lost count of how many times you used the word like – and the phrase I was like/we were like. Way to reinforce stereotypes! (Small sample: “Some people like come to class early and they like leave their bags on seats. Then they come back at like 10:15 and I’m like ‘who the hell are you?’”)
Dear “likers” of my blog. While it is nice to have people liking my blog, it’s a little scary when you do it within seconds of me pressing publish. The fact that you never actually comment does not make things better. Who are you and what do you want from me? (To those of you who like posts and leave a comment, I don’t mean you!)
Dear man at the train station. Thank you for rescuing my chocolate bar from the vending machine for me!
Dear weekend. I know I have lots of plans again, but could you please go by a little slower than the last one. After the week I’ve had I seriously need some rest!
Dear Primark. It’s probably kind of sad that I’m this excited about you opening in Karlsruhe, but I really don’t care. I LOVE my purchases (blog post on that to come).
Dear Newcastle United players. Could the injuries please stop now. Six of our key players are out with injuries (plus a few I’m not sure about) and now Cisse is doubtful. It won’t be long before there are none of you left to play…
Dear sleep. I miss you. How does a lie in on Sunday sound?
In English (or at least in the UK) we have a saying – more like a proverb – “April showers bring May flowers”. The German equivalent is “Der April macht was er will” – April does what it wants (April is pronounced A-prill with an A like in the word “alphabet” and to rhyme with will). I’m starting to think the German version is more accurate. This April certainly has no intention of sticking with one kind of weather! We’ve had dark, threatening clouds, we’ve had fog, we’ve had lots and lots of rain, we’ve had a tiny bit of sun peering from behind the clouds (mostly while I was at work), but what we’ve mostly had is cold. Today the temperature got up to a whole 10°C (Google tells me that’s 50°F, non-European readers), but mostly it’s been somewhere between 5 and 8°C. I’ve had to get my winter coat back out and have been wearing a scarf in bed (oh… I forgot to mention that I’ve had my hair cut and my neck now feels incredibly exposed…. and cold!). Did someone forget to tell the universe that it’s actually spring now? You had your chance winter… April is not your month!
On a brighter note, my team came first in the slightly-delayed-due-to-Easter pub quiz last week. The next one is on 8 May when we shall have a title to defend! We then went out on Friday night to watch our quiz master’s band perform, and got in free in exchange for doing the door for them (taking people’s money) as the person that usually does it couldn’t this time. All together now: “It’s not what you know…”.
Also, Newcastle United are currently fourth in the Premier League and it’s looking more and more likely that they’ll be coming to Europe next year, either in the Europa League (which I only recently found out is what they’re calling the UEFA Cup these days) or the Champions League. Jan and I are actually kind of hoping they end up with an Europa League place, that Stuttgart get one too, and that they happen to play each other. In Stuttgart. So we can travel to Karlsruhe’s greatest rivals, wearing Newcastle shirts and cheer on my football team. Unlikely, but the fact that I can even dream about it shows how far the Toon has come this season.
Life is good. But it would be sooo much better with a bit of spring sunshine!
I was intending to write a completely different blog today, but then I returned home from a full day of activities, logged on to face book and was instantly confronted with 5 or 6 status updates informing me that Sir Bobby Robson has passed away. Footballing legend Sir Bobby Robson was first diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago, in 1991. 4 times he managed to beat it, but this, the 5th time, was too much for him. This morning, at only 76 years of age, Wor Sor Bobby (bit of Geordie there) lost his battle with cancer.
Cancer is an awful, awful disease. I have seen too many people go through the suffering that it brings with it. To have to fight it 5 times is more than anyone should have to face. But Sir Bobby never gave up. He was a fighter right til the end, and even after his many operations he never stopped smiling. With his charity, the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Foundation, he helped raise thousands of pounds for other sufferers, in the Newcastle area particularly.
Sir Bobby was a legend in the footballing world, leading England to the semi-final as manager in 1990 bfore returning to his native North-East to manage Newcastle United. For Newcastle fans in particular this is a sad day. But whether you’re into football or not I think everyone will agree that Sir Bobby Robson was a very brave man.
RIP Sir Bobby Robson. 1933-2009. We miss you already.
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!