Friday letters (the train strike edition)

Good morning! I am currently working from home for the second day in a row thanks to the German train drivers’ strike. Surely you must have heard about it? It even made BBC news! For those that haven’t, a brief summary: goods train drivers have been on strike since Wednesday, those on passenger services since 2 a.m. yesterday. The strike will continue until 4 a.m. Monday, which has meant those who commute had to find alternative ways to get to work… or been forced to use holiday days (not exactly a fun prospect this close to Christmas!). Luckily I have an employer who set up a remote server and allows us to work from home for a few days when such things happen.
Other than that, this week has been fairly uneventful. We got back from Paris on Sunday to find bright sunshine and temperatures of 22°C… which then promptly changed to around 13°C and rain the next morning. I cannot keep up with these constant about faces! I’ve been working hard again and managed to add some more overtime to my tally – soon I’ll have enough to take a day off! And when I haven’t been working I’ve managed to complete another few Christmas-themed cross stitch pictures for cards and read the first two books for the winter reading challenge. I’d be halfway through the third by now if I hadn’t been denied my commute yesterday and this morning! Also, it was pub quiz on Tuesday and my team managed to come second with a mere 53 points! The questions were really difficult this month!
And now, letters.

letter box

Dear GDL/Deutsche Bahn. I really hope you agree on something soon, because after a four-day strike I’m a little worried about what the next step might be. Striking for an entire week? No trains right when people want to head home for Christmas? The possibilities are endless (and scary!).

Dear Christmas markets. I can’t believe you will be starting in a mere two weeks! It’s only just started to feel like autumn… I can’t possibly get my head around the idea of winter! I am looking forward to the Glühwein though.

Dear Welcome to Night Vale. I’m glad your live show was just as amazing as I had been anticipating! Please come back to Europe soon.

Dear self. Stop spending money on things you don’t need!! Christmas is really not far away and many, many gifts need to be purchased!

Dear stomach. After weekes of seeming just fine, you hurt again yesterday after I ate some sheep’s cheese. Please don’t let your problem be with sheep’s/goat’s cheese. I love that stuff!

And now here are some links:

Lucy went to see the poppy exhibition at the Tower of London and took some great pictures. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t go so I’m having to live through all the bloggers who did make it.

This recipe for Chorizo, Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Mediterranean Vegetables and mozzarella looks amazing! Just the thought of it is making me feel hungry.

This article about learning to speak German and having to send verbs to the end of a sentence amused me greatly. So many times I’ve joked that by the time you get to the verb you’ve already forgotten what it was you were trying to say!

I love my job, but sometimes the unexpected overtime and requests from customers to “just quickly translate this tiny file (which isn’t really tiny at all) by the end of today” can get tiring. This post on 5 things translators do better is the perfect antidote to a long and frustrating work day!

I thought I had more links for you but I can’t actually remember any more/find where I’ve saved them so that’s just going to have to do. Have a great weekend everyone!

*I’m linking up with Kate for Daily Diaries.*

Linkies {Filler post}

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:

That’s all for today. I hope I’ll be back with a real post soon! In the mean time feel free to share any interesting links of your own in the comments box…

-Filler post-

Today’s post was supposed to be about a baking fail, but the photos I need for it are still on Jan’s phone (which is currently at work with him and will be until at least 8:30 pm!). Plus a planning mix-up at work has resulted in me being given 18 and a half hours of translation to do despite the fact that I have Thursday and Friday off this week. 18.5 hours of work in a 16-hour working week = overtime, which doesn’t leave much time for blogging!

Luckily, I still have hundreds of photos on my computer that you – my readers – have never seen, so I thought I’d pick a random one to upload for you.
I went into my “Photos” folder and chose the 13th sub-folder from within it (because 13 is my favourite number). Within that sub-folder, I then selected photo number 13. And that photo is…

Botanische Garten KA

The botanic garden in Karlsruhe! This was taken in August 2008, when my mum and brother had come to visit for a few days. They were actually staying with my uncle in Munich, but decided to make the journey down to Karlsruhe to see where I lived. For the two days they were here, we had perfect weather and I was able to show them everything there is to see in Karlsruhe (which admittedly isn’t much – if they’d been here any longer we’d have had to start taking day trips!).

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

The decorations are up in the shopping centre, the stands for the Christmas market have started appearing, ready for opening day (29 November) and all my Facebook friends in England seem to be able to talk about is the Coca Cola advert (you know, the “Holidays are coming” one). My flat is being slowly taken over by Christmas too. My grandparents gave us our gifts from them in September when we were over ad one very organised penpal has already sent me a box of things, which I’ve put to one side unopened like a good girl.And to make matters worse, I received my first Christmas card today… from England, sent by a friend with a 3 month old baby. How does she manage to be that organised when I, who has no children, can barely even manage to keep my flat clean?! Add to all the above the fact that I’ve nearly finished putting Jan’s advent calendar together (ok, I’m a little bit organised, but 1 December is lot sooner than Christmas!) and suddenly the festive season is beginning to look very close indeed.

Christmas table decorations

But I’m not ready for Christmas yet! I may have resigned myself to the cold and got out my winter coat, gloves and scarf (no hat yet though), but inwardly I’m still wondering where July went. Surely it hasn’t been a whole four months since my sister came to stay? I wish I could just ignore the approach of December for a while, but unfortunately there are presents to be bought and if I don’t do it now there’s no way they’ll arrive in time to be sent on to England! Then there are all the plans that need making – when shall we visit the Karlsruhe christmas market? Which date would be good for my annual Christmas dinner? What biscuits should we bake together with Jan’s choir? I’m exhausted just thinking about it! For Christmas this year, all I want is a little time so I can actually enjoy 2013!

And now I have to do some work, otherwise I’ll never have this translation ready by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Overtime! No wonder I’m having trouble getting in the Christmas spirit…

Yawn

I am still alive, just currently too tired to even string together a coherent sentence let alone a blog post.
This week has mainly consisted of overtime, overtime and more overtime – and today is only Wednesday!Combine that with very little sleep and you have Zombie Bevchen on your hands.

Last week I had a visit from two people who were my house mates at uni. One of them actually lived with my twice – the second time voluntarily! I hadn’t seen them for 7 years, so it was about time we met up! It was nice to show them around where I live.

Too tired to write more, so here  are some photos of Ettlingen – which is about 10 minutes tram ride from Karlsruhe – where I took my guests last Monday.

Ettlingen Town Hall
River Alb
Ettlingen Market Place with St George’s Fountain

(It has seriously just taken me half an hour to write this tiny little post, and I had to go back and rewite half of it because almost every word had a typo in it. I really must get some sleep! But not til after the Germany match…)

And nothing ever happens…

I haven’t posted for a while, mostly because I don’t have anything to say. I’ve been working like mad again, and am now up to 30 hours of overtime. I sooo need a holiday! I am going to a 3 day seminar in Hildesheim on Wednesday though, and they say a change is as good as a rest, so maybe I’ll be able to start next week in a more positive frame of mind.

My weekend was actually quite productive, although we didn’t do anything worth posting about (unless anyone is interested in the fact that I bought a new cactus and took a picture to the framers. No? Didn’t think so).

I started making Christmas cards on Wednesday. How many of you are now thinking it’s way too early for Christmas? Most years I would be too! But this year I’ve decided to make all my own Christmas cards, and considering it takes me about half an hour just to make a simple one I’m going to need as much time as I can get my hands on! I’m also planning an auction of handmade stuff at some point to help raise money in meory of my friend’s daughter (more on that at a later point – once I’m more organised) and if I want to have enough items to make it worth bothering I’m going to have to get a move on! The auction will be some time in November, by which time it will no longer seem way too early for Christmas cards.

That’s about all that’s going on at my end. In the words of Del Amitri “Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all. The needle returns to the start of the song, and we all sing along like before…“. Another week, another repeat of the same old song.

No time to sleep

I don’t know how other people manage to hold down a full time job, fit in all the pastimes they enjoy as well as the things that have to be done (like housework and cooking of actual food – as opposed to toast) and still find the time to get a good night’s sleep. I know I certainly can’t! And, of course, it’s always sleep that falls by the wayside. I know that if I want a full eight hours of sleep I need to be asleep at 10, but my train doesn’t even get in to Karlsruhe til 6 p.m. (when it’s on time). That only leaves me with four hours! Yesterday I actuakky managed to make it to get some parcels out, after failing to do so on Monday because I ended up doing overtime and the post office was already shut by the time I got home. I then popped into a few shops, finally making it home for around 7:30 pm. After unpacking the shopping I sat down to finish a letter I had started writing to a penfriend nearly 2 weeks ago! (Yes, I am nearly 30 years old and still have penfriends. Judge all you like, I don’t care). I thought I could quickly get that done then start tea… well, I did get it finished, but quickly is something else. It was 8:30 pm by the time I started cooking and after 9 by the time we could cook. Which, of course, meant I wasn’t in bed til after 11 and have spent most of today feeling utterly exhausted again. Right now I’m at the point where I should make dinner but even the thought of walking to the kitchen feels like too much effort. I would just go to bed, but I have far too much to do. Things that I failed to do yesterday and the day before. So I’m determined to get something done tonight, even if it is just a load of washing (the wash basket is so full it’s practically overflowing). I just need to recover some of my energy first. Perhaps a cup of tea will help, if only I can bring myself to go all the way to the kitchen… It’s a good job we’ve got another holiday here tomorrow! Something to do with the body of Christ….

A pain in the neck

I must have slept funny last night or something, because all day today I’ve been unable to turn my neck to the left. Luckily, at work, the only thing that’s on that side of me is the door and I tend not to get that many visitors… unless someone needs help understanding an English text, but with three people away on holiday and one working from home there wasn’t really anyone around to need such help. I’m still not sure how I made it through the day though. I suppose I shouldn’t really be on the computer right now… it can’t be helping matters. But as the job I’m slightly behind qith the job I’m currently working on, meaning the time that’s required to finish it is actually longer than the time I have left before my holiday I need to put in some extra hours from home to make sure it gets done. So I’ll be working on that for about half an hour before retiring to my bed to moan feebly and try not to move at all. He doesn’t know it yet, but Jan will have to cook tea tonight!
Coincidentally, Katyboo has just returned to blogging after being forced to take some time out due to a sore neck. Could it be that ailments mentioned on blogs are contagious? Quick readers, back away and pretend you haven’t read this! I wouldn’t want you to be next…

Blogging fail

I know I promised to blog more after I received my prolific blogger award, and I’ve been meaning to post for nearly two weeks, but as you can tell I’ve failed utterly miserably. I just don’t have time to blog. Between all the overtime I’ve been doing lately (so many big jobs, so little time), the course I’m doing on Saturday mornings (10 finger typing course, bot interesting enough to write about) and all the usual cooking, attempting to spend time with my boyfriend and occasionally actually cleaning the flat, my poor blog just hasn’t had a chance. Sigh.

Soo, I’ve just found out a girl I used to be pretty good friends with, and whose family are friends of my family, is pregnant. Another one to add to the list. Currently I only know three people who are expecting, the fewest it’s been for a while. And another friend got married last week (an ex-boyfriend as it happens), which necessiated the sending of a gift to England. All these babies and weddings are going to bankrupt me! Baby clothes are so cute though, and it’s not like I’m going to be able to buy any for a child of my own for a while… or possibly ever, so there is a silver lining I suppose.

I had a meeting at work today. The bosses are happy with my work, I was expressly thanked for putting in overtime last week and I got a positive response from a customer the other day (usually we only get feedback when someone wants to complain, so it was a nice surprise). So all is good on the unemployment front. And in 23 days I’m off on my holidays. Good times 🙂 The only cloud on the horizon is that Jan is away this weekend with his choir, and I’ve barely seen him all week as it is. It’s only a small cloud though, and we’ll have plenty of time to make up for it once our holidays start. The countdown starts now…