Friday letters… again?!

This has been one of the longest weeks of my life (colleague on holiday + large translation job = stress) but it still seems like only two minutes since the last time I posted Friday letters. With only nine days left until the end of September, I find myself wondering once again where on Earth this year has gone!! And it’s showing no signs of slowing down. *Sigh*.  Anyway…

Letters

Dear friends (and boyfriend). Thank you for the amazing “bee-day” party. It was a lovely surprise.

Dear Amazon seller. Please hurry up and send me my goods so I can post them to England in time for my little brother’s birthday…

Dear little brother. I cannot believe you’re turning 7 already! I remember you as a tiny baby who had to stay in hospital for weeks because you came way too early. Time flies!

Dear weekend. I am hoping you will be less hectic than the last one! No plans for you so far… other than the usual shopping/cooking/cleaning, that is…

Dear boyfriend. I basically haven’t seen you this week, so I’m pleased we’ve made a few tentative plans for September. I just hope we can find the time to finalise them!

That’s all folks. My lunch break is over. Have a great weekend!
(I’m including Ashley’s button although she probably won’t be hosting Friday’s letters for a while seeing as she’s just had a baby and all!)

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In which I am reminded of why I do not sew…

Once again the weekend has gone by far too fast. It’s Sunday evening already, back to work again tomorrow and as usual I haven’t even managed to get through half of the things I had planned to do over the weekend. This time, though, I think it may have something to do with the fact that Jan and I spent most of yesterday sewing. Actually, that sounds far too tame to describe what we went through. Let’s replace sewing with “4 hours of kneeling on the floor, needle and thread in hand, wishing I had never heard of the word costume”. Yes, you did read that right, I said four hours. I felt like a cripple afterwards. my knee was hurting again, my left leg had gone completely dead and my lower back was killing. And why did I spend my entire Saturday afternoon sewing on the living room floor? Because the boyfriend and I were invited to a birthday party last night with the theme “comics”. Jan decided to go as something called The Phantom Blot (no, I’d never heard of it either. Something to do with Mickey Mouse apparantly…) So he found instructions on how to make a black robe, bought a huge piece of black fabric for a ridiculous amount of money and made him a costume. I’ve never been so glad to finish anything in my life! It was worth it though. The robe ended up looking really good. I refuse to go through that again any time soon though… I’ve already told him he has to keep the costume and dress up as something involving a black robe at every fancy-dress party for at least  the next four years…
By the way, in case anyone was wondering, I went as Minnie the Minx. Predictably none of the Germans had ever heard of her. I thought I looked good though…

Let’s talk about CAKE!

Well, the flat-warming-slash-birthday celebration thingy was a success. Jan made guacamole, which was delicious (and also happens to be one of the things on his 101 things list – yes, he’s doing one too). Almost all of my chilli was eaten, and two people even took some home in tupperware tubs so it must have been good. And I made flat-warming cake, which I am now going to share with you, my internet pals, because it’s just too damn good not to. It is also my entry for the cake category of the Belgian Waffle Village Fete and believe me, it beats aubergine bee hands down.

cakePicture number one shows the basic cake, prior to icing. It was supposed to be chocolate cake. It looks more like my Grandma’s Yorkshire Parkin… all dark and sticky. I blame this on the random German syrupy stuff that I used in place of golden syrup. (Note to people living in Germany – if you replace the golden syrup in a recipe with Grafschafter Goldsaft it will not turn out like you’re expecting. Trust me on this one!) Also, notice how thin it is. I expected it to rise more than that, but apparantly using extra baking powder in the absence of self-raising flour (which doesn’t exist in Germany) does not work. Who knew?

cake2Stage 2 in the cake making process… chocolate butter icing. I had to add extra cocoa powder to mine because it was far too ridiculously sweet, even for me. The recipe called for 175 grams of icing sugar with only 75 grams of butter and two table spoons of cocoa powder. 175 g of icing sugar is just insane!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the finished product.I give you Flat-Warming Cake… or what happens when you let a person with no artistic talent whatsoever loose with M&Ms, little sugar stars and the mini breadstick things from those nutella dip cartons…

cake3It’s supposed to be my building, except one floor is missing because I ran out of space. My flat is on there though – the white window at the top. Also, check out my flower. And my tree. I am totally proud of them… in a half-amused kind of way.

Preparing for another busy weekend

The other week when Jan and I were in Mannheim we saw a poster (in the window of the tea shop we went in) advertising an English picnic in Ludwigshafen. It’s a cultural event apparantly, organised by Initiative Buchkultur, an organisation whose aim seems to be to promote the publiscation of “nice, good and well-made books” (sorry, I’m translating from the German here) because there are too many “cheap” books (in terms of both content and the way they are made), bad translations and books that haven’t been properly proofread. Fair enough.

So the picnic is taking place this Sunday. There are various different activities taking place… croquet, some performance by a Sherlock Holmes club, English folk music and more. Jan is mostly interested in the English beer tasting session at 2pm; I like the sound of the cream tea at 5. And, one of the items on my 101 Things list is “have a picnic in a town I’ve never been to before”. I’ve never been to Ludwigshafen before (even though it’s only 55 minutes away by slow train!) so that will be another item to cross off my list. Excellent!
That is, of course, providing we actually make it to Ludwigshafen…

I’m having a party tomorrow night, partly as a belated birthday celebration and partly because I’ve been promising to host a flat-warming party for months. So, two birds with one stone and all that…
I’ve asked people to come early (7pm… that is early for a German party!) in the hope that the party will also finish early (around 2am instead of after the sun comes up would be nice…) but we shall see what happens.

Yes, another busy weekend ahead, and today is preparation day. I have been shopping twice… but still don’t actually have everything because I’m running out of money! The living room is swept and the kitchen has been mopped. So now I just need to finish tidying the bedroom (aargh, where am I going to put everything?!), do the dishes (ugh, just kill me now…) and make cheese scones for the picnic. Tomorrow I have to make chilli, nachos and chocolate fudge cake for the party so there won’t be time to make picnic food as well. Urgh, sooo much to do, and seeing it written down like this makes it seem like even more. I guess I’d better get on with it then…

To move or not to move… a question of money

There was a party in my building last night. The same party we have every year at this time. Each floor has something different to sell (mine did cocktails and shots, others do various beverages and things to eat). There’s a band in the hall at the top and music playing in the bar in the cellar. There were actually two bands this year, one made up of people who live or have lived in the building and one “proper” band who were paid for coming to entertain us. The boyfriend was involved in the first band so I spent the first half of the night up there watching them play and most of the rest of the night in the bar where I was down to do a DJ shift starting at 11:30. The party was good but not really worth blogging about (which would explain why I’m doing exactly that…)

And in other news, some of you may remember that I was determined to move out of my building at the end of this semester. Well, the form we have to fill in to do so arrived this morning. I have until 19th December to either tick the box saying I want to extend my time here by another semester or the box saying I will be moving out at the end of this one. Should I tick the latter I need to choose whether I will be out of here by 1st March or 1st April. Obviously we all know what I want to tick. The only problem being that I don’t know yet whether I’ll have a job by the end of March, or indeed by the end of January. Without a job there’s no way I’ll be able to afford to live anywhere else. Oh yes, and there’s the small matter of actually finding somewhere new to love to be sorted out as well. Time to start flat hunting maybe? Things would be so much easier if Jan hadn’t decided to go and move in with someone else last year…

Music man

You know, I don’t think I’ve mentioned in any of my many posts (according to wordpress this is my 119th!) that my boyfriend is a musician.
Well, he is. Not like a full time musician. He has a degree in computer science. But on the side he’s a musician. A drummer to be exact, or at least that’s the instrument that he actually learned to play. As in took official lessons. He plays guitar as well though, and he sings. He even tried out bass guitar at his work’s Christmas party last year. Makes you wonder why he’s with me, the girl who can’t even yodel (ha, I totally stole that last bit from Beaches).
Anyway… I am going somewhere with this, honest.

So every winter there’s a big party in my student residence, the Heimfest. It’s on the first Friday in December usually and it’s a public party – anyone can come in for a small fee, and each of the floors sells various food and drinks throughout the night. There’s also a band. (Do you see where I’m going with this yet?).
So the last couple of years, in addition to the “ordinary” band (usually some local group) some people from here in the building decided to form their own band who would perform before the main act. Naturally the boyfriend was involved.

Since the residence band went down so well last year the people who are in charge of this year’s Heimfest have asked some people whether they would like to perform again this time round. Naturally they would. And naturally my boyfriend wants to be part of it too, even though he doesn’t actually live here any more. That doesn’t matter though – it doesn’t have to be people who actually live here. They just have to be connected to the residence in some way. And Jan did live here for (way too many) years.

Tonight the band are having their very first meeting. I won’t call it a practice because I think tonight is more about discussing than actually practicing, although Jan did take his guitar so you never know. The meeting started at 7pm, although Jan didn’t turn up til half past. It’s now 10:30pm. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I got three hours sleep last night. I’m currently debating whether to just go and eat something, running the risk that Jan will turn up just as I finish complaining that he’s hungry too. Decisions, decisions.
They’re having another band meeting tomorrow. Luckily I actually have plans tomorrow – while he’s playing guitar I’ll be in Heilbronn tasting wine with my ex-colleagues. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long time before I actually get to spend another weekend with my boyfriend though.
*Sigh* Roll on December!

Full of busy

This is going to have to be a quick post cos I have to go out in a minute. My ex-colleagues from where I had my last internship have asked me to go to the Bierbörse (annual beer festival) with them. Jan and I are also invited to a party later on, so I’ll only be able to stay at the festival for an hour or so. Busy evening ahead and all I really want to do is sleep! It will be nice to see my ex-collaegues again though so I’m not complaining.

I was sent home from work at 10 past 4 today. The bosses wife was just saying to Kristi and I that we could leave at half past as it was the weekend when the boss, who was walking past and overheard her, stuck his read round the door and said “well I think you should all start the weekend now”. So we did. I still didn’t get home til nearly six though what with having to wait ten minutes for a tram, half hour journey to get here then needing to go shopping. And naturally there were queues in Aldi. I arrived home to find a bunch of people sitting outside having coffee and cake. Steff and Jo had come to introduce their two month old daughter, Emily, to everyone, so I stopped for a chat before coming inside to get ready. Emily was the fifth child to be born to someone I knew this year. Since then only one more has arrived – a school friend had a daughter yesterday – but still, six babies in one year is a lot. And three people I know (one due in October, two in September) have yet to have theirs. 2008 really is the year of babies… either that or I’m just friends with the wrong people.

I’m off now to drink beer with my friends. Those of us that aren’t going around having babies can still do stuff like that…