Quick Friday letters

I don’t have much time to write this. We’re catching a train up to Jan’s dad’s place soon and I have to wash the dishes before we go. Can’t leave them sitting here growing mould while I’m away… (Not that we’re away for long. I took two days off to go visit Jan’s family, only for him to then reveal that there was no point in going before today… yesterday was a total waste of a day’s holiday!)

English: Postman Pat letterbox! GR postbox on ...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Dear May. You are definitely my favourite month of the year! Here in Baden-Württemberg, we get four whole public holidays! Random days off work without having to use any of my holiday? WIN!

Dear Ireland. See you in 36 days! Squeeee!

Dear quiz team. Speaking of Ireland, our flights are booked and accommodation is sorted for all but the very last night. This makes me happy… and more than a little excited!

Dear Dandelion & Burdock. I haven’t fogotten you, I’m just waiting for the right moment to treat myself.

Dear self. Cake is NOT a healthy breakfast.

OK, gotta run. Have a great weekend everyone! I’ll be back online on Sunday. 

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Friday letters

It’s Friday again! Always a good day in my world, but even better this week because I took the day off to use up some overtime, and because my colleague and I agreed right at the beginning of the year that we would take two each of this year’s four bridge days (yesterday, was a holiday in my part of Germany – for All Saints Day). Here are this week’s Friday letters:

Dear four-day weekend. You have been fun so far. I’m really glad we still have 2 days to spend together.

Dear weather. Thank you for being terrible on Thursday, when we were staying in anyway,  and brightening up today in time for our trip to Schwäbisch Hall.

Dear Schwäbisch Hall. You are pretty. I’m so glad I chose you as the next place to cross off on my list of 30 German towns before 30.

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for making such a supreme effort to come home at a reasonable time each night, and even calling/texting to let me know you’re leaving. I appreciate this more than you know. Also, thank you for driving to Schwäbisch Hall. To get their by train we would have had to change trains at least once (in Crailshaim, journey time 4 hours) and at most six times. SIX! By car it takes 1 hour 36 minutes (in theory). It’s a good job one of us can drive…

Dear sore throat. Please go away. I am invited to a birthday meal tomorrow night and I intend to go.

That’s all folks. Here’s a photo I took in Schwäbisch Hall. A proper post about our day trip will follow, too.

For more Friday letters check out:
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Thank you Catholics!

There are quite a lot of public holidays in Germany, certainly more than in Britain, but not all of them are holidays throughout Germany. All the non-religious ones (May Day, which is called Tag der Arbeit – literally Day of Work, i.e. Labour Day, Reunification Day – Germany’s national holiday, etc.) are holidays in the whole country, but for the religious ones it depends on whether the majority of people in your particular Bundesland are Catholic or Protestant. Bavaria, for example, is mostly Catholic and has more Feiertage than any other state in Germany (12). Berlin has the least with 8. And here in Baden-Württemberg, where theCatholic/Protestant ratio is pretty much even, we get 11 – one less than the Bavarians. Which is why I have a lot of lovely short weeks coming up. This Thursday is Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day), one of the few religious holidays that everybody gets, and I’ve taken a bridge day* on Friday so I get a 4 day weekend this week. Fantastic! I then have a full week at work, followed by a three day weekend thanks to Pfingstmontag (Pentecost Monday). Then on Thursday 7 June it’s Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi). That week my colleague gets the bridge day, but I’ve taken the Monday and Tuesday off because I have visitors so I still only have a 2-day working week. Result! The only problem with all these holidays is that you start to miss them when you have to go back to five day working weeks for the three months afterwards (next public holiday after that will be Reunification Day on 3 October). But of course, there are actual holiday (vacation) days to be taken in between. After all, thanks to all the public holidays I’ll still have lots left despite all my three-day weekends! This is one aspect of German life that I will definitely miss if I decide to leave…

Bridge day: A day taken off to bridge the gap when a public holiday falls one day away from a weekend, meaning on a Tuesday or a Thursday. Apparantly this is an official English term – despite that fact that I had never heard of it before moving to Germany. This may have something to do with the fact that Britain sensibly moves most holidays to the Monday immediately after the actual holiday, meaning no arguments about who actually gets to have the bridge day. Everyone gets a long weekend. Some workplaces (only stae-run ones as far as I can tell) actually close on bridge days. My boyfriend’s is one of them but he usually insists on going to work anyway. No, I don’t get that either…

Little snippets

We have been doing stuff recently, but not enough to make up a whole blog post. Nevertheless, I promised to post more this year, so here are some little snippets from my life for you.

First of all, to the person who found my blog yesterday by searching for the term “German shopping blog”… sorry, but you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. Can you imagine anything further removed from my ramblings than a shopping blog? 😀 And now to the snippets…

Yesterday we came third in the pub quiz. At the last one, three weeks ago, we were first. Go us! The team that usually come first did really badly last time and left before the results were announced, knowing they weren’t getting a prize anyway. Talk about sore losers! This time they came second and didn’t seem happy about it at all. I would never have thought someone could pull such a long face after winning a round of drinks!

Jan’s dad turned 60 last Thursday, so at the weekend we headed up to Lower Saxony for his birthday party. It was a bit weird at first seeing as I barely knew anybody (only the 3 or 4 family members who were there), and Jan kept going off to talk to family friends he hadn’t seen in years, but I ended up having a great conversation with his dad’s neighbour, so that was nice. Also, Jan’s cousin brought her daughter along, who is almost one and who we had only seen in photos until now. She’s incredibly cute and was so well behaved! Even when she was getting tired there was no major tantrum – she just cried briefly, then as soon as she was in the sling on her mother’s front she went to sleep. If I ever have children, I hope they’re just as lovely.

At the end of April, Jan and I went to Ettlingen (next town over) to se some English folk music. A duo called Broom Bezzums was playing, who we had seen by complete coincidence in Ludwigshafen a couple of years ago. One of them is from the same area of England as I am, so it was nice to have a bit of a chat with him when he was signing my CD during the interval. They were followed by a second act – an Irish group called Beoga – who I didn’t enjoy as much (they were good musicians, but after a while everything started to sound the same), but we were only there for Broom Bezzums really so that was okay. The second act was just an added bonus.

On 1 May (which was a public holiday in Germany) I met up with some colleagues to go to a performance by the University of Mannheim’s English Theatre. They put on Black Comedy, which was hilarious and very well acted (in my opinion). We also went to Heidelberg to see the King’s Singers in April  (apparantly the best A Capella choir in the world – says the boyfriend who is into that kind of thing and who I bought the tickets for as an anniversary present) so I’ve been very cultural recently. And I bet you’re all really impressed 😉

And just generally, life is good at the moment. Jan and I are getting on really well and have been enjoying spending time together just doing nothing (almost unheard of for Jan – he usually wants to watch a film, play Scrabble, read a book… anything but just sit and have a cup of tea and not have to be involved in any other activity). And I’ve been able to (almost) stop worrying about doing/saying the wrong thing and causing an argument. Strangely, knowing that our relationship could be over by January has made me less afraid that it could end suddenly the minute I do something Jan doesn’t like. I’m sure a psychologist would be able to give me a really good explanation for that, but honestly I’d prefer not to go there. I’m just enjoying being happy while it lasts.

Too tired to type

I am going to tell you about our experiences with various flats at some point – promise – but it’s been such a tiring week (despite my half day on Monday and the fact that it’s only Thursday – tomorrow being a Good Friday and therefore a holiday) that right now I’m too tired to think, never mind form coherent sentences. I’m very much looking forward to four whole days of lie ins! Not so much to all the dissertation work that’s waiting to be done during my long weeknd, but you can’t have everything, and I’m hoping to persuade the boyfriend to drive me to Roller on Saturday so I can buy a wardrobe. We’re supposed to be saving up for the move and the big holiday in August but I’m getting €445 back from the electricity company (I knew I hadn’t been using nearly as much as I’ve been paying for!) so I think I can spare a few euros for a wardrobe. And maybe a few more if I happen to see a bedside table I like.
Right now, though, I really must do some washing…