Friday letters (OMG it’s August!!)

It’s Friday again, and that means it’s been a whole week since my mam’s birthday! It doesn’t seem like that long. Yet, at the same time, at work it feels like I never had a holiday. I came back to the same translation I was working on before I left and some news that I can’t really share because it’s somebody else’s business, but which means I may be the only English translator at our place come February.  If you’re thinking that will probably mean even more work for me… you’d be right! Oh well, on with the letters. I have rather a lot of them today!

Portuguese Post Box
Portuguese Post Box (Photo: Debarshi Ray)

Dear T. I’ll have been your godmother for exactly two weeks on Sunday and I still couldn’t be prouder to have been selected. Keep on being adorable!

Dear August. How are you here already? I’m not ready for you yet!

Dear today. Could you have gone any slower? I almost cried this morning when I checked the time and saw it was still only 10:30…

Dear suitcase. I’m soo happy to have you back, with the birthday presents from my family and – more importantly – English junk food. My friend may have gone overboard with the Galaxy chocolate (in various different types), Mini Cheddars and Monster Munch, but not to worry… it will all get eaten!

Dear sleep. Please can we have a catch up this weekend? I don’t remember what it feels like not to be tired! (Even in England, I was up before 9 every day because the sun came shining in my window every morning and by 8 it was far too hot to sleep!)

Dear cross stitch. I wish I wasn’t so slow at you! The baby is due this month and I still don’t have a recognisable picture…

Dear summer. I know everyone was complaining about all the rain and cold weather about a month ago, but does it really need to be this hot?!

Dear Smashed Lemon clothing. Why does all your stuff have to be so nice? The new dress I ordered from you came yesterday and I still have at least three things on my wish list!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a fun-filled weekend!

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Friday letters

I can’t believe it’s Friday again! This week seems to have both dragged and flown by. Dragged because I had so much work and all of it was on the same looooong translation. It gets a little repetetive after a while. But the time also seems to have flown by thanks to the same translation – I lost about four hours last week due to server issues so I’ve spent most of the week panicking that there was no way I could the translation done in time. So that was fun. (In case anyone’s wondering, I did actually get the translation done, but it took me about 8 hours longer than it was supposed to.) As you can probably guess, the weekend is very welcome this week…

A happy post box
A happy post box (Photo: shaggy359)

Dear sleep. I hope you’ll be around this weekend – you and I have some serious catching up to do!

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for being so supportive of my healthy eating thing… and helping me log the calories when I couldn’t do the maths myself! (41% of 250 expressed as a decimal anyone? It’s beyond my capabilities!)

Dear England. This time next week I’ll be preparing to leave for the airport and catch a flight to you. Very, very excited (especially about the christening)!

Dear Deutsche Bahn. Air conditioning is all well and good, but does it really have to be freezing on my train in the morning? I know it’s hot outside, but that doesn’t mean it has to be like winter inside!

Dear readers. Please could you all sign this petition against the closure of the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences at Salford University. Salford is one of the few UK universities that offers a Bachelor’s in translation, and too many institutions have already closed their language departments. The petition still needs 400 signatures, otherwise I wouldn’t ask you…

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For the sake of my sanity…

Tonight, I am moving into the spare room.

Don’t worry, the boyfriend and I are fine. We haven’t even argued recently, and the move will only be temporary. But for the sake of my own sanity I need to sleep alone tonight! Why? Here’s a summary of last night…

Jan had choir practice after work, which meant less cooking, less cleaning up and a much lessbusy evening for me. I was in bed by 10:00 and asleep by 10:30 (yay!) I then managed a whole hour and a half of blissful, uninterrupted sleep before Jan came to bed at midnight, waking me up. He got into bed, we exchanged a few words, got ourselves comfortable and I drifted back off to sleep. So far, so good…

Awake is the New Sleep (2005)
Awake is the New Sleep (2005) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About half an hour later, I was woken by the sound of grinding teeth. For those of you who don’t know what tooth grinding sounds like, let me tell you it is awful! Imagine someone waking you up in the middle of the night by running their nails down a blackboard. Now imagine them doing it over and over at a constant rate. And Jan’s tooth grinding is loud! Sometimes, when he does it in the morning I can actually hear the grinding from the corridor… through two closed doors!

So what did I do? I prodded him in the arm and told him he was grinding his teeth. The response was a noise that may or may not have contained actual words. I heard nothing recognisable! But the tooth grinding stopped, which was the main thing. So I pulled the quilt back over  my legs (somehow, it had escaped), snuggled back down among my pillows and closed my eyes… only for them to ping back open seconds later. The grinding had started again! This time I poked him harder, causing him to rub his arm (haha!) then – miracle of all miracles – I managed to get back to sleep. For a while anyway…

Angry Penguin
(Photo: Wikipedia)

Six times he woke me up between midnight and 4:45 a.m. Six!! And yes, I was counting – by which I mean thinking to myself “This is the fourth time tonight – if I don’t get some decent sleep soon I swear to God he’s getting pushed out of this bed!” (I never did push him out of the bed, but I was so close!) The final time, I got the added bonus of snoring. Hurray! Then, once I’d got him to stop, I was so convinced my alarm was about to go off that I couldn’t sleep until I’d checked the time – 4:45 a.m.

After that, I didn’t wake again until my alarm went off at 6 a.m. – when I promptly hit snooze and went back to sleep until 6 past (my phone snoozes for 6 minutes at a time… I’ve no idea why!).  When I did get up, I was exhausted, and upon returning from my shower I informed Jan that I would be sleeping in the spare room from now on… until he gets himself a dentist’s appointment and has his tooth guard replaced (he ground right through the last one – true story!!).

It has to be done – for the sake of my sanity! (And to save Jan from being murdered in his sleep…)

On sleeping and waking

I actually managed to get myself out of bed at a reasonable time this morning. Reasonable in the sense of it gave me enough time to have a shower and get ready I mean. In the sociable hour of the morning time sense it was not a reasonable time.
It’s not that I’m not a morning person. Actually I quite like mornings. But 6:30am isn’t morning. Any time that begins with a 6 is still the middle of the night. Yes, I am aware that there are people who get up even earlier than that and do so every single morning without complaint. Much respect to them. I couldn’t do it. On the few occasions that I’ve had to get up at rediculous hours of the morning to catch flights and stuff I have managed it. It wasn’t nice though. For me the day doesn’t start til at least 7:00, preferably 7:30. Before that it isn’t morning yet. And it this time of year it’s particularly bad. At 6:30am it’s still dark. And darkness means night-time, right?

So yeah, I’m still tired. Probably doesn’t help that I couldn’t sleep for ages last night. I tossed, I turned, I counted sheep. Nothing helped. Do you realise if I wanted to get 8 hours sleep, the amount that we supposedly need, I would have to fall asleep at 10:30pm every night. And that’s just the time I would need to be asleep. Obviously I’d have to be in bed before that to give me time to fall asleep. I don’t even get home from work til around 6pm, and that’s on the days where I don’t have to go food shopping on the way home. If I tried to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night I would get even less done than I do now! Stupid scientists, don’t bother to think about the fact that people actually have lives and responsibilities. Who out there actually has 8 spare hours in their lives that they could use for sleep.

So another blog about sleep, or rather the lack of it.
I’m starting to feel like a stuck record…

The A to Z of me

Somone sent me this as an email. You’re supposed to complete the sentences that apply to you then send it back to whoever you received it from plus a bunch of people you think should do it too. Instead of emailing it I thought it would be a fun thing to blog about, so I’m going to do it here. I also think it would be great if my blogging friends did it too, so I hereby tag Katyboo, Welsh Girl and Hails over at Coffee Helps. Only if you want to of course. If anyone else reading this would like to do it too please feel free – just leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can pop over and have a read.

Did I by any chance just make my very first meme?
OK, here it is.

The A-Z of Me

A is for Ann. That’s my middle name.

B is for books. I like those a lot. In fact, I’m slightly obsessed with them. I would hate to live in a world eithout books. B is also for blogging, which I feel deserves a mention as it seems to be developing into my new obsession.

C is for Canada, somewhere I have never been but would like to go. Visit Canada is on my list of things to do before I die.

D is for dolphin. My favourite animal. I swam with dolphins at Zoo Marine in Portugal. It was a present from my mum and sister for my 24th birthday. D is also for dog. I am definitely a dog person. Cats are mostly either evil or stupid. Sometimes both.

E is for exercise, something I really need to start doing more of. The ten minute walk to the tram stop just isn’t enough…

F is for friends and family. My friends are the most important thing in my life. I don’t have many and find it hard to make new ones, which makes me appreciate the ones I do have even more. It’s just a shame most of them live so far away. My family come a close second in the important things stakes. We don’t always get along but when i need them I know they’ll be there for me.

G is for Germany, the country I’ve lived in for the last two years. I first came over at the end of 2003 for my compulsory year abroad. Jan and I got together in February 2004 then six months later I had to retrun to England. After spending a year there completing my degree followed by a year as a language assistant in Austria I decided it would be nice to actually live in the same country as my boyfriend again. It also didn’t hurt that I actually like Germany and still had a few friends here.

H is for homeless. I have no real home any more. Here I have a room in a student residence. In England I have a room at my dad’s place. Nowhere do I have a real home to call my own.

I is for icecream. I like icecream, especially posh icecream or the kind that comes in interesting flavours, such as those made by Häagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s. I is also for igloo. Wouldn’t it be cool to go inside a real one, built by actual eskimos?

J is for Jan, aka “the boyfriend”. We’ve been together 4 and a half years now and I can’t quite belive he’s managed to put up with me for so long. Mind you, for 2 years it was long distance so really we’ve only been in a regular relationship for 2 and a half years. Not actually living together probably helps too.

K is for kitchen. I love to cook, but not for myself. It’s much more fun when someone else is going to be tasting the result. I also love baking but unfortunately don’t often find the time for it.

L is for languages. I currently a speaktwo – English, as my native language, and German. I would like to learn a lot more, including Spanish, Ukranian and Italian.

M is for mother. I hope to be one some day. Ideally I would like three kids, but that’s looking less and less likely as the years go by.

N is for names. I’m fascinated by names – the meanings behind them, the fact that a name that’s definitely female in one country may be male in another. It’s all very interesting… honest!

O is for orangutan, just because they’re cool. When I was little I thought the word was “orangutang”.

P is for potatoes, my favourite food. I could live on potatoes. Baked, roast, fried… anything goes. Except boiled – boiled potatoes are just boring! Mashed potatoes on the other hand are the ultimate comfort food and fantastic on a cold, miserable day.

Q is for quiz. I used to go to pub quizzes with my dad. Occasionally my team even worn. I like the pub quiz at Flynn’s here in Karlsruhe – you can win a special prize for putting down an answer that they think is funny or clever. Usually the special prize (a bag full of crisps, sweets and maybe a random alcopop) is better than the real prize (whiskey, which I hate).

R is for red, my favourite colour. I wore a red dress at my 21st birthday party. It cost me 150 pounds, the most money I have ever spent on one item of clothing.

S is for Shirley, my future daughter’s middle name. My step mum was called Shirley. She died when I was 12. My first daughter is having Shirley as a middle name in her honour. Any man that can’t understand that isn’t worthy of being the father of my children.
S is also for siblings, of which I have three. A sister, who is two and half years younger than I am, and two half brothers one from each side of the family. The brother on my mum’s side is almost 18 (how did that happen? He was just a kid a few years ago!). The brother on my dad’s side has just turned two.

T is for translator, what I will hopefully be in a few years time. Right now I’m a trainee translator. The ideal job for me would be translating children’s books, but there’s not much money in it so it would have to be on the side.
T is also for travel. There are so many places to see, so many cultures to learn about. Why stay in one place all your life?

U is for university. I’m currently studying part time for my Master’s in Translation, via distance learning. U also happens to be for the name of my university, UWE, the University of the West of England.

V is for variety, the spice of life. The old saying is definitely true for me – I would get so bored if I was forced to do the same thing all the time!

W is for writing. For a long time I wanted to be an author. I still haven’t entirely given up on that dream, although now I don’t think I have the talent. I did do an OU fiction writing course last year though so you never know.

X is for x-ray, because it almost always is. I’ve never had one though – no broken bones here!

Y is for yellow flowers, something else I like. My favourite is daffodils, but I also love sun flowers. Yellow roses are pretty too.

Z is for zzz, as in sleep. I’m good at sleeping and tend to get irritable when I don’t get enough. Sometimes, when I’m really tired, I’ll just cry for no reason.

OK, that’s me done. Now it’s your turn…

Just five more minutes…

These days, my morning routine goes something like this:

6am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
Huh? What? Time to get up already? Nooo, it can’t be! *snooze*
6:05am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
Groooan. Still… too early. *snooze*
6:10am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep….

This continues until
6:25am. Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.
*hit snooze* *check time* Oh, 6:25. Hmm, should really be getting up. Ohh, just 5 more minutes.

At 7:30 I usually manage to actually get up.
The are variations on this theme, of course. Some mornings I manage to drag myself from the bed at 6:20. Those are the days I actually have time to shave my legs. This morning was a 7:30 day, but then instead of going for a shower I just sat there staring into space for 5 minutes trying to summon up the energy to walk all the way to the end of the corridor.

I never used to have this miuch trouble getting up in the morning. As a teenager I was expected to get myself up for school in the morning. And I did it. Because the alternative would have been my dad waking me up before he went to work… over an hour earlier than I actually needed to get up. I even managed to get myself up for 9am lectures at uni. Most mornings at least. But now it seems no matter how early I go to bed I wake up still tired and find myself totally incapable of getting out of bed on time. Which leads me to believe it’s not my fault. Some external force is at work here which means that while I’m getting enough sleep at night it’s lacking in quality. There’s only one explanation for it. It has to be… the mattress. The crappy student residence mattress that causes me to wake up with a sore back every single Saturday.

Either that or I’m just crap at getting up for work in the morning.
I prefer to blame the mattress.

The saga continues…

The saga of the headache that is.

So yesterday I finally managed to recover enough to drag myself to the shops in search of something to take to work for my lunch today. When I left the house I felt ok, a slight tightness in the head area reminding me that not much early it had been aching, but basically I was ok. By the time I returned (about 20 minutes later) the pain had returned with a vengeance. It got so bad that I finally gave in and took some Ibuprofen before calling my boyfriend to ask when he would be coming over. He said half an hour, so I switched off the light and lay down on the bed. The pain died down, whether because of headache tablet or the darkness I’ll probably never know. I don’t really care. The pain in my head decreased enough to stop making me feel sick, that’s all that matters. Later Jan came home and made me a cup of tea and some potato croquettes (the only thing that I could even consider eating), which I drank and ate in my dimly lit room. Then we went to be incredibly early to get a good night’s sleep. You’d think after that I’d have felt perfectly fine this morning, but no. I woke up to find my headache still there. Not as bad as it had been, but definitely there. And it’s been gradually getting worse throughout the day. I’ve been trying out various methods of stopping the pain.Here are some things I’ve found out:

  • Sleeping is good for headaches. While you’re asleep you don’t feel the pain. If you’re lucky the pain will actually stay away once you wake up.
  • If you still feel even the slightest bit of pain when you wake up getting out of bed will make the headache come back. Lying down in a darkened room is good. Getting up to go to the toilet causes pain.
  • The big light on my ceiling is evil. It’s far too bright, and it shines in my face when I lie on the bed. This makes my head feel much worse.
  • The little reading lamp next to the bed is good. I can point it away from me towards the ceiling. This allows me to see the incredibly hot tea I’m trying to drink without making me head worse.
  • Tea is good. Tea makes the pain go away, at least while I’m drinking the tea. The effect even lasts for a few minutes after the tea is finished. I like tea.
  • Water, on the other hand, is crap. There are billions of websites out there telling you drinking water will cure a headache. Ha! All it did for me was make me get up three times in the night to pee.  Totally crap.

I’m off now to make a nice cup of headache curing tea. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I’ll be back to my usual headache free self.

Waking (you) up is hard to do

I’ve discovered that I feel bad when I have to wake my boyfriend up in the morning.
I always get up first, because if I didn’t we’d both end up lying there for hours pressing snooze every five minutes and I’d be late for work. I gather my things together for a shower, pausing enviously to stare at his sleeping form (I wish I was still snuggled up in bed!). Then when I come back to see him still sleeping, curled up under the quilt I think “Aww, poor Jan. He looks so tired. And now I have to wake him up.” The thing is, usually it’s his fault we got so little sleep in the first place. He likes to work late. The only days he’ll leave work early are Mondays and Thursdays, because he goes to frisbee practice for two hours on those days. So he turns up at mine at around 9:30pm, we don’t manage to eat until 10 o’clock, sometimes even later, meaning we go to bed late. Then I feel guilty for waking him up. Why?

Serial killers invade my dreams

Last night I dreamt that I had some evidence about a suspected serial killer and had to go into witness protection until it was time for the court case. Obviously there were people who didn’t want me to give my evidence, so I spent most of the dream having to be moved around and given new fake identities. Very confusing. Every time there was a scary part (like when the suspect escaped from police custody and moved in across the road from me) I would wake up. I kept hoping that when I fell back asleep I would dream about something nice, but no. The serial killer dream just carried on right where it had left of. As I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t a very restful night. When my alarm woke me this morning I felt almost as tired as I was when I went to bed last night. I great start to the day… or not.

I’ve just realised it’s 8:05 and I still need to dry my hair and have breakfast! It seems I’m having a slow day. I blame the serial killer dreams!

Strawberries and cream, poured not whipped

I pre-empted (great word that) Jan last night. I called him at quarter to 8. Someone had just told me that he and his girlfriend are coming to the meal tonight and I had to tell Jan to get extra ingredients before I forgot about it. This meant I was actually able to get to bed fairly early. It didn’t do me any good though… once I was in there I couldn’t sleep. So it was still after 11 o’clock when I finally drifted off. I am feeling slightly less tired this morning though (well at least my eyes don’t hurt) so maybe it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Tonight is the night that I cook for my floor. I’m making cottage pie for 11 people, including one vegetarian. (The vegetarian is getting a pie made with soya mince). I’ve planned ingredients for 10 people (the 11th just told me they want to come) so I hope there’s enough to go round! I’m making salad as well and there are strawberries for afterwards so everyone should be able to eat their fill… I hope.
Speaking of strawberries, my boyfriend told me last night that I’m weird. I asked him whether the Germans eat strawberries and cream, and he said they did. So I said “But whipped cream, right?” The reply: “Yes, of course, what do you do?” He was shocked when I told him we just pour the cream on. That’s strange, apparantly, and can’t possibly taste nice. I told him he’s not allowed to knock it til he’s tried it, but I’m a little worried about what the others are going to say now.

I have a job interview tomorrow. Can’t believe that’s the first time I’ve mentioned it all week! I think I’m less nervous about this one than I was about the one in Gernsbach, not sure why though. Maybe because I’ve had more practice.
Only 3 and a half more weeks til the end of my internship. The need for employment is becoming greater by the day…