Where is my chaise longue?

I’ve been sent home from work and told to take tomorrow off as well. Guess my coughing was getting on people’s nerves 😉 But seriously, it does seem to have got worse today. I must have woken up about 6 times last night, either because I was freezing despite being in my pyjamas, under a thick quilt with the radiator on, or because my throat was hurting so much I physically couldn’t smallow. Ugh. My voice still hasn’t entirely come back either, which makes shopping great fun by the way. Nobody can actually hear my hoarsly muttered “thank you” amidst all the chatter of the other shoppers which must make me look incredibly rude. I think this qualifies as ill enough to be deserving of a chaise longue to swoon onto, even if I do have to jump back up after 15 seconds because they’re so uncomfortable.

So it took me nearly an hour to get home. Partly because I decided to pop into the book shop on the way home and buy myself a little treat to make up for being ill but mostly because of the tram. First it turned up 5 minutes late then, just before we got to Marktplatz, it stopped. A few minutes later came an announcement: “There is currently an emergency on the tram in front of us. I hope this will be solved shortly”. So we sat there in the tram for 15 minutes. Why she couldn’t have just opened the doors then and let those who wanted tp get out do so I will never know – we were literally yards from the tram stop. The only thing stopping us being actually at the tram stop was the tram in front. In fact, if she had opened the doors I would have been getting off in the exact same place that the people in the second wagon of my tram have to get off at normally. But still we had to wait. Fifteen whole minutes. Until the tram in front was finally able to move out of the way. OK, fifteen minutes isn’t al that much, but it feels like longer when you’re cold, ill and have nothing to read.

Anyway, I’m off to make some hot lemon now, then I plan to retire to bed with my drink and my new book. If I’m lucky by tomorrow I might even be able to go a whole five minutes without coughing…

Struck dumb

The Christmas dinner went really well. My crackers were a resounding success, the turkey was cooked exactly on time and I actually managed to get my roast potatoes to go brown! (I have bad luck with roast potatoes). It was 6am by the time I got to bed, after the last few stragglers had left and we’d managed to wash and dry our way through the huge pile of dishes. Even after we’d filled the dishwasher with the smaller stuff every kitchen surface was still covered with things to be washed. *sigh*. We got through it eventually though, and Ess was kind enough to stay and help. All in all I’d say it was a good night.

Still haven’t managed to get rid of the evil cough/sore throat thing though. In fact, today I’m coughing more than ever and my voice is almost completely gone. Most annoying! I need to get it back in time for work tomorrow.
Anyone got any ideas on how to get your voice back fast, other than sucking strepsils and drinking warm water that is…

I am alive…

Just, you know, in case you were wondering. The evil cold of doom is still lurking, meaning my throat is killing, food tastes like ash and every muscle in my body aches, but I haven’t succumbed to the chaise longue of death just yet. (If you don’t understand that last comment you’re clearly one of those unenlightened souls who hasn’t discovered Katyboo yet. This is something that needs to be remedied. Click on the link now. I shall wait. My blog isn’t going anywhere, promise).

So I had my first Spanish lesson last night. It was fun! The three hours went by remarkably fast. Hmm, that reminds me, must buy the book before next week’s lesson…

The progress meeting was… well, exactly as I expected really. Basically I was told I have all the necessary hard skills (ie. I can translate & proofread well and they’re really pleased with that side of things) but I have no social competence. She actually said that! Well, she said it in German, but it meant that. Ok, maybe social skills would be a better translation (German is Sozialkompetenz) but you knew what I meant. So, I have 2 months to prove that I do have social skills, to become more integrated into the team, to learn to take initiative and say the right thing and convince my superiors that I’m motivated and enthusiastic and want to be an active part of their team. Then I’ll be allowed to stay. If I can’t manage to do all that stuff by the end of January I shall be job hunting again.
Anyone know where I can get a personality transplant?

Hot, cold, hot, cold

I woke up at 5 o’clock this morning because my throat was killing. This is a new one on me – I’ve been kept awake by sore throats before but never had one that woke me up in the middle of the night. It was horrible, nasty sore throat as well – the kind where even the thought of swallowing causes intense pain. So I lay awake for half an hour, quilt shoved tightly up to my throat wishing I didn’t only have an hour of sleepy time left before the alarm went off.
By the time the alarm did go off the intense pain had died down to a kind of scratchy feeling, which was much easier to cope with. I feel like crap though – all weak and like my head’s been stuffed with wet cotton wool. I spent the last few hours of work freezing to death and thinking longingly of my nice warm bed, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Except I forgot I said I’d meet a friend this evening didn’t I? And since she has a 45 minute tram journey to get to Karlsruhe it’s a bit late to cancel on her now. Back out into the cold air I go then…
Actually a bit of cold air sounds quite appealing at the moment. After three hours of feeling like I was in an igloo with no clothes on my body now seems to have gone into eskimo in a rainforest mode. I still wouldn’t turn down a hot chocolate and a good book though. I’m halfway through terry Pratchett’s Going Postal (for about the 5th time!) and my new one is just begging for me to get started on it. But I shall be brave and go socialise.

Squirrels in summer

I saw a squirrel this morning as I was leaving for work. I was walking along the path (or rather the dirt track that people’s feet have created across the grass) when I heard a rustling in the leaves beside me. Looking down I saw the squirrel just sitting there nibbling on whatever it was he had been looking for in the grass. They really do hold it between both their paws like on pictures. If I’d had my camera I could have taken a picture, that’s how close he was. And he didn’t seem at all afraid. Fantastic! German squirrels are gorgeous, not like those horrible grey things that are the only type of squirrel most English people have ever seen. Grey squirrels are basically just rats with bigger tails, and they’re not even native to England! Why, why, why did somebody decide to import grey squirrels?? They’re not pretty, they have no use and it’s their fault we hardly have any red ones any more!
The squirrels in Germany are red, so they look shiny instead of dirty. And they have those big bushy tales that make them look so cuddly. I’ve never seen one in summer here before, which is strange really now that I think about it. I’ve never heard of an animal that hides away in summer…

Today we got three new English speaking interns at work, one in Hannover, one in Frankfurt and a South African guy in Essen. We’ve never had a South African before. Ooh, the excitement! They’re all going to be here til the end of September. I’ll be gone by then! *sniffle* I wanna staaay!

Oh, I may have found the explanation for my headache on Sunday. It seems it may not have been from the sun after all but the beginning of a cold. Yesterday I felt odd and was barely hungry. Today I have aching muscles, a sore throat and my nose won’t stop running. And worst of all I can barely speak. I’m so hoarse you’d think I’d drank a bottle of vodka and smoked a pack of 20. Not good! I need to get my voice back to normal before my interview on Thursday…