Plans and potatoes…

Despite all my promises to get back to regular blogging, once again it’s been over a week since my last post. That pesky little thing called life has reared up its ugly head and got in the way again! So what have I been doing that’s kept me so busy?

~ Learning Spanish! Jan and I started another Spanish course recently (our third), so now that’s where we go on Monday evenings. Each lesson is an hour and a half and let me tell you it’s hard work! Hopefully it will be worth it in the end though!

~ Socialising! Last Saturday a friend of Jan’s who moved to Frankfurt was back in town for the day, so we met up with him and went to Stadtfest. Then in the evning we met up with friends for “Dirty Old Town”, the annual event in which all the pubs in Karlsruhe’s old town have live music all night. And on Wednesday our favourite Irish pub celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary, so of course we had to be there.

~ Cooking Sunday dinner! The meat was fried pork steaks, so it wasn’t a real Sunday roast, but my roast potatoes were absolutely perfect. Crunchy on the outside and lovely and soft in the middle. Luckily I made extra so I get to enjoy them again for lunch tomorrow. Mmmm.

~ Making plans! We’ve decided to go to Edinburgh for new year as we only got such a short time there (one afternoon!) during our trip around Great Britain this summer. And since we’ll be heading to the island anyway, it makes sense to spend Christmas there as well this year. So we’ve been looking at flights, trains and B&Bs and have finally come to a decision. We’ll be staying at my dad’s for 9 whole days! My little brother won’t know what’s hit him – he’s never seen me for that many days in one go!

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Wat I did on my hollidays

I’m now in to the third day of my time off. Funny how I seem to feel less inclined to blog when I actually have time for it. On work days my fingers are itching to blog all the way home. Itching I tell you! Whereas now that I am home and could spend all day blogging if I really wanted to I’m perfectly happy limiting myself to commenting on other people’s blogs and adding millions of lovely books to my Amazon wishlist. Next step winning the lottery so I can actually buy millions of books rather than just wishlisting them. Oh, and a huge house to fit them all in of course. I’d say the chances of that happening are fairly slim though seeing as I don’t even do the lottery.

Anyway, I’m sure you are all desperate to know what I’ve been doing with my time off. (What? What do you mean you’re not? But, but, I thought you caaaared!)

Let’s see…
On Tuesday I did two loads of washing. And I even remembered to get the second load out of the machine on time, before the next person called me demanding to be able to get their landry done. I was most impressed with myself. Despite this I still have an entire basked full of dirty clothes waiting to be washed. Why? It hasn’t been that long since I last did laundry. I swear stuff breeds in there. It’s worse than rabbits! I also sorted out the top drawer of my desk on Tuesday. This is another place where stuff breeds. It’s the only possible explanation. No way did I actually put all those receipts in there. Clearly they have been doing naughty things while I wasn’t looking. There must have been at least three generations of old receipts in there! I’m dreading moving on to drawer number two. It will have to be done soon though, if all goes to plan I’ll be moving out in just over a month.
Yesterday, which the observant among you will realise was Wednesday, I went out for lunch with a friend. We went to Lehner’s. I ordered jacket potato with tomato sour cream and grilled salmon strips. We received our drinks fairly quickly. We then waited and waited and waited some more. Half an hour later the waitress reappeared to tell me there was no salmon, could they offer me prawns or ‘Zander’ instead (just a moment, must go and look Zander up in my trusty dictionary… aah, it seems it translates as pike). I chose the pike. Ten minutes later the food finally turned up. It was very nice food, but not worth waiting all that time for, especially considering the place was half empty! My friend and I then went for a walk, ending up at Cafe am Markt where we drank rather yummy hot chocolate before I headed home to get ready for Spanish.
It was the last Spanish lesson of the “complete beginners” course, so after spending the first hour of the lesson actually learning Spanish we all headed off to a Tapas restaurant in town where the teacher had booked us a table. It was fantastic. I had patatas bravas – spicy fried potatoes covered in a gorgeous garlicky-cheesy sauce. It tasted wonderful. It was also a huge portion. It was enough to make a whole meal in itself.  And that was only the starter. I then had the main course of garlic chicken (it was so totally garlic night!), served with diced, fried potatoes (salty this time rather than spicy) and some fabulous sliced aubergine. This was served with a basket of bread. A whole basket, just for me. By the time we left my stomach felt like it was too big for the surrounding skin. I was like Mister Blobby, except not bright pink with yellow spots. It was totally worth it though. And I even managed to order my entire meal in Spanish. Go me!

Organising my brain

There is so much going on this week and I have so many things to do and think about, both right now and over the next few months, that my brain feels as if it might explode. The only way to deal with this I feel is to misuse my blog to write a list of all the things that I keep forgetting then remembering again. Hopefully it will all seem much more manageable when I can see it all written down (or rather typed up).

  • Cleaning. My floor has to be cleaned this week. (Not floor as in thing you walk on but as in thing you live in, ie. in my case ground floor). I am unavailable on the 2 nights they’ve chosen for us all to do together (Tuesday and Wednesday) so I will be given an individual task. This must be completed before I fly to England on Friday. I would also like to sort out my room before I leave. Yet more cleaning.
  • Work Christmas meal. This is on Tuesday evening after work. We’re going to a hotel/restaurant in Ettlingen.
  • Spanish homework & Spanish course. My last Spanish lesson before Christmas is on Wednesday evening. Before that I have homework to do. Must not forget.
  • Job hunting. I still don’t know whether I’m going to have a job after January, and even if they do decide to keep me I’m not 100% sure yet whether I want to accept. Either way it would probably be a good idea to have another option open to me. Must update CV and send out job applications before going home for Christmas…
  • Flat hunting. I have decided I am definitely moving out in March whether I have a job or not. If I don’t have a job I won’t be able to afford the rent here anyway, so I’m either moving into a flat or moving to England. Hopefully I will have a job, which means I’ll be needing somewhere new to live. Only 3 months to go… definitely about time I started trying to find a flat!
  • Floor Christmas party. Taking place on Thursday. There will be food, Christmas biscuits and Feuerzangenbowle (sort of likeGlühwein (mulled wine), except after making up the wine they put it in a big pan, stick a cone of sugar over the top pf it on a metal thing, pour run over the sugar and set it on fire. The sugar/rum mixture then melts into the Glühwein. It’s pretty good and very, very strong!)
  • Buy last few Christmas presents. Nearly there. I only have 3 more to buy. Phew!
  • Finish wrapping Christmas presents… and then hope I can actually get them all in the suitcase without going over the weight limit
  • Write and send Christmas cards. Some of them have already been posted but I do still have one or two more to write. If any of you would like one I’ll be needing your address…
  • Pack. This will probably be done in a massive rush on Thursday night/Friday morning, after the Christmas party and before catching the train. I will most likely be shoving in last minute items as I’m rushing out of the door…
  • Sort out fridge. I’m going to be gone for almost three weeks! Better make sure there are no stray vegetables or out of date cartons of milk lurking around while I’m away…

OK, I think that’s it. The plan didn’t work though. I still think it’s going to be an exhausting week!
Oh well, only 4 more days then I’ll finally have some time to relax.

Not Wednesday Question Time

I was going to do Question Time, seeing I didn’t do one last week and I’m off work ill today anyway (I woke up at 5 o’clock this morning and spent half an hour coughing my lungs up. If I hadn’t already been told to stay home today that would have been the point that I decided work wasn’t an option). Unfortunately I’ve discovered that I have no interesting questions to answer. None whatsoever. In a whole 14 days. How depressing is that?

So, since I have no question time to do I’m now not entirely sure what to do with my time. I’m determined not to do any studying – I am ill after all – although I do want to go to my Spanish lesson tonight. Which means I should really venture out of the house at some point and buy the text book for it. I just hope my voice has come back by then – I’ve been alone all morning and haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.
OK, that sounds like a plan. Shower, large cup of hot lemon then wrap up warm and venture out into town to get some fresh air and a Spanish book.

Hopefully I’ll be all better tomorrow and actually find something interesting to blog about.

¿Habla Español?

For those who don’t know that means “do you speak” Spanish. In my case the answer would be no, no I don’t. Or at least not more than a couple of words. I would like to b able to speak Spanish though. SO last night Jan and I signed up for a Spanish course at the local Volkshochschule (adult education centre). It starts at the end of November and it’s an intensive course, so only seven sessions but each one runs from 6pm to 9pm! We have 5 classes in November/December, then they close for Christmas and the final two lessons will be in January. I can’t wait to start!

Oh, and autumn is definitely on its way now. It’s currently 5.1°C. Brrr, cold!