A good idea…

Over the past few months, I have taken part in two separate tea exchanges through the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (If you’re not sure what the IGGPPC is, read this post). Although, when I say “exchange” what I actually mean is I sent out tea twice and only actually received any from my second partner… but anyway, I digress.

Obviously I couldn’t just stick some tea in an envelope with a brief note and call it a day, so the cross stitch threads came out. Here’s what I came up with:

The first one I designed myself (if you can even use the word “design” for something that’s mostly text), the second was adapted from a book.

Tea and cross stitch… two of my favourite things!

And in case you were wondering, for the exchange where I actually got something back I received a green energy tea and a Greek senna tea, both of which I’m yet to try.

A Photo an Hour: 29 October 2016

Yesterday was photo an hour day again, hosted as usual by JaneJane and Louisa. Here’s what I got up to on the last Saturday of October:

10 a.m. Tea in a cup that talks about coffee. Such a rebel!

11 a.m. Trying to find the right cross stitch thread. What colour is “straw” anyway?

12 noon. Getting dressed.. my tights have pumpkins on them!❤

1 p.m. Jan got up, so I put the kettle on again.

2 p.m. Back stitch time! How cute is that tree?

3 p.m. I was ready but Jan still needed to iron his shirt. If you look closely you can see me reflected in the iron.

4 p.m. Finally at the autumn fair!

5 p.m. Food at the fair. It’s little pasta “horns” with mince , covered in raclette cheese (it tasted nicer than it looks!)

6 p.m. Jan went off for his pre-concert rehearsal and I did a bit of shopping.

7 p.m. After dropping the shopping off at home, I was out again almost immediately. By 7 p.m. I was at the church, where the choir was still rehearsing.

No 8 p.m. photo since I didn’t want to whip my camera out in the middle of the concert, sooo…

9 p.m. Leaving the church after the concert. Sorry about the awful quality of the photo!

10 p.m. A friend invited us round for a beer after the concert since he lives close to the church (yes, I have a friend in Basel!!)

11 p.m. More beer, but now in a bar

12 midnight. Waiting for a tram home.

Back home, I drank some water, brushed my teeth and went to bed, all before the next hour came around. I couldn’t have taken another photo anyway… symmetry must be preserved😉

How was your Saturday?

 

A photo an hour: Sunday 12 June 2016

*I tried to write this post yesterday, but WordPress was having none of it, so let’s try again!*

Sundays are always the worst photo an hour days, mostly because there’s nothing to do in Switzerland. I’m not even supposed to hoover! (Although I sometimes hoover the bathrooms anyway since the fan in there is louder than my hoover and nobody would tell me I can’t shower on Sundays!). So welcome to the most boring photo an hour ever😉

10:30 a.m. Starting the day with a cuppa. One of these days I’m going to start reusing pics from previous photo and hour posts to see whether anyone notices😉

11:30 a.m. Folding some clean clothes. Can’t put them away yet since Jan is still sleeping…

12:30 p.m. Making scrambled eggs for lunch.

1:30 p.m. Herbal tea time.

2:30 p.m. Watching the news (also, I feel the need to point out that I showered between the last photo and this one. I wasn’t smelly all day!)

3:30 p.m. Jan put football on, but this was the match I had least interest in that day (sorry Turkey and Croatia!) so I only half paid attention to it while colouring in my new colouring book.

4:30 p.m. Still colouring, now with tea!

5:30 p.m. Starting to make some healthy snacks for a picnic type dinner.

6:30 p.m. Snacks!

7:30 p.m. Courgette crisps… kind of. They weren’t all that crispy. More experimentation needed. (I suppose you can call them zucchini chips if you like, but I prefer alliteration!)

8:30 p.m. Ready to support Ukraine! (Sorry Germany – I’ll support you again in other matches)

9:30 p.m. Watching football.

10:30 p.m. Football still on… keeping me up past my bedtime. Disappointed that Ukraine didn’t manage even one goal.

11:15 p.m. I didn’t want to wait up an extra 15 minutes for the hour, but I needed an even number of photos😉 Didn’t really know what to take a photo of on my way to bed, so this is my glass of water on the bedside table.

That’s all. Told you it was boring!

Linking up with Jane and Louisa, as always.

A Photo an Hour: 20 February 2016

A small miracle happened this weekend… I actually remembered to take part in photo an hour! (Unlike in January, when I remembered it right up until the night before then ignored my camera entirely in the morning). It was Fasnacht day in my small town, so I actually did something other than sit on the sofa for a change. It still wasn’t the most exciting of days, but you can’t have everything😉

10 a.m. Awake… ish. Can’t function until I have a cup of tea!

11 a.m. Cross stitching. Can’t show you what I’m working on yet😉

12 noon. Finishing cuppa number 2 before going for a shower.

1 p.m. (ish). I was actually in the shower at 1, so more like 20 past. Getting dressed for the day.

2 p.m. It was raining and not much was happening, so we decided to eat something before the parade started. I chose meat on a stick (sorry vegetarians).

3 p.m. Parade time! And the rain had actually stopped.

4 p.m. “Who’s going to clean up all the confetti before the trams get going again?”

4.30 p.m. Bonus photo because I didn’t take an even number. My loot from the parade! A group with an anti-vegan float gave me the sausage😀 Not pictured: the world’s smallest carrot and my flowers (which were already in vases). Jan got even moooore sweets, two oranges and a leek.

5 p.m. We thought we’d pop back out to see what was happening post-parade. It turned out there wasn’t much point in being there if you weren’t part of one of the groups, so we quickly came home. This is my hat after I removed the confetti! Some lingered…

6 p.m. Back home drinking more tea. The yellow flowers in the background are from the Fasnacht parade.

7 p.m. Time to make tea!

8 p.m. Tea time! Bratkartofflen (potato fritters) with sausage plus fish and spinach. An odd combination, but it worked.

9 p.m. Having a beer while watching what turned out to be an awesome episode of Farscape. We’re nearly finished now… what will I do when there are no more episodes?!

10 p.m. Off to read a book in bed. I love my starry PJs!

I should really have taken another photo at 11, which is when I put down my book and turned out the light, but the camera was across the room and I was lazy… hence the bonus photo earlier in the post to keep things even😉

What did you all get up to on Saturday?

 

Foodie penpals: November 2015 reveal

I was supposed to post this on the last day of the month. Oops! Buuut, in my defence, I only received my package on Monday and my Colmar post was already scheduled by that time, then yesterday I had to check in for the reading challenge. Today I have no other posts planned though, so I can reveal what was in my final foodie penpals package of 2015.

This time I was paired up with two people in Germany, sending a package to Sabine and then receiving one from the lovely Jana who blogs here, mostly in German, but she writes foodie reveals in English. Jana sent me some local goodies along with some of her own favourites and, best of all, homemade biscuits! Let’s take a look:

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A box of yummy treats… and for once I took the photos on the table😉

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First up is tea and biscuits. A tea advent calendar, containing 24 different kinds of tea bags, and home-made cinnamon waffles, which Jana told me she made using a special waffle maker she inherited from her grandfather. What a special treat for me!

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I’ve had Schogetten before, but I had no idea they were from Jana’s area of Germany (the Saarland – specifically, Schogetten are from Saarlouis according to the packet). They look like just chocolate bars, but actually each square of chocolate is separate, for easy portioning. Jana sent me two varieties – Alpine Milk Chocolate and Nougat (with a hazelnut cream filling). Yummy!

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This is a spice mix for “spice cake”. On the back, there’s a recipe for the cake. It looks very Christmassy and I can’t wait to try it!

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I have seen Karlsberg beer in the shops, but never tried it. I’ll probably have this at the weekend.

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A mix for tabbouleh (spell check thinks that’s the English spelling?), complete with all the spices. All I need to do is add some veg. I love tabbouleh and Migros has an Alnatura section, so if this is good I may end up buying some.

And finally…

Saarlodis

I saved the best for last🙂 This is a jar of mustard. What’s special about it is the little figures – these are the Saarlodris. They’re little cartoon figures that Jana told me are the Saarland version of the Mainzelmännchen – little cartoon mascots of the TV channel ZDF. Jan didn’t know the Saarlodris either, having never lived in that part of Germany (Mainzelmännchen, on the other hand, are broadcast everywhere). Jana wrote that, once the mustard is gone, I should wash out the glass and use it for what, to which Jan said “Yep, that’s what you do with mustard glasses!”. So I guess I learned a new thing about Germany?

This was a wonderful end to this year’s foodie penpal packages, and now I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring!

(For those of you wondering what I sent.. I thought I’d taken a photo but I can’t seem to find it?! So sorry!)

Carol Anne is taking a well-deserved break in December, but you can sign up now to take part in January. Read the rules and sign up here (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.).

Recent doings

There are various versions of this type of post out there. Jane calls hers Mondaying (can you guess which day she posts them?), others take part in a linkup called Currently. Basically, the idea is you take action words ending in -ing and tell people the things you’ve been up to lately that the word describes. A way of updating people on your life and talking about things that aren’t worth a blog post of their own. Here’s my version.

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Watching: The Blackadder box set that I bought Jan for his birthday. I had only ever seen bits and pieces of it, mainly from the later episodes (plus the millennium special “Blackadder: Back & Forth). We’re now on series 3 and we’re loving it! And I didn’t even recognise Hugh Laurie!

Reading: My way through the winter book challenge. I’ve completed three categories so far and have just started my second book for the two books with the same title one. At the same time, I’m reading Possession by A.S Byatt for the one-word title category. I will have to read Persuasion eventually, but it won’t be for this challenge!

Cooking: All the pumpkins! We used the muscat pumpkin and the Baby Boos that we bought at the festival, so now I’m back to my usual butternut squash. I love pumpkin season!

Designing: A cross stitch pattern for a Christmas card! I’ll show you it once it’s stitched – which won’t be until I’ve finished the one from the guessing game. *Sigh*

Drinking: Tea. So much tea. I’ve been failing to get to bed when I should lately, which has resulted in tiredness throughout the day. Multiple cups of tea are the only thing getting me through!

Planning: New Year! We’ve decided not to go away this time, since we now live somewhere where it might actually be worth being on New Year’s Eve. Instead, we want to invite some friends to come and visit us here in Basel. I’ve mentioned it to a couple, now all we need to do is invite people properly and discuss a few details (such as what food to provide – raclette is a possibility (when in Switzerland…), plus a non-dairy option).

Buying: Too many books from the Internet. Nothing new there then! Also card making supplies and a few Christmas presents. Can  you believe November is more than half over already?

Wondering: Why WordPress have changed the post publishing screen again? It’s all different and I can’t find half the features – like what happened to the option to insert a link to your own blog without having to type in the URL? And how do I change the size of images now? Grrr! Whatever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

What have you been doing lately?

A Photo An Hour: 17 October 2015

October’s installment of Jane and Louisa‘s Photo an Hour linkup was yesterday, and for the second month in a row I actually remembered to join in despite having nothing particularly exciting planned. Jan was out for the of the day at a practice session for a choir he’s performing a concert with at the end of October and I have no friends here so it was just me, myself and I. Here’s how my day went:

10 a.m. I’m up! To start the day, the obligatory cup of tea and some porridgey stuff I spotted and found intriguing.

11 a.m. I want to go out so I’m taking a shower (hey, that’s almost a line from a song! Not intentional, promise!).

12 noon. Finally made it out. Now it’s cold I have to dry my hair, so getting ready takes ages. Plus I had to go back for my phone so I would actually know when it was time for the next photo!

1 p.m. Leaving the shops (photo actually taken slightly after the hour because I was in Aldi at photo time and I was afraid of getting in trouble for taking photos – lots of staff were hovering around!).

2 p.m. Walking home (I need the exercise). This is actually a side street as it was a bit more interesting than the main road I was walking down.

3 p.m. Just finishing my rather late lunch. Scrambled eggs with courgette (my idea of a healthy meal), a slice of toast with chickpea spread on (not pictured because I’d already eaten it) and of course a cup of tea.

4 p.m. A spot of housework! Not the most exciting photo, but I was hoovering at the time so what else should I have done?

5 p.m. I found a recipe for “healthy” biscuits (cookies) and was determined to bake them. Just a few of the ingredients gathered here – I then had to make my own mixed spice because it doesn’t exist here apparently.

6 p.m. Lining the baking tray with my new permanent baking “parchment” (clearly it’s not parchment, but Teflon).

7 p.m. Jan came home and made us each a cup of tea. Check out the matching mugs!

8 p.m. Cooking tea. Chicken with bulgur and beans.

9 p.m. Jan put the rugby on, so here’s the Haka.

Beer10 p.m. Half time nearly over. Drinking beer.

I went to bed just before 11 and decided not to stay up for the extra ten minutes and take a photo because I was convinced I had an even number. I was wrong. Symmetry ruined, grrr!