Thought gathering

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

 

The tagline of my blog is “Just a place to gather my thoughts”, and that’s how it started out – as I place for me to write down everything I was thinking and thus get it out of my brain (it’s crowded in there you know!). Lately, I seem to have moved away from that, but occasionally I still need to get rid of my thoughts before they drive my crazy, spinning around in my head. It’s not that all my thoughts are bad… there are just too bloody many of them! So here’s a brain dump, with apologies to those who don’t like blog posts in the form of bullet point lists.

 

  • I had loads of plans for when my boyfriend was away, including get back on track with healthy eating/exercise and giving the flat a proper clean and tidy while I could be sure it wouldn’t be cluttered again within hours. Instead, I’ve spent most of my time lounging in front of the TV and eating crap. I suspect the next few evenings are going to be busy – and not in a good way!
  • Christmas shopping is HELL! I have a drawer full of gifts, yet the only people I’ve completely finished buying for are Jan (sort of – more on that later), my youngest brother and my godson. For everyone else, I’m either waiting on deliveries or clueless! And every year I seem to have more people to buy for. Could everyone please stop reproducing already?!
  • I wish people wouldn’t suddenly stop in the middle of the street. Do they seriously not realise they’re in the way? The same goes for groups of people who take up the entire pavement and walk reeeeally slowly. Some of actually want to get where we’re going, you know! And while I’m ranting… what is it with people stopping immediately after getting off the escalator? Don’t they realise the people behind them can’t stop? Sorry, but if you do that and I then crash into you, you only have yourself to blame!
  • Because Jan was away for the start of December, I’ve decided to make this year’s advent calendar a mini one. Instead of going from 1st-25th December, he’s getting one more expensive gift for 1-8 December, ordinary advent calendar gifts from 9th-20th December then another slightly more expensive one for 21st-25th December. Unfortunately, so far I’ve bought the first more expensive gift and a grand total of two ordinary ones. Did I mention he gets back on Sunday?…

    Adventkalender
    I want this advent calendar! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • I truly enjoy my job (and HATED being unemployed) but the thought of working pretty much non-stop for the next 40 years (with the occasional holiday in between) is seriously depressing! And yes, I’m aware that in 40 years I’ll be 70, but Germany is planning to put the retirement age up to 67 by 2029… if you seriously think it won’t have gone up even further by the time I reach that age you’re seriously deluded!
  • I’m pleasantly surprised that my train to work has been running smoothly so far this month. Usually, the minute December hits it all goes horribly wrong. Admittedly it hasn’t actually snowed yet, but still…
  • I appear to have become slightly addicted to Advent prize draw things (the kind where you just click on that day’s number then fill in a form with your name and address). So far I haven’t won anything though… How many websites do I have to visit each day before I get a prize?
  • I’m actually looking forward to making Christmas dinner for my friends next weekend, even though it’s a lot of work. Still need to think of a starter though. If anyone has any ideas, please send them my way!

 

That’s all from me. Is there anything you would like to get off your chest? (Or out of your brain, as the case my be…)

 

Friday letters (working from home)

Today is a special Friday because I’m working from home. We’re getting new windows put in at work, and that means I can’t be in my office because 1) It will be cold and 2) It will be loud. The good thing about working from home is I get to have a lie in but still start work at my normal time. Also, I can have as many cups of tea as I want! Actually, I can do that at work as well, but I only drink fruit tea there (which isn’t really tea at all!) because the milk we have is UHT milk and tea with that in tatses awful! Anyway, enough rambling… letters!

English: Postbox, Frome This postbox is on the...
Photo: Wikipedia

Dear grandpa. I’m so glad to hear your operation went well! I hope things continue to progress positively and you can come home in time for the weekend.

Dear sister. Thank you for keeping me up to date on grandpa’s condition.

Dear boyfriend. I find it very unfair that you get to go to South America for two weeks while I’m stuck here in the cold! Enjoy your conference and (especially) the free week after it. And no getting ill!! There’s been more than enough of that this year!

Dear K (who might even actually read this!). Have fun in Scotland and enjoy Dr Who!

Dear self. I’ve said this before, but seriously… you need to stop eating so much! A whole (large!) bar of chocolate before dinner the other day was neither big nor clever…

Dear New Year. We have finally decided where we’re going for you and booked flights. Madeira it is. I can’t wait!

As always, I wish you all a happy Friday and a fabulous weekend!

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Who Am I?

This post was inspired by Charlotte at Sherbet and Sparkles. Recently, she wrote a blog post based around the question “Who am I?” and asked all her readers to get involved too. I’ve actually had quite a few new followers on the blog recently, so I thought this was an appropriate time to finally respond to her request.

So, hello! I’m Beverley, a 30-year-old English girl who is currently living in south-west Germany. Karlsruhe, to be exact. Most Germans should have heard of it because it’s home to both the German constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) and the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof). The latter is the highest court for all matters relating to criminal and private law, so Karlsruhe is mentioned on the news a lot. I share a flat with my boyfriend, who I will have been in a relationship with for 10 years in February 2014!

The botanic gardens in Karlsruhe
The botanic gardens in Karlsruhe

As an army brat, the question “where are you from?” is not an easy one to answer. Do I say the place I was born, even though I always hated it and never felt like I belonged, even while living there? Should I say the town my parents are from, despite the fact that I’ve never lived there? Or is “home” the place my dad moved to once he got out of the army, and where I also moved to when I was 13? Usually, I tell people I’m from Northumberland without specifying a town – I tend to get away with it because most people couldn’t even locate the county on a map, never mind name any individual towns! My parents are both from Morpeth, where my remaining grandparents still live, and that’s been the most constant place in my life. We went there for at least one holiday every year. Both my parents now live back in Northumberland, although neither of them actually moved back to their home town simply because it’s too expensive!

Stepping stones crossing the River Wansbeck in Morpeth
Stepping stones crossing the River Wansbeck in Morpeth

As you probably know by now, after graduating from university I moved to Austria for 10 months. I still have a slight obsession with all things Austrian! In 2006, I moved back to Karlsruhe and as of September 2012, Karlsruhe is officially the place I’ve lived in longest in one stretch ever! Technically I lived in my birth town for more years in total because we were posted there twice, but Karlsruhe is catching up… if you count my year abroad, I’ve actually spent 8 years in Karlsruhe now.

Snowy Feldkirch, December 2006
Snowy Feldkirch, December 2006

I have one sister, with whom I share two parents, and two half brothers who are not related to each other. My younger half brother, my dad’s son, was born a few days before I moved back to Karlsruhe. He’s 23 years younger than me!

I used to be a natural red head, but based on the photos above, you’re probably thinking I’m a brunette. Here’s a photo of me from the days before I was allowed to dye my hair. See… red! Well, reddish anyway…

Me, aged 3 or 4, with my grandma's dog
Me, aged 3 or 4, with my grandma’s dog

What else can I say? I work at a translation company, which is usually interesting but can get stressful. You won’t read too much about my job on the blog because I’m not sure how much I can say without getting into trouble. I certainly know better than to name any of our customers πŸ˜‰

My biggest love is reading and I dream of having my own library some day, like the ones you see in old houses and castles. My other big passion is travel – I get restless if I have to stay in one place for too long. So far, regular day trips and holidays have been enough to keep me from getting entirely sick of Karlsruhe but I’m not sure whether I’ll live here for the rest of my life…

So that’s me! I hope I haven’t repeated too much of my blog’s about me page. If there’s anything else you want to know, just ask and I’ll see about answering πŸ˜‰ Now it’s your turn… tell me about yourself!

This morning, I went to the dentist…

Kawaii Tooth
I inserted this picture purely because it’s cute… (Photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot)

Yesterday, I woke up with a slight dull ache in the bottom corner of my mouth. It didn’t feel like it was on a tooth, so I figured I had managed to bite the bottom of cheek somehow (I bite the inside of my mouth a lot!) and thought nothing of it, at least until yesterday evening when the pain got worse… and worse. It started getting really painful on the train, and by the time I got home I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, so I tried rinsing my mouth out with warm salt water (tastes disgusting but works amazingly well on mouth ulcers!). It felt slightly better while I was rinsing, but as soon as a spat out the water, the pain came back as bad as ever. Woe, woe, woe, etc. By now the pain was spread, and I was no longer certain whether it was actually the corner of my gum, or a tooth after all.Β  So I called Jan and told him I wouldn’t be able to do any cooking because a) I had at least an hour of extra work to do if things were going to be finished in timeΒ  and b) my mouth was in PAIN! Jan asked if I would want to eat at all if my mouth was sore, and I replied maybe some soup. Then he suggested driking some of the cold water he had put in the fridge to see if that would numb it a bit and volunteered to grab some tins of soup on the way home. Miraculously, the cold water did help a bit (if only for a few minutes at a time) and I was able to do my work without being distracted by pain too much. Shortly before Jan came home, I decided to take an Ibuprofen in the hope that it would kick in before bedtime and allow me to get to sleep…

tomato soup
My soup wasn’t this pretty (Photo credit: sassyradish)

The Ibuprofen started working shortly before we ate, and I was able to consume a bowl of soup and two slices of bread (bread soaked in soup for aaages so it wouldn’t require chewing), then I went to bed. I managed to sleep off and on, with some discomfort, until about 1 a.m. when I woke up in pain again. After tossing and turning for an hour, I went and took another Ibuprofen then lay awake for what seemed like forever waiting for it to kick in. It must have eventually though, because the next thing I knew my alarm was going off.

I had hoped to feel better this morning, but the pain was still there (although not as bad as the night before) and I also noticed I couldn’t open my mouth as wide as usual, so I heaved the greatest of sighs and decided I would have to go to the dentist. Not a good time for it because my colleague is ill and there are only two of us (hence the overtime last night), but there was nothing I could do. Nobody was at work yet, so I logged on and sent an e-mail saying I would work from home and go see a dentist as soon as I (hopefully) got an appointment. Knowing my utter terror of the phone, Jan called his dentist for me and got me an appointment for 10:15. He had to travel elsewhere for work today, so I had to go to the appointment alone…

An image from 1300s (A.D.) England depicting a...
At least my teeth won’t be extracted like this… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luckily, the dentist was nice and (the part I was more worried about than the dentist itself), I was able to explain what was wrong and understand what he told me. Apparantly, the wisdom tooth is coming through (so basically I’m teething at thirty!), and there isn’t really enough room for it plus it seems to be coming in at an angle… which is a bad thing. So he said he was going to give me a referral to a “Kieferchirurgen” (literally a “jaw surgeon!” – orthodontist, I presume…) so I could get my jaw x-rayed and figure out what to do next. He also said the fact that my mouth wouldn’t open properly was not right, but that could also be caused by the wisdom tooth. Later, when I got my referral, I saw that he had written on it that I need a consultation due to “restricted opening of mouth” (terrible attempt to translate from the German that, but I’m sure you know what I mean). He also gave me a recommendation for a Kiefer-thingy practice. So now I need to make an appointment with said jaw doctor… I actually tried calling a couple of times today, hetting myself all psyched up each time only for the phone to be engaged! SO eventually I decided to give the contact form on their website a go instead. So now, I wait… and take more Ibuprofen, I guess.

One thing is certain… I am going to this wine festival on Saturday even if I have to drink grape juice all day!

**Update: The “Kiefer” practice called me back! I have an appointment for consultation on Tuesday morning, first one available… to get one after work I would have had to wait til the week after next! The woman on the phone seemed nice, so hopefully it won’t be too bad**

Oh, it’s Friday (Friday letters)

Thanks to yesterday’s public holiday, I’ve spent most of today completely confused. Back to work means Monday, right? Except today was actually Friday. Brain. Can’t. Cope. Anyway… it is indeed Friday, and that means I need to write some letters.

Friday Street Post Box
Photo credit: Bods

Dear Friday. Back again so soon? Not that I’m complaining… you just kind of snuck up on me, that’s all. Time is flying again!

Dear boyfriend. Conferences suck! I’m looking forward to actually getting to see you for longer than 20 minutes tonight!

Dear work. It’s flattering that you trust me enough to let me be the guinea pig for new software, but please could it be someobody else’s turn next time?

Dear Newcastle United. Whatever you do, please do not lose against QPR this weekend! You are too close to relegation to be doing anything stupid.

Dear unhealthy foods. Why must you be so tasty? (Yes, Cheddar Cheese, I am looking at you. And you Sour Cream & Jalapeno Tortilla Chips!)

Dear self-raising flour. You need to be used, so I’m thinking baking sesh this weekend. Healthy baked goods only, of course – I mean, Blueberry Muffins must be healthy, they contain fruit πŸ˜‰

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Friday letters time already?

Another week has gone by, already. Next time I write my Friday letters it will be May! Please could somebody make this year stop already?! I need some time to catch my breath! Ah well… on to the letters…

Rural Mailbox
Rural Mailbox (Photo credit: Big Grey Mare)

Dear Ireland. I’m coming to visit you in 42 days. That’s actually really close! Aaah, excitement!!

Dear fellow Ireland trippers. I hope we can agree on the return flight when we meet up tomorrow. I want to book!

Dear weather. Yesterday was bright sunshine and 28Β°C (too hot for April, in my opinion – what do you have in store for us in August?!)Β  Today we got rain, which forecasts say is going to continue all weekend. Thanks a lot!! I bet the sun comes out when I’m back at work on Monday…

Dear boyfriend. I feel like I’ve hardly seen you all week and this weekend is looking just as busy. I hope we can find at least an hour or two to spend together in between!

Dear belly. I have been good all week. Well… apart from the beers on Monday and Mexican meal on Wednesday, that is. BUT I’ve been exercising like mad. So why, after two whole weeks,Β  is my waist measurement exactly the same? No fair!!

Dear sleep. I miss you! I hope we can manage to catch up at some point this weekend… maybe on Sunday when I have a little more time?

OK, gotta go. The living room won’t tidy itself! Happy weekend everyone!

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Friday letters

Friday has been a long time coming this week. Between my colleague being ill – making overtime necessary to complete her work as well as my own – and the snow, which Deutsche Bahn cannot cope with at all, the days have been incredibly long. I’m definitely hoping to find some time to relax this weekend! But first I’m going out tonight to eat Italian food and enjoy some live music. And before that, it’s Friday letters time…

: Gate House: Mailbox and hedge
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Dear weather. Actually, no. I don’t even have the words to express what I want to say to you – at least not politely. I’ve managed not to swear on my blog up to now, and I won’t give you the satisfaction of being the first thing I swear at!

Dear exercise DVD. I know I promised to get back to you this week, but that was before overtime and delayed trains conspired against me. I will try to be better next week (notice how I’m not promising anything…)

Dear St. Patrick’s Day. I’ts kind of annoying that you’re on a Sunday, but I shall be celebrating you anyway. Irish pub, here I come! (Dressed in green, of course).

Dear boyfriend. After losing you to Turkey for over a week (during which you ended up ill1), I thought you might get to stay home for a while, but within two days of being back at work, you were sent to Munich for a project meeting! Am I the only one that finds this unfair? Can’t wait to have you back tonight.

Dear birthday. You are now a few days less than 5 months away and I still haven’t arranged anything whatsoever for you. I’m seriously considering returning to my original plan – stay in bed and pretend you’re not happening. Unless someone decides to take pity on me and do the organising on my behalf…

Must go now. I promised to pick my friend up at the tram stop in 5 minutes (good job it’s basically outside my house!). Happy Friday everyone.

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Friday letters

Posting early today because I’m off work. I have one day’s holiday left from last year and it needs to be used before the end of March. It seemed sensible to take it while Jan’s off as well, so I get a long weekend. Hurrah! Now for some letters…

Letterboxes on 85, 87 and 87a Vittoria Street
Photo credit: ell brown

Dear Friday. Why can’t you always be a day off? Five-day working weeks are so overrated!

Dear boyfriend. It’s good to have you back! Please, no more business trips for a while!

Dear weather. What happened to the sunshine? Turning cloudy as soon as I get a day off is just mean!

Dear everyone (especially females). Happy International Women’s Day!

Dear new biscuit tin. You are very pretty and I can’t wait to fill you with biscuits!

I need to have a shower and get dressed now, so that’s all from me. Happy Friday everyone!

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Too personal?

ssshThe other day, while having a Facebook conversation with my boyfriend while his phone was blocked, I happened to mention a comment that a fellow blogger had made on this post. I followed that up with “And now you know I blogged about you. But I suppose you guessed that already :-P”. The response was “No, I hadn’t guessed that :S”. “Is that bad?” I asked, thinking the :S face didn’t look positive. The rest of the conversation went like this:

J: Well, it is a bit of a private matter, don’t you think?
Me: I didn’t go into detail. But I can make those posts private now if you want.
Me: What do you think I blog about usually?
J: Not me?
Me: But you know I blog about you. I’ve told you I do.
J: Yes, sometimes. But I assume it’s not usually about my health or similarly private matters.
(At this point I should probably add that, while he knows all about my blog – including what it’s called and where it’s hosted – he chooses not to read it)
Me: I blog about my life. The fact that my boyfriend is in hospital in Turkey and I’m worried kind of has to do with my life.
J: Well yeah, it depends on how much detail you’d be divulging about me
Me: So I shouldn’t have mentioned it at all? I don’t know what you consider too much detail.
Me: You know I write about our relationship as well, right?
J: Well, I would say health is generally a sensitive area. So anything beyond “appendectomy” is pretty private I would think.

Ah. Well, I can’t say I did stop at the word appendectomy, to be honest After I’d explained what I wrote (basically that he’d called me at work to tell me he was getting his appendix out and then sent a text later to say the op had gone well), he responded with “well, that’s not too detailed then”. He then changed the subject, before saying that his colleague had arrived and he was going outside for a bit. He never did respond to the “You know I write about our relationship as well, right?” question. But the whole conversation got me thinking.

Am I too open on my blog? As I mentioned, Jan knows exactly how to find it and I’ve told him before that he’s welcome to read it. I believe that anyone I write this much about should have the opportunity to see what I’m saying about them. He’s never taken me up on it though – he says it’s my blog and he doesn’t want to censor it. And also that he assumes I “know how to handle it”, whatever that means, but he didn’t expect there to be anything about his operation on there. The fact that he then said what I had written is not too detailed wasn’t very reassuring. What did he think I had written, if not what I actually did? How much more detail would I have had to go into for it to be bad? And if he ever does decide to read my blog, what will he think of all the other posts that mention him? I mean, I’ve written about our sex life! And that wasn’t the first time I’d mentioned it either. I’ve also written about his utter inability to commit – to anything, not just me, and before that about the fact that he didn’t want to move in with me (which, of course, he since has).

Now I’m left wondering if any of the posts that mention him are not too personal. Or did he not respond to my pointing out that I blog about our relationship because he doesn’t care what I write about that? He knows I use my blog to get my feelings out and that my readers give me advice (because I have told him!). But does he realise how much detail I go into? And, the most important question, where do I go from here? Perhaps from now on I should stick to more generic posts, about baking and travel and the weirdness of Germans. But then what would I do to keep myself sane? Aargh, it’s a dilemma!

Over to you readers. Do you think my blog is too personal? Do I divulge too much about Jan? What next for Confuzzledom? Once again, I need your advice…

The wanderer returns!

Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch
Photo credit: Rebecca Withers

I have my boyfriend back! Minus a little piece of him, but not looking any the worse for wear. He’ll have this week off work to recover (so I’ve taken the opportunity to order some things online while there will be someone hoe to open the door to the postman). I’m taking Friday off – just waiting to get my signed holiday for back but it’s already agreed – so we’ll have a long weekend together.

And now I’m going to eat my first meal with my boyfriend in over a week.