It’s the little things…

Happy Face
Photo: israelavila

Most of the time, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Seeing the bunnies that occasionally appear on the grass verge by the train station in the town where I work. A colleague bringing in a tub of  sweets for everyone. A rainbow. Eating a packet of Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch that a friend sent me all the way from England (every time a friend sends me a package it contains junk food. Funny that…)

Here are some things that have made me smile this week:

Positive feedback from a normally hard to please customer
Being able to see out of the window on my train journey home
The pork enchiladas I made for tea the other night. They were delicious (and yes, I am blowing my own trumpet ;-))
The recommended tags for this post – Train, Train station, Florence, Switzerland, Toys, Duffle bag, Woking, Goat.
My new socks

How could anyone fail to smile in the face of multi-coloured stars?
How could anyone fail to smile in the face of multi-coloured stars?

Newcastle United winning their Europa League match against Metalist Kharkiv (which sounds more like a rock band than a football team) and getting through to the final 16
Seeing a large, tough looking man tenderly cuddling a Dachshund puppy
This picture:

time fliesWhich is available here: http://society6.com/product/Time-Flies_Print/ as an art print and can also be printed on a T-shirt. I need to own that T-shirt!
The fact that somebody found my blog by searching for Squirrel likes nutella. Yes, squirrel does like Nutella! And I have the proof -> https://confuzzledom.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/stockholm/

What has made you smile this week? Let’s spread some happiness!

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Slow down!

I found out today that my cousin’s daughter is now six months old. Six months!! I mean, she was born in January, so obviously it was going to happen some time soon.. but it only just was January… wasn’t it? Except no. It’s July. How did that happen? It’s not even like I’ve been doing loads – which would at least explain where the time has gone (time flies when you’re having fun and all that). I tried to write a letter to someone the other day with all the things I’d been doing since May in it – May being the last time I wrote to them because I’m almost as useless at letter writing as I am at blogging. I came up with the following: Went to Jan’s dad’s 60th birthday party, had visitors and went to Ettlingen with them, took a day trip to Calw, went to a christening (the final one was last weekend). That’s four things. Four! In two months!
Clearly somebody needs to slow the world down for a while and give me a chance to catch up!

Dark days are coming…

Don’t worry, the title of this post has nothing to do with my mental status. I mean it entirely literally…
I was most upset the other day when I got up the other morning and had to switch the light to see into my wardrobe. Admittedly it was 6 a.m., but still, it’s been ages since I’ve had to do that! And suddenly it occurred to me that Autumn is on its way. Despite the fact that we’ve barely even had summer yet. This week the sun has finally decided to come out, but instead of nice summer days the temperature decide to leap from about 12°C (toooo cold for summer) straight to 35°C. Throw in the fact that my place of work is basically a corrugated iron extension to another building, complete with lovely tin (well, some kind of metal) roof and no air conditioning and you can imagine how fun work has been! And of course the second the weekend arrived the temperature dropped and the heavens opened again. Murphy’s Law strikes again!

Part of the reason the coming of Autumn is such a shock is probably because we haven’t had a summer holiday this year. We did spend a week in England at the beginning of August, but a visit to my dad’s doesn’t really feel like a holiday… not to me anyway, maybe it’s different for Jan. And it especially doesn’t feel like a holiday when the main reason for going is to attend a wedding. I’ve actually been invited to another one on 2 September, but neither the bank balance nor the work situation will allow it. I will be getting a holiday soon enough though. Four days in Paris in October for my brother’s 21st. It really will be Autumn then! And if time keeps flying the way it has been this year it will be here in no time.

Not much is so much more than nothing

Thank you all for your replies to my last post. Especially Hails, who is so much more eloquent than me, and hit the nail right on the head. You said exactly what I was trying to, in less words and without sounding bitter/whiney/insert other adjective here.

Apologies for the lack of individual replies. Despite having a four-day weekend (thank you Easter!) I failed to find the time to return to my blog. And now another week has gone by, it’s Friday again and I still haven’t found the time to reply to your comments, or to catch up on all the blogs I actually do want to read, or even to do the dishes. Although, perhaps that’s not strictly true. There are four hours between when I arrive back in Karlsruhe after work and the time I go to bed, and to be honest I have no idea what I do withhose hours. Yes, I have to do the shopping and cook the tea, but surely those things don’t take up 4 whole hours? And so my life moves on, with week days spent at work, and the evenings being used to get nothing done, and the weekend being the time for catching up on the housework and the washing and all the other things that have been on my to-do list since the previous weekend. And suddenly another week has gone by. The next time I look up it’s a month. I’m afraid if I blink too often it will be Christmas! Surely there must be more to life than this? Work, work, work then rush to catch up on the cleaning.

The other day a Facebook friend (a relative, actually) was complaining that she’s going to be turning 29 soon. I wanted to write back “Yes, but you’re almost 29 with a husband and a daughter”. I’m almost 28 and presumably never going to be a wife or mother. Other people my age have been travelled. There was a phase a couple of years ago where everyone was off on “world trips”. Australia, New Zealand, Thailand… all the exotic far away places. My sister went to South Africa for six months, met a guy out there who then moved to England and became a British citizen for her. I only made it as far as Germany. While other people are either settling down or enjoying their freedom, I’m busy just existing. But then I look at some of the people I went to school with. Still living in the small town where they were born, with two or three kids, living only for the weekend when they can find a babysitter and go and get drunk again. And I think maybe I have achieved something after all. Germany is further than nowhere. I have a job I love and that I’m actually good at. That’s something to be proud of. And then I feel guilty because I have so much. So why can’t it just be enough? What will it take for me to accept that I can’t have everything I want? (And we’re back to self pity, which is just one of the many things about me that I really need to change. Get over yourself Bev!!!)

(Title of this post shamelessly stolen from the Tina Dico song One, because it fit so well.)

Where did my week go?

I have been so, so tired all day. Mostly, I suspect, because we went out last night to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and didn’t get home til after midnight, but to be fair I was tired before I even left the flat last night so it wasn’t entirely my own fault…

But what I would really like to know is where on Earth this week has gone! It’s Thursday evening already. Tomorrow is Friday… the last working day of the week. Then it will be Saturday again. How? Why? Time seems to have sped up again and I don’t think I like it! Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m feeling guilty because I haven’t managed to write one word of my dissertation since Sunday.  I have around 1,300 words now but I need something like 15,000 and the deadline is drawing nearer. Eeek!
Also, you know things are bad when you end up eating instant pasta (just add hot water and stir!) with a pastry fork because you’ve run out of all other cutlery. There are only two of us living here (well, officially only one but Jan’s place really is just a storage area now)… how can all the forks and all the spoons be dirty? It’s a good job I actually bought pastry forks otherwise I would have had to resort to a teaspoon… or do some washing up. I think we all know which option I would have gone for…
Time to go to log off I think. My lovely, lovely bed is calling my name…

Time is flying, never to return

Has it really been a whole week since I last updated my blog? How on Earth did that happen?
I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve been doing so many exciting things that I haven’t had time to sit down at the computer, but the truth is I don’t actually know what I’ve been doing with myself all week. I’ve been at work, obviously, but other than that… no idea. It seems somebody’s been messing with time again. Even today seems to have flown by at the speed of a hurricane. I’m currently in the middle of cooking tea (corned beef hash for those who are interested in such things) but it seems like a matter of mere minutes since I was eating breakfast. Only the rumbling in my stomach and the fact that it’s now dark serve to tell me otherwise.
A glance at my to do list for the weekend tells me that I’ve swept the flat, done some washing, tidied the living room and worked on my dissertation but failed to sort out my bank statements or clean the bathroom sink. Good to know. I also went to Cafe Brenner for coffee and cake with the boyfriend this afternoon (nice cafe, decent coffee, reasonably good cake – although Endle’s is better – but the staff could use some lessons in friendliness!). But can that really have taken up my entire weekend? It seems like so little for two whole days.
Tomorrow is Monday again. The last Monday in February, the final week of my probation period. Soon the moment of truth shall be upon us. As will pay day. Here’s hoping this month’s pay isn’t the last for a while…

Doing nothing while January whizzes by

Can you believe January’s more than half over already? Unbelievable! We’re 17 whole days into the new year already and I’ve done exactly… nothing. Hmm. What is it with time going by so fast lately anyway? I’m sure the years were much longer when I was little.

So, it was my dad’s birthday yesterday. He’s the third member of my family to have a birthday this month, and it’s my Grandma’s on the 27th. What is it with members of my family all being born in the same month? Actually, that’s not strictly true, there are more then 4 people in my family. But January is definitely the most crowded (and thus must expensive) month. Plus it comes straight after Christmas when I’ve already spent all my money buying gifts for half the world. Aaah.

Now, could somebody please explain to me what it is with Gordon Ramsey and the Secret Garden? I wrote a post a while ago wondering why Amazon recommended me a Gordon Ramsey cookbook based on the fact that I rated the Secret Garden. (I’m still not getting the whole rating a kid’s book means you must want a recipe book thing, but never mind). Since then I’ve had a few people land on my blog through a Gordon Ramsey/Secret Garden related post, but lately it’s gone mad. Just take a look at this screenshot (hopefully you can read it):
screenshotFor those who are unfamiliar with wordpress, that’s part of the stats page for my blog, specifically the part that tells me what search engine terms have led people to me (it’s also where I find the questions for Question Time). The above list is all from the same day. That’s 14 queries about Gordon Ramsey and the Secret Garden in a mere 24 hours. What is going on?? If anyone has any information please leave a comment. (Yes, I know I could just Google it myself, but quite frankly I can’t be bothered, so just indulge my laziness would ya).
Right, I’m off to make a cuppa. I got a box of Chai tea yesterday that sounds lovely and I haven’t tried it yet. (In case anyone’s interested it’s black tea with what’s described as “Indian spices” – ginger, liquorice, cinnamon, pepper, sweet blackberry leaves, pimento, cardamom and cloves – sounds yummy, no?)