Travel theme: Time

I decided to link up with Ailsa at Where’s My Backback for her latest travel theme, Time.

Where better to start a post on Time than with the Royal Observatory in Greenwich – home of Greenwich Mean Time.
Here’s the top of the observatory peering out above the tree tops.

Greenwich1

And the same thing again without the trees:

Greenwich2

The red ball at the top is the Greenwich Time Ball. Every day, at 12:58, it is raised so that it can be dropped again at precisely 1 p.m. In the old days, this would be used to set world time. Now, of course, everything is digital. But the ball remains and continues to be dropped every day.

Staying in London, but moving on to a different kind of timing keeping device.
I give you Big Ben, as viewed from a cabin of the London Eye. Actually, Big Ben is only the name of the bell – the clock tower is now officially called the Elizabeth Tower, having been renamed to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (previously it was just The Clock Tower – how imaginative!) and the clock itself doesn’t have a name, as far as I know.

London

Enough of London now. Let’s switch countries.
This colourful clock tower is in Lucerne, Switzerland:

time tower

It’s known as the Zytturm, which is Swiss German for “Time Tower”.

One more clock, I think, before I move on. Some of you may recognise the famous astronomical clock on Prague’s Old Town Hall:

astronomical clock

I apologise for the terrible photo!
And to finish with, my favourite time of all… Tea time!

Tea

To see how other people have interpreted the theme of Time, go here. If you want to join in yourself, you have until tomorrow to get your Time post up. On Friday, the next travel theme will be launched.

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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.

I never was much of an organiser…

It is the end of Tuesday. That means it’s been a whole week since I last blogged. I didn’t mean to leave a whole week between blog posts, but somehow the last seven days seem to have run away from me. In fact, scratch that. The last few months have run away from me. Do you realise we are now half way through June? It’ll be Autumn again before I can blink…

This weekend I’ve mostly been trying to arrange our holiday in Ausust. It’s stressful! We’re driving round Great Britain for three weeks, and I’ve been trying to tget the dates confirmed so we can book the last few B&Bs. Only problem is, currently we only have 1 day in Edinburgh, and we would like more, but one person isn’t willing to cut Cardiff short (although why we need 3 days there is beyond me?) while a second doesn’t really want to take a day off our final stop as that will leave us with a mere afternoon for relaxing before embarking on the long journey back to Karlsruhe, by car (ferry from Dover to Calais then a nice drive across France). I suppose I could suggest leaving out Fort William instead… Decisions, decisions.
By the way, if anyone knows a good, cheapish B&B in Edinburgh please recommend one! At the moment we’re leaning towards the Haymarket Travelodge, so any experinces of that would also be greatly appreciated. You know where the comments box is…

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…

The mystery of time

Time is a funny thing isn’t it? Sometimes it flies by, sometimes it seems to drag and at other times it somehow manages to do both at once.
Take right now for instance. I’ve had both of the following thoughts at some point this morning:

– How is it only Thursday? Surely it’s been longer than that since we last had a weekend?
– It’s the 19th February already? Wow, this month has gone by so fast.

Maybe I’m just strange…

On failing to get out of bed

I like to get up at 6:30 in the mornings.
Hang on a second, no I don’t. Nobody likes to get up at 6:30 in the mornings. That was just be weird. Even the strange guy on 5th floor who gets up early every single day, including weekends, doesn’t get up at 6:30. (He leaves it til 7). Let’s start this again shall we…

On weekday mornings I have to leave the house at 7:35am. So I try to get up at 6:30. That gives me a bit more than an hour to get ready. Not that I need over an hour to get ready, I just like to have it. I’m not the kind of person that likes to jump in and out of the shower in two minutes*, get dressed at the speed of light and eat breakfast so fast I barely have time to chew. I like to actually have a chance to sit down between activities. So I try to get myself out of bed at around 6:30 in the morning.
So far this week it hasn’t worked once. This morning it was ten to seven by the time I managed to drag myself out of bed. 45 minutes before time to leave. That meant 45 minutes to have a shower, get dressed, get my stuff ready for work, eat breakfast… I managed to do it and get out of the house in time, but it was such a rush. No standing under the shower just letting the warm water wash over me, no sitting down, just for a minute, before heading to the kitchen and (this one’s important) no time for a cup of tea. I had to wait until I got to work before I could imbibe any caffeine. *gasp, shock, horror*
So tomorrow it’s back to the drawing board again. Another attempt to drag myself out of bed on time even though it’s still dark outside. I’ve decide I need to set two alarms – one on the clock that I can keep turning off every five minutes (that one gets set for 6:15 to at least give me a chance of getting up by half past) and one on my phone set to just after 6:30. That’s the one to tell me “you better get up right now otherwise you’re going to be running around like a headless chicken all morning. Again.” What do you reckon, will it work?

*the recommended length of a shower by the way, or so I read in a German newspaper a couple of months ago. What I’d like to know is a) recommended by who exactly? and b) how is that even possible?? It takes me longer than 2 minutes to rinse the shampoo out of my hair…