One less thing to worry about

It seems there was a mistake in the module handbook for Translation in a Social Context.
The assessed piece is due in on 20th April, not March after all. Oh the relief! I did think it was a bit mean of them to expect us to compile an entire portfolio in 18 days!
Obviously I can’t put it out of my mind completely – I still need to find something to translate and run my chosen text by the tutor to see if it’s ok before I become internetless. But at least I no longer have to panic about it.

Must go now. Work beckons.
Have a great Wednesday everyone! (Is it really only Wednesday? Sunday already seems like weeks away…)

Extracts from my life

Alternative title: Can’t be bothered to write a proper post so here’s a list of whatever randomness comes into my head. With bullet points.

  • Yesterday was the boyfriend’s birthday. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that! He is now 29 (nearly 30! Next year I am sooo going to take the mick!). I didn’t get to celebrate with him though – his “company”, for want of a better word (a research centre is not exactly a company really) is involved in some trade fair in Hannover and because the project he’s working on is being presented he’s gone up there to help set up. Then he’s going to his parents for a few days so I’m all alone until Thursday. He’s been away so much lately I’m starting to feel think we might as well still be in a long distance relationship!
  • I feel a little better today. At least my sore throat has gone. Instead I just have a head that feels like it’s stuffed with wet cotton wool (you know, like too heavy and too light at the same time). And a blocked nose. But at least the sore throat has gone…
  • I made a mistake a work this morning – I forgot to send our translation memory file to a translator (don’t worry, I don’t expect you to know what that is). The mistake is fairly minor but if it hadn’t been discovered in time (which it was) and sorted out it would have meant more work for the bosses wife when the translation comes back, so obviously she was not impressed. Later my colleague and I had some training on making offers for some of the more complicated jobs we get. I ended up completely confused and now feel like an incompetent idiot. Yay!
  • Jan bought me some perfume on Saturday. It was a belated Valentine’s present, because he wasn’t here on the day itself and hasn’t had time to buy it since. I’ve wanted this perfume for ages and ages, ever since I spotted it at Newcastle airport when I went on holiday with the family, and now I have it. This makes me very happy! In case anyone was wondering, the perfume is Liberte by Cacherel.
  • I actually managed to get most of my practice portfolio done for uni – I wrote the commentary and translation difficulties section on my tram journey home. Now I just have to type them up then I can hand the thing in and get started on the scary part – the portfolio that is actually going to be assessed.
  • I was supposed to call the bank today to make an appointment for getting some forms signed. I forgot to take the card with the number on it to work with me though, and by the time I got home they were already closed. Cue more of the feeling like an incompetent idiot (I’m sensing a pattern here…)

That will do I think. I’ve managed to get a laundry slot in 20 minutes time and need to sort out what I actually want to wash. Then there’s food to cook, more stuff to pack and practice coursework to be typed up.
Am I starting to sound like a stuck record yet I wonder?…

I blame it on stress…

I feel ill today. Actually it all started when I woke up with a sore throat yesterday. I managed to forget about it for most of the day though in all the excitement of sorting out flat stuff. The soreness came back in the evening though, after Jan left. This morning it was no worse, but no better either, and I’ve been cold all day despite the fact that it’s a beautifully warm day. I’m also aching all over and my head feels like it wants to float away. And, just to add to my woes, I’ve discovered a patch of eczema on my hand. Usually I only get eczema when I’m stressed or if I use a product that I’m allergic to, and since I haven’t used anything new lately I’m going with the stress option.

So why am I stressed you ask? Well, apart from the whole money thing (pleeease let my pay go in before the rent goes out!) there’s the fact that I’m moving in six days and yet anyone entering my room for the first time could be forgiven for thinking I haven’t even started packing yet. I’ve no idea when I’m supposed to get it all done either considering I have to work this week and I never get home before 6:30pm, ever. And that’s when I come straight home – if I have to go shopping or something it’s usally somewhere between 7 and 7:30. Except on Fridays when I finish early. And, to add to all that, I have stuff to do for uni. First of all there’s a practice translation potfolio due in tomorrow. I have done most of the actually translating part but still need to type it up, write an analysis (this text appeared in blah blah and has a target audience of such and such. The style of writing is such and such) and commentary (what problems I had when translating the text. Why I chose to translate particular things the way I did). That’s not soo bad though, it’s only a practoce. I should at least hand something in though as I completely missed the last one. But if it’s not finished the world will not end. Noo, that’s not a major problem. What is a major problem is the actual assessed piece of coursework, due on 20th March. Yes, that is 20 days away, I know. The problem is for most of those 20 days I am going to be without internet which kind of makes finding a text to translate online a little difficult. And I also have to find other texts to put into the portfolio. And the dictionary I usually use to translate is also an online one. I do have a very good paper dictionary, but it doesn’t have a forum where I can get help with particularly strange phrasing. Neither does it have Google to define words I’ve never heard of and show me pictures to help me figure out what’s going on. So I basically need to try and get everything but the translation difficulties part of that done by Saturday morning as well. And those are just the major things that need doing in. Add in all the normal every day things (like trying to get all my laundry done before I move out as it will be a while before I can afford a washing machine plus actually finding time to eat, shower breathe…) and you have one very busy Bev on your hands.  Soo I think I have good reason to be stressed out. No wonder I’m not feeling brilliant!

On a brighter note some of you may remember my Happiness is… blog from a few weeks ago. It was part of a competition by Odette, aka Little Miss Firefly and I actually won! Yep, mine was the first name to be picked out of the hat… metaphorically speaking anyway. Actually she used random.org to pick the winners, I just thought the hat thing sounded good. Anyway, enough waffling. Go check out Odette’s blog to see what I won. And in the meantime I shall get back to my attempts to translate and pack at the same time…

Well, I didn’t fail…

So yesterday I decided to check my university email on the off chance that for once they had actually taken less than 6 weeks to mark a piece of work.
They had. My assessed piece for Text Linguistics was sitting there waiting for me (yes, I actually manage to get the assessed work done, unlike the practice pieces which I’ve basically been ignoring for the past six months. Ooops). So I downloaded the attachment, saved it to the “Uni” folder on my desktop and, hands trembling slightly, opened the file. Somehow, amazingly, I did not fail! I got 53%. The passing grade for Master’s is 50%, so only just a pass, but a pass anyway. Relief all round. 53% isn’t bad considering I hate the module and really didn’t understand the assignment. Now if I can just manage to get my GETS portfolio done in time and get more than 50% for the second Text Linguistics assessment I should actually pass this year. And then it’s on to the thesis. Umm, shoot me now please?

Right, I’m off to take my tea out of the oven now. And then the boyfriend is coming round (in about an hour hopefully). He’s been away for almost a whole week! I just hope his train doesn’t get in late…

I promise to tell the truth…

So I’ve been given an award by the lovely Welsh Girl whose blog you can get to by clicking the link. It’s a very cool award. Just look at it:
honest_award_black

Cool no?

However, this is not an award that’s made purely for the purpose of decorating your blog. Oh no. It comes with strings attached. You see, as part of the deal I’m supposed to tell you 10 honest things about myself, then pass it on to other unsuspecting bloggers whose days I want to ruin.
I’m a little worried about this whole “honesty” thing though. Something tells me what the award is actually asking for is a bunch of embarrassing secrets that I never had any intention of sharing with the world.

Oh well, it’s not like I have that much to hide.
Here goes…

  1. When I was younger I desperately wanted a twin sister. So desperately in fact that a friend and I went around telling everyone at school we were twins but had been adopted by different families at birth. Nobody believed us of course. My friend is two days older than me and at the time our mothers were best friends, so for our 6th birthday the two of them arranged for us to have a joint birthday party at the Family’s Bar (it’s an army thing). We even had a birthday cake with both of our names on it. After that everyone believed us.
  2. I once snogged a girl for a pound and a bottle of Reef. I was at uni at the time. When you’re a student you don’t turn down free alcohol! (I did know the girl in question by the way – she was my housemate at the time). A few years later I snogged one of my best (female) friends because she thought it would be a good way to impress a guy she fancied. It worked – he went home with her that night.
  3. When I was 17 I dumped a boy by posting a letter through his door. I know, awful right? I was too much of a wimp to do it in person. I don’t feel too guilty about it though – a few months later he got with a friend of mine. They’re now living together and are apparantly getting married in 2010.
  4. I had my first real kiss when I was 6 years old, behind the garages on our estate in Northern Ireland. I no longer remember what the boy’s name was but I do know he was 9. After that I wasn’t kissed again until I was 16.
  5. When I was about 12 I sat on some broken glass while at the park with my sister and my friend. My friend had to pull the aforementioned piece of glass out of my bum. My mum was out at the time and we weren’t supposed to leave the house so I hid my blood-covered knickers in a bush so she wouldn’t find out. (I can’t believe I just admitted that. On the internet! Eeek!)
  6. I have a scar on my chin from falling down the loft ladder when I was 14. I bled everywhere and had to be taken to hospital to have it stitched up (actually I only got steri strips). My friend insisted on coming to hospital with me and was given a card with the symptoms of concussion on it just in case.
  7. I cry really easily. If I know a book is going to be sad I won’t read it on the tram in case it makes me cry in front of everybody. I also cry when I have arguments with Jan, even when it was me who started it.
  8. I have incredibly long toes. The three in the middle actually remind me of fingers. I find this quite disturbing.
  9. I have completely forgotten all my times tables. I have to use a calculator or my fingers to work them out. My year 6 teacher would be disgusted.
  10. Part way through year 3, when I was 7 years old, my family was posted from Northern Ireland back to England. Shortly after starting at my new school I wet myself in the playground at lunch time because I was too scared to ask the prefects on duty (big scary year sixes!) to go to the toilet. Later, when we were back in class, the teacher asked me if I had wet myself and I completely denied it.

OK, that’s your lot. Phew, that was hard! Now it’s time to pass it on…
Soo… Sleepyjane, Hails and Lauren, over to you…

Saying nothing in many words

I don’t really have any particular point to make today (do I ever?), so I shall make this post a bullet pointy type list of whatever comes into my head, I think.

– I actually did something for uni last night, believe it or not. I downloaded the German text to be translated then, in the absence of a printer, copied it out by hand. The text is around 650 words long, I managed to write them all down without understanding a single one of them (okay, slight exaggeration. I did manage to get that the text is about all the money that’s been poured into building up East Germany and how it’s just not working). Hopefully by the time I get round to actually translating the text it will make more sense!

– Jan bought me Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the book) for Christmas and I finished reading it yesterday yesterday. It’s really good. Even better than the film, of which I am also a fan. I was kind of expecting that though – films are almost never as good as the book they’re based on. The main difference between the book and the film is the way they end. If you’re a fan of Hollywood happy endings don’t bother buying the book.

– I am ridiculously tired again, despite the fact that it’s only Tuesday. It may have something to do with the fact that I spent all day translating a 50 page user manual for some computer program. It was a very long day. Also, I still think employees should be given Wednesday off work. Who was it that decided we should work for 5 whole days in a row and only have 2 to recover anyway? And is he (I’m assuming it was a “he”) still alive? Cos if he is I’d like to track him down and kick him…

– My health insurance fund sent me a magazine. These people refuse to pay for my pill (that’s right Brits, there is no free contraception in Germany!) but they’re willing to waste money – not to mention trees – sending me magazines I will never read. Why?

– I just saw someone in Karstadt spend 303 euros on some wooden spoons and a set of pans. That means the pan set must have cost over 200. Is this normal?!? Also, the woman behind me in the queue asked the person at the till what the random vegetables she was buying were after they’d already been scanned in. Surely this is something you’d like to find out before you buy said vegetables?

That is all. I’m going for a shower now.

Back to reality

I really need to stop eating the sweets I got for Christmas. I had so much chocolate yesterday I’m surprised I wasn’t sick. I also had fruit pastilles, crisps and a twix. I am officially a pig. Maybe I should have put something about getting fit on the list of resolutions, cos at this rate I’m serious danger of becoming as big as a beached whale. Hmmm.

Anyway, I go back to work tomorrow. This shouldn’t really come as a shock to me. It has been pretty much inevitable since the day I finished for Christmas. I think my subconcious must have been shielding me from it or something. Then last night the barrier broke and I lay awake for hours dreading it, despite the fact that I still have today to mentally prepare myself.
In case you hadn’t guessed by now I don’t actually want to go back. I’m afraid that I’m going to have forgotten how to do everything, that I’ll make the same mistakes as last year. I know I should think positive, and I have been trying but the little man inside me head keeps screaming things like “remember when they told you you have no social competence” and “what are you going to do when you run out of work then? You never did figure that one out, did you?”. Ugh, shut up little man! Also, my internship is due to end on 31st January. That’s 18 working days (I just counted on the calendar). Right now I’m still torn between praying they offer me a real job after that so that I know I have a job to go to and hoping they don’t want me to stay because I’m not sure I’d be able to cope with working there for another year or two.  Obviously if they do offer me a job I get to decide whether to take it or not, but I’m not sure I have much choice really. I have to work somewhere and it’s not like I’m drowning in job offers.

Oh well, there’s no point in worrying about it now. My first assessed piece for uni is due in soon and I haven’t even started it yet.
Oh yes, and, for the second day in a row, it’s snowing! It almost never snows in Karlsruhe! Must get out there later and take some photos…

Thoughts

I’ve just been looking through some random stats on my blog. It seems my most used tag is “boyfriend” with a total of 43 times. Second is work with 22 uses and in third place comes books, 21 uses. I’m pretty sure that says something about me. I don’t know what but I’m pretty sure it’s misleading. How have I managed to mention work more often than books? Must do something about that.

I need to do a translation for uni. It was actually supposed to be handed in on Monday. Oops. Not even a month into the year and I’m behind already. Luckily it’s only a practice piece so I won’t lose any marks for handing it in late or anything. It would probably be a good idea to get on and do it though.

How is it Wednesday already? I’m sure it was only just Friday. I always thought putting the clocks back was meant to give us another hour. Instead I seem to have lost about 72.

Time going fast does have its advantages though. It’s pay day on Friday. And I get extra money starting this month. I’ve already had my wage slip and seen how much I’ll be earning from now. I’m going to be rich. Rich I tell you! (Actually I’m still going to be poor, but rich compared to what I was before. And at least I’ll be able to afford a few decent Christmas presents this year).

And oh my gosh, I’ve just realised my internship is half over already. Three more months to go. And after that? We’ll see… it depends whether the boss decides to give me a proper job.

OK, enough procrastinating. Time to get on with the translation.

Reading for pain and pleasure

I’ve just been looking at UWE’s online area. The summer holidays are over now and my Masters course is starting again. Time to get back to the old grindstone… cos working full time clearly just isn’t enough for me…
So I was looking at the course material for Text Linguistics where I discovered that the nice man running the course has kindly pointed out that the books he wants us to use are available at the UWE library. Umm, has he not realised that this is an online course. The participants are scattered throughout the world… exactly how useful does he imagine a library in Bristol is going to be? So it looks like I’m going to have to buy some lovely expensive books that I have no intention of ever using again once this module is over. Oh, and he wants the first practical exercise in on 10th October. As in this Friday. Remind me why I wanted to go back to uni?

Ooh, speaking of books – I bought myself a present today. I didn’t mean to, but I spotted it while I was in Thalia having a browse at what kids books they’ve got (I need to start buying Christmas presents now if I’m going to afford them all!) And I’ve wanted it for ages as well. Are you all intrigued now? SHould I tell you what I bought?
It’s Thankyou for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. Yes, I am aware that her books are pretty much Chick Lit, but who cares. I love them. And they’re not half as brainless as some of the stuff that’s out there. Anyway, wooo something new to read. And for only 6 euros as well – bloody cheap for an English book in Germany!

Right, I’m off to do something useful now…. errm, after I’ve caught up on everyone’s blogs that is…

The A to Z of me

Somone sent me this as an email. You’re supposed to complete the sentences that apply to you then send it back to whoever you received it from plus a bunch of people you think should do it too. Instead of emailing it I thought it would be a fun thing to blog about, so I’m going to do it here. I also think it would be great if my blogging friends did it too, so I hereby tag Katyboo, Welsh Girl and Hails over at Coffee Helps. Only if you want to of course. If anyone else reading this would like to do it too please feel free – just leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can pop over and have a read.

Did I by any chance just make my very first meme?
OK, here it is.

The A-Z of Me

A is for Ann. That’s my middle name.

B is for books. I like those a lot. In fact, I’m slightly obsessed with them. I would hate to live in a world eithout books. B is also for blogging, which I feel deserves a mention as it seems to be developing into my new obsession.

C is for Canada, somewhere I have never been but would like to go. Visit Canada is on my list of things to do before I die.

D is for dolphin. My favourite animal. I swam with dolphins at Zoo Marine in Portugal. It was a present from my mum and sister for my 24th birthday. D is also for dog. I am definitely a dog person. Cats are mostly either evil or stupid. Sometimes both.

E is for exercise, something I really need to start doing more of. The ten minute walk to the tram stop just isn’t enough…

F is for friends and family. My friends are the most important thing in my life. I don’t have many and find it hard to make new ones, which makes me appreciate the ones I do have even more. It’s just a shame most of them live so far away. My family come a close second in the important things stakes. We don’t always get along but when i need them I know they’ll be there for me.

G is for Germany, the country I’ve lived in for the last two years. I first came over at the end of 2003 for my compulsory year abroad. Jan and I got together in February 2004 then six months later I had to retrun to England. After spending a year there completing my degree followed by a year as a language assistant in Austria I decided it would be nice to actually live in the same country as my boyfriend again. It also didn’t hurt that I actually like Germany and still had a few friends here.

H is for homeless. I have no real home any more. Here I have a room in a student residence. In England I have a room at my dad’s place. Nowhere do I have a real home to call my own.

I is for icecream. I like icecream, especially posh icecream or the kind that comes in interesting flavours, such as those made by Häagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s. I is also for igloo. Wouldn’t it be cool to go inside a real one, built by actual eskimos?

J is for Jan, aka “the boyfriend”. We’ve been together 4 and a half years now and I can’t quite belive he’s managed to put up with me for so long. Mind you, for 2 years it was long distance so really we’ve only been in a regular relationship for 2 and a half years. Not actually living together probably helps too.

K is for kitchen. I love to cook, but not for myself. It’s much more fun when someone else is going to be tasting the result. I also love baking but unfortunately don’t often find the time for it.

L is for languages. I currently a speaktwo – English, as my native language, and German. I would like to learn a lot more, including Spanish, Ukranian and Italian.

M is for mother. I hope to be one some day. Ideally I would like three kids, but that’s looking less and less likely as the years go by.

N is for names. I’m fascinated by names – the meanings behind them, the fact that a name that’s definitely female in one country may be male in another. It’s all very interesting… honest!

O is for orangutan, just because they’re cool. When I was little I thought the word was “orangutang”.

P is for potatoes, my favourite food. I could live on potatoes. Baked, roast, fried… anything goes. Except boiled – boiled potatoes are just boring! Mashed potatoes on the other hand are the ultimate comfort food and fantastic on a cold, miserable day.

Q is for quiz. I used to go to pub quizzes with my dad. Occasionally my team even worn. I like the pub quiz at Flynn’s here in Karlsruhe – you can win a special prize for putting down an answer that they think is funny or clever. Usually the special prize (a bag full of crisps, sweets and maybe a random alcopop) is better than the real prize (whiskey, which I hate).

R is for red, my favourite colour. I wore a red dress at my 21st birthday party. It cost me 150 pounds, the most money I have ever spent on one item of clothing.

S is for Shirley, my future daughter’s middle name. My step mum was called Shirley. She died when I was 12. My first daughter is having Shirley as a middle name in her honour. Any man that can’t understand that isn’t worthy of being the father of my children.
S is also for siblings, of which I have three. A sister, who is two and half years younger than I am, and two half brothers one from each side of the family. The brother on my mum’s side is almost 18 (how did that happen? He was just a kid a few years ago!). The brother on my dad’s side has just turned two.

T is for translator, what I will hopefully be in a few years time. Right now I’m a trainee translator. The ideal job for me would be translating children’s books, but there’s not much money in it so it would have to be on the side.
T is also for travel. There are so many places to see, so many cultures to learn about. Why stay in one place all your life?

U is for university. I’m currently studying part time for my Master’s in Translation, via distance learning. U also happens to be for the name of my university, UWE, the University of the West of England.

V is for variety, the spice of life. The old saying is definitely true for me – I would get so bored if I was forced to do the same thing all the time!

W is for writing. For a long time I wanted to be an author. I still haven’t entirely given up on that dream, although now I don’t think I have the talent. I did do an OU fiction writing course last year though so you never know.

X is for x-ray, because it almost always is. I’ve never had one though – no broken bones here!

Y is for yellow flowers, something else I like. My favourite is daffodils, but I also love sun flowers. Yellow roses are pretty too.

Z is for zzz, as in sleep. I’m good at sleeping and tend to get irritable when I don’t get enough. Sometimes, when I’m really tired, I’ll just cry for no reason.

OK, that’s me done. Now it’s your turn…