November 2019 recap

Well, that’s another month over. We’re only 20 days away from Christmas day now, which is quite honestly terrifying. I still have so much to get done! But today I’m here to link up with the lovely Kristen and talk about what I did in November.

whats new with you

Visitors and trips

I’m putting those two things in together for ease of… something.

On 1st November, I headed to Zurich to meet Jan after work. His sister had sent us a messaging saying someone she studied with had an art installation in a café in Zurich that was opening that day. So we went along, had a chat with the artist and admired the art (which was really interesting).

The next day, Jan’s former choir in Karlsruhe had a small performance in a jewellery shop. We discovered that, coincidentally, the youth choir of Baden-Württemberg was also performing an anniversary concert on the same day and a friend from back in student residence days was taking part, so we decided to go to Karlsruhe for the weekend and see both. That was a Saturday, so we arrived in time to see the former choir and have a quick chat with them, went for lunch with two other friends, then attended the anniversary concert in the evening before spending the night in a hotel. On the Sunday, we were invited to another friends’ place for breakfast then went for a walk with him, his wife and their baby before catching a train home.

I had planned to take some other trips during that week since I was off work, but it poured down most of the time so the furthest I made it was into town to do some shopping and grab a Cornish pasty from the autumn fair. Then on the 9th my cousin and her boyfriend came, and luckily the weather cleared up! The three of us spent their first afternoon here looking at an archaeological site and exploring the autumn fair, where we ate sausages and had a ride on the Ferris wheel (Jan was performing in a concert in Lucerne). The next day it was just the three of us again as Jan had a rehearsal with a different choir. We walked into town and then around Basel for hours before meeting Jan for a drink and, later, food. Then on the Monday we took a day trip – train up to Rigi Kulm, another train down the other side and then a boat to Lucerne. We’ve taken other guests on the same day trip but this was the first time I’d been up there and discovered snow. Unfortunately that was my last day off work, so they went to Colmar on their own on the Tuesday then when I finished work we met for a drink before coming home and ordering sushi from the delicious place nearby. They left on the Wednesday morning to head to Athens for a week and on the Thursday I went into the office so it was a very busy week!

The following Sunday (the 17th) we had another visitor. A friend and former colleague had been visiting someone in Zurich so she stopped by our place on the way back. Unfortunately the weather had returned to being icky (sleet when she first arrived, which quickly turned into extremely heavy rain), so after I gave her a tour of the new bathrooms and kitchen, we stayed home, chatted and drank tea. Jan had a choir rehearsal (of course…), so we headed into town at the time he said he would be done and met him for food at one of the few restaurants that’s actually open on Sundays. I had arranged to start work late on the Monday so my friend and I had a lovely breakfast together before she had to go and catch her train.

Reading

I was taking part in Believathon in November and I read a lot. After completing all the prompts and reading a few extra books, I decided to challenge myself to read an extra book for all 10 prompts. They were all children’s books so some of them were pretty short and most were fairly easy to read, but even so I read a lot. If you’ve seen part1 of my reading recap you’ll already have some idea of what I read… the rest will be coming soon. And if you want to know which book was my favourite of the month: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

Watching

Still Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’ve finished Season 4 now. I don’t think there’s been anything else? Jan watched Back to the Future recently (I swear those films are never off the TV!) but I was busy doing housework and cooking so I didn’t pay attention.

Craft stuff/cross stitch

I’ve been very busy making Christmas cards for Post Pals, but the good news is more than half of them are done. I also stitched some designs for cards, including a birthday card for my cousin. I actually posted a Christmas card in November as well… as usual, my first Christmas card went to my uncle, father of the aforementioned cousin. Since I send their Christmas card in the same box as my cousin’s presents, her birthday is on 12th December and they live in New Zealand, I always have to get at least Christmas card sorted and sent very early. Here are some photos – both of these cards have already been posted, one to the US and one to New Zealand:

Miscellaneous/ general life stuff

– I booked flights for us to go to England for Christmas and for some reason they cost three times as much as usual this year! People keep telling me that’s why they always book early for Christmas, but 1) we’ve booked this late before, 2) we wanted to wait and see what happened on 31st October before booking anything and 3) I initially checked prices in August and they were just as bad then… I was actually hoping they might get cheaper, but alas no. Oh well, they’re booked now and my credit card is gently weeping. After booking them I put myself on a spending ban (apart from Christmas presents and things I *had* to spend money on like food, sending parcels to New Zealand and going to Germany for work).

– I don’t tend to talk too much about my family (or other people) on here because it seems unfair for me to be putting other people’s business out there on the Internet, but last year my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer (which he has now been successfully treated for). He ended up having to go to hospital in October then again in November (for a separate issue), resulting in an MRI, bone scan and him being on painkillers – including liquid morphine – for basically all of November. Thankfully the bone scan showed no trace of cancer, but as you can imagine, it has not been the best time. Seriously universe, you can stop kicking everyone associated with me while we’re down now!

– Yet another friend told me she was 20 weeks pregnant a couple of weeks ago. She got married last year and they bought a house this year – and apparently also conceived a baby. I’m happy for her but sometimes I honestly feel like I’m jogging in place in front of a glass door while everyone else zooms past me (the door opens for them, of course). She’s the third person I know to have met, married and conceived a child with someone in the time since we moved to Basel (the other two children have already been born). Meanwhile the metaphorical door opened just enough for me to start thinking I could maybe squeeze through only to slam shut in my face again. (That’s a terrible metaphor but I’m going with it.)

– I haven’t been doing great at drinking enough water or eating enough vegetables recently. All the trying to be healthy stuff seemed to go out the window after our last IVF transfer failed. I really need to get better about that again. Especially the drinking water part – way too often I forget about it for the entire day then realise I’m thirsty before bed and end up downing a whole pint of water!

– I need someone to recommend a brand of anti-wrinkle cream and also under-eye cream that actually works! The lighting in our bathroom is almost too good and lately every time I go in there I’m shocked by how old I look. I’ve been trying to keep up a routine of day cream, night cream, eye cream, but I just have shops on cheap ones and I’m not sure they’re doing anything. I’m reluctant to shell out for other ones without know they’re going to do anything – those tiny pots are expensive! But I have a weird (irrational) fear that if we ever do actually conceive a child the other parents at school will mistake me for his or her grandmother instead of the mother. Before you all laugh at me please bear in mind that I’m 37 next year and could very easily be 40 before any of this actually works out. That will make me nearly 50 by the time my child is in full-time school – definitely old enough to be a grandma! Especially bearing in mind one of my grandma’s was 44 when I was born. Also, I know somebody this actually happened to, so maybe not that irrational! (Child born when she was 41, parents of other children at the nursery assumed she was the child’s grandmother.)

– Work has been busy again, but it’s mostly lots of jobs from one customer. I find that slightly concerning because what if they don’t renew their contract? Oh, and speaking of work, the new person who started in April passed his probation period so we are now permanently two full-time English translators (plus my other colleague who is part time). That makes it slightly easier for me to take time off at times that suit me without always having to defer to the person with children (new guy doesn’t have any).

Wow, I’ve done nothing but complain in this section. If you’ve read this far then I apologise – I’m aware that I have so much to be grateful for. Also sorry for the long post with not many pictures to break it up.

Anyway, I can’t remember anything else of significance that happened in November so I guess that’s it. I’m off work today because I have an appointment later and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take, so not having to rush back and continue working afterwards makes things much less stressful – but that’s irrelevant to this post. Don’t forget to check out the link up and I shall hopefully chat to you all soon in the comments or wherever. Ciao!

Daily Diaries/Friday letters

There were no Friday letters last week because I was ill all week and had nothing to say. In fact, the only reason there were any posts at all on Confuzzledom last week is because I had written and scheduled a few while Jan’s choir was practising at our place. This is how last week looked for me: Monday I left work early with a stomach ache, Tuesday morning I went to the doctors, was told I “probably” had gastritis and given a prescription and a sick note. I spent the rest of the day in bed reading and cross stitching. Wednsday and Thursday I worked from home with a hot water bottle. Friday I went to work in the morning (I had to do something that would have been difficult from home), then left at midday and worked from home. Saturday I was feeling quite a lot better so Jan and I went to Weinheim, which means I have now completed the take 12 trips challenge! In the evening we went to see a performance of Mozart pieces at a local church. A member of his choir’s wife was singing in the church choir. Soo cultural 😉 Sunday I had a pyjama day and managed to get a few items cross stitched ready to be made into Christmas cards. I showed you some in Wednesday’s post.

robin cross stitch

This week started with me booking another doctor’s appointment on Monday morning then sitting in the waiting room for 2.5 hours because they were so behind! Not my idea of fun. My stomach is basically okay now (it’s nice being able to eat again, although I’m still sticking to plain-ish foods) but as I was still having pain in the gallbladder area over the weekend, I went back to the docs. She reckoned could still be gastritis/referred pain from the stomach but she at least agreed to let me have a blood test! I worked from home for the rest of the day as there was no point in going in after my long wait. Tuesday I was at work. Our current intern is leaving soon, so we got a takeaway for lunch for her leaving meal. I didn’t want to risk pizza so I ordered Pizzabrötchen – little bread rolls made with the pizza dough. I chose the spinach and sheep’s cheese variety. Wednesday morning I had my blood test appointment, so I was at the doctors bright and early, then worked from home again because, again, there was no point in going in. And by the way, my arm then ached all the way until last night! Nobody told me that about blood tests! Yesterday was a normal day in the office. I phoned the doctor’s in the afternoon and was told my blood tests results had come back clear, which is nice.  Then Jan’s choir were practicing at our place again in the evening (and will be next Thursday also as the person who’s place they normal practice at is away for work), which meant I had to clean my flat like a mad woman. Between me being ill and Jan having a paper to write, it wasn’t exactly in a fit state to let people see it! I also had to go shopping so we can actually eat today it’s a holiday here in Germany, for Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Reunification Day), and over here “public holiday” means all shops remain closed all day. So far today I’ve washed the dishes and done some cross stitch… all while still in my pyjamas 😉 Later,  we’re off to Baden-Baden for an evening of A Capella music, including a Taiwanese group we saw in Sweden a few years back. I spotted it in a local magazine and immediately pointed it out to Jan. Some other people from his choir are going too. And that’s us up to date. My life is fascinating 😉

And now for a few Friday letters:

Letters

Dear stomach/abdomen. Please stop being annoying and let me eat normally again. I’m tired of  plain foods!

Dear work. Thank you for being so understanding and allowing me to constantly work from home over the past few weeks.

Dear blood test. I’m glad you cam eout negative (although I feel like I’ve confirmed the nasty doctor’s opinion that I’m some kind of hypochondriac!)

Dear colleague. Thanks for the “get well” chocolate. I’m looking forward to being able to eat it 🙂

Dear fellow bloggers. I’ve been trying to catch up with everything I missed while I was ill, but if I haven’t been to your blog yet I promise to try and make it over soon!

This post is part of the Daily Diaries link up with Kate from The Lotus Collective. Click on over there to see what the rest of the blogosphere have been up to this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

Here’s one I made earlier…

I was asked to upload some of my handmade cards to this blog (only by one person, as I recall, but I was still asked!) and now that Jan has sorted it out so the compter will recognise my camera again when I plug it in – which it had randomly decided to stop doing – I can actually deliver on my promise and show me what’s been keeping me away from the blogosphere for most of the past two months. Hope you like them!

Teddy bear greeting card with hand-stitched balloon
Wedding card

Make a Wish card

I also branched out and decided to make some keyrings, which  actually worked out better than I expected.

Some of this stuff is already for sale in my friend’s online shop, other’s will be coming soon. And there’s some amazing stuff in there made by other people. You really should check it out! It’s all for a good cause (Tiny Lives) and in memory of a very special little girl. And it would make me ridiculously happy if someone other than my mother were to actually buy something I’d made! Check out http://www.artfire.com/users/MyStarEllie today!