Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I usually don't do New Year's Resolutions. But I figured I will make an exception this year as I really like the idea of setting some goals and achieving those. Not talking about big things here, just small ones to make sure life doesn't just pass one by. I will put them on their own page and try to update how I'm doing. This is not a hugely exciting list, but I'm trying to take baby steps!

  1. Drop ten kilos by the end of the year (preferably not gain any back over Christmas).
  2. Read at least one book a month for pleasure (doesn't count if it's for study).
  3. Regularly update Goodreads.
  4. Get a haircut at least twice a year (yeah, that's a LOT for me) and make it short.
  5. Try to eat at least one piece of fruit a day.
  6. Go one week without carbohydrates (bf swears on this so let's try it out).
  7. Go out for drinks to a new place at least once a month.
  8. Go to at least six new and exciting dinner places during the year.
  9. Go out at least twice a month and ignore work/study for those nights.
  10. Go running once a week.
  11. Have a detox day once a month.
  12. Cook at least two times a week.
  13. Go to the movies at least six times.
  14. Watch at least four Studio Ghibli movies that I haven't seen yet.
  15. Use up all the tea in the kitchen before buying any new ones (except my daily dose of green tea. Cannot live without that. But all the 'fun' ones have to go before stocking up again).
  16. Go through the whole wardrobe and throw out what I haven't worn for a year or doesn't fit/isn't comfy/looks horrible.
  17. Buy one pair of shoes that looks good with skirts. And maybe buy a new pencil skirt.
  18. Smile when somebody wants to take a photograph of me (instead of yelling at them).
  19. Buy a wrist watch.
  20. Reply to messages within three days. No delays allowed. Yes, waiting three months is too long.
  21. Go on chat/messenger programmes at least twice a week to stay in touch with friends.
  22. Start an address book and update it regularly.
  23. Do not just get any job when graduating. It has to be a publishing job.
  24. Put away money once I got a job for a trip to Japan.
  25. Do the Japanese homework every week for term 2 and 3 and study for half an hour a week on top of the homework.
  26. Finish Japanese for Busy People I and work through half of Japanese for Busy People II.

This is what happens when bf is responsible for breakfast...

... because he will pick up something nice on his way to work, while you are stuck at home waiting for a delivery to arrive.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Back in London, alive and kicking

We made it back in one piece. Our flight took off early in Bremen and we landed in foggy London way before schedule. We had left Stansted airport just about an hour after take off. Sweet!

Christmas time at my parents' place was fun. Unfortunately because of our delay I didn't have as much time to visit people as I would have liked. I was planning to make cookies, a wreath, do some shopping, meet friends and family before Christmas. Well, that didn't happen. Since I got robbed of three days I only managed to bake a cake (much quicker than cookies). Managed to make it lactose-free as my sister's boyfriend is allergic. But that was about it. My sisters plus husband/boyfriend and brother arrived the day after me and then we were busy catching up, drinking mulled wine and eating cookies (my older sister was kind enough to bring a ton of really yummy cookies that she baked).

The weather didn't really change. It was freezing, about -10 degrees Celsius at night and -5 during the day. The snow stayed the whole time I was there (white Christmas hurray) and it even snowed a bit more. Grandma, grandpa and an aunt came over for Christmas Eve. We had lots of cake and presents in the evening. Was really nice and relaxing. The next day my Mom even made chicken (she hates cooking), potatoes and vegetables. In the evening I went to a friend's birthday party for a few hours and then had to drive on to another friend's birthday party. Since I can remember they would always have their party on the same day (well, they were both born on the same day, but still, gimme a break). I did not like the driving at 40km/h on icy roads in between their homes. But what can you do. Really enjoyed meeting my friends and old classmates. Bf stayed home as he was still sick.

The next couple of days I hung out with my family and a good friend of mine came over for tea. We managed to catch up, but she had to leave early for more Christmas festivities. I enjoyed catching up with everyone, but I wish I had more time. Everything felt really rushed and sometimes forced because I was on a 'timer'.

Let's hope the next flight will be without volcanoes or snow. I'm all for something pretty uneventful and boring.

Btw, the TV was fixed one hour before we left for the airport. My brother-in-law managed to tickle it back to life. Kinda glad we missed that though. My sister went straight in front of it and couldn't be coaxed away again. Come to think of it, I really don't watch that much TV any more. But I do waste a lot of time on my laptop. I guess that's not really better...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

German Christmas

We made it to my parents in one piece. And the flight was even on time. Ok, so it wasn't on time, but only half an hour late. That is on time in my book.
Bf doesn't feel so good. I have to remind him to drink his water and he sleeps most of the day. Dragged him to the doctor this morning and pumping him up with medicine now. Hopefully he will feel fine tomorrow with all those meds kicking in. Still plan on not letting him do anything as he's supposed to rest.
Everything is beautiful and white over here. I think I've never seen this much snow here at my parents place. Going to have to take some pictures and post them before it goes away. 
Will attempt to bake a cake later today. It has to be lactose free as my sisters' boyfriend is lactose intolerant (feel like watching Big Bang Theory now). So will have to see how the soja butter will hold up in a cake.
Since we came late we unfortunately missed the German Christmas market. I'm very disappointed about that, but not much I can do. But I bought Glühwein instead and will make some for after dinner tonight. It's gonna be a very quiet Christmas. The snow messed up the TV reception, so no TV. My dad wanted to dig out an old CD player, so we might have music. But otherwise there will be lots of reading and maybe some games. Might be nice for a change.
I'm off taking care of the bf!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Yep, snow is still there. Still beautiful. This is how a clear morning looks out of our apartment.
Here's to hope that my flight home will leave on Wednesday...

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Yes, I'm bored. Ergo the third blogpost in a day. Don't have anything to do. I'm not used to that any more. So let me share with you an amazing beverage I'm consuming as I type:

Belgian strong beer. Good stuff.

Winter Wonderland

This is the reason my flight got cancelled and I'm stuck in London till at least Wednesday:

I like the snow. There is tons of it. Nobody is clearing it away. Especially not on the sidewalks. So it makes this nice crunchy noise when walking. Loving it!

As a treat I bought chocolate and mulled wine. Tomorrow I'll make chocolate chip cookies and have the mulled wine. There is some apple pie somewhere too and some beer. Caramel beer, very excited about that one.

The nice thing is that I finished my course work early in order to be free at home. Which means that I have three full days in London now with nothing to do!!! Happy days!

Penguin Cover Show

Two weeks ago I went to an exhibition of art inspired by Penguin book covers. All pieces had to be the size of a typical penguin paperback, but otherwise the artists could do whatever they wanted.

Here are my favourites. Unfortunately I didn't have the galleries catalogue, so I cannot tell you who the individual artists are.

'A fucking novel' How brilliant is that? Had me on the floor in hysterics.

It's the next one on my reading list so had to include it.

This one was 3D. Made me want to pick it up and finish painting it.

A 'Who dunnit'

Subtitle: 'A Science Fiction Novel with enough Thrills for five Sequels'


I forgot to post it while the exhibition was still on. Sorry, but if you ever stumble across it, watch it! It's really neat.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The end of teaching

I survived the first term of teaching. Feels really good to be done with that. This last week a couple of big group projects were due with presentations to company CEOs. That bit was a bit scary but turned out great in the end. I wish I could post here what we did, but since it is group work for uni I don't feel like I should post other people's work. We made up a great logo for our 'company' and picked fabulous books. We even made mock covers, wrote a press release and had a nice information package for the company we presented to. I can't believe how much work we put into that!

So now I can be lazy again and work from home. There are two essays due next week on which I haven't even started yet. Lalala. Guess I have to bust my ass over the weekend. But it feels great to do individual work again and not rely on other people. I really don't mind group work. We were five people in a group and sometimes it was exhausting to get everybody's opinion heard and then get everybody to agree on a strategy! But what I thought was most annoying that some of our group members were not really reliable. They showed up unprepared. One of the girls was late EVERY time. Sometimes more than half an hour. One time three hours!!! And then she would always leave early, not participate and really rely on us to do the legwork. I hate that. But I'm not good at approaching people and telling them what I think about that. Especially because I feel like that shouldn't be necessary. We are on a freaking Master programme, not in kindergarten. Is it too much to ask to do some work and show up on time? So yeah, there were two people I gave really bad feedback to. But I just couldn't justify giving them good feedback since I felt three of us did all the work and the other two participated once in a while but didn't really put any effort into it.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant on about that. But I have this obsession with fairness and I just don't like it when some people just get through life by relying on others doing their share. But I guess that's just how it goes. Next term we will be in new groups and I'm sure I will find other things that annoy me. Maybe I should just become a much more positive person. But that just doesn't run in my blood. I was already so calm and Zen at meetings and poking fun. Calming down the other two girls you did the lion-share of work. Very excited about the feedback I will be getting. I'm thinking something along the lines of possibly bossy. One girl already told me that she put down 'cynical' for my excess strength (aka weakness). Uh, that's another thing that annoys me. Why can we not call it weakness, why does it have to be excess strength (especially since that doesn't make any sense with cynical). I don't mind the cynical part, can't mind something that's true. And I don't view it as a weakness anyway. Has served me well in the past and continues to do so.

On a bright note: I was trying to get work experience the last couple of weeks. And today one of the companies I applied to got back to me. Via text message which was weird. But anyway, will go in tomorrow when they have an open day and chat to a guy there who will hopefully give me some work experience. And then a couple of hours later another company came back to me. Just letting me know that they were still trying to figure out if they could use me somewhere. That was nice. So will try to pester that one too. Might get a second work experience now. Hurra!

Tonight I will go to a birthday party. Will be a nice change of scenery. Next week I will mostly work on assignments. My programme director is planning a conference two weeks from now and I will be helping out. So there will be some preparation for that as well. And the week after that it will be home for Christmas. Sooooooooo excited about that. Not only about he going home bit but also about the not having to do any work for more than a week! Hurray! Christmas here we come...

Friday, 12 November 2010

Going to Cambridge (2)

After following around our lovely tour guide through the massive warehouse we headed back to reception to be picked up by the next person. This next tour took us to the printers. CUP is one of the only major publishers in the UK that still has its own printing press. I think that's pretty cool, but they are trying to get rid off it since it is very expensive compared to outsourcing. But the printer is still around so we were able to have a look.

The first thing we learned was that they are still a bit old fashioned. No digital printing, its all done by lithography. That means (as I gathered it) that the pages to be printed are engraved onto a metal plate that is covered with blue paint. The areas that don't need to take on ink are carved away until you are left with a blue print. If you print black and white, then you only need this one plate. But if you print in colour you will need four: one for each color (usually cyan, magenta and yellow) and one for black.

Photos are taken off those plates and stored away. The plates are then inserted into massive printers and the paper runs through each of the plates and out comes the printed page. The biggest printer they had took ten plates, one for each side of the paper, so you had greater variety on colours.

Each sheet that is printed consists of a number of pages. Usually in multiples of 8, so 8, 16, etc. The largest they could print was 64. They don't print from a big roll of paper. Instead they have piles of sheets. After the sheets are printed they get folded by a machine, and then put by hand into another machine. That one I thought was really clever. All of those folded sheets are numbered in the order they have to be in. Then they get loaded in a row into different trays. They fall on after another onto a conveyor belt underneath which moves exactly one position by the time the next one falls, so they get stacked neatly into piles.

 When they come out of this machine they go into the next that will put tons of hot glue to their backs and stick on the binding. At least for paperbacks. Unfortunately, we didn't see any hardbacks being made. The spine is still really warm when they come out. Because they are so warm and easy to bend they cool off and get pressed together so they will be nice and straight once dry.

The next step is cutting of the excess paper and getting it into the right format. This is yet another machine that will cut the book into the right dimension. They get quality checked along the way and this is no exception. Guys will pull out copies and measure them, check for color inconsistencies, etc. It's all really thorough.

We didn't see where they were packaged since that was yet in another building. But we did notice stacks of paper all over the place and weird things hanging from the ceiling spraying out gases. Apparently when paper gets delivered it first needs to acclimatise before it can be printed. Otherwise, like wood, it will change its dimensions. And the weird things are humidifiers making sure that the air temperature and humidity stays the same at all times. It's not very humid at all in the place but standing right under the humidifier makes you feel a little bit like being in a jungle.

To round everything off we were shooed into a meeting room and the editorial team for ELT gave us a nice presentation on what they are doing. Sorry, no pictures here. Of course they made it sound like a great place to work. But I loved how they told us about their own stories and what they did after uni and how they ended up there. Most of them went travelling and did some English teaching in Asia or Eastern Europe. And of course when we left we were send off with some nice goodie bags. A CUP linen bag filled with highlighters, post-its and CUP pens.

I had great fun at CUP. As you might be able to tell from the photos. I took close to 90 pictures. Was going a bit nuts, but it was just all so cool. For the next outing I will try not to bore you with all the boring details.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Going to Cambridge (1)

I had my first 'field trip' on Monday. Most of our class went to Cambridge to see the university press. It was a miserable day, rain and wind and freezing temperatures. We had great fun anyway. Thankfully we spend most of our time indoors.

The day started with a little introduction to CUP. Apparently it is the oldest and most respected press in the world (according to their promotion video). Then we split into two groups. My group headed over to the warehouse (through the rain) and had a tour. I've never been to a warehouse. They had a big storage area where they can have up to 6 million books! It's massive. The big numbers you see kept counting up to T if I remember correctly.

So that's where the books are stored. For delivery they are put into another part of the warehouse, I think it was called the front pick. That's basically another big area, but this time with shelves only as tall as a person stands. The pickers go through that with little wagons were they have up to 12 packages on and a computer tells them with route to take and which book to pick up and even in which package it goes! Very cool.

 Again, tons of books around. Wanted to steal them all!

 There is a blue light above each package. It will light up to show the picker where to pack a book.

 This is the machine that puts the bands around it. You really don't wanna get your fingers in there. That thing is a beast!

Ready to ship out!

I didn't get a good picture of the delivery of new stock to the warehouse. Every new book that comes in is weighted and measured and put onto a database. From that the computer decides where it would be best to store. I thought there would be fancy machines for that. But no, just a guy taking out every book, putting it on an old kitchen scale, and then measuring it with a little measuring tape. Pretty old fashioned.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Just wanted to share this quickly

A news story that made me smile this morning (yeah, yeah, should be studying, but meh not in the mood).

LSE breaks world record in trade speed with linux

I wonder which one exactly they are using, but who cares in the end. Linux 1 - Microsoft -1! Go Linux...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

It's not unusual

Today I'm doing something very unusual. I am blogging, but haven't read any of the blogs I'm usually following for about a week. There are exactly 366 unread posts. A crushing number. So tempted to just press the 'mark all as read' button. But I can't. Still want to read them all. Just don't know when.

It's really crazy. Today is Sunday and I feel like I need a weekend. Was doing work for uni all day yesterday and today. I don't see the workload decreasing any time soon. All I want is a day I don't have to think about reading or assignments. To be fair. This week I took on more than I needed too. I want to apply to a publisher for work experience. As my lecturer pointed out time and time again how important it was to talk about some of the publisher's book in the cover letter I ventured out on Friday to find some. One would think this is not a big problem. But I picked a fairly small publisher with only five employees. It took some time but I finally found a book they published. And lucky me it was neither very long, only about 200 pages, nor was it boring. I actually enjoyed it. So it was easy to throw in a sentence about in the cover letter. Hope it makes a difference. After all, this is for an unpaid work experience. I will read through it one last time tomorrow morning and then send it out. Hopefully I will get a positive response!

Otherwise just playing it day by day. The healthy lifestyle is suffering a little bit with all this stress. But I did manage to go running once a week so far. I won't push myself. If it only happens once a week then that is great. Evening meals have also deteriorating a bit. As bf is doing lots of overtime at the moment, neither him nor I are particularly interested in preparing a proper dinner. Had pizza and Chinese delivered this week more than once. At least we're doing something for the British economy.
Anyway, will enjoy my two hours of free time today before falling to bed all exhausted. Hope everyone had a great week! Will try to update more often from now on.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

First week survivor

I survived the first week of classes. It was a blast, but let me tell you now I'm exhausted. There are no classes on Friday but I basically spend most of the day reading and catching up. Yes, catching up on the first week. Also preparing for a presentation. Saturday I decided to have my weekend and didn't do anything for uni. But that meant that today I basically spend all day preparing for next week. Wow, I knew I'd be busy but this is really extreme. And I didn't even have all the classes yet. Next week will be just as busy. Have to prepare a presentation with a group and give it, prepare my cv and do all other sorts of fun stuff. Don't even wanna know how much catching up I'll be doing next weekend.

On a fun note I made some apple crumble today. Tasted really good. Offered half to bf but he refused to eat it. Later today when I went back into the kitchen to eat some more I discovered that all the crumble was gone and only the apples left. WTF? Bf said that since I offered him some but he didn't really fancy apples he just eat the dough and picked out what he liked. Just left the rest in there so I could eat it. Thought that was a bit rude,  but he didn't think anything wrong with it. Stupid boys. Honestly sometimes feel like I'm living with a ten year old. Told him to bin the rest. We'll see how long that will stay on the stove.

Better get ready for tomorrow. It's getting really dark outside which makes me sleepy. Could sleep 12 hours each day now. Remains a dream though since somebody keeps jumping up and down the bed at about 6am and it ain't me...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

First day of class

Today I had my first day of class. It was actually only one module about the publishing business. Most of it was spent getting to know our lecturer. He seems like a nice guy. Talked the whole time but didn't manage to bore me. And he handed out the power point presentation before class. I love that. Makes note-taking so much easier.

Today was pretty relaxed because we didn't have to prepare anything and he spent most of the time introducing us to the world of the book business with a general overview. I'd say most of it we already knew but he brought everything into context.

Towards the end of the class he was handing out assignments though. We had already been divided into groups of five which we will stay in for the whole term and do all our group work in the same group. First assignment is research a major publishing house and give a 10 minute presentation about its business model and objectives. None of us have ever researched a business so this should be quite interesting. 

We also got an email with the assignment for next Monday for our law module. This is what most people are scared of most since it's law and we have an exam in that module in January. I don't mind so much. Just have to prepare a couple of chapters and write some definitions of law terms (ok, I do mind the later one).

Gonna start studying now. Boo on that. At least I can do it from the comfort of my own home. Gotta love that. But first, lunch!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Day 15 *cough*

I don't think I'll be getting away with calling this blog entry Day 15 as I have skipped about three weeks in between. I was doing so well, posted every day for two weeks and then all of a sudden my mojo was gone. Thrown out the window. Now, I know why at first I didn't post. I simply forgot. Bf was supposed to leave for three weeks on Monday so that weekend we spend as much time together as possible and being on the computer was not part of it. After he left I just simply didn't feel like posting anything.

I guess that means I have some catching up to do. Luckily, not that much was going on. The first couple of weeks I mainly studied and hung out. Got some reading in and finished watching Gilmore Girls. Though I'm missing season 7 but it's £30 at the moment. Gonna wait till that goes to half price. 

The exciting stuff started to happen last week. I met up with some people from my class for a quick drink on Saturday. Everyone seemed really nice and I was glad that I got to know some of them before the big day. And I learnt about ten names. It felt really good to come into our first induction session on Monday and be able to call people by their name. Monday was pretty exhausting. We started at ten and didn't finish till 4pm. Did all sorts of introduction games, talked about the coming weeks, timetables yadda, yadda, yadda. But by the end of the day I did remember over 20 names out of the 28 people in my class.  Headed out for quick drinks and made it home at a reasonable hour.

Tuesday we met up in front of the uni to go on a literary walk through the City of London. Unfortunately on the way there our lecturer tripped and injured her ankle. Not very bad, but she couldn't walk comfortably any more. She did manage to walk us over to our first sight and left instructions on how to proceed, but it really was a shame since I think we missed out on a lot of good descriptions and explanations. We managed to see a lot anyway. The first stop was Temple Hall where on that day the new barristers had their welcoming feast. It's quite impressive. The main hall is narrow and long with a tall ceiling almost like a church. Everything is wood and the walls are plastered with the knights' badges. 

Next stop was the Temple Church (yes, that's the one where part of the Da Vinci Code was filmed). We had a short talk on its history before being let loose. They have some pretty impressive windows. Unfortunately none of my pictures turned out good. On the main site they are all colorful and old and on one of the other sides the daughter of the original window-maker designed some commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Knights of the Templar being at that location. Pretty cool stuff.
We managed to drag ourselves away and head over to Fleet Street. The main attraction here was a Starbucks. There used to be a publishing house in one of the buildings. Since our lecturer wasn't there we weren't quite sure which one exactly but we took it in as a historical site (not that everything around us was historical) and got us some nice coffee. Since we were so many we kinda went in in shifts and while waiting outside with some girls we were standing next to a jewellery store. Did some ring spotting and holy moly we saw some engagement rings for £16,000 and more. Christ. The girls around me told me it's normal to spend 1-3 months of salary on a ring. But honestly, who is so dump to spend that much money on a ring?! You could buy a car for that, you could have the most amazing honeymoon ever, you could save towards a house. But I guess, then again, if you earn that much in a month (how, oh how, I think I'm looking to go into the wrong profession) it really doesn't matter.

Ok, gone a bit off topic there. Coffee made us all feel stronger so we continued walking around different sites and headed up to Bloomsbury Square. Grabbed some lunch on the way, walked some more and eventually ended up at the British Library. Again, a massive building. We were exhausted by this time and just managed to walk around a bit before we headed to a little café just around King's Cross Station. And by café I mean bar. Had a couple of drinks before heading home.

Wednesday was started near St. Paul's Cathedral at Stationer's Hall. Apparently this is where the print and publishing industry meets for their get-togethers. The whole building smelled like smoked bacon. And some of their rooms where painted in a really faint pink. So, so strange. I think this is also where you need to register if you wanna be a publisher in Britain. But I might be wrong. At this point all the information got a bit mingled. We spent some more time on Fleet Street. This time with our lecturer and got some more information about various buildings. Then we headed up towards Chancery Lane, through various sidestreets near Farringdon back towards our uni. Stopped at a street market to pick up some food and ate at a park. The weather had been beautiful for those couple of days. Spend about an hour in the park. Got just the slightest bit of sunburn and then headed back to uni for our afternoon induction. Which ended up being very technical. I have no idea why people already need to know how exactly to write their dissertation, but meh. I will find out next year me thinks. Drinks couldn't come fast enough!

Thursday started out all nice and sunny. However, when I stepped out of Green Park station the rain started pouring down. Yuck. We hurried over to John Murray Publisher (which turned out were the ones in the Starbucks building on Fleet Street). Had a lovely introduction by the wife of John Murray the 6th (might have been the 7th). Creepy building with all kinds of stuff from Lord Byron in it. The pillow he died on, his hair collection. Weird dude!

Met up with a former student working for an agency now. Most people left to head back to uni to sign up for free language classes. About six of us stayed and had a really good talk. Then we wandered over to Hatchard's. A really old bookstore that specialises in hardbacks and signed copies. Managed not to buy anything before heading back to uni for our library induction. Might as well have skipped that. Don't remember any of it and libraries pretty much work the same everywhere. But we all ended all together in one place and headed out for another drink. Only had one. I think most of us were exhausted. Must be the walking and fresh air all day. I headed home and was so grateful to sleep in on Friday.

Met up with a friend and had a lovely time around Camden Town that day. The weather was a bit shit otherwise I think we could have gone on a lovely walk through Regent Park. Maybe next time?

And on Saturday finally bf came home in the afternoon. I had cleaned the house prior to his arrival. Was so nice to have him back. He's still jetlagged though and doesn't let me sleep. We got up at seven on Sunday headed over to his work so he could hand in his receipt from the trip. Then had a lovely breakfast and did a little bit of shopping. The rest of the day was spend  being lazy. I went to bed at 10.30pm, but he was not sleepy and stayed up a bit longer. But then he got up at five, went for a walk, came back, got ready for work and left at like 7. Crazy. I have to meet my lecturer this morning for a general talk. We see how that goes. Didn't mean to write that much. Really need to go now. Don't wanna make her wait. Not a very good impression.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Day 14

Had a funny phone call today. Guy on the phone was asking for someone (neither me nor my bf). Told him he got the wrong number. So he was asking whether this number wasn't such&such company. Obviously it wasn't so he hung up. Nothing too strange about that. Now, the weird thing was that the company he asked about is the one my bf works at. I remembered the name the guy asked for and wrote bf an email relaying what happened and whether he recognised the name. Promptly my phone rang again and it was bf. He was a bit weirded out because he looked up in his company directory and don't you know it the name was in it. So the person does work there. That's just so strange. He also looked up the phone number and it is not similar to our number. It uses the same digits but in a completely different order and number. If that guy mis-dialled then he got it completely wrong. Now bf thinks someone gave out our number. LOL. I doubt it. Was just the strangest thing.

Otherwise everything is fine. Was a little bit lazy today and only did half of my study things. Keeping the rest for tomorrow as I hadn't planned anything. I finished the book about how to get a job in publishing. Kinda glad because whenever I read it I got a stomach ache and felt a bit sick. I get really nervous when it comes to applications and anything related to that. So even reading about it gave me this sick, horrible feeling. Uh, don't even know how I'm gonna deal with it again next year when I'll be available on the job market. I just hate, hate, hate applying for jobs and 'advertising' myself to people/companies.

Eating is still going good too. I think I even trained my body to eat less. Not as hungry anymore and get full easier. That just might have to do with me being a lazy ass (I did go grocery shopping today though). Uh, I made sweet potato fries today. They turned out really well! All soft on the inside and a bit crunchy on the outside. Yummy! Wish I had mayonnaise with that, but none in the house.

No more evil cats in the yard, but I have an eye out for them. Can't sneak past me. The weather still holds sunny and beautiful with a slight chill in the air. Perfect autumn weather (though I guess it's not autumn yet).

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day 13

Sorry to bore you all again with an uneventful day. Went for my run. Had yummy foods and did a shit-load of studying. I do enjoy the studying, but I get a bit bored from being in the house all the time. Today I actually grabbed my camera and shot some pictures out the window. I noticed a cat in our neighbours' garden who kept looking over into my window. I kept thinking it's Muta from 'The cat returns'. I just saw the film a couple of days ago. That cat kept freaking me out.

Scary cat sitting in neighbours' garden

Both mean-looking, both, well, not the most skinny cats. But I'll bet Muta is much friendlier. This Muta impostor had a real strong 'I hate every human being' vibe going on there.

Yup, pathetic, I know. Have all this free time and I use it to study and spy on cats. Maybe I'll do something more interesting next week. Not likely. But uni will commence eventually which means I will leave the house on a regular basis. So look forward to that. Gonna enjoy the short rest of a sunny day now.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 12

Really sad that the long weekend is over. Have no motivation whatsoever. I did all the studying I was supposed to be doing today (which was a lot). But didn't manage to get my ass out the door and go running. Which was a shame as the weather is really lovely. It's sunny and cold. Really cold. But it smells and feels like autumn. I like autumn. Hopefully will get a full blown golden September. Figured I will go running tomorrow. When it's probably raining cats and dogs. Oh well, will deal with that tomorrow.

Otherwise all is well. Healthy eating still growing strong. Had nice cereal for breakfast, mushroom soup for lunch, then some fruit and smoothie. Waiting for bf to come home as I'm starving and want to have dinner. Apparently he needs to stay for at least another hour. Might have to fix dinner and eat by myself. Drinking some smoothie to carry me over, but I really want food. Can't think of anything else but food. Probably because I finished studying, now am bored and too lazy to find something else to do. I might dig out another movie. Hopefully more to say tomorrow.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Day 11

Had a relaxing day today. Went grocery shopping in the morning. Was all nice and sunny though kinda cool. The leaves are starting to turn. Fall is approaching fast over here.

When we got back I had a yummy muesli muffin and watched 'My neighbour Totoro'. What a cute movie! I thought the end was a little bit open and sad, but I loved Totoro. Wanna grow my own magic trees now. I was still in a movie mood after that, so put in 'Lost in Translation'. I love that movie. Really don't know why, but it makes me feel really good. Had some nice tea with that.

Another good thing today. Putting out 2666 in front of my eyes actually made me wanna read it. So I started today. The beginning was a little bit boring, and as I was just about to put it away something interesting started to happen. I was sniffing a love triangle coming up. Now I already read the first 40 pages (which is not a lot, 800 more to go, it's a big book). Really enjoying it. The first pages were all about literary theory this and authors doing that. Boring. But as soon as the first female character was introduced drama is coming up! Yay. Very excited about where this will take me. We shall see...

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Day 10

Day started out really good. Had a nice cinnamon and raising bagel. Went out for a run. That makes it three runs in a week. One more than I have too. Maybe I can get the momentum going next week. Though I have to say I didn't particularly enjoy this third one. Maybe I cut down to two, just to keep the enjoyment up and hopefully be able to carry this through to the winter.

Otherwise haven't left the apartment. Just watched a movie. Might pop in another one in a second. Really nothing going on. Enjoying the lazy life. We might go out for tea tomorrow. Let's see how that turns out. The weather is just changing like crazy back and forth. One minute it's sunny, then it pours. Maybe we'll find a nice rain-free time tomorrow to hop to the café, sit through the rain and then come back after the next shower. These things want to be planned. Anyway, one more day of weekend bliss.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Day 9

I love weekends! Had a really lovely day today. I slept in, then had yummy bagel for breakfast and some tea. Lurked on the internet for a bit. We headed out around noon and went to see 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World'. It was a great movie! Very different than I thought it would be. They had lots of funny effects in the movie. Made it similar to comics and some really fun video game references.

After that we headed over to St. Pancras to the Champagne Bar. We sat right next to the Eurostar that was about to leave for France. One of these days I wanna be on it too, but not today. We had a great afternoon tea and ordered a selection of seasonal champagnes. Once for each season, the spring one was pink, the summer one white and very fresh, the ones for winter and fall were a bit yellowish, one very dry the other a bit peachy. For the tea we got some sandwiches, scones (love the clotted cream on them) and cake. Was all very tasty. So glad we only ordered for one person as there was plenty to share and I was stuffed at the end. I guess it's all the cream. The one for the tea even came heated! Never had that before.

Went for a stroll through the station. Foyles had some great books but I was strong and didn't buy any. We went to Pink and bf picked up some suit stuff. Just small things, before he paid I told him it was ok to put it into my purse, but he refused and said no problem I just take a bag. I let him find out first hand, that a store called Pink actually did have pink bags with ridiculously looking ribbons and stuff on it. So he kindly refused and put it in my purse after all. Would have been fun to see him walk around with such a girly little bag. But I was nice.
Headed home after that. Bf now making spaghetti for dinner while I'm hanging out and reading. Maybe gonna have a beer later. Two more days off. Feels like forever. Did I mention I love long weekends!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Day 8

Still being a good girl. Went running today ~3km. Felt good. I tried to do it as early as possible in order to avoid the rain. I got lucky and didn't get wet at all (if we don't count sweating). Felt good to go running out in the cooler weather. I did take a scarf. Should have waited though. The weather got better this afternoon and I can see sun peaking out through the clouds. Ah well, did my run and feel good. Might squeeze in a third one over the weekend but no pressure.

Haven't stepped on the scale again since starting this while thing, but hoping it will be down on Sunday. Maybe I will do a weight-in day once a week. Though I hate doing that. It's so much pressure. On the other hand I want to monitor how things are going. With something more precise than my clothing. We'll see. But don't think I will post any numbers. Eyes only.

Have to stock up on fruits over the weekend. Ate through almost all of the ones I have here. Very good effort on my part. Also gonna see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World tomorrow. If we are not too lazy and make it out of the house. But I really wanna see it and go get some coke and popcorn and have the whole movie theater experience. The theater is actually only a ten minute walk away. Should really make it.

Studying was good too. The whole week I did exactly what I planned. Monday is a bank holiday and I scheduled that in. No studying over the weekend though. Oh, bf finally got a kinda definite date for going to Singapore. In about a week, only going a week and then going straight to India. Lucky him. So he will only be gone three weeks instead of six. Good for me!

I just got down with a book I read and now can't decide what to read next. I have a couple of hugs books which I never take with me on any commute because they are bulky and heavy, so thinking now would be the perfect time to read them. But for some reason they are not 'speaking' to me at the moment. I'm sure they will eventually at a time when I have absolutely no time to read them at home. For some reason the really small books are the ones I really wanna read now (a couple of James Bond are staring me in the face right now). Wish my reading cravings would be more convenient and coincide with the correct situation. Put Roberto Bolaños's 2666 right on the bed to water up my appetite. Not happening so far. How can I trick my mind into really wanting to read it right now? Also have the pillars of the earth here, but I read the first chapter a while back and it really turned me off.

Gonna go get into a staring contest with the book now. Hope I will stay good and get to write here tomorrow and not give into weekend lazyness. Have a great bank holiday weekend (for those of you from the UK).

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Day 7

This will be a quickie. Absolutely nothing happened today. It rained all day (still is) and it is cold. Decided not to go for a run as my throat still hurts. Did all the studying I wanted to do today. Then I just watched TV. Friends is on now. Never can watch too much Friends. Gonna make some tea now, and sit down with my book, or Friends. Or both. So flexible. I guess I really should get out of the house. Maybe tomorrow. Till then...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Day 6

Nothing exciting to report. Everything is still going well. Had healthy food and did tons of studying. Even had time for a Gilmore Girls break. Getting too obsessed with it, tomorrow I should think of something else to watch during break. Maybe West Wing.

I was planning to go outside for a walk today, maybe pick up some groceries. But it's raining, more like pouring since lunch. And it's gotten cooler. Nice. Decided not to go for a walk. Have been drinking tons of tea instead and enjoying the sound of rain on my windowsill. Makes me want to have some chocolate. Too bad none in the house. Maybe will pick some up tomorrow. Rich dark chocolate. Hmm, can taste it melting in my mouth. Right, change of topic.

Bf is staying out tonight. Some kind of free drinking event. Nothing to be said no to. He's probably gonna be bursting in here at 1am, drunk and happy. He's a noisy drunk, there'll be plenty of stories and singing. Since I don't have to get up early it will be fun. Looking forward to it.

Might watch a movie tonight. Since I'm all alone I can put up one of the Japanese movies (with subs obviously) and won't annoy boyfriend. Usually crank up the volume quite a bit desperately trying to understand at least one or two words every couple of minutes. Other than です.

Now I'm going to enjoy some hot lime (don't have any lemon) because my throat hurts a little bit and the weather just calls for it. Gonna snuggle up with a good book and enjoy ... silence.

Replace the lemon with a slice of lime and you get the idea...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Day 5

I can happily report that the TV is gone. Thank you council for taking away our garbage for free (well, I guess it is covered by council tax). I was a bit worried that we missed our collection time, but luckily all gone. Just have to throw out the remote.

Went for a 3.4km run today. Felt really good. Though my legs felt heavy when I got home. But I started stretching and my breathing was back to normal after a few minutes. Definitely getting used to working out. I always have to wait a bit to hit the shower after running as it takes me a long time to stop sweating. Sweating is healthy and all but I do find it strange that it just doesn't stop for half an hour. Another thing I noticed I get really cold after running. Not immediately. About an hour after my feet get really cold and that creeps to the rest of my body. That's just so strange because usually I'm always too hot. Especially my feet and hands tend to be really warm, but after running they are like ice! Isn't circulation supposed to improve with working-out. Wouldn't that mean that they are supposed to stay nice and warm? Well, I got out my nice fluffy winter socks, made some tea and warmed up.

Since I got my study books yesterday I made a four week plan on preparing for uni and catching up on Japanese. In my last lesson my teacher mentioned that now we should know everything from 'Japanese for Busy People I'. Gosh, I was shocked! I hadn't looked into it once despite me having purchased it with my first lesson two years ago (already two years, crazy). We do use study material independent of the book, just loosely based on the lessons.  I slacked the last year and all the things I know, I don't know by heart. It's more like I have heard of them when somebody mentions them. Since I don't want to repeat the class I should really catch up. In the next four weeks I'm planning to work through the Japanese book, a publishing law book, and a book on how to get a job in the industry. Made a nice timetable and filled it in with many chapters. Despite not having been particularly motivated to do any studying I pulled out my nice schedule and started around noon. Managed to get everything done that I planned for today. Was easier than I thought and I enjoyed getting back into the language and learning about something new. I think this is going to work!

No running tomorrow. It's rest day. Will just do the studying and maybe some grocery shopping in order to get out of the house. Or a nice walk? It's not really walking weather. Sometimes it's raining, then it's windy, then it's cold, then it gets warmer. Changing quickly, always a surprise.

Leaving you with motivated thoughts. Already looking forward to studying tomorrow and running the day after. Life is great without work!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Day 4

Start of the week. Healthy living still going on. Though I have to admit I had an ice-cream yesterday. Twas delicious! Didn't go running today but will go tomorrow and I'm actually looking forward to it! Turning into a strange person I don't recognise anymore!

The day started very excitingly as I was laying in bed drifting in and out of sleep and I suddenly remembered that I had called the garbage people and our TV was supposed to be on the sidewalk by 6am. I had heard the alarm earlier (which goes off at 6.30am) so I bolted upright and basically leapt out of bed into a pair of shoes and a cardigan yelling at poor bf. I don't think it was very coherent what I said there as I got weird (almost scared looks) from bf. After about five attempts he understood what I wanted and calmly put on some clothes too. I was still hectic and kept pestering him even forgot to put on my glasses and kinda stumbled out on the street. Also forgot the TV but much more awake bf did remember to bring it. What a star. We got it out there at 7.30. Fingers crossed that the waste disposal people weren't there already. Have to check later if the TV is gone. If we missed it maybe somebody will be so kind to steal it. It's fully functional! No thieves around when you need them.

After that abrupt start to the day things calmed down. Still watching Gilmore Girls but I did revise my CV and cover letter. Now I just have to find companies I want to send it to and tweak it to each companies requirements. Have I mentioned that I hate writing those? Feel like I'm whoring myself out. I guess everyone has to go through that. Will just suck it up. But won't do it today. Company finding and sending CVs out will commence tomorrow.

In more exciting news my amazon package arrived! I got five study books now. One is recommending reading before the course starts. Of course that is the biggest one. I'm excited nonetheless. Will learn all about publishing law in the next few weeks. I also got two DVDs. Sometimes I'm too lazy to sit through a whole movie (TV shows destroyed my attention span), but I really want to see these two 'Café Lumière' and 'Instant Swamp'. Since they are in Japanese I'm also deluding myself into believing that watching those two is like studying. Brilliant plan. I will get so much done the day I do that!

Gonna go immerse myself in those books now. Did I mention I love books!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Day 3

Had a very relaxing day today. Slept in (7.30 without once having been nudge by bf), puttered around a bit, made a lovely breakfast with fried eggs and then puttered around a bit more. bf decided to take me out to lunch to Strada. Had a mushroom pizza with creamy cheese. Uh, I guess that wasn't the healthiest lunch but so yummy. Also had some really  nice olives. They were a dark almost pine green and tasted not a bit bitter. Usually I'm not a fan of green olives because they are so bitter/sour, but these were lovely. We shared some brushetta for starters and had a chilled beer. Love chilled beer in the hot weather. It's not hot and sunny, but hot, sticky and cloudy with the odd warm rain. Gives me a headache. Wish it would just be cool.
Bf is playing some football game now and I'm just surfing away. Need to start looking for internships. Had a quick browse. I guess tomorrow I will update cv and cover letter and then just do some blind applications. Didn't really find any openings, but not expecting that. I would love to work in a production role at a book publisher, but really any experience is appreciated. I did some work experiences a few years back. Those were in sales and publicity. I liked both departments, but would like to get to know other areas as well. Today being Sunday though I will succumb to lazyness and do the work tomorrow.

On another note I've become addicted to Innocent smoothies again. Just can't get enough of them. My favorite at the moment is Kiwis, Apples and Limes. In addition to all the fruit I'm eating I guess I've become a fruit junkie! Go me!


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Day 2

Good day so far. bf is home and we are enjoying doing nothing. Some reading and watching TV going on. Thinking about leaving the house for a snack run, but really want to stay with the healthy.

Went for a 2k run this morning. Felt really good. Next one I will try to do 3k. Already looked up a route to go on. It's hard to spontaneously do a longer run because of how the streets are laid out. We have a lot of dead ends here. It's getting easier to run too. The hardest is the first kilometer because I always go up a hill, but then it gets easier since it's downhill or even ground from there. By the time I'm at the bottom of the hill I feel like I could run forever. Of course that's only an illusion, but still, it's a nice feeling. But I figured I shouldn't push too hard. I always go a really slow pace and stop before I feel like dying. This way I'm hoping I will enjoy the whole experience more and am less likely to quit. And I have to carry this over into the dark, cold and rainy winter season. 

Had a nice bowl of cereal with yogurt in the morning. Then a nectarine, plum and banana for snack. Can you actually overeat on fruit? I usually don't eat a lot of fruit, but trying to up my intake at the moment. So I eat about three pieces a day and in the afternoon also some dried fruit. Is that too much? I have no idea. I'm about to make me some nice tea and have some dried apricots and dates with that. There is some sugar in the dates, but it's all natural. Don't know what to have for dinner yet, but there are still some zucchini. bf made some nice tofu and noodles for lunch.

Tomorrow I'm hoping we will leave the house and maybe do some shopping or go have some coffee somewhere. I like lazy days in the house, but feel like a caged animal if it's for longer than a couple of days. The running helps but is not quiet enough. The weather today is really weird. It's warm yet cloudy and windy. But a warm wind. I'm waiting for some thunder or something but nothing happening so far. 

Will go back to my reading now. Still no package from amazon. Hopefully Monday!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Day 1

First day of blogging every day. Good start. Not that much happened since yesterday. I'm still way on track with healthy living. No running in the morning, have to be nice to the knees, but good cereal/yogurt/milk breakfast, salad with mackerel for lunch, now a nice berry smoothie and later there will be fruit! Probably some plums, apricots and nice white flesh peaches. Some dates for the sweet tooth. And tonight nice whole-wheat noodles with courgettes and tomato sauce. Good stuff.

Now that I have bored you with my healthy living there is really nothing else to tell. There are some builders in the flat across the hall. They did turn off my water without warning earlier. So I went down and had a chat with them. Water is back now. I also called the bulky waste disposal people at the council and arranged for them to pick up our old TV. For free! Just have to bring it out to the street Sunday night so they can pick it up Monday morning. That will be another workout since that thing is heavy!

I also managed to send out some emails and messages. Staying in the social interaction circle. Go me! Made bf take out the garbage, did the dishes, watching some more Gilmore Girls. Good day. Yesterday I changed up the blog a little bit. Really don't know if that is the final look but I like it for now. I wanted it to be bright and clean. Still not perfect, but it's getting there.

Now I'm waiting for the amazon package to arrive with my study things. I love getting packages especially if they are filled with books. Ok, this time only uni books but they are still good. I threw in a couple of DVDs for my enjoyment, so it's a little fun too. Just have to try to sneak it past bf. I'm supposed to save money now.

Couple of hours to go till bf comes back from work. We're still waiting on word when he's 'allowed' to leave for Singapore. Well, the longer he stays the longer I have him. Not  gonna complain about that. Meanwhile I will entertain myself with looking at clothes I will not buy but dream about wearing.

You can find them here

Aren't those adorable. Really would love those, and about a million others. Sigh...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Welcome to the Limelight!

from FruityCuties

She's finally here! Little Lime has entered the world today. Happy Birthday!

I'm back

Sorry for not posting for so long (though not sure to how many people I am apologising here). I have been on holiday in Germany to visit family. Lots has happened or is happening.

I had my last day at work end of July. It was not a bitter-sweet moment, just sweet. One of my colleagues (and only friend at work) was going on maternity leave the same day and we went out for dinner with the others from the office. To Wagamama. Was yummy food. It was a little bit weird because one of our colleagues threw a little hissy fit just before and didn't show up or say good-bye. He then basically turned into the topic of the hour which was nice since I hate being that. But when it was time to go I went with a grin. Not looking back not regretting anything. 

After the last couple of months of work I was really stressed out (part of it probably had to do with me not liking my job the other with many people being on vacation) I really needed a break. The plan was to hang out a week with bf and basically roam around England. Well, that didn't happen so I booked a last-minute flight to Germany. I was supposed to attend a family gathering with my grandmother anyway. Though I desperately tried to get out of that but ran out of excuses when the holiday fell through. So I flew to Hamburg on Saturday morning, very early, spent the day with my sister and then we drove to my parents place in the middle of nowhere. 

The next day was the family gathering. For some reason my grandma got this idea yesterday that it would be nice to have the whole family together on a day in the summer to have breakfast and lunch. I don't mind that at all and it's fun to see the family. It's just that not all of us live conveniently within an hour drive of her house. So she always ends up being mad at one person or another for *gasp* having to work, attend uni or being on holiday (in August, who would have guessed). I think it's a good 30 people she's trying to accommodate. Anyway, it was nice, good food. Of course always those aunts there that I would prefer not to see, who scored my email now and will be in contact to meet up when she's here. Urgh, wish I could have avoided that, but am not very smooth at avoiding social interactions and refusing information without being rude. So a little piece of paper was handed over with too much personal information on it. I like most of my family, I really do, but I guess everyone has this one person that they are desperately trying to avoid. My aunt is of the kind to be avoided. I guess she's not a bad person, just a very annoying one. Always asking too many questions, or making too bold of statements ('oh, you gained a LOT of weight since we've seen each other last. You having personal problems, should we talk?'). But anyway,  everything else was fine.

The rest of the week was very uneventful. We had decent weather, so we went swimming a couple of times, even went running once. Of course we had too much good food. I gorge on bread when I'm in Germany. It's just some of the best bread in the world there and so much variety. I turn into a pig at breakfast, no kidding.

The second week I went back to Hamburg with my sister, her hubby and my nephew. They were all still off work/school. I had another lovely lazy week there. They don't have internet so I was completely cut off (which was kinda nice, but I also hated it! I was missing all those lovely blogs I usually read). We went to playgrounds, played a little Wii, had some beers, rented movies, went to the Baltic Sea for a day, to Lübeck. But in general it was very relaxed. 

Really needed the break. It was so nice to be out in the countryside, see some trees, breath some fresh air. I actually did some proper weeding. Took forever. We worked on it with three people for five days 1 to 2 hours a day and there is still weeding to do. But it was nice to get the hands all dirty. Ah, the simple life. Uh, and I had tons Italian ice cream. Can't really find that in London.

But anyway, now I'm back in London. This is where the new life starts. Now that I'm back I'm supposed to prepare for university. Which I have every intention to do. Just not today.

I did prepare a bit yesterday. I paid my tuition, I ordered my first books from amazon (that I did love, and of course I added some fun stuff!!!). Today I'm supposed to look for work experience/ internships. But not really in the mood. Maybe I will dust off my Japanese textbooks and study some. That I would count as work. Too bad that I already dusted off my Gilmore Girls DVDs and have those on 'play all'. Such a guilty pleasure.

Another thing I am planning to do is live a little bit more healthy and lose some weight. Uh, how I hate to do that. But, I did go grocery shopping yesterday and only bought healthy food. First step: eliminate all temptation from the house. Done. Now I want to look up some nice recipes so I won't get bored of the food I'm eating. The only way this will work is if I don't feel like I'm forbidding myself to eat certain foods, but instead trying new healthy things and eating a variety of things. We'll see how long I can go on like that. I have tons of fruits here that I can snack on and am going to buy some nuts and dried fruits to further my selection. Also tons of tea and coffee in the house. And some yummy innocent smoothies. Love those. They can substitute for candy. Not sure what to do about chips yet. Any healthy alternatives?? Second step is exercise. I went for a run this morning! Thought I try to do that twice a week or so. It's still only 2km. But better than nothing. I thought I'd die when I started this morning but by the time I got back to the house I felt I could go on for longer. I should really look up a longer route now.

I also wanted to post more. Thinking since I am unemployed and all and not starting uni till next months I will try to blog every day for the next thirty days! Really hope I can keep all of this up. Healthy living, studying, blogging. Lots to do! But hopefully the more I do the more motivated I will get.

Sorry to bore you all with a long post. Trying to entertain myself a little bit today. A good friend (you know who you are, maybe I entertained you a bit with this while you waiting) is giving birth today. Scheduled via c-section because of possible complications. Have my fingers, toes and everything crossed that can be crossed. Very excited!!!

So let's hope you will hear from me tomorrow!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Plans falling through

Last week has been an eventful one. Not so much for me but for bf. On Wednesday he was approached by one of his clients and asked if he would like to do a project in Singapore for them. Well, who wouldn't. I thought that sounded amazing and told him to go for it. It will only be four weeks so brilliant. Here's the kicker. He has to leave next Saturday. Come again? That's right after I have my last day at work and right when we were supposed to start our vacation together. We hadn't booked anything. We wanted to do day trips and explore London a bit. Together. He first didn't want to go, but I wanted none of that. So we decided he should go. He had to decide by Thursday. Yup, that's right, they gave him a whopping 12 hours to make a decision on that. I know he'll love the project. He's not too excited about the whole flying there, but he'll get over it. He'll be back the last weekend of August and is off for that week. But then he'll leave again to go to India to work on a project there for two weeks. This one was actually planned long in advance and he's looking forward to that. Just not the whole flying around.

Now, I am really happy for him. I know he'll love it in both places. At the same time I'm extremely jealous because obviously I would love to be asked to do stuff like that too (not that I have any expertise in that area or am in any position to expect that). And I am extremely disappointed because I will be free for August and the beginning of September. Seven weeks of no job bliss before starting to study that I was hoping to spend mostly with doing nothing, some preparation and with bf. But that's not going to happen because he'll be gone six weeks out of the seven. Very disappointed indeed. 

So after the initial 'shock' I started thinking about what I wanted to do in those weeks. For some reason being all by myself and lurking around the apartment don't look as much fun if there's nobody there in the morning and evenings. Thought about organising an internship or work experience with a publisher. But I guess that is a little bit last minute now. So I gave in to my parents nagging and am going home for some time. Don't know when yet, but will go see them for a couple of weeks. The rest of the time I will prepare for my studies, read books and play video games. That will still be fun. But I'm just so disappointed that our holiday plans fell through. 

Maybe I will still apply for work experience, but not sure yet. I do want some down time before starting my master and putting all my energy into that. 

So yeah, funny how within 12 hours plans for the next couple of months can be changed so quickly. Boo on that. Not that I'm not happy to see my family, I just had different plans and was looking forward to that. 

Now we are enjoying our last weekend together before he's leaving on Saturday morning. Early. Ah, I wanted to go out and get drunk with him on Friday celebrating me getting out of my shitty job. Not gonna happen now. Gonna go for dinner with work people on Friday and then rushing home to help pack and see him for the last time for four weeks. I know it's only four weeks, but still. I'm off work with nothing to do and he's leaving on my first day of freedom. Not blaming him at all, I would have jumped at that opportunity too. Just wish things would have turned out differently. Well the good thing is I have an über-friendly bf at the moment who's trying to make up for leaving me behind. It's sweet but I keep telling him unnecessary. Ah well, I will enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tuesday off work fun

Thanks to working on Sunday I'm off today and supposed to enjoy a perfectly lazy Tuesday. Since basically everybody else is at work being lazy is double the fun.

It all started out well enough with sleeping in (well, till seven but that's good enough for me) and then decided not to go running. I have gone the last two Saturdays and enjoyed that immensely. But I figured I shouldn't overdue and go whenever I can. I keep it to once a week for now, make the run longer the next time and then possibly in the future go running twice. The idea is if I push myself too hard I will give up easier. By keeping the work-out simple and not doing it too often I will stay motivated. Easy as that. So lazy Tuesday it was.

It's still hot over here, so I figured I jump in a shower and then just run around in my underwear. Bf was kind enough to remind me that landlord will swing by today to test fire alarm. Fine, so sweatpants and t-shirt it is. When he left I was digging in the back on the bottom of our wardrobe for my favorite pair of white sweatpants. Very excited when I found them. Fun was spoilt when I tucked on the band at the waist and it felt weird. Kind of hard not elastic like it's supposed to feel. On closer inspection there was a yellow stretch round the whole hip area following the string. And it smelled like pee... WHAT!??!!? Ok, by this point I'm freaking out a bit. WTF? Why is this yellow, and smelly? Toss the pants to the side and pull out everything that's on the bottom of our wardrobe, literally smelling every piece and looking into holes of our pillows and blankets. But nothing, every other piece looks fine, smells fine, no holes, no pee, no nothing. Which is nice. But on the other hand I really have no idea what happened to my pants! Could it be that I put them away when the string was still moist from washing and then it rotted (and turned yellow and started to smell like pee!?!?). Yeah, this is freaking me out a little. I put the piece of evidence in the kitchen for bf to have a look at tonight. I want second opinions. Anyone an idea what could have happened here? I really don't want mice in my apartment. I don't think it looks like a mouse attack. But I really have no idea what else it could be.

Yeah, so not the nicest start to the day. But I vowed not to let that bother me. So I did the laundry, made some breakfast, settled back with a nice mug of green tea to calm down. That worked fine for a bit. But when I get to the bottom of my mug, and I wasn't really looking before because I was reading stuff on my laptop, I noticed a big fat mosquito floating around in my tea. Now, I realise that I won't die and it's not harmful at all. But I hate insects, especially in my food/drink and when they bite me. And I'm still shaking by the attack on my clothing. Put me right back into my foul mood. Hmm, I know there is a cookie somewhere in the kitchen. Maybe I will just eat that to cheer me up. Though with my luck I will probably find maggots in it once I have it half eaten...

Here's to a better second half of the day...

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Bringing it to a close

I just finished my last Sunday at work! It was kinda crappy but thanks to my lovely co-worker and some preparation on Friday I was able to leave on time anyway. That brings me down to nine days left of work. Cannot wait to get the hell out! I usually try not to talk about work on the blog. Firstly because I don't really have appropriate and nice things to say about it, and second because once I leave I wanna forget all about it. 

Basically I am preparing for the first week of August that bf will be off work as well. We scratched the plans to go somewhere on vacation, mainly because we are both too lazy to organise it and also because we wanted to head to the south of France. I think it will be too hot for me there at the moment. So we are planning to do many day trips in that week and just be generally a bit lazy. I put Brighton and Kew Gardens on the list. Since I am usually not exploring London a lot I should really use that opportunity. I might add a musical or other night time entertainment to the list. My guess is bf will want to do a casino night. Fine by me as long as I can stay at the Roulette table. Yeah, becoming unemployed and then blowing money at a casino doesn't sound like the smartest idea to me either.

Can't really think of other things to do. But I am sure I'll come up with something. Or bf will. Since it should be a  shared holiday.

Anyway off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Back on the healthy track

The title might be a little pre-mature. But I have been trying to go back to some healthier eating and living for awhile now. Never quite managed to get there. I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind.

Yesterday though, I managed to get up at a reasonable time and go for a run. Shocking, I know. Haven't gone for a run in about a year. When I came back from it I felt absolutely exhausted, but in a good way. Just collapsed on the bed and enjoyed getting some blood into my brain. After checking on the mapmyrun I did 1.7km in just under 20 minutes. I say that is not bad. Felt great the rest of the day. Had a nice salad for lunch. Ok, in the evening I sinned a bit. We were invited over to a friend's house for dinner. She made really nice food, chicken skewers and salmon as a main with green veggies and basmati rice. And as a dessert a mascarpone lime cake. Yummy! Only had one slice was very proud. I think I did well with the food. But on the drinks I faltered a bit. We had brought two bottles of white wine, another couple brought two bottles, another friend brought two bottles and our friend already had two bottles in the house. Yup, at about 2 am when we split all of those bottles were gone. Uh oh. 

I feel surprisingly good this morning  though. No headache. I was a good girl though and for every small glass of wine I drank a big glass of water. Spent a lot of time in the bathroom but I think it was worth it. No feeling sick or feeling particularly drunk. Score!

For the rest of my body, it's another story though. I swear, every muscle in my body hurts (except my arms). My back, my tummy, my bum, my legs, my hips even my feet! Amazing. I guess that is good at least I know I got a good work out. Especially excited about the tummy, that has been growing a little  bit of late.

Switching to another topic. I only have three weeks left at work. Yay! It's still stressful because we always seem to be a couple of people down, but who cares when it will all be over in three weeks!

It's the boyfriend's birthday tomorrow. His present won't come till later in the month. Which he knows so it's fine. But I was thinking of maybe getting him something small for the day. I really wanted to take him to dinner, but he is working crazy hours at the moment. He probably will just wanna go to bed when he makes it home. 

Still crazy hot over here. But I have gotten used to it now. Avoiding to go outside though. The sun is crazy strong. When I went to the train after work on Friday I was exposed to the sun for maybe five minutes and my skin was already starting to turn red. At five in the evening! Crazy. So yeah, I am hiding out. But enjoying it. Pretending I am on holiday every day and just being lazy and cooling down with tea and ice cream (yeah I know, not that healthy, but has to be enjoyed while the heat lasts).

I leave you with this. My laptop feels too hot, need to get my hands off it ;-)