Thursday, 29 April 2010

Things I love Thursday

Is it Thursday again?!?!? Weeks are just flying by, can't believe it.

  • Bank holiday weekend coming up! Three day weekends are awesome!
  • Short working week after that. Monday off and Friday off. Gotta love it.
  • New shoes! Very simple ones from Office. Black ballerinas. They are called Mary-Jane. Is that a style? I love the inside of them most, all flowery.
  • My mom on facebook. Ok, not sure about that one yet. Thinking about making an exclusive list for my mom where I can control what she sees and what not.   ;-)  Anyone any opinions on this? 
  • My new books. Still flying through them. So good! Seriously thinking about hitting the library after Canada. Spending way too much money on books. And they take up too much space in our apartment.
  • Pay-day! Everyday should be pay-day!
  • Spring. Weather is just brilliant. Today was the first 'bad' day in two weeks. It's cloudy and humid. But still warm. I don't mind at all, but people start complaining.
  • Lunch breaks. Have been doing a lot of window shopping the last few days. Will continue to do so as I am really enjoying myself.

It's been a pretty uneventful week. Still trying to get ready for the weddings. But can't wait till tomorrow. Kick-off for the long weekend!

PS: Stolen from this blog.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Camera Issues

Just came home from a long hard day at work. Well, scratch the long and hard, but I did come home from work on a Sunday. Actually wasn't too bad. Nothing stressful happened and it means I am off on Tuesday. Cannot wait for that. Might try to go to the hairdresser, but will probably be too lazy and just hang out online all day. 

Yesterday the weather was amazing yet again. So we decided to go outside and go book shopping. Yay! We made it to Foyles which is my favorite bookshop here in London. I restrained myself and only bought two books. But they are stocked really well. Could have bought at least 20 books there. The ones you usually can't find at other stores. And everything is nicely ordered by topic. I love that. Could browse through it all day.

After that we went to eat some Ramen. Was really delicious. I planned to take some pictures, but had some SD card issues. I had the same card since I got the camera. It is probably about five years old now. All of a sudden it didn't let me take any more pictures. Told me the card was full even though I had deleted all pictures after putting them on my computer last. So no pictures... 

After Ramen we went to a tiny park near the Embankment and read a little bit in our new books. Didn't stay too long because I got hot so we went home and I googled my problem. Apparently all I have to do is format my SD card in my camera. Did that, no problem have all my memory back. It's just weird because in five years I never had to do that before. Weird, weird, weird. 

Not excited about going to work tomorrow. Mondays are always stressful. But having Tuesday off will help me through the week. I love it when I don't have a full working week. The week after that one will be even shorter. Bank holiday on Monday and then I am off from Friday. Please no more volcanic outbreaks, need to catch our flight to Canada.

Right, I am off to make myself another Lemsip. My throat hurts horribly, my neck is really stiff and my lower back and legs are in pain. Don't know how I did it again. But as soon as the weather starts to  be nice and warm I get a cold. Well done. Let's hope I have it out of my system before the wedding. Otherwise my red nose might compete with my red dress. Sigh.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Things I love Thursday...

I realise I am not doing this every week, but I today I feel like it. 

  • New books. Went to Waterstones yesterday and picked up three goodies. Already 50 pages into the first one and loving it so far. Also picked up the new book by Elizabeth George last week. Read it every night before going to bed. Really good so far. Usually I would take it to work and read on the train, but it's a hardback and I hate dragging those around with me all the time.
  • New shoes! The weather is getting nicer and nicer so my thoughts turned to summer and shoes. I usually have problems with them as I get blisters in all of mine (even in Birkenstocks, don't know how I manage that). Today I picked up some canvas pumps. Hoping for a blister free summer with these!
  • Volcanic ash settling down. We are going to Canada in about two weeks. Very glad the planes are flying again.
  • Sunshine! Had the most amazing weekend. Spent most of it outside. Hoping for something similar this weekend.
  • Healthy eating. Was very good. Some slip-ups on the weekend but nothing too bad. Really enjoying the whole portion control and healthy eating thing. My desk is covered in fruits though. When I get hungry I either eat a pear or a banana. Helps a lot!
  • Making plans for bank holiday weekends. Don't know if we will end up doing any of it. But it's fun coming up with cool possibilities.
  • Being smile-and-noddy. I could be super-stressed at work at the moment, but I smile and nod and everything is fine. Aaaah...
  • Tea-breaks. When it gets too loud in the office, I go and make tea for everyone. Gives me a break and everyone loves me...
  • Going back to Japanese class. At first I thought it would suck and I wouldn't know anything, but then it was ok. I mean, I don't know everything, but was absolutely fine following the lesson and remembered stuff from my earlier terms. Phew. Had a really fun time!
That's about it this week. Maybe there will be more next week. Hope you are all having a good day and are enjoying spring as much as I do!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Rounding up the weekend

On Sunday bf and I decided that we had been lazy slobs the last week and should go to his work and work/study hard. So we left the house at 8 and about half an hour later. Got a good four hours of studying done. Well, I mainly prepared a little presentation about my Easter holiday for Japanese class (which I still have to type up since my handwriting is horrible) and did the self-check list for our last term. This is the list where I always discover that I have not paid attention in class and that I have no idea what's going on. But I managed to translate all the sentences into Japanese (over 30). Ok, so I had to look lots of things up, but I figured it was still good practise and better than not doing anything at all. Classes start again tomorrow after a month break. I am really excited about it, but also a bit scared. Haven't really studied much the last two terms. I feel like I am falling behind. Really need to get off my ass and do something. But I say it all the time and nothing ever happens. I need some motivation!

Anyway, the whole getting up out of the house and studying was a good start to the day. Got a message from one of our friends whether we wanted to go have Sunday roast with her and maybe go to the park. Thought that was an excellent idea since we were starving. So we packed everything up and headed out to meat her. We managed to get a seat outside at a pub. The food we had was delicious. Afterwards we headed over to Hampstead Heath and got us a nice place way up the hill. Such a beautiful view of London. And the weather was just amazing. Must have been 20 degrees or more. Pure bliss. And I thought it was really funny because we were basically exactly on the opposite side of London than the day before. I wish I could have taken pictures. But because I thought we were only going to study I didn't bring it. But I dragged all of my study materials around town. That was a good work-out!

I must say this was one of my best weekends this year so far. The weather was just perfect. I didn't have any plans, but was really busy! I loved the exploring on Saturday and then how Sunday ended really lazy. More of those weekends please.

Today of course back to work. I sometimes wish I would blog more during the week. But there really isn't anything to blog about. I get up early, go to work, come home, eat, surf the net for a bit and then head to bed. Pretty boring stuff. Once a week I go to class, but that's basically the only exciting thing I do. 

Ok, should start catching up on the TV shows I missed...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Greenwich Trip

I had complained to my lovely bf the last couple of weeks that we always stayed in on the weekend and never did anything. Not even something as mundane as a little walk around the neighborhood. So today he wanted to make up for it and we went to Greenwich.

The weather is really good at the moment. Clear skies as far as you can see. No planes interrupting the blue (thanks to Iceland's volcano for this). The wind is still a bit chilly. But it's spring, so I don't expect much. It was a lovely day. We walked up to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium. Didn't spend that much time there but we had a good look around and on some of the exhibitions we did the whole touch and do thing. They had a showing at the planetarium while we were there but we decided not to do that because the weather was just too nice to be missed. I took some great pictures of East London from the hill. The view was just amazing.

After that we went back to the town center, grabbed some drinks and sat between the Naval Academy buildings. The squares and old buildings reminded me of Paris. It was really peaceful.

 At some point a fire alarm in one of the buildings went off. That's when we decided to go grab some lunch somewhere. Bf had spotted a Pizza Express earlier and wanted to go. Since that looked really packed we decided to go to the Mexican next door. It was a good decision! I had the vegetarian Enchiladas and bf the spicy beef. Really good. Also had a nice cocktail. 

We stayed for a bit after and did some people watching. I love doing that. Now that the sun is out some people just go full out and dress hilarious! No pictures sorry.

We had planned to take the Thames river boat back. But then the guy in front was really  unfriendly so we decided to take the tunnel underneath the Thames and just hit up a bus. DLR wasn't running due to some building works. The lifts for the tunnel are old-style with wood planks on the side. They look really good. Anyway, we managed to grab a bus back to Canary Wharf from there and hop back on DLR. East London in that area looks so different to where we life. There are construction site everywhere and the buildings tend to be modern with lots of glass, metal and concrete. In the sunlight it all looks really beautiful. There is lots of water and little boats, and this time around I noticed a lot of parks and trees. Greenery in general was abundant. I didn't remember it being so nice from the last time I was there, which is a few years back. They really build the area up.

Now we are back home and just relaxing. Might do some reading now. Or drink some of the yummy juice we bought. Nothing special. We just never have juice in the house. So when we actually get some it's something special to me. 

Everybody enjoy your weekends!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Hanami... in Regents Park

We had kind of a rough start to the weekend. Went out for drinks after work. Just a couple in the courtyard of a nice little pub. We then decided to take the bus home. Nothing unusual about that. Since the pub we went to was very crowded we decided not to hit the loo and just be quick on the way home. Boy, what a mistake. After about 3/4 of the way the bus stopped in a huge line and nothing went anywhere. After about five minutes of this I got impatient and kicked bf and me off the bus. I slipped into a pub nearby but bf decided that it was too sketch to go into. Geesh, thanks a lot to let me in there. Anyhow, felt sooooo much better afterwards. Bladder was happy again and I was happy to walk the rest of the way home. After we passed all the buses in front of ours we saw what was holding them all up. There was an accident up ahead. Looked like somebody took a cyclist with him. Not pretty. We walked on and made it home ok. 

I thought that would be the biggest excitement of the day. All was fine and we headed to bed. At about 4am we were both sitting up straight in bed. There was the loudest bang. Sounded like someone was jumping into their door or something. That was repeated over and over again. Bf was close to calling police, but I figured it's probably a drunken neighbor who had forgotten his keys and now tried to get back home. Since I didn't really feel like investigating (don't like encounters with drunks, they might be violent, and I mean this guy seemed to be running into his door by the sounds of it) I told him not to and tried to go back to sleep. The banging stopped after about five minutes. But I didn't really go back to sleep neither did bf. I guess the adrenaline rush kept us awake. So annoying. But nevertheless the sun came out and it's a beautiful day so I won't complain too much.

Later on I met up with a friend in Camden and we went to Regents Park for a walk. Inspired by all the blogs about Japan that I am reading I took some pictures of the cherry blossoms. Well, to be honest, I have no idea whether those are cherry blossoms or not. Could be anything really. But they were pretty so I don't care!

This one was really strange. The woman underneath the tree kept grabbing some twigs and shaking them. The petals would float all around the two dogs and the guy would take pictures. I wonder what they were shooting for. 'Hounds&Dogs'?

As you can see the sun tried to peak through the clouds. Most of the time it was successful but for some reason when I took most pictures it was cloudy.

Hope you are enjoying my 'fake' flower viewing pictures. Enjoy your weekends, it's gorgeous outside!

Secret Project Update

Hurray! Secret project finished successfully. I just needed one last confirmation. Guy e-mailed me yesterday. Now I am all set to begin new chapter in my life come September. I am still too chicken to tell you what it's about. It's a major step forward for me though some people could argue I am going backwards. But I don't believe in that. Forwards it is for me.

This is mainly for Dani, so she knows. I am over the moon. So excuse me, I have to go dancing in my bedroom...

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Wedding Year

No, no not my own. Silly you. But this year I will attend three weddings (we already attended one, so only two to go). One is in May in Canada the other in June in Yorkshire (as I probably have mentioned before). 

I didn't quite realise how quickly these are approaching. It's only a month to go for the first! Usually I am not really fussy about what to wear. But for some reason I decided that I was not going to wear any of my black dresses. Don't always wanna be the one showing up in black to a wedding. Only problem is I only own black dresses. 

No problem me thoughts, I will just buy a non-black dress. Stupido. Now, I am not the thinnest one in the bunch, more leaning to the other, 'darker' side. I am not unhappy about that. But when having to buy fancy dresses, I do get annoyed. For some reason the manufacturers think that only skinny people should wear nice dresses, everybody else should wear either black dresses or dresses that resemble potato bags more than anything else. Basically I felt like giving up before I really started. But then I went back to Germany (apparently Germany is host to the fattest Europeans. Bingo!) and my mom dragged me out clothes shopping. So far so not so good. She hates going by herself, so whenever I am there I get to go to all the places where people over fifty buy their clothes. 

One of the stores we went to was C&A. Usually only the elderly wander into it. But the last couple of years they started some clothing lines for younger people (or maybe I have just gotten older and grown into their 'younger' range). So we wander around looking at different dresses. Most of them I wouldn't even wear to my grandma's tea parties. But then we found a handful of decently looking dresses, non-black, in my price range. I kid you not. The first one I tried on was a perfect fit. Love it. It's almost 100% cotton. Nice enough for the weddings, but can easily be dressed down to a summer dress. Came complete with belt and little cardigan. Though I probably won't wear it because it's 100% polyester. I tried on some other dresses too but in the end bought the first one. It was just too nice. 

The only concern I have is that it is a bright red dress. I usually don't look too swell in red. Something about my complexion and red just don't match. But it looked ok in the store, so let's hope it will too under the sun!

Here is the dress in question. Put it all nice over a hanger. They are not the best pictures in the world but you'll get the idea. Enjoy!

Easter Pictures

There are not that many Easter pictures. I wanted to take a lot on the actual Easter egg hunt. But then it poured rain in the morning so my parents decided there would be no hunt. Very disappointed. I remember when I was a kid that it happened a few times, but then we at least got to hunt for eggs in our living room. They didn't even bother waking me and bf and my sister and husband. So disappointed. I would have hidden the eggs for my nephew! Ah well, I am going to let it slide.

There are also no pictures from the Easter fire. Same reason pretty much. We didn't stay outside too long. Only a couple of hours and half the time we were hiding under a canopy my dad had put up for that reason. I love staring into the fire when it burns down, but this year it wasn't really meant to be. We had some nice hot cappuccino inside though and cuddled in the living room with the dogs and had some quality canasta games. Didn't do that in a looooong time. That made up for the disappointing weather. 

Let's get to the pictures I actually have. Here our eggs are boiling slowly in the pot. I think we boiled almost 30 eggs.

This is the color we used. It's cold color. Just has to be mixed with some water and vinegar. Throw in the still hot eggs...
... et voilĂ  Easter eggs!

Here are about half our eggs. Don't you just love looking at them? We polished them with some sunflower oil.

This is a 1.3kg chocolate bunny that my sister got for my dad. Oh my gosh, it is just so huge, don't know how he is going to finish that. My mom tried to sneak it into my bags to take home, but I didn't have any of that.

These are already the most exciting pictures. There are countless pics of my mom's dogs. We counted 12 at the moment. But who knows, that it changing constantly. She actually sold a puppy last Saturday, but kept one of them. They are Tibetian Spaniels. The cutest things. Sometimes I wish I had a dog too. But that would be too cruel to have it in our studio flat. Here she is. Little Bina Colada. Yeah, yeah, stupid name. I call her Biene (bee). Much nicer.

She looks much cuter in real life. I'm not really good at taking pictures. 

Here you can see her face a little bit better. I wanted to get a frontal view, because she has a brown patch over one eye and then the rest of her face is mainly white. Ah well, next time. But then she will be a big dog!

That's pretty much it. Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter holidays!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Happy Easter!

I am enjoying my time in Germany so far. Already going home tomorrow. Can't believe how time is flying. Easter was fun. Most of the family was here. We had the Easter fire on Saturday and a BBQ. Unfortunately the weather wasn't that good. We kept getting rain showers. It was still fun, but let's hope we will get much better weather next year. I am not even expecting spring, just some sun and no rain would be brilliant. 

I met a couple of friends. On Friday we went to see a good friend of mine in Oldenburg. She just started her first job after university and moved into a new flat. While there we found out that her landlord is my uncle! The world is so small. It was really funny. She just noticed that he had the same last name as me and basically everyone with that name in a radius of about 200km is related to me. No, the family is not that big, but the name seems to be rather uncommon in this area of Germany.

Then yesterday two friends of mine came by in the evening. I also know them from school and we graduated together. One of them is just getting settled in his job. He works in the south of Lower Saxony at church and is basically responsible for their social activities, especially youth work, and their public relations. It sounded like a really good and fun job when he talked about it. 

My other friend just handed in his thesis. He just has to take a few more exams and then he will be done with university too. He is studying East Asian Studies and he has spent some time in China. I think he is pretty fluent in Chinese. He loves it there and wants to go back once he is done. Either for an internship or for his first job. I really hope he will make it there. He absolutely loves it. When he was there he stayed in a city in the south and enjoyed the mild winters and hot summers. So apparently he had enough of Northern Germany's rainy climate and is running away as well. Very exciting. Definitely would love to visit him when he goes back to China. 

My sister came over the weekend with her husband and son and stepson. Those two had fun. They are 7 and 9 years old and were outside the whole time building 'tree houses' and just generally getting into a lot of trouble.

We are going home tomorrow morning and are just planning to chill the rest of the day. Can't wait. Even though we haven't been that active I am really tired and not happy about having to go back to work on Wednesday at all. 

Anyway, hope you all had a nice Easter holiday.