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...