Thursday, 27 December 2012

Remember that boiler

Oh remember the boiler? It's all fixed now. We had some nice workmen come in to fix it. Local guys. Very funny indeed. Bf has some Arsenal stuff lying around the house. So of course the guys are fans and from the second they come into our flat it's Arsenal this, and Arsenal that. Have you seen this news article/ statistic/ gossip etc. WOW. Men, just so simple. Instant bonding. Hopefully that meant we got quicker and better service. Hmm...

Monday, 24 December 2012

Starbucks shenanigans

Dear Starbucks employee, 

If you really need to ask for my name at the till, could you please at least get it right? And if that is too much to ask, write something less insulting than Judas. 


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Late Halloween

I meant to post this earlier (much earlier):

On Halloween publicity decided to give out 'bloody' cupcakes. I don't say no to free cupcakes. Even if somebody already clawed their way through them.

Monday, 3 December 2012

... and the heat is off again

Aha! I am not crazy. Boiler did give up this morning (or sometime during the night). When I wanted to hop into the shower this morning the water was freezing cold. And did not get warmer. Luckily I just needed to restart the boiler (too much software in them now) and then it worked again like a charm. But it's only a matter of time. It just cannot handle heating the water and the rooms. Sigh. 

That is all. Just wanted to point out quickly that I am not paranoid ;-)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The heat is on

It took us a long time, but today we finally turned on the heating for this winter. I remember last year we already turned it on in November. This year we were able to hold out a bit longer. It has been freezing at night and I couldn't get my feet warm any longer. So heat is on. And it's still working. I am always a bit worried when it's been off for so long if the boiler will break down. But holding up so far. Yay!

Things have been pretty uneventful lately. Work has calmed down for the year. Should be like this until  January. I am looking forward to our holidays in Canada. Three more weeks!!! Which also means that Christmas is just around the corner. I actually bought some Christmas cards on Friday and filled in the envelopes with the addresses. Now only need to write the cards. Better do that tonight and get them out the door during the week so they arrive on time. I picked a nice Japanese design. It's a great winter scene. Snow falling on trees and some people walking towards a gate holding up umbrellas. Very serene. Everyone will get the same card. I wish they would mix the motifs more in christmas cards packs. But the nice ones are always one motif per pack. Hopefully nobody will compare cards ;-)

I have been able to keep up with running twice a week. The long run has been a bit shorter than intended. Turns out that running and breathing in cold weather and wind really really sucks especially running into the wind. Urgh, that was one of my worst runs last weekend. I basically walked most of the way because I just couldn't suck in any air. This week went much better and I was able to extend my long run for a bit again. I cheated and walked for a couple of hundred meters about half way through though. The incline I had to go up was just too steep, so I took a break and had some water. Walked up the hill and started running again. But overall I would say a really good run.

Now enjoying a nice Sunday evening at home. The bf is cooking and I am listening to podcasts and will make some nice winter punch later. Already took a bath in a mulled spices/ ginger scented bath water. Veeery relaxing. And very deserved after running in the cold. Hope everyone else is also enjoying the first Advent!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

New shoes

Autumn has hit us properly. It's really cold in the mornings, I can see frost on the rooftops! And it tends to be windy and rainy as well. Awful weather really. But it of course also means that I took out all my winter clothes (I love winter clothes, the colours, how cozy everything feels). This is when I noticed that my boots look worse for wear. I had them for several years now and the sole is almost completely gone. Not sure if I can get any traction in icy conditions this winter. Since I don't love this particular pair anyway, I got a bit excited as I could now justify the purchase of a new pair!

So the last couple of weekends I have been searching for nice boots. And my initial excitement wore off quickly when I realised that I don't have 'boot feet'. They just don't fit. I don't know why, but I don't find any of them comfortable. Not even the ones that are ugly and supposed to be comfortable. I am not even going anywhere near the fashionable ones. So great. Not sure what to do for winter now. I guess I have to find some other sensible shoes (but I want boots!). I will be looking around a bit more, but I am really impatient when it comes to trying on shoes (or clothes), so not sure if I will actually get something.

But in better news, I was also looking through running shops to find a new pair of trainers. The old one is getting a bit worn out now that I am actually running in them regularly. They were already old, as I got them four years ago. So I went to one of those fancy running shops, hopped on a running machine and had my gait analysed. I thought it would be a bit more technical, but I was on there for only about 20 seconds (first time I ever went on one, was weirdly disorientating, I felt like I was losing my balance constantly). Turns out I have a neutral, normal gait, so don't need any special shoes, neutral ones are fine. I actually ended up buying the ones I tested running in. They were a perfect fit, not too wide, not too small and I love how the laces are stretchy. And here they are, my little beauties:

My old shoes were purple too. Did not chose this because of the colour though. They are from Saucony. Never heard of this brand before. But then again, I don't really know anything about running. 

Already tried them out. Gave me blisters on my long run, but not too bad. Wore them again after and it was already not so bad. The blisters only came after about 4k. I guess I just have to get used to them first. But otherwise they are really comfortable. Very happy!

Being on the treadmill for the very first time made me want to go back on it. I live in an area that is a bit hilly so I cannot do a lot of flat runs. Which gave me the idea of hopping onto a treadmill to see how far I could run. There is one at my bf's dad house. We will be there over Christmas anyway, so I might just hop on it and see how far I can go without hills and outdoor distractions...

Apologies to everyone reading this. I really don't want to turn this into a running blog. I will post less about running and more about other things next post, promise!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Running off the Cake

I ran my first 5k this weekend! I am just a little bit proud of myself. I know it's not a super huge achievement. There are people who run marathons, but I still can't help myself and feel a bit proud.

As I did not really have any idea or feel of how long 5k was I ran it super slow because I didn't want to run out of steam. As a result it took me forever, but I enjoyed it. Was a great day to do it. I did it in the morning (late morning), the sun was out and it was very cool. Perfect running weather.

It was a much needed run as we had cake week at work. Every year during Frankfurt book fair most people from my department go to Germany to attend the fair. Not me. So all of us who are left behind bring in cake. I kicked off the week with cinnamon rolls on Monday morning. I actually prepared them on Sunday, but didn't actually bake them till Monday morning. So they were all nice and fresh. Though I was sweating on the way to work as the dish was superhot. But the bus and tube was so packed that I couldn't put it down. I think it turned out ok:

The bottom was a bit gooey. We have a shitty microwave oven. I don't think it actually heats to the temperature it says on the display and the heat is very uneven. I left it in twice as long as instructed and it wasn't cooked through all the way. Next time I will try to make a bit less dough to give it a better chance to heat through. They were delicious nonetheless!

Next day one of my co workers brought in chocolate cake.

I didn't remember to take a photo until after I ate almost all of it. Soo good! The icing was made with kahlua and I think got me just a bit tipsy. I didn't take pictures of the other cakes, but they were: ginger cake, golden syrup sponge cake, lemon drizzle cake, ricotta and raspberry scones and forest fruit cheesecake. All of them were amazing. But now I am all caked out and really needed some exercise. Will go for another run today (though a bit shorter) and do a little workout. Makes me feel less guilty about all those sweet things.

Next week we are back to normal boring work. But I found out last week that I still have three days of holidays unallocated for this year. Must have calculated things wrong somewhere. So yay, feels like an extra prezzie now. Might take a long weekend in October and maybe some long weekend in November and December as well. Cannot wait!

But now back to enjoying this weekend. Lunch time. There is some nice olive bread, beef, gherkins and mustard. Love me some good bread.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hello, I'm Back

I had no intention to stop blogging over the summer, but for some reason never felt like writing anything. Ever since coming back from Japan I just have this weird feeling. I am still not sure what it is.  I think it partly sparked from being disappointed in not being able to speak Japanese. I know, I know I don't study properly and am absolutely aware that my language ability is very low. But it was still frustrating to understand some, but never really be able to respond to anything. Unless it was in a 'classroom' situation, i.e. ordering food, paying for stuff in a convenience store etc.

Don't get me wrong. I had an absolute blast. I loved everything I saw. I loved the people I met. But once I got back to the UK it also hit me that I will most likely never live in Japan and never speak the language. Sure, I keep reading up on it and try to go through text books. But that's not the same than actually being able to hold a conversation.

It also doesn't help that my class was cancelled as not enough people were going on to the next stage. So I'm thinking that I should take this opportunity to instead of attending a class just schedule in my own study time and hopefully start to study properly. Before the class was almost an excuse not to study. Since clearly already attending a class was all the effort needed. So I'm not even sure it will be a bad thing!

It's a weird situation to be in. I want to learn to speak, but because when I try I fail immediately, I don't try enough. I don't remember how I did it when I studied English. I don't remember the studying part. I just remember being able to speak it. But clearly there must have been many stages in between where I could not speak and then I could speak a little bit, until I was fluent (more or less). Hmmm...

And don't ask me why but this also affected other parts of my life. So I started questioning whether I still like my job (turns out I do!). But so many people seem to be moving on at the moment. And I don't know what I want to be moving on to. I am actually happy where I am at right now. But this is also the first time in my life where I am not planning what's next, because I am at 'next'. There was always something: finish school, finish Uni, get internships, try to get the job you want, etc. So what now that I have the job that I want? Clearly I won't want to do this for the rest of my life. Or will I? Scary thought. 

Is this because I am 29 now, so I am freaking because it's 30 next year? But I have never been freaked out about age. Au contraire, I like getting older because everything seems to be getting better. Another hmm.

It's not even that I freaked out freaked out. I just thought a lot. I also find it weird that I have been in London for so long now. I have been here for about 4 1/2 years. That is pretty much the longest time I have been in a place since I have been 15. Before I stayed a year in the States, then a couple of years back at home, then half a year in a smaller city in Northern Germany, then just over a year in another, then off to Scotland for a year, over two years in Southern Germany and since then London. I think I am looking for change. I am expecting change and change not happening is making me restless. So since there is no outside change I have started 'inside' change if that makes sense. At least that's what it feels like.

So enough rambling for now. I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't stopped blogging. I have been thinking. I am still thinking. But now I can think and blog. So hopefully this means I am back. If somebody is still here to read. And sorry about this confusing post. I will try to do better in the next!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Holiday -1

No idea if the heading is correct, but I'm going to Japan tomorrow. Hurrrraaaaaaaaay!!!! Cannot wait to get on that plane. Well, get off the plane.

I am well prepared and even got me a swell pair of compression socks. Look at me, getting old and all. Also got a new backpack as the old one had its bottom ripping off. I got the same one again, just in a different colour. North Face Isabella. It's so light and fits plenty of stuff without being super bulky.

In other news I have effed up my laptop. Doesn't want to boot anymore. Sigh. Wanted to buy a new one anyway, but would be nice if I could recover my photos and some documents. Ah well. Won't worry about it now. Will enjoy my holiday...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Loooooooooong week over!

Feel like I just survived my first crazy week at work. It was London Book Fair. Even though I only attended one day and one party I felt absolutely crushed the rest of the week. I was there on Monday standing for the most part of 5 hours. I don't know about you guys, but standing is the worst. Walking is fine. But standing around just makes my back hurt. The party afterwards was fun, but more standing!

When I came to work on Tuesday my body was really telling me that it should be Friday or at least Thursday. Everyone at work felt the same. But of course we had a book launch that day, so more drinking in the evening!

Wednesday was pretty quiet. I like quiet days. But I had my Japanese class in the evening. So didn't make it home before 10pm either. 

Thursday I met up with a friend for dinner and drinks. She is here on a visit from the States for our graduation weekend. We went out for Asian food. I had this beauty: Tamarind aubergines:

I was so happy when it was finally Friday. I was supposed to go for drinks on Friday as well, but was so tired that I went straight home to sit on my beloved couch. Yay!

Saturday was shopping day. The bf and I went out early so we could have breakfast first. I went for French Toast. I was delicious, served with yogurt, bananas and berries.

BF went for English breakfast:

And I had a nice smoothie:

After we started shopping. Which was a complete fail. Every item I wanted they either didn't have in my size or it was gone from their line. Urgh. Should not go shopping with specific pieces in mind. But I did go to the optician and complained about my new glasses. Everything is blurry when I look through them and I have to tilt my head back for things to come into focus. They checked them and sure enough they put the most focused spot on the glasses about half a centimetre too low. Sigh. Now I'll have to wait for them to order in new glasses and cut them to my specifications. Which means I won't get them before my holiday. But the nice things about this is that the holiday is coming on super quickly. Squeaaak!  Less than a week to go. I feel like I should make more plans than just having a guide book. hmm, I'm sure we'll find something to do once in Japan.


Monday, 16 April 2012

My new love

I'm not sure why  but recently I have started to crave ginger. In any shape or form. A few weeks ago, when we went for Chinese tea I had a ginger beer at the pub we were waiting at. I loved it! I think that must have started it. When I went into our local health store, what do you know, they carry it! So I got myself a bottle and enjoyed it in the sun! Ginger and sun. What a perfect combination.

I also enjoyed some of these fab cookies and the ginger & lemon tea. I put a box of it to work as well so I can have some in the afternoon (tea, not cookies). It's a great pick-me-up when I want to fall asleep at the end of a work day.

Sorry for having been quiet last weekend. Me and the bf went home to my parents for Easter. We did the whole thing: Easter fire, BBQ, egg colouring, egg breakfast. It was basically three days of eating. I loved it! And I got to meet most of my family. My brother's little boy is growing up so quickly. Back in November he was such a tiny little thing, always sleeping. Now he was wide awake and checking everyone out. Unfortunately he hates me now as my brother unceremoniously dropped him into my lap. Gave the little one a little shock and he started freaking out. Had to give him back to his mummy. Ah well, the next time he sees me he won't even remember me. New start! I think he is also in this phase where he is suspicious of any strangers. He kept checking that mommy and daddy didn't wander off too far and preferred staying with him in the first place. Oh boy, but he is such a cutie. He has the biggest smile. The bf adores him. Kept talking about him. Hmm, somebody in this household likes babies. And it ain't me.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Chinese tea

This Saturday I had a table reserved for the bf and I at a Chinese tea place. Because of some football game going on in the area we ended up getting there about an hour early. There was a lovely pub close to the tube station where we disembarked. We shared some nachos and had a couple of beers. Well the bf had beers, I had some cider and ginger beer. Ginger beer just screams summer/spring to me so I had to get some.

So after we spent just over an hour getting slightly tipsy we moved on to Chaya Teahouse. It was easy to find, but I was very glad for the directions we received from the owner. The tea house is tucked away in a residential area. In fact, I think the guy who runs it lives upstairs and has the tea room on the ground floor. It is one large room. In the back there is a kitchen, just like you would find in any other house and then there are four tables across the room. We picked a low table with a couch. And this is what greeted us:

On the left you can just make out an electric kettle that looks like a teapot. It would reheat itself whenever the temperature dropped below a certain point. After we had chosen a tea (a red variety) a red clay pot was placed on the wood tablet. It contained the tea and was filled with the hot water. After the lid had been placed on it some hot water was poured on top of the clay pot. It only sat for about a minute and then was poured into one of the white cups. Where it would sit. From there it was served into those two tiny tea cups that are on either side. They didn't contain more than a shot. Made us drink the tea very slowly. And there is a certain way you are supposed to drink the tea. You take hold of the cup with your thumb and finger next to it. Your middle finger then supports the cup underneath and tilts it when you want to drink. Very clever.

The little tray right in front of us contains cards. One for each tea variety they serve. As you can see we picked a red one. The menu next to it contains all the food items. We ordered one of each. First we were served two savoury dishes:

These dumplings were delicious. Everything was prepared freshly and neatly arranged on little plates and bowls.

The rice parcel was especially good. It was very spicy without being hot. I had a bit of trouble eating with the metal chopsticks. The rice would just slide right off it. 

 This is lime sorbet with tea jelly. Usually I am not a bit fan of jelly, but this was very good. The combination of sweet with sour worked.

All of these were heavenly! The marshmallows were so soft they melted in our mouths. Unbelievably good.

The scones were probably the most 'traditional' tea item. The jam was made from rose petals. Gave it a nice twist.

Here is the menu we were served. It changes every weekend. I think they are only open on weekends and you need to reserve a table. It's really worth it. We spend £20 altogether. Which was absolutely worth it. Try it out if you get the chance.

tea pâtisserie; sweets
tea savouries

Friday, 30 March 2012

Tea time!

A couple of weeks ago the bf and I went for afternoon tea. I love afternoon tea! I think it's one of the greatest inventions. So relaxing and so yummy. I had looked up this little place in Soho, Soho's Secret Tea Room. Little did I know that it was actually secret. Well, at least hard to find. It is situated on top of a pub and there is only a tiny sign pointing you towards it. You have to enter through the pub and then you have to ask staff to be escorted up to the tea rooms through the staff room behind the bar. Feels very James Bondish. We made the mistake of not reserving. But luckily were early enough so they could squeeze us into the corner. It was a squeeze but well worth it!

We were on the first room floor (second floor for you North Americans). They have a grammophone playing music and the staff is dressed in, I want to say 40s costume, but really I have no idea. It's some kind of period dress. But not over the top, it's more something you might see your grandma wear in old photos. Really lovely and stylish.

But what I loved best was their china. It's all mismatched.

Exhibit A: the 'vase'. And aren't those flowers lovely!?!?

 Exhibit B: the tea cup (you cannot see, but the plate underneath has a different design).

 Exhibit C: I love this cup. My grandma used to have a very similar set. Reminds me of being a kid. Aw.

The rooms. Doesn't look like much here, but they were lovely. Mobile phone is not the best camera option.

 The food! We could pick our slice of cake and cupcake (I had carrot cake and vanilla & lavender cupcake. Nom nom nom.)

 Scones. Who doesn't love scones?

Even our tea pots were not a match.

Overall I loved the place. We might be back. Though I love exploring. Already booked a table for this Saturday at a tiny Chinese tea house. Yay, very exiting for weekend exploration!


This is a lovely picture from Tuesday evening. We had some emergency building works in our area and when I came home from work water, phone and electricity was not working (man, never been so glad in my life that I went to pee before leaving work [tmi? apologies]). 

Bf was staying out for drinks, though I instructed him not to drink too much as availability of water was uncertain. No information when anything would go back on was available as our company kept stressing it was EMERGENCY work. Since 9am. I got home at 7pm. Really, still no idea? 

Ah well. After realising that I didn't have any bottled water (or drink of any kind) or candles in the house I ran down to our little convenient store. They had almost run out of candles, so I had to buy the smelly ones. Sorry, scented ones. By the time I got back it was already getting pretty dark. Never realised how quiet and boring it can be without electricity. I did read, but it was just soooo dark and my eyes started hurting after a bit. What a shame, could have been such a nice romantic evening with the bf. Instead I went hungry for a few hours. Power came back at 10. I made dinner overate because I was starving and then couldn't sleep at night because of it. Oh what a lovely day. Ah well, let's hope for no more emergency works. But if they come, we now got water and candles. Boy are we prepared!

Monday, 19 March 2012

It's about spring time

I couldn't put up with the winter colours any more so switched to a brighter colour set. The weather is a bit up and down at the moment, but clearly heading in the right direction. We had some gorgeous days last week and it can only get better. I already started looking for a new pair of sandals and am waiting for my new glasses and sunglasses to arrive. Spent a fortune on them, but I need to see. And it's the first time in years that I will be going to wear sunglasses. I never bothered to get subscriptions on them before so couldn't wear any unless I wanted to be blind.

The weekend was really nice. The bf went a bit crazy on gadget shopping. He wanted to bring them home safely so we took a speedy taxi home. Only to find that he forgot to get a receipt. After a bit of a panic moment we hoped back on the bus and went back to the Apple store. But alas, they are great people and just printed one out again. I must say, their customer service is pretty damn good. As it should be considering the amount of money they make you spend there.

And because I was such a good sport and first came with the bf all the way out to East London to pick up a parcel and then do the Apple store trip twice (all in the same day) he bought me some coffee and a croissant.

This is an almond croissant covered in custard. I was really good!

We also managed to get a run in on Sunday. Which was great as the sun was out. And to my surprise after that the bf wanted to leave the house AGAIN! That's very unusual for him. So we went out to Oxford Street. I didn't buy anything as I am broke and waiting for the next paycheck. But I started to make lists in my head of what I really really 'need'. Already picked out my new pair of sandals, a nice brown leather bag, and some clothes. Cannot wait to get paid (must not all spend it on the first weekend). 

We also picked up some storage shelves from Muji. They have little drawers in them. We organised all our electronics in them. The amount of USB connectors and cables we amassed with our different Kindles, phones, Ipads etc. is unbelievable. They should start to make it optional now. It's just a waste of resources now. 

Anyway, hope everyone will have a good week and let's hope the weather stays nice. Been enjoying sitting in the sun at work. Just lifts my mood by like 150%.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


I did not finish the meme as intended. When the post about my workplace came up I felt uncomfortable posting anything from work, so just planned on skipping it, but instead ending up not posting for almost three weeks. Big fail on trying to post every week. I will do better from now on. No more memes, just plain posts.

I am actually typing this at work (shame on me even more), but wanted to get that out the way to start anew this week with just a regular post.

A crazy period at work just ended so I feel a bit more able to breathe. Of course this will only be temporary as London Book Fair is fast approaching. But I am still enjoying the 'quiet' time. Also, my colleague who was on jury duty for three weeks came back, making life a lot easier. That was another reason I didn't post. I was doing two jobs at work. But now I am free again and only have to do mine. Yay!

Anyway, lunch break is over and I need to get back to work. Hope to still have some readers left after being AWOL.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

21. a fave photo of you

Probably about two years old now. I loved that shirt. It's a pyjama top now as I wore it to death and now has holes all over the place. But I still don't want to part with it.

February in photos

Monday, 20 February 2012

20. handwriting

Some of my homework. You don't want to see my English handwriting. Even I can't read that.

February in photos

Sunday, 19 February 2012

19. something you hate to do

Cleaning. Specifically the bathroom. There is just too much to clean.

February in photos

18. drink

My morning tea. Green.

February in photos

Friday, 17 February 2012

17. time

My beloved swatch. They make them in so many colours it was hard to choose. If I were rich, I'd get more colours to wear them according to my mood.

February in photos

Thursday, 16 February 2012

16. something new

Yes, it's a book. I picked it up today. I read one of her others which was really good. Very excited to start this one.

February in photos

15. phone

Hm, hard to take a photo of the camera (phone) itself.

February in photos

Monday, 13 February 2012

13. blue

This is what happens when you give a professional camera to somebody who has no idea how to use it. BLUE!

February in photos

Sunday, 12 February 2012

12. inside your closet

February in photos

11. makes you happy

White tea. Whole leaf. Yummy.

February in photos

Friday, 10 February 2012

10. self portrait

February in photos

9. front door

A day late. Rarara. Plus bf is a chicken and doesn't let me put up the pick of our front door.

So let's look at this one instead:


February in photos

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

8. sun

Yes honestly, somebody please bring the sun. I didn't see it at all today. Might have something to do with the fact that I was holed up in our conference room all day. As I will be tomorrow. Sigh.

February in photos

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

7. button

My old/new suit (old, but first time that I actually fit into it, so wearing it for the first time > ergo: new).

February in photos

Monday, 6 February 2012

6. dinner

No, this is not today's dinner. Today's dinner got eaten before I could take a photo. Sorry! This is today's after dinner snack. Mulled wine flavoured rooibos tea and some nuts. Yummy!

February in photos

Sunday, 5 February 2012

5. 10am

Tea time. Nuff said.

February in photos

Saturday, 4 February 2012

4. a stranger

Sneaked this in on my way home from work yesterday...

February in photos

Friday, 3 February 2012

3. hands

My hand on my commute to work. Snuggled in my gloves. It's still cold. Very cold. Not supposed to get warmer anytime soon. Sigh. But at least it was sunny yesterday. All day! Oh the excitement!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

2. words

I usually don't read a lot of non-fiction, but every once in awhile I like to pick up a book about something I love, like tea. Now I am reading up on how we came to love tea. This book is centred around the British and how they established their tea and opium empires and their treatment of China and India. I would love to read something similar for Germany, but I'm sure most of the trading, espionage and cultural clashes will have been similar. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

1. your view today

This morning's view from my kitchen. It was cold cold cold. Still is. Need to get my proper winter coat out in order not to freeze on my way to work. I saw a guy in just a sweater at the bus stop this morning. English people, you are crazy!

February meme

I don't think I have ever done a meme on this blog. But this one I really liked because it's all about photos and I wanted to start taking more pictures for my blog and blog more often. A perfect combination. Now, February is not good timing because I am crazy busy at work, but I will try to blog everyday nontheless.

This idea is totally not mine. I stole it from here. So please head over to Sarah's blog and enjoy her much more sophisticated pictures.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Not a good start to the week

Sunday did not end well. No Top Gear (apparently next Sunday means not the next one coming up, but the one belonging to next week and not this week, I will forever get that wrong). So I consoled myself that at least I will get to watch Birdsong, which I had heard so many great things about. What a disappointment that turned out to be. Boring. I didn't believe the characters were in love for one second. So I kind of started reading while the programme was still on.

This was very disappointing considering that the last three weeks I had the brilliant Sherlock to ring out my weekend and milden the Monday blues. Not so this week. Ah well, sucked it up and went to work with a smile.

Hope everyone had a good start to their week. I am obviously hoping now that Top Gear will be on this Sunday. I should double-check that.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The mouse has officially moved out

The mouse is gone. Bf was so nice to get rid off it early in the morning before I had to see it. About five minutes after we went to bed on Thursday I could hear a loud noise from the kitchen. But I didn't want to check. Bf apparently hadn't heard it and the next morning was startled when he almost stepped on to the poor mouse. But he manned up and tossed it in the garbage and actually brought down the garbage so we didn't have the mouse in the house any longer. We kept the other traps out just in case, but I honestly don't think there is more than one. Very glad it's only the two of us again living in our flat.

Otherwise the week was rather quiet. Bf is working hard again and actually had two laptops from work home over the weekend to keep working. That is commitment! I went out with a friend on Saturday. We hit up Borough market so she could get some nice cheese and then we headed into town to shop. I didn't buy anything, but we ended our shopping spree at a nice Korean place and had these amazing sizzling rice bowls. I forgot to take a picture, ate the whole thing as I was starving. I need to remember to take more pictures! I want to post some on the blog, but I always forget to do so when out.

I spent the evening at home reading and watching TV. This morning we went out for a long walk and did some grocery shopping before coming back home. And the rest of the day I spent relaxing with a book and a bit of TV. New Top Gear is on tonight, so that will ring out my day. And maybe Birdsong after that. I did like the book and am interested to see how they turned it into a movie. Though the main actor creeps me out a bit. Eddie Redmayne. Not sure why, but might be a reason not to turn it on.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend and feels refreshed for the new week!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

January blues and house guest

January Blues. I think we all get it. After the holidays going back to work just seems so hard. All the Christmas decorations are coming down (I find that very depressing, after all the excitement of putting and having them up the office just looks so bleak) and the weather is cold and all I want to do is hide at home with a good book. The first week back at work was just horrible. I mean work was fine, but having to go to work, urgh.

Second week was a lot better and this week is actually really exciting. I am back in my everyday rhythm and enjoy being at work with my colleagues. There are exciting projects to tackle in the next weeks and I am almost done catching up on things from last month (I hate catching up so sometimes that takes me sometime, especially on things that are not urgent or I just don't give a sh£% about).

I guess there is really no point to this post. I haven't done anything exciting the last couple of weeks. Waiting for pay day. I actually stayed in all weekend and read. Finished two books so I guess I did excellent in that department. Though the shelf is still stacked full of unread books. They are actually making me take home all the books I have at work. So I took another look and put half of them back into the communal bin and are only planning on taking half of them home. Poor bf will get a heart attack.

In other exciting news, we have a house guest! Little mouse hiding under the fridge. No idea how it got in here. But it will not be allowed to live. Put up three mousetraps, but so far it seems too smart to be lured into certain death by peanutbutter. If it's not gone by next weekend I might have to step up my game and get a) poison (though I don't want it to die under the fridge and make my house smelly) b) those traps that get them alive and then drown it in my cleaning bucket c) a shovel and smash it's tiny little head to pieces d) wish it was a spider and I could just vacuum it away.

Right, enough of that. War is on in my house and I am not planning to lose it. Hope everyone else is slowly getting out of their January blues and happy without any house guests!

Monday, 9 January 2012

I'm going to JAPAN!

HURRAY! We booked our flights to Tokyo! I am ecstatic, totally cannot wait to go and wish we would already be leaving next week. Yay!

This trip is going to be amazing. We are planning to stay in Tokyo for a few days and then move on to Osaka, do some day trips to Kobe and Nara, head over to Kyoto for a couple of days and then back to Tokyo for another couple of nights before we have to fly home.

We haven't booked the accommodation yet, but have found a couple of hotels we like. We'll probably be staying near Hanzomon while in Tokyo. No idea if that is a good location or not. 

We'll also be there during Golden Week. Again, don't know if that is a good thing. Some people say it will be emptier and better in Tokyo, others said it's gonna be super expensive and crowded and places will shut down. I guess we will just have to find out and see. The only thing I'm a bit worried about is not getting on trains. We are getting the JR Travel Pass but cannot actually reserve seats until we are in Japan. Ah well, I'm sure we can squeeze on some train (I of course picked Friday as the day to move from Tokyo to Osaka). I guess we could always take a bus.

Anyway, now I got to plan what I want to see while there. Uh, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. 

Excuse me, but I will have to jump up and down for a bit before having to go to work...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 resolutions

I had a lot of fun making resolutions last year and revisiting them this year. So of course I will be doing the same this year.

There is not anything big on the list. I think for me it's more about finding a schedule that works for me and balance out different parts of my life.

This year there is no publishing/ work related goal on here. I think for this year I am just planning to stay in my current role and learn as much as possible. Maybe in the year after I will set some goals in this area for development or advancement. But I think for now I just want to gain the work experience and enjoy doing a 9-5 job and the freedom it comes with it. This year will be about enjoying my free time. Since the last years have been about studying and getting into a career.

This time around I thought I divide my goals into categories and see how that works out:


  • Keep losing weight. Another 10 kilos this year would be great. I don't want to lose it fast, I want to keep it off, so slow and steady is great.
  • Be more active. I started doing Zumba at home last year and it felt great to get fitter. I kinda dropped it the last two months because of holidays, sickness and more holidays. So the idea is to work out twice a week. One time Zumba and one time weights. Bf bought a set of weights and I have done training with him the last few days. It's hard but fun. I hope to keep that up.
  • Keep eating healthy. Except for the two weeks around Christmas I have been eating really healthy. I have actually enjoyed doing it. Had much more energy than before and overall felt better.
  • Get more frequent haircuts. Try every two to three months.
  • Dye my hair again!


Since I completely failed at any of the goals I set last year I am trying to set a less ambitious goal (like, not working through a whole book). I basically want to stick to what is happening in the lessons. Do the homework/ review and find extra material in the books. Nothing extra. I figure if I can stick to these basics I will do a lot more than I did the last year. And if I really want to do anything extra, I guess I could always find something.
  • Do the lesson reviews each week.
  • Work on one grammar point per week, matching the one from the lesson or an earlier one.
  • Match that grammar point to JFBP and revise.

Fun things

I sometimes get caught up on the internet all day. Instead of doing something I like doing, I end up surfing the net and at the end of the day feel like I wasted my time. So I want to 'schedule' things I like to do in order to remember to do fun things. Yeah, sounds stupid. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the options there are for entertainment (TV, movies, books, games etc) and even though I really want to play or read something I don't start because I cannot decide what to do first and end up doing nothing. 

  • Make an effort to go to the movies (6 times a year).
  • Spend at least two evenings a week reading for an hour.
  • Try to play a game at least once a week.
  • Blog once a week.
  • Keep the book club running with meet-ups once a month.
  • Try out new restaurants (4 times).
  • Be more sociable. This is not a very concrete goal. But I do want to become more sociable, stay in touch with people, try to make new friends, keep old ones, etc. Maybe try to go out with people from work more often.

How about you guys? Have you made any resolutions for 2012? What hopes do you have for 2012?

Welcome 2012!

(I wanted to post this a couple of days ago, but for some reason I couldn't upload the video. So now I created my own youtube channel just to share this with you. Sorry, took me a bit to figure out how to work it.)

I spent New Year's Eve at home drinking mojitos and baileys. Good stuff. I tried to find a decent TV show looking at the highlights of 2011, but to my disappointment I couldn't find one. So we settled on the music channels. Did some drunken dancing, played some card games and at midnight we headed out on the balcony to watch the fireworks.

All the excitement was recorded on my new camera. The quality is actually not that good. I guess it was just too dark. Please, please ignore my horrible voice. I hate having to listen to my own voice.

The big fireworks on the left are at the London Eye. The lights you sometimes see that almost look static in the sky are floating lanterns. I thought they were pretty cool. Two of them came dangerously close to our house. I think there was almost too much wind for them, but they were pretty!

Now enjoy!