On changing jackets and beds

I have a cycling jacket which I wear when I go cycling.

I have a coat which I wear when I go anywhere (outside) without my bike.

If I am likely to be going anywhere after cycling, or cycling when I get somewhere, I wear one and take the other one with me.

Today, I cycled to work, worked, walked to the station and caught a train to where my driving instructor picked me up. I came straight home after my driving lesson.

Guess which coat I was wearing when I got home this evening?

Guess which coat I put my house key in when I set out this morning?

Bonus points if you also guess who was out and who was asleep when I rung their respective phones and doorbells.

***

I luckily have a

<Ok. Life is crazier than I could make it up. I got to here in my write-up before Unexpected Things happened. I’ll go back to telling the story in the right order tho..>

I luckily have another set of neighbours who don’t have a copy of my key, but DO have a big sofa. L was in and still awake when I phoned (around 9:30pm I guess).

“Yeah, no problem, come in! I’ll find you a duvet.. Do you want anything to eat? What happened?”

Within very few minutes I had a huge sofa, a blanket, a duvet and half a million cushions.

And it was warm and dry and I didn’t have to go back to work to get my key (which would have been my backup option).

And I could finally go to the toilet πŸ™‚

L finished unloading the dishwasher and fed her animals and we yakked for a bit and watched the dog for a bit before it was time for bed (or sofa).

Instead of instantly falling asleep (which my body wanted), I started writing (because obviously the world needs to know about how I lock myself out..) and then this happened:

L knocks on the door and comes back into the sitting room.. “Jess? I’m really sorry about this.. E (her boyfriend) just phoned. He’s bringing a guy from work home for the night and I don’t think there’s enough room on the sofa for both of you…”

Oh. Well that’s great, I guess I’ll go back to work after all….

“…but I phoned the landlord and he was on his way over anyway so I asked him for your key..”

Uh.. What..? He wasn’t there earlier.. But cool! Am I asleep? Did he really just give you my key?!

“..I’m really sorry to wake you up and bother you..normally you would be really welcome to stay..I didn’t know anything about this guy coming over until just now..I’ll put your key on the table and let you get dressed..”

***

And that’s how I came to be sleeping in my own bed after all.

Zzzzz

On learning to drive again

Once upon a time, a handful of years ago, I learnt to drive. I was given a car by a friend of now ex-DB’s which I drove until it (more-or-less literally) fell to pieces. Then I sold the pieces and started riding my bike instead.

It’s been a couple of years since then, and I haven’t driven more than a few km on a short round trip to the local garden centre for compost. That mini-trip was almost 2 years ago.

Next weekend, I have to hire a car or van to pick up some things I can’t carry on the bike. I’ve been putting it off for a while but I’ve decided it’s time. Having decided that I am finally going, I have to admit to myself that I am also going to be responsible for driving the aforementioned car/van through or round Berlin.

Eeek.

I figured it was a bad idea to just hope for the best.. Especially as I’ve heard people don’t appreciate you closing your eyes while driving.

So… I’m about to have a driving lesson.. with my old driving instructor, just like old times πŸ™‚

Whee!

***

Later:

I survived and the driving instructor survived and the car is unscathed and no one/thing was hurt at all.

All things considered, I consider it a success πŸ™‚

Motorways and parallel parking next week…

On adding to the pile

You know what the best thing to do is, when you have a to-do list a couple of miles long and more deadlines than you can remember?

Yup. You add something else to the list. Something with an even closer deadline, and with even more at stake.

Not going to say what it is yet, but I will if/when it works out.

Until then, I’m going to keep on keeping on πŸ™‚

On belated new year news

Happy Newish* Year people!

I realise I’m a bit late to the party.. (if I were Chinese I would be only be days instead of weeks late..) ..but I hope you can and do choose the kind of new year you want to live in and then really live in it.

While we’re talking about new things..

..I have news.

Lots of news.

I’ve been meaning to write since about November, except it wasn’t quite public-ready, and then there were more things that needed writing about but there wasn’t time for everything, and then I wanted to catch up, and then there were even more things and I still didn’t have time..

And here we are.

Almost a month into the new year and I haven’t written anything at all.

But I will.

In the meantime, while it’s still only marginally embarrassingly late, I wish you all a fantastic 2020!

Until soon!

:p

On reconnecting

I’m back at my parents’ house for Christmas.

The friend from school I hadn’t seen in something like 16/17 years was home for Christmas too, making this the perfect time to meet up again in person.

The original plan was to go to a pub for a drink, but I’m not a big drinker (or any kind of drinker worth the title) so we needed an alternative plan..

Walking was what we did most when we knew each other before, so I think it fitted well πŸ™‚

***

The weather wasn’t on our side, it is December in England after all, but what’s a bit of rain between friends? We ignored the gloomy overcast sky and set out anyway. It was still dry when we parked the car – the rain waited until we’d started walking. πŸ™‚

Then it got windy.

Berlin is never windy. Not like home is. It’s not something I notice missing until I’m reminded.. This was a horizontally wet reminder..

Whoosh!

The track was boggy and/or flooded almost all the way but it didn’t matter at all because luckily I’d borrowed mum’s unholey wellies so I didn’t have to think about where I walked.

There is something kind of awesome about wearing wellies in puddles.

Splosh!

When we got to the top of the hill we decided it was time to head back to the car.

A couple of hours isn’t anywhere near enough time to talk about all the things that need to be talked about.. But it was a start. A good start πŸ™‚

I feel like I not only reconnected with a friend, I also reconnected with the version of myself who used to wear wellies all the time πŸ™‚

On the seventeenth..

Today started with a Christmas lecture held by one of the professors I work for sometimes.

It ended with me handing my notice in.

These two things are completely unrelated, except for their joint ability to make me smile when I think about it πŸ™‚

About to celebrate with chocolate ice cream.

More another time πŸ™‚

On waiting for parcels

I recently bought a couple of things from ebay. Having the tracking number is part blessing, part curse.

I would like to say I’m a patient person but in reality I’m not.

I refresh the DHL app’s tracking page as if that would make it arrive more quickly. As if it knows, the delivery date changes from Thursday to Wednesday. Amazing.

On Wednesday (today) I hang around at home instead of going to work. From a previous (very annoying) encounter with the parcel delivery system I know the undelivered parcels are unloaded at around 10am. I assume that means delivery has to be attempted before 10. My house isn’t the closest to the parcel depot, so I imagined it should be getting to me at about 9, maybe 9:30.

When I finally leave for work, the parcel is apparently still on a scenic tour of the town.

When I get to work, I’m not sure if I want to check the app.

There are two possible outcomes: either it just missed me (which would be annoying because I could have stayed a few minutes longer) or it still isn’t there (in which case leaving late was entirely pointless).

Neither is a particularly positive reaction, maybe it’s better not to know at all…

***

I picked both parcels up from the depot in the drizzle when I got home.

On asking the other questions

“I was talking to my brother earlier. He’s like you, he asks all the questions I don’t want to be asked..” – S (but slightly paraphrased by me)

I think this is a good thing. In this particular case, and also in general.

I think we should ask ourselves, and others, the difficult questions. And then be open to the answers.

I also think “why not?” is often a much better question than “why?”.

On a related note, it’s interesting how sometimes people face (or find themselves facing) the same ‘life questions’ although their situations are seemingly very different. At least on the outside.

On love and phone theft

I phoned a friend yesterday.

Half an hour or so into the conversation her partner came into the room..

Friend’s Partner: is that Jess?

Friend: yes..

Friend’s Partner: I want to talk to her, give me the phone *takes phone*

Friend: (in background) ..but..

Friend’s Partner: shh! Go away, I’m on the phone!

Friend: ..but.. (in background) ok Jess, let’s talk later..

Friend’s Partner: *takes phone outside*

Can’t say anyone’s ever fought over the chance to talk to me before.. *loved*

On Jesus and the Billy Goats Gruff

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between the prophets, John the baptist and Jesus with the three Billy Goats Gruff?

“Me? Nah, I’m not tasty/big/important/mighty enough – you want the next guy, he’s much tastier/bigger/more important/mightier than me!”

(the small part where Jesus dies can be overlooked as part of the biggest-billy-goat-kicks-troll’s-butt scuffle – coming back to life presumably counts as winning overall).

On balance

It seems that it’s impossible to add purely Good Things to a life.

Great news? Bam! Bad news.

Good mood? Bam! Some reason to hide.

Have lots to do inside at the weekend? Bam! Have a couple of fabulously warm sunny days so you either feel guilty about missing them by being inside or about not doing the things you’d planned.

Finally get motivated enough to practise running? Bam! Do something to your ankle and need to take it steady for a while.

Finish a project at work? Bam! Get a crazy migraine headache and have to be rescued because there’s no way you’re going to cycle home.

Find a friend you haven’t seen for years? Bam! Someone you love is taken to hospital….

The great universal scales seems to need balance.

Banal or super-important, nothing is safe and even if nothing is actually related, sometimes it seems to be.

On tears and tablets

I need to go shopping.

The tears fall heavily, the breaths juddering and irregular, my thoughts spiralling and my face getting steadily more puffy.

The tears have nothing to do with my need to go shopping. They’re just there. And their presence is a hindrance.

I want go back to bed. To hide. To cry until all the tears are gone and there’s nothing left inside me.

I know that if I do that, the shops will shut before I resurface. Tomorrow they’ll stay closed, and by Monday I will be ravenous.

Instead of hiding, I take the tablets*, pushing them out of their blister packaging with shaking fingers, washing them down with big, greedy gulps of cold water.

I still need to go shopping.

Whatever magic is in those tablets, they’re truly incredible – the tears dry up almost instantly. I pull myself together. Pull myself back into this world of doing not being.

Then I wash my face, pick up my shopping bag and go shopping.

While I’m out, I buy postcards. The wordy sort my family don’t approve of. I’m going to put them on the wall with the others. Regardless.

The tablets might dry tears but they can’t reduce puffiness. The shops don’t care though. My money has the same value regardless of what my face looks like. This, I think, is probably a good thing.

* they’re just vitamin D. They contain more placebo than anything else πŸ™‚

On waiting for good things

It’s bad enough that it’s taken me a week to post this picture of thick, gloopy, Spanish hot chocolate.

It’s worse that it took me almost a year to make it.

It feels like it’s time to start doing/eating/drinking the good things and stop waiting for “someday” or the right day or any other kind of day except today.

***

Happy NaBloPoMo, all ye who are joining the madness πŸ™‚