On the magic of new books

Nothing like a brand new book or two to cheer one up, even if they are ‘only’ school books.

This pile of brand new school books arrived today. I received them in exchange for a small fortune.. 

They contain – I hope – the knowledge I need to pass the next lot of exams AND – at least theoretically – figure out how to advise companies to keep improving…. That’s pretty magical.

Now I just have to read them! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the eve of a new year

Hello people ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope all your Christmases were fantastic, and wish you a brilliant last night of 2016, whatever you choose to do with it.

I’ve just got back to Berlin and am already at the second ‘party’ of the evening so I’m going to put my phone away and be marginally sociable…

I’ll leave you with a picture of a tree we drove past this morning:

Isn’t it pretty?!

The whole world was white for most of the way across Germany

On making the first mince pies of the season (or ever)

I don’t remember the last time I waited until this close to Christmas to start making mince pies…

Last night, a friend came over. She’s German and had never even heard of mince pies, let alone thought about making one. That obviously had to be rectified. Here’s the process of rectification:

Pre-rolled puff pastry. It was supposed to be specially amazing with extra butter, but it was sticky and soft and just generally hard to work with – next time I’ll stick to the usual stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
Normal sized tray – miniature moulds
6 rolls of puff pastry later there was still mince meat left in the first of 6 litre-tubs…
No way I’m going to faff about with a pastry brush – I dunk the lids in a mixture of milk and beaten egg, push one side into the top of a pile of sugar and hope they land sugar side up when I throw them towards the cases…
The first plateful (proper sized) – mostly straight out of the oven

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I think she done good ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
(Photos feature my friend’s hands – I was wielding the camera :))

On failure and other misfortunes

(Warning: contains a small amount of blood and a great deal of frustration)

***

On Sunday I admitted failure. 

I had failed to finish the book in time to send it to the printers before leaving to catch the plane, despite staying up all night to work on it.

I was quite miffed (ok, a lot miffed)..

There’s not a lot of point being miffed if you aren’t in a position to change anything. I decided to look up instead.

On Monday I was so busy looking up, that I didn’t notice the small piece of volcano sticking up in the middle of the otherwise even path.

..and that dear readers, is why looking down isn’t always a bad thing…

Luckily I was equipped with water and tissues and DB had a plaster with him.

Onwards and upwards!

That evening, on the way to get dinner, I missed the step onto the pavement and stubbed the same toe, removing the plaster and the flap of skin I’d created earlier.

Back to the apartment for a new plaster.

I don’t particularly appreciate losing skin, so I gave up on looking up, and decided to look down, and watch what my feet are doing instead. 

That worked well for a day or so – until I went to the toilet while the window was open. And even that was fine until I stood up…

An almighty yell and a lump on my head later, and I was convinced that looking down doesn’t help much either.

***

I think I’m going to keep my feet up and my head down, and get on with my revision. Maybe I should even look forward to the exams?!

On the first weekend of Advent…

…thou shalt decorate thy house.

It doesn’t matter what else needs doing, 

all will be dropped, it’s time for decorations.

Do not miss out any  opportunity to put lights up

No space is too out of the way for a statue or two…

On forgetting my own BlogDay :(

I didn’t write anything yesterday. I went to bed at 7:30 with a headache instead.

Yesterday was the 23rd of November 2016.

I started writing here on 23rd of November 2012.

That means the blog turned 4, and I didn’t even acknowledge it :(.

Luckily Claudette came to the rescue and congratulated it for me..

Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

***

4 years are a long time, but also not very long.

It’s gone fast, but also very slowly.

I am the same, but also very different.

My writing’s changed (a bit), but my subjects haven’t changed (much).

My blog hasn’t changed (much) since then, but my knowledge has (a lot). Since then I have made a very basic website for DB’s company, a very basic website for my molecules, and started to make one for a committee I’m part of, until they decided they didn’t think it was necessary to inform anyone about what they do. I have tested adding forums and making comment forms and polls and making page templates and even tried a tiny bit of code (which I have abandoned for some time in the future when I have more than a handful of spare minutes).

I am nowhere near close to being ‘good’ at making websites, but I am getting ‘better’. I noticed how much time I must’ve spent on here over the years when I was writing to a group of people yesterday who are trying to create a website, and having most of them think I was talking about flying to the moon when I used words like WordPress or themes or PlugIn or WordFence or multiple editors or posting-by-email.

Here’s to the next four(+) years and the next part of the learning curve :).

Incidentally, I wrote 444 posts in those 4 years.

On breaking the spoon

It’s nearly my birthday, which means it’s mincemeat making month ๐Ÿ™‚

Originally I planned to spend Sunday afternoon chopping apples and peeling lemons and squeezing oranges in a yearly tradition of stickiness. Then a phone conversation happened and I ran out of afternoon before I ran out of things to say.

When I got home from work today, I discovered that the first of the lemons I washed on Sunday were peacefully going mouldy at the bottom of the fruit bowl.

Time to wash the rest, and get started on the mincemeat project.

Just when everything was in the saucepan and I thought I was almost finished, I broke my wooden spoon.

Luckily I have a second wooden spoon spare…

On happy fish

Last weekend I went back to the fish market. I didn’t get there until about half an hour before the end, thanks to yoga, but there were still fish on offer.

Some of the sellers remembered me from last time, and some I spoke to for the first time.

One, when I asked him what his fish needed in order to be happy, shook with laughter and said he’d never heard of happy fish before. Apparently I am the first person he’s spoken to who wants their fish to be happy, as opposed to healthy, or the right colour, or good at producing young.

I think happy is a good criteria.

I came home with 21 new fish…

I’m going to need a fourth aquarium soon, at this rate ;).