Dear well-loved and sorely neglected Blog,
I haven’t forgotten you, even if it feels like it. I missed you. I will be back next year.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
Motorways and parallel parking next week…
This is actually happening.
(argh! / yippee! / um?)
More details later, when I have more time to write properly.
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 🙂
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!
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 🙂
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. 🙂
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..
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂
About to celebrate with chocolate ice cream.
More another time 🙂
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.
“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.
Sometimes, when it rains, you find rainbows in unexpected places
But sometimes weather forecasts lie and it hardly rains at all, despite dismal threats of torrential downpours..
“heavy rain” – day 1 of 3.
“heavy rain” – day 2 of 3
“heavy rain” – day 3 of 3
Sometimes it wouldn’t matter how much it rained because your hotel is actually a boat
Sometimes ferocious beasts live on the top floor of multi-storey buildings
Sometimes dangerous bridges need crossing (and sometimes they’re not as scary in real life as they are in your head)
Sometimes all you really need is a borrowed bike and a bench by the sea
Sometimes you go somewhere thinking it will be good, and it is; you go, you enjoy it and you come home content.
Sometimes you think something will be good and you’re disappointed when it isn’t.
Sometimes, and I think this is maybe the best kind, you don’t really know what you’re expecting so you hope it will be ok (or good), and prepare for rain (literal or figurative) just in case, and then are amazed by how wrong you were, because it turns out so much better than you could have expected.
This was one of those weekends.
One which is (going to be) memorable for more than just being good, because although not all of it was sunshine, the tears were somehow necessary and healing.
One where knocking over the Jenga blocks means you can start redesigning the tower.
One that wasn’t exactly “perfect”, but feels better than perfect because it was real. All of it.
One I’m glad to have had the pleasure of experiencing.
Thank you, world.
This is probably a good motto:
I consider lying on a huge wooden platform soaking up the sun and watching the world go by a good use of heartbeats
So is stopping to smell the roses during the only rainy patch of the weekend
Dear WWF campaigners,
I’m no time management expert, but I have a suggestion for you..
If you smile as you accost me on my way between the train and the bus and ask me for ONE minute of my time, I might actually choose to honour your request.
Here’s where I think there’s room for improvement. One minute is not a long time, so it’s important to know how you want to use it before it starts.
It’s not so much that I mind talking about where I’m going and what I’m planning to do when I get there and what I do for a living, it’s just the chance is pretty good that the minute will be up before you say a single word about pandas or rainforests or petitions or monthly donations.
Also. If you’ve gone to the effect of preparing a presentation, maybe you could set up a big screen and let it play on repeat. People, myself included, would almost definitely rather watch it as they walk through the station than on a miniature tablet under close scrutiny.
You never know. They might even stop to talk to you about it. Possibly for longer than a minute ;p
It seems Google still doesn’t think I’m trustworthy.. 🙁
I will consult the experts again…