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™‚

On getting posh chocolates

Look what I found when I got to work this morning!

A very posh looking bag, containing..

.. even posher looking chocolates!

It’s the thanks for the prizes I made and donated to a competition in the summer. There’s all kinds if things in there I’d never buy for myself – I’m looking forward to trying them :).

Today was a chocolate munching day – the kind when you already think about how to break the next chunk off while you’ve already got one in your mouth and are holding a spare. I consider it a suboptimal, though sometimes necessary, way to eat any chocolate, it would be practically criminal to munch through the posh stuff. I’m going to save them for a day when I can eat them slowly enough to appreciate them.

On the best thing about having one’s own freezer

You can fill it with icecream – and it’s nobody’s business but your own πŸ™‚

A couple of years ago, the last tenant bought a fridge freezer unit to fit the kitchen, and because it’s a weird size, she left it here when she left.

If it was officially made part of the flat’s inventory, the landlord would be responsible for making sure it works which he didn’t want to be or do.

Getting rid of it in order to buy a new one would be ridiculous, so he offered it to me, for free, to use as long as it lives (and to theoretically take with me when I leave).

So it’s mine.

And it’s full of ice cream πŸ™‚

(And pizza, though that’s not as exciting)

***

Once upon a time, in my other flat, I had a chest freezer… Theoretically I still do, it’s just 50 miles away and full of sensible things like homemade ready meals and bread which need eating before it’s moveable. It’s huge, and that’s good too, in a different way from the tiny one I have here. The best thing about it is always having space for leftovers πŸ™‚ and having loads of things to choose from when you don’t feel like cooking.

***

Back to the ice cream.

When your house is full of boxes and things that need cleaning, sometimes the best thing to do is find something to lean on, and lean on it while you eat ice cream directly out of the tub and look at all the things you will do ‘later’…

Which is what I spent a very pleasant half hour or so doing just now πŸ™‚

On choosing

(From late January…)

Some people know exactly what they want, what they like. When they have to choose something, anything, they make their choices based on pre-decided ideas.

Say they like strawberry ice cream. If they want ice cream they will find an ice cream shop or van or stand or other vendor (probably the first one they see, or one they already know) and buy one. It doesn’t matter if they’re faced with a full range of ice cream flavours, they will choose strawberry. They won’t bother paying much attention to the mint choc chip or the coconut or the pineapple (or all the rest) because they already know that they want strawberry. They will walk away from the ice cream stand, enjoying their strawberry ice cream, totally satisfied with their choice. The rest of the day is free for new thoughts and new choices.

I am not that person (and this post isn’t really about icecream).

I probably won’t think about ice cream until I see someone eating one. Then I have to choose where to go, which of the many salespeople to support. Is it better to pay more for the person who makes it herself, but has chosen the warmest place for her stand (increasing the electricity consumption, and probably the rent, but who already has people queueing up along the pavement and is unlikely to go out of business, and maybe she doesn’t actually make it herself anyway), or to make the effort to walk that bit further to the one in the shade which looks like it could do with a paint job (but may be unable to afford the scaffolding, because everyone else is going to the new, brightly coloured place which might put them out of business completely soon, which would make the paintwork even less worthwhile. Although they might have better ice cream, because they’ve been there for ages and they wouldn’t have lasted so long otherwise, would they?) or would the newly opened frozen yoghurt place be a better option? Maybe I should wait until I go to the supermarket later? That’s better value. But then it’s not supporting anyone personally, they won’t even notice, and they aren’t environmentally friendly or efficient with their freezer lorries. But making icecream en masse is bound to be more efficient than in small batches. Except they will use preservatives and food colourings and sweeteners and…. Oh look! There’s another ice cream stand!

And that’s before I’ve even got round to looking at the flavours…

You get the idea. I won’t elaborate further.

Once I buy my icecream and walk out of the shop, all the flavours I didn’t choose start running through my head. I start wondering if I made the best choice. Maybe the peach would’ve been a good choice after all. They had sorbet, I haven’t had a sorbet for ages. Perhaps lemon would’ve been more refreshing than the coconut? Maybe they have the most amazing chocolate icecream in the whole world and I missed it because I decided I can get chocolate icecream everywhere and went for something uncommon instead. I tend to do that. If I know most of the flavours on offer (or most of the meals on the menu) I will choose something I don’t know.*

I will still be wondering if it was the best choice when I finish eating. Especially if the people I’m with are busy enthusing about how awesome their’s is/was.

***

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see talk to my favourite optician. (Told you it wasn’t a post about icecream)

I’d been to the German eye-doctor, and she’d given me the go ahead to get glasses made up and a sick note to let me off work until the end of the month.

DB was at work.
The electrician wasn’t due until the next day.

I had time on my hands.

Luckily.

***

Usually sight tests begin with the optician trying to blind you with bright lights.

My optician skipped that part because, as she said, I’d “had more than [my] fair share of bright lights shone in [my] eyes recently”. Did I mention that she’s my favourite optician?

The first test lenses brought back the outlines – exhilarating, after almost a month of blur. After the initial leap towards sight, we started fine tuning and the world, my world, slowly came [back] into focus. A couple of degrees more or less, a quarter of a dioptre here or there, B is suddenly better than A and you can look across the street and read the adverts in the shop windows. The ones you only knew were there because all shops have windows and most of them advertise something. Incredible really.

After witnessing the world become clearer and clearer, I was reluctant to take the test glasses off.

(A side note for anyone who has perfect eyesight and never had need of an eye test: the test glasses are bulky, heavy, uncomfortable things. They slot various lenses in and out of the chunky frame, asking whether A is better or worse than B. Usually it’s tedious and you want to take them off as soon as possible. This time it was amazing and I wanted to keep them on.)

I did though, hard as it was, when she promised to get my glasses made up as soon as possible.

***

Turns out that was the easy part.

The hard part was choosing a pair of glasses that I liked, that I could wear everywhere and with everything, that didn’t block my view, but that didn’t dig into my cheeks. A pair that would be strong enough to cope with nights next to the tissue box on my bedside table, and being squished every time I pull a jumper over my head without thinking about it, without being too heavy. I don’t like seeing the frame when I’m trying to look at the world, although to be honest, I don’t really like seeing ANYthing get in the way of what I’m looking at. I don’t like it when the lenses are so tiny that you end up peering at things, and yet I also don’t like the HUGE lenses that make you look like a fly. I don’t want the corners to turn upwards or downwards. I don’t want Harry Potter style round ones.

(Yes, I’m a fusspot, tell me something new..).

Why don’t they only stock 3 frames?! There could be a range of colours, the same for each design.. but it would make it easier to choose. πŸ™‚

***

The optician is amazingly patient, in a way I can only dream of imitating. She handed me pair after pair of glasses, alternately held the mirror or the next pair, suggesting this or that and guiding me slowly towards a final choice.

2 hours later (see? there’s a reason for my favouritism!) I left the shop with a small collection-reminder-card, not that I really needed it. She knows me and my prescription (and presumeably) most of her other customers, by heart. She had my contact lenses, back when I wore them, in her hand ready for me between seeing me walk through the gate and actually entering the shop.. And she’d promised to phone me when they were ready to collect, so I didn’t even need it for the date.

But anyway. There I was with the card.

The card that meant I’d made a choice, and that in a couple of minutes when she’d phoned the order through, it would be too late to change my mind.

I walked home in a fuzzy haze. You miss seeing so much more when you’ve just been shown how much you’d see if you could see. If that makes sense.

Weather was good though πŸ™‚

***

A niggly thought crept up to me on the way home and ran round my head for the next couple of days.

“What if they look really stupid? Maybe I should have chosen those other ones. Maybe I should have taken DB in with me after all. Maybe they’re meant to be for old people and I’ll age 40 years when I put them on. Maybe the colour’s wrong, there were some other colours in the same style, maybe I should have gone for them instead? Maybe maybe maybe…..

Argh.

Sometimes I could do with an off-switch in my head.

******

They turned out to be 3 parts of perfect πŸ™‚

– not that they could have been anything else really, my optician would never let me out with something she couldn’t be proud of –

Now I just need to work on being happy with my choices at the time I make them! πŸ™‚

******

 

* Note to other adventurous icecream eaters: Indian “sugar apple” is not a good flavour for icecream (nor, according to my one real, born-and-grown-up-in-India, Indian friend, for anything else). That was the first and only time I have ever been unable to eat more than a couple of teaspoons of icecream. Ever. And I am a pretty good icecream eater πŸ˜‰ Luckily, on that rare occasion, my brother was here to stay. Even though we’d agreed to buy two unknown flavours and go halves he came to my rescue and ate my half for me. He even forfeited most of his half of the lychee icecream (which I also won’t order again, but which was a whole lot more edible than sugar apple) AND he still speaks to me πŸ™‚ Isn’t he awesome?! Obviously, he’s awesome for a million reasons, but saving me from the horrors of sugar apple icecream is a very important factor ;).

On coming home

I flew home* on Saturday.

I landed, and was presented with two of my favourite things:

Chocolate

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(which they handed out on the plane as we got off)

and

Snow

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(which you can barely see in my blurry photo).

Isn’t that awesome?

It was even more awesome the next day.

Tthere was enough to make footprints in πŸ™‚

image

And to admire

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And to brush off the van

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And it was at least 25 degreesΒ  (centigrade) colder than the day before…

 

* in this case “home” means Berlin, Germany. Often it means my parents’ house in Southern England.

On death by chocolate

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This doesn’t look like much, until you realise that the plate is about 40 cm long……

Three layers of thick chocolate cream, and a cheesecake-style base. Plus chocolate ice cream and a strawberry. And the most strawberryesque sauce ever.

I have never been so full!

On making the extra milk jug

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Because if you’re going to make a chocolate teapot in the middle of the night, you might as well make a milk jug to keep it company…

(And also because I am more likely to be asked to make a chocolate teapot than to walk even the first mile…)

On white Toblerone

Awesome stuff.

***

DB’s folks came back from their holiday this week*.

They are firm believers in bringing back presents.

I am apparently difficult to buy I’ve-been-on-holiday presents for. I don’t drink (much), smoke or wear perfume (much).

Last time, I got a fridge magnet with very small photos of the island on – like a miniature magnetic postcard.

This time however, they brought me chocolate πŸ™‚ much better than fridge magnet postcards πŸ™‚ :). Not just any chocolate either, Toblerone chocolate. TWO bars (the huge ones you pretty much only see at airports), one normal and one white.

The pile of ordinary Toblerone was apparently 3 miles high, whereas the white bars were almost all taken. DB’s mum had never seen white ones before, but decided that they must be ok if everyone else had bought them, and picked one up for me. Then she went back for a normal one as well in case it wasn’t good after all….

I think that was a good decision πŸ™‚
Two good decisions, really.

***

Haven’t eaten Toblerone in aaaaaages, but am finding that a chunk – and they really are HUGE chunks – is enough, I don’t keep going back to the packet for “just one more” tiny square, like I usually do.

Having said that, I suppose I ought to admit that one chunk is the equivalent to almost a third of the bars I usually buy and that’s quite a few mini squares.

But hey! Who’s counting!

πŸ™‚
πŸ™‚
πŸ™‚

***

DB got a bottle of whiskey, and we both got a pepper mill and a salad spoon-and-fork to share.

*no, I haven’t mopped the mud/sand off the floor yet, but DB swept up the worst of it, so I think it can wait until the weekend πŸ™‚

On Power – of chocolate and of people (the lost and found version)

(I was just looking though my posts and found a draft version of Wednesday’s post. I thought it was competely gone, but apparently not. Here it is.)

I don’t know why I give either as much power as I do.

Yesterday wasn’t a particularly spectacular day. As well as losing my halo, I also lost my good mood.

However, it did show me something I didn’t want to see: I am easily swayed by external influences. More so than I’d like to admit.

  • My glass didn’t want to co-operate. At all. In any way, shape or form. Pretty much everything that CAN go wrong, did.Β  It broke, twisted, cracked, went cloudy, refused to melt, melted too much, looked ok until it cooled down and then broke. Whatever. If you think of something that could happen it quite possibly did. I even contemplated (not for the first time) quitting and becoming something else. I won’t. Mostly because I have less than no idea what I would be better at, but also because some crazy part of me loves a challenge and thinks I have more than a snowflake’s chance of improving.. And because glass is the best thing since.. Since what actually? It’s been around for 7000 years. That’s a whole lot longer than sliced bread. But I guess that’s irrelevant. There’s something therapeutic about watching it melt (except when it’s not supposed to, and even then it’s pretty cool). As they say, “only glass is like glass”.
  • There are some people who have the ability to make me want to hit them (or failing that then a wall) just by existing (in my vicinity, I doubt I’d mind them existing elsewhere). I obviously don’t, haven’t, and hopefully never will, but I dislike the aggression that builds in me when they appear on my radar. Noticing my aggression makes me cross. Being cross doesn’t exactly help get rid of the desire to hit things.
  • I would have had an argument if I hadn’t picked a monologist to argue with. Having listened [politely] to half an hour’s ranting about how awful I am, I find being told to ‘leave well alone’ when trying to defend myself, sucks more than arguing would have done..
  • I would have probably taken my bad mood home and had a rubbish evening if I hadn’t been brought chocolate by a thoughtful person – who didn’t even know I needed it until afterwards – just because. (Thank you, even if you will probably never read this). I’m not nearly grateful enough for the people who make life better.. I spend too much time and energy trying to pacify the people who make it worse, instead of concentrating on the good ones.

Why?

Why is my happiness and my good mood subject to things, situations, other people and chocolate?

On Power – of chocolate and of people

Okay. I add ‘and of Mozilla’s moodswings’ to that.

My post was pretty much finished and now it’s gone.

The gist of it was that I am easily swayable by external factors: things, situations, people…and chocolate.

That and the fact that I spend too much time and energy trying to placate people who make life harder than it needs to be and not enough time being thankful for the ones who make it better.

 

[Edit: I have since found the post in question, you can read it here)