On flying like a puffin-billed-penguin-y-puss*

My sister is always adopting animals. This time she must have decided it was my turn. She left a small animal with my parents for me to collect and look after.

Unfortunately I don’t know quite what it is. I thought it was a baby puffin, my parents said it looked more like a penguin and my sister is adamant that it says it’s a cat…

Whatever it is, this was its first passenger flight. The trip is quite a long one, made longer by various delays, but it was very well behaved. 

I’ve documented the journey for the photo album ;).. If you have better captions, let me know in the comments

Always wear your feetbelt on the train

Dance if you make it through check-in undetected
Remember to bring chocolate if you think there’s any chance of delays
Get excited when you can finally see something happening
..but hide before they can see you
Too late to turn back now
“please attend to your own oxygen mask before helping your puffin..”
Isn’t flying exciting?!
Fast asleep..
..or not, as the case may be
“I’m bored! Are we nearly there yet?!”
Land in sight!
Finally reacquainted with the luggage πŸ™‚ EasyPeasy!
Oops – must’ve missed the partial escape
Time for bed

* Like a duck-billed-platypus only different…

On hurting people without meaning to

I’ve just been jolted out of an uneasy sleep in an uncomfortable aircraft seat by a food trolley. The absent minded trolley pusher rammed the trolley into my knee. I can only imagine it wasn’t intentional, so I can’t really be cross, even if it a) hurt, and b) woke me up. 

It seems like a good day for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

DB bashed me with my suitcase as he lifted it out of the car. The guy behind me at security bashed me with his tray while trying to juggle with it, his paperwork, a phone and his bag. A lady bashed me with her bag when she turned round waiting for boarding. 

I don’t much appreciate being bashed, yet none of those bashes were on purpose. No one set out to hurt me, they just did, without realising until afterwards, or in the case of the lady, not at all. And they all apologised (except the lady).

I wonder how many more times people will bash me before I get to my brother’s house. I wonder how many times it’ll take before I actually get cross with the basher.

I wonder how much I hurt people by mistake, just by living, just by going about my day. I wonder how many people I hurt without even realising it. Not just by wielding my suitcase carelessly, but also with my words, my choices, my actions. I wonder how many of those people never say anything, how many wait until they’re really mad at the world in general to snap and say something, or yell something.

On learning to fly

My colleague made me an aeroplane for my birthday. He’s been away, so I received it yesterday.

He explained the technical aspects and showed me how it works.

Two days later I still haven’t managed to actually fly it..

..which he finds hilarious πŸ™‚ Especially because, way back when, he was in exactly my position. He was given a similar aeroplane of his own for his 30th birthday. This is his kind of ‘revenge’. Apparently it took him ‘a week or two’ to learn. I’m hoping for inspiration and talent to strike earlier than that. Maybe on Thursday or Friday would be nice.

πŸ™‚

On flying [semi-]blind

(Written Jan 2nd, uploaded today, Jan 4th, because I have wifi!)

Last night, over yet another family dinner, we discussed how we were going to get to the airport. DB’s dad had already agreed to take us, but there are at least a million variables to be taken into consideration. Whether we’d drive to their house, or have him drive to ours. Which car to go in. Where to park the other car (“What other car?!” “The one we don’t take to the airport..” “That one stays exactly where it is on the drive..” “Oh yeah, we don’t need to take it anywhere” “No. (Duh)”). After we’d gone through all the complicated stuff, it was time to choose a time. We decided between 6:45 and 7:00 would be a good time to set out, tending more towards 7:00.

***

At 6:39 this morning, DB’s dad rang the door bell. ARGH. So much for relaxing mornings. Thankfully we’d finished packing last night and just needed to get the last minute things together. I forgot my algae tablets* in the rush, but they are voluntary (though very helpful), so it’s not really a problem.

We got our stuff in the car and headed for the airport.

***

The roads were as good as empty, which can’t be said of the airport. ‘Bustling’ doesn’t cut it, neither does ‘popular’ or ‘thriving’. Jam-packed is closer to the truth, but doesn’t imply the 30+ minute queues, just to get into the queue to check hold luggage in.

The queue for the queue lead past, or rather through, the arrivals gate, and past the cafΓ©, resulting in unwanted pushing and shoving of the people who’d just landed, and all the people who were waiting to pick them up, and the people who wanted to buy coffee, and the people queuing for the queue. And all the queue jumpers. (Queue jumpers make me mad. The barriers are there for a reason, and unless your flight’s been called or you have a very good reason for pushing past me, I can’t find it in me to smile at you..).

I don’t exactly mind queuing, as long as I know what I’m queuing for, and that everyone is going to get the same whatever-it-is at the end. If I have a deadline, like a plane to catch, I’d like there to be a chance to achieve it legally. It shouldn’t be necessary to jump queues. I see no benefit in checking your luggage in before everyone else, except maybe choosing which seat you want… unless you happen to be in an airport where all destinations use the same check-in-desks. Those are my least favourite airports.

I find Stansted airport brilliant. There are a few others which are just as good, but mostly less well known, or at least not as busy, so I’ll go with Stansted in this example. Each destination has its own check-in desks, and the boards show you where to stand. Once you’ve handed in your luggage, you’re directed to the hand luggage scanners, and from there the gates are well signposted and there are even times written on the signs to tell you how long it will take to get there (gate 37, 4 minutes this way ->). Passport control is just before the gates, and there are toilets at regular intervals along all the corridors. Easy.

Berlin Tegel is, through no fault of its own, drastically and chronically overfilled. The new airport hasn’t been completed yet, and all the passengers have to go somewhere. I can see that. Even without glasses.

What I don’t understand is the logic behind making all the check-in-desks open to ALL the passengers. The leave-it-to-the-last-minute people (like me) have no chance to roll in 10 minutes before their check-in closes and still fly.

***

Anyway. Just over an hour after we arrived at the airport, we arrived at the check in desk.

The nice lady-behind-the-counter took our passports and flight coupon and was about to press the button to let the conveyor belt steal our luggage, when something clicked in her head, or on the screen. “Um, I can’t check your luggage in here. You’re supposed to be in the next hall. I’ll print your boarding passes anyway, then you’ll have to run to hand in your bags.”

Uh. What?!! We’ve just spent an HOUR standing in the wrong queue???? But this was the place to be for all flights with this airline…?? Wasn’t it?
Apparently not.. It was the place to be for all destinations apart from ours.

Oh joy.

We ran past the queue for the queue we’d just been in, and launched ourselves at the nearest check-in desk in the other room. The not-quite-so-nice-lady-behind-the-counter looked at our flight coupon and said all flights with Airlines XYZ are next door, and pointed back to where we’d just been. We said we’d just come from there. It took a while for her to suggest we ask at the furthest desk (but at least in the same room). We dragged our bags up to the third desk of the morning, and the remarkably-unfriendly-lady-behind-the-counter told us she’d just closed check-in. We were too late to fly.

BAM.

Arguing and pleading had no effect. There were notices up, and it wasn’t her fault if we ignored them. Our bad luck.

Or not, as the case may be.

Good luckily (;)), we had the boarding passes to prove we’d stood in the wrong queue. We’d been checked in. We were on the books (or at least registered in The System).

She sighed (and huffed and puffed), and turned her computer back on (better than blowing the house down). It was probably more hassle to log us out of the system than to print the stickers for our bags. That’s my assumption, so I could well be wrong, but she didn’t seem like someone who would change her mind just to do us a favour.

A few minutes later, our luggage went off on a private journey to wherever luggage goes, and we headed towards the hand luggage checks.

Just as we turned away from check-in, a man appeared, who was also supposed to be on our flight. Mrs Officious was not amused, and refused to let him fly. We were going to be late enough as it was and she wasn’t going to break the rules.

I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for him, since it was fast approaching boarding time, and we still had to go through hand luggage. And that meant queuing up. Again. Quelle surprise!

***

Over the last few days, there have been several terror warnings issued around Germany (and as far as I can make out, the rest of Europe), so the security checks were extra vigilant. The queue moved slowly forwards, while the clocks raced.

I nearly always get fumbled at airports. I don’t know why. I must have magnetic blood or something. I go through the gate and automatically go to the woman fumbler. On the rare occasions when I haven’t set the alarm off, I make my way back to the trays of belongings and try not to look too confused.

Today was no exception. I just got back from being fumbled, when DB was called into a miniature office to rescan his bag – too many electronics. The security man scanned each item as we unpacked the camera, and the tablet, and the tiny radio with pull out speakers, and the phone charger, and… “okay, that’s enough, we don’t need to see the rest”. We were dismissed.

It was 9:03. The plane was due to leave at 9:15. Boarding was officially started at 8:50. We were a little bit screwed.

However. There’s no point giving up before you have to, and they were unlikely to fly without us, if our luggage was on board. We headed towards our gate….

9:08

There are some days when things turn out ok, despite everything. This seems to be one of them, because there hadn’t been any steps available and boarding had been delayed. (Also maybe because DB’s Dad picked us up that much earlier than planned… ;))

***

The plane didn’t take off until 10. That’s 3/4 hour later than planned, giving us a chance to get our heart rates back to normal :).

Also, the man who tried to check-in after us would have had plenty of time to check in his luggage….

 

* Astaxanthin

image

On potential existence

I am on my way to the embassy.

My boyfriend booked – and his mum paid for – a weeks holiday in Lanzarote. It’s something like an Easter present, and something like a ‘You-must-have-a-break-before-you-have-a-breakdown’ mission. Having spent the last year in an unending battle with exams, quitting work, moving house, renovating, decorating, unpacking and furniture building, I think we deserve it.

We’re flying out on Saturday.

At least, we might be.

Flying involves passports, and I still don’t have one. I don’t have a job yet either, but that’s not really essential to flying, especially if someone else is paying.

I phoned the embassy as part of the research for my existence, and they told me they could issue me with a temporary passport, for a fee of 121€.

The holiday was a very good deal, so we decided to split the cost between us.
I made an appointment, and am on the way there now.

There’s a long list of things to bring to the appointment, and I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten one.

I really hope they don’t mind….

According to the embassy it isn’t an identity document. However. My future employers said I can use the temporary passport to sign the paperwork, and bring the real one when it arrives.

Wish me luck!

On flying home* for Christmas

Two weeks ago I bought a ticket for a flight to Berlin.

Last week I checked in online, printed my boarding card and packed my bag.

On Friday I got a train from work to the airport (and was there on time), went through security, unpacking and repacking most of my suitcase in the process.

Once on the other side, I scanned the departures board to find my gate. I got there with a few minutes to spare.

Half an hour or so later I was still waiting. No one had said anything about a delay, but I fly fairly often and they rarely bother to inform you if it’s less than an hour or so.

Anyway, I phoned the DB to let him know that I would be late and that he didn’t need to set off yet. He was already on the road and asked me how I could phone him from the air. I did a slight double take, and told him I was still waiting for take-off. He’d apparently checked the website and it had told him I was in the air. This caused a puzzled silence.

Turns out there were 2 machines scheduled to fly to Berlin simultaneously with 2 different airlines. I hadn’t checked the departures board properly, and hadn’t even registered the miniature symbol in the corner of the screen at the gate.

I asked the hassled people at the gate if I could fly with them instead (there weren’t many people waiting) but obviously that wasn’t going to happen, they couldn’t even sell me a ticket for the flight because they’d already started boarding (at least on the computer).

After I checking the alternative Berlin gate and finding no one there, I went back to the main hall.

It appears one isn’t allowed to go through security the wrong way. You have to be locked in a small box first which then opens on the other side.

Almost an hour and a lot of talking later I got my ticket rebooked for the next flight.

(In the meantime I’d phoned the DB a couple of times, spoken to the staff at all the airline help desks including asking the other airline how much tickets cost for their next flight, but their computer booking system was down and the bloke said it would be extortionate being as how it was so late. It isn’t their policy to fill as many seats as possible…).

I went through security for the second (third if you count going the wrong way too) but this time it was full and I didn’t bleep.

The plane was delayed by about 15 minutes and once on the runway we had to wait for ages because of an accident.

The flight itself was non-eventful but man, was I glad to get to Berlin.

 

*Berlin isn’t my home, but DB’s…

Skiing, skiing, more skiing and the perils of saunas and after-skiing-parties

Yes.

I realise this post is months overdue. Naja, I suppose weeks is more accurate, but for some parts it’s enough weeks to be more than a month…

***

I can’t ski without hobbling about for days afterwards.

I asked my teacher back in February how long it takes to train your muscles to cope with walking after skiing. He said if I keep it up (ski every weekend) I’d be okay by about June.

Thanks buddy.

It’s not even as if it’s just my legs either. I would understand if it was. I mean, I ski with my legs.. Why my ribs, shoulders, bum, arms and hands of all things should join in the hurting party beats me.

***

I went skiing with D (my Ski-partner) and some of the luffly peeps from my Hauskreis on the 23rd Feb – another brilliant day πŸ™‚ – practised jumping some more, this time over much bigger ramps, and got more (occasionally unexpected) airtime. In case anyone’s interested, I’m getting better at it. By jumping I obviously still mean riding over big lumps of snow, Only these lumps were bigger and steeper and scarier. And sometimes there were several in a row. I only fell over a couple of times, and 2 of those were while getting off the lifts πŸ˜‰ We still haven’t quite got the hang of that yet.. But we’ll get there :).

I woke up more crippled (muscle ache due to skiing) than after any other ski-day this year.

The weekend after that I was ill, which was incredibly annoying, because the weather was beautiful, and cold enough for the snow to stay where it was.

Once I’d recovered, the snow was gone. Or at least too melted to ski on.

***

On the weekend of the 8th – 10th March I went as part of a group of 12 to some ‘real’ mountains – the Bavarian alps – for a couple more days of craziness πŸ™‚ Some of the crowd hadn’t ever skiied before, others had been once (last year), D and I had been practising lots, and the others were almost professionals ;). My teacher came too, which was very cool, even though he was too busy with the beginners to teach me much until the second day. A couple of snowboarders tagged along for the ride, but I didn’t see much of them over the weekend.

I practised jumping, and teaching, and skiing on one foot, and skiing backwards, and skiing with ‘bigfoots’ (which are very short, very fat skis, and pretty scary, but also good fun),Β  and skiing on ‘Neuschnee’ (virgin snow? the deep stuff no one’s prepared or skiied on yet) and riding on chair lifts.

= more brilliant days πŸ™‚

***

We were staying in chalets – very swish, makes the whole thing incredibly refined – with a sauna in the cellar. I’m not a big sauna-fan, but occasionally I give in to peer pressure πŸ˜‰ There was only one other girl (F) and she didn’t want to go by herself. Who am I to spoil her evening?? So I joined her and 5 or 6 of the others for an evening of being baked alive.

After roasting for 15 minutes or until golden brown (go with the 15 minutes, I don’t do brown, golden or otherwise, I go from white to red and back to white ;)) one is supposed to shower with cold water. That seemed like a very silly idea, but everyone was agreed it was the thing to do, and since I was doing the done thing, I figured I could at least try it out. I’m not thrilled at the idea of cold showers at the best of times, and after figuring out that the shower was directly in front of the sauna’s glass door I was even less taken by the idea. There’s something incredibly offputting about showering in full view of a group of guys you can neither see nor hear. While the others laughed at us, F and I made extensive plans for leaving the oven and showering without exposing ourselves: I’d leave the oven first, she’d follow directly behind me, one of us would hold a spare towel over the glass in the door while the other showered. Then we’d change roles. Only once we’d both finished, would we let the others out of the oven. They’d got in after us, so they were due a few minutes longer anyway. A perfect plan.

I’m not sure quite what it is about perfect plans that make them entirely useless and more open to sabotage than any other sort of plan, but there it is..

The door wasn’t very willing to be opened, despite me pushing as hard as possible. Admittedly, ‘as hard as possible’ wasn’t very hard, but what do you expect when I’m dizzy from standing up after spending 15 mins sitting in a box of 70 degree hot steam, and while holding my towel with the other hand? Honestly. Anyway, as unwilling to open as it had been seconds before, when it finally did agree to open, it sprung outwards, with me heading out faster than could be considered genteel. The floor outside, having been completely soaked by the previous showerers, was still wet. I slipped and went flying and landed on my back, losing my towel and stubbing my toe* on/under the wooden bathmat a couple of metres further into the room in the process.

YEAH.

That was exactly how I’d always wanted to get out of a sauna…

…not.

F followed me out and after we’d mopped up the blood, the rest of the plan went exaxctly as we’d planned it to.

The cold shower didn’t seem cold, and because we’re very strange people we went back for more baking once we’d stopped steaming and my head had stopped spinning.

We went out to look at the stars while trying to cool off the second time.

I didn’t even complain much when one of the guys trod on my stubbed toe and said it was my fault for putting my foot where he wanted to stand.

***

After the second full day of skiing, because it was a ‘proper’ (ish) ski-resort, we didn’t go inside to fall asleep with a hot chocolate and a cake like usual, we chose to jump about like mad things while someone sang, very loudly, with a microphone and a back-up CD but without knowing all the words. The someone wasn’t one of us, although I suppose I ought to admit we helped out… It’s rather amazing to dance about in a group of 12 people (amongst another 2 hundred or so) who are all high on mountain air and adrenalin and sing silly songs together, loudly, without anyone minding. Besides the singing there was tea, and gluehwein, and chocolate, and salami, and a lot of laughter.

At some point in the proceedings, it was decided that it would be remarkably cool to learn to spin people round 360 degrees and carry on dancing. I was ‘elected’ to be the willing victim (don’t ask why, I’m not sure either. I didn’t have any part in the discussion leading up to the decision and I think ‘willing’ is a little different, but it is true that I didn’t actually object very much).

The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air…

..until I wasn’t..

…and was lying on the ground instead.

Or more accurately, half on the ground.

The spinner had very kindly thrown himself underneath the other half of me, so I hadn’t actually broken anything. I also hadn’t been dropped on my head, which is apparently what most of the onlookers thought was going to happen halfway through.

His wrist and my elbow were bandaged up by the helpful fireman we’d brought with us, and once we’d driven back to the chalet, I was allowed (or forced, depending on how you look at these things) to lie on my back and rest while everyone else took it in turns to pack and tidy up or bring me grapes and sympathy ;).

In all, it was a great weekend, and I’m still mourning the end of the ski-season πŸ™

And as I said, I can’t ski without hobbling about for days afterwards…

 

*the kind of stubbing, which breaks the nail and makes a mess of the floor…

Day X

<or on Flying and boredom>

Hello dear people πŸ™‚

I have decided that repetitive lists of filled water bottles and shiny sinks are rather tedious. I’ve moved them to their own blog which you can find here.

The interesting parts might be allowed to stay :p Happy reading πŸ˜‰

On plans, mice and men

On Plans (especially the best-laid ones):

I was up really early today. I guess it ‘helped’ that I hadn’t slept so well, and that I’d got a text in the middle of the night so my phone flashed all night (which it also does just before the alarm rings). I got up, dressed, had breakfast…and had 15 minutes left…. So I got back into bed πŸ™‚ Hey! What else is an option when you’re tired, it’s cold and you have 15 minutes to kill?! Naja, I got back out, put my coat on, put my shoes on (and laced them up πŸ˜‰ go me!) packed my lunch, turned all the lights off, figured I needed a hair tie, turned them back on, fetched one, turned them off again. Pure and simple faffing about.

I got to work 5 minutes late.

How stupid is that??!

Anyway. I’m alone in the workshop til Monday so it didn’t really matter and I stayed on after so I’m all caught up πŸ™‚

Of Mice:

Uh, nothing specific.. Just thinking of J.Steinbeck

Of Men*:

Why do they have to go about telling me how to live??? I’m sure they mean well… (I hope, otherwise it’s more stupid than I thought) but WHY must they assume I have no ability to think by myself? If the answer to my problem really was the one staring-you-in-the-face idea, is it not vaguely possible that I might have thought of it too? Just quickly, in passing..??

Argh.

Also my dear colleague apparently moaned/stressed/unloaded his issues-about-having-to-work-with-me to another guy from work about me while I was away before Christmas. And ‘the other guy’ agrees with him (and spent nearly an hour telling me why and what I should do about it and ugh – see above).

Is this new? No. Was it kind? I doubt it. It doesn’t feel kind anyway. Did it help (anyone)? Probably not. Did it change anything? Only that I will have to be more careful about what I say to ‘the other guy’ if they’re gunna talk about me. Do I care? Yes. It would seem so. Is that logical? No.

More Argh.

On the plus side, getting mad made me get creative. I have a plan. Not a plan of revenge or anything mean -I don’t do that- it’s a plan to save my sanity. Or what little’s left of it. I will hopefully put it into practise on Monday. Until then I will carry on scheming and cackling.

Lesson to learn from today? Assuming that conversations are like busses, I really need to learn when to tell people to get off.

Anyway. Flying.

I haven’t checked what I supposed to have done today… *checks*

“Today you are doing what we have already done:

  • Getting up and dressing to lace-up shoes
  • Keeping your sink shining

Now is the time to start exploring the Flylady BigTent Group. Be sure to read the β€œNews” section. This is where you will find the Daily Flight Plan, the essays, and the testimonials.”

Well that was tough… Like I said, I even put my lace-up shoes on to go to work with πŸ˜›

I stopped writing just now to see if there was anything worth reading in the BigTent news thing.. I found this (dated today):

“Don’t allow anyone to steal your peace:
We often find that the ones we are closest to are the ones that will say things to us that are not meant to hurt (or sometimes they are) but yet you feel the hurt. There are several ways to not allow yourself to get caught in that downward spiral of hurting.

Remember that you are Special!! No matter what anyone says to you or how they say it, you are a very special person because you are YOU! You are a smart, capable, loving individual that is FLYing!

Remember that you can’t change how people behave — you can only change your reaction to their behavior. This means if your cousin Millie always looks down her nose at you and has a tendency to treat you poorly — feel pity for her because most likely she is a very insecure person that can only feel good about herself when she is hurting others to make herself feel good. People like this do not know what it is like to FLY!

Remember that “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (Eleanor Roosevelt) This means that you need to keep things in perspective and not give permission to yourself to get caught up in feeling inferior to anyone!!! Do not give anyone the power to hurt you, keep the power of FLYing around you as a shield and wear it proudly.

Keep in mind an old saying “those who anger you conquer you”. This means that if you give someone the power to hurt you or make you angry than they have won. They have managed to beat you up without straining themselves because you gave them the ability to do so!

Keep in mind that unhappy people have a need to ridicule or talk behind your back and yet some “helpful” family member will want to make sure you know about it, sometimes to protect you and sometimes to be the gossiping middleman. I have experienced this in many ways and I promise you that truly the best way to handle this is with grace and dignity. Do not respond to mean and unhappy people. It is not worth getting dragged into a family nightmare. The unhappy ones always have a way of twisting things so that they will always be someone else’s fault. Do not bother getting down in the gutter of misery with these kinds of people. Remind yourself that you are FLYing and that loving yourself is far more important than what unhappy and miserable people think or say about you. YOU know you are worthy and deserving of love not hurt.

When you feel that you can no longer let things slide or roll off your back, it is perfectly acceptable to say in a low quiet voice “I am sure that you did not intentionally mean to hurt my feelings, but you have. Excuse me I see someone I need to speak with” and WALK AWAY! See, you did not cause a scene or publicly embarrass the sad person that was trying to get your goat, you were polite, firm and left them alone without them getting the last word. Leave them with the words that you spoke not tears or anger. You are FLYing, this means taking care of you!! Finally Loving YOURSELF!!!!

You are entitled to a fun, loving, joyful, and peaceful new year. Do not let anyone take that away from you! FLY through the New Year!!! Do this for YOU!”

Ho-hum. Why do all the ‘mean and unhappy people’ have to work with me??? And what a bummer I work in a room with an opaque door. I tend not to randomly ‘see people I need to speak to’… Maybe I should try saying it anyway. Perhaps they’ll think madness is catching.

Normal task:
“Today you are to sweep your front porch area around your front door. Shake out your welcome mats and wipe down your front door. This makes a huge difference in how your home looks. We have a tendency to neglect this area and yet it is the first thing that people see when they come to your home.”

Hmm.. Okaaaay… Best jump to it then..

The focus was ‘Errands’. I suppose shopping is an errand.

 

*[edit] Okay. Not all men. Just the specific men who feel it necessary to instruct me on living MY life instead of living their own. Sorry for offending all the ones who don’t.

On ‘fixing’ my face

Fly lady beginner task:

“Today I want you get up and get dressed to lace-up shoes when you first get up in the morning. This means fix your hair and face, too.

In order for us to change ourselves, we need to remind ourselves of what we are doing. I did this with yellow sticky notes throughout my home to guide me through my day. This was the beginning of my home control journal. I had little notes on my bathroom mirror to remind me to get dressed to shoes.

Shine your sink before you go to bed.”

Well. I got up. And I got dressed. And made my bed. I didn’t put my lace-up shoes on. I don’t see why I should wear my going-to-work-shoes when I’m at home on my day off. I do have my ‘Hausschuhe’ on though. Literally house-shoes, they’re like slippers with waterproof soles.

I’m also not entirely sure what the good lady means by ‘fixing’ my hair and face. I wasn’t aware they were broken, and I don’t know what I should attach them to. Having said that, I am aware that she’s American, and probably means I should brush my hair and wash my face. Which I have done. I also cleaned my teeth. Actually, thinking about it, she probably meant make-up and a fancy hairstyle.. But that’s not gunna happen. My hair’s tied back out of my eyes, what more does she want?! and I don’t go in for make-up. So there. And if I don’t want to get dressed (for whatever reason) having ‘get dressed’ written on a post-it is hardly going to make me. Ho-hum.

The Zone-task, which I’m aware I’m not really supposed to be doing, is more interesting:

Today is the day that you will spend 15 minutes in the entrance way of your home. Grab all the mail, shoes and jackets and put them away! I am always so surprised at how much stuff seems to accumulate in that one area! This is one area that when you tackle it and you are finished that you feel such a huge accomplishment because it is what you see first as you come through the door! Set your timer and ………. GO!”

Wow. Today is the day that YOU WILL …that’s pretty scary… I’d better go and do that then.

Also, Wednesday is Anti-procrastination Day – I’d better find something I’ve been procrastinating about and do it… Oh joy πŸ˜‰

On playing “Flyady says”

(-or “Mission One”-)

I went through the site and found everything I’m supposed to be doing today/this week.

Note: This turned out rather longer and more complicated looking than I wanted it to be. I thought about writing all the bits in their own posts but that would just be silly. However. I don’t need to write most of the stuff often. As of tomorrow I’ll only write the daily mission.

  • Flylady’s Motto of the Year: Kind not mean in 2013 – if you say twentythirteen it scans better πŸ˜‰
  • Habit of the Month: Shine kitchen sink – everyday = empty, wash and dry it
  • Zone of the Week: Porch, Hall, Dining Room – each room/group of rooms is a ‘zone’. Each zone comes round once a month. At the beginning you’re supposed to declutter for 15 mins per day = you go through throwing, putting or giving away. Anything not used, loved or wanted has to go. Once you finish decluttering (!!! like maybe after 2 months..) there are lists of specific things to clean each time the zone comes round
    • Zone-based Mission of the Week: Wash the doors; both panels and handles (at some point during the week)
    • Zone-based Mission of the Day: Wash the windows (and the walls if they’re smudgy which mine luckily aren’t so I’m ignoring that)
  • Non zone-based Tasks of the Week or “Weekly Home Blessing” (either everything in an hour or one task per day)
    • Dust
    • Sweep
    • Mop
    • Polish mirrors (and doors)
    • Purge magazines/newspapers
    • Change sheets
    • Empty all rubbish
  • Non zone-based Tasks of the Day:
    • Get up – well that’s a non-brainer… but at least I get at least ONE tick every day πŸ™‚
      • Get dressed – to shoes.. hmm.. I’m really not sure about this. I don’t wear shoes inside. I might just ignore that part too πŸ˜‰
      • Make bed
    • Empty dishwasher
    • 15 minutes excercise
    • Drink 2l water – better 3 (I’m a glassblower remember? I need lots of water)
    • Swish and Swipe – loo and sink
    • Load of washing – sort, put on, hang up, fold, put away
    • Think about dinner – I think she means make, eat and clear up after it as well πŸ˜‰
    • Get ready for tomorrow
      • lay out clothes
      • check calendar
      • 2 minute Hotspot – Hotspots are places things pile up… Places like the sofa, or the surface in the hall you put stuff on. Your task is to choose one and spend a couple of minutes emptying it
      • fill water bottles – to take to work. This isn’t one of hers, but I figure it might as well go on the list since I generally end up doing them in a rush when I should be on the way to work already πŸ˜‰
    • Shine sink
    • Do something nice for yourself – read, drink cocoa, play a silly game on your phone, whatever floats your boat
    • Sleep πŸ™‚ – I’m aiming for being in bed somewhere between 10 and 11.. I have to be up at 7 and at the moment I need a LOT of sleep
  • Focus of the Day: Planning and Playing – um.. pretty self explanatory really. It’s the day you plan things. stuff like what you’re going to eat for the rest of the week. Or what you’re going to wear. Or where you’re going at the weekend. Once everything’s planned, you play (films, long baths, dancing…). Because you deserve it. Especially when you’ve done everything else on that list as well. πŸ˜‰

Okay. So washing my windows would not normally feature on my ToDo list today. But hey. I’m playing Flylady says. So here goes…

On Flying…

A new year, a new habit. Why not flying? πŸ˜‰

Except I don’t mean flying in either the jumping-off-cliffs-and-flapping-your-arms-about sense, or the more civilised sense, elbowing my way through the masses of small children and tense parents into MY seat on an aeroplane. I do a fair bit of that as it is.

I mean the kind of flying coined by the Flylady, Marla Cilley. It means ‘Fully (or finally) Loving Yourself’ and is (as far as I can tell) a programm to get your house and life ‘sorted out’ without ending up a nervous quivering wreck.

The basic idea behind it (again, as far as I can tell) is that if you’re happy and you know it, and not tired, you are more likely to get stuff done, and if you get stuff done, you’re more likely to be happy. Which I guess I agree with. She says a lot about getting rid of perfectionism, and that doing something is better than doing nothing, even if you can’t do whatever-it-is perfectly right now. Waving a wet mop at the floor is better than nothing, even if it isn’t as good as getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing. Twice. With some kind of cleaner. And then polishing it. It’s about starting, then continuing in ‘baby-steps’ instead of crashing and burning and giving up. It’s about getting more sleep and giving yourself permission to stop rushing about finishing things before it gets to 3am. It includes motivation to cook better andΒ excercise more which is something I struggle with, as my shortage of posts in December will testify to. It’s about attending to your own oxygen mask loving yourself first, so you can love other people.

At the end of it all, or more as a result of it all, the idea is to be a happy, rounded, fit, healthy, awake person, the sort who isn’t tired or stressed out and who has time to bake cookies and go dancing, who remembers to post birthday cards in time for them to get there, and who can invite people over at the drop of a hat because she has such a clean, tidy, welcoming house.

Not much of that sounds like me. Yet. *cackles*

– I don’t remember the last time I posted ANYthing on time, went to bed before midnight, had a tidy house for more than an evening or made biscuits (Ok. I made mincepies while I was at my folks over Christmas, but that doesn’t count). I have a huge problem getting up and to work on time. I have far less energy than I think I ought to have. I get home and can’t be bothered to cook, because I’d have to wash the saucepans from the night before first. Eveytime I want to go dancing I have a minor breakdown because I can’t find anything clean and/or presentable to wear. When I invite anyone over I have to work out how long I need to get it presentable before I suggest a day. Having cleaned like a wild thing, so that whoever’s supposed to come over can, it takes less than a week to get back to the way it was before.. ARGH. –

I found the site a year or so ago, and even signed up for it and read [some of] the emails. BUT. I didn’t ‘jump on the bandwagon’ as they say. I picked up [some of] the cooler tips (like leaving the roll of new bin liners between the dustbin and the current bag so you don’t have to look for them when you take the rubbish out), but I didn’t rush off and clean my fridge when they said “clean your fridge”, and I never really bothered with ‘decluttering’ or shining my sink.

This year… I’m going to try it out. ItΒ  feels a bit crazy, and if I’m honest, a little bit like a strange non-religious cult, but since this woman, the Flylady, has been going for over 10 years and has about a million followers she must have something going for her. Besides. I read yesterday, that the best way to prove something doesn’t work/isn’t true/is stupid, is to try it out and see instead of talking about it..

So. I’m going to do it. The beginning of a year seems a good place to start and my house could really do with it. Or I could. Or both.

I’ll write the missions on here, and maybe put before-and-after photos up if I think they’re interesting.

Watch this space.