On winter flowers

I don’t know many plants that flower in winter, in my head none had big poofy blooms.

Then I accompanied DB on a work trip, calling in at his workshop en route.

I am now better educated.

Trees do blossom in January. Especially mostly neglected trees kept in corridors.

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This particular corridor is only marginally heated and any natural light that fights its way through the workshop windows, then through the frosted glass wall dividing the workshop from the corridor is tired before it reaches the leaves. It wouldn’t strike me as the ideal climate for a deciduous tree, but it seems perfectly happy….

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 🙂

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And to admire

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And to brush off the van

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

 

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

On bright lights (and hospital beds)

Sometimes, I think I should just stop making plans.

I mean, I know they never work out the way I intended them to, so I could save myself the bother of making them in the first place.

Also, maybe God would stop laughing at them/me.

***

This year, the company I work for closes between Christmas and New Year. This means I have ‘ZwangsUrlaub’ or compulsory holiday.

I was planning to relax until Sunday, doing jigsaws and folding stars and making Gingerbread houses (which I still have to post, sorry) and other Christmas Things, and then spend the compulsory week off work (Mo-Fr) tidying up my corner, finding the bottom of the washing box, hopefully finally getting some paintings finished, maybe even getting some pictures on the wall, before flying away with DB on Saturday for 2 weeks of sunshine and more relaxing (dear theoretical burglars, please note – we have housesitters with a dog).

We were also going to visit a couple of DB’s friends and celebrate the new year with fireworks and copious amounts of food (me) and alcohol (DB).

What I wasn’t planning on doing, was spending time in hospital. Not as a visitor, not as an outpatient and most certainly not as an inpatient.

***

Turns out I have Keratitis and have the dubious privilege of at least one, probably two, possibly more, overnight stay(s) in hospital where the night-nurse has the dubious pleasure of waking me up every couple of hours to drop eye-drops into my sleep-deprived eyes.

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This is my bed:

Hospital bed with fairy lights
“I want to see the [fairy] lights tonight” – adapted from Richard Thompson’s ‘Bright lights’ lyrics
Apparently I’m the first patient to bring fairy lights with them.

However, it appears to be a Good Thing because it means I can leave them on and the nurse doesn’t have to turn the main lights on and wake everyone up.

***

According to the doctor I saw after 4 and a half hours in the waiting room, and who shined multiple very shiny lights in my eyes, it (Keratitis) can be a dangerous thing to have.

Mine doesn’t seem too bad, but I could use any spare prayers you have…

(Eyesight is crazily important, and I’m going to do all they say I need to do to get better, but they’re contemplating cancelling my holiday – to ensure that I can be monitored – and that would suck big time. DB needs a break, and we chose not to book cancellation-insurance, so the money would be gone too…)

***

Thank you 🙂

***

P.S. I’ll write some of the background story tomorrow..

On Crumbs for Christmas

This morning, after breakfast, DB and I made up some biscuit bags:

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More accurately, I put the biscuits in the bags and cut the ribbons and DB tied the bows. Partly because he does that better than me, and partly because we were already running late.

I placed them carefully into my satchel, filled my 1,5L bottle and, in a typical Tuesday morning rush, crammed it in on top, squashing most of the biscuits in the process – nothing like giving someone a bag of crumbs for Christmas…

As it turned out, two of the secretaries I was planning to give them to weren’t in today.

I ate most of the worst bashed packet, and handed out three more (newspaper salesman, secretary, colleague).

I’m on the way home now and there’s one bag left, I wonder who’ll cross my path looking hungry on the way home…

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Here’s hoping the recipients find them as tasty as I do 🙂

***

Edit: I gave the last one to a homeless guy selling Motz magazines in the train 🙂

(First part 18:00, edited ca. 21:30)

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 making mincemeat of it – part 1

Every year, I make a load of mincemeat, for myself, my family, and anyone else who wants some.

Every year, I make it up as I go along, and no one’s complained yet.

This is part 1 of the recipe – insofar as it can be called a recipe – for 2015.

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A word of caution to anyone who wants to actually use this recipe:
Please wait until I’ve finished and got it into jars, BEFORE starting. I tweak recipes as I go, and that’s probably annoying for people who follow instructions… (or who live further away from shops than I do).

***

Take one huge saucepan…

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…the rind and juice from 8 oranges (ca 2kg) and 8 lemons (ca. 1kg)…

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…16 grated apples (or half grated, half chopped) (ca.3kg). I took the cores out, but I suppose you could leave them in…

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…6-8 packets (ca.1,5kg) of raisins/sultanas, checking for bits of twig first…

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….a tub of chopped prunes/dried plums…

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…a tray of dried figs…

…4/3 cup of soft light brown sugar and 4/3 cup of soft dark brown sugar. (It probably doesn’t matter what kind of sugar, and I might add more tomorrow)…

…and a lot of allspice (2-3 tablespoons).

Stir well, and leave to sit overnight.
(A couple of pictures are missing – I’ll add them later)

On flowery selfies

DB said I was extremely mean for only taking pictures of ‘my’ plants, and not his – especially when his are flowering and mine are dying down for winter.

Anyway. I present, in all its glory, DB’s flowering plant!

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On blisters (and carrots)

I’m used to getting blisters at work. The sort caused by touching glass before its had a chance to cool down properly.

I’m not used to getting blisters from washing carrots…

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Edit (3rd Nov):
Squeaky clean 🙂
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On April mornings and riding into the blue

The view of the sky through the train station windows was of a grey, storm-laden morning.

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Looking out of the open end of the station was a completely different matter – blue sky and fluffy white clouds…

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Luckily, the train was going to take me out of the station and into the blue* 🙂

Makes sense really;
if something can come out of the blue, then there has to be a way to get into the blue…

* not the Blues

On brand new computers v clean hair

I have 2 jobs. Both are part time, but I always work full days, if that makes sense.

One of the companies I work for bought me a brand new computer today. I’ve never had a brand new computer before, unless you count my first laptop, which I suppose I do, and even that was almost 9 years ago.

I’m sorting out their new website, mostly at home and in my own time. My current PC is good for reading emails and the tablet’s good for buying cool boxes on ebay, but after my dearest DB watched me [patiently] loading photos off the camera, he had a word (or 7) with my boss….

Today I worked at the other company. I commute an hour and a bit each way, so I get back pretty late.

The computer was waiting for me when I got home…

…so was dinner and my DB.

By the time we’d eaten, cleared up, watered the plants and tidied up the sitting room it was almost 9pm. I had the choice of rushing upstairs and playing with my new puta, or having a bath and washing my hair.

Strangely enough, I chose the bath.

Tomorrow it will still be waiting for me.
Tomorrow I will unpack it.
Tomorrow I will hopefully have time to get as far as plugging it in.

How times change.