I helped prepare dinner last night for our annual union meeting. Together with two other ladies I helped the main man prepare an absolutely scrumptious meal. We each got a box of wine as thank you. I got the pink one!
Saturday, 27 January 2018
It's been nearly a week since I last wrote a post here. Don't worry: I am not sick, I have not ended up in a ditch somewhere and I have not been kidnapped by aliens.
Instead I have been working long hours this week. Between nine and a half and ten hours each day. By the time I could take the bus home, I would be tired and fed up and not really feeling up to turning on my computer. Three days! And I didn't miss it either. Instead I watched television. No, I didn't even pick up the knitting needles, which is a turn up for the books.
Then, yesterday I was off. A three day weekend, where the Friday would be spent making apple pie and the Saturday (ie today) will be spent with a union meeting. I will make my way to the meeting in about 90 minutes time from now, together with two large apple pies!
Of course before I could put the first pie in the oven, I had to deal with the smoke alarm that kept blaring. The rack on which the pie had to stand was a bit on the dirty side. In the end though I did manage to get the first pie in. Of course I didn't have enough apple/raisin mix for the second pie, which meant that more apples had to be peeled. About four kilos in total!
I wondered why that was, since before I would have too much mix. Until I looked at the cake tin. I had used the biggest of the lot I have (28 cm ⊘) instead of the usual (24 cm ⊘). Puzzle solved! Now I just need to get the second pie away from its base without ruining the whole cake (I only sort of managed the first one).
So, now you know. No aliens, ditches or illnesses. Just not in the mood!
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Friday, 19 January 2018
When I woke up this morning, it was snowing heavily and it didn't stop for several hours I think. Which meant that roads were nearly impossible to clear and conditions in some places could get tricky. I was okay though: the bus and I took it easy and we got everywhere we needed to without too much delay.
I finished at midday and my first stop (during another bout of heavy snowing) was the physio. After that it was home. Now, to get to the house, I have to drive UP ↑ the hill. Which I did. Until I didn't. The car started spinning, the direction changed and I stopped. I put it in reverse (right into the grass), back in forward gear, but nothing. No movement. *Sigh*
|Definitely not its regular place.|
Since there was enough room for the other cars of the household to drive past, I felt I might as well leave the car until the snow is gone again. I won't need the car for a few days anyway. I made my way to the house and as I tried to enter, my landlord's brother came out. He had had difficulties as well, although not to the same degree) and was now going to shovel snow.
After about an hour I thought: even though he is shoveling snow, it might freeze over later and then there could be trouble. Because if somebody tries to get past my car, gets into trouble and then hits my car... So, I decided to get the car out. One way or another.
On with the heavy duty snow clothes and shoes and out I went. Brother had just finished shoveling and drove off (past my car, no problem) and I started the car. Within seconds the car started beeping. Seat belt! That sorted, I drove forwards. Well, I say drove, more like tried, because it wouldn't budge. Reverse was a bit easier, but still not enough movement.
I got out, removed snow, removed some more snow and got back in. Beep beep. Oh *&^%$&^&*!! In the end the car was at right angles in the drive. In other words: no car was getting past me! And then it hit me (figuratively speaking): don't try to go up ↑ the drive, go down ↓ it! Which I managed in about three seconds flat. And because the drive had been shoveled, it was easy backing up ↑ the drive again to park the car in its regular spot.
Thursday, 18 January 2018
|In my footsteps|
When my family and friends were here over the Christmas holidays, most of the time the weather was dreary: rain, rain and rain. Then on the one day we did have snow, it was more sleety and it wasn't that nice either. Since they have left however we've had nice weather, sunshine and today...
|Relatively snow free under the bush|
It already started yesterday, but today it continued off and on. My last trip of the day was a school run and it snowed. Up the mountain, down the mountain, around the hairpin bend, around another hairpin bend. Snow, snow, snow! I took it slow and made it up and down without trouble. It did take me nearly half an hour to get home though. For those of you who haven't been here: a straight road, just over a mile and a half. It is supposed to take about 5 minutes. Tops.
On getting home though, it was off with the work shoes and on with the snow boots. Find a camera, find Miss O and go outside. She wasn't amused. Snow is not nice on kitty's feet apparently and she tried to get under stools, bushes and wherever there was no snow. Or she would follow (literally) in my footsteps.
We got in again after about 10 minutes. Much better! More snow is expected though this week, so perhaps I can even make a lovely snowman. I love making snowmen...
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
As you probably all know I raised money for charity last year by selling mice on my other blog Mice for Mama. The charity was the Stomach, Liver and Bowel Foundation in the Netherlands because of my mother who was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year.
The total amount raised was 233 euros, which was sent to them at the end of last year and I also sent them a mouse. Which arrived this week. Dave (one of the fundraisers) sent me a few photos which I would like to share.
The top photo is of the mouse next to one of the collection cans they use to go door to door to collect money. The second photo is a close up of the cheque. I did not send them that, they kindly made it themselves to show the amount. And the last photo is the complete image of the second photo, showing several of Dave's colleagues.
Hopefully I can raise a similar amount for this year's charity.
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Friday, 12 January 2018
|This photo from my last major move from the Netherlands to Norway|
Some of you wondered whether another move is on the cards and I will tell you all now: yes. Another move is very much on the cards. Where to is still a bit of question mark though.
So, what exactly is on those cards? Well... as you all know my mother was diagnosed with cancer early last year (very happy to say she is completely in the clear again), but that hit something home: I miss my family. And especially somebody who knows my parents more or less like I do. My sister.
Which is why I have decided that my best bet would be to try and find a job in Northern Ireland. Of course there are some snakes, one of the major ones being Brexit*. Another choice would be West Scotland or the Republic of Ireland. Scotland would have the same problem as Northern Ireland (it being part of the UK as well), the Republic would be relatively snake free.
|Yep, a real snake. Fortunately it was well-fed|
What are those snakes then you ask? Here they come.
1. Even though I have 19 years' experience right now and have driven in both the UK and Ireland and got my first (car) licence in the UK, I have never driven a right-hand drive bus or coach (only car).
2. My 19 years' experience also puts another snake in my way: pay. I don't want to start at the lowest pay level again and with the amount of experience I do have, the top level would sound more reasonable. Which means that if they can get people with lower pay levels, they might go for them.
3. Brexit*. You might have heard about the UK leaving the European Union, which has an immediate effect on all European Union citizens working in the UK. Even though I now live in Norway (a non EU-country), I am still Dutch (an EU-citizen). There might be costs involved for keeping me there which could have a negative effect on considering me for the job.
|My sister. Hopefully my ladder will still have all its rungs|
Are there any ladders then? Well of course there are!!
1. 19 years of experience! It may be a snake, but it is also a ladder. I have driven tours and public transport, children and adults. I have been abroad, both European mainland and the UK and Ireland. I should think that counts for something.
2. I speak English. In a fairly decent manner I believe. When listing all the languages I speak (five in total), English got a C1 level. Meaning I have 'Effective Operational Proficiency'. The next one up is C2 and then it's native. I also speak German (C1), French and Norwegian (both B2) and of course Dutch (native).
3. I am only (yes only) 46. Which means that for the greying profession that bus driving is, I still have twenty years in me! That is a lot.
Beginning of April is when I will hear more (or not). I will keep you posted.
Thursday, 11 January 2018
As I finished work early this morning (8.30 am and I was done for the day) and drove to my physio appointment, all of a sudden, my car conked out. It just stopped! I got it going again, but at the next roundabout: the same thing. I managed to start it again and it almost stopped as soon as I had started it. Fortunately I had arrived and was able to roll into the parking lot.
After my physio appointment (ouch, ouch, ouch, my shoulders, neck and back had tensed up completely again), I started my car without any trouble, but figured it wouldn't hurt to have someone take a look at it anyway. So, I drove Cookie to my garage and asked them to have a look.
They drove it around without any trouble (of course) and then they checked it. I think there was something with a filter somewhere and something to do with spark plugs which they both changed. And a headlight, which I didn't know was broken.
Nearly 2000 kroner lighter I left. But Cookie should be in fine working order again...
Monday, 8 January 2018
The last of the Christmas stuff had to be packed away. Of course I had done most of it already last Wednesday, but some things could not be rushed. Things needed to be washed for example. And then dried. And then (oh yes) even ironed!
So, on Sunday I took out the ironing board, found the iron (in its box, not having been used since I moved here) and started ironing. First it was the napkins. Easy. More napkins. And yet more napkins. Don't worry: there were only ten. Then it was the turn of the table cloth. Which is big. It took a long time. I had to use the spray bottle. Miss Oswin got a bit worried.
In the end, while Miss Oswin was outside not being worried by the spray bottle, I finished the table cloth. For good measure I ironed the one shirt and a handkerchief. A few pillow cases.
Now? The last of the Christmas stuff is packed away, as is the iron again. And even though the Christmas crates (10 large ones if you please) are still in the living room, it does look okay here. Tidy. Well, apart from Miss Oswin's toys that is...
Saturday, 6 January 2018
|My head. From the back. In 2010.|
Despite doing much better shoulder and back wise, the last time I saw the physio, he said my shoulders had tensed up again. And guess what: my head told me so as well. As headaches go, it wasn't a bad one as such and the first few days were quite okay. Not needing any pills, but doing great with a mandarin or a small sandwich.
Yesterday it was a bit worse, but still nowhere near the badness it used to be and definitely not 'calling in sick' bad. Even today, the worst day so far, is still good going compared to before.
Next week I will be back at the physio and there will be more sessions to come. Because even though we've made great strides, it's not over yet. For now however, despite the headache, I am doing great.
Friday, 5 January 2018
When me and my sister went shopping about two weeks ago, we bought a lot of goodies. Nuts and crisps, cheese and crackers and plenty more besides. Usually we would eat the lot within about 10 seconds flat. But for some reason this time around...
Which means that when she left on Wednesday there were still a lot of goodies left. And I am slowly working my way through them. I finished the chocolate last night (after a severe hunt) and today I finally finished the salted sticks. I love those!
But, there are still crisps and nuts and more nuts (I found today) left. As for the cheese and crackers: plenty still in the fridge and cupboard. So, for the near future: no diet just yet. First I have to finish off all the possible temptations!
And no, despite the photos: I have no cotton candy.
Thursday, 4 January 2018
Today it really was back to real life. The alarm went off at 5am and I dragged myself out of a freshly made (with flannel sheets, mmmm) bed to feed a cat that is too used to having something nice in the morning.
I found some bread in the freezer. Nearly sliced my hand open cutting it (don't worry, it was okay) and found something to put on it as well. A drink, my Kindle, an apple and off I went.
The day might have been quite long, especially if you are not used to doing much of anything lately, but it was a good day anyway. Tomorrow will be another day at work, before having a very necessary break over the weekend.😉
And that's about it for today. Oh no, hold on.... a colleague had shown some of the mice he bought from me to his family and his sister liked them so much: she wanted two! I might need to start knitting faster.
Wednesday, 3 January 2018
Apart from waving goodbye to sister, parents and friends (from home) and packing all the Christmas stuff away (I have a lot), not much is happening today. Not much of an adventure there. Unless you feel it's adventurous to put Baby Jesus in with caroling mice and three snowmen. In which case I was extremely adventurous this morning!
Honestly though, I didn't go on an adventure. Yet. But I took the first steps to go on the aforementioned adventure. I started yesterday and I had to look high and low for everything I needed. I think I did find everything eventually though and proceeded with those first steps. I had to answer question after question, some of them pretty personal as well. Today I continued and managed to get the rest done, before sending it off.
It's out of my hands now, but I will let you know if and when step two can be taken.
Tuesday, 2 January 2018
Isn't it amazing how soon Christmas and New Year's celebrations seem to be forgotten and 'real life' kicks in again? Of course real life went on during those celebrations as well, but it has a sort of surreal feeling to it. Suspended in a family holiday.
If you are now thinking: oh my word, it's only two days in and she is starting with the difficult sentences: don't worry! It will not last long. It will probably last until this afternoon when we will go over to my parents and friends to say goodbye (and pick up leftovers and such). They will be traveling tomorrow morning. Or it might even last until tomorrow, when I take my sister to the airport at a 'real life' time of 6am!
After that however, it is back to real life proper. Making the place look nice again without all the Christmas stuff (the tree will be coming down today, the rest can wait until tomorrow). Laundry. Possibly even more laundry. And then on Thursday it's back to work as well. Making this holiday that I have enjoyed so much an immediate thing of the distant past.
Only seven weeks to go until my next break!
Monday, 1 January 2018
First of all I want to wish all my readers and commenters a very happy, healthy and fun 2018. May it bring all the adventures you wish for, big or small.
As for me, I hope there will be a new adventure this year, although at this point in time I cannot say much about it just yet. Although I can lift one tip of the veil: it will probably involve packing and unpacking at a large scale. Again.
Other than that there are not many plans as yet for 2018. I will be traveling to see my sister in February. And there is a slight plan of doing a small road trip through the North of England, but that all depends on the adventure mentioned previously.
But, as in years past, I will keep you posted about all that happens in my life. And of course not just mine, Miss Oswin's life as well. Not forgetting Brom and Mouse in this either.