Sunday, April 30, 2006

Day 80: The first wave of Spring seems to have crashed. For one magnificent, surreal week everything, EVERYTHING, was fresh and new. Now the first flowers are wilting and the blossoms from the fruit trees are falling all over the place. The pale almost luminous greens of the new foliage in the forest is gradually darkening, filling out the skeleton of branches and filling in the spaces so that the paths become defined and all else mysterious.

Meanwhile my linguistic credibility dropped even lower last night. A friend organized for us to see a production in English, which is part of the European Theatre Festival. However this was a production of The Changeling, written in 1620. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on thanks to the subtitles in German, which I must admit I did refer to now and then to piece together some comprehension of what was going on and who was who! Otherwise, it took as much concentration as German classes to follow. Oh well :-)

And now hither, to my unfulfilled yet well loved surface to colour and excite, sirrah sirrah. (time to paint the wall...)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Day 79: Practising for being Super. Almost finished the new white wall in my studio which I want to use as a backdrop for fantastic drawings and photographs, this is the last big section of our project and will give us four new rooms. I have used the remnants of 4 different textured wallpapers and tomorrow will give it a matte white finish. Monday, a public holiday, I will start and finish the sorting shifting and storing. Next weekend we should have nothing to do but take Blinky for a long walk and admire our own cleverness!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 78. Unser Onkel, Gerhard, ist heute abend gestorben.
Auf Wiedersehen, lieber Herr. Gute Reise.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Day 77: Technically not a self portrait and technically not taken today (11.30pm yesterday in fact). But still worth recording the facts in the harsh light of day. I am standing in the middle of a light installation outside one of Frankfurt's modern art galleries, as part of an exhibition concerning light which is on and in buildings throughout the whole city. This area has hundreds of lights within a domed ceiling, it has the stark light and heat of a summer day at noon, the buzz and crackle from the electrical set up is loud and unsettling. Anyway, this is to remind myself that despite all efforts, when I'm not paying attention I still look like the love child of Magda Szubanski and William Shakespeare. Apparently Raquel Welsh (possibly that should be 'supposedly' rather than 'apparently', as I haven't made a detailed study) had some ribs removed to make her stomach look smaller. I wonder if that would help me? Would probably just make my breasts look bigger....maybe that was why it was done in the first place?

The price of fatness is eternal vigilance. Can I go without treats until my birthday, a mere 13 days away? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day 76: Chest out stomach in. Weigh in postponed until tomorrow, as needed to be at home in the morning and off to the gym any minute now. The only disadvantage to losing weight is that it makes my head look increasingly disproportionately huge. It runs in the family, in that my brother and nephew also have large heads, but at least it gets disguised somewhat when the rest is bulky. At least the shoulders and getting a bit broader which must add something to the balance.
It has occurred to me many times over the past few years that the amount of interest I show in my body is closely akin to profound vanity, without the pride. If I was totally focused on health outcomes there are far more relevant benchmarks than the proportions of my head and the "shapliless*" of my bum!

Weeks and weeks later and still only 32 views of my profile. Could someone please look at it again just to make me feel special?

*Shapliless is NLP, its both factual in the present and programming me subconsciously towards shapeliness in the future.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day 75. Couldn't quite manage to fit in the rather spectacular red tulip which is just above the top of the frame.
Another day, too busy for gym. The guest room is now painted and 13 of the 89 canvases have been dismantled, which is no mean feat. The mess seems to expand in all directions, no matter how we try to restrict it. It would be good to have time stand still for an extra few hours to catch up on some homework, some housework, some workout. Work work work. My only response is to sit down with the last of the Easter chocolate and watch some TV! Actually, I may go easy on the choc as want to get weighed tomorrow at gym. I jumped on the scales yesterday, about an hour after dinner, and seemed to be half a KG lighter, but who knows what tomorrow will show. Time will tell, and so, dear reader, shall I.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 74: Attempt number 37, can't be bothered to type anything else this time round. Went to school, went to gym, ate no chocolate (yet).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 73: This photo is more to show off the Cherry tree in full bloom, although there is some artistic benefit in recording the consequences of the Easter chocolate splurge which somehow still goes on. The tree was planted by Michael's grandfather in the first house they lived in, across the road from here. When this house was built the young tree was transplanted and is now taller than this three story house. When I look out the window when lying in bed, its all I can see. I'm fascinated with the history of it and the thread of continuity to past generations. Actually I am working on another daily photo project, with this tree as the subject. It was interesting enough (to me) recording the changes of the leaves falling off, but this being my first Spring in Germany, I didn't know that this amazing white blossom coverage would also be part of the deal.

Anyway, it is now EXACTLY 12 hours until my next German class begins, so time to start my holiday revision and homework schedule! At least I have found the books again under the pile of invaluable treasure that must be kept (my opinion, not anyone else's! Even the mother in law has been cheerfully ruthless in chucking things in the bin.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day 72. Another day actually too busy to fit in the gym, but fairly active and on the go so probably it balances out to some extend (but not quite, I suspect.)
Woke up to a dream come true, 146 emails in my inbox! Needless to say my joy was shortlived, some twerp had for some reason been creating emails from my name and sending dozens around the world, mostly to non existent addresses therefore filling my inbox with non deliverable / you have been blocked by spamguard messages. The strange thing is it must have taken them much more time to do it all (although I guess there is some programme that can do it should you wish to use it), than it took me to select all and delete. The ISP help desk told me which setting to change to prevent it happening again, or at least to prevent me receiving them. These emails could be going out hundreds at a time from now on but I'll never know about it. Oh well, perhaps it will lead some lucrative business to my home page?

A warm spring day, so back into the cord shorts and black t-shirt, my standard uniform. I think I like myself best in this look. All I need now is hair and a skateboard.
"Oh no Mrs D. I think you look great. I'd have to say you're definitely mutton dressed as lamb."
"Well thank you for noticing Sharon. I do try to make an effort."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 71: A photo to prove that a floor does exist in the storeroom about to be guest room! Anyone want a lounge chair, actually there are 2 of them and all yours if you'd just come and take them away.
Happy 80th Birthday to her Maj, God bless you Ma'am and all that. When its the Horses' Birthday, I think its on August 1st, ALL the horses get a present. So how come when its the Queen's Birthday....

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 70: Made it back to the gym, did day four of my programme, which is back and shoulders. It gets quite hard when there are so many days between sessions, when I am in my routine of each of the four programmes worked 3 times within each fortnight, the progress is much easier. Also took the dog for his first walk out in the big wide world, which he enjoyed thoroughly despite my anxiety and vigilance against perils of all kinds!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 69: The light is getting brighter, the greens are getting greener, the cupboard is getting shinier.
Elaine has gone on a mini holiday so no Missesshppi's Madness today. One day in life where I won't have "Miiiiii-iiiiii-ssiiiiiss-siiiiiiipi, you've been on my miiiiind" going through my head for hours on end. Oh no, here it comes...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 68. Pain free dental work, yay! The filling was replaced and the tooth had not deteriorated further, so no drilling and no needles. Otherwise, after yet more coats of high gloss AND high gloss varnish, my cupboard still will not shine. Oh well, I'm losing interest in that particular dream in as much as its taken many more hours than I'd wanted already and enough is enough. Tomorrow its back to the gym and the health programme. A little bit more Easter chocolate to get through, although I did give some away and a large percentage of my Easter basket was actually real eggs. Time to get serious again though, I've been on a plateau for too long in this project.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Day 67: Another day battling the great (now) white monster, and I think I've finally won.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 66: Easter Sunday. My first blog entry from the new studio upstairs with our fantastic wireless internet connection that sends out invisible rays throughout the whole house from the gizmo now above the bathroom door! I say!

You can see that the Easter Bunny well and truly stopped by this morning... I wonder if people give alcoholics Champagne to celebrate the sobriety? Actually it was a nice touch, before I spotted this stash, I was thinking that a bit of Red Tulip would "go down noice". When I took BB out for his morning comfort stop, there was indeed a red Tulip which had burst forth for the first time amidst the Daffodils (thank heavens I hadn't contemplated Darrell Lea, who knows what I might have found). But clearly I am not posh at heart, while reminiscing about the old Coles "Elegant Rabbit" I lost a filling in my Lindt! Fortunately no exposed nerve so no emergency Easter weekend visit to the dentist, however something to look forward to on Tuesday. When I'm rich I'm going to one of those dentists where you get a general anaesthetic and wake up when its all over. Probably a bit extreme for an annual check up, but then again maybe not!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 65: A facial close up, mainly because I am wearing some combination of the same painting clothes from the past few days. The first room is almost finished, so by the end of the Easter weekend the second studio upstairs and the kitchen will be complete.

Its interesting, my friend Elaine and I have shared more information through our blogs than probably in the last 5 years (well with certain photos from this end, in the past 38 years!) put together. We could easily have sent the same information so dedicatedly through e-mails I guess, its a bit like having some childish spat where we only speak to each other through a third party, in this case "The World".
Tell her its raining here, so we didn't go on the picnic.
He said its raining there, so they didn't go on picnic.
Well tell him I've just written a new story and its been published.
She said she's just written a new story and its been published.
Well tell her Fine, I'm very happy about it.
He said Fine, he's very happy about it.

Why, in a country that spends half the day ringing church bells, do they have no hot crossed buns? WHY????????

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 64: Good Friday. Feeling a bit overwhelmed today, the entire house is in chaos - downstairs from the puppy, upstairs from the renovations. Had a wonderful chat with an old friend this morning, we had been out of touch for a few years. Its nice to have an easy reconnection but things like this also make the distance seem greater. Meanwhile I'd kill for a hot crossed bun, even the damp and soggy steamed version that my father is so fond of. I miss the solemn intensity of the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services too, as well as the sense of community that comes with them and a shared sense of the 'journey' of Easter as a focussed spiritual experience.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 63: 11 hours of shifting, sorting, disassembling and taking it down 4 flights to the cellar. And somehow three rooms worth of stuff is now in my studio, waiting for stage 6.7b of the master plan to take place tomorrow. Its a good excuse not to do any German study I guess, since the books are buried within a whole lot of more interesting distractions! But did get a hint that I should keep an eye on the letterbox today, so amidst the chaos, liberal doses of childish glee!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Day 62: So after 3 months at the gym I can see some definite changes in my appearance, and I'm not the only one. Last night my mother in law commented that my bum is looking smaller thanks to all the time at the gym. I don't know what is more disconcerting - that she is making such detailed observations or that it is in fact getting smaller when I devote a considerable amount of time to making it bigger! Granted it is as firm as stone :-) but I want BULK, more to the point I want padding. Its the start of biking weather and even with my fantastic new gel saddle, I can use all the help available for cutting down the torture factor which seems to kick in after about 90 mins. So despite the rain I will trek to the gym this afternoon, back to the leg press, sqats and back kicks.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 61: I managed to make contact with an old friend today, she asked "isn't your mind going to mush?" I think sadly the answer is no, I am basically quite a lazy person at the end of the day! That being said, there is quite a lot to get done today so I better get started.
Meanwhile it must soon be time to give up chocolate for Lent. Oh how the time flies!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 60: Was going to do something more elaborate photo wise but liked the way I looked in this so here it is. We all survived the ordeal of the first vet visit, although BB had no concerns at all and charmed everyone like crazy. The rest of the day was spent sorting through cupboards of stuff, the history of my new family in letters, postcards, socks, hankies, transistor radios, birthday cards and coffee machines. I think my parents in law have received more "unwanted gifts" than anyone in history, Welcome to the eBay generation and their extra storage spaces!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 59: Looking a bit like Lady Sonya McMahon after a visit to Collette Dinigan's Photo Shop. I can't close my eyes or speak, but hey! I don't know who the Minnesota Vikings are, but this is my father in law's painting hat, and so it was duly worn for painting. I think if I had hair I would look 10 years younger than I do! At least in Germany crazy hair is nothing out of the ordinary, however I think I must soon get the sebaceous cyst on the top of my head seen to before people think I am attempting some tragic middle aged comb over. I have to face it I will never have a ponytail, unless they master some genetic re-engineering and we can pop a pill and reverse whatever ails us. I wonder if I shall live so long and be so rich as to afford such folly as new hair, I suspect I will have to celebrate my clowning glory as it is or was, wherever it may lie. Speaking of clowning glories, today at the gym I saw a guy take a break in his workout to re-style his hair. He was working out near me, then when I went to get showered he appeared in the change room, put some gel in his hair and blow dried it, then went back out to the workout area. Not quite as bizarre as the guy yesterday who arrived at the same time as me, but took the lift up one floor to the gym (don't want to get tired out by exercise before working out), and then wrapped his entire torso in cling wrap before getting on the step machine. Yes, I should be more concerned with my own peculiarities, but its the people watching that provides the icing on the cake (or works it off as the case may be).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 58: A very nice day. The daffodils in our garden burst out this morning, so that was lovely. One of the plusses of our dedicated puppy toilet training regime is spending so much time being still in the garden and noticing the changes at close range. It was finally nice enough weather to fix the zig zag along one of the flower beds, I wish I could honestly say it only bothered me when I did the mowing, but not its sheer pedantry! Anyway, when we plant out the Alyssums the make a border it will look fantastic. In June we have a 75th birthday party in the garden one weekend and an international friends' party the next, so worth getting the garden well in order now. BB had a couple of hours off the lead going crazy with access to all areas, so now is tired and hopefully will sleep while we attempt stage 2 of the big move about between the cellar and the attic.

So, I put out the call to anyone reading, and got one response. Oh well, these blogs are a really special way of sharing the day to day with friends, even if only one friend! Curiously, my profile suddenly went from 18 to 32 views this week. I wonder what that is all about?

"In the end we will remember, not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 57: I took a lot of photos today, some really nice ones with my Prayer Wall in the background, but then realized I didn't want to put photos of the kids online, and not dedicated enough to set up a shot where the background is out of focus OR to start learning PhotoShop! So here is one of my more arty farty efforts, behind a curtain that I found while sorting out one of the cupboards upstairs in preparation for the big move about.
Didn't go to gym today, had a bit of a headache in the afternoon so piked out, then realized it was probably because I hadn't drunk any water today, I was too busy with my plan of presenting a pristine orderly house when M returned home from work. Needless to say, it didn't happen even without me not stopping to drink enough fluid. Oh well, the cake was baked and the chicken roasted!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 56: Surveying my realm a few moments after sunrise.
All the birthday celebrations went well, Gerhard didn't die on his birthday (both his parents died on their birthdays, and in April), but I fear it won't be long. Its a very delicate celebration, a birthday party for a dying person. As for me, I was so tired when we got home I decided the electric toothbrush was too complicated and would take so long. So then I stood there for God knows how long brushing away with the old fashioned toothbrush... wondering why it wouldn't turn off and let me go to bed! Needless to say I slept very well, and with very clean teeth.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 55. Well, I got to the gym for my early morning, pre-food weigh in and lo and behold, still 97.5. I was expecting something like 81kg..... but alas not yet. Anyway, I'm not sure if I will be a regular for the early morning workout except for the occasional weigh in. I had thought maybe the place would be full of fit young professionals on their way to the office, but it was more like the set of Cocoon III: Return from Planet Lycra. I wonder why elderly people are always so theatrically cheerful when doing exercise, you almost expect Jeanette McDonald to sweep in and lead everyone in song. Oh well, there I've given myself away. Nobody under 60 should even know who Jeanette McDonald is, unless she is somehow related to Ronald.

Meanwhile, the European Spring is so spectacular, following the stark winter. In the past 24 hours Daffodils have suddenly bloomed all over the place, its absolutely magnificent. We must go for a walk in the forest and have a look at the emerging green before it takes over and we lose sight of the forest because of the trees!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 54: An almost appropriation from EmDub's 'Perfect Life" series (
Blinky Bill has been waking me up at 6.30 on the dot without fail, but today I woke him up at 7.15. It was actually a rush to get everything done and ready for school, but the extra 45 minutes of sleep really added to my comprehension of German reflexive verbs. I can't honestly say 'Ich verliebe mich' (in sie), but if I could at least I would know what I meant!

There are some new literary awards now, for books published that started life as blogs. I wonder how people build up a cult following to their blogs...apart from 2 very near and dear friends, its a case of out of sight out of mind with most people I know and so far the general public seems less than fascinated with my antics.

If you are reading this, send me a message!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 53: When he wants to play, everything is black and white for him, and I simply pale into insignificance!
Boom tish!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day 52: Is this a bicep which I see before me,
The bulge toward my hand?
Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day 51: A splash of afternoon sunlight. In a statistical frame of mind at the moment, got weighed at the gym and have to reveal its 97.5kg, although that was after lunch. I would like to have a pre-breakfast morning weigh in, its probably the most consistent. I agree with the logic that weight isn't a good indicator in the short term, but it is interesting in the long term. I don't think I am bulking up muscle so amazingly that my weight will go up, but if so I shan't panic. I can see my face getting thinner, so that is pleasing. About 12 years ago I reached 19 stone, which is about 120kg, after which I stopped getting weighed and got even a bit bigger. Those numbers are so horrifying it seems like someone else. Anyway, things are falling into place slowly but surely.