Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day 322: Having sampled every flavour, taste, food and experience that in my memory constitutes a good Christms, PLUS the same for what constitues a good German Christmas, I think this photo is as much detail as I care to share. At least you can see me glowing with inner peace and very little guilt!

Day 321: A very definate 'not in Kansas" moment, walking through the foggy forest on Christmas day. My second Christmas outside Australia (without my Mum!), but it was one of the best Christmases ever. I felt more like a grown up AND more like a kid than I have for years, really fantastic, thanks to my Christmas Angel who fortunately flits down more than once a year.

Day 320: Christmas Eve, the big family celebration day in Germany. Here I am presenting the pudding, which is an entirely new phenomenon for my German family. In Australia, Auntie Queenie made 2 puddings every year, in August or September I think. One for Christmas day, one for my mother's birthday on the 28th. I was the one appointed to take over cooking the pudding but Queen died before she could pass on the recipe. So, i followed the Commonsense Cookbook to the letter and it was an unbelievable sensation to taste the pudding, exactly as I remember it. A slightly different texture but taste was so close it was very exciting. I could hear my grandmother and her sister chattering away in the background as I made it so perhaps there was assistance from above throughout the process. We never set the pudding alight in Australia, but since it was around 0.5 degrees and very dark, it seemed a good idea. Another cooking success was getting the baked potatos extremely crispy, only to have my father in law tapping them suspiciously and cutting off every scrap of crispy crust! Oh well.

DAY 319: ALMOST Christmas! Very organized, and rather childish. Doing a lot of shaking of presents from under the tree.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 318: In the early dawn light as I head for school. So dark and cold, I always expect to get there and discover I'm 3 hours too early and should go home to bed. Alas no.

Another excellent German saying (for someone never satisfied): I could catch flies with my bum for you, and you still wouldn't be happy.

Day 317: Today was the shortest day of the year. There is something slightly unsettling about walking in the freezing cold rugged up to the nines, in the dark at 4.30pm listening to "6 white boomers" on the iPod. In anycase, the last of the Christmas shopping completed so feeling very righteous if not downright saintly!
Here in Germany, the Christmas celebrations are mainly on Heilig Arbend (Christmas Eve), although I refuse to open my presents until the 25th. Does it mean there are 3 more sleeps or 4 more sleeps?

Day 315: Study study study. Before I went to Australia I rated 3 out of 5 for my grammer in my letter writing, since I've been back (after 6 weeks of no german), it's slipped to 1 out of 5. When I get it up to 4 out of 5 for the actual exam, all shall be well. Today in our test test, there was one crucial word that I didn't know, and my guess was way off. My letter won't be as incorrect as it could have been by chance, but it certainly has an unintended sarcastic tone. "I certainly hope you will be able to complete your house move without the dictionary I borrowed 3 months ago, I will bring it back on Saturday". What I thought I wrote was "I hope you will be able to complete your thesis without the dictionary...". Sowieso.

Other excellend German sayings (for the pretentious person): She wants to piss with the big dogs, but she can't lift her leg high enough!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day 314: The annual newsletter from Elaine's mother arrived this morning, so it must be Christmas after all. I missed out on my copy last year (until a protest saw one arrive in February), however this year I even feature within. Hopefully my ascension will continue in 2007!
Unfortunately I seem to have watched TV and developed square eyes. Hopefully all the other old wives tales arn't also true ... which reminds me, it's bad luck (according to OMA) to have washing on the line during the 12 days of Christmas. I wonder if she made it up so she didn't have to do any washing? Nevertheless, we will need to wash whatever is in the basket tomorrow or else it may not dry before the 25th and bring a curse upon our heads. On a more practical note, we must have nice clean clothes for NYE when we need to eat Sauerkraut at midnight to ensure we have enough money in the year to come.

Day 313: At the FFM Christmas Market. If there is anything that is truly 'UnAustralian', its a cold Christmas. Still magical though, I love it.

Day 312: Window shopping after carol singing. O du frohliche, O du selige, gnadenbringde Weihnachtsziet!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Day 311: So! Day four of my 'back into the routine, off to the gym 6 times a week' new lifestyle. It is certainly hard to take the first steps out the door, especially when its freezing cold and dark (in the middle of the day, I don't go in the early morning!). Today however I'm really feeling the effectiveness of my workout, although not the effectiveness of my stretching regime. Its a very pleasing kind of pain, despite the shuffling pathetically up stairs and slow motion groaning when trying to sit down. And tomorrow the whole shebang starts all over again!

Day 310: Sometimes it's wothwhile making a brief trip to the past, especially with the safety net of absolute unconditional love available. It is fascinating how words can hold, and lose, their power. More amazing how things can also turn out very nicely indeed! ild.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day 309: Another timely confrontation of the terrible truth, probably I could only face it in the knowledge that I finally made it back to the gym and did a lot of walking today. When I was 17 my father installed a full length mirror in the bathroom and said "surely if you can see what you look like you'll do something about yourself". Seems to have backfired as I didn't look in any mirror for the following 15 years, kind of shocking even now to see what I do look like. Not a startling amount of progress really, not surprising this blog hasn't developed a cult following! Should have had more nudity. What is that you say?
Please God, no? Ok then!

Day 308: No tricks, this is what I really looked like. Shortly after this was taken I dreamed that half the people I know were getting beauty makeovers by the girls of the Playboy mansion... no more late night TV for me!

Day 307: Hard at work with the online german dictionary. Now we are learning how to use words in sentences where the word then creates a meaning for that context which is different from its actual literal meaning. I'm still trying to keep up with the actual literal meanings... could there be a more complicated and confounding system than the German grammer? I might go to the part of Africa where people just click their tongues.

Day 306: All of my sins arn't as numerous as all of my chins... but looking very adorable here ho ho.

Day 305: The birthday preparations.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Day 304: It's dark by 4.30 at the moment, or so it seems with the rain. How clever of us to train the dog not to go to the toilet in the back yard, so that on days like these we still need a trip to the woods!

Day 303: Just discovered this cool filter in Photoshop, it works even better when there is more contrast and more colours in the original, but I like it.

Day 302: Sick of being sick, here I am sleeping in my studio but it's all a big game of germy tennis and alas the ball is again in my court.

Day 301: It's Nikolaus! If you leave your red boots outside the door, Santa will knock on the door with his broom, then come inside. If you have been good, he gives you a present. If you have been naughty, you get smacked on the bum with the broom.
Should have done more homework, apparently.

Day 300.

Day 299: Poodle Paws in the background.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Day 298: Yay, its today! Finally up to date with this blog and back to (hopefully) daily updates. Its now 8.45 and a burst of sun has broken through the window, overwhelming the rather striking pink sky which looked so amazing behind the skeletal trees in the American compound across the street. The smell of something delicious is wafting up the stairwell from my mother in law's kitchen, no doubt my father in law's lunch and our dinner tomorrow night. Its the first Sunday in Advent, so time to put up the Christmas decorations, this year with the added challenge of making everything puppy proof. All I need now is another swig of cough medicine and the world will be at peace. Mine anyway.

Day 297: Feeling not so ill, but the symptoms go on and on and on. Apparently Celine Dion is recording a song about it.

Day 296: Its enough to scare old ladies

Day 295: Back to german school, with my trusty blackcurrent lozenges. And, at last, a haircut. It wasn't a project, but I didn't cut my hair for 12 months. The love child of Shakespear and Krusty the clown look is not a particularly good one. Since my hair started to fall out 17 years ago, its certainly time to understand that the range of options for me is not large when it comes to hair fashions. Welcome back, Clipper Number 1!

Day 294: Rather keen to resume normal life.

Day 293: Sicky Biks.

Day 292: The gift that keeps on giving.

Day 291: And still...

Day 290: And still...

Day 289: No, its the flu! Hurrah!

Day 288: Jetlag, yay. Or is it?

Day 287: Unlike Nelly Furtado, I'm not like a bird (nor a man eater for that matter), I'd be much happier with my feet on the ground and to never fly again. Looking super voluptuous here, I think its only the redistribution of gravity from the flight....

Friday, December 01, 2006

Day 286: Somewhere on a plane, between Singapore and Frankfurt. Moo.

Day 285: Poor Uncle Bruce! Children are such a charming idea... from the other side of the world!

Day 284: Its very hard when someone who likes to have one pair of shoes and wear them till they fall apart, is married to someone who likes to change their shoes 3 or 4 times a day. I was forced to promise to throw away my old blue shoes BEFORE I packed to come home. I wonder if it was like this for Ferdinand Marcos?

Day 283: Almost home time.

Day 282: I really love how this photo worked exactly as I planned it! Yay.