As I mentioned at the weekend, last week was our Wintermarket at school and our class made and sold wooden angels. Here's the one I bought for our flat this festive season. I wish I had been more involved so that I could include it on my crafts list. Looks good doesn't it?
While I was living in Oldenburg I used to make the most of my income and my days off to discover a bit more of the country. My very first trip out was to the not too distant Hannover: Capital of Niederachsen. I loved that they had a special red line tour with a little book so I could really discover the city by myself and learn a little at the same time. I even found the only rugby ground I have ever seen in Germany there!
This week, I unexpectedly completed a new task on my 28 list. As long as I can remember now, I've been able to spot the famous 'Big Dipper' up in the skies on clear nights. This year, I decided I wanted to be able to spot a few more.
The first one I spotted was while we were in the Harz. I remember hearing about this constellation in the film Serendipity but I hadn't been able to spot it until we were in those lovely clear skies. There is a story about the Queen who gave the constellation its name. Apparently she was so vain that when she passed on, the Gods turned her upside down to punish her vanity.
Orion was the next constellation I spotted, just this week. Orion's belt was something I already knew about and had spotted but I never knew it was part of a bigger constellation - one which I found while cycling through the park one evening this week. It is also known as the Hunter!
Finally, a brand new constellation to me, which I also spotted on the park cycle this week is Aquila, or the Eagle.
So another goal of my list and I am pleased with myself. My next goal is to spot the little dipper...
My classic book of the month for November was Jules Vernes' Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I've never seen the film, I had no idea about the story other than the title. The combination of the title and the era in which the book was written made me think that this could be a challenge of a book on the scale of Moby Dick but I was really pleasantly surprised.
First of all, the book has a European connection which always improves a book in my eyes. Secondly it wasn't overly detailed in its scientific references. At no point was I bored or made to feel too stupid to understand. Finally, it wasn't too fantastical. It probably was considered it at the time it was written but I found it much more believable than some of the books I have read.
Overall the book was really enjoyable, with likeable characters and a brilliant adventure story line. It almost reminded me of the Lord of the Rings in parts. A thoroughly good read. I highly recommend this book.
Good Morning!...Okay, good afternoon. I think I earned a lie in today though. It's been a manic week but that made it go extra fast.
Monday was a normal day. Slight bad news at Weightwatchers but not as bad as it could have been after the mince pie onslaught - just 200g. I've been very good so far this week so fingers crossed for Monday!
On Tuesday we conducted six or seven house visits for our class. It was a long day but really interesting to see how our pupils live. It was an eye opener but luckily not in a negative way as some of our colleagues experienced.
As we had carried out our home visits on Tuesday we had just our class on Wednesday which was nice, if a little manic. I also got the chance to sit in on a Roots of Empathy session which I normally miss out on due to my timetable. It was lovely to meet baby Adele and her mother as well as our Canadian visitor.
Thursday was the longest day and I'm just glad it didn't come earlier in the week. After a normal teaching day we had Winter Market. Our class were selling wooden Christmas angels (more on that later) and sold all but one, making a neat little profit and leaving us with a nice memento for the classroom. Then I had my evening classes which I am still enjoying despite the late nights. This week we played Winter scrabble.
Thankfully, Friday was quiet and smooth. After work I could relax a little and then get jobs around the flat done before the weekend and hence the lie in this morning. I am enjoying the season in that I get to snuggle up in the flat and light some lovely scented candles. I'm not liking it outside much at the moment though which leaves us both feeling like we're too lazy on the weekends. I'm trying to consider how busy next month is going to be, weekends and all, and excuse ourselves for this last quiet one of the year!
Today is also my lovely Grandma's 89th birthday! I'm not going to write as much as I did last year, but just to wish her a wonderful day and lots of fun reading the novel / doorstop that I bought her. Tomorrow she'll be telling everyone she's nearly ninety! Love you Gran.
Other things are going well too - I have now knitted five and a half Christmas presents and am about to finish another book as well as having made progress on my 28 list this week! More on all that later... Have a good one!
If you don't have a pet, you're really missing out. Having Pete has changed our lives. Not only is he calming and comforting but he is also highly entertaining. Just the other night he had us in stitches when Nico offered him two treats but placed them separately to see which he went for and of course he managed to go for both at the same time...you probably had to be there. I know, it can get really annoying when people go on about there pets all the time so I'm not going to but seriously, check out this amazing blog that my mum put me on to and you'll see what you're missing. If it doesn't make you laugh, you've lost your sense of humour. I check it out every few days and it always tickles me.
We've been planning our New Year's Eve party with our good friends Ed and Loreto for a couple of weeks now and one of Nico's ideas was to have a Raclette. I had never heard of this before and had no idea what it was about. It sounded a bit like a fondu in that small portions of food are heated at the table. Anyway, Nico went and bought one, Loreto is totally excited about the idea, having tried it for the first time with some German friends this year, and we experimented with it on Saturday night.
It was brilliant! It's better than fondu. As you can see in the photos, we put on a DVD and settled down to some serious Raclette business. There are two parts to the process:
First of all, you can grill things on top of the Raclette. We did this with potatoes, peperoni and bacon.
Then you can also fill little individual pans and grill them underneath. We did this with peperoni and veg and covered them with cheese - delicious. We could also do desserts with this idea - bananas with honey anybody?
Even more excited about New Year's Eve now! Can't wait to try it again with some new ideas.
After the induction that I told you about last week, we were packed off to our destinations for the next year, or in my case six months, and mine was Oldenburg. This time of year always reminds me of my experiences living there as I was there through the Winter and remember well the cold dark mornings with the crazy German early starts but on the positive side, the German Christmas markets too.
It turned out to be a little ironic that I'm now in Bremen - just half an hour from Oldenburg and also that Nico studied in Oldenburg around the time that I was there. We had a lovely day out there earlier this year which brought back the memories and Nico showed me around the university. We also visited the Christmas market there a couple of years ago.