Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January is over

January is over and it has been a pretty good month. I have tried to ensure that I only eat whole foods. I am usually pretty good with what I eat but towards the end of the last year, a lot of times I sneaked in fastfood or sandwiches bought in town for dinner at work. Not only unhealthy but also costing a lot money. So with the new year I wanted to eat more whole foods and only rarely give in the temptation f fast food for work.

I went amazingly well. I have probably had 98% whole made food in January with the odd bought french fries from the store and no fast food, everything else was self made out of ingrediens. I prepared meals for work each day too and even on the business trip s to Leeds didn't give in the temptation to go to Burger King.

Last night my car broke down on the way home from work, after calling the AA, the car was fixed withing 90 minutes and equiped with a new battery, but I didn't get in the house till 1am.

This morning it was food shopping day. I try to budged the food shopping but payed about 15£ more today then planned at Tesco's. This was only due to the dog food though and I am pleased I did. Last time I went shopping they only had a 6kg bag of dog food which is approx £6. I usually buy the 15kg for 12£. As they had them again today, I bought it, this will take us through most if not all of February which is great.
I also went to Hutchinson's for my fruits and vegetables. 5kg potatoes; 1 kg onions, a salad, 1 kilo tomatoes and 4 peppers for 4.50£ and all local is not bad at all. I love going to Hutchinsons for my fruits. It's a local fruit and veg shop, the quality is amazing, it tastes great and the prize is great too. Much more preferred then the supermarket

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The book project

I am having a lon weekend off work, I am actually off till Thursday night. The weather is rather cold today, just about 0 degrees and today it's been mixed with rain too. Not a very nice day to be off. I spend the morning, doing some surfing on the web and reading some old blog-post of Soulemama when I came across this post. I saw it and thought that this is perfect for my book project :)
My book project is something I started after reading my aunts memories. A few years ago she wrote down her memories, like how she grew up, her whole life story and also family history. I thought this was brilliant and wrote my own but so far it was only in a word copy and I wanted to make it into something more book like. The post from Soulemama gave me a great link on how to put my 'Memoaren' in a book.

So I spend the afternoon working on transfering pictures from CD's to my laptop and to work on getting everything in. It contains a lot of formatting etc but with a nice pot of tea the work went down pretty good. I still have a lot o formatting to do but hopefully will get it all sorted by end of February,

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Country Walk

I have been out on a nice walk with the dogs this afternoon. It's been great, very quiet, temperatures around 0 degrees, blue sky and an amazing sunset later on :)

Another weekend

Another weekend is here, and it felt like a long week to me. after working 9 days ina row, I thoroughly enjoyed some rest this weekend.

During the week I enjoyed the first snow-drops that I saw this season.

My beaufiful 'baby cousin' Sienna Louise was born earlier this week

I enjoyed another week of home made foods and didn't give in, in the temptation to go and buy something quickly for my evening meal at work.

I made soup and baked bread and todays dinner will be rabbit, with potatos and beans, something I am very much looking forward to.

I did some knitting (or learning to knit) and enjoying nice walks with the dogs.

Slowly but surely the winter is coming (or so I hope). I has been rather mild here so far but the last two days temperatures have dropped down to be around 0 C during the day and way below that during the night, so i hope we get some snow soon.

How did your week go?

first snowdrop of the season

Sienna Louise (my cousins girl)

baking bread

potato, carrot and Leak soup

one tired dog

Sunday, 8 January 2012


This week I ...

…enjoyed home-made foods all week long and resisted the temptation to have a take away or something similar at work, 1 week down 51 more to go

…got back in the swing of work

…enjoyed the early morning walks with the dogs and the beautiful sunrises

…curled up on the couch and watching my DVD’s that I got for Christmas

…looked for seeds for the garden – oh the joy of planning what will be planted

…travelled to Warwick for a 2 days trip and even found Krispy Creme Doughnuts for breakfast

...canned apple sauce - so yummy

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

"Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self"

My friend Maren posted this a few days ago and I absolutely loved the idea of this post. Aparently a book was published called Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self’, edited by Joseph Galliano, which is a collection of 75 different letters by a variety of different celebrities (actors, comedians, writers, etc) writing their own version of a letter to their sixteen year old selves.

The idea of writing a letter to your former teenage self is such a unique way to reflect on what was most likely a time of self doubt and self-absorption and reflect on all of the lessons you’ve learned since then, so I just had to write one myself, and here it is, my verison of "Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self"

Hi Anja,

I am writing this while I am nearly 31 and you just signed your contract to start your apprenticeship in a few month time (right after school). Never one to let a challenge go, you had to pick one of the hardest apprenticeships out there, with the constant changing tax laws.  When you start there you will be the youngest in the class, the baby as they call you but the guys are great and supportive. You need to study a lot more then them, with their A-levels they do have an advantage over you but don't worry, you finish with a decent grade after those 3 years. You love the college that goes with the apprenticeship but not the office environment. You get through that in your own way and finished with the best grade anyone in that office had in a few years. Just stick with it no matter how hard it may seem, it will get much better in year 2 in the office.

While you are still in school for the last few month, you should really focus on it. I know that so far things just went your way, always have in fact. You never had to study much and got great grades but you are slacking right now, read the signs when you get vocabulary test back that is 4. It does not affect your future as you can take your A-level if you want to and you end up with the best highschool diploma of your class but it will annoy you later on in life to know that you could have done better. I know that your thoughts are with your sport shooting career, so I know you won't bother to take my advise anyway.

I know that you believe that you should have made the state national team (and I agree you should have). Well guess what you are not gonna make it this year either. You don't realize yet that you are not wanted there, so you train with the 'B Team' for the next year again. You love it there, the guys are fun and the trainers are great. In a years time you will win the State Championship and your results at the German Championships are even better. With that you force yourself in the state national team. You never feel at home though, you can't relate to most members and you don't feel supported from the trainers. There are good and fun time though, the trip to Rupolding was great and a lot of fun. By the end of the year, you will fall in a big hole (caused by the trainers in the national team) and get kicked out. It'll take you years to recover from that but you have amazing friends within the SG Seesen, they are both supportive and patient. You will make a great comeback a few years later, showing every one that they can't break you and then you'll retire from your career at 21, after you showed the guys in the National Team that they were wrong about you, it's a great satisfaction. Those years before that are going to be tough but you will get through this.

Oh and remember how you just quit the junior fire fighters to focus on your career in sport shooting? Before you are 19 you will be back with the firefighters. They are a lot of fun and make great friends. You have a great time with them and even put out some firees. Oh and you become a trainer for the kids shooting too when you turn 19. Best results in the testing without even learning (in fact they even use you to demonstrate and explain everything to the other people in the course).

You are a natural when it comes to kids, too. They just love you.

You are wondering why you retire from sport shooting at age 21? Well that is an amazing story... Remember when you were about 10 and read about High School exchange programs with the US? You always wanted to go and it was not possible. Then after your apprenticeship finished you considered a year as Au pair in the US but you didn't go (be glad as it was not meant to be and would mess up the future) well 2 years later you will go to the US and spend an amazing 13 month with a family in Nanuet, NY. You gonna look after 4 kids who will become so much more then family in this year. Don't get me wrong the year will be tough, your dad will pass away in this year after battling cancer for 5 years and there will be disagreements with your hostmom but you learned all about the american way of life that you always wanted, you made great friends, saw amazing places and found a second home. Leaving after that year will be tough for you. You will cry for month because you are so homesick and because you miss your kids so much.

You are not going to stay in Germany either, you will move to Newcastle in the UK (remember when you were 13 and just got home from visiting Aunt Hilli in England and what you said then? You said one day I will live in England, and you will). You will work for Convergys and you fall in love with your job, first as a CSR and then as a TL. You find amazing friends here and a career path that fullfills you but after 8 years in the UK you miss your mom and brother more and more whenever it's time to part again. You are considering moveing back to Germany and we will see if and how that goes. You still dream about moving back to the US one day. It's the one dream unfulfilled so far. You loved your career with Convergys and were devestead (still are) that you've been made redundant 6 month ago. You found a new job straight away, you are always lucky with that, never been unemployed in your life.

You will travel quite a bit, that is until you get Jessie (your Toller) and 18 month later Lily (your 2nd Toller). Now you only travel were they can go too. They are your family and you don't like to leave them with someone else. You are still a country girl... You like going out in Newcastle once in a blue moon but you prefer the nature and outside. You have a little courtyard that you transformed into a garden more or less and you grow your own vegetable. You have a good idea of what kind of life you want to lead, you are independent and believe in your self. Continue to just do that. Follow your way. Your mom and dad are very proud of who you have become.

The road ahead has not always easy but things happen for a reason and if they would not happen, a lot of the great memories you are going to make would not happen either and a lot of the people you met, you would not meet either.


PS. You might have figured that you never made the Olympic Team for the 2000 Olympic Games but if you had stayed in Germany after the year in the US you might have made the 2004 Olympic Team, the chance was there, you were still amazing for your one comabck shoot with no training in a year (you trunced the competition) but you moved to the UK and instead  have tickets to watch the 2012 games in London and I do believe it was the right choice.  

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


it's really early in the morning, I have been up since about 7am despite not going to bed till nearly midnight. I have been reading 'Dear Me' letters until now and cleaned the kitchen. I am off to Warwick later on today and not be back before tomorrow afternoon.

I just had a parcel from Fabric Dreams has just been delivered. All new fabrics for me to sew with. I am so looking forward to it and can't wait to get started on some projects. 


Monday, 2 January 2012

A new beginning

When you get older time just flies by. This last year was just going by so quickly it’s unbelievable. I really enjoy the end of one year, beginning of a new one to reflect, relax and start all over. There are a few goals that I have for 2012 that I want to accomplish & share with you:

- Focus the garden on growing salad, tomatoes and potatoes
                 o Potentially try carrots and rhubarb, as well as kohlrabi
- Learn how to knit
- finish my biography

 - do more craft/sewing projects
- become more self-sufficient:
   - do more canning and use the freezer less
   - safe elctriciy

With this in mind, Have a great 2012. What are your goals for 2012?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year - or Time to Say Good-Bye

I have been at work until 11.15pm last night and was in the house by about 11:30pm. That was just in time to watch Dinner For One on DVD before the old year came to an end. It's a tradition in Germany and one I uphold, it's also a very funny sketch... With a glass of Asti mom, Jens and I started the New Year before going to bed.

This morning it was time to say good-bye as their stay was over and they had to go back home :( When we got to the airport at 10am, we found out their flight was cancelled and they got booked on a different flight leaving at 5pm, so we went back home and then back to the airport at 3pm

at the airport going home
Saying good-bye initially was easy but I was and still am rather depressed since I got home. It's strange, since I remember that it was never this bad 10 or even 5 years ago but the older I get the more diffcult it gets. I am feeling rather lonely right now but I know this will go away in a few days time but it's another reason to move back to Germany one day.

Once I got home I took the dogs to go for a walk to clear my head. It was a beautiful afternoon/evening and the sunset was amazing. Now I am at home, trying to distract myself... I will post my goals and resolutions for 2012 in a few days time
sunset 01.01.2012