2017 – A Look Back

With a new year having started, let’s have a look at what I was up to last year.

In February I left my job as a Teaching Assistant in a special needs school to work nights as a Support Worker for a former student of mine. Not sure if it was the best choice in hindsight, but I needed a change and this gave me one.

In March I had a miscarriage, and it was about as devastating as you might think. A few weeks after I ended up in the hospital for three days due to complications (an infection) from the miscarriage, and I was quite unhappy for some time.

In April I went back to Sweden for a holiday, celebrating Easter with my family. It was a lovely trip as always, but they never seem quite long enough.

In May we adopted our cat since I seemed to be suffering from empty nest-syndrome and needed a baby in the house. He was such an adorable little ball of fluff. We love him to bits, but in all honesty he’s grown up to be a bit of a prick.

In June the boyfriend and I went on our first holiday together that wasn’t either going to his family in England or my family in Sweden. We went to Spain, and spent a lovely week alone in a house with a private pool. It was amazing. We were also visited by my sister and her partner and little girl, which was a lot of fun.

In July my dad visited with his wife and my baby brother (who was approaching 8 at the time). We visited Swanage and mainly just hung out together and had a good time. That concluded the family visits for the year though, and I’m hoping to get some new visits this year again.

In August I spent two weeks back home in Sweden with my family, which was great. The weather wasn’t as awesome as I might have hoped, but it was still warm enough to enjoy some summer evenings out.

In October we had our bedroom re-painted, and it turned out really well!

In November we finally passed the first 20 weeks of our second pregnancy and could breathe a little easier after what had happened earlier in the year. We announced it on Facebook and it was suddenly official! I also visited Sweden again for a week since I realised I soon wouldn’t be allowed to fly, and it might be a while before I can go again.

What was your 2017 like?

2018? Wait… What?

I can’t quite believe that it’s 2018 already. Last year went so fast, a lot of things happened, and now it’s suddenly a new year. With even bigger changes happening.

Christmas was spent here in the UK this year. The boyfriend and I have an agreement that we spend every other year here and every other year in Sweden with my family. It was quiet, but nice. On Christmas Eve we visited the boyfriend’s grandmother with a lot of the extended family, then had a nice Swedish-inspired Christmas dinner at home. On Christmas Day we went over to his parents’ house where we spent the day with them, his sister and her husband.

New Year’s I was working, so not much happening there.

I got some lovely Christmas gifts, which I just simply have to show off. I got other nice things as well, but I don’t want to photo spam you too much.

I got some amazing books.

Coasters in the shape of cats!

The boyfriend got me a Kindle!

An owl snow globe! Is it just me, or does it look a bit like Hedwig?

Who doesn’t need a Hogwarts sign with hooks?

I’m sorry!

I apologise for any spam that might have happened to anyone who follows this blog by e-mail notifications. See, I realised that I had only been posting to another blog and not this one (while it was meant to be cross-posted), so I ended up adding everything tonight.

So, I’m really sorry about any potential spamming! I am finished, now, I promise!

Twelve

Twelve. That’s the amount of working days left until school breaks up for the summer. I’m feeling quite worn down, so I’m very much looking forward to the time off. We don’t start again until September 1. The school holidays are definitely a big bonus when working in a school!

In the evening on the day we break up for summer, my mom, her partner and one of my brothers are coming over to visit for a week. It’ll be fun to show them around this new area where I live. Whenever I’m on outings with school, I try to make mental notes of where we are and if it would be something nice for my family to do.

After a week, they’ll be returning to Sweden, and I’m going with them. Can’t wait to visit home and see the rest of my family. My sister had a baby a month ago, and it will be the first time I see her – it will be so lovely!

Other news is that work did offer me another contract. Fixed-term again, until they break up for summer next year. So, good news – I’m still employed!

The answer to everything: A cup of tea?

I’ve realised that in one way I’m kind of British. Only recently have I noticed that whenever someone is upset or crying, emotionally not quite tip top (and I never know how to handle that) I always end up asking ‘Would you like some tea?’

I find this rather amusing. As if a cup of hot tea would really help them with whatever is bothering them. But it’s the only thing I can think to do. I’m not good at comforting someone who’s crying or upset. Sure, I can listen… (I’m hell of a listener) But actually comforting… I don’t know. How do you do that? A hug seems so trivial… and going ‘there.. there..’, well what good will that do?

So… I offer tea.

I’m not saying this is a whole lot better, but it’s what I do. And somehow it seems to work, even if just a little. It seems to put people’s mind to something else, and who knows, maybe there is some kind of calming drug in tea. At least it seems to help people in that they get something to hold and concentrate on.

So that’s it. The answer to everything: A cup of tea.

Let There Be Rain…

And so the winter weather has begun to set in… I will be very honest with you; I do not like the winter. At all. It’s dark, it’s cold and it’s horrible. Winter is a time of the year when I wish I could just stay inside, light a fire and spend the next three or four months happily ensconced on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book (or a couple of good movies, or why not both?)

In The Netherlands (where I’m seriously wondering if I want to stay) winter means dark and rainy. At least in Sweden (where I grew up) we get snow, which (even though it’s none the warmer) at least lights things up a little. Here it’s just gloomy and damp. Oh, and let’s not forget the hail! I was pelted by the pesky little things when I was walking home from work the last couple of days! And not tiny ones either, huge ones… The size of small puppies! Oh ok… Maybe not quite that big, but you get the picture. It hurts when these hit you on the top of the head!

I will simply have to steel myself and will the next few months to go quickly. With a nice break for Christmas which is a holiday I enjoy very much, so time can go a bit slower for a few days there. (5 weeks and counting!)

Status of synopsis: This is getting embarrassing…

Assorted Thoughts

It’s weekend! (which means no work… huzzah!)

Today it is exactly six weeks until Christmas. Which really means that Christmas is quite soon… This knowledge fills me with childlike glee and makes me positively giddy. Quite sad one might think, but personally I’m just glad that one can still be happy for such small things.

I went to IKEA today with my sister and they had all of their beautiful Christmas decorations out for sale. I’ve decided that this year I simply MUST have a little Christmas tree. I can get lots of nice decorations at IKEA and it’ll all be going up on December 1st and stay until New Year’s! What can I say? I love Christmas and I want to be in the spirit of it as soon as I can.

The other day I went into town to look for a winter coat. I met with less success there than at IKEA. For some reason I couldn’t find a single one that I contemplated buying for more than about five seconds (which is what it took me to get a little closer for a good look). The one that I actually thought was ok my sister said was too similar to hers, so I couldn’t possibly buy that one. (Hmm…?)

I’ve reserved tickets to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on opening night. (Which is 23 November, about a week later than the rest of the world… I’m very upset!) I must admit, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I buy the books the moment they’re out and I watch the movies as soon as I possibly can. If that makes me into an outgrown child, then so be it. (Besides, Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy is very, very … um, very… sexy.)

I’ve bought the first five seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. (It’s a guilty pleasure of mine…) and just started watching them. Very sad the whole Buffy-Angel thing, but I just have to say that Spike is yummy-yummy. (He just arrived in Sunnydale, insane-Drusilla and all.) Oh, and Xander is cute.

Been buying some CDs as well. (I don’t know what’s gotten into me…)
1. Nickelback – All the Right Reasons
2. Robbie Williams – Greatest Hits
3. Green Day – American Idiot
4. The Corpse Bride (Soundtrack)
5. Pride & Prejudice (Soundtrack)

Status of Synopsis: Still not started. *sigh* I have absolutely no inspiration. Maybe I should just dig a large hole and jump in.

Halloween

This should have been written several days ago probably, but better late than never, right? I had a small Halloween party and we actually dressed up (not something you see here a lot, I want to be in America for Halloween next year!)

Anyway, I thought I’d post some of our photos. We had a really great time though. We watched two movies (one horror, one comedy), ate lots of unhealthy food and had lots of fun. Exactly how it’s meant to be 🙂

The group (dressed up ones), me, my sister and my friend.

Watch it, or I’ll poke ya!

If I blow long enough, will it fly away?

Status of Synopsis: *cough* Still not started…. *cough*

Back to Reality

I’ve been back home for about one and a half week now after my vacation in Florida and it’s not really until now that I’m starting to get back into the rhythm of things. I miss Florida and my very good friend there, and I hope that I can go back some time soon (thinking maybe first two weeks in March or so). I’m now back at work and after some initial panic (I’m not enjoying myself very much in my current position) I’m mellowing down a bit and feel somewhat resigned to my current situation. I was actually sick for two days last week, I brought back a nasty cold from Florida (don’t ask me how I managed to get a cold in a hot place like Florida, I’ve not quite figured that one out myself) and ended up lying in bed feeling bad and having a terrible headache.

About work, well… To make a long story short I’m not comfortable there. I’m having some problems with some less-than-friendly colleagues, but I also don’t really like the work itself. If at least one of the things was something I enjoyed, then it’d be better, but failing in both regards… Well, let’s just say that I don’t enjoy my working days.

My contract ends in May next year, and I’m thinking I might just leave at that point, unless something drastically changes, which I doubt. It would be nice to go back to Sweden for some time. I’ll have a little bit of money saved at that point, so I could move back and stay at my mom’s house while looking for a job. Maybe I could go on an extended trip to Florida at that point too, would be nice. I’d love to move there for a bit, just to do something different for a while, but America isn’t a country that allows for easy access, so that’s not something I can just do. We’ll see what the future holds though.

Tonight I’m going to see a movie with my sister in the cinema. Brothers Grimm. I have no idea what to expect, but it’s about fairy tales and directed by Terry Gilliam, so it can’t be completely without merit.

I have Friday off, which is very nice. I’m taking the opportunity to have lunch with some ex-colleagues and then I thought I’d try and do some cleaning in my apartment. Then as a general plan I have a bunch of things that I need to get started on:

1. Write a synopsis for my manuscript.
2. Edit chapter 3 according to some suggestions I got.
3. Send manuscript off to Golden Heart contest. (there’s a deadline here, it has to reach the Houston office by 2 December)
4. Get back to working on manuscript #2 which needs some extensive work on the first 10 chapters before I go ahead and write the rest.

Well, it looks like I’ve got my next few weekends planned already. 🙂

I just realised…

That today it’s 6 months since my boyfriend and I broke up. It’s already evening, and I didn’t realise until now. Surely that must mean that I’m finally starting to get over him? Or one could argue that the fact that I remembered at all is a clear sign that I’m not over him at all. I have to admit that I prefer the first possibility.

I’m having another quiet weekend at home, but I quite like them that way. Been thinking about starting that next novel, but since I’m still slightly working on my first one (synopsis still not written and not a single query letter sent out yet) it might be too soon. I have to make some kind of action plan I guess.

Lately I’ve been listening a lot to the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge. I really love the El Tango de Roxanne and Your Song. Very good… Keep listening to them over and over. (Poor neighbours…)

I got hold of Phantom of the Opera (on DVD) last week and watched it again, and I’m sorry, but it has to be said (again) the Phantom is SEXY.
Ok there… It’s done.

Now I only need to find out how to write a synopsis… (Yes… It’s been an entire week and I still don’t have a clue…)