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Let them eat cake - The Lyorn's Den

Sun Nov. 13th, 2011

11:57 pm - Let them eat cake

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This week was ...interesting.

From Saturday to Tuesday my mother was visiting, and my uncle and his wife visited Sunday to Tuesday noon. My mother and I can get along just fine for four or five days, and my uncle and I can get along just fine for longer, so I had been looking forward for the visit. Though I had prepared well, because my uncle and his wife wanted to sight-see, never having been in the area before, and we all wanted to eat well.

Everything went extremely well. My mother arrived on time but not too early, so I could do the shopping before and tidy the place. We went to a very good eatery where I had been with my father some weeks before. Sunday we sat in my place, talked and admired the cats. In the afternoon we bicycled to the construction site and looked at the apartment-to-be. Having a second bicycle is sometimes really useful. The weather was perfect: It has been pretty much perfect for weeks now, the most boring autumn ever, really. Only now with the nights going below zero, the trees are losing their leaves. Before, there was no wind or rain to pull them down, and the leaves, yellow going on brown, stayed up like early October being frozen in time. I worry about humidity levels. This is not a particularly wet region, actually borderline for the plants grown here. The dry spring this year killed half the harvest.

But for tourists and bicyclists, of course, dry weather is a blessing.

Sunday evening my uncle and his wife arrived. My uncle is the guy who got me into computers, also, he's pretty cool and even when I was little I wanted to have his kind of sarcasm when I grew up. In part I have.

We ate out again, pasta this time. Also good.

Next day was Monday and we went into Nuremberg for sightseeing. Monday most of the museums and places are closed, except for the castle and the underground tunnels, but as the weather was still sunny and mild, we stayed outside the whole day. Walked the city from the castle to the train station and from the east wall to the west, four and a half hours, all in all. I was glad that I had paid some attention to the place and its stories in the last years, so I felt reasonably competent as a tour guide and did not get lost (much). Everyone was very impressed with how nice a city Nuremberg is. I have no idea if it is actually that nice, or if I just chose the route well.

We had dinner at my place. I had made pumpkin soup the night before (with veggie broth this time, less potatoes because some had gone bad, but with a little cinnamon, cardamon, and a red chili. I broiled the ginger with the shallots, which made for less crunchy surprises), and apple bread on Friday evening, and had got bread and cheese, fruit and veggies and nuts, a bowl of sweets, and dug out some red wine from South Tyrol, and we ate as merrily as hobbits.

Tuesday I played tour guide for the town, which does not have much in the tourist attraction department, which was good because we still had sore feet from the day before. We walked through a public park and a few old town streets, had coffee, and then my uncle had to leave, and my mother and I went to my place again for more talking, looking at plans and catalogues and cats.

Wednesday I was back at work and the week nose-dived. I spend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday musing over entities which lack not only a soul to damn and a butt to kick, but also sanity points to lose. Thursday was nothing but meetings. Friday at half past 3 I was already alone in the office building, reading fanfic while running clean-up scripts. Everyone was so pissed off and sick of it that they had left early for the weekend. End of November management plans to tell us how they intend to keep people around long enough to finish the current project. Their job would be easier if they had any credibility left. What a mess.

Starting next week, my nice five-minutes-by-bicycle commute will become half an hour by car, or 50 minutes by public transport. I am extremely unhappy about that.

My unspecified annoying joint-and-muscle-pain is getting better thanks to physical therapy, but all things considered, I wonder if I can convince my doctor and my health insurer to send me on a "Kur" for two weeks or so. (There is no translation of this. It's preventive medical care, going to a clinic for an overhaul before you break down.) I'm in that kind of mood.

Saturday, J___ celebrated his birthday. His 30th... in hexadecimal. I went with Ceridwen and Gwydion. There were some people around I had met in my first year at uni and since then only at J___'s parties, and I still enjoy talking the them. Considering what kind of week I had had I felt like I should get drunk, but I didn't feel up to it physically, so I ate a lot of cake and lasagne instead. After midnight, Ceridwen, Gwydion and I were asked to sing, so we did. I was home around 1 and in bed around 2.

Choir practise started at 10, and for all my sensibly-not-drinking, I felt like the definition of middle age: At night. partying like you're 18, next morning, feeling like you're 80. All that talking hadn't been good for my voice, and we are performing Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" in two weeks, which is written for, I guess, much younger voices than ours. Probably boy sopranos. I'm one of the lucky ones: I have a high mezzo. Some of the singers who ended up in the middle voice are altos, and then there's the real altos who can comfortably go down to the d below middle c, and do very much not feel at home on the d two octaves higher.

But it's very beautiful and interesting music, and quite magical when done well, and our conductor fell in love with it when she heard it (and so did I), so I shouldn't complain, really. Blame it on getting a head start at stage fright. I even did get all the high notes without too much effort.

Due to the singing, I didn't feel as if I had just had a week with only six hours sleep per night, but as I knew I had I slept for two hours, then did the housework, read the newspaper, played with the cats (they are now piled up in the basket in front of the radiator, snoring), prepared some packages of stuff sold on ebay (I've taken up decluttering as a permanent hobby), and now I should go to bed again, because, half-hour commute. Argh.

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