eliphas, napping

At home for a week and not enjoying it

I sprained my ankle bouldering (indoors -- there's a limit to my taste for adventure, and especially to my current degree of skill) last Sunday. Fell out of an overhang too high to land easily, but too low so sort myself out before making ground contact. So now my foot looks as if I were wearing a thick black-purple-and-blue sock under the light orthosis, I'm sick off work, and can sleep (with the help of some ibuprofen) or sit on the sofa as much as I want, but unfortuantely, I cannot do anything else. Not even cook, or go to the pool, or declutter some drawers, or sit at my desk and do overdue paperwork.

At least my cats are happy to have their human available and un-busy all day.

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eliphas, napping

What I did (and didn't) do during my holidays


* Take a kind of cruise along the Norwegian Coast
* Hold a kaffeeklatsch
* Practise the piano
* Do my paperwork for the retirement office and sent it in
* Read about 5-7 books
* Cook squid for the first time and took picures of it
* Went to a boulder hall again
* Found out what is wrong with my front squats and attempts at push-ups
* Re-gained the ability to do backstroke. I can now manage 50 metres without getting cramps or attempting to breathe water
* Sorted through 628 holiday pictures
* Tidied up 6 drawers
* Went through my wardrobe and gave what I no longer want to wear to charity
* Spent a very nice day with flederkatz (cooking squid, looking at holiday picutres, and other things)
* Invited my cat minders for dinner
* Remove the dead plants from the balcony
* Got a new telephone
* Cuddle the cats a lot
* Got new litter boxes
* Spend too much time on the internet :(


* Get my hair cut
* Go to the dentist
* Tidy up my bookshelves
* Give away the old stuff in the cellar
* Practise the guitar
* Prepare the next role playing game
* Tidy up the kitchen cupboards
* Go weightlifting regulary
* Visit my father
* Go hiking
* Get reimbursement for last years vaccination from my health insurer
* Get Serious Cat Jerome to keep calm when noise happens
* Create the cooking blog that Ceridwen, flederkatz and I are talking about
* Finish a story
* Manage to not get panicky about work

Not too bad, all in all. Now, if I had three more weeks of vacation, I'd be perfectly happy. As I don't and have to go to work tomorrow, I am already as scared and angry as Serious Cat Jerome when noisy people are outside. I'm not going to hiss or spit, though. I think. Just keep my hackles raised.

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eliphas, napping


I have emptied a bucket of water on the balcony to cool it down a bit, and Tully the Tabby laid down right in the water.

Guess where he and his damp fur are now... and if you say "on your lap, and, um, aren't you wearing white trousers today?", you win a virtual cookie.

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eliphas, napping

Miracles happen

For nearly a decade I have had "get paperwork with retirement office in order" on my to-do list. Collapse )

And, talking about solutions: I have finally got around to asking a trainer at the gym what I'm doing wrong -- I can't get the bar in position for a front squat or overhead press without strangling myself, and I cannot do a single push-up even after 5 years of working on it: My right shoulder just crumbles away under me.

Turns out, I have this very nice balancing-a-book-on-my-head posture. Activated core muscles, shoulders straight, shoulder blades drawn together a bit, head straight. And the trick, in both cases, is to put your shoulders forward. To hold the bar, or to stop myself from sagging and ending up with a shoulder position that does not allow for power transmission from my upper body muscles to the floor.

In less exiting news, to solve the on-going cat crisis, I have bought two more litter boxes. Hope it helps, because now I will have to swipe up three times as many litter particles. Would three miracles in a day be too much to ask, or do I get a discount?

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eliphas, napping

Argh, cats

I was woken this morning at half past five by a heap of baking trays and baking dishes clattering on the stone floor. I had put them on a chair a few days ago when I was using the oven, where they are usually stored, and had been too lazy to put them back.

I had not even put on my glasses and extrated myself from the comforter when the screaming began.

Serious Cat Jerome hates, just hates loud noises. But he does not run and hide, oh no. All this adrenaline has to go somewhere, so he attackes his brother Tullamore the mild-mannered tabby with teeth and claws. (As often as not there is blood on the floor.)

Maybe I should let them fight it out, that has been the recommendation so far. But this damanges Tully, and it is not the usual fights about who gets to have/keep the fluffy pillow, or who has looked at whom sideways. It's Jerry losing his marbles and running amok because of an external trigger.

Aleister and Eliphas were fighting occasionally, which was quite cute. Fur was flying, but there wasn't a scratch on them.

I try to calm down the kittes and show them that there's nothing to fear by giving them a treat if I have been the one causing the noise. But noise happens without me. This morning, I put them into different rooms and went back to bed, but even now, close to four hours later, Jerry is stalking Tully, Tully is growling, Jerry hisses, Jerry refuses food, Tully is hiding in his box, and I have to leave in an hour and really don't know what to do.

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eliphas, napping

What I've been up to: Travelling a lot, and other things

Though I cannot blame "not writing" on "travelling"... but just a few notes here, for me to keep track of my life.

Currently I'm on holiday, but at home. Trying to do something about my to-do list, because I barely managed to keep up with the necessities so far.

May 6th to 9th we had a choir weekend in the Bayerische Musikakademie in Alteglofsheim. I did not get lost in the building this time!

May 10th to May 15th I was home because of a family emergency. I did not really plan that. Fortunately, I got time off work on very short (4 workdays) notice.

May 26th to May 29th we were at the choir festival in Stuttgart. It was OK. Hot. Some thunderstorms. A bunch of good and a few very good choirs, but nothing that knocked off my socks. (Maybe the Swingles. But they were kind of in a class of their own.)

Jun 7th to Jun 14 I took the Hurtigruten Boat trip from Kirkenes to Bergen, Collapse )

I read Naomi Novik's "Uprooted" (nice, liked it), Perceval Everett's "God's Country" (good, hated it), Catherine Asaro's "Carnelians" (OTT, but fun), and half of Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (very interesting, but I argued a lot with it in the margins).

Other than travelling, we played our on-going SF campaign on May 22nd, Collapse )

We had a few performances with the choirCollapse )

Sunday Jun 5th I held a Kaffeeklatsch Collapse )

I'm feeling kind of OK now. As long as I do not think about having to go back to work in a week's time. Maybe I'll write something more about the Norway vacation. But, knowing myself, most likely not.

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eliphas, napping

Not gone to the pool today

Not because it was snowing (it wasn't) but because after posting yesterday's long (flocked) ramble about being exhausted and tired so much, I considered that it might not be the best of ideas to tire myself out in cold water and *then* pay money for the climbing gym.

So I slept in, had a good breakfast (porridge with dates and chestnut flour), read a bit "Sandman: Overture" (which is overwhelming, so I'm reading it in small increments), then drove to the climbing gym to meet friends. We climbed for about 90 minutes or so -- I'm still only doing the easy and very easy problems -- and had coffee and cake afterwards. The others took off to indoor water park, and I drove home. I do not like indoor baths, or water parks. Actually, I like cold days at the outdoor pool.

Instead I went home, slept some more, did the washing, cooked dinner, read the newspaper and a lot of stuff on the internet (just discovered http://nymag.com/scienceofus/), played with the cats, wrote some book recs on a different site, read some more, and now I'm going to prepare a lunch box for tomorrow and then go to bed.

A good day, all in all.

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eliphas, napping

Banoffee pie, and more follow-up

I took my cats to the vet today for their vaccinations, and to have their teeth checked. Both are wonderfully healthy, which I am thankful for. Serious Cat might have a toothache, though.


Monday was Ceridwen's birthday, and as usual I offered to bake any cake she would like. She wanted Banoffee pie. I made it and it was gone very fast. So here's the recipe:

For a 26 cm (10 inches) round spring form tin:

Cover the bottom of the tin with baking parchment, as this will be unstable. No need to grease it, though.

Make crumbles from 200 grams of whole grain oat cookies (put in a freezer bag and crush). Melt 100 grams of butter. In a not-too-small bowl, pour butter on the crumbs, mix with a spoon, put into baking tin, spread evenly and press with the spoon or whatever is handy.

Put into fridge for at least one hour.

Spread the contents of a 400 gram can of caramel spread on the cookie crumble. (I used Dovgan -- you find it in the Russian section of the supermarket. Dulce de leche or Caramel au Beurre Salé will do as well.)

Peel 3 to 4 bananas and slice. Put slices on the caramel spread.

Cover with about 400 grams of whipped cream, lightly sweetened. Decorate with more caramel spread, or powdered cocoa or coffee powder, or chocolate flakes.

Before serving, carefully separate pie and tin with a knife. Drag on plate, using the baking parchment. Do not attempt to drag off parchment.

Feeds six. Maybe. (It's not the cause of Serious Cat's toothache. He did not get any of it!)


I have started to look for a new laptop in earnest now. I have decided on a type, now I only need to see what configuration is best. And I have an appointment to get my bicycle repaired. After 8 years, most parts that have not been exchanged already need to be. This is going to be expensive.

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