A Travellerspoint blog

A weekend of pure bliss

Allright. There's a lot to say so brace yourselves. I'm in no state to be typing loads, or perhaps the I'm-only-just-awake-and-brain-has-not-yet-switched-on state is the best one to be in. Time will tell.
I'll just start with last weekend I suppose.

Right. So I had been packing for a few days - eventually I had even thought of an entire [brilliant] system. I had my backpack with all the heavy stuff in it and then my suitcase with just a cushion and a blanket, nice and light. Then when required I could just pop my backpack into the suitcase and only have one piece of luggage.
I was nervous about how the whole thing was going to work out due to the whole panic that had arisen because of all the snow. As Tom had said: it's fun to pretend the world is ending even though we know it's not.
Everything went perfectly. I was to meet up with Joyce and Ton at London Euston at a certain spot [can't be bothered to explain], but when I had disembarked from the train and walked a bit I suddenly heard somebody say my name, so I was like huh? It was Ton, which explained my confusion as I had never met him before. Anyway, I got a tube ticket which cost ages and then we went to Victoria where I left my suitcase [2 in 1] at the left luggage and then it was time for our trip to begin.
We started making our way to Leicester Square where they had discovered a street with secondhand bookshops, but first we wanted to go get a drink. In order to get to the pub, though, we had to walk through the street and it was absolutely awesome. We went to the pub by Leicester Square where I had sat with my new classmates when I was in London with them. We couldn't get cappuchino [machine's broken!] so we went for coffee but that machine [or is it the same -.-'] was broken, too. So yay, I went for a cup of tea.
Then on to the little street. Soon we realised this was not the right street to go to if you were looking for cheap secondhand books. They were all rarities with signatures and so on. One of the shop assistants [lucky to get rid of us, I'm sure] told us to go there and there [Charing Cross road, if I remember correctly] for some more bookshops. So we went on our way and while we were walking in that direction we bumped into a whole load of secondhand bookshops! Oh my! It was so awesome. Bookshops like you want them to be. Book cases up to the ceiling all filled up and then piles of books on the floor [basically a big mess] with a cute stepladder and a person behind the counter who's even aware of everything he has in stock.
After those couple of shops we decided we were hungry and went looking for a pub. We found one off the beaten track, in Greek Street. It looked like a pub should look except there was [after enquiry] an Italian lad behind the bar. It was the first time for me to try Irish soda bread and I'm telling you it was absolutely delicious! We had some fun looking at some really really big people pretty much absorbing the tiny stools into their system. But enough about that.
What did we do after that. *Thinks
I think then we went looking for a certain bookshop that had been somewhere in Soho [if I'm correct] at some point, but after a lot of walking we discovered it was no longer there, which was a shame. We walked back. On our route we walked past Paul McCarney's studio in Soho.
Then we went on to a more remote place. We hopped into the tube and got off a bit later [d'oh]. After walking a bit we arrived at the most awesome bookshop yet. I felt ever so tiny. There were little paths in what seemed to be a massive book maze. With just a bit of luck you could squeeze one person in one of them paths - you'd become claustrophobic instantly. I didn't go downstairs but Ton did and had a laugh because he said there was a piano there pretty much burried underneath books, too. Everything apart from the bit where you could actually play it. After that another bookshop furder down the road and that was interesting to see. The guy there did business on amazon as there were boxes piled up with an amazon logo on them and everything. Anyway. After that we went looking for a pub which was as easily said as done. [Can you say that?] It was another carpeted pub with a fire place and a dog running about. There were some strange people there. We were sat right next to a very strange guy. He was just sitting there with his pint in front of him, occasionally muttering some things. At a certain point he got up and walked toward the fireplace. Then he slowly started lifting up his mac. First thing I thought was that he was going to take a wee in the fire place but when is bottom was revealed he turned around and started warming his bottom by the fire. Then when he decided that was enough he turned around to warm the front. Suddenly it was enough and he walked back to *his* seat. An Asian guy walked in. He whispered: DVD? DVD? ... DVD? One guy responded and bought some DVD's. It was as if I was looking at some illegal drug trade. The cherry on the top was the lady in her stained mac, Russian hat and wellies getting up [she just sat there..] and suddenly amically greeting the guys in the pub to say goodbye. There's life in there!
I think after that we made our way back to Victoria to get a bite to eat. We found ourselves in the pub right next to/in Victoria station. It was a bit like a McDonald's in pub-form. It was nice though. Then we got my suitcase and walked to the coach station. Joyce and Ton dropped me off after which they left.
I just hate that so much. Being somewhere by yourself with loads of luggage. Even going to the toilet is a problem. I had to drag the suitcase inside with me but I left it in the hallway with the taps and then being afraid they'll take your suitcase away because you left it there by itself and that they're going to destroy it! Oh noooooess!
The coach trip was the nicest one so far. There were so few people in the bus that I had nobody in front of me, nobody behind me and I had the two seats to myself. Perfect. The only place where things were stupid was by the boat where we had to wait ages because there was a storm at sea. Anyway, all went well and I even slept for a bit. At one point we were in Brussels and I closed my eyes. Next thing I know I open my eyes and we're still in a city so I thought whut, Brussels can't be this big, but we had arrived in Antwerp.
Eventually when I got home everybody was still asleep, fancy that. So I rang the doorbel and my moms face appeared in the window and it was absolutely priceless. We had breakfast [had a croissant!] and I had a shower. Later I went to visit my aunt and uncle and my cousin and her boyfriend came by. Good times. Then I went to say hi to my neighbours and after that I went into town with my sister after having paid a visit to the bookshop. More surprised faces!
In the evening we celebrated Sinterklaas and I went to bed dead early. I slept like a baby in my own bed! The next morning I took Michael to school and then called my grandmother if I could stop by. So that's what I did. When I was at the station I met up with another cousin who put me on the train. So far so good. I had to change trains in Maastricht, where a friend would be waiting. "Bad news.." Oh no..
The train to Brussels that I had to catch wasn't running. Panic all around. Then we went for a drink in the café by the station when suddenly the train re-appeared on the board. With a big delay a tiny train ran into the station. So we forced our drinks down and ran off. I had to change trains in Liège. That train was delayed, too. When I got to Brussels I really had to go to the toilet so I started walking but the station turned out to be absolutely huge so the walking part took me ages. By the time I'd gone to the toilet I had to rush back to the Eurostar thingy where I rushed through customs and everything. Walked to my part of the train which was, obviousely, all the way to the front. When I had found my spot it was only about five minutes to departure.
And the rush is not over.
It was dark outside allready so tunnel or no tunnel it all looked the same. Pitch black. You could feel the train was going really fast though.
We arrived in London with a delay which *curseword* because I had been planning to take a certain train back home. Rushed off, bought a tube ticket, hopped on the tube [4 pounds for one station..], rushed off go buy a train ticket [50 blummin' pounds] and LUCKILY the train I had been planning to take was delayed as well so in the end all worked out.
I was sat next to a very nice lady who, when I was on the phone to my mother, recognised that I was talking Dutch. During the whole trip we were talking about all sorts. At one point suddenly everything started dancing in front of my eyes and I felt a bit light headed. Right. It was about 20.30 at this point and I hadn't eaten since lunch time. So I ate some pepernoten.

All is well that ends well.

I'll leave it at this for now. I have more to say but that for some other time. =D

Posted by miekj 02:07 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Twinkle twinkle snowy paths




I had an absolute blast last Sunday. It was the first time for me on a Cross Country train but I can't tell you what it was like as there were no seats left so Dannii and I had to stand in the hallway - it looked rather fancy though. First we walked in the wrong direction and asked somebody behind a stall at the retail market where the Christmas market was at, to which she replied: Buhh, everybody's asking!

We did get there eventually. I felt right at home and Dannii was like whooo check this oouut! In other words: we were both having the time of our lives. I spent all the while looking for warm mead, but as that failed I settled for a little mug of hot chocolate with bailey's and whipped cream. I got stopped when we walked off the market area. [Oh, it's empty.. keep walking?..]
I spent way too much money but it was absolutely worth it. I have a new wooly hat, a bottle of mead and Dannii and I already consumed all the rest. We also went onto the caroussel! Awesome. Can't remember the last time I went on a caroussel.
We were home in time for the xfactor eliminations and cheered when Wagner was finally kicked off. Leave and be gone forever, dear.
I'm hoping for a final with Matt, Rebecca and One Direction, even though most of you readers won't have a clue who they are.

For as far as the snow goes: let the panic begin. Oh dear..
It's been snowing [and not even that much] for about two days, and England is upside down! The college is closed, people stay inside, people can't get to work because they're snowed in [seriousely]. I see people walking past in 10 layers, the biggest snowboots around - wrapped up, ready to be shipped off to the North pole. This proves to turn into an interesting winter if it continues like this.

Just a slightly different subject: ran into Will again the other day. He had bleached his hair and got his ear pierced [luckily without a diamond in it, but still]. Shocker! Then he was all like yeaaa I keep on losing your name/emailaddress! Here, write it on my hand. Meanwhile I was thinking yea whatever, come up with a better excuse next time. That's the end of that story.

I can't remember anything about Monday to be honest. Must have been an interesting day, filled with things I do every day anyway.
When I arrived at work on Tuesday I was all happy because Bridget was there but the first thing Carole said to me when she opened up was: I'm sorry but I'm afraid you'll have be in the pound shop today as Hannah is poorly. So Carole walked over there with me and together we tried to sort everything out. There was no water there as all the pipes had frozen op [Oh, dear England]. Again, the winter has only just begun. In other words, I couldn't go to the toilet nor make myself a cup of tea. Carole said: well, just shut the shop and come over to our shop whenever you need something. So twice I shut the shop, making deals with customers as to when I'd be back, and the third time Tracy came over for a little while.
Anyway. It was fun as well as boring. Random banter with customers and reading a book by the young ones passed my time.
At a certain point, brace yourselves, Daniella was standing in front of me! And her parents were with her. Nice to meet them, after things I've heard about them. I'll see them again Friday. Should be good.

I do hope I get to London properly this Saturday as I'm meeting up with colleagues from Holland. We shall see.

I leave you with this.
Think and ponder.

Posted by miekj 11:52 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Let's hide from Mrs. D.

-2 °C

Hello my darlings,

You doing ok? Might as well stop asking that seeing I never get a reply..
I'll start with today, Saturday. I woke up, opened the curtains and following that I started jumping up and down in happiness as there was a layer of snow covering everything. To make things even better I had a couple of minutes of nice warm water in the shower this morning! I thoroughly enjoyed my few minutes of trotting through the snow after which I was, really, ready to go inside as my darling shoes don't take neither cold nor moisture well.
The morning was not all that busy and after that I went for my lunch. I decided to have some soup [which reminds me, I have to clean the microwave] with bread. Then I went back, relieved Hannah from her duties for half an hour and then took a detour crossing the main square as there was a Victorian christmas market there. Unfortunatly I had to get back to work, otherwise I'd have treated myself to a hot coco with Bailey's.
While I was having my cup of tea in the back Tracy came scurrying in: Noo! It's mrs. D! [For her privacy and comfort I'll leave her last name out and as it happens I don't know her first name] *Mouthing: HELP! She ran off into the kitchen and Carole went outside to take care of the shop. My other colleague Sony was also in the back with me. From the shop you weren't able to see Tracy in the kitchen. After having interrogated Carole mrs. D. came through to the back [just in the door opening] and started talking to me. Is Carla here? [No.] Is Tracy here? [No, with what turned out later to be a very questionable look on my face.] And I got more questions and slowly but surely she started making her way into the back room, at which point I got off my chair to indicate she wasn't to be in the back room and to prevent her from seeing Tracy in the kitchen. The conversation continued and I had to laugh. I tried to hide it behind my cup of tea and by biting my tongue and left her with the excuse that I really *had* to go wash my tea cup. After having accepted her defeat she went back into the shop and stayed there much longer than neccesary, occasionally glancing in the direction of the back room. Tracy was stuck in the kitchen, explaining that whenever mrs. D decided to give her a kiss, she dribbled down her cheek. It does me head in!
That was the funniest part of the day, by far. Sony said: why did you keep answering her questions?
I was looking forward to the xfactor in the evening but when I went downstairs I found Daniella and another girl in the common room and unfortunately Daniella was not the one in charge of the remote. The other girl is always in there watching Merlin during the first hour of the xfactor but it turned out to be a double bill of Merlin, so I left. Back in my room I put my headphones on and listened to some music and tried playing some TF2 with a 1000 ping which was virtually impossible. After I had given up I heard something buzzing - my phone! Five missed calls and two text messages : Daniella trying to tell me the girl had left and we had the room to ourselves. Yay! So we watched the rest of the xfactor and after that we watched Sweeney Todd. Daniella is coming to the German Christmas market in Birmingham with me!

Friday was my day off. I slept in but obviousely I woke up early anyhow. I had decided I'd run some errands and then take the bus to Wolverhampton. I got some money and bought decongestant tablets, they're quite interesting. Carla had given me one on Thursday and it worked like a charm. It's sort of the same as nose spray, but it's a tablet you take and eventually has the same effect. Furthermore I bought a huge load of fruit: apples, kiwi's, mango's, oranges. I've had it with having colds, it's horrendous. Then I went to my work for a bit to say hi as Fridays are my favourite days to work. Carla, Carole, Bridget, Sony and Rosemary were in you see, although when I went in Sony and Rosemary weren't there yet. Bridget's face beamed when she saw me. MIEKEEE - Where have you been? Why aren't you working today? I made my excuses and then went into the back for a chat. A few moments later Bridget ran into the back: Mieke! Mieke! Come here! I immediately understood that the Dutch people were in the shop. The approximately 90 year old woman told me she'd been living in Stafford since 1946 and her daughter was visiting. Guess where in the Netherlands she lives? Well? GELEEN! After a while her daughter said: Kom, v'r gunt. Can you imagine? It was awesome. I think it's my mind playing tricks on me but I even thought I recognised her from somewhere.
I figured out where to catch the bus and I stood there waiting when a truck drove by and the driver was waving at me! I have a life! People recognise me and wave at me! The bus ride was quite long. The fact that I was sitting on one of them folding chairs didn't really help. Still, it was a nice look into some more English countryside.
Once I had arrived in Wolverhampton I started walking around a bit but I was far from impressed. I found three shopping centres and honestly, I could not care less, I wanted to see some old buildings and culture. Had I been wanting to shop for something I'd have done it in Stafford itself. And obviousely you look at people as they pass by you on the streets and sometimes you catch peoples eyes without further intentions. No worries, you carry on walking and *forget* a few moments later. I walked into this little street as I saw the church on the other side of the street. As I'm crossing the church graveyard I find this man standing in front of me. Hello, I just saw you..
I was thinking oh bloomin' heck leave me alone I can't be doing with this you're doing my head in already.
Are you allright? Where are you going? Can I help you? What are you doing tonight? Want to go for a drink?
Sod off! I just saw Mark happening all over again. Hey yea I know I said we could go to a café but yea I bought some booze instead so you can come to my place.
So I said no thank you very much I'll just go and entertain myself cheers and byebye.
All sorted!
I had a look around the church and then sat myself in Costa's, bought a cappuchino and got my book out. When I had had enough of that I went out to find my bus stop and sat there for ages waiting for my bus to Penkridge. As I sat there I noticed that of the small amount of actual British people passing, most had lost a few marbles as well. Oh bliss, the population of Wolverhampton. I was really happy when my bus finally arrived as I had had somebody talk to me about idunno what because he was mumbling but he showed me his ID-card and everything. When I discreetly moved away from him he started talking to somebody else and so the cycle continued.
After some time we arrived in Penkridge. Meanwhile it had gone dark and freezing cold. I walked to the Chrismas market and the first thing I saw was flashing lights and Santa! There were rides all around and a lot of stalls. I saw Angela with the KHH stand and said hi - how they got through the evening in that cold and standing in one place all the time, I don't know. I got a hamburger and a bag of liquorice [giving the man behind the stand my compliments on his selection of goods] and after a wander 'round I went back to the bus stop to find I had just missed my bus. I walked to the church but found that was closed. Then I tried taking some pictures of the church and gravestones [the lighting was really beautiful] but I got some really weird pictures. I walked back to the bus stop and called the home front just to pass the time when I found my bus arriving! I don't know why as I still had half an hour to wait, but who's to complain when you can hop onto a warm bus. When I eventually got home I felt like it was ten in the evening. Either way it had been a good day: I got to see for myself why everybody around me was saying they dislike Wolverhampton.

Monday. I got to work Monday and the first thing Tracy said was: would you be willing to go up to Littleworth to help Carole out? I went back home, got my bike and cycled up to Littleworth where I got Carole's reaction: I told Tracy I didn't need any help!
Jolly good morning, folks!
I understand though as Carole is having some health issues and Tracy is worried. And I don't mind, I'll adapt. When the morning was out I cycled home, had some lunch, went back to the Stafford shop, dumped my things and walked to the pound shop to cover Hannahs lunch. After that all was back to normal. A very tiring day.

Tuesday. I was in the shop together with Bridget, performing out A-Team act. We're at our best when we're together. Good times.
This man came over [I forgot his name] to install a screen on the wall next to the counter. Fancy thing, a digital photo frame to depict smiling KHH people, sharing information about the hospice. Of course we didn't get the chip with the photo's until a few days later, so the screen was up for experimenting! After my lunch break I took my mp3-player back to work and connected it to the screen and had my own music swirling through the shop. It was a shame that the sound quality was quite poor [ah, it's only a photo frame after all] and the speakers were right next to your ear, in most cases hindering you from hearing the customers properly. That experiment ended soon enough. I'm grateful they let me experiment on it though. "As long as you don't break it." Nooo, me? Never!
I am, these past couple of days since Sue started talking to me, having some nice little conversations with her. It is really weird though, we never talked, but she did pick up loads of things that I was saying to other people. At a certain point I was telling her that I'd miss everybody and so on and she said I'd be missed, too. Coming from her.. idunno, it was really touching.

Wednesday/Thursday. I was supposed to spend Wednesday and Thursday in the pound shop.
Tracy came with me to open up and I had taken a whole survive-the-day kit with me, containing amongst others a mug, a book and coffee. After an hour or two I started feeling a bit light headed, though, as well as slightly nauseated. I put it off as long as possible but eventually I did call Tracy to inform her about my uncomfort. "Oh, dear."
Angie came in to cover for me as I wobbled home after Tracy having said I looked really pale. I dove straight into bed where I found myself for a large part of the rest of the day. I went to bed early and felt much better the next day, prepared for a day at the pound shop. When I arrived at the Stafford shop, though, Tracy said they had gotten somebody else to cover the pound shop and Libby was there as well, asking if I was ok. You're staying here so we can keep an eye on you! I was grateful for that. I did go round to the pound shop to cover the other lady's lunch break and learned a new word: butty. One of those occasions where you're making small talk and suddenly your face goes blank and the other thinks you're stupid. I've gotten used to that now, though. "I'm Dutch, but please explain yourself?" It's another word for sandwich.
The other day I found myself trying on some clothes for an elderly lady who always comes into the pound shop. The first time she saw me she was all like whooo where's Hannah? She's usually here!
Ehh, she's off for lunch? Hmm.
It took her a while, but she's now used to me being there as well.
She walked up to me with a size 10 cardigan, saying something like no way this is a size 10? Mmm no, you're quite right, that looks bigger than a 10. [I'm totally getting the hang of the sizes here.]
Could you perhaps try it on for me? I've got arthritis you see, I have bad shoulders. So I stood there behind the counter trying on a black cardigan with golden glittery things on it. She was very grateful and she bought it.
She came back a day or two later saying she only bought it because it looked good on me. Fancy that.

Now I've covered all of this week I think. Can't think of anything I failed to mention. If I have failed to mention something I've forgotten hence it must not have been important enough. Either that or I will remember at some other point and mention it then in case it deserves mentionning.
Now I've finished my coffee and the battery of the laptop is almost flat and I only have a bit of time left before I'm taking the train to Birmingham to go be all German. Can't wait!

I'll leave you with this then. Enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by miekj 03:09 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

I saw santa!

Right. Good morning. I just woke up and I'll tell you I'd rather have been asleep still instead of writing what seems to have become my weekly blog. No promises, no nothing. Just read what I'm about to write but by that time, will have written.

To start off with the thing with the plaster. I had bought a loaf of bread and sat here in peace slicing the bread up when suddenly: AUCH [and perhaps a few other words]. Blood everywhere, oh nooos! So I stick my finger under the tap and then keep licking the blood off whilst looking for my plasters which, of course, were nowhere to be seen. So I stumble into the kitchen and find both Chinese jumping up to find me a plaster. Which was really nice.

I found a way to tuck myself in! I have one duvet which is like a normal duvet is supposed to be like on a bed and then I have another one spread out across the end of the bed in the opposite direction, giving me extra duvet lengths to use to tuck underneath the bed. It was time for a peaceful night, knowing I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night with legs sticking out or even worse: a duvet on the floor.

I'm trying to think of what *exciting* things I've done. Last Sunday I went to the bingo again in the evening, which was rather pleasant. Mary is now a nana! His name's Joshua. Didn't win anything though, which was rather sad but then again I'd had a glass of wine so I failed to care much.

Monday I was all over the place. I was tired because of bingo for starters, and then I spent the morning in the shop where I belong. Then I went out to get my lunch, got back to cover Hannah's lunch and after that I took my bike out and cycled up to Littleworth to cover for Tracy because she had to go to hospital for something. I had one volunteer who was leaving at three. Tracy told me I could do whatever I liked do some sorting or w/e. I started off sorting some clothes - I started a rag bag and put some clothes on a side to be steamed. After I had sorted about a bag a load of donations came in so I sat on the floor in the middle room separating the for-sure cr*p from the possibly-shop-worthy. Quite interesting to see the things you run into. On the other hand you sometimes start wondering what people do to their things. Like when we get books in that are just.. You should be able to file a complaint against people who do that to their books, anyway.
Then when Tracy got back I went home. Neither Tracy nor the people in the Stafford shop liked the idea of me cycling home in the dark since the Weston Road is very very busy, even though I'd just be cycling on the pavement.
In the evening I went to visit Martin. His apartment is really awesome! What I found doubtful, though, is that he has carpet on his bathroom floor. We played some xbox and then watched South Park - the episodes in which Justin Bieber is murdered.
Martin has some really nice guitars! I played a bit one of them: a black guitar with steel strings, I just adore that sound, but I tore my finger open again so that wasn't much of a success. Had fun, though!

Tuesday I can't remember.. I just know Bridget was there, because she always is on Tuesdays, so we probably had fun! I think Carla was there as well so yay!

Wednesday: no particular memories.

Thursday: my day off! I woke up and felt like cleaning. And when I feel like that, then I give in. So.. I vacume cleaned, did all my dishes, did all my laundry, cleaned the bathroom and cleared out the little thingy in the shower because the water wasn't flowing off properly anymore and I did all my groceries. I went out to buy a celeriac because I had been intending to make pea soup. At Sainsbury's the celeriacs are about three pounds, but as I was wandering in the city market I found one for ONE pound! It was loads fresher than the Sainsbury's one, too. The market stall will now have preferential treatment.
I made apple pie which turned out pretty nice and afterwards I started making pea soup, but halfway through the Chinese suddenly came home and started cooking as well, or at least making preparations. I was still sitting there with my laptop and everything but after a while I just though I'd retreat to my chambers as it was really quiet in the kitchen and I felt like I was disturbing their ritual [which obviousely I was]. Next time I'll start earlier so Tom and me can have some pea soup together instead of both scurrying in and out of the kitchen to fill up our plates. Afterwards I gave him a slice of apple pie, too, which he really seemed to like.
Later I found Daniella in the common room and gave her some apple pie as well.
We still have no remote control, it's really sad. How hard can it be to find two batteries?

Friday: I went to the post office in the morning before work to pick up a parcel for my dad. I gave the man behind the counter my ID-card and the piece of paper I needed to show and the first thing he said when looking at my ID-cards was something like: ehhh?
Anyway, they spent ages [everybody joined in] looking for my parcel as it seemed to have been placed in some undetectable spot. "What size is it?" "Ehh.. quite big? Very heavy?" And then suddenly it was easy to find! Then started the journey to work. I was walking about town with the parcel and every step got more difficult and my arms wanted to give in but I couldn't! Don't, don't! Keep going! And I made it and then got funny faces as I stumbled into the shop with my parcel.
Turned out I had to go to a Manual Handling training. I went to the Collectibles shop on the other side of town together with Carla. Small as the shop floor is, the bigger is all their extra space 'round the back. They had a little room behind the shop and then an entire first floor! It was amazing. Somebody explained to us how our spine works and how to lift boxes. It was rather interesting, but it just comes down to the fact that they have to tell us so they can't be blamed when somebody injures themself. You have to get up close and personal with the box or whatever you're carrying, so the woman stuck a picture of blummin' Kevin Cosner on the box. That doesn't help you know. Johnny Depp would have sufficed much better. It was interesting for my vocabulary, though. Now I know about slipped discs! There was an Irish woman [good on the first guess] sitting next to me who was really funny. Afterwards Carla and I went back to the other shop but we made a little stop on the market square as some sort of market was going on. There was a stall with books, but they were all chuck-worthy.
When we got back Bridget was really upset as a Dutch lady had just been in the shop, but left five minutes before we got back. Fancy that. She's coming back some time to say hi to me, though.
Later in the afternoon Sony and Rosemary were in so it's bound to be fun. We had fun with a bunch of porcelain dolls: Gail, Loïs and a third one whose name I can't recall. Rosemary invited me 'round to her place so I'll go for a visit later today I think.
After work I got a text from Daniella - if I wanted to go for a drink. Yes, sure, but after I finish my tea, please. So I finished my soup and we met outside at 6 o' clock. She wanted to check out a newly opened place. It was really posh but since I didn't really know what her "scene" is I kept my mouth shut, but she felt the same. We finished out bottle of rosé [buy two glasses of the same bottle and get the rest of the bottle for free] and decided to go somewhere else. We ended up at a rather big [it was huge] place, but much better than the previous one. We got a bottle of red wine [same offer as the other place, but 50p cheaper] and carried on chatting about all sorts. She got hungry and ordered a dish with chips 'n' cheese. Like.. are you kidding me, seriously? Chips and cheese? Whoever thought of that? British people.. I'm telling you. I did eat some of them though. I probably should try chips with vinegar at some point but the idea is just too revolting. We also had some chocolate chip thingies with icecream. It was a blast! At about 10 I asked if we could be headed home as I did have to work the day after. The journey home [two streets] was rather interesting and we spent quite long in the hallway talking. Well, Daniella was talking, a lot, she was really quite far gone, and I mainly listened and laughed. Anyway. Before I went to bed I had a friend of mine read me a story on TeamSpeak and I tried to fall asleep but I just had to giggle all the time.
As is predictable: I hardly slept.
The next morning I felt bad. My stomach was upset and it was upset the rest of the day. I made a mug of coffee before I went to work which didn't really help but it was a nice try. It was good for my will to work hard though because I was just wandering around the shop and doing this and that - I couldn't stand still. We were hoping for it to be a really busy day as the Christmas parade was in town! It was to start at 11 in the morning so I went out with my camera, ready for some snapshots of Santa [I was really excited I was going to see Santa]. It was so crowded in town, unbelievable. There were also rides everywhere and there was a christmassy atmosphere everywhere. Along came the parade - it was really quite nice. People dressed in weird fashions and everything, I almost felt as if it was Carnaval except that nobody in the crowd was dressed up, but the part where everybody is freezing was applicable. It took ages before I got to see Santa, though, I had already given up so I started walking back to the shop and a little after I arrived back there, Santa passed. I made loads of pictures so I'll be uploading them later. It was busier in the shop than usually but hardly any more sales, maybe even less. I got talking with an American lady who had moved to Stafford because she got married with this man she had met on the Internet. Funny how things go. I said: aren't you homesick? She mainly missed the food. I wanted to say: that's not hard, though? We have McDonald's! But that's lame and I didn't. I can see what she's getting at as I am experiencing the same at some points. Although that might not be the food as much as having somebody to do the cooking for you.
After work I went home for a bite to eat and then went back out into town as they would be officially turning the Chrismas lights on in town. It was so busy, unbelievable. I felt like going to watch a football match in Germany, that busy! A band was playing on the stage and later they turned the lights on which was really nice and everybody said: Oohhh!
And then there were fireworks! It was so beautiful! I tried to make some pictures but I think most of them failed, I'll take a look later. It smelt like new years' eve. Then I went back home and watched the xfactor with Dannii and the Asian guy.
Later I went to sleep and that leaves me where I am now. Just had breakfast and now I have to think of what to do with my day. I still have to do some shopping for when Celine is here. I already bought a second soup/cereal bowl but obviousely I need more cutlery and crockery still.

I'll leave it at that for now.

Oh, one more thing.
For some magical reason Sue has decided I'm allright and started talking to me. I'm so surprised. The first time she actually mentionned my name when she was leaving: Bye, Mieke! I was like whut? It's nice, though. I don't know what goes on inside her mind but I'm glad I made it across the barrier.

Cheers my dears. Have a nice Sunday.

Posted by miekj 01:43 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)


Hello everybody,

Time to make a cuppa tea!


And I have a cuppa tea.
With a spash of milk - it's the exact right colour now.
Just made a bunch of pepernoten with the last bit of dough I had left. I also did the dishes and partially cleared my floor, which was very necessary.

Right, so I had all these plans for today [visit the castle], but of course, just like all the previous times I had decided to do so, that didn't happen. Instead much better things happened. I knew that today a bunch of soldiers would be marching past my house around 10 / 11 o' clock. I got out of my bed at about nine, so that was perfect. By the time I walked out of the building, a soldier marched by on the street, shouting LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT [and so on]. Perfect timing! I went to find a place amonst the crowd and a little while later I heard a voice say: heeey mate come stand with me! Daniella!
She'd had a funny experience. She heard the soldier shouting and opened her window [which is right by the street] and looked right into the faces of all the soldiers - both equally shocked.
We looked at the ceremony and shut up for two minutes to remember all British soldiers. Apart from a dog and a few crying children it was a lovely silence. So many people had come out to see the ceremony, even the mayor was there. When a car came driving up the street she said what a d******d! A good laugh when we discovered it was the major and not somebody wrecking the ceremony. He looked like the pope with walking sticks, no offence. He was wearing a really fancy robe and he was ever so old and had arthritis. Turns out they have a new mayor here every year.
After that they'd have a ceremony in church and after that a march through town. We didn't go to church but instead went to have a hot chocolate and a stroll through town. We were absolutely freezing our toes off, but it was worth it. I stood there clapping for all the soldiers, navy people, air force [I don't know.. just take a look at the pictures I will post later]. Then a little girl said: Was that all? She, too, couldn't feel her toes anymore.
Then I had a walk through some shops with Daniella, which was good fun. After that we both returned to our rooms.
I went out to get some groceries and to pay Adam a visit, but unfortunatly Adam had already gone home. Better luck next Sunday, because I wanted to go ask him if he wanted to accompany me to go see Harry Potter. I don't mind going alone, but I'd rather go with Adam [or whoever]. Danny had already made arrangements.
Oh! And I discovered a little shop in Guildhall has something that resembles [that looks like it's spelled wrong..] speculaaskruiden, so do not despair! I will keep baking!
Later I'm going to make a delicious sandwich for tea and after that I'm going to the bingo again. I had been missed.

Last night was really awesome. I went downstairs to watch the XFactor and I found Danny in front of the tv. Hadn't seen her for ages. She invited me to two dinners. It's her birthday soon and she's going out for dinner with her parents and she invited me to come, because her dad wanted to meet me. I won't say no to that! And she's going for a christmas dinner at the pub next door and invited me to that, too. Ever so nice of her. December is getting packed with dinners and lunches.

What I still had to mention:
The other day they only had one manager in in the shop, so they asked me if I could come in as well, to serve as an assistant of the assistant-mangager, or something of that kind. Yay! We spent the hours sorting out a lot of things in the back, it was good fun. To top all of it up, I've been invited to the annual [assistant]managers' lunch! [This is the first year the assistant-managers have also been invited, but never mind that]. I'm so honoured! AND they asked me if I could cover the pound shop one day a week, Wednesdays. At first I was really excited about that, but as I'm covering Hannah's lunches anyway... I've had enough after half an hour. I like that they trust me enough to leave me there by myself though - even though it's not very legal. I told them that if it's possible I'd like to do half a day, and have somebody else cover the other half of of the day, to which the reply was: We're not allowed to send volunteers over there.
Have I exceeded the "volunteer" status? I feel I have the right to a raise [as I am without payment as it is].

And now to explain the pictures of the Ancient High House. I went there on my day off last Wednesday. Free entrance! So yea. It's one of the oldest buildings in Stafford and it's turned into a museum. It was interesting to see. I got a few leaflets on the history of Stafford, so I'll have a read at some point so see what the origens [this looks weird, too] of my little town are. I also wanted to go into the museum at the market square, but that was closed for some reason. Better luck next time.
I also tried to make carrot soup on my day off, but that failed miserably. I picked the wrong recipe, won't happen again!

This evening, after having finished this little blog, I will make a sandwich! Been looking forward to this the whole day. Didn't get a chance to make it for lunch, so tea it is.

Cheers, dear readers. Blessed be.

Posted by miekj 09:18 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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