One Year

I can’t believe that today it’s been a whole year since I arrived in England in my new flat, to finally live with the boyfriend after surviving years of a long distance relationship.

On the whole, I think that we’ve managed quite well. I was definitely a bit worried when first moving, since it’s always different meeting someone for limited amounts of time, compared to actually living together. It probably helps that we’re both fairly laid back kind of people, so we’ve not really had any big issues to deal with.

My biggest issue has probably been missing my family, especially the little ones. Sometimes feeling lonely with no friends in a new country. Still, I don’t regret moving, because I get to be with the love of my life.

1-year

Amusement Park

Viggo turned five while I was in Sweden, and for his birthday present I gave him a day at the amusement park in Gothenburg. I suspect that he liked his gift, because this was the face he had when we first went in.

viggo-isak

My mom and one of my brothers went with us as well. The weather was good for most of it, with just a spot of rain at one point. Viggo dares to go on nearly anything that he’s allowed to go on, including things that go very high and triggers my fear of heights. Something that he does not care about.

We had a great day though, and I’m kind of hoping to make it a yearly tradition to go to the amusement park when I’m in Sweden during the summer.

On the flume ride!

On the flume ride!

Waving!

Waving!

Our Garden

We still have a lot of work to do in our back garden, but in preparation for my family arriving we did get ourselves a nice, new table and chairs. We also replaced the old canopy on the gazebo, since it was getting quite bad.

I think it’s looking much better now!

garden

The back part of the garden still needs to be dug up and fenced in. We’re also planning to turn the furthest part of it into a parking space, so that we can park off the road. It’s moving along very slowly though, but hopefully we’ll eventually get there. You can tell from the next photo that there’s a lot of weeds, big weeds(!) in the back part of the garden that need to be dealt with.

garden-table

Failure

I only have four more working days until the summer holiday now, and I’ll be honest – it couldn’t come soon enough. My new job (if it can still be considered new after five months) is rewarding, but oh so exhausting. I’m working more hours than I’ve managed to in years since I became ill, and it’s definitely taking its toll.

When I get home from work I am so exhausted that I rarely manage to get anything done. Most days I fall asleep, and never wake up enough to do anything worthwhile. I’ll force myself to cook something for dinner, and that’s about it. The flat isn’t nearly as tidy as I would like, since I fall behind on cleaning. Lots of things need to be done/sorted, and I just don’t have the energy to do it.

All in all, it makes me feel like a failure. It might sound stupid, but I would like to keep a nice, tidy house for the boyfriend. I moved over here, and I’m contributing very little to the household in the form of income due to working less hours, and having a lower hourly rate to begin with. So I feel that the least I could do is cook dinner and keep the flat tidy. But I’m not even managing that most of the time.

I really hate being this tired. It’s the kind of tired when it doesn’t really matter how much – or little – you sleep; you’re still exhausted. I’ve tried to not fall asleep when I get home from work, just to have some more time to do things, but some days it’s impossible. I just can’t keep my eyes open.

I just wish I could do more and get more things done. It’s become especially obvious now that some of my family is coming to visit next week. There are so many things I’d like to get done before they get here, and I’m getting nowhere with them, because I’m just too exhausted after work.

Well, that’s enough whining for today I think. Every now and then I just need to vent. I realise that it probably gets boring for anyone reading this blog for a while, since a lot of my posts are basically “I’m tired”. Which, I suppose, is because I’m always tired. I’ve been tired for many years, and I honestly can’t remember what it feels like to not be tired.

Positive thought; only four more working days and then six weeks off!

And it’s gone…

My one week off is coming to an end, tomorrow it’s back to work. The week has gone by way too fast, and I didn’t get around to doing even half of the things I had planned. Still, it’s been nice to be off and I’ve enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation.

I’ve received a letter from work confirming that my contract is coming to an end on July 20th, something which I already knew. They’re not offering an extension, but I’m invited to a chat regarding my employment in the near future. Whether or not they will offer me another temporary contract for the fall term remains to be seen. I guess I will find out during that chat.

I’m pretty sure that the letter is worded in that way to make sure that if they do offer a new contract, they only have to do it from the start of the fall term – rather than extending the current one. All of the temporary staff has received the same letter. It means they don’t have to pay us for six weeks. Which is really nice for them, but awful for us.

Still, a new contract from September is more secure than having to go job hunting, and I do enjoy the job. So I am really hoping for a new contract, as frustrating as it might be to be without pay for several weeks.

So, tomorrow it’s back to work. I have six weeks of work, plus two days (school finishes on a Tuesday this year) – then my mom, her partner and one of my brothers come to visit for a week. After that, I fly back to Sweden with them to visit home for two weeks, something I’m really looking forward to.

I just need to find the energy to get through the next six weeks and two days first!

Far Away

Living far away from your family isn’t easy at the best of times, so when I got a message last week that my grandma had been taken to the hospital, I was definitely struggling. I wanted very badly to be there for her, able to visit her in the hospital and help out in any way I can. Neither of which is possible when you’re in another country.

She was taken to the hospital last Wednesday morning, and ended up having emergency surgery that afternoon. After that she’s been struggling with an infection, but from what I’m hearing she’s on the mend, and they’re hoping to send her home next week. (With some assistance in the home, since she won’t be able to do everything for a while yet.)

When something like this happens you feel very powerless when you’re far away. It’s made me miss my family extra much, and I can’t wait until end of July when I go home to see them. Especially my grandma, who I will be hugging extra hard.

Adventure Time

On Monday mornings we take our students down to the harbour and we go canoeing. It’s a nice time, and I quite enjoy it the times I get to go (someone always has to stay behind in school, so we alternate). This Monday we ended up having a bit of an adventure though!

It was raining, but with the proper clothing, that’s never really an issue – so we got changed and got ready to head out. As a precaution the instructor had tied the canoes together in pairs. When we got out on the water the my canoe, and the one I was attached to, got caught in the current from the tide. While we were struggling to steer the canoe in the right direction, the tide was pushing us towards the rocky pier.

My colleagues who were in the other two canoes were laughing at our struggle. Until the wind suddenly picked up out of nowhere.

A few minutes later, all four canoes were pushed up against the rocky pier, and we were unable to get anywhere. The tide in combination with the waves from the increasing wind made it impossible to move, and any time we tried to turn around, we were just pushed right back against the rocks. We ended up having to hold onto a rock to avoid being pushed out to sea from the tide.

Eventually they had to come with a motorboat to pull us back to shore!

It was an interesting Monday!

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…)

The End is Near…

And when I’m talking about the end I’m of course speaking of the near end of my current job. After more than 3 years in my current company it just feels like it’s time to move on, and now that I have a new job waiting I can’t wait to get out of here. Tomorrow is my final day and it feels really great.

Then I have a little bit of time off before I start my new job. I will travel to Sweden to see my dad and that part of the family and then down to see my mom and the other part of the family. Apparently it’s the village fair the weekend I’m in my mom’s town which is really nice since I’ve not been there for it for 5 years now. Ah, childhood memories…

I kept postponing the bloodtest I had to take last week, but I finally got around to doing it on Thursday morning and I managed to do so without bawling like a baby so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself *lol*
Today I had a medical check up at the office of my new job and I always feel a bit awkward when I have to do these things. Especially when you have to take your top off and the doctor is kinda handsome. I know he’s a doctor and he sees these things all the time, but still. It’s new to me and it makes me feel really self-conscious.

Tonight I’m off to IKEA to buy some Swedish cakes that I’ll be bringing into the office tomorrow for a small fare well-do with the colleagues (and then I’ll meet some of them for a drink in the evening). Going to have a look for a few things I’d like for my appartment as well, but not sure if they have them. (If there is anyone who doesn’t know what IKEA is – which admittedly is difficult for me to believe – it’s a Swedish furniture store with things you have to put together yourself, making the prices quite decent.. I love IKEA because they also sell some Swedish goodies so that I can get hold of some Swedish meatballs and cheese etc. even when in the Netherlands. Thank you Ingvar! – that’d be the man who started IKEA – )

This weekend I think I’m just going to take it easy. Run a few errands maybe. I bought something in a store which I later realised was not what I needed at all (the guy in the store didn’t go into details.. grr) so I’m going to see if they’ll take it back. It was rather expensive so I really hope that they will.

Otherwise I’ve not really done much. I lead a very boring life, what can I say?

I’ve finished the first round of edits of my book and I now need to re-read it again to check if I need to make some more changes. (Most likely I do.)

Well, I’m off to IKEA now… Going to eat some Swedish meatballs there for dinner I think. Yummy!

Here comes the sun

And it’s about time too! With the weekend the spring and the sun finally seems to have arrived and my mood has perked up quite a bit. Life is so much nicer when the sun is shining and the trees are starting to sprout small, green leaves.

This weekend I mainly took it easy. I did a lot of editing of my book (still have quite a bit left, but it’s definitely progressing nicely) and on Saturday I went out for dinner with my friend to celebrate my new job. We went to an Italian restaurant and true to my habit I ended up eating pizza. It was a pleasant evening.

I also went to the hairdresser (hair is now shorter and lighter) and did some shopping. I bought two small weights so that I can do a little bit (emphasis on little, I admit) of exercising at home.

Hmm, and that’s pretty much it. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it was a nice weekend and I quite enjoyed taking it easy. Tomorrow I need to go for a bloodtest and to be honest I’m terrified. I’ve got some kind of phobia for needles and the thought of them poking me with one and actually having to keep it there long enough to extract some blood, well it’s got me in near panic. I don’t know how I’m going to manage.

Well, wish me luck. I hope I don’t break down and start crying like a baby at the hospital. There’s a rather large risk that I will though, wimp that I am.