Monthly Archives: January 2013

So, Marrakesh!

So I was over at my friend Fiona’s today, having a last cup of coffee before she pisses off to Marrakesh tomorrow (well, not last-ever, I mean, we’d be discussing the trip over coffee when she got back next week, as we do), and she was all, “You should totally come,” and I was all “eeeehhhhh…” because I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco but I’ve never wanted to go alone, and hey! Here’s my chance to have it all! But seriously, who drops everything and just flies to another country tomorrow? Umm, well, apart from that one time in South America…

Anyway, I get home, and I go tippy-tappy internet, and the flight still has seats and it’s not that expensive… And then over dinner Mr Husband says “How was your day?” and I sez “Well, Fiona wants to know if I can to to Morocco with her tomorrow,” and he sez “For €1500?” and I sez, “Actually, it’s closer to €250,” and he’s all “Oh. Yeah, you should totally go.”  So I booked the flight, and Fiona scored me a room in the riad where she’s staying, and um. I’m flying to Marrakesh tomorrow, and I’m still not sure exactly how that happened.

But just in case it’s actual and real and all, I’m reading Know Before You Go, and Shopping Tips, and Lonely Planet’s guide (which I’m not so sure about), and How to Haggle, and the BBC’s Secrets to Shopping (um, guys, once you put it on the BBC site it’s not very secret), and Julie Eagleton’s tips, and some FAQs on a trekking site, and reading up on henna tattoos and hammams – I still feel woefully underprepared, but at least I know more than I did when I booked the flight! Eeee, this is exciting! You know, if it turns out to be true.

Song du jour of the day: well, of course.

Edited to add: oh! Right! Leaving tomorrow, back Tuesday next. I may be able to blog from Fiona’s Ipad, but I can’t say for sure, as I’ve never used one.

holding pattern

Okay, had a minor setback in response to some very good news yesterday, which is weird, but happens.

This is all weird: DrBob applied for the Heidelberg job over a year ago, and he finally got the “Ruf” (pronounced sort of like “roof”, means “the call”) in December, and is now in the process of negotiating. It’s fiddly – the letter offers him the job but doesn’t really go into detail, so he went down there to talk to them, um, sometime in December and apparently they don’t offer him a salary, he tells them the salary he expects, plus whatever perks he requires, and if he wants to bring people with him (like, say, his Ph.D students or an assistant) he has to negotiate jobs for them, and outline what sort of projects he’d like to launch and how much funding they’ll need and wow! Lots of information that he just has to pull out of his – er, hat, and then they say well we can give you this but not that, and some but not all of the other, but we can offer you this other thing! Continue reading


Right, so. A certain emotional equilibrium seems to have been achieved. I weathered the migraine, took it easy for one day so as not to bring on another one, and then, this morning I woke up with That Thing in my chest, that wheezy, scratchy lump of glugh that has been the inerrant harbinger of a cold ever since I had that brief affair with pneumonia in 2006. So I’ve been groggy all day:

Me: breathe, damn you.
My lungs: no. donwanna.
Me: I got things to do! Stairs to climb!
My lungs: wheeeeeze…

I did pack one box today! Yay me, right? I’ve been reading FlyLady’s moving tips, taking notes and all, I’ve got a fistful of different-colored Sharpies so I can label the boxes according to what room the movers should put them in, which is tricky since we have no idea what we’ll be moving into. City? Suburb? Willage? House? Apartment? (There’s a castle in Heidelberg, but they haven’t fixed the damage done by Napoleon’s cannons, so it’s probably pretty drafty.) How many rooms we’ll need will depend on how many kids we’ll have six months from now – most people have that sort of information right to hand, but not us, oh, no.

Besides, DrBob may convince the University to pay for the move so I don’t even have to pack at all! So I should wait and see, but unemployment is making me insane, so I must pack all the things! But, one box at a time, because I keep getting sick, arg.

Song du jour of the day: Fragile, by Sting and Stevie Wonder

The Black Dog

So as established, New Year’s Resolutions are full of fail so I’m not really making them. Exactly. I mean, I bought the Wii Zumba back in November or so, and I started cooking properly back in September, and also, at some point, I resolved to blog again, but it wasn’t anywhere around the turn of the year.

Aaaand it hasn’t gone so well. The radio silence is broken, DrBob’s current employer knows that he has an offer from another university, so I don’t have that secret to keep anymore, but.

But. I don’t want to write if I can’t be funny, or at least mildly engaging, and if I’m not feeling it, I can’t fake it. You saw that in the last entry – me trying to be funny, and coming across as shrewish and bitter. And I’m not feeling it a lot, lately.

There’s no good reason for this, it just comes out of nowhere and drags me down sometimes, anxiety and sadness and this deep sense of inadequacy that won’t go away until it’s damn well ready. The wonderful Jenny Lawson says “Depression lies,” but when I’m in the middle of it all the ugly words anybody has ever said to me ricochet around my head and it all feels true. Yes, it isn’t, but this doesn’t come from any logical place, so I can’t fix it with logic, I just have to ride it out and hope it doesn’t come back again soon.

So that’s what I’m hopefully climbing out of right now – this might just be the eye of the storm, we’ll see – and that’s why I’ve had so little to say lately. I mean, I have LOTS! It just had to wait a bit while I was dealing with some extra gravity.

Song du jour of the day: Love’s Divine, by Seal.


April Fool

That’s right, I’ll say it – the year should turn over in the spring, not the dead of drecky, yucky, miserable winter. And why? Because of resolutions, that’s why.

No, seriously! Resolutions fail because they’re made in January. Some examples?

  • Hey, Imma start eating right! When the only things in season are cabbage and icicles. Yes they are healthy but they’re no. damn. fun.
  • Howbout let’s get fit? What can we do without actually leaving the house, because have you seen it out there? Wet, cold, windy, slippy, and almost always dark? Fuck it, I’m going back to bed.
  • I’m finally going to write that novel! A peppy little number about darkness. And despair.
  • Talk to people more! About how dark and depressing everything is, and how much I hate winter.
  • Spend less money, save more! On what, heat? Electricity? Food? All things you need more of in the dead of winter.
  • Quit smoking or drinking? Good Lord, what does this leave me to live for!?
  • Get organized! Oh, what’s the point?

You see? You SEE? Every damn one of these resolutions is easier to keep when there’s sunlight and a chance of leaving the house without losing a couple of toes to frostbite. The only sensible resolution to make at this time of year is to hunker down and try to survive until the sun comes back.

I rest my case.

(Okay, yes, this is partly bitterness. I rang in the New Year in Rural Hell, Germany, and now that I’m home I could get started – in fact I was just about to go downstairs and clean the kitchen, but I’m pinned in my chair by a warm sleepy kitty. But it’s only partly bitterness – deep down, I know I’m on to something here.)

Song du jour of the day: Yesterday is Here, by Tom Waits.