If We Were Having Coffee… On March 26

Hello my lovely booklovers,

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop that was started by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster, but has now moved to a new home with Emily at Nerd In The Brain. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit outside in the glorious sunshine, soaking up the sun and fresh air. For the first time this year it’s warm enough to leave your jacket at home. Spring is finally here!

I know I’ve missed another Weekend Coffee Share last week. Well, on Monday, 13 March, my hometown got a bomb threat. Now, we’re a fairly smallish town, with one shopping centre around the corner from where I live and work. It turned out to be false alarm, but if there had really been a bomb and had it detonated, we would have been in the zone. Bomb threads are not common at all in Germany, so for us to get one was more unexpected than scary. Like, why would you bother with a small town like ours?? It didn’t make sense. And I refuse to buy into fear – after all, the aim of terrorism is to spread terror, and panicking wouldn’t have helped.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my new teaching job is going pretty well so far. Of course there are still a few problems as with any new job you start, but the boss has got my back and I’m learning to be stricter. I have never been trusted this much before, and people have never believed in me and my skills/talents like this before, and I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all. It makes a nice change from being talked down to and taken for granted.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we’re still moving house. The first lot is done, but we still need to clean out various cellars that especially my dad kept stuff in (but eventually migrated our stuff across to make space somewhere else). We need to get them cleared out by the middle of April, and I’m dreading it. At least I know that not a lot of it is mine  – an old stuffed animal, a few photo albums, some souvenirs and childhood memories. That’s all that’s left for me to move.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I am well aware that I’m once again behind with my reviews and other updates on this blog. I sometimes feel like my life is not my own at the moment, and I’m constantly exhausted. I read, but I can’t find the concentration to then sit down and write properly. I work my normal job (and within the first 3 months of 2017 I’ve worked enough unpaid overtime to take a whole month off in theory), now I teach 3 afternoons per week, have to plan lessons and then look after my gran and my dad and drive them places or go shopping with them, and I’m getting sick of being the only one who always has to drop her plans because nobody else is available.

All I can ask you is to bear with me. It’s not just this blog that is currently falling behind. I don’t even get left alone enough to study for my TEFL certificate (although I need this for my job!!), research for my PhD project proposal, spring-clean my flat, heck, some days I don’t even get enough time to eat properly. I’ve been averaging one meal a day and a bowl of cereal to hold me over. So everything non-essential, and as much as it pains me, this blog falls into that category, is currently only possible if I got a breather from the rest of it all. I need a holiday – the last time I was able to just relax for a week was in 2012 – and I’m reaching the end of my tether. My hypnotherapy is going really well, but at the same time, I’m getting a lot more emotionally exhausted. I’m hoping the sunshine and warm weather will help with that. I’m a summer child, and I’m glad the winter is finally over. I need to get out of here, and away from all this responsibility I’ve been lumped with, especially as I never get any thanks or appreciation in turn. I just want to be alone, somewhere quiet and warm, maybe walk through nature or sit in a cosy but warm spot in a forest and read. I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before, explore a new place, be myself again and recharge my batteries because I’m running on empty.

Anyway. On to books: On last count, I now own more than 850 books. I have just finished the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab and I can’t recommend it enough. Instant new favourites! I even got the hardcover versions signed and she personalised them to me! And yes, I’m well aware, that’s book collector gold!

Have you read them? If you have, I’d love to talk to you about dream casting those characers. Especially in light of Gerard Butler having bought the rights and adapting it for film.

Anyway, I think that’s it from me for now. Thank you for having coffee with me and giving me a chance to sit back and soak up the sun for a few minutes! Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers, I’m sure they’d also love to see you!

Same time, next week?

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If We Were Having Coffee… On March 12

Hello my lovely booklovers,

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop that was started by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster, but has now moved to a new home with Emily at Nerd In The Brain. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee, we’d sit outside for the first time this year and soak up the spring sun! It’s finally starting to get warmer here – I can’t wait for long and sunny days.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve been teaching my first few classes, and so far, it’s been pretty good. Of course I’m still finding my way, but I guess that’s natural. I also found that teaching my native language German is much harder than teaching English – despite being bilingual, I had normal English lessons at school, so I learned it as a second language and concentrated on grammar. By the time we focused on German grammar, we’d already been speaking the language 10 years, so the approach to the language was completely different, and questions about irregular German verbs and rules flummox me, because I know them all instinctively.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my flat is still a mess, though I have been making progress. My bookshelves are all rearranged, and I actually managed to fit all my books on them with space to spare! Which is good, because I already have more books on the way.

If we were having coffee today, we’d talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer turning 20 this week. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Buffy first aired  – it’s little things like this that show me I’m getting older. I’ve been a fan, a Slayerette, a member of the Scoobie gang from Day One, and I loved the fact that there finally was a show with a kick-ass (literally) female lead character who was so much more, and capable of so much more, than anyone gave her credit for. The same goes for Willow Rosenberg too, by the way. And of course there was Giles, the fatherly Watcher, magician, librarian whom I simply adored.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask whether you’ve read V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series. I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of A Conjuring of Light, the third and final part of the trilogy. I’m simply obsessed with Kell, Lila, Red London and everything else concerning the story. It’s been a while since a series has drawn me in like this, and it has quickly become one of my favourites.

If we were having coffee today, that’d be it from me. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well, I’m sure they’d like to see you too.

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

If We Were Having Coffee… On March 5

Hello my lovely booklovers,

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop that was started by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster, but has now moved to a new home with Emily at Nerd In The Brain. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I apologise once again that I had to miss yet another update last week. My life has been busy, but things are finally starting to fall into place for me! As far as that is concerned, my motto is “Let the good times rule”, or as the people of New Orleans would say “Laissez les bon temps rouler!”

If we were having coffee today, I’d first of all tell you my exciting bit of news: I GOT A JOB! During the Weekend Coffee Share on February 19, I told you guys that I had been offered a job at a language school as an English teacher, despite not having applied or interviewed for the position. Well, I got it!! I officially started as a language instructor on March 1, teaching English as a Foreign Language and German as a Foreign Language! I’ve had my first two English classes (which are 1 Business English / Conversational course and 1 UK primary school prep course) and I’ll teach my first German lesson tomorrow! I am so excited about this opportunity! A bit overwhelmed as I have no idea where to really start, but I can do this! I’ve still got my part-time day job and I work as a freelance language instructor, but there’s a chance I could get taken on permanently if I prove myself. Native German & English instructors are apparently hard to come by, so being a bilingual native speaker of these languages who can teach is a pretty good situation to be in. The school is really supportive in terms of resources, and they will even sponsor me to get my TEFL certificate (which I started but never finished due to my MA).

I FINALLY got recognised for something I’m good at and work doing something I like.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about last weekend.  I gave a talk / presentation about the UK at the Naturefriends house, and I was asked to provide tea and scones as well. It’s been marked down for months, but I didn’t get a chance to prepare much. I was up all night Saturday to sort through 6 years worth of photos to use. It all went swimmingly. Apparently, the talk was interesting, just the right length, and fun for everyone. It also brought back a slew of memories and now I miss the Lake District something fierce!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about my trip to Cologne yesterday with my cousin Fabian. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year and were long overdue a get-together. So we decided to go to Cologne and shop for books, as there’s one huge bookstore that has an excellent English-language section. I ended up buying Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, and an absolutely gorgeous Penguin Threads edition of The Wizard of Oz!

Penguin Threads edition of The Wizard of Oz & Cologne Cathedral ©theliteratigirl

Penguin Threads edition of The Wizard of Oz & Cologne Cathedral ©theliteratigirl

Next stop was The English Shop, where I stocked up on Twinings Tea, Bakewell Tarts, Hobnobs, and 2 Guardian newspapers, as well as the book The House at Baker Street. In this book, Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson team up and it sounds like they’re showing Sherlock and John how it’s done. I’m all for BAMF Mrs H, so this is right up my street! My legs are still sore from the long distances we covered yesterday, but eventually we found ourselves next to Cologne Cathedral at a Kölsch brewery where we had a well-deserved beer. At the station I found one more book though, and I had to buy it, considering the title:

 

Enid Blyton for Grown-ups: Five on Brexit Island. With National Express rolling stock on the railway tracks of Germany. ©theliteratigirl

Enid Blyton for Grown-ups: Five on Brexit Island. With National Express rolling stock on the railway tracks of Germany. ©theliteratigirl

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that dad has now moved out of my childhood home and into the house I live in, though there’s still lots to be done. I’m just glad to have had a weekend’s rest from moving boxes.

 

Anyway, that’s it from me. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers, I’m sure they’d love to see you as well!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?