Tuesday, 20 July 2010


My new bike is made out of cute! It is ever so small and light, and only has one gear. It has shiny new tyres, which make an excellent contrast with the rest of the bike, which is pleasantly aged. It does not look very nickable to me, which is exactly the sort of bike one wants around here!

Also, it seems to go quite fast. I expect that this is just the illusion one gets when one is pedalling hard, but it is a comparatively exhilarating ride. I like it a lot. I think that it will be a she, and I will call her Dinky.

Dinky is, however, part-Dutch. Obviously somebody’s German bike had a bit of a thing with a Dutch bike, and this was the result. She has one actual brake, and also the pedal backwards thing going on. I find that I don’t mind this – having one brake makes me feel a lot better than having no brakes, and I appear to be able to control my pedalling backwards a lot better than I could when I was riding the Dutch bike on the first day. So far, there hasn’t been anything even approaching an incident.

I must make the saddle higher, though. And attach some lights. I discovered some lights on the table by the front door, which will save me some money. They look good, too. They are, however, too big – the little black things which attach round the bars of the bike will rotate freely at their tightest. I must ameliorate this problem!

I am thinking of making something out of felt to make the black things tighter. I know – profound thought! Think of all of the engineering involved! But it’s OK – I have started to make things out of felt again, and so far it is going well. I would like to set up an Etsy shop, but first I must have some things to put in it. At the moment, I am making a large (i.e. approximately poppy-sized) poppy, which can either be a poppy in its own right, or some sort of accessory. I think that it will be pretty when it is finished. If it is not, I think that perhaps this Etsy project is not meant to be. I have half-made some fuchsia already – I think that they will make good earrings (well, these two flowers will not, but my next lot could well do. Tricky things, fuchsia flowers). I still need to obtain some dangly bits for the bottom. I was thinking of spinning my own from the same wool as I am using for the outer, but I am not convinced that I will get round to buying the spindle. Having said that, I would only need a few centimetres of thread. It shouldn’t be too difficult to spin some myself without the aid of a spindle. Well, it’s not as though I am short of time at the moment!

No news on the arrival time of my friend tomorrow. Perhaps she is not coming. Ah well – perhaps I will buy myself an interesting new pesto to make up for it. Perhaps supermarket own brand this time – last time I was accidentally extravagant. Tomorrow is also market day. I promised myself cherries, a lemon and some vegetables. Tomorrow will be a good food day! I must also obtain more breakfast cereal. I am running out and experimented with the oats again today. There was cramping. Bearable, but I certainly won’t be eating oats more than once a week!*

Mind you, if my friend does not come to stay, I needn’t have put off making the teff pancakes.** Apparently, the batter needs to ferment for three days, and I didn’t think that teff pancakes on their own (which could well be what I will end up eating) would necessarily make an entertainment-worthy meal. Especially if they don’t work out as planned. Having said that, I could experiment with that oniony orange dish. I wonder what its ingredients are, apart from onion, injera and chilli powder. Must do some research!

Hmm. This post looks to be a bit of a brain-dump. This posting every day thing is all very well, but it might not be right for me, given that I am not exactly doing a lot at the moment. I suppose, though, that it isn’t really an issue, as nobody is reading my blog. I can ramble away to my hearts content, and nobody cares at all!

Speaking of rambling away, I have just noticed that my arms aren’t really fat any more! My recent weight gain has been way above and beyond what I have ever gained before, and my arms, which usually manage to stay reasonably slim-looking (I am the classic English pear shape, with a lot of weight on the bottom and very little on top) became quite fat. Now they look OK again. I keep getting a shock when I look at them.

I think that I am about 68kg now, compared to 77 when I arrived at Taize. And no, I don’t know what that is in real weight – I did the calculations and was so horrified that selective amnesia immediately took hold. It is for the best – it was a big amount of weight. You can work it out for yourself, if you care. Anyway, I think that I am trying to lose another 10kg, although the selective amnesia wasn’t suitably selective, and I don’t remember that bit, either. It’s definitely more than 50kg (the final weight I want to be, as opposed to the amount that I want to lose), because 50kg is a weight for some 14-year-old girls, and I am not one of them. I remember weighing 45kg when I was 13, and that equates to about 7½ stone. I think that I want to be more than 8½ stone. How much more, I do not know. We shall see. Not more than 9¼ stone. That is the heaviest I can be and still have something like a flat stomach.

It’s a bit strange to care about this again. I suppose that having very little to do will warp one’s mind. I find the idea of watching football to be an OK one at the moment, as long as it is in English. I enjoyed watching the horse riding event in Aachen, even though it was in German. BBC world service is excellent except for the repeats (even the short attention span it seems to encourage does not upset me too much), and those can be avoided by watching CNN world service, or the Dutch channel which occasionally (or possibly frequently – I may find out over the next few months) has old sitcoms in English with subtitles.

Even the German CDs make suitable entertainment when combined with some felting. I must do more felting and learning, though. I am currently revising CD 3 of 16, which really isn’t good enough, considering that I have been in Germany for over a week now. I should be on at least CD 8. Must try harder!

I can also water plants. The seeds I planted have started to germinate, and I must go to the vegetable garden again and water that. It is slightly exciting, waiting for these things to sprout. I have just this moment started to regret planting one edible thing each in three different pots, though. It could be a little confusing. Hopefully I can be relied upon to pick the parsley and not the poppies when I want something tasty to eat.

*Note my hierarchy of worries. Loneliness is obviously a concern, but the real issue is whether or not I will get to eat nice things. Hang on – isn’t this using food as a reward? Don’t people who do that end up really fat? Well, that explains a few things!

**Teff being the staple grain of Ethiopia, apparently. It is gluten-free, and full of protein and all sorts of nutrients. This is partly because the grain is so tiny that the husks cannot be separated from the insides, so teff flour is always wholemeal, and partly just because it is just generally great. Teff pancakes, or injera, are really yummy when made by people who are not me. I have only had proper fresh ones once, and they were delicious, but I have eaten a lot of mushed up ones in traditional Ethiopian food. Oh, the joys of having a housemate who lived in Ethiopia. I have been waiting for several years to get my hands on some teff flour. This had better be good!

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