wiseheart: (Tosh_flowers)
I had a weekend without pre-scheduled activities for a change (it won't happen again, soon), so I decided to prepare my wondrous Easter ham in advance. You know, the one I always make, with cumin and garlic. I cooked and baked it yesterday, sliced it thinly today and froze it for the actual holiday to come.

Unfortunately, it was a rather fat piece of ham, which one doesn't see until it is cut. I cut away all the fat, cubed it and fried it in a pan; we'll eat it with toast, and the cubes I'll use to bake spicy buns later. So, one ham, three different ways to utilize it - I think it was very economic of me. *g*

I also managed to de-scale the washing machine by the simple method of running a washing gang with a litre of vinegar instead of actual clothes. Now it doesn't stink any longer and you can enter the bathroom without a gas mask. Hoorray!

The bad news is that the very harsh sunshine really hurt my eyes last Friday. They are somewhat better now, thank to the eye mask we bought in London some 20 years ago (it has been sitting in the fridge peacefully ever since, waiting for its time to come), but my left I still feels as if I had cotton wool in it - although much less so than yesterday - and I'm having a mild but recurring headache all the time. *sigh*

I never liked being in the sun, but my work requires that I suffer daily at least one hour on the school yard. Really, retirement keeps getting more appealing with each passing day.
wiseheart: (Macika)
My goddaughter came to visit us today, with her mother and little Theo, for a belated Christmas/birthday party as we were all down with one temporary illness or other in the last two months or so.

It was very pleasant. Little Theo, roughly a year and a half old by now, was toddling around in the flat and we took turns running after him, as our home isn't really suited for babies - nothing particularly dangerous, just a lot of breakable things where small children can reach them.

I made the usual cheesy buns, only much smaller ones, and the yogurt/lemon cake that can be put together in no time. They brought me ribbon sets for my needlework and baking ingredients, so that was a success. We gave them chocolate, a tin of gingerbread that had a music... thingie in it, playing Holy Night (as I said, it was a belated Christmas party, too), which Theo absolutely loved (he danced around to the music, can you believe it?) and some money to buy him clothes and stuff. He grows so fast!

All in all, we had a grand old time. They are the only branch of the family we still have contact with, and I hope we'll continue to do so for a long time yet.
wiseheart: (Tosh_flowers)
Mum is turning 85 tomorrow - it's hard to believe how fast time flew by! Since she didn't want me to get her anything - she keeps saying one should take things out of our flat instead of getting more stuff in - I decided to treat her to a celebratory meal in "The Four Seasons", a really nice little restaurant nearby. We've been there previously, several times, and it's still as pleasurable as always.

We invited Auntie Clara, who isn't really a relative, but her best friend since 1965 and had a great time. The atmosphere of the place is nice, the food is great and the old ladies don't see each other often enough, as Auntie Clara lives in a different, fairly distant part of the city. They had a grand old time and so had I, actually.

Yesterday, after the big flat cleaning act, I baked cheesy buns and a delicious little cake: a sponge cake with almonds and chocolate shards in the dough, filled with a cream made of vanilla pudding, butter and cinnamon. Yum! We decided against putting 85 candles on it, though - the whole thing isn't bigger in diameter than 20 centimetres, so it would have been a hopeless undertaking. Mum was very happy with it nonetheless.
wiseheart: (harper2)
This stupid cold has been going on for a week and a half by now and shows no attempts to go away. It I'm still not better next Monday, I'll see my doctor and get me an attest that I'm ill. I certainly won't be standing around on the icy school yard with no voice and a cough bad enough that the dogs in the neighbourhood think they need to answer me.

I had the most miserable Christmas in years! I mean, I'm often ill over the holidays, the body seems to take advantage on the fact that I don't have to work and chooses to collapse at the precise moment when the holidays start, but this is definitely the worst I had in the last decade or so. Coughing, no sleep, cold shivers, hot shivers, no voice... I hate it!

The only positive aspect is that I finally got back to writing, as there's little else I can do right now. I'm well into Chapter 5 of "Turn Left - The Veteran's House", and I've begun posting "The Web of Darkness" to AO3, one chapter a day. I've also got my act together to write up "Captain, My Captain", a short story about how in the BM-verse Jack Harkness became the bodyguard of Mycroft Holmes. 4 short chapters only, and probably not the best ones I've ever written, but the draft has been sitting on my HD for years, and I'm glad to have it out of my hair. It's posted to both AO3 and the Pit of Voles.
wiseheart: (harper2)
So, we had Christmas, like everyone else, naturally. Only that I was sick like a dog. In the night from 23.14 to 24.12 I slept approximately an hour and a half, due to my own coughing. I kid you not. I rose like a drunken sailor after shore leave yesterday. Also, I couldn't speak. At all. My voice cords were out of commission. Completely. I could produce some inarticulate sounds and I could whisper - which Mum couldn't hear, since her hearing is slowly failing. It was fun - NOT.

Nevertheless, we got the Christmas tree decorated as a joint effort. You can see the proof below. Every single piece of decoration on it is home-made, which is why I'm quite proud of it. I think there's a ton of homemade candy on that poor tree - a good thing it stands on the balcony without heating. Anyway, here it is:



I wanted something Christmass-y in my own room as well, so I hung up some of the felt ornaments from last year, in the form of a tree. I think it turned out quite nice:



(Yes, I know the wallpaper is inexcusably dirty, thank you very much. Once, it used to be white. We've been planning to replace it for the last 15 years, but considering how long the balcony drama lasted, I think I'll overlook the dirt for a while yet.)

The rest of my Christmas candy, gift-wrapped for my colleagues (I gave them the little packages on the last working day):



The full collection of gift boxes I gave away with the candy:



And finally, the Most Disastrous Truffle Cake (TM), looking as if it's been flattened by an earthslide or whatnot:



Other than that, I made fake mulled wine for the evening (using apple juice instead of wine) and tried to stay alive. Speaking is still not much of an issue, and the coughing is still very bad, but at least I could sleep a couple of hours last night between two violent coughing attacks.

So, enough whined, wishing you blessed Christmas overall!
wiseheart: (Mycroft_drink)
No, really, it is! Hard to believe - it only took four whole weeks, eh?
But it's done, thank God!

Also, made some more paper balls while waiting for the workers. They seem to get more and more elaborate with each new batch (the paper balls, not the workers).



At school, we decorated some gingerbread men with the 5th grade girls and packed the already finished ones into pretty self-made boxes. I think they'll be a hit at the fair.
wiseheart: (Gildor)
Abusing the computer at the school library again - this time to whine a little.

No, help guy still hasn't come to install my shiny new Norton, so I still can't use either my geriatric PC or my laptop, out of fear of computer viruses. And no, my shiny new iPod, although it knows lots of things, isn't best suited for lengthy reading or correspondence. Or rather my eyes are not suited to use it all the time.

Also, I'm still enjoying the wonderful side effects of a pinched nerve in my back. It's been nearly a month by now. Sometimes even breathing hurts. And I no longer can read/write/watch TV lying on my belly, which is how I always do these things. It's very frustrating. I'm basically paralysed. The funny thing is, I can do practically everything else - just not the relaxing things that I like. Grrrrrr!

And I miss my online friends. Where are you, folks? How are you doing? I can read LJ entries very well on my iPod, you know. *hint,hint*
wiseheart: (Centaurus)
I'm deeply ashamed to say, but I've caved in. Telly programme is so much of a shit - save for the zoo reports in the early afternoon when I'm at work anyway - that I've actually caved in and will be watching "Enterprise" tonight. Unless German TV changes their programme in the last second as usual.
Read more... )
wiseheart: (Mycroft_shirtsleeves)
Just because I wanted to post something else than update alerts and the regular whining about not getting reviews (which I still don't, save the three saintly ladies who keep soldiering on, but that's another matter entirely). So, be prepared for school stuff, babbling about writing, summer holidays and family insanity.
Read more... )
Well, I can't think of anything worth mentioning right now. Was probably boring enough anyway. But at least it will remind me of my own plans, which is useful sometimes.
wiseheart: (Mycroft_stressed)
It's created by [livejournal.com profile] fabelschwester and gakked from [livejournal.com profile] songfire3. Isn't stressed out!Mycroft cute? It's just how I feel at the moment. School's been particularly chaotic lately, and even with lots of therapeutic baking - have you guys seen my lovely cookie recepies for Easter? - it was hard to bear.

It's a good thing Easter holidays are coming up, even though it's snowing, which means no or fairly sporadic satellite TV at the moment. But I dont' want to be ungrateful. At least we're not snowed in like the greater part of the country and still have our creature comforts like water and electricity and central heating. Living in a big city does have its advantages sometimes.

I hope you guys are okay. My entire friendslist has been suspiciously quiet lately.

Today, I managed to write a little, after several very unfertile days. (The updates don't really count, as those were chapters already written weeks ago.) No, of course not anything new for the stories I'm currently working on, that would be too easy. Now, the muses suddenly inspired me to finish Chapter 8 of my epic Dwarf saga, "The Book of Mazarbul", which has been on a hiatus for, oh, about a year or two. Go figure. Well, progress is progress, so I'm not complaining.

One more day of school, then a whole week all for myself! Well, and for Mum, of course. All I'll have to do is to prepare the Easter ham, colour the Easter eggs and bake Ischler cakes that I promised Mum I would. The big spring cleaning was done last Saturday, thanks to the hired help - just 2 days before it started snowing again like crazy, isn't that fun? But at least it's over.

Yeah, I'm rambling. Sorry. Really, really tired here.
wiseheart: (harper2)
Which means: no school until January 7. At which time the great and completely obscure school reform will start, apparently - nobody knows a thing how it would work (probably not at all), but at least our fantastic government invested billions that would be sorels needed to make school, you know, work, so the end of the world tomorrow would probably be a relief.

In any case, Mum and I decided to spend the end of the world in Vienna because there really isn't any better place for it. Mum's hurt her knee when the trolley bus held on suddenly, I've got a temperature and a burnt hand, so we really, really deserve something good in our lives. Didn't tell Mum about the temperature, though. Don't want her to cancel the trip. I'll have weeks to get better afterwards; I'll take industrial amounts of aspirin and put on warm clothes.

We still haven't got a Christmas tree. I originally intended to buy it yesterday, but with an open burn wound on my hand, it didn't seem a good idea to grab between pine needles. I'll buy it on the day after tomorrow, after having wrapped my injured hand really thick. Mum can't do it, so it's up to me.

I still owe you the last two recipes, but my hand hurts, so more typing will have to wait. Wish us a safe trip for tomorrow - I'll share the recipes yet, I promise!
wiseheart: (Tyr Anasazi)
I was backing the last batch of Christmas cookies yesterday and accindentally dropped the hot baking tin onto my hand when taking it out of the oven. Stupid me; should have checked whether the surface of the kitchen hearth is empty before placing the tin on it.

In any case, fortunately there was some Bepanthen Plus salve handy, and I only ruined one of the delicious cookies. My hand looks really ugly, but these BAYER products are very good, so hopefully there won't be any lasting scarring.

Housework is a dangerous thing.
wiseheart: (radek_working)
The stitching project (Christmas cards) is going well. I've already selected 10 of them for my online friends and another eight are made for the charity fair at school. Some 5th term kids took a liking to the craft and made their own cards. We write on the back of every card who made it and the school class they are from. Hopefully, it will incline people to buy them.

The writing project is ailing at the moment. I'm trying to bring up the strength to finish at least the 2nd chapter of "Sea Flower" before [livejournal.com profile] picowrimo starts, as pico time is supposed to be for "Emissary of the Mark" and "Arthur's Quest". *sighs* Best laid plans and all.

My left shoulder and the left side of my neck pains me something fierce. Probably got a cold draft or whatnot. The silly thing is, I don't feel it all day, but as soon as I get home, it starts all over like whoa! Either the lavender salve needs a day to wear off, or it's waiting for me to relax. In either case, it hurts! And he weird freezing ear problem is back, too. Add the occasional heat waves due to being as old as I am, and the days shape up rather interestingly. [/sarcasm]

Other than that, life isn't that bad, not really. On Tuesday (October 30) we're going to Vienna for 2 days - I can't wait!
wiseheart: (radek_working)
But at least this time the depression wasn't the culprit. Mum and I were doing domestic stuff.

First of all, my late birthday-early Christmas shinies have arrived from the wonderful and way too generous [livejournal.com profile] lhun_dweller: 4 books of the Star Trek DS9 relaunch series. Of course, the postal service chose the only time both Mum and I were away to deliver them, so I had to go to the postal office to fetch them. Which I did, first thing in the morning.

Then we went to the cemetery, because October 17 was my grandfather's birthday. We couldn't go on the day as I spent it entirely at school (Wednesdays tend to be like that), but today was better weather anyway.

Then we went to do the shopping for the 4-day national holiday, which is always a battle of epic proportions, as most Hungarians firmly believe that they would starve to death, together with their families, when the shops are closed on an additional day. So we fought the battle valiantly, even went to two different hobby artist shops because I wanted to see what was available. The offer was fantastic, but way beyond what I'd be willing to spend on a hobby, so we just looked.

Afterwards, we came home, had an impromptu lunch, and as there was nothing on the telly (as usual), I started reading "Mission Gamma - Book Four: Lesser Evil". I nearly went through the book in one sitting, but then I remembered that I had intended to bake and even thawed out some of the ingredients.

So I went to the kitchen and produced an apple-cheesecake in, oh three hours or so. It's done now, waiting to cool, so that we can give it a quality test. It's likely that the filling would be too soft - I put way too much apples into it, apparently - but it doesn't matter. We can always eat it with a spoon, right out of the baking tin. *g*

In the rest of the evening, I did some research re: the original "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, b/c I want to go a different way with the "Ginger" version of "A Study in Pink" - with an emphasis on the original, rather than the TV episode (either version of it).

All in all, a productive day, I'd say. Now I'll read some Sherlock fanfic before returning to "Mission Gamma". :)
wiseheart: (Macika)
My dear friends,

Despite LJ's attempt to destroy our fun, the reconstructed birthday party was a great success. In two entries, we had a total of 1365 comments on 10 pages, and I still have some lost threads to repost. My heartfelt thanks to all who came and participated in the discussions; I think I can speak for us all when I say that it was a wonderful experience.

In general, I had a great birthday. Aside from the Party - the best of my life so far - I also got various shinies: the New Bed (TM), which I gifted upon myself (although Mum paid the delivery), some nice long-sleeved T-shirts from Mum, an imprompty birthday party with home-made muffins from my 7th-grade-students, the wonderful book "The Art of The Hobbit" from [livejournal.com profile] the_wild_iris, together with a beutiful card and a most charming electronic birthday card from [livejournal.com profile] lindahoyland.

Work on my actual birthday was low-scale (only 2 lessons), so Mum and I could visit the grandparents who now rest in a nearby churchyard (the grand achievement of the summer) and then eat out in a nice restaurant.

If more birthdays turn out like this one, I won't mind getting older. ;))
wiseheart: (Default)
You know that I love Mum, and those who've met her also know that she's a jewel. But that doesn't change the fact that as long as you lives with your parents, you never get to organize your life as you would like.

It happened that for tomorrow, I got the chance to skip some lessons (a colleague owes me almost a month's worth of unpaid lessons back from September), so I can go to work two hours later than I originally should have. I was really glad, because it would have meant that I could catch up with some writing - assuming I found the strength to get up early.

I called Mum on my way home and told her the good news. She promptly said: "Oh, good, then we can leave home really early, go to this funeral company and got the grandparents moved. (We've bought the new resting place last week.)

Now, I know it needs to be done. In fact, we've been planning to do it on Thursday, when I start work late anyway. It doesn't really matter which day we do it - I can catch up with my writing or whatever on Thurdsay, too. But I'd have liked to be at least asked fist if I had any other plans for this unexpected free morning. Because, well, you see, I actually had. None that coulnd't be swapped for another day, but still.

So, to summarize it: as long as you live with the parents, you're a child. And as long as you're a child, you can't expect any courtesy where your own spare time is concerned.
wiseheart: (Merlin magic)
Received Kirschwasser from the most generous [livejournal.com profile] artemis10002000. *is happy* Now there's no more obstacle in the way of baking magic for Mum's 80th birthday, coming up at the end of the month.

I haven't baked Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte for... well I don't even know for how long. I hope I still have it in me. And there will be festive toasting with eggnogg, in chocolate 'shot glasses'. Yep, I already bought them. She'll be so surprised!
wiseheart: (Macika)
Or happy Midwinter, or blessed Winter Solstice, or just happy holidays, whichever you happen to celebrate!

Celebrations at home:

Read more... )

There is some picspam behind the tag if you're interested.

My Christmas tree:

Read more... )

The uncanny mound of Christmas cookies, of the size of the Misty Mountains:

Read more... )

Have a virtual cookie or two. Hope your holidays are happy ones. :)
wiseheart: (Macika)
With Todán fánk, one of Granny's traditional classics (a yeast dough with walnut filling, in the form of rosettes), baking season has officially ended yesterday, around midnight. You can look up the pinned entry for December 24 for the details.

I gave up on the remaining two ideas and decided that 30 different sorts of cookies will be enough. I'll post a picture of the huge tray around Christmas, so that you can see the results.

I also got the Big Christmas Flat Cleaning Horror (TM) behind me, less than an hour ago. Now I can finally enjoy Christmas break.

Mum and I went back to the Christmas market yesterday. It has spread into the side streets from the central square in the meantime, and it's still as amazing as it was two weeks ago - or even more so. We drank some mulled wine and bought a small piece of traditional Hungarian ceramic (a little jug) for Mum. She already had her eyes on the thing last time, but - overly modest as she is - didn't want to spend money on it. Has been mourning the decision ever since, so we went back and righted it. *g*
wiseheart: (Buliwyf)
I just watched the first 3 Merlin4 eps in one go. Will post about it tomorrow.

Sorry I've been so behind everyone's entries. School was exceptionally brutal this week. Yesterday I got actually so far that I fell onto the bed with my street clothes on when I finally got home and got a minor breakdown. Mum was frightened, the poor thing, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

Then I started baking with vengeance (check out the pinned entry above for dirty details). But it's a good thing that Christmas break starts next week, because not even baking orgies would keep me sane much longer.

However, I managed to finish Chapter 5 of "Smiths & Joneses". Will type it up and post it tomorrow. Before or after packing all the Christmas presents.

Speaking of which: I'm afraid none of my online friends will get their prezzies/cards/whatever in time for Christmas. I'm very sorry. I just haven't managed to get and to pack them soon enough. But New Years' gifts are nice, too, right?

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