Thursday, May 22, 2008

And it's our turn

Diane has tagged us for a bit of Meme. Well let's have it then.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. Ten years ago

Tournesol: Ten years ago I took my first steps back into life after being struck by CFIDS 12 years ago (I didn't know it was CFIDS at that time tough), I went on holiday to Paris with my friend A (something we promised ourselves we would do if we ever recovered from our respective illnesses - and yes, it was a very dark winter night when we made the promise, and we tried to be up-beat by thinking we'd make it through this!), I was busy living my 'second life', started on the auditions/competitions circuit again, looked for a new singing teacher (only would find him a year later), made one CD recording of a Mozart Mass and worked as a singing teacher for a school choir.

Tigerduck: I had just moved to Tampa, FL working with a Christian ministry (helping churches locally, going into Juvenile Detention Centres working with the young people there, sending Polynesian dance teams all over the place, and many more things). I also went to Australia (near Brisbane) for 3 months - hmm lots of things come to mind, but the years already start to blur a bit. I was only 23 then!

2. Five things on today's "to do" list (in no particular order)

eat lunch
* doing some admin work for our singing ensemble
* have a look if I can fix the external hard drive
* do my laundry
* go over that list of music for three voices and see if I can track down the sheet music

*get up at 6.30am and don't fall asleep again
*find the right clothes to wear to work and don't curse too loudly when my hair does what it wants (clearly against my will and the higher powers of blow drier and hair straightener)
*stay calm at work and get as much done as quickly as possible while enjoying myself as well
*buy some yarn to knit baby garments (cotton and RYC CashSoftDK)
*watch House

3. Snacks I enjoy

Difficult, depending on the time of day chocolate (the sugar free version), carrot sticks with houmous, muesli bar (I recently discovered a sugar free version at home), and lately rice cakes with Amaranth and Apfelschmaus, salty black licorice (sugar free)

Tigerduck: Chocolate (sugar free = headache free!), crisps with guacamole, carrot sticks (!!) with Humous, cherry tomatoes, Lärabars (esp. lemon!), Salzstangen, salty black licorice (again of the sugar free variety - has to be)

4. Things I would do if I would be a billionaire

Tournesol: Buy flats in London and Paris (and probably somewhere else too but I can't think about it now), send my parents on that holiday they dream of, do the same for my sister, do a lot of charity with kids and music (and not be worried about being paid for a change), give to research, enjoy life without the pressure of money - wow that sounds good!

Tigerduck:Yes. Me too - although I don't really think my parents would actually enjoy going away all that much (they just got a dog in February) - but there is always time for that. There are so many fantastic things to do and to give to, projects that allow people to build up a living and have hope in their communities. The possibilities are endless.

5. Places I have lived

Tournesol: Really lived in (like in stayed for more than 3 month), Hamm (Westfalen), Dortmund, Münster, Paris and London

Tigerduck:Hamburg (Germany), a ship (while in Dakar - Senegal, Lome - Togo, St. Vincent - Caribbean, Jacksonville, FL, Wilminton, NC and Norfolk, Virginia - USA, France), Salem, OR (USA), Tampa, FL (USA), Budapest (Hungary), Rostov-on-Don (Russia), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Carbrook (near Brisbane, Australia), Big Island of Hawaii, London (UK).... hmm might be a few more - point is I have moved around a bit.

People I want to know more about
This is tricky.... Ali, Daisy, Rachel, Laurie, Eusebius,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A little trip to Amsterdam

Two weeks of wonderful sunshine here in London, and then a trip with work colleagues to Amsterdam.... pouring rain!! However, it cleared towards the middle of the day, and it turned out to be a great time on a boat, going through the Amsterdam canals.

Although I have been to Amsterdam many times before, I had never had the opportunity to see some of the little hidden courtyards - originally mostly built out of charity by organisations or individuals - that can be found in the centre of the city. Here is a picture taken in such a courtyard.

It was a bit too late for shopping by the time we came off the boat, but I just had to take a picture of this cheese store.... Really makes me want to go back some time soon (sigh). Besides... there must be some nice little yarn and crafts stores just waiting to be explored.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy CFIDS/ME Day!

Today on Florence Nightingale's 188th birthday we celebrate the international CFIDS/ME Awareness Day, actually the whole month of May is dedicated to CFIDS/ME. The biggest event will be the 3rd international conference on the 23rd of May in London.
On this Awareness Day we should not forget those ones who aren't lucky enough to have supportive families and friends and those ones who passed away miserably like Sophia Mizra. If you are going to read about Sophia's story and medieval practice in the 20th century, you might need some time to re-adjust afterwards; her story is very touching.

The CDFIS Association of America Website with their campaign SPARKS is still the only one having started a media campaign and keeping a list of all interesting materials.
The Guardian commented on this month's event by publishing an article about what life with CFIDS feels like, which I only became aware of thanks to reading posts on the Ravelry forums - knitting helps!
A very good site is run by CFIDS-affected Regina Clos , but you'll need to know a bit of German. Since Germany is miles behind the USA and the UK, she took the time to translate lots of articles from English into German. It makes a huge difference to be able to read an article in your own language; also, many CFIDS/ME patients suffer from 'brain fog' which some times even makes reading in their native language difficult - never mind trying to read in a foreign language. Even the German Association for CFIDS referrs to her website as the one with the most up-do-date data base information. In order to keep her site alive she has finally agreed to put up a donation button. If you can spare a few Pounds/Dollars/Euros, give them to her so she can keep up this fantastic work.
Having CFIDS myself, I know how hard it is to keep yourself going despite the pain, the fatigue and all the countless other problems a chronic illness brings with itself, while not allowing yourself to wallow in self pity and slip into depression. To give you an example of how a constant lack of energy feels like, have a look at the spoon theory.
Having said all this, thinking about illness shouldn't make us depressive for the rest of the day - on the contrary, it should make us celebrate life in all its diversity! We cannot put our life on hold until we are all 'healthy' (and what is all healthy anyway?) there is so much to discover and what seems like small steps to one is a giant leap for another. So, for today, let's not go out and compete about who is the best but encourage our colleagues and friends to be who they are.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Weekend away going to Luebeck

We went to see my sister in Luebeck for her birthday and to celebrate her exams. My parents took us to a restaurant for dinner, I don't think I have eaten that much for weeks! During this weekend we found a most amazing shop and we made this: and this and thisWe drove to the beach and watched the ferries to Finland. It did look like they were walking over the beach...
and we spent lots of time talking, sitting on the balcony, watching a cat
And then we did some more talking, eating (white asparagus, I really miss this here in the UK!) and watching the sun set. A perfect weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Going to have a cat!

The landlord has given his permission: we can have a cat! I'm soooo excited!! Some happy thoughts after spending one hour trying to fix my Thunderbird. But hands up who knew that the Logitech software is blocking Thunderbird updates? Huh? No idea why, but when I disabled it, the email gods smiled at me again. So now you all know and I can get back to knitting...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to .... Us!

I can't believe we almost missed it - dots&yarn is now one year old. It's been lovely blogging and sharing with all of you!! So, 5000 site visits on, we are still alive and kicking :-) Happy first birthday to us