Actually it was a kind of boring, kind of stressful day in work but this evening was nice. Choir practice and the guy who sits behind me became the first person to ask me if I had lost weight. I don't generally like people commenting on my looks too much but sometimes someone can say something simple in such a way that really does boost motivation for keeping going.
I also phoned a self-storage place today to try and get an idea of prices in Germany. At the moment a unit between 4 and 6 sqm cost about 100 euro a month to hire so that's 1,200 to start off my list of things to save for if I want to take a year off work. The price could easily change in the next three years but at least I have an idea. It's low enough that it makes more sense to put everything in storage rather than trying to sell everything and then needing to buy again when I come back I think.
I'd like to buy a map of the world to put up on my sitting room wall. I've meant to do this for a while but thinking of travelling gives me even more reason to get one. I don't think I'll go too far from home but I would like to try the following at least:
Germany (might ease myself into things by getting some wwoofing experience in a country and language I'm familiar with but use it as an opportunity to spend time in the Black Forest again)
France (if I decide to travel for a full year then I will try to spend half of that time in France, it's about bloody time I learned to speak it properly. Ideally I'd like to wwoof in areas I haven't been before at the beginning and then possibly somewhere near where my sister lives for a month or two).
Italy (apart from one day in Venice I've never been)
Spain (possibly just for a long holiday rather than wwoofing - I would really like to see Granada and have never been to Barcelona or Madrid either (getting snowed in to Madrid airport for a day doesn't count))
New Zealand (if my sister is still living there and I haven't visited her before then)
Siberia (have always wanted to go there)
Of course this all makes it seems like I need to spend a lot of time learning languages in the next couple of years but I think I might just forget about Italian and Spanish other than picking up a phrase book before actually going there. I can say please and thank you, which are the important things. I did French in school and have done various evening courses over the years but never really got very far and just need to actually be living there and speaking it I think. I can manage if I'm on my own and absolutely have to and I need a few months of that really. And I suppose I could drag out the Russian books and start learning the alphabet again as well. Maybe I could actually open 1001 Russian Verbs this time round!