Thursday, April 08, 2010

Not a bad week

I nearly didn't make it through the work day yesterday without succumbing to cravings to eat chocolate. At about five o'clock though someone offered me a piece of nut cake their mum had made for them and that with a cup of hot chocolate (my second of the day - I don't do that often) kept me going. I decided to stop at the supermarket on the way home though and buy some dark chocolate for today. I needed to buy a few things to get to the minimum charge for using a debit card though but luckily there are selling barilla pasta at half price so I grabbed a load of that and three bars of lindt chocolate (which was also reduced - 23% off) which left me spending just over 10 euro. I also took 10 euro out of the bank this morning as I wanted to make a contribution to a birthday pressie for a colleague and apart from buying a couple of bread rolls this morning I used most of the rest of that tenner to buy more pasta on the way home this evening as well. If you find a bargain, might as well make the most of it and the pasta had a good long best before date on it as well.

Actually I am also pleased that last night and tonight I didn't give in and go and get some takeaway of some kind. I had a kind of stressful day yesterday (expected given that it is month-end in work), ended up working till nine and missing choir and then arrived home to a letter from my friends ex-landlord. My friend, H. who stayed with me for a couple of months and has now moved back to the Black Forest to work there again had been on to me yesterday anyway complaining that his unemployment money still hadn't come through and asking me to ring them to find out why. I did do that but since I don't have a power of attorney for him with them, they could only tell me some documents still needed to be submitted. Since I know I hand delivered those documents myself, it's frustrating to not be able to then get put through to someone who can help me more. Anyway, I've made copies and will send them registered post tomorrow and hopefully that will help. But all in all I was feeling a bit under pressure from his whole situation. He is an alcoholic and has gotten very bad in the past year or two and although I want to help him if I can he causes most of his own problems or at least causes them to get worse by not dealing with the bureaucracy properly and I'm getting sick of him expecting more help and pity to be honest. So when I arrived home to that letter from his ex-landlord (apparently his roommate and so-called friend who was going to take over the flat on his own after H. left has just moved on somewhere else so now the landlord wants not only the four months rent owing to him (which is what he so badly needs the unemployment money for) but also claims that H. now has to pay full rent until the end of August unless he finds someone else to take on the flat as well as repairs for the bathroom boiler and anything else he finds which needs fixing) it was just too much. And even more frustrating that I couldn't get through to H. on the phone. I very nearly went out again to buy something very greasy for dinner but then just decided no, I am going to tell him I am staying out of this problem and he has to sort it for himself and I made myself some toast and had that with some cheese, chutney and the rest of the turkey salami. I had two squares of chocolate as a dessert too.

I went straight to bed afterwards to read for a while and tried intermittently to get through to him on the phone but couldn't and finally I actually just wrote him a letter. I sent him on the landlord's letter and told him that I couldn't help him with this problem and he would have to sort it out for himself. I also told him that he was going to have to start taking a bit more responsibility for his problems because I am not sure how much more I can take and that no matter how much I love him I will cut contact with him before I allow all of his shit to destroy me. I hope I hit the right balance between letting him know I was serious while still letting him know that if he does try to sort himself out I will support him. I had to write that letter although I'm sure it's going to hit him hard. It shouldn't as I've actually had that conversation with him twice over the last weeks but I'm fairly certain he just wasn't listening (or didn't want to) or else just didn't remember it. Anyway, it's in writing now and fingers crossed he will be sober when he reads it and that way he'll have heard it drunk and sober so no excuses for not remembering.

But enough of all that. This is supposed to be about the positive aspects of this week. I have made and eaten breakfast at home every day (and have porridge oats soaking in the fridge for tomorrow morning). I have brought lunch into work and eaten it every day. I have brought yoghurt and fruit into work to have as snacks and have eaten what I have brought every day. I have made dinner at home every evening. I have done the washing up every day. I've put away the washed dishes every day. I finally got around to taking out my wee wipes again and have been using them. I walked home from work one day.

I haven't eaten any takeaway or canteen food although again this evening I really wanted to stop for a pizza or something on the way home. I had leek soup in the fridge but despite loving leeks I just haven't been able to get enthusiastic of the thought of another big bowl of that. But then I remembered that I also needed to use up the rest of the cream cheese I got last weekend so I fried up a couple of small onions, drained a load of leeks out of the soup and bunged them into the frying pan as well, mixed the garlic and chive cream cheese with some milk and added that as well and made enough pasta for two large portions, which means I've also taken care of lunch for tomorrow.

I did go over budget but not by too much. I have put a wash on this evening which gives me a bit of a start on the chores at the weekend. I finished the milk and the youghurt and the cream cheese. In short, more or less everything I bought to eat this week has been finished - no throwing food out. I do still have some leek soup left but I will put some potatoes into that on Saturday and it will make a nice lunch. I'm invited to a friend's house for dinner tomorrow which I realised is the first time I will be going to dinner in one of my 'new' friends' houses (i.e. new since I moved here) and that is exciting. And I wrote a difficult letter. And posted it. And today I also sent an email to my oldest sister (the one who stopped talking to most of my family for no apparent reason a couple of years ago - I decided last year that I don't care if she doesn't want to talk to me I am going to talk to her and never let her get away with saying it was because I never made an effort, but it's hard to talk to someone on the phone who barely gets a monosyllabic sentence or two out so I'm trying a few emails now as well).

Actually I did go over budget by more than planned because yesterday I also booked a flight to go home for the weekend at the end of the month. It was a cheap flight but I am very happy that I have booked it - when I phoned my brother to see if he was around that weekend he sounded so happy that I would be going to stay with him in his new apartment that it just made me day really. I rang him again yesterday evening after having written that letter and we had a good chat.

All in all, not an earth-shattering week but I feel like I accomplished a lot of just exactly those extremely simple things that most people take for granted and that I just don't always do.

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