Stuff Done


  • went through my tax papers, found mistakes, called accountant
  • did some finance archaeology (successful!)
  • kitty injection
  • worked for CIAO
  • added a few more things in my calendar
  • bought Lush stuff!
  • filed and printed some web pages for The Book


  • call with prospective client
  • get back on track with FMEL
  • kitty injection
  • maybe shopping & trip to taylor’s
  • osteopath (hands… better earlier than late!)
  • roller-blading

A Productive Morning

In no particular order:

  • checked which day my laundry day was this week and marked it on the calendar
  • added a whole bunch of other small things to my calendar
  • sorted out my trip to Hamburg next week
  • got my flights for Serbia sorted out
  • exchanged a few e-mails with clients and future clients
  • wrote two blog posts
  • injected interferon into Bagha, without a noise
  • started planning my week
  • decided what I would do this afternoon (blog about looking for funding for the book in French, sort out tax stuff)

Doesn’t sound like so much, but actually I got a whole lot of small nagging administrative things done (mainly calendar-related).

Life is Fun

So, (you can dig all this out from Twitter, but I’m too lazy tonight to do all the linking) I’m quite happy with these last two days.

After a particularly grey and boring day on Thursday, I had an epiphany: I needed to do more fun things. I had been traipsing around town and in museums (not particularly dull, but not particularly exciting) alone all day, and obviously, this was not for me.

So, quick thought. What do I find fun? Well, actually, doing stuff with people. So, I decided to get organised and spend my time with people instead of “visiting Frankfurt because I’m there and I’ve never been there and so I should visit”. However, I have to keep in mind that I’m a little overworked these days (despite being far from making piles of cash right now, that’s what happens when you’re freelance), so this will have to be “non work-related people” or existing friends. But… it worked, and I had two (and a half!) lovely days in Frankfurt after my rather depressing first contact with the publishing world.

Today I also did three things I’m quite happy about (I can’t remember if it’s in the Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun or elsewhere, but I once heard “do one thing a day that scares you”):

– asked a couple of teenagers playing with cellphone ringtones or something to turn it down (twice, because it didn’t work the first time!)
– told a visibly inebriated guy who made a beeline for me at the bus stop with the intention of striking up a conversation to bugger off (he didn’t, so I insisted, got angry, and finally moved with the friend I was talking to)
– bumped into an old friend at the bus stop, and decided to for a coffee one of these next weeks to catch up.

Also, I spent the day offline today (except now and this morning). Will repeat that weekly. I really need a day off each week.

Cellar Works

So, yesterday, I ran off to IKEA for what was probably my last trip with my car, as I’m selling it tomorrow (found a buyer, yay!) to buy some shelves for my cellar. (I already had some, but no screws, and IKEA changed STEN into GORM, not compatible, long story, anyway.)

This morning, I got to work and emptied the cellar, threw away lots of old school stuff (the “it might come in useful one day” rationalisation doesn’t really hold when I can find it on the internet in less time than it would take to dig it out of the cellar), and built the shelves.

Cellar, "Finished"

My cellar is now ready to welcome some of the stuff that is inhabiting my balcony and my flat.

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Gosh, I can’t remember the last time this has happened to me. I got home last night, and I’ve already unpacked. Here’s proof (you can admire my brand-new purple suitcase, by the way):


Most of the time, I end up not unpacking, having the suitcase lie around my room for weeks, and really unpacking when I need to pack again for the next trip. Feels very good to be “unpacked”. Will remember the feeling for next time.

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Major Accomplishment

Today’s major accomplishment (aside from dropping off furniture at Salvation Army, and buying things at IKEA that are actually going to require that I drill holes in walls — something I tend to avoid doing at all costs because I haven’t yet done it enough) is…


…that I now have a shower curtain.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, after over six years of “still not having the shower curtain put up”, finally, finally, my guests will be able to take their shower without splashing water all over the bathroom (with the years, I’ve perfected the technique of leaving my bathroom rather dry in the process).

Did I break some kind of record?

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Emptying the Cellar

For a few months now, my dad has been emptying the house cellar and garage, and in the process, handing back to my brother and I a copious number of boxes filled with our old junk.

Now, I have a reasonably large flat for a person living alone, but a quite tiny cellar. When I moved in, I shoved a whole bunch of furniture and binders and boxes and ski boots into my dark 1m by 2m cellar. During the last five years, I’ve added more stuff (some balancing feat, I should have taken photographs!) but barely removed anything.

So, you can imagine that the prospect of finding the space for all the stuff that was still at my dad’s was not a very pleasant prospect.

However, my regular visits to my dad’s place have left me increasingly envious, particularly as I witnessed the extra space he was gaining and the transformations in the house.

Wednesday night, I came back home from the house with a really bad itch to start emptying my cellar and just throw away heaps of junk that had been in there for years. Unfortunately, 11pm is not the right time to start doing this kind of thing, particularly in Switzerland, and particularly in a building occupied by old ladies (not only, but there are a few of them and they like their peace and quiet — I do too, for that matter).

On Thursday, I unexpectedly found myself with a free morning I hadn’t planned with. Great! I started by taking all my electronic junk (old motherboards, sound cards dated 1999, partly-working CD/cassette player, dead DVD player…) to La Bonne Combine, a local association which gather spare parts and broken stuff, fix what can be fixed to sell it, and recycle the rest. That suddenly freed a huge amount of space in my living-room book-case.

Empty Space in Book-Case

Then I moved on to the cellar. More stuff for La Bonne Combine. A pile of things for Salvation Army. Furniture for Salvation Army. Things for the bin, like old broken compasses, rubbers, tubes of glue and my collection of fountain-pen cartridge beads, all dating something like 20 years back. Gone.

There is no light in my cellar, probably part of the reason why it got into such a state.

The feeling is great. I have an almost empty cellar. I’m going to put together a set of shelves that have been sleeping in it for five years to have some usable space in there. There are still things to process, of course: heaps of binders with maths classes from 1989, old memorabilia to sort through, all my university stuff, my teaching things, clothes (oh God, clothes!), and boxes of Oh-My-Got-What-Am-I-Going-To-Do-With-This living under my now too-big desk.
Still Needs to Go...

I’m starting to feel like reorganising my office/living-room too, see. Maybe after nearly seven years here it’s time I really settled down, finished moving in, got rid of the boxes, and decorated the flat.

Throwing stuff out sure feels good, and it seems like I’ve reached a point when I’m capable of doing it. Certainly, quite certainly, there are things of the past I’m ready to let go of now.

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