January 2010

but the soup was so delicious that I decided to post the picture and recipe anyway.

  1. Heat olive oil in a big pot
  2. Chop
    • two leeks,
    • two (small) zucchini,
    • and one eggplant

    into small pieces and steam them in the oil for a couple of minutes

  3. Add
    • 1 liter vegetable stock,
    • chick peas (my glass was about 250 gram which I think was too little),
    • two cans of tomatoes (either whole peeled, then you need to cut them into pieces, or ground ones),
    • frozen spinach (I used half a box, maybe 250 gram),
    • and – if you like garlic 1-3 crushed cloves.
  4. Season as you like it (salt, pepper…)
  5. Let it cook for a while – maybe 10 minutes


(I really need to work on my kitchen and cooking vocabulary…)


“Tödliche Bescherung. Die spannendsten Weihnachtskrimis aus Skandinavien” by Henning Mankell, Ake Edwardson, Leena Lehtolainen u.v.a., edited by Anne Bubenzer
Published in 2007 by Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 271 pages
Translated by Angela Plöger, Angelika Kutsch, Gabriele Haefs, Christel Hildebrandt, Wolfgang Butt, Dirk Gerdes, Dagmar Lendt, Dagmar Mißfeldt, Anne Bubenzer, Gabriele Schrey-Vasara, Hermann Kiy, J. Sandmeiner

I received this book for Christmas and spent the first days of January reading story by story. First I thought I should wait until next Christmas, as the book promises me the most thrilling Christmas crime stories from Scandinavia. But Our City was beautifully covered in snow and thus I decided to read it anyway.

After the first story I was really disappointed. Just because it takes place at Christmas Eve and police officers show up, it does not automatically turn into a “thrilling Christmas crime story”. I am not sure how to summarize the book, now that I am done. I know it is difficult to write a thrilling short story, and I should not expect a new Millennium trilogy.  Maybe a different subtitle would have been a better fit? Anyway: I really enjoyed some stories, and therefore I quote the first three sentences of one of them:

“Frauensieg by Knut Hamsun

Ich war Straßenbahnschaffner in Chicago.
Zuerst war ich noch auf der Halsted-Linie angestellt, einer Pferdebahn noch, zwischen Stadtzentrum und Viehmarkt. Wir vom Nachtdienst waren alles andere eher als geschützt auf dieser Linie wegen aller der fragwürdigen Leute, die den Weg zur Nachtzeit passierten.”

P.S. I just realized that this story does not take place in Scandinavia. Funny that my subconsciousness picked that one.

Gained or lost weight?
Gained. A lot 🙂

Longer or shorter hair?
Maybe a bit longer.

More nearsighted or farsighted?
Has not changed noticeably.

More or less money?
About the same.

Spent more or less?
Less on living in another town, more for our apartment in OurCity (new furniture) and equipment for our future cohabitant.

Moved more or less?
Slightly more, maybe? I tried to go on a walk every day.

The most crack-brained plan?
Quoting last year:
“Finishing my thesis through staring at the screen?
Finishing my thesis while being online?”

The most dangerous action/adventure?
Quoting last year:
“No idea. My year could as well be label “Life Of A Couch Potato” or “Desk Potato”, to be correct. Risking thrombosis through this adventurous lifestyle, maybe.”

The best sex?
Yes. And successful one as well 🙂

The most expensive purchase?
New furniture for our apartment: new book shelves, a new wardrobe, a new kitchen cupboard.

The most delicious meal?
Easter and Christmas dinner with the parents and siblings in OurCity.
Lots of our cooking throughout the years was very delicious as well.

The most impressive book?
This year I kept track of my reading and nominate in no particular order:
“Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“Wie es leuchtet” by Thomas Brussig
“Milchgeld. Kommissar Kluftingers großer Fall” by Volker Klüpfel and Michael Kobr
“A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hossieni
The Milenium Triology (1,2,3) by Stieg Larrson

The most moving/touching best movie?
Artistic wise: “Das weisse Band. Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte”
Entertaining wise: “Maria, ihm schmeckts nicht”
Bonus:  “Kleine Verbrechen” (“Mikro eglima”, “Small Crime”)

The best CD?
Bach’s mass in b minor. Utterly beautiful.

The most beautiful concert?
As last year Leonard Cohen (the post is still unpublished).
U2 was nice as well.

Spent the most time with …?
As last year: My notebook. My thesis drafts.

Spent the loveliest time with …?
The Husband. And the future cohabitant.

Prevailing emotion in 2009?
Quoting last year:
“Is it already again February March April May June July August September October November December – what, already 2010? I though we are still in January, January 2009 that is.”

Did for the first time in 2009?
Visited a birth-preparatory class. Closed my own banking account and now have only a joint one with The Husband.

After a longer pause did … again in 2009?
Wrote an application for a new job.

Three things I would have done without?
Facing another operation which thankfully was not necessary. Procrastination and laziness. An uninterested thesis advisor.

The most important thing I wanted someone to convince of?

The most beautiful present I made someone?
Love, friendship, support, trust, kindness.

The most beautiful present I received?
Love, friendship, support, trust, kindness.

The most beautiful sentence someone said to me?
I am so happy to be married to you.

The most beautiful sentence someone I said to someone?
I am so happy to be married to you.

2009 was – expressed in one word  …?

And another Meme:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before
See 1st meme.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made a resolution of having a resolution for each month, such as doing yoga, eating healthy, etc. and that worked out pretty fine for the first three months but then the year become too eventful. I will, however, start this monthly-resolution again in 2010.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
TN gave birth to a son.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Luckily not. But there were way to many hospital stays in our families.

5. What countries did you visit?
The Netherlands and Denmark.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A finished doctoral thesis.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There are so many. The concerts. The vacation in Denmark. Easter and Christmas with our families. The nuchal scan which was impressive. Whereas the ultrasounds so far were a blurry black and white flicker, indicating a spot or something that looked like a turtle, this scan showed a human being with a backbone and ribs, a cranium with teeth, and most notably a heart.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not deleting my half-written thesis?

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing my thesis.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My second new hard drive.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My thesis advisor never ever asking how I am getting along with my thesis. My aunt’s.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Commuting. Paying back the loan for my apartment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? A lot rounder.
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise. Read more for my thesis.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending time on the internet.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
24th: cooking with TheHusband, going on a walk in the snow, reading on the couch and listening to lots and lots of good music
25th: cooking pumpkin soup, goose with potatoes and red cabbage, and dessert for our parents and siblings, going for a walk in the snow, coffee and lots of desserts for coffee time
26th: eating leftovers, going for a 5km walk in the snow, reading on the couch and listening to music

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Each and every day.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Swedish detective mysteries.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I do not hate. Luckily.

25. What was the best book you read?
See 1st meme.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bach’s mass in b minor.

27. What did you want and get?

28. What did you want and not get?

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
See 1st meme.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had breakfast with TheHusband, drove to MyCity to the office, celebrated with my colleagues, and had friends join me that evening for coffee and cake. That was the most wonderful part of the day as I had not seen some of them for months.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A finished thesis

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

33. What kept you sane?
TheHusband, family, and friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

36. Who did you miss?

37. Who was the best new person you met?

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.