Summer Break

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I’m sensing a pattern here: Total exhaustion before any summer vacation, and long time no post here in blogland. It’s certainly challenging to be a parent representative in 2 schools, especially right at the end of term. Teachers to see off, presents and speeches to be given (not my favorite part of that job, as a true introvert), last minute teacher-parent problems to be dealt with, summer fayre at my son’s school to be pulled off, summer party at my daughter’s school to be attended, farewell parties for 2 teachers at 2 schools – and always, always baking for all of these events. I swear I’m sick of cinnamon buns now :-(((.

The pic above is what we have to look forward to this summer, and I really can’t wait. It’s a sleepy little port in Brittany, and we’re renting a gorgeous apartment on an old property run by friends of friends.

For now, kids and cat and me arrived at our cottage Friday night last week. The weekend was gorgeous and we got to swim in the lake, kids got to spend a lot of time outside, and I got to find mushrooms, always such a treat for my scavenger’s heart.

IMG_2903Few things make me as happy as mushroom picking. It reminds me of my childhood (the good parts), and it’s deeply gratifying to me, walking in the forest and finding delicious food there to boot. Today, my sweet friend N. and I went to the chanterelles spot (they don’t grow just anywhere), for my daughter is a bit of a ‘shroom snob and will only eat those (they’re the little yellow ones in the basket).IMG_2956.JPGThat’s the upside of this unusually rainy summer, I guess – mushrooms go crazy, as do the plants in my husband’s vegetable patch:

My birthday’s coming up this weekend, and I _had_ planned a nice summer bash on the lawn in front of the cottage – but unfortunately, the weather forecast is telling a different story. Looks like my fiftieth will have to take the proverbial rain check. Maybe I’ll celebrate after the summer break so everyone can show off their tans, or I’ll just throw my sweet husband a party in December so we can be a hundred together :-).

In work news, I’m done with The Cookbook now, and it was not easy to let it go after so many months. It felt really good to be part of a project I was completely behind. Usually, I’m working by myself, and I’m fine with that. But it’s also very cool to be able to talk about work with someone who gets it, and not just in general but because they’re also really invested in the same thing. Those who get to work like that all the time are to be envied. And – a thing to keep in mind for choosing future projects.

The next book is going to be a collaboration also – and I’m again fortunate enough to work with a friend on a thing we both enjoy – knitting cables. The book is lovely, and the patterns seem complex and beautiful – and yet again, we’ll sort of establish a new linguistic code as we assign a new set of abbreviations that make sense to knitters. It’s out of necessity rather than anything else – the book’s a bit small for all the info it contains, and the pages are crammed even in English. So for the users‘ reading comfort, we’ll try and give them a set of technical terms that are intuitive and make sense. We have to try and stay within the given layout of the source text, which is a challenge because German texts are _always_ a bit longer than their English counterparts, and we still want people not to have to use a damn lens to read their patterns, so we’re trying to stay with the given font size.

I’ll bet you never really thought about things like that before, have you? Well, that’s what you have us translators for, among other things. Look forward to that book if you’re a knitter – it’s going to be a good one, I promise.

IMG_2955In the meantime, I’m well into my first week of vacation, and it’s starting to sink in that I actually have time off. This morning was the first I actually managed to sleep in, and it felt really nice. It was a rainy day yet again. I cooked for the kids, played backgammon with my son, went mushroom picking with my friend, gave a quote and wrote an invoice, did some minor corrections, and now I’m blogging the night away as my daughter is asleep and my son is busy mainlining The Mentalist of all things.

IMG_2897Check out the wildlife – this stag beetle was leisurely strolling by the other morning just as we were finishing breakfast. It was about 8 cm long (including the antlers if you call them that on insects), and scary as all hell to me. My son was brave enough to make it walk into a tall water glass, slap a postcard on and carry it across the street into the woods. I was not sorry to see it go. May it have a good life on the other side.

Oh, crafts? Well, I’ve been playing with the Dotty Blanket again. I saw a project that uses a different squares pattern that the Granny I started working with, IMG_2810

on Little Woolie’s Instagram account. It’s there on her blog too, you can go check it out. She’s an Australian crafts artist I follow, and she has done a really amazing job with her Wheels within Wheels blanket on a heather grey backdrop. I liked that, and tried with the single crochet squares, but it ended up eating so much yarn, not to mention time, that I lost faith again and returned to my Granny Square style. I made little piles of the different colored dots to see how many I already had and how many more I’d need … and as you can probably guess, I’ve got my work cut out for me. This is not a quickly made blanket … but anything for the little lady, and I have a couple more weeks of vacation to go, so one day at a time.

Here’s the last very cool thing I saw in town before we left – once again, by an unknown graffiti artist – and I think whoever did this really rocks:

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Have a good summer, everyone.

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