Crochet Flowers, Again & Life Choices

IMG_0154These will be a bunch of embellished hair ties once I’m done with them – and I hope they will sell well at the Summer Fayre in June. In case you like the idea and wonder how to make them, can I direct you to this post where I’ve tried to explain how to go about it?

To make the embellished hairties, IIMG_0171– darned in the two threads from the yarn I used for the petals (turquoise) …

IMG_0174– tied the other two securely around a hairtie that seems to fit, made three knots, and then darned in the two leftover threads (navy blue).

IMG_0175Tadah, a nice, summery little flower hairtie made. If you want to go all in, you can additionally put a small blob of hot glue in the back, to further secure the darned in threads and increase the general longevity of the item. As a mom of a notorious hairtie losin‘ li’l lassie, however, I can tell you now you best be Zen about the thing not being around for long anyway, so it may not even be worth the trouble.

When I began making the flowers last Saturday at the school crafternoon, I had a number of enthusiastic helpers, some very young and some my age. Watching excited and inquisitive Charlie while showing the helpers the moves _and_ trying to get some crocheting done myself was challenging to say the least, and I confess I was WIPED afterwards.

It always takes a pound of flesh out of me to deal with groups of people (I’ve said more as to why already). It helped that I didn’t have more than 3 people at my table at a time. But suffice it to say that I am just not cut out to be a teacher, even though people always say I have a knack for explaining. Ultimately, I’m just a very polite person, I guess :-).

Crafts stuff aside, taking in young Charlie has required me to make a few changes. Life has taken a different turn in ways I hadn’t anticipated, and accommodating the pup’s needs has forced me to prioritize, much like I had to when I had my son in the early aughts.

Despite all the endorphins (the dog makes me sooo happy), my resilience is far from infinite. In fact, one night last week, I completely lost it. I was having a bit of a day. I drove my daughter to hockey practice only to learn I wasn’t supposed to bring Charlie to the grounds at all. So we took a long walk around the neighborhood until it started raining and we ended up waiting in the car. I had forgotten to eat, so I was hangry when we came home, and I yelled at the kids for not helping with chores. I felt a surge of guilt because I had literally no time for the kitty anymore because, possessive dog, hello! And then of course I was feeling guilty for snapping at the kids for being lazy sumbitches, because I felt it was me who made them inconsiderate because I spoil them, doing stuff for them all the time. The dog was whining and scratching my bedroom door to get out to where the action was (kitty and my son’s friends watching GoT in the family room). Finally, I was really tired, but not allowed to go to sleep yet because nighttime walk, duh. So, I had a quiet and tearful meltdown. After a while, I called my husband who was a sweetheart and talked me down, and when my sobs had ebbed away, the pup came and licked my face, which made me smile again. But it was clear that something would have to give…

You may not be surprised that the something ended up being the hockey club. It’s no secret I’ve always had mixed feelings towards it – we became members at our daughter’s request, even though it was a bit cumbersome what with shuttling her to practice twice a week. There were jerseys and equipment to be bought, which we did, and parents meets to be attended, which we failed to do. When after a while it became clear that while she enjoyed practice, she didn’t really like the games, I was beginning to feel like a hypocrite trying to get her to be in the weekend tournaments. So after my little episode, we had a heart to heart with her and decided that this membership needed to come to an end. Writing the resignation letters felt like such an enormous relief, I can not even tell you.

Meanwhile, I’ve written to a dog trainer who seems nice, and hope she can pencil us in before the summer break. Leaving here today with a few pics that show I’m not the only person who loves this little dog :-).

Werbeanzeigen

A Dog Post

IMG_9960Here’s a survey for you: Are you a cat or a dog person? And do you feel liking one or the other is mutually exclusive? Apparently, that’s a thing, and I’m asking for science.

As you can see, we’ve gone and done it – as of Friday last week, Charlie has officially moved in. I’m completely smitten, as is my daughter, my son loves him despite himself (he was adamant his loyalties were always going to be with Her Majesty Fritzchen the Kitty, but even he has succumbed to those eyes). My husband is not quite as invested in Charlie yet, but I’m sure he’ll win him over, eventually. Not sure whether the kitty will ever really like him, but so far they haven’t killed each other yet, which I call a win, and I’m hoping the vet is right and they will reach a sort of an armistice at some point.

I had many thoughts and feelings before we went to get the pup. Mostly, I was afraid he wasn’t going to be happy with us, that he’d miss his folks and the other dogs he lived with, that he’d hate living in the city. Interestingly, none of those things have come to pass.

Instead of crying for his old family, he immediately latched on to me like a touch-starved little baby sloth. I was reminded of Armie Hammer’s impersonation of a lovesick puppy in ‚Mirror, Mirror‘, after Julia Roberts (aka Evil Queen) accidentally feeds him the wrong kind of love potion (puppy love, duh) instead of the one that was supposed to make him fall madly in love with her, as his own true self. Check it out, it’s on YouTube, it’s hilarious, and eerily accurate. It feels a bit like that (and yes, I realize Armie Hammer’s prob 20 times the size of my mini Wiener dog). My point is, Charlie looks at me like I hung the moon, he insists on coming with me everywhere I go (bathroom breaks included) and he’s basically happiest when he can lie, or sit, on some part of me. I must confess we let him sleep in our bed the first night because we felt sorry for him, and that kind of was that. Smart dog burrowed under my husband’s covers first (flattery will get you anywhere, right?) before moving under mine, and staying there.

Taking walks 5 times a day is nice, even though I have to say that the late night pee trip to that one apparently enchanted tree on the street corner is not much fun when I’m already exhausted by ten p.m. – but the alternative is a smelly mess early in the morning, can’t have that. So, instead of my usual routine of working until I get tired and then going to bed, I’ve started watching ‚Brooklyn 99‘ in the evenings to pass the time – thank God for Netflix!

So, conclusion after the first week: I have a dog now, and I couldn’t be happier :-).

Those of you who live in town – come take walks with us :-).

Calling Buckwheat

IMG_9845I first ate these in France – la belle Bretagne to be exact – where this type of really thin Crêpe-type pancakes go by the name of galettes. I loved the nutty flavor the buckwheat gives them but never really tried to make them myself. However, since having forgone wheat, I’m always intrigued to find substitute grains, and one day I just felt like experimenting.

Now the downside of buckwheat is that it doesn’t contain gluten (duh, you say) and therefore, you need other ingredients to make the batter hold its desired shape in the frying pan. To accommodate that, I use both buckwheat and spelt, and I use more eggs than I normally would, which works really nicely.

This impressive stack up there was made over the Easter break, for 4 children and 4 adults who returned from an afternoon of canoeing. I went a little over the top with the measurements, but the leftover 10 or so were just as good the next day, so no complaints.

Perfect Buckwheat Pancakes

750 ml milk

3 eggs

200 g buckwheat flour

200 g spelt flour

1 TSP salt

4 TBSP sugar

Vegetable oil for frying

Mix the eggs and milk, add sugar and salt, then whisk in the flours. I find that the buckwheat soaks up a lot more fluids than regular flour, so it could be that you may have to add more – I use tap water, spoonful by careful spoonful. You use too much, you need to add more flour, and that can ultimately lead to way too much batter (see above). Anyway. The consistency you’re aiming for is quite thin, somewhere between Crêpe batter and regular good old German Pfannkuchen batter. If that means nothing to you, you want it to be the consistency of a slightly thawed, intensely slurpable milkshake ;-).

A flexible spatula is an asset for these – and a decent, not too heavy, flat frying pan is key. As you can see, I used two different pans so the whole process wouldn’t take me all afternoon. One of them was a proper Crêpes pan (top right), unfortunately, not mine, but I can definitely see the appeal. (Not a fan of buying each and every kitchen gadget I see, normally I’m all for down-scaling rather than amassing clutter, unlike others in this house, naming no names. But that pan I like.)

So you pour a very small dash of oil into the pan, heat it (but not to smoking point), ladle in your batter and swivel the pan so your batter forms a thin, even layer on the bottom of the pan. Once the batter starts to curl away from the edges (I think this takes about 1 minute, but you’ll just have to see what your batter and your stove and the frying pan you’re using are doing). Turn the pancake over and fry from the other side, half the time. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.

Eat with: Jam, Nutella, grated Parmesan, smoked salmon and cream cheese, salad, stir-fried vegetables, tomato sauce, mozzarella Caprese, pesto sauce and cheese, asparagus, ham, cream of spinach and Gorgonzola, lemon juice and sugar or apple sauce … there’s literally nothing these don’t taste absolutely awesome with, as the batter is neither overly sweet nor too salty.

The last few weeks were more eventful than you’d expect from a sleepy two weeks of no school in the country. We had astonishingly gorgeous weather and enjoyed the magic early spring light, bees buzzing and orchard trees blooming. There were lazy afternoons in the hammock, walks through the millions of shades of green in the forest, cooking, baking and playing board games, grilling and toenail painting. I finished up a book on craft beer brewing, and started on another cookbook – Italian cuisine by a prestigious London restaurant owner. We had a wonderful couple days over Easter, hosting my girl J. and her husband who are about to become new parents – effectively making me and my husband great-aunt and great-uncle :-))). We’re very happy for them, and they seem in a really good place, the right mixture of chill and excitement, and humor – the most important quality of all when it comes to parenthood, in my opinion.

Welp, and finally, from the looks of it, I’m about to become a dog owner – meet my new buddy Charlie, who’ll be moving in end of the week:

IMG_9771He’s the little fellow I wrote about in one of my last posts. It took his current owners a while to make up their minds, but in the end we met up after Easter, and that was that. I’m alternating between freaking the f… out and being over the moon :-). IMG_9870Here’s an old picture that may be an indication for the origin of my love for Dachshunds. These were my parents in 1967, my mom beaming, proud of her new baby, and my dad grinning and holding their dog. Teehee. Early childhood conditioning all the way …

I hope he’ll be happy with us. I hope my kitty won’t lose her shit. I hope I’ll be patient and chill enough even if things go a little sideways. I hope for so many things – please help and send good vibes, my friends.

There was not a lot of time for stitches these past two weeks, but there was some. This is part of my contribution to the upcoming summer fayre at my son’s Waldorf school: Potholders in nice, summery colors :-). img_9872.jpgI’m feeling a bit nostalgic this time around, as it’ll be one of the last events I’ll be responsible for, probably. My daughter may not go to the same school, probably. Also, I have a dog to think of now. Won’t be able to put in the time like I used to, probably.

So, from this mental place of being unsure about just about everything, I’m wishing you all a pleasant start into the week, and some of that serenity we can see in this picture:IMG_9742

Loaf My Way

There seems to be some interest in my bread recipe, thank you for asking. It’s as simple as it gets: 3 types of grains, yeast, salt & sugar, water, the end.

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See the interesting shape that bread has? That happened because I don’t knead, so there’s a lot of air bubbles in the dough, and it rose to this weird mountain-top shape in the oven. I know we’re always taught the exact opposite when it comes to yeast dough, as in knead, knead, knead. After reading a recipe for no-knead artisan bread online, however, that called for min. 9 hours of rising and explicitly advised against kneading, I just kind of stopped doing it. And what do you know, it works really well, even with just 1 hour of rising and nothing crazy like overnight.

My bread baking career started out in the country. Contrary to what you might think, they mostly have supermarket chains and the affiliated bakeries there, and very little in the way of quaint village bakeries like you may know from France.  Anyway, I never loved the bread you can buy there to begin with, and when I quit eating wheat last year, and couldn’t get spelt flour bread, I had to get creative. Adding oats and millet seeds happened one day when I didn’t have enough flour. Now, I’m pretty much making the same type every time, because everybody enjoys it.

Crusty Spelt, Oats and Millet Bread

500 g spelt flour

100 g oats

50 g millet seeds

1 P dry yeast

2 TBSP salt

1 TBSP sugar

0,5 l warm water

Using a spatula, combine ingredients to make a smooth, moist dough. Dust with some extra flour and cover with a clean cloth. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 160 °C. Oil a bread pan, dust it with flour, scrape the risen dough (which should have doubled in size) into the bread pan and put it in the oven.

After 30 minutes, turn down the heat a bit and bake for another 20 or so. Any minute now :-)! The bread should be a pleasant, light brown color and it should sound a bit hollow when you rap on it with your knuckles.

Take out the bread and let cool until it comes out of the bread pan. Let cool completely before you slice it.

The last weeks I’ve been quiet, because I was working and micromanaging my kids – joking, I’m joking. I’m really not that bad. Or so I hope. It’s just hard for them, keeping track with all the stuff they need to remember, and since I’m the one with the iCal, I remind them. For it has been proven empirically, over and over again, that they’ll forget to see their orthodontist, or their standing weekly French tutoring session, or homework, or hockey practice. And the appointments keep piling up.)

Also, I have a confession to make… I may have met someone online. He’s very young, and he has the most gorgeous eyes you can imagine. I haven’t met him in RL yet, but I will, soon. He lives close to where our cottage is. I’m not yet fully committed, but he’s very, very intriguing. His name is Charlie, and … he’s a Dachshund :-)). Teehee, did you actually for a second there think I was going to post on my blog about a secret online affair? If so, that’s hilarious. Nah, I’m just thinking about getting a dog, for the first time in my life, and the thought makes me happier than I’ve been in a long time. There’s a lot to be said about realizing what we really wish for, isn’t there? I mean, even if Charlie won’t end up coming to live with us (another family have expressed interest, before us, so we’re only second choice), finding him and truly giving this serious thought made me realize it’s what I want. And that’s something, right?

This weekend, I’m hoping to make some more progress on the Stripy Sweater. Here’s how far I’ve gotten, and I’m looking forward to finishing it soon. Thanks to my math genius friend P., the raglan went easily enough, and hate it as I might, it was smart to actually count stitches and do the math with this delicate yarn. I may have gotten the sleeve right at the first go, so I have reason to be pleased ;-).

I’m also looking forward to more of this:

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Magic early spring evening light in Brandenburg at its best. Have a lovely spring weekend, everyone.

Let Them Eat Waffles

I would have thought everyone has their own favorite waffle recipe. Some may use store-bought mixes, others have their handed down for generations way to do it. Some swear by buttermilk, others use yeast instead of baking soda, and I have heard of people who separate eggs and fold in the stiff egg-whites into the batter.

I grew up in a completely waffle-free household. Maybe my parents weren’t keen, maybe waffles have no tradition in Romania, I don’t even know. It is fair to say waffles are, for me, an acquired taste. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started noticing waffles were a thing, but I do remember they became somewhat of a tradition when I met my husband who first introduced me to the concept of homemade baked goods (also not something that happened on the regular at our house when I was a child).

One secret ingredient I use for my waffles is grated orange zest, which adds a fruity zing, and the other is some sort of ground nuts, which gives them a bit of crunchiness. I’ve made and served these waffles, to great success, at countless kindergarten parties, birthdays, school bazaars – and just this past weekend, at the hockey club, too.

I had signed up for waffles, as I always feel better behind a counter doing something useful than just standing around and making small talk (I wrote about this recently). So I was on waffle duty, and of course I had brought my own batter. 2 hours later I was told I absolutely needed to make those waffles again, like, for all occasions to come. It would seem the way to hockey people’s hearts is, just like to other people’s, through their stomachs.

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Waffles for a Crowd

8 eggs

250g butter

0,5 – 0,75 l milk

250 g sugar

1 p vanilla sugar

Zest of 2 oranges, grated

3 tbsp cinnamon

pinch of cardamon

2 pinches of salt

2 p baking soda

Flour (I used spelt), min 500 g, 1 kg if you have it. I needed to improvise as I’d run out, and used

300 g potato flour instead, as well as

200 g ground almonds (hazelnuts work beautifully, too)

All ingredients should have room temperature for smooth mixing and results.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add grated orange peel, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon. Beat in eggs one by one. Add 0,5 l of the milk. More may be needed after you put in the flour. First, add the almonds. Then, add the flour and beat until you’re happy with the consistency (a little thicker than (US) pancake batter, smooth and creamy).

You may add more milk and flour as you go, as needed. The 8 eggs can certainly accommodate more, and you want this recipe to feed the masses.

Add the baking soda at the very end and vigorously beat for another minute before letting the batter sit for a bit.

Fire up the waffle iron and pour in as much of the batter as needed (depends on the size you have.) For mine, pretty much the regular German round-shaped waffle iron with heart-shaped sections, I pour in 1/2 ladle.

Top with powdered sugar to taste. (This is why the batter itself isn’t very sweet. Kids always want powdered sugar, and this way they don’t overdose right away.)

Go nuts with the toppings – not for a finger food occasion, but if you’re making them for a sitting down to eat setting, you can serve them with whipped cream, fresh berries, jams or warm cinnamon cherries, sprinkles, Nutella … anything sweet that makes you happy is allowed. And now, go spread some sweetness ;-).

As for crafts, it is as I feared with the stripy sweater. Good news is that I’m happy with the new design (left side). Bad news is I get to unravel the first attempt (right side), as neither the proportions nor the width of the stripes please me, so it needs to go. I already vented about frogging mohair yarn, but I can’t not do it because I need all the yellow yarn I have. Sigh.

But: I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together. I’m aiming for a sort of a Swinging Sixties vintage look. Bless those who are able to just put what they have in mind into practice at their first attempt. I am not one of them, that’s for sure!

Have a happy week, everyone!

Knit, Frog, Repeat

IMG_9193Have any of you ever unraveled mohair yarn? It’s a b…, let me tell you. It had to be done, though, because I was dead set to use up yarn from my yarn stash, and there was this random back piece I had knitted ages ago, that had the most hideous armholes you can imagine, also it was ribbed and frankly I don’t even remember what the heck I had in mind when I made it. It needed to go.

Slow progress doesn’t begin to describe the frustrating hours that followed, and had it not been for the fact I got to re-watch Moana with my little squirrel while I was frogging, I might have thrown out the whole thing. First world problem you say? How exactly is my recycling yarn not sustainable? It’s the very definition of being mindful with my stuff, and _not_ toss anything I’m tired of right away.

IMG_9334After I was done unraveling, getting started on my stripy sweater was my reward. So I did, and in the meantime, I have figured out, with the help of my lovely mathematician friend P., the raglan sleeve, and finished the front piece:

IMG_9333.JPGMy daughter named it the bee sweater – and she has a point, it’s exactly what it looks like. Unfortunately, the longer I look at it, the more I feel I got the proportions wrong, sigh. It needs to be less wide, and the rib at the bottom needs to be longer. If it weren’t for the rib, I could live with the sweater being a little baggy. But that rib needs a few more centimeters, and if I pick up the stitches at the bottom, you’d see it. I’ll either have to live with imperfection or buckle down and unravel once again – not sure what I’ll do yet.

Knitting aside, I had a busy beginning of the year. I translated a cookbook, which was fun and lovely. I helped a bit with my son’s school workload.

And, with somewhat mixed feelings, I just submitted the translation of a mediocre romance novel that the author tried, imho, to stuff way too many things into (love story, middle agers, teenagers, murder mystery, genre picture and gender). She’s also introducing too many characters, she has a knack for using weird metaphors, and the love scenes seem a bit generic, carefully scripted to tick off the usual tropes. Kiss, check. Hand job, check. Oral, check. Full-on penetrative, check. True love happening somewhere along the line.

I know that the art of romance writing is to make every story that meanders from meet-cute across some sort of conflict towards the happily ever after captivating, and I’m sure it can’t be easy for writers to stay away from the clichés. That said, I can name a good many examples (not to bore you, but I really could ;-)) for stories that pull this off, excelling at it even. Let’s just say that this wasn’t one of them. As a translator, you can only do so much – if the story sucks in the first place, it will suck after translation, and try as you might, you can’t really help that. I won’t be getting a lot of favorable mentions for this one, that’s for sure.

Moving on, I next get to translate a few chapters of a book on micro-brewery. Not that I even like beer, but what I’ve read of the book so far sounds fun. Also I’m dipping a careful toe into copywriting again; an old client whom I have a lot of respect and affection for asked me, so how could I say no? It’ll be a change of pace, and that is a good thing, always.

It’s almost mid March now, and we’ve had a few spring days already. Of course, in our neck of the woods, this means nothing. Temperatures dropped again, we’ve had a doozy of a storm over the weekend, and it even snowed a little last Sunday. But the days are getting longer, and being on the third floor, we do get our share of sunlight. IMG_9189.jpgThis was the other morning when we were getting ready for school. A good way to start the day – I find myself being highly susceptible to lux as I get older.

To top off this post, I’d like to mention a recipe I’ve been honing for a few years – it’s a classic cheesecake, which may sound a bit boring, but I assure you, it’s anything but. If things go well, this is what happens when I make it:

IMG_9098.JPGIt’s a creamy, fluffy heap of gorgeousness with a hint of vanilla and distinct lemon flavor – think of a soufflé rather than of your regular American cheesecake (no disrespect to the spectacular New York cheesecakes I’ve had, but this is just more my bag).

In my baking book, the caption literally says: This is a cake you get proposed for. I only discovered this way after I’d gotten married, so I can’t confirm or deny. What I can tell you is that my son has been asked for his mom’s cheesecake recipe :-), so high praise from the teenage front.

Cheesecake for Champions

For the crust

50 g sugar

100 g butter

150 g flour

1 yolk

pinch of salt

Make a shortcrust, wrap in foil and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to rest (if you’re not in a rush, you can put it in the fridge for 1 hour or longer). Take out and carefully roll out the dough to 3-4 mm thickness. Place in a spring-form pan lined with baking parchment and bake for a few minutes. Whether you want the crust to come up to the sides is up to you. If you want to be anal about this (I’m not), place a second piece of parchment on top of the dough, add a handful of dried beans or peas and bake in the oven at 160 °C for 15 minutes. Let cool for a bit and start on the filling in the meantime.

For the filling

500 g full fat Quark (could be substituted with cream cheese, but you should add 1 egg white if you do, as it’s heavier than our German variety)

150 g sugar

1 p vanilla sugar

2 lemons, peel grated

1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

7 eggs, separated in yolks and egg whites

50 g sugar

pinch of salt

Place Quark, 150 g sugar, lemon peel, vanilla, flour and cornstarch, egg yolks and salt in a large bowl, and I mean large. With an electric mixer, beat to a smooth paste. Carefully clean the whisks before moving on to beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 50 g sugar very, very stiff. Then place on top of the Quark mixture and gingerly fold in with a spatula. You don’t want any more air bubbles to escape than is absolutely inevitable, so please be gentle.

Spoon the mixture onto the cooled crust and immediately place the cake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven as your soufflé-like cake may collapse if you do.

Serve warm. If you want to be really fancy, serve with fruit puree – strawberry, raspberry, or mango.

It should make an impression.

 

Parlez-vous Introvert?

I’ve been described as: open, accommodating, smart, trustworthy, loving, funny, quietly headstrong, badass. I guess none of that is wrong.

I’m also socially awkward, lousy at small talk, and I have absolutely no desire to randomly ‚meet new people‘. Mind you, I do meet people all the time, through my work, both community (read school) work and actual work for $$. But quite a number of my clients have never seen me in person, although we do communicate a lot via Email and phone. I often prefer this to regular RL meetings; it gets the job done without me having to get snazzed up (f… the heels!), and having meaningless conversations with strangers.

After five decades of being me, I can say it without a shadow of a doubt: I am an introvert. I’m one of those people who can talk to a person they find interesting for hours but will freeze up when expected to work a room. I don’t mingle. In that type of situation, I will either single out a person I already know and go talk to them, or I’ll wait until someone walks up to me and starts a conversation. I may end up talking to them, or I may end up excusing myself to the restroom where one look in the mirror will show me what I already know in my heart: I am, once again, in the wrong place.

In our society, being like this is largely considered a handicap. You’re supposed to be outgoing, enthusiastic and energetic. The business world is full of coaches who work with the unfortunate fucks who find themselves lacking in this department. For introverts, the pressure can get very real – I should know, I was in advertising for a decade. For some, ‚fake it til you make it‘ can work just fine, another famous catch-phrase being to ’step out of one’s comfort zone‘. The latter can get physically dangerous for people like me. I’ve literally given myself migraine attacks doing it. This might be worth while if I go home with a number of well-paid assignments (or like in the ad agency days with a cool campaign sold). Either way, the price is steep. After a while, pretending to be someone you’re not can become overwhelming, to the point of people developing burn-out syndrome or depression.

My personal survival strategy, work-wise, has been to piece by piece eliminate such triggers and stress factors. I avoid social gatherings, but rather meet people I want to talk to individually. I work from home. Translations keep me busy for weeks at a time, and I don’t even have to go see anybody for a kick-off meeting, because all that is required is to open an Email attachment, buckle down and start doing my thing. To navigate the business world, I’d need an agent, and I’m not kidding. I am lucky, and I know it.

So what brought this on? It was a post by B., an esteemed colleague I ‚know-not-really-know-in-person‘, who recently wrote this in a forum I’ve been a member of for ten years:

„Events like these (meaning convention-type gatherings) can get very stressful and exhausting for introverts. I personally need a couple days to recover afterwards, every time. It’s in the nature of these gatherings that you’re required to have conversations with a number of people, for shorter or longer periods at a time. I personally find a series of brief conversations exhausting and unnecessary. Longer conversations, on the other hand, can get just as tricky for introverts. If I talk to someone at greater length, this is always for a reason. It’s not simply to pass the time, or to spend a fun night, or to bridge the gap between workshops. I enjoy longer conversations with people I truly connect with, because I’d really like to get to know them, and because I can picture having a meaningful (business) relationship with them.

If I happen upon an extrovert who simply enjoys chatting away, with absolutely no intention to deepen the contact later on, it can be next to impossible for me to discern the difference. If my counterpart seems nice and interesting, I will play along, investing a great deal of attention and energy in our conversation – only to learn that the other person will after a while barely even remember what we talked about, let alone be interested in further contact, because all they were doing was be friendly and pass the time. Even a well-meaning XYZ convention can make these two worlds collide, worlds that may miss each other’s purposes by miles and miles. And this can get too much for an introvert.“

Reading these two insightful paragraphs, I felt understood in a way I don’t experience very often, and I ended up replying not in the forum but via PM. She wrote back, I wrote back again, and here I am blogging about it. That’s exactly what I’m talking about :-).

Connection as opposed to contact all the way!

In her post, B. was asking about networking ideas for introverts – so if any of you have any light to shed on this practical aspect of the matter, by all means, let’s hear about them!

That was a huge amount of words, sorry not sorry 😉 – you guys know you’re reading at your own peril.

Want to see some pics from last week (that I was supposed to have off but in the end didn’t really?) Here we go:

IMG_9144My crazy ass teenager walking out on the frozen lake after doing the even more insane ice bath thing with his sweet friend L.

I also had an idea for a sweater, inspired by Finnish crafts artist Tuija Heikkinen, check out her IG, she’s amazing! I have a huge stash of the fluffiest black Mohair yarn, some mustard yellow because I couldn’t resist, and some gorgeous off white baby Aplaca … so there:img_9037.jpg

As you can see, it was approved by her Majesty:

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And that is all I have to say for today (thank God, some might think, after this essay :-)…

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!