Saturday, 11 January 2014

A bit late but...

Happy new year all!

I've just noticed that it has been a month since I last posted! Time flies when you are not having fun!

(Before you worry, it's not anything serious - I just didn't stop for air for most of that time!)

The last few weeks of the year were almost all about my project. Picking up the stray requests and ensuring that they go the right way, fixing glitches and basically just trying to keep things ticking over.

Due to Dutch health insurance laws you can only switch (outside of extra-ordinary circumstances) in the last two months of the year, with the insurance starting on 1st January.

To give you an idea of what this means for my project... Each month there are about 500 to 600 requests flowing through the system.  In November this shoots to about 40000. In December it gets closer to 100000. And a quarter of those requests in the last two days.


The machines crashed

On Christmas Eve afternoon

And I waved goodbye to any thought of a relaxing Christmas and New Year

And so I was spending between 2 and 14 hours every day from 24th December to 2nd January fixing the problems caused by this.

It kind of sucked.

But at least it wasn't boring - only having 24 hours in a day and having so much to do meant that whilst the tasks that needed doing were mind numbing, and at one point I think I went a little blind from staring at a screen for hours on end without a break and with total concentration, the time actually flew by.

Mind you 2nd and 3rd January I was about asleep for the whole day :)

But... I did enjoy Christmas (only a couple of hours worked Christmas day - mainly checking the mails to see how bad everything was whilst someone else was spending the whole day fixing it). Skypeing with parents, and having Christmas dinner with my in laws.

And that just about covers the last month :)

The house is really ready now (except that we need to hang curtains in the nursery and study).

Oh, and I've given up alcohol for the coming time. I had Champagne to celebrate the new year and that was it. Seeing as in the coming time I may need to drive at any point, and that if I'm driving them I don't drink at all, I decided to call a temporary stop :)

The problem for me is that I don't like sweet drinks. As a teenager I was obsessed with Coco Cola (to be fair I'm still fairly obsessed with the paraphernalia around it) and drank a lot of it.  These days it tastes like pure sugar and I rarely drink it!

So...  I'm currently drinking lots of coffee, lots of tea (which is a problem as I am running out of English tea and I don't know when I can get some more!) lots water and lots of apple water (half fizzy water and half apple juice).

It's not too bad, but I do miss drinking something with a bit of a kick (just to clarify - seeing as everyone thinks I have a problem with drinking when I say that - that is kick in the taste, not kick as in getting drunk) to it. Apple juice just isn't the same as a good wine, or a cocktail!  If anyone has any suggestions (most things online seem to be orange juice or grapefruit juice with a false sounding name rather than a real alternative!) without caffeine I would really appreciate it!

Well that's all from me for now! Look after yourselves!


  1. Stace, Send me an email with a postal address (your office if that's more convenient) and what brand of tea you want and I'll send you some. :)


    1. Thanks for the offer - but the problem is that posting the tea costs more than the tea itself!


    2. That's not an issue...I have a franking machine at my disposal :)

    3. I have to ask, what is a franking machine???

    4. :)

      Basically it's a machine which prints stickers which take the place of works out cheaper than stamps.


  2. Hi Stace!

    So nice to hear from you, hon! Sorry your holidays were less than ideal.

    I gave up Coca Cola years ago too. The one time I drank it since reminded of the cereal Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) loved: Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs:

    And like all health food, it meets all of your dietary needs:

    However, if you've already reached your target heart rate for the day, you might also consider cranberry juice. It definitely has a kick - more of a tangy one - and is genuinely good for you. It's delicious too. In the summer I sometimes mix it with ginger ale. Yummmm…. Just a splash of cranberry juice if you do it, though.

    Take care, Stace, and make sure you know where those car keys are at all times! :D


    1. Hey Cass!

      Thanks for the idea of Cranberry juice, I'll give it a try! If it's nice then there is also the health benefit that goes with it!

      I'd like to say I always know where my keys are, but that would be a lie! (Most of the time I do, and Mrs Stace *always* knows where hers are! :p )


    2. My pleasure, hon. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! (Massachusetts is the second largest producer of cranberries in the United States, trailing only Wisconsin, believe it or not. Who knew they made more than cheese there??? :D)

      I have twice managed to misplace my iPhone this week (in my defense, it has been a very stressful, exhausting week). I wound up using my iPad to trace it. The first time it turned up in my pocketbook. You know, where I always put it? The second time, I found it in - - wait for it - my pocket. :#) I really, really, really need to rest, I suspect.

      Anyway, happy Friday, hon!