If We Were Having Coffee… On February 14

Hello! Alaaf, Helau and all that jazz.

Nice to see you.

Perfect timing, the kettle’s just boiled. Would you like coffee or tea?

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been studying a lot, but I’m finally making progress. This week alone I managed to hand in 3 assignments, and I’m already working on the fourth. I also got one assignment back already: B+ on the first assignment on that particular course. Not a bad start (even though I’m a bit peeved I missed getting an A- by 1%…).

If we were having coffee, we’d talk about books at length. I’ve spent ages compiling my lists for the Read Harder & Popsugar Reading Challenges, only to find that the lists include some of the same categories. So I spent time altering them, and adding my own categories, which resulted in Study. Read. Write’s 60 Books ChallengeIf you feel up to it, join me at #60Books. I might actually make this an annual event.

Speaking about books: I got to raid my gran’s attic yesterday. She has hundreds of books hidden away up there and I took 21 of them with me. But I also put about that same amount to the side for me to take next time I’m at her house. Many of her books are not exactly to my taste when it comes to literature, but she does have a very interesting cross-section (I suspect some of my dad’s old books would have ended up on those shelves as well).

If we were having coffee I’d ask you about what books you’d read for my challenge. Or are you doing either of the other two challenges? What are you reading for them? Where are you getting your books from? I don’t have too much money to spare, so I try to buy second-hand and usually end up on Amazon Marketplace or Abebooks.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that despite all the studying I’m already doing, how flat-out I’ve been and how I still have loads to do, I’ve signed up to a few complementary courses on FutureLearn and Coursera that will hopefully come in handy. They only last a few weeks each and require about 3 hours per week each, but they should help in the long run. The courses include “Cultural Studies and Modern Languages“, “Promising Practices in International Development” and “Theatre and Globalisation” as well as a three-week intro to Dutch. I can read Afrikaans and a bit of Dutch, but never had any proper language training. But living so close to the Dutch border (about 1 1/2 hours by car to Maastricht) I thought it’d be pertinent to learn and I’m hoping the other courses might provide ideas of what to look into for my Master Thesis in Cross-Cultural Communication or at the very least give me a slight professional edge.

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you I don’t care for Valentine’s Day at all. And I’m not saying that because I’m a grumpy single on the day of love. No, I just don’t see the point of the holiday. If you love someone, you should tell and show them every day, in my opinion. Not just once a year with overpriced flowers and chocolates on a socially sanctioned day. (Oh, I’m so gonna be a crazy cat lady and die an old spinster, I know….)

BBC Sherlock.
BBC Sherlock.

I’d tell you that I care just as little about Karneval, which is currently in full swing in this part of Germany. Word of advice: unless you’re in fancy dress and not in a hurry to go anywhere, don’t venture into Cologne until Ash Wednesday. Especially not on Rose Monday, with it’s parades and everything. See, over here, they celebrate Rose Monday, while other cultures celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday (seeing as “Mardi Gras” mean Fat Tuesday in French).

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that a colleague and I have signed up for a diet course that’ll start in May. Here we go again, but maybe this time it’ll stick. Having a buddy along to keep your spirits up does help. This way (as we sit directly opposite each other) we can keep each other in check as we’d notice if the other is drinking or eating something she shouldn’t.

Anyway, if you want a refill, feel free to grab it or head over to the other Weekend Coffee Sharers and initiator Part Time Monster.

I’ve still got a bit of writing and studying planned for today, including the much-anticipated review of The Imitation Game, as well as an article that should offer readers help with the book challenges we just talked about. Oh, and plan what I want to blog about for #1000Speak.

Thank you for having coffee with me!

Same time, next week?

Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann
Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann

10 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee… On February 14”

  1. You sound busy! And those are quite some interesting courses.

    I do not like the Valentine’s Day thing either. Never have. And we are not the only ones 🙂 I’ve seen a similar remark in another coffee post today already.


  2. I didn’t know about Karneval in Germany and Rose Monday. I Googled ‘Karneval’ and stuff about a manga tv series popped up. So I learned about that too! 😀

    I share your distaste for Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t matter if I’m currently single or saddled, I’m not a fan of the day. Maybe I’ll be a crazy cat lady too.


    1. I’m trying to be organised, though that doesn’t always work out. Yes, the FutureLearn courses are great. I did one a while back, really liked their structure and that you can do 1 week’s worth in a few hours tops. If this works out, I might look at their future courses, not just to supplement my studies but for my curiosity about various things. What are course you doing?


  3. I agree with you on Valentine’s Day. However, some people need that one day a year when it is “okay” to say “I love you” or even “I like you” so if that fits people, then fine. I’m a holiday person, or used to be. You know, the kind that decorates and makes cookies and sends cards for every single holiday. But I haven’t in a long time. I don’t really have anyone to do it for anymore, although that is changing as I now have grandchildren. Next year the oldest will be in kindergarten so it will be more important.

    I am not doing any reading challenges except my own on GoodReads where I committed to read 85 books this year. No particular books. Just whichever books I happen to read.

    Great news about all your course work. Three down. Lots to go but you’re on track! Good for you! Have a great week and we’ll see you next week.


  4. I’m with you on Valentines Day, if I’m single (currently) or not, I don’t really like the idea of it being the day to profess your love. I’d rather it happen on any given Tuesday. Which brings me to Red Monday, I’ve never heard of that, Fat Tuesday, yes. I’m going to have to research this a bit. Good for you on the coursework, and the reading challenge. I know I need to start reading more. I’m just so happy I’ve been writing more, one at a time. Enjoy your weekend, thanks for the coffee. 🙂


  5. Excellent work on the assignment *high five* a B+ is excellent. I’m glad you’re managing to read, and plan the challenge, because you need a little ‘play’ to break up all the work! Reading is never a task, even when it’s study related 🙂 I have my books for the Read Harder challenge and I have a budget which will allow me to spread the books throughout the year. I’m currently reading The Dumas Club and I’m enjoying it. Thanks for my tea, I really enjoyed dropping by, as always, and I look forward to catch up with you soon. Have a fabulous week 🙂


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