Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Multitasking - as they say a woman can...

┬ęphotoBrigitta Huegel


Dear You,
the above photo shows you a (once) glazed tile on which I drew a picture decades ago that I had spotted in a Cosmopolitan - oh yes, now you know what you might have always suspected: I was an avid reader of Cosmo (British edition) - and it might have shaped my superficial view on life, career and men. (I bought their Cosmo books for Alpha Women, sniggered through Tom Crabtree's wonderful psycholigical insights; and met my dearest friend Stephen Russell (Barefoot Doctor) in real life - the Urban Warrior, who still visits me in Berlin.
Nowadays I don't read Cosmo anymore - more precise: I don't read women's magazines anymore - too much to do.
So much, that today I wanted to test a quality they say women are good at: multitasking.
My dear Tamagotchi Exprelia (you remember her? Let me assure you: first impressions are very often very right: the exclusive coffee machine is the most demanding and outright brazen thing I own - but her coffee is very good, so I try to come even with her. In Berlin we have horrible calcareous water, and though I always use a Brita filter, the machine insists on being decalcified after less than a month (!!! and it does not - as they pretend in the 82 !!! pages of the user manual they hide on a DVD while innocently (though with a faintly noticeable sardonic smile around their lips) handing out to the naive buyer - me - a little leaflet to read, - pretending ultra simplicity and pure convenience, har, har, har... - oh, I lose the thread (but never, as husband sometimes remarks a bit reproachfully: the point of my crusade) -- SO: decalcifying does NOT take the pretended 35 minutes, but 55 minutes (of your life)!
In which you have to be THERE (because T. gives you a hundred and one little orders, and like a little cat that is wrongly handled it pisses on the floor if you don't dance around her...)
Ah - come to think of it: I might write a backup-book - "Coffee-Meditations for the Modern Woman - How to be fully in the Here and Now" (As I said: you HAVE to be HERE). Might even sell it to dear Cosmo.
So multitasking I took out the wonderful cookbook "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi and prepared inbetween "Roasted Parsnips with sweet potatoes" (yummy! - which takes an hour to roast in the oven). AND multitasked the fridge (taking part in The Kitchn's January Cure Apartmenttherapy - which told us followers to clean the kitchen deeply on this Saturday/Sunday, AND in between I memorized my Italian vocabulary and grammar, AND put down a few hints for some questions a journalist asked me to answer.
In the end I and everything was finished.
I have to confess: from now on I take again the male viewpoint and stick to it - "One thing at a time."
Mindful.
Of course.

PS: Son lectured me on never to personalize THINGS - makes you prone to subtile assaults - and as I follow his advices almost blindly, you won't hear of my Tamagotchi coffee machine again.
(Am too busy for games like that, have to... oh! ...it bellows:  "Fill up the water tank!" Sorry... 


http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-better-kitchen-by-sunday-evening-the-january-cure-assignment-6-214535?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tk



10 comments:

  1. Oh my, Dear Britta.... I do not always intend to multitask, but in the midst of one task, I get side-tracked into another... And another until many are begun and few are finished! I do wish my husband's wife was better at these necessary household duties! Perhaps 2015 is the year... Take a rest... Enjoy a cup of well deserved coffee! Smiles... Susan

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    1. Dear Susan, as always I fall in love with your way to express things - this time: "my husband's wife". Great! Oh yes, I enjoy that coffee.

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  2. I am still laughing at your interactions with your appliances. I sympathize. At the same time I am so easily amused that I am content to sit and watch as the coffee maker fills the pot or the dryer spins the clothes around.

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    1. Dear Emma, I'm glad to make you laugh. And you are doing what Son also told me: he does drip brewing - and I have a lovely coffe-machine for that, which heats the water to over 100° C, and a good coffee-grinder. But no: it had to be latte macchiato :-)

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  3. Dear Britta - I think perhaps I will stick with my stainless steel Caftiere, it only takes two minutes to unscrew and clean the filter, and sometimes I can't even be bothered to do that.

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    1. Dear Rosemary, had I but a choice :-) (I mean: now it is here, the machine...) When I went to a Monmouth Coffee at Borough Market I saw that the latest fashion is: filter coffee!

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  4. I'm just laughing out loud here. I often thank the skies that I have a cordless headset for my phone. In the amount of time I have spent on hold for for tech support and other even more ridiculous things (20 minutes and 4 calls to succeed in making a dr's appointment, e.g.) the ability to get other, particularly menial tasks, done at the same time is my savior. SAVIOR!!

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  5. Dear Sue, a headset is a wonderful thing - it gives you "the hands back" to do other tasks. To be on hold is awful - I once spent a whole hour fuming -- but as I needed the Telecom "support", I could not leave... At the moment you see me quite peacefully waiting in a queue - mumbling for example "uovo strapazzato" = "the stressed egg" as the Italians so wonderful call "Scrambled eggs" - meaning: I always have a list of vocabulary with me to fill the time of waiting.

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  6. Britta: I have been absent for a while, and I missed your blog. Tell your son you must be you! My wife and I are complete opposites. She multi-tasks constantly, while I tend to stay on a project ad nauseam.

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    1. Dear JJ, good to see you back again! As to Son: he is a wise one - and usually right - though everybody who knows me will laugh at the idea that I change without wanting that. Of course I enjoy my "fights" with my coffee- Tamagotchi.

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