Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Auld Lang Syne 2014

22 books read

52x been to the theatre

35 films watched (15 of which in cinema)

listened to 4 concerts

3 weddings attended and photographed

0 funerals

18 flights

5 hair cuts

0 visits to the doctor

2 wonderful blogger blind dates

got chatted up 1x

1 British crownprince met (apart from that met Jimmy Page, Graham Suggs McPherson, Paloma Faith, Hugh Dennis, Ray Davies, Greg Davies)

4 babies born to people I care about

slept in 10 different beds

5 nights spent in a tent

211 blog posts published

Thank you for reading and wishing you all a happy, healthy and inspiring 2015!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

the sound of silence

In case you wonder why it is so quiet here over the last days/week - no, it´s not that the Scrooge that I am has suddenly become all festive and is celebrating a lot. No way. No hope there.

The reason behind my muteness is...I´m just not getting anything written.
I have plenty of time, more than enough ideas and topics for posts, but: everytime I sit down to blog and open the website I just end up playing Candy Crush...for hours...( level 543 doesn´t happen on its own you know)...or get distracted/annoyed by my husbands need for tv...or decide I should make some tea...or eat some chocolate...or get a message on Facebook...or or or...procrastination. I´m so good at it that it even stops me from doing this I actually enjoy!
The more I have to say the more I appear to stand in my own way and remain silent.

When suffering from writer´s block it is usually recommended just writing anything to fill this awful blank sheet/page will help.
So read this and understand it as my first step towards eloquence and speech diarrhoe again.
See you again soon!

PS: The photo has been put onto here just as I know how much more readers can be attracted with random cat content, it´s me being calculating :-)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Out of Towners

director: Arthur Hiller
year: 1970
with: Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis, Sandy Baron, Paul Dooley, etc.

plot: George and Gwen Kellerman live in the small, quiet town of Twin Oaks, Ohio. George has a strong sense of what is right and wrong, especially as it applies to himself and Gwen, but he still looks to her for validation. Working for a plastics company, George believes he is a shoo-in for the company's Vice-President of Sales, New York Division job, a position located in New York City. George is looking forward to their future life in New York City, with all the amenities and benefits living in the big city has to offer. For George's 9 am interview, George and Gwen plan on taking a flight that lands in New York at 8 pm the evening before, which gives them time for dinner at New York's finest restaurant, The Four Seasons, and a comfortable night's stay at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel before the interview. But nothing on this trip goes according to plan. In fact, what can go wrong, does...

what I liked: It is funny, it is good entertainment and stylish in it's own 1970 way.

what I didn't like: The open end was slightly dissatisfying (a hijacked plane isn't overly hilarious nowadays again) and Sandy Dennis as has one of those faces I constantly wanna slap which isn't best.

verdict: I was really excited to finally watch this one as the 1999 remake of it starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn is one of my all time favourite films. As I have seen the remake first and love it this one didn't have an easy start. It is funny, I enjoyed the more subtle humour but it doesn't have that constant firework of jokes the remake has in my opinion. Still very worth seeing!

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Musikalische Leitung: Sebastian Hernandez-Laverny
Künstlerische Leitung: Axel Goldbeck
Theater: Staatstheater Mainz
Premiere: 21.11.2014

Inhalt: Nüschts - ist als "Abend mit Sängern, Schauspielern und dem Philharmonischen Orchester Mainz" tituliert.

was mir gefallen hat: Mixe populäre Titel aus der Klassik mit Pop, lasse eine Ballerina singen, Opernsänger headbangen, einen Bratscher swingen und orchestriere Popsongs mit großem Orchester - da kann eigentlich nix schiefgehen.

was mir nicht gefallen hat: Eigentlich...von musikalischer Seite her tut es das auch nicht aber der rote Faden! Ok, bei einem Konzert muss es keinen zwingend geben aber hier haben wir es mit einem äußerst merkwürdigen Mischwesen zu tun. Es gibt einen "Kellner" der die Moderationen abliest (!!!) und ganz lose versucht die Überleitungen einzufädeln und gleichzeitig Witzchen zu machen. Kann er leider beides nicht, es wirkt gequält und peinlich. In einer Fastnachtshochburg wie Mainz wird es doch wohl möglich sein da jemanden mit mehr Esprit zu finden, oder?

Fazit: Ein netter Abend den ich mit einigen Ohrwürmern verlassen habe, trotzdem wäre da viel mehr drin gewesen! Schon drollig wenn ein 70+ Publikum zu Rihanna mitklatscht und Meat Loaf als "modern" tituliert...
Auch wenn mich der fehlende Humor wahnsinnig gestört hat - spätestens beim Opernhünen der sein langes Haar zu Metallica geschüttelt hat, war es um mich geschehen.

Und wer nun Interesse bekommen hat (und über ein wenig Zeit verfügt) - hier ein Video nach dem man eigentlich schon alles nennenswerte gesehen hat (nach ca. 4 Minuten geht´s los)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

3 days in Stockholm (part 3)

and now finally the last batch of photos taken during our recent short trip to the beautiful Swedish capital. Most pictures are showing the old open air museum Skansen which is definitely worth the visit even in colder weather. So looking forward to return in summer one day!

have a look here and there for more photos

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


director: Paul King
year: 2014
with: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters, etc.

plot: A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

what I liked: London! How can you not be enchanted by this pretty Notting Hill neighbourhood and the nocturnal city scapes. All characters are charming in their own ways (thumbs up for Lord Grantham wearing a dress!), especially Mr Gruber in his magical shop on Portobello road (I really want this tea train!).
I loved the slightly "Amelie" like narrative including little collages of flashbacks and the doll house views of the magnificent house.
The scene that showed Mrs and Mr Brown turning up on their motorbike at the maternity ward ready to give birth stroke a chord with me. They go in as a fun and reckless couple and come out as overcautious bores...well, here it is, one of my biggest fears in life shown to me in a childrens film...

what I didn't like: As feared before, for me there was too much action again. A grumpy neighbour and the daily madness London is would have been exciting enough in my opinion, why include that evil taxidermist? Why chasing around the Natural History Museum?? The story about Paddington's home being destroyed and his uncle dying really upset me (and the little girl sitting behind me), I'm obviously getting to old for those PG rated films :-/

verdict: Overall lovely but without the good vs. evil plotline it would have been much more charming.

Monday, 15 December 2014

sprouting desires

On my last wander through Brighton I did something quite out of character for me - I went into
Claire´s and looked through their "so ridiculous and over the top that I start liking it again"- christmas collection. There I spotted these:

Large dangly Brussels sprout earrings.
(you remember, Brussels sprouts belong to UK Christmas as potato salad with sausages to a German one)

I really wanted to have them as I love green, like sprouts, adore everything unusual and enjoy any form of provocation.
But then rationality jumped in and thought "No, you will never wear them. Search online for alternatives". So I did and found those babies (is there really anything you cannot find online these days?)

Cute and dainty little sprout studs from by the Shed.
I love them!

 PS: But on the Claire´s website I now have seen this fascinator and really, really, really want it...not so sensible after all...

Sunday, 14 December 2014

everyday (part 46)

one first time each and every day - a new taste, a new experience, a new route, a new song, a new whatever.

13. - 19. November

13.11. first time baked scones at home - it's remarkably easy so will never buy any anymore
14.11. watched "Swinging with the Finkels" and thought it was rubbish
15.11. learned a new word while queuing at the garden center cafeteria which had some incredibly bad service - gormless
16.11. had a proper day out at Whipsnade Zoo - and found out that the funny animals that I so far only lovingly called "pissy things" are called maras
17.11. had a Costa Coffee gingerbread latte in Brighton and was fascinated by the cute star shaped sugar flakes on top of the cream
18.11. first time visiting the Odeon cinema in Kingston in order to watch "The Imitation Game"
19.11. had the trip from hell trying to get from Heathrow to Covent Garden on the tube in time for my hair dressing appointment - ended up walking around Isleworth cluelessly and arrived 45minutes late, there is nothing I hate more!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

diamonds are forever

In March this year I went swimming in Wiesbaden together with my husband as we regularly do during the colder months.
While I make a point of always taking off my engagement and my wedding ring off I never worried about my dainty white gold necklace with the small diamond pendant.
A present my husband gave me earlier on in our relationship, the necklace was still very new as I had managed to rip the old one.
When leaving the pool I suddenly noticed that the necklace was broken again (without me doing anything!) - it was liying on my shoulders...without the diamond.

We had a quick look on the floor but looking for a 7x3mm large item in a large swimming pool full of people is equal if not worse than the search for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
We left feeling quite down. I tried not to get upset as there is really no point in worrying about something material but still, the mood was spoilt.

In the following week I exchanged some mails with the thermal bath in case something was found but as expected, nothing.

This week now we went swimming again.

In the pool I re-arranged my swim suit as you do and felt something unusual, what can I say, between my legs. It was small, hard (I will get some very interesting traffic here soon I´m sure) and I first thought it might have been an earstud that somehow got caught there.
Then I realised it.

My diamond pendant had got stuck between the fabric and the liner of my swim suit!
Was with me all the time!!
Survived another pool, several rounds of breast stroke and two washes!!!

I told my husband, he had a feel (isn´t it good no one really sees what is going on under the water surface sometimes?!) and I carefully retreated to the changing room to get my treasure back and store it safely like Gollum.

Even though I´m an atheist you sometimes really wonder...I mean, how high was the chance for this to happen?

We left exhilarated and happy.
And are looking for a hopefully much stronger necklace now.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Swinging with the Finkels

director: Jonathan Newman
year: 2011
with: Martin Freeman, Mandy Moore, Jonathan Silverman, Melissa George, etc.

plot: A London couple decides to shake up their marriage by "swinging" with another couple. Which obviously is not as easy as it sounds...

what I liked: Hmm, let me think. The apartment the protagonists Alvin and Ellie live in is stylish. It is set in London...and I 
don´t mind Martin Freeman nor Mandy Moore.

what I didn´t like: Well, were to start? The film is a remake of a short film which means: the plot is enough for maybe 20min, to make a full-length film out of that is just boring and tedious.
The jokes are pretty much all on level with "American Pie" so (fortunately) made me not laugh even once. Not a single cliché gets left out and on top of all that: Why that mix of nationalities in the cast? London for sure is a cosmopolitan place but this is just not credible.

verdict: Well, it looks and feels like your typical and much beloved Richard Curtis rom-com to start with but quickly leads into embarrassement, boredom and finally a soulless and glutinous happy end. 
If you can laugh about well-lubricated cucumbers shooting out of vaginas in the moment the parents walk in the bedroom then this might be for you...I really hope you don´t.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

question time 9

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
A long walk, a hot bath, tea, sleep.

Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?
Many, many times. To my mind comes a fairly insignificant but nevertheless meaningful incident that happened about 7-8 years ago in the ladies toilet at Frankfurt airport. I was washing my hands when in the mirror I watched a woman leaving the toilets with her short skirt stuck inside her tights. An embarrassing situation as it is  - but me telling her would have saved her from much more possible mockery. I did nothing.

Has your greatest fear ever come true?
My greatest fear is me or any of my loved ones becoming incurably ill. Unfortunately it has come true. I'm comforting myself with the thought that "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is true after all.

Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?
When bereaved we lose the ultimate chance to change or alter our past behaviour and cannot show our love and affection anymore.

What is your most beloved childhood memory?

Sitting at my grandparents table, drinking tea, getting read stories by my granny and drawing pictures meanwhile with my big box of Crayolas. Hundreds of drawings and paintings were created during those afternoons. Me feeling protected, cherished, without any worries and trusting everyone 100%.

Is it more important to love or be loved?
What good is one without the other?
If it all came back around to you, would it help you or hurt you?
I have to confess that I have no clue what this question really means.

Friday, 5 December 2014

strictly come dancing

It happened during a wedding this summer, the DJ was playing Metallica with "Nothing else matters" and the guests on the dancefloor did what they were supposed to do -they danced.
Nothing new there. The thing that amused, confused and astonished my husband was this:

All those crazy Germans were waltzing. Proper ballroom dancing. Nearly as if they would have been magically transported to the Vienna opera ball.

For me this sight wasn't unusual. Here in Germany it still is more or less the norm to attend ballroom dancing lessons during the teenage years (which in many cases not only results in some nifty turns and moves but in dating, discos, and dramas).
Not sure about any figures but I would assume that at least 50% of all Germans are capable of at least basic Waltz, Cha-Cha and Discofox.

Correct me if I'm wrong (or maybe just married into the wrong family) but in the UK ballroom dancing seems to be something you watch when "Strictly Come Dancing" is on tv but not something you actively learn and do. And definitely not when "Nothing else matters" is on.

Bit of a shame I think.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

everyday (part 45)

one first time each and every day - a new taste, a new experience, a new route, a new song, a new whatever. 

6. - 12. November

6.11. bought coffee in a strange little shed-type cafe in Kingston as everywhere else was ridiculously busy
7.11. landed at Stockholm Arlanda and found out that the terminal building smells of Ikea
8.11. explored Stockholms hipster area Södermalm together with our extremely entertaining Australian tourguide Ryan during one of the Free Tours
9.11. visited the open air museum and zoo Skansen and for the first time watched the seals getting fed
10.11. saw "Mr.Turner" in cinema
11.11. finished another 20km walk through London by visiting the "Anarchy&Beauty: William Morris"exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
12.11. wanted to buy a new sofa in Ikea but found out that the box is way too large for transporting it in any car, got one of my fit of rages

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


Earlier this year I had one of my more strange ideas again - we were planning to spend a few days in Mallorca again in early October and a good friend of mine was going again in early September as every year - wouldn't it be fun if she would hide something, a "treasure" somwhere and send us on a quest to find it?
Well, as I normally stick at least to my odd ideas I told her and she, being as mad as me, agreed and henceforth planned what to hide and where to hide it.
Time went on and in September, while sitting in her garden for a BBQ, she handed me the lovingly decorated treasure map...

On our third day in Mallorca we headed for Calas de Mallorca in order to find it, didn't look too hard.
Well, as most times, it turned out to be not as straightforward as it looked on paper but with the help of my more logical thinking and more determined husband we made it!
Found a carefully wrapped empty cigarette box in a bush nestled between houses, inside was a 5€ note, a business card of a local bar and the invitation to spend the money on a coffee there and say hi to everyone from her and her family.

Thinking about this makes me so much happier than any ridiculous christmas present could ever make! We have created a happy memory even though we were hundreds of miles apart.
Friends are important but slightly nutty friends are the best.

PS: On our walk back to the car we had a very strange experience.
Henry Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk" was playing loudly from somewhere and seemed to follow us but we could see no car, no ice cream van, no nothing that could be the source if this.
My friend thinks it might have been the aerobic class in a nearby hotel but honestly: who does aerobics to this tune?!? Creeeepy...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ich habe sie geliebt

Autor: Anna Gavalda
veroeffentlicht: 2004

Inhalt: Es ist alles andere als lustig, wenn man von seinem Mann sitzen gelassen wird und plötzlich als alleinerziehende Mutter von zwei kleinen Töchtern dasteht. Deshalb muß Chloé ständig weinen, bis Pierre, ihr Schwiegervater, sie und die beiden Mädchen in sein Landhaus mitnimmt. Und er erzählt ihr von der großen Liebe seines Lebens, zu der er sich nie zu bekennen wagte, von heimlicher Untreue und nie wieder gutzumachender Schuld, von gestohlenem Glück und den ungelebten Träumen.

was mir gefallen hat: Stellenweise eine sehr schöne Sprache und Geschichten die in Frankreich spielen mag ich eh (fast) immer.

was mir nicht gefallen hat: Mehr Novelle als Roman hat man auf den 176 Seiten kaum Gelegenheit sich in die Charaktere hereinzufinden. Das Schicksal der einzelnen lies zumindest mich vollkommen kalt. Was nicht gerade zum Genuss beiträgt: Teilweise ist es sehr unklar wer nun gerade was erzählt, dies strengt an.

Fazit: Teils gut geschrieben und glaubwürdig wie alle Anna Gavalda Bücher aber zu kurz und dünn um sich auf die Geschichte und die Probleme wirklich einlassen zu können.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

3 days in Stockholm (part 2)

Despite the lack of light I still took a suprising amount of photos - well, more to show to you now :-)
 case you have missed part 1

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Silkworm

author: Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
published: 2014

plot: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced...

what I liked: Everything! The detailed descriptions created vivid images in my head, I constantly felt as if I'm following Cormoran Strike around through a slightly sinister but always realistic London.

what I didn't like: OK, towards the climax (that is a little bit anti-climatic) I sometimes struggled a little bit to keep up with every characters action and motivation.

verdict: Another unusual statement for someone who doesn't normally read crime novels at all - I loved it as much as Strike's first case! Knowing pretty much every corner of London that gets described in the book I was hooked after the first few pages.

PS: On the day I read the bit where Strike discovers a badly mutilated body in a house in Hammersmith I happenend to walk around dusk...and scared myself with wondering what lies behind each and every wall I was passing...I'm not made for tougher crime novels I think ;-)

Friday, 28 November 2014

question time 8

Where do you find inspiration?
In everything that I consider beautiful (and fortunately many things seem beautiful to me). Feeling inspired comes probably closest to true happiness.

Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?
(After trying for a while now while counting on my fingers)

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

Because the learning process is usually long, painful, exhausting and discouraging.

What impact do you want to leave on the world?
I have no idea .

What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?
Visiting  the Engelbert Humperdinck's opera "Hänsel und Gretel" on stage in Wiesbaden on the 1. January 1994.

In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?

My life is not hasty.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Lack of courage I suppose. Or simply because humans sometimes just act irrational as processed here.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

3 days in Stockholm

Growing up with Astrid Lindgren's wonderful books and films, Sweden always has been on my "to-travel-list".
Now this wish has become true, we spent three days in the Swedish capital of Stockholm and were amazed:
beautiful architecture, the strongest coffee I have ever drunk on every corner, friendly people and the prices on a very average level (well, coming from London this is). Thinking about moving now ;-)
Here is the first batch of photos (unfortunately the Northern November light made everything looking pretty drained)