Saturday, 30 April 2011

29th April 2011...

or: my opinion on some things seems to be different to mainstream again.

Yes, I spend pretty much all day yesterday to watch the royal wedding. I enjoyed it a lot and wish the happy couple the best of luck. And I was absolutely gutted that I was stuck in boring and lacklustre Germany...but anyway, here are my observations:

1) Trees are nice and green but I'm not so sure about them growing in the abbey.
2) I'm possibly the only person on earth who didn't like Pippa's dress. Too figure hugging (or she simply being too skinny for it), too white, her complexion too tanned - no.
3) Always mocked David Beckham but yesterday he looked absolutely stunning. What the right clothes can do...she looked like her normal bitchy self but he...rrrrrrrrrrrrrr

4) Wonder how well Sir Elton sang in church ;-)
5) The fascinator - I love fascinators - of Princess Beatrice was the worst thing ever and surely will return on all worst-dressed lists in the future

6) Being important and being well-dressed don't always go together anyway - spotted too many horrible colour combinations, old-fashioned hats and inappropriate bags (e.g. a Longchamp Pliage)
7) I love London
8) I the public university library
9) Proud to be British...well...British in my heart of hearts

Monday, 25 April 2011

Juliet, naked by Nick Hornby

I like Nick Hornby. I discovered him through "About a boy" and even saw him live reading out of "A long way down" in Brighton and got my book signed.
Then I started to read this one (by the way, the cover looks strangely similar to the film poster of "Away we go", doesn't it?). Started it last summer and finished it now. I found it incredibly boring.

It's about a end-thirties couple living in an insignificant seaside town in England. He is obsessed with his love for 80's singer/songwriter Tucker Crowe and spends most of his time analyzing songs and discussing them online. Problem is, Tucker Crowe "retired" from stage years ago and no one knows where he is and what he is doing now...the couple, Annie and Duncan, split. She posts something in one of the fan forums and gets a reply by Tucker himself. A email conversation starts and in the end they even meet up (including several family and illness caused detours)...the end is sort of open.

I can't pin down what exactly bored me so much. The endless descriptions of his non-existent music? The long monologues about their failed relationships and lives? The way nothing really happens?
I'm quite proud I finished it, only because having a signed book by Hornby - things like that bond me to someone forever ;-).
All reviews I have seen so far were very very maybe I'm just strange again. Did anyone here read it and has an opinion on it? Would love to hear it!


In Germany you buy all sorts of mandarines, oranges, etc. (apart from limes and lemons) in the time around christmas. Always seems to be one of my yearly highlights to smell the first peeled mandarine of the season. In Britain they are sold all year around in shops (would be interesting to know if they sell well all time) which makes them completely unattractive to me. Even though orange juice, fruit salad or pretty much anything smelling zesty is a big hit during the warmer months - for German me the actual fruits will forever be connected with winter only.

Friday, 22 April 2011

How to lose friends & alienate people

Misanthrope as I am, I was directly attracted by the titel of this film. The fact it has Simon Pegg in it (whom I like since seeing "Hot Fuzz") convinced me even more that I wanted to see it.
What shall I say - it is pretty much a male version of "The devil wears Prada". Sidney Young, mediocre journalist from London, desperately wants to become one of the celebrities and tries it all from crashing VIP parties to pretending to be someone else. One of the biggest people magazines from New York gets interested in his unusual and controversial work and he gets a job there. Of course he climbs up the career ladder although he always causes trouble due to his freaky and rude behaviour. And of course a bit of romance has to be in it as well - he falls in love with co-worker Alison (Kirsten Dunst).
So far so good, I must say I quite liked the film. It was funny despite some bits of silly slapstick. I will never understand what about Megan Fox (who plays basically herself in the film is considered so sexy and I probably will never be a huge fan of Kirsten Dunst, but: it was entertaining!
Entertaining, not too stupid or absurd and Simon Pegg is just trustworthy and authentic in a funny way, hard to explain. So if you like a bit of entertaining with a bit of style and humour in front of a NY setting, I can recommend this one!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

my life in shoes...

Miss Winkelmann has done it again. This week's "Blogstoeckchen" is about 5 pairs of shoes, your own ones or some you would love to have. As I'm quite a shoe person and own so many different pairs that it can get embarrassing, I just picked the 5 pairs that were closest so this is going to be pretty random.

Those ones I got about 5 years ago at Primark in England for around 6£. A bit too big but so comfy and always been fairly versatile and chic. Unfortunately they are falling apart now but I can't part with them yet...the dust on them is still from endless visits to the "Jardin des Plantes" in Paris about 4 years ago

my first pair of FitFlops. Was sceptical as they look bulky and wasn't sure if they could live up to my expectations which were reasonably high (considering they cost over 40£ for just Flip Flops). But I'm in love with them, wearing them for the third season now and got another pair too. Comfortable like hardly any pther shoes.

My lovely mauve coloured Clarks wedges from last year. I fell in love when I spotted them on the website but thought they were too expensive. As soon as they went on sale I was happy and ordered straightaway...but it was january 2010 and we got snowed in...I remember tracking the parcel..."loaded into van"..."unloaded from van to depot"..."loaded"..."unloaded"...but even the worst winter comes to an end eventually and those finally found their new home with me.

Adidas trainers...yeah, still can hardly believe it but I seriously have started to go running three times a week together with my husband now. Probably one of the strangest things I have ever done but at least it was another excuse for getting new shoes :-)

And, last but not least, this pair of olive flipflops with sparkly bits from the Accesorize sale in 2007. Got them for our yearly Guernsey holidays. And then, completely unpredictably, they played a very important part during my wedding in 2008. As we took quite a few pictures on the beach I took those flipflops as back-up shoes. So 50% of my wedding pictures are now showing those trustworthy friends.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


A tiny weeny difference between my beloved two nations I found out today. In Germany every employee in a opticians has to wear glasses as part of their (non-existing) uniform. That might be just frames filled with window glass but nevertheless, you can always see some up-to-date glasses displayed on their noses.
Here in the UK they don't unless they need them really...which I think is a bit boring. But that's the glasses freak in me speaking...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane haul...

the things I got in "Rokit" on Brick Lane and on various stands at Spitalfields market:

- four beautiful glass coasters with great photography done by David Goodyear.

- a white silk scarf and a transluscent coral one for just 1£ each second hand
- my first ever Essie nail polish in the colour "In stitches"
- my first ever proper vintage dress that fits! Proper 100% polyester and from the 70's and only 13£, I'm happy :-)

Another great thing I discovered there was a pot of rainforest salads. So nice, healthy and the best looking food I had for ages. Unfortunately I ate it too quick to take a what ;-)

Monday, 18 April 2011

National Portrait Gallery

Last sunday I thought I should visit my beloved National Portrait Gallery again for a while. It is so fantastic that all the big museums don't cost here! Makes it possible to just sneak in, look at a few bits and not having to worry about getting an art overkill. I always think that the National Portrait Gallery is especially interesting for people who consider themselves as not so "arty". It is easier to get a connection when you actually know the people shown and if it is a photo it makes it even easier.

I had a look at a small room with photos of Sarah Lucas, a British artist broaching the issue of masculinity and gender. Not something I'm ooooverly interested in but as I had a uni seminar about a similar subject recenty I started to become a bit more curious.
I'm always good in changing subjects so the next small exhibition I walked to were two display cabinets with photographies of famous ballet dancers in Britain. I love ballet and I love photography so definitely interesting for me. One picture (I can't find it online) that drew my attention was one of a very young Russian dancer who, before becoming more famous, shot himself because of his failed marriage. Those are the small, nearly forgotten stories that stick to my mind...
My last stop lead me to the toilets...and to the hidden small exhibition space in the basement full of photographies done by Mary McCartney. Yes, she is the sister of Stella as the next picture gives away easily. Beautiful portraits of celebrities...sometimes backstage, sometimes arranged. Definitely worth more than a quick look.

Columbia Road Flower Market

As I tend to be very early in London I decided that this sunday is gonna be perfect to finally visit the Columbia Road Flower Market. Wanted to go for a long time but a) I never had a garden to put any plants in (and of course can't buy cut flowers if I have to carry them with me the next 10hrs) and b) it always seemed to be completely out of the way.
Call me a chicken but I'm slightly intimidated by the thought of going to the east end. I know it's cool and trendy but I know as well that it is a more problematic area and it some parts simply looks grubby. Anyway, that's just me (the one who one day wants to live in Hampstead, haha).

So I started my walk at Bethnal Green station and arrived at the market aboout 20min later. It's only a short bit of road actually dedicated for the plant sellers but as it is so busy it still takes a while to get through it.
So many beautiful plants and flowers. Felt like being in Amsterdam sometimes, just with different accents...and better prices ;-). Street musicians playing, the air smelling of flowers and bacon rolls. The absolute perfect place to start a sunny spring sunday.

Bought 5 poppy plants in the end. Where sold as roots so was less to carry and more likely to survive. When I opened the muddy plastic bag last night I found out I got 9 plants. You even get good deals on that market!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

car boot sale saturday

We started this beautiful sunny saturday with going to a local car boot sale (after having been out running, can't say how amazed and proud I am as this is the second week "running" ).
My first car boot sale in Britain and I really enjoyed it. One of my vows for 2011 was to declutter my flat (and life) and bring it all to charity shops...and to buy in charity shops and second-hand much more. Working well so far and it is so much more satifying and entertaining to shop that way.
Anyway, that's what we got today. 2 pictures as they show views of my husbands hometown (what a coincidence!), 1 picture as it has my husband's last name on it, one little glass for growing bulbs in (you normally only get them for hyazinths so I'm searching for a long time for those small, crocus sized ones), 2 fuchsias too brightern up our garden, and (wouldn't be me without): a handbag! Lovely and cute beauty case style in black patent moc croc. Perfect day :-)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Tresspass by Rose Tremain

Since I arrived on the island again I'm having one of my reading flashes consuming book after book while sitting in one of the lovely London parks or on my long tube rides.
One I finished in St. James Park last sunday morning is this one - "Tresspass".
I have no idea how it made it onto my bookshelf, I'm sure I never picked it up so it must have come in a TV book club order last year.
Anyway, it is the story of Audrun and Aramon Lunel. Brother and sister, living in the south of France...hating each other but being connected through the history they share and their house, the Mas Lunel. The second couple are Veronica and Anthony Verey, again brother and sister. He, the disillusioned and depressed art dealer and snob from London. She, the successful garden designer living in France together with her life partner Kitty, a non-successful paintress.
Don't wanna give away too much but the book drew me into the story from the very first page. It is difficult to categorise it. Bit of crime...lots of psychology...and all written in a beautiful descriptive language. Probably not the right book if you are looking for a thriller but definitely worth reading. A story about dysfunctional families, the strong and awkward bonds between siblings and about the meaning of being at "home".
I enjoyed it.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

the bounty hunt
 Sometimes you find new favourite products in shops you least suspect it. Got this bath milk a while ago in Asda...and love it. It makes my skin soft, it smells divine of coconut, makes nice bubbles and: costs 1,50 £ for two bottles (which is 750ml each). At the moment I like it more than all Cowshed and Lush things together. If only in everything else my taste could be that simple...:-)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

opposites attract

On my trip into town yesterday I wanted to buy exactly ONE item. A new scoop to clean the cat toilet with (looks on the picture like you could use it for turning around eggs in the frying pan as well ;-)). As you can see, I got the scoop...and Royal wedding memorabilia (fridge magnet, mug, little flags)...and luxurious John Frieda products...and two stunning Revlon nail polishes in "Beach" and "Blackest Black" ...and a new yankee candle smelling of strawberry buttercream...and a new Bonjour healthy something  foundation...definitely onw of the more interesting shopping mixes I would say.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

never give up trying

Got up at 6 o' clock this morning in the fresh breeze and sunshine. Did the laundry, wrote some emails I was meaning to write for weeks, blogged, tidied a few things and went into town before any kids hit the high-street (school holidays again here, as always - at least that's how it feels to me).
So another day started following one of my looong to-do-lists...and then. It's early evening, I get lazy. Don't read any of the books I should have read a while ago for university. Don't just drink tea but have a large portion of rum and raisin ice cream as well followed by some crisps. Don't wear some of my new and nice and stylish things but some old T-Shirt with holes in it. Don't do a indulging face mask but fall asleep with mascara still on. Don't watch any interesting film, no, waste time watching "Come dine with me" or "Four Weddings". Seeing the same ads again and again and still lacking the energy and willpower to leave the sofa and get something done!

Why do I start nearly everyday thinking "this is going to be perfect and I will do everything right today"...and then I slip again and waste precious time doing nothing really. that the to-do-lists of mine will never be ticked all the way through. Frustrating...but typically human?!?

Away we go

A film which I did hear and read about quite a lot when it came out. A 30-something couple is expecting their first child and in order to find the perfect place to start their family they travel the US and Canada.
They stop where they have family or friends so the entire film is divided into episodes. They meet frustrated friends, a single dad, a strange new-age couple various others and even the, in their eyes, perfect patchwork family with loads of adopted kids. They seem happy, Montreal seems the place to be. But it turns out that behind the facade the couple is hitting rock bottom as she has one miscarriage after another...
In the end the parents-to-be couple moves to her old home to start a new chapter and to make it possible for her to grief properly for her parents she lost to soon.

I expected a lot as the plot sounded interesting and the hippy poster looked promising.
I watched it and wasn't gripped at all. The actors were lacking colour and spirit, the lines they said were uninspired and sometimes hard to understand...The episodes left me more confused than entertained...The film music reminded me of "Into the wild"...Even the funny bit (Maggie Gyllenhall, the New Age Mum detesting the three "S" for her kids: no seperation, no sugar and absolutely NO strollers) was too odd to be funny.
So if I would have been writing this directly after seeing it, it would have been a pretty mediocre review.
But I had a few days to think about it now and must say that, even though definitely not being a fantastic film, it got me thinking. Thinking about all the aspects parenthood can mean, about how difficult it can be to find a home, about the fact that we hardly ever see on the outside how the family works on the inside...
I still think the main plot was not that good and the leading actors lifeless...but the story in Montreal really touched me and made me see the whole film in a different light.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

What I just realised again is that in order to get normal-average-everyday sun protection in the UK you need to get a mortgage first. Even the shops's own brand products from Boots and Superdrug are ridiculously expensive (e.g. 200ml Soltan Sun Care Lotion SPF 15, 9,25£ vs. 200ml Sunozon Rossman Sunmilk SPF 20, 2,99Euro). Can't think of any logical reasons for that and think it is really bad that here the people seem to get discouraged to use sun protection. All the popular 2 for 1 deals don't cut it either.

So I will stay in the shadow for the next weeks and will stock up again as soon as I have my beloved German drugstores and discounters round the corner again.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

sometimes I wonder

You remember one of the first scenes in "Le fabuleux destins d' Amelie Poulain" where she looks down on Paris and wonders how many people are having an orgasm at that exact moment?

When I sit on the London Underground for a while (and when it is over the ground so I actually get a view) and watch all the houses going by, I can't help but having similar thoughts, just more of the morbid instead of the saucy sort:

Behind how many of these walls lies a dead body unnoticed by anyone?

Please say you sometimes have similar thoughts or I am seriously worried now about my mental health ;-)

Friday, 8 April 2011

on the road to nowhere...

One interesting thing I noticed yesterday when sitting on the passenger seat driving along the Thames. I would see a , e.g. Kingston Road which logically leads to Kingston after a while. I found this highly unfair for the people in Kingston as they don't get a helpful clue where the road might be leading to. I was thinking loudly and my husband started explaining:
Apparently many roads change their name to make themselves more helpful. Kingston Road is only Kingston Road as long as it is leading out, e.g. Staines. When it gets closer to Kingston (and you get closer to your destination) the same road is called Staines Road. What a clever system! And I thought I was so clever thinking about this "problem" for the first time ever...anyway, let me know if similar things happen in Germany cause I can't think of any examples.

PS: And it actually does make more sense in reality than in my description...:-)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Yesterday I went out for my first round of shopping and checking out what's new in English shops again since I left 8 weeks ago. Staines is far away from being a shopping dorado but it was a good enough start, there will more exciting opportunities soon and I have no money anyway...
I seem to have developed the same irrational behaviour as other bloggers. I have never been interested in a product, I don't need it as such, I read about it...and again...and there it it: the urge that I HAVE to have it. I'm yesterdays haul is a nearly 100% proof of that theory.

Barry M. nail polish in "Dusky Mauve" (apparently a Chanel "Paradoxal" dupe)
Sleek eye shadow palette "Paraguaya"
Sleek pout polish "Sugar May"
Marks&Spencers perfume "Azure Breeze" (which is definitely a dupe of D&G "Light Blue")
the up-to-date Marie Claire as it has a 100ml bottle of "Grumpy Cow" body lotion with it from the "Cowshed"

Monday, 4 April 2011

German Extrawurst

It's quite unbelievable what I found today during my Waitrose shopping trip. Had a wonder through the meat section and saw this:

First I just saw it, the laughing flash set in a few seconds later (I was on my own so the other customers probably thought I just had escaped some sort of asylum).
For the non-german speakers: the term "Extrawurst" is as far I know not a description of a sausage variety. It is a word used in the saying "eine Extrawurst kriegen" which means that someone very picky always needs to get something extra and special ( translates it into "to get special treatment"). Apparently in Austria the Extrawurst really stands for a special cooked sausage but at least the majority of Germans should have a good laugh about it :-)
Don't think Waitrose is aware of that...had to buy it (and will force my husband to eat it) cause it doesn't happen often that you can buy such a special treatment in shops, does it?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

a new day, a new dawn, ...

Done hardly any blogging this week but I promise to make up for it from tomorrow on. Has been a absolute desastrous week for me, glad it's over, and landed in the UK again earlier, so:
Soon there will be more weirdness, more house decorations and, of course, more shopping so bear with me...and have a great week!