Friday, 30 April 2010

Guess,,,

...who's interviewing Josh (Eurovision Josh of course) next week? Very exciting :) :) :) I love my radio station!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

20-20 Hindsight

Is the name of Aleksander With's blog which he's just mentioned on Twitter.I thought I'd link to it because I love reading blogs about everyday life,and also because he has some great photos on there.There aren't many posts so far but I look forward to reading more later.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Look!

It's me feeding a zebra! She's adorable.



(photo courtesy of Keira :) )

Last Friday I went to Herts to see Keira.After a nightmare train trip up there (partly because of my mistake,partly because of other people making life difficult for everyone else),I arrived in Broxbourne and we went to Paradise Wildlife Park.Keira took me to see the zebra first,as they're my favourite animal in the world EVER,and she gobbled half of my vegetable mix.

My other favourites there were this guy...



...who despite being tired was an exhibitionist and stood at the front for ages.

This guy...



...who's so ugly he's cute.

And of course,this one...



:)

Tomorrow I'm off to North Wales/Chester to see James.Hopefully the train journey won't be too traumatic.I've got plenty of Russian work to be getting on with on the way.Have sort of given up on my dissertation now,only 900 words left (!),a bit of translation and a bit of referencing,and I think I can manage that back in Guildford.Anyway,I haven't been to Wales for 12 years so I'm looking forward to it,even though the temperature is forecast to be half of what it is in Kent :/ Possible updates while I'm there,but if not,meet you back here on Wednesday evening!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Die Liebe liebt mich nicht

As mentioned previously,I bought Revolverheld's new album In Farbe last week in Germany.They've definitely taken a new turn with their music- everything's happy for a start.So this song doesn't really fit.But that's one reason why I like it,it's the Revolverheld we know and love :) The lyrics are a bit...strong I suppose but they're quite nice.I've translated parts of it at the bottom.



Oh love
What are you doing to me
It’s never easy with you

Sometimes you make me happy,
But most of the time you don't
You tear at my wounds,
But still I drink to you

I don't understand you when you talk to me,
It's all too much for me
Maybe I just don't believe in you anymore

I've tried it all,
Love doesn't love me
I'm deprived,
Love doesn't love me

Can't we agree to chase the doubts away,
I've tried everything
Love doesn't love me

I'm talking to myself,trying to conquer my demon
But even that isn't working for me

Friday, 16 April 2010

Germany Day 2

Readers of the Twilight saga will know that vampires don't sleep.I felt like a vampire on Thursday morning,just waiting around all night for a socially acceptable hour to come so I could get up and have a shower.Despite a very long day the day before,and taking my nice new German anti-anxiety/sleeping tablets,I literally didn't sleep for a minute.Which isn't unusual for me on holiday,but I did feel half-dead on the train to Flensburg.The bit past Eckernförde anyway.Up until then our tiny train was filled with kids going on a school trip and making a nuisance of themselves.I can't stand kids of any shape or size,but these ones did make me laugh,just because I usually think of foreign kids being so much better behaved than British ones.

After getting told off by a Deutsche Bahn man for not signing my ticket before leaving Kiel (what sort of stupid system is that anyway?),I soon woke up when we arrived in my second favourite city (Oslo is still my first love,even if I haven't been there in years).This was my mum's first time in Flensburg and her first impression was "it smells of manure and it's unnaturally quiet".Of course,erm,that's why I love it :/ First stop was the Sankt Nikolai church,in which I would love to get married one day,even if it is situated atop a potentially dangerous slope.I lit a candle for the same person I've been lighting candles for for a while now,and then we went to the Flensburg Galerie,which is where the trouble started.

Two hours and €100 later,we left,having bought: 2 cute little spoons from Danish department store Sinnerup,a green top with an emo teddy bear on it from Mister Lady,5 CDs (Revolverheld's new one,both of Ruben Cossani's,one by Clueso and one by Ich+Ich),and the cutest ever grey top with a family of zebras on.As I'd wanted to buy this top on a previous trip to Flensburg and it was still there nearly 18 months later,I thought it was a sign that I had to buy it.Mother of course didn't buy anything,except lunch,from Eis Cafe Milano,which not only does yummy ham and cheese toasties,but also,and I have to put this in bold capitals LOW FAT ICE CREAM..Though we didn't try it,and no pictures are available,I would urge anyone in the general Flensburg area to go and have one.They're mini works of art if nothing else.I've yet to see anywhere else in the world that sells low fat ice cream spaghetti carbonara.It was so cute!

I didn't buy anything else,apart from a couple of postcards in Karstadt.And a KitKat at the station.

We didn't do much else other than walk along the harbour,though my mum was more interested in looking at the wedding dress shop than the fjord.

There was a distinct lack of both beautiful men and Danish cars that Thursday,which made me conclude that the beautiful men of Flensburg are all in fact Danes who only come down at weekends.Shame.

On the way back to Kiel I got told off by another Deutsche Bahn man for accidentally dropping a ticket on the floor.Time might have taken away my Danish hot dog place and my favourite Karstadt,but it hasn't done anything for making Deutsche Bahn employees more cheerful and friendly.That's kind of comforting.

We missed the live music at the Kieler Brauerei which probably sounded more exciting than it actually was,and instead went for dinner at Block House,a steak house which again is rammed at weekends but was practically empty on Thursday.Had a massive cheeseburger on garlic bread (?) which I know for a fact had over 50g of fat in it (50g is my RDA) followed by Ungarisch flavour Funny Frisch crisps back at the hotel.I'd always wondered what the mysterious "Hungarian" flavour of my favourite crisps was,until my mum pointed out that there was a picture of a paprika on the packet.Mystery solved.

2 hours of German version of Wife Swap (Frauentausch) on RTL later,and I had a very good night's sleep,which may or may not be thanks to my new tablets :)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Pictures...

...of my recent trip to Germany are here if you're interested.None of them are very good,but I've written informative captions where appropriate :) Will finish writing about it all later this week hopefully.Dissertation has been getting in the way the last few days.That and Eclipse,the third book in the Twilight series...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Everything is hanging by a thread

Nothing like a bit of Ich + Ich to calm you down when you're dissertating.(I'm still around the 5000 word mark but have just started translating,hoping that it'll grow a bit.It's grown by 8 words so far...) This is Umarme Mich,from Ich + Ich's first album,one of many that I bought in Germany last week.It's so...chilled :)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Germany Day 1

I love Easyjet.The "check in online 60 days before you fly" system means that you can get to the airport at the last minute and not have to sit around for ages.Even better when the flight itself is only 70 minutes like Gatwick-Hamburg.After a quick McDonalds breakfast (the start of many "bad" things I ate,I forsee massive weight gain this week),we took off at 7.20 and were in Kiel at 11.45.It had been 15 months since I was last in the capital of SH,but it didn't feel like I'd been away at all.Though my mum couldn't remember where anything was and kept getting confused every time we came out of a shop,I didn't get lost once,which is quite something for me.

First stop was Cafe Fiedler on Europaplatz,with their funky zebra print seats and massive quiches.But we just had a quick drink before checking into the hotel around the corner.It seemed Wednesday was the first sunny day of the year in Kiel,as all of the outdoor seats in the cafes and pubs were all taken,and from the hotel window we could see them lounging around on the little bridges and humps in Europaplatz.We felt a bit out of place in winter coats.

Spent the afternoon on Holstenstraße.Zara is being demolished to make way for a big Vero Moda shop,but apart from that,everything was as it was 15 months ago.Even Woolworths is still there! The one major exception though,is Karstadt and the Wurst von Kiel Danish hotdog place outside.Seeing it all empty actually made me really sad,so I had to ask the guy on the sausage cart what had happened.Apparently Karstadt only closed 5 weeks ago,which I'm surprised about,as it was always very popular.Judging by the huge number of shops which were advertising for staff along Holstenstraße too,Germany appears to be starting to recover from "der Krise".I had a think about whether I'd move back to Kiel to work in a shop.It almost makes sense.There isn't the stigma attached to working in retail like there is here.It isn't seen as a step down,or an easy option,it's just as valid and respectable a career choice as any.

Didn't buy anything on Wednesday,just made a mental list of things that might fit into my hand luggage should I choose to buy them later: shoes in XBags,a bag in XBags,a black coat from Madonna (€12!) and a folder with zebras on it.

Had dinner at Cup&Cino on Kehdenstraße.Really it's an Italian coffee house,but I had the most yummy Gemüseauflauf which was very German.I don't know how to translate Gemüseauflauf,but basically it's lots of vegetables mixed with potato and an insanely creamy,herby sauce,baked in the oven with cheese on top and served with crusty bread.I couldn't manage it all,probably because of the huge yogurt and berry milkshake I had with it.

There was a guy in the restaurant wearing a black and white THW Kiel scarf,and a few more walked past the window too.You don't normally see them,so I assumed the handball team were playing that night.As our hotel was right opposite the flashy Sparkassen Arena,we went to have a look.Turns out it was a local derby against SG Flensburg-Handewitt,which Kiel eventually won 29-23.I don't know anything about handball,but I know that THW Kiel are the best team in Germany,having won the league a record amount of times,and that they're nicknamed The Zebras.This is Hein Daddel (named after THW's most legendary player),their cute mascot.



Back to the hotel afterwards,and a quick watch of RTL,whose schedule now seems to consist entirely of German copies of British programmes.

Flensburg tomorrow!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Back!

Back in gloomy Britain after 3 lovely days in Deutschland.Will write about it later.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone's eating loads of chocolate or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus or whatever.I watched the Pope for about 10 minutes this morning,but apart from that I'm very disappointed in the amount of Easter stuff that's been on this weekend.Nothing remotely festive.So thank God for InCulto.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Update

I'm over 4000 words into my dissertation now,which equates to about 57% completion I think.I'm rubbish at making words out of nothing,writing crap for the sake of filling up a wordcount.My essays have always been about quality over quantity.At school when we used to get an hour to write a 4 page essay about Keats' dull poetry or whatever,mine used to be little more than half a page.Only one of my teachers ever agreed that being concise can actually be quite a good thing,and so it continues now.I still do have points in my dissertation that I haven't properly researched yet,but to get another 3000+ words out of it will be stretching me quite a lot.Added to the fact that so far most of it is in English and needs to be translated into French some time soon,and maybe you can see why I've been feeling a lot of stress in the last few days.

Today I went on a shopping trip to Maidstone with Emma and Shabana,neither of whom I've seen since before Christmas.Emma has a real job now so it makes scheduling rather difficult.Anyway,after a massive cockup at Gillingham Station,we ended up on the HS1 instead of a normal train to Strood.HS1 might sound like a virus,but it's the funky new blue high-speed trains,which I think are the first ones to be used in the UK.They run on the same tracks that the Eurostar uses,so it's a lovely smooth ride (in an impossibly clean carriage!) instead of the bumpy,grubby experience that is the usual Southeastern trains.Sadly we were only on it for 10 minutes and then had to transfer to aforementioned bumpy,grubby normal train for the rest of the trip.

Though the others bought loads of stuff,I was very frugal and made do with a £6 brown leather (allegedly) belt from the French market.We get a lot of French markets down here,they all come over from Rouen and invade our high streets with the delicious smell of pastries and various types of salami.Yum.One guy was selling tarts,so I asked him (en français bien sûr) if he has any white chocolate ones.I didn't catch all of what he said but it was along the lines of "no,they're for the Swiss.We're French." Hmm...

I came home to a massive lasagne courtesy of my nan,and a bag full of chocolatey things and a cuddly Easter chick from my aunt/uncle/cousin.But all I can think about is this sodding essay.Bring on May 5th when it'll all be over.

Miscellaneous post #10

I just watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona,which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time.Put very basically,it's about how beautiful,charming foreign men with mentally unstable girlfriends/ex-wives may be addictive but are really not good for you in the long run,even when fate gives you a small bit of hope that things could end happily ever after.Needless to say,I thought it was a great film :) Also made me remember how yummy Javier Bardem is,and how much I love Penelope Cruz.