Saturday, 31 December 2011

Auld lang syne

I´m taking a last look into my 2011 calendar and find my list of  New Year´s resolutions, time to make a clean sweep:
weigh 10kilos less --> no, only about 5kilos less
read 52 books --> only 16 in the end (not counting Mr Men books, should stay fair ;-))
go to theatre 30 times -->went only 15 times
watch 52 films -->again no, only managed 31
a new tattoo --> I know what I want and where it will be but didn´t get it done yet
make use of charity shops --> yes! Got rid of loads of bags full of stuff there and bought a few things too
finish university -->nearly, the term still goes 3 more month with my final exam waiting

all in all not a great score but I´m fairly happy with it even though it has been one of the worst years ever. My goals were just a bit over-ambitious (the only thing about me that probably ever has been ambitious lol)

My hopes for 2012 (at least those I can more or less influence):

Lose more weight/ keep on running -->I really have taken up running! I´m sure more weight will go bye bye eventually...
stop talking about starting a family and doing it instead -->the biological clock is going tick, tack, tick, tack...
read 30 books -->with no more uni work soon that should be possible?!
go to theatre 30times -->no mercy on that one, I study theatre, I simply HAVE to go!
watch 30 films -->I´m not a film person and never will be so 30 have to be enough
get that 2 tattoo -->yes, as soon as I know when I will be in London again I will book an appointment
change of shopping behaviour -->saying good-bye too Primark and sale binges, one fashionable item that really fits bought as long as it is on trend instead of getting 10 mediocre copies on sale when it is unfashionable again. And wearing the new stuff instead of keeping it for better days.
use more foundation ;-) -->all the nights reading blogs and watching make-up videos are convincing me to make more of an effort. And I will be 30 days without using a proper foundation are counted...

and cause I am weird, that´s how I spend my New Year´s Eve (which imho is the second most overrated day of the year following christmas): alone on the sofa, working on my thesis, listening to this:

Thursday, 29 December 2011

I might have been really unlucky in the UK boxing day sales (planned on buying loads online at Boots, Lush, Lakeland and Paperchase and in the end got...nothing) but I definitely made some bargains on the H&M website before christmas. Everything I got was half price and for the postage I found an online voucher which even worked, yippie. I don't think one can complain about all that for just over 30Euros...

...cause you never have enough neutral jersey dresses to dress up and down.
...cause who could resist a purse that looks like this?!
 ...cause it is in coral and was under 2 Euros
 ...cause one day our upstairs bathroom will be finished so this mat will useful
 ...cause it's a wonderful bag and I had my eyes on this even before it went on sale!
...cause with this I can try and work the animal hat trend without looking all Davy Crockett

Richmond Park

Read about it often but it´s not one of the areas of London you easily end up going to when you are "just" a tourist. Now we live relatively close to it and I can say, a lovely lovely place to wander around for hours, watch the deer, watch the planes, watch the skyline and still pretending to be in a dreamy English village. Recommended!
And next time I will check out Richmond itself...looked nice...and a place which has it´s own "Farrow & Ball" shop must be great ;-)

New Year's Eve

Since I saw the trailer for this film I knew I wanted to see it. It just looked so similar to my beloved "Love actually" and I really like those films that consist of episodes that in the end more or less all tie up together.

I also knew that it would be never anywhere near as good as "Love actually" as that is a) simply impossible and b) even more impossible to achieve with an American production.

I still went and had a nice afternoon, nothing more and nothing less. Some plotlines where incredibly superficial and charme-free like the one with Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Effron as the old prudish secretary who changes her life with the support of the young, fun and attractive bike courier. Or the dying Robert DeNiro - the audience doesn´t get any informations extra to make it easier to sympathize with them. I found it weird to see Til Schweiger in a non-german film and found Ashton Kutcher utterly boring...Jon Bon Jovi still looks fairly good, Abigail Breslin (you remember? Little Miss Sunshine) has developed a...hmm...destinctive nose. What I liked was that Sarah Jessica Parker got that little Carrie moment when stepping out onto the streets of N.Y. in the final scene. And that it was not that predictable who would be Josh Duhamel´s (never saw him before by the way, and don´t think I will again) new year´s eve date.
A cast full of big names but no good story to make them sparkle. What a shame a lot got drowned in Hollywood sugarness instead of using a little sprinkle of irony and realism...

PS: For the old NKOTB lovers...Joey has a tiny role in it as well*scream
PPS: I´m in two minds about something important now: who shall I dislike more, Keira Knightley or Hilary Swank?

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Glossybox December

Here what I found in my December Glossybox (the German edition):

Alessandro Guardian Angel Hand Cream
Fudge Ends
L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Make-up Stick
Rituals Showerfoam in "Tai Chi"
Zoeva Mineral Sheer Blush

Again really really happy with everything and so I have now decided to definitely stay with the subscription as it is just great fun and excitement (sometimes I'm easily pleased).
What I find slightly annoying is that as soon as the boxes are send out, nearly everyone only blogs or vlogs about how unhappy they are with nearly everything. That they don't wanna try new facial products as they are true to the one they use, that they don't use hairstyling products at all, that the lipstick smells not neutral enough or that the perfume stinks. For christ's sake, that's the whole point of a box like that. If you are particularly picky then maybe just don't subscribe. After all it is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you gonna get...;-)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Trolley Dolly

In England the useful shopping trolleys which you use to get your shopping home normally look like this and get exclusively used by old women. A bit more like a zimmer frame than simply a bag on wheels...

In Germany they look different and get used mostly by elderly people but not as exclusively as on the island. And in Paris I have seen them as something quite trendy and stylish on younger women...


In London you can see the most amazing people.
At the matinee of the nutcracker in the Sadlers Wells Theatre in London I sat behind a couple with their young daughter. The mum looked normal, the daughter caught my eye with her huge rose corsage on her head and her little red riding hood cape. But the dad topped everything. Think of a true 1930's English gentleman and you know what I mean.
Side parting, pomade, moustache, trenchcoat, hat and umbrella...amazing. Couldn't take my eyes of him and wonder who he is, what inspired him and how much that look influences his everyday-life...Fascinating.

Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!

After seeing Matthew Bourne's versions of "Swan Lake" (which was simply stunning) and "Cinderella" (which was quite nice) I was interested in finding out what he would do to everyone's loved family ballet and christmas classic "The Nutcracker".
I don't wanna go too much into details here when it comes to the traditional version, if you are interested then read this.
Matthew Bourne is known for his fun and entertaining new and fresh versions of classical ballets. His "Nutcracker!", which is 20 years old now, might have lost some of it's original freshness though.
Anyway, what did I make of it then!?

The first act works. The setting is tranferred into a grim orphanage and it all makes sort of sense and is a good thought. There is not an awful lot of dancing going on but, on the other hand, there never really is in the first act of "The Nutcracker", is there?! The waltz of the snowflakes was done quite sweetly with some mockery ice-skating (without silly inline skates but simply shown through not stretching the feet during e.g. an arabesque but holding it in a 90degree angle)...anyway.

Act II started and the whole stage was transformed into the very pink and garish sweetieland. The different sweets performed their dances, the sugar plum fairy wasn't missing either and there were a lot of amused giggles in the audience. But for me it simply didn't work. First, the character of Mr. Knickerbocker Glory was way to seedy and his way of touching Clara was too much for a ballet aiming at a young audience. In general there were too many sexual hints throughout the whole ballet which I simply found not necessary and slightly irritating.
The next problem was the choreography. The dances where quite simple and repetitive. To get an impression of it I found a scene of the adagio from the pas de deux of act two from Bourne's version:

And now from a veeeeery traditional and stuffy traditional version:

The music of this bit belongs to some of the nicest moments of all ballets for me and leads to an extremely powerful and emotional climax. The dance should show this somehow and be more than just running around to the music. A major let-down.
I'm normally not someone who cries out loud "We need to be more faithfull to the original" and I'm always open to new versions but here I secretly missed some pointe shoe glory, maybe dusty but still enchanting.
So while the tranformation of the story worked very well the dance just was not up to standart.

My verdict: You can go and see it (it is still on in the Sadlers Wells Theatre in London most of january) but you don't have to. For ballet lovers who are looking for a bit of escapism and pointe shoe magic there are more suitable traditional versions on stage in the capital.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Mince Meat

I remember my first encounter with British christmas traditions...walking through the supermarkets I saw mince pies for sale...I was surprised to find them side by side with the biscuits. Later I got some mince pies offered, I refused cause I would never eat any weird small christmassy looking cake filled with mince meat!
After a while I found out the truth...yes, it is called mince pie and yes, the filling is called mince meat as originally it was a pie with meat stuffing. But nowadays it has nothing in common with "the" mince meat (in German: Hackfleisch) I thought about! Since then I love them :-)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The smelly sprout

In Germany on christmas you have your roasted goose, duck, turkey or whatever else you are having with pickled red cabbage aka "Rotkraut".

In the UK everyone seems to eat brussel sprouts for christmas without sprouts. Ununsual for anyone outside the island but I don't mind it...I like both.

And if you are looking for a small cute kids book that is nonetheless unusual I can recommend this one:

Read the title, walked on, thought about, walked back and bought it :-)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

fantastic Mr. Fox

my newest wardrobe addition from River Island is this lovely, ironic and fun scarf: make up for the fact that, although I badly want one, the on-trend fuzzy heads make me look like a complete idiot.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Divas and Dreams Photo Challenge: Favourite Place


I have a confession to make: I kill trousers - no matter if they are cheap or expensive, made out of jeans, corduroy, linen or stretch, if they are skinny or a boyfriend-cut.

My legs are simply more tree trunk than stick, my thighs are chafing and not a slight outwardly curved example. Depending on the material, a few longer walks are enough to make the first holes on the inside of my thighs appear. I don't care about the actual size of my legs too much as those legs are made for walking...and that is what they do...
If only a pair of trousers would last longer than a few far I haven't found a solution to this problem and will simply go on getting through pair after pair of cheap trousers.
Ladies out there, do you have the same problem? I'm convinced I'm not the only one :-)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Price 2011

Yesterday I found myself in the National Portrait Gallery in London again, it was time for the Photographic Portrait Price exhibition.
It costs 2£ to get in and, although imho the last years had a better and stronger choice of photos, it is always well worth a visit.
Here a few examples to give you an idea.

The exhibition will be on until the 12th february 2012.


...I can't eat as much as I wanna puke
(and please excuse my graphic language, I'm a hardcore emetophobic person so if I say something like that things must be really bad)
It's a famous German quote from the Berlin painter Max Liebermann by the way.
( „Ich kann gar nicht soviel fressen, wie ich kotzen möchte.“).

I saw it on monday in Kingston, I saw it yesterday in Primark. 
Kids sitting in their pushchair...with a mobile dvd player on their keep them survive the horrible time outside when there is no tv anywhere to keep them quiet...this discovery left me speechless. Call me old-fashioned or some alternative hippie who has lost touch with reality, but: What the FUCK are those parents thinking?!? What has happened to kids which are nosy, eager to learn and to see new things, happy to run around, get dirty and move? If that is the future then good-night world...

PS: Hereby I vow that my future children will not come near a tv until they are at least 3 years old...that they will learn new things everyday and that with me they will run around all day and play in the mud. They might be unpopular but one day they will, hopefully, thank me...

Monday, 12 December 2011

Do the Bus Stop...

In the UK bus stops have usually no proper seats but those taller bars to sort of lean on while forming a tidy long queue for the bus (I have never done that myself as I can't work out the system - is the queue for all bus numbers? or only for the next one?? I do my usual silly thing and stand a bit away, waiting, observing and  pretending to text...). The glass wall is between the road and the stop to protect passengers-to-be from puddles...I guess.

In Germany you normally find proper seats in various states of contamination and destruction and the glass wall is behind the seats so you can sit in a little hut. When the bus arrives there is anarchy.

Just another completely insignificant difference between the two nations...and to prevent this post from being too pointless, here a fun dance I remember learning in dancing lessons - do the bus stop!

pre-christmas Boots bargain...

Like every year Boots is selling a different one of their christmas gift boxes each week for better than half price. Those boxes are usual a very good value so I got interested once again...for all the other lovely sets they have, wait until they are on sale (as I do every year) and you will get them all for half price. Well worth waiting!

This weeks box looks like that

and contains:

  • No7 Heavenly Hydration Moisture Mask - 100ml
  • No7 Cleanse & Care Eye Make-up Remover - 100ml 
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum - 5ml 
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Night Cream - 50ml 
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Day Cream (SPF 15) - 50ml
  • No7 Eye Shadows 
  • No7 Liplicious Lip Gloss - 12ml 
  • No7 Exceptional Definition Nutrient Enriched Mascara - 7ml
  • 5 x Brushes and Applicators 
  • No 7 Quick Thinking 4 in 1 Wipes
The amazing thing is the price; all products together are worth about 125£ (I checked it myself), the price normally is 65£ and now it is 30£!!!
I'm amazed it wasn't sold out yet...nearly a bit boring not having to hunt down a lovely hat box like that. And I have had some good excuses to buy it - I needed a eye make-up remover anyway and as it is not long that I'm hitting 30 it's about time to start on the anti-aging facial care regime...:-)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A bag of presents...or: I'm different

This weeks "Blogstoeckchen" by Miss Winkelmann is all about presents.

Giving presents or receiving them?
Neither nor. If I really think I have found something absolutely perfect for someone than it can be fun. Or if I get a present that shows that someone really really thought about me and paid attention...but in general I really don't like getting presents (nothing worse than the embarrassing moment when you have to unwrap it with an audience staring at your reactions...I don't have an "Oh-wow-that's great" excitement button that I can easily switch on)

What's on your wishlist?
nothing...I'm terrible, if I want something I'll get it. And the only things I wish for unfortunately cannot be bought.

How many presents do you make this year? What will it be?

Best present of all times?
my "Barbie Traummobil" in the very early 90's...absolutely adored it and still remember when I had to go into our garage during christmas eve to find it...another great present was a pair of used ballet shoes my granny bought me in a second hand shop. And a friend from school got me a poster of the rainbowfish...pisces me loves it and it still hangs framed in my bathroom.

Long time planning or last-minute shopping?
I love to plan but then never get it and in the end it is sold out and I give up.

How important is the wrapping for you?
If I get a present I'm one of those tidy unwrappers who makes sure nothing breaks and folds the paper to take it home with me. But I absolutely have no joy whatsoever in wrapping things nicely...I'm known for my newspaper gifts.

Are you taking part in any "Secret Santa" activities?
Done twice so far. Once in primary school where I gave something nice (can't remember what though) and received...5 blue ink cartridges for our fountain pens...from the most uncool boy in class...hmmpff.
In grammar school. I had better luck. One of my class mates found out which book we were about to read next during German lessons and got me one of those helpful interpretation books to go with it. So practical and yet so thoughtful, proved that man can make great gifts too if they want to!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Il Camino

A few years ago, after Hape Kerkeling (which I didn´t really like before but sort of adore now) published his bestseller "Ich bin dann mal weg", I saw a tv program about two young girls walking the way of St. James. Since then I want to do that as well. Want to start walking near the Spanish border and walk all the way to the coast. Want to experience how it is to live with only the absolute minimum of belongings. I´m not religious at all and left the institutional church some years ago but I´m definitely searching for something.

Will I have the strength? 800km is something else than going for long walks around the neighbourhood...Should I walk on my own or in company? Is there anyone on this planet with whom I could spend and share so much time, blood, sweat and tears? My husband supports the idea but is lacking any wish to walk that far nor does he have so much leave at work...
Will I ever get round to sort the project out logistically? Hostels or hotels? Is it safe? Should I stay away from the internet for the time? Is it a good start for such a decision to think about being online first thing??
Thousand questions to answer but I still know: I will do it...I have to...whenever that will be...

Friday, 2 December 2011

the green and red dilemma

I used to be a good German waiting at a traffic light until the little green man lit up and I was allowed to cross the road, no matter if it was rush-hour or the next car 10km away. Then I visited places like Paris and London...

Suddenly it felt extremely touristy and uncool to wait for the green man's turn. Everyone else kept crossing the road and left me behind feeling foolish. I changed and started crossing whenever I can follow a local. And if I don't trust the situation and wanna wait I have to admit that I feel embarrassed to press the button for green light. I press it, hope no driver gets angry at me and pretend to text or something like that so I don't have to wait too visibly...

Then I'm in Germany again and simply cross when I think it is safe. And get angry looks for being a bad role model...and feel like a true cosmopolitan rebel still fearing to get fined by bored policemen...

So I always feel out of place wherever I am until I get adjusted again. Impatient in Germany and silly in Paris and London (Rome by the way is a different case, my experience here is that the drivers head for you no matter what light is flashing)