Archive for the 'David' Category

Ich bin ein Berliner

August 24th, 2012

Nope, I am not a doughnut, and actually JFK didn’t say he was either.  But I have just returned from a lovely short break in Berlin.  Hubby was over in Poland playing with his “wee men” as he does every year, so as it was near our wedding anniversary (yesterday, 4 years – how time flies!) we thought it would be a good idea to spend a few days together afterwards in Berlin.  We seem to have picked the hottest time of the year, and there was a bit of a heatwave going on when I arrived (35 degrees is far too hot for me!) but it was still lovely.  So in the spirit of a show and tell, here’s some pictures from our trip.

We stayed at the DDR design Hotel, Ostel (DDR in case you were wondering stands for the Deutsche Democratic Republic, or the East German side to us) – it’s in a block of buildings and is totally refitted to be in keeping with cold-war era design.  Down to the fact there was no lift, TV or air conditioning.  But we didn’t realise it would be as hot as it was.  Or that we would be given a room on the top (6th) floor….

The room itself, like the rest of the hotel was really cool in its design – lots of mad wallpaper and original lights.

Our room

Instead of having a TV we had an original radio, although the only station we could tune into was one that seemed to only play English songs, and cheesy ones at that.  Cue lots of Phil Collins, Abba and Chris De Burgh.

I have to say despite there being no lift and you then being stupidly hot when you got upstairs, I loved it – it had a really friendly atmosphere and was incredibly cheap too.

Berlin was lovely; I had been before, and this time the only thing that spoiled it slightly was the sheer volume of building works that were tearing things up and making a noise and mess.  Saying that, in comparison to the UK, even the building works seem a lot more civilised and efficient.

The Berliner Dom was so pretty, and I love this picture with the Alexanderplatz tower behind it.  There was a cafe downstairs we visited to have a bit of a rest in that had the most gorgeous chocolate and cherry cake I think I’ve every eaten.  No pictures of that.  It didn’t stay on the plate long enough!

Museum island was pretty, although we left it a bit too late to have a proper look round the museums so we just sat outside in the fresh air and took in the scenery.

No matter where you are in Berlin you can’t escape the heavy involvement of the City in world history, although this period fascinates both David and myself, so it was actually something we had a look round rather than trying to ignore.  We walked through the Brandenburg gate and had a look at the Reichstag – look closely enough and you can see the repaired bullet holes.  As it was growing darker we walked round the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe (above) – an maze  of huge concrete blocks of different sizes and heights, and with the floor undulating you can be waist height at one minute then the next the blocks are towering over your heads.  For me the most clear symbol of the situation was seeing flights of steps leading down to the underground museum at one point completely blocked by a slab of concrete.

We also walked round the Topography of Terrors which is built on land that was one of the main offices of the Third Reich (we know how to party don’t we?!) which still freaks me out – it’s beautifully done and is just quite factual about the atrocities that were committed.  The picture that spoke most to me was SS officers on a day off wearing party hats, whilst you were reading about the individuals and what they had done/ ordered.  Completely surreal.  We had also looked round the museum at Checkpoint Charlie which was fascinating, especially when it gets to more recent times where there are names I recognised from watching the news with my parents.  I wasn’t entirely pleased to see that the first shop you get to when you are on the American side is a McDonalds….we did nickname it McCheckpoint Charlie after that.

It really is a lovely city though, very friendly and relaxed (not like London!) – the trains were on time and efficient and with the help of the map we were easily able to find our way round, despite the fact neither of spoke any German (I only did a year of German at school because it meant I then didn’t have to take part in the bloodbath that was hockey, and I found strangely that didn’t have much call to tell people my name and that I have red hair.  Or find my way to the library).

On our final night there we found a little restaurant near Alexanderplatz that was so sweet, playing lots of very jolly 1920′s and 30′s music, and that served currywurst.  It wasn’t an expensive meal, and the place was tiny but I can’t explain how happy being there made me.

I told David I wanted to open up a European style bakery and cafe and became quite carried away with ideas for it (although we all know it won’t happen!).  I did, however come home with a mahoosive bottle of curry ketchup so I can try to recreate the meal we had….

Next year we don’t know if the wee men competition will take place in Poland again, or whether it will be in Germany, but either way we’ll be having a mini break attached to it again.  I’m hoping it will be in Germany again as I want to visit somewhere with forests and lakes and pretty cabins.  And where I can get a dirndl skirt too.  Though I somehow doubt I would be able to get David into some lederhosen! xoxo



What I did this weekend….

February 20th, 2008

Sorry for the bloggy break – actually as I am so irregular at posting I am sure no one noticed. I was away from reading blogs for a few days and I need to get myself back into the swing of things again. Now I am back at work I am sure my lunch times will be sorted keeping up with you all.

Anyway, this last week has been a busy one so be prepared for this to be a picture – heavy post!
Weds I was in London for a meeting, and had a lovely day apart from the nightmare journeys there and back. I found time to go to Loop in Islington – I can’t believe how small it is – from the pictures I have seen in Vintage Crochet, it looks far bigger than it is. But, as they say, size isn’t everything. On the way there I saw this really odd shop called “Get Stuffed” – a taxidermists. Normally I wouldn’t entertain the idea of a shop like that, but the window display was so bizarre I had to stop and take some sneaky pics. I’ll post them another time, as Bloggr is taking ages to upload pics anyway…
Thursday we flew to Northern Ireland for the weekend. David’s uncle was getting married on the Friday, and we also used the trip to sort out our wedding arrangements, and meet Katrina, our new niece.
The wedding was lovely – simple and low key (in case you wondered, I am the tall one with the purple dress on, and David is the guy with the beard next to me)
We may be having a cake just like that
The church we’ll be married in – it’s only a small church and pretty inside (not that it’s important that it’s pretty, but it’s a great bonus)
The view on the way to the reception - we need to get some photos of us all dressed up with that background. The photos don’t do it justice – it was February though, and FREEZING cold…
The hotel we are having the reception in - it’s the original part of the hotel and is listed, so has a bit more character than the rest of the hotel that’s more modern. I felt a lot better about the whole reception and no doubt will post a bit more on that another time.
And, the person we wanted to meet – Katrina - she’s gorgeous and I could have quite happily brought her home with me. David’s family were joking when I fed her on Friday evening that I was getting broody and would be wanting one of my own. David told me No, we couldn’t have one right now, but we will re-open negotiations after the wedding…xoxo

I’m still here…

January 13th, 2008

Just…. rocking gently away in a corner, humming cheesy pop to myself and crocheting quietly. Seriously, that’s been me. The night of the “invasion” I didn’t get much sleep (even though I had to work running a playgroup for disabled children the next day) – at least the lads had the civility to not pump the air bed up at 3am as it sounds ridiculously loud. However I did lay in bed and very feel sorry for myself until they had all gone out for the day (and no, I didn’t want to get up at 7:30 to help David wash pots and cook eggs for his mates that had ignored me… am I mean? or sane?).

So, on a lighter note, having spent a lovely day with my best friend, cooking Sunday dinner (delicious) and “chewing the fat” with her, still crocheting and watching some lovely wildlife films and Antiques Roadshow (rock and roll life for me I tell you) I thought when I got back in that I would show you some of the things I have been working on and purchasing recently.

I am very lucky to have a lovely textiles shop around the corner from me that specialises in wool and felting fibres – I need to get back into felting as I love the texture of it, and I have planned a handbag from a sweater I acquired for a wedding I am going to next month. Anyway, I picked up these threads to crochet purses with - they are hand dyed linen and only £1.50 a spool – I thought that this was a bargain.
I do lament the lack of range in the craft supplies we can get in Nottingham. When I think of the history of Nottingham, the lace industry and the myth that surrounds the craft supplies I am generally frustrated by what you cannot buy. I was in Derby this week for a conference which led me to a trip to the market there and a great little haberdashery shop that I always spend a fortune in whenever I do go. And I picked up this little lot for £15 - the crochet threads you can get hold of in Nottingham are very basic and so I bought what I could that I didn’t have. I also bought the DK cotton for face cloths I am making.

I am planning on making quite a lot of basic stuff to sell at craft fairs this year, like face cloths and hair slides as well as the other bits and bobs that are a bit cheaper. Hence making loads of face cloths – easy and very satisfying and just the ticket when you have been invaded by hoards of tiny fighting men…

Back again soon – I’m off to try and get a head start on some sleep – they are still here! xoxo

I’ve been invaded!

January 11th, 2008

At this precise minute in time, I have a house full of men. Now some ladies out there may wonder quite what the problem with this is. These aren’t just men – these are war gamers. Grown men, often with kids themselves playing with tiny fighting men…. They are all up for the weekend for a tournament – lots of teams of men fighting with each other with models no more than an inch and a half high. 8 of them have taken roost in my house although some of them are polite enough to speak to me. I think I scare some of them as although David is really into the hobby, I have enough hobbies of my own to take my time up and I have no interest whatsoever in war games. One of them so far hasn’t spoken yet and he’s been here 3 hours. I think maybe when he does it will be quite poetic. At least I hope that it will be.
I have taken sanctuary in blogging and embroidering cupcakes (and sarcasm) – I think it’s making me want to wear pink and be ultra-girly and fluffy. Stella is in her element – lots of men to get a fuss from. Goodness knows where Boo is – she’ll be in some very dark corner where no one can see her. I hope that she isn’t out – we have a fox in the gardens, and I don’t want him having Boo for supper.

At least one thing about being invaded – it’s given me the chance to have a play on David’s laptop (it’s tiny and cute) and update my blog. I think after I have finished work tomorrow and before I get invaded again by a bunch of people dissecting the day’s battles I will take some pictures of my recent acquisitions and do something other than rant. Until then, wish me luck in surviving…… xoxo