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Sonntag, 20. Juli 2014

Val McDermid, Northanger Abbey

What could be better than one of my my favourite authors rewriting a Jane Austen classic? I have to confess, I couldn't remember all that much of the original but the idea of the story being set in 21st century Edinburgh during the Fringe festival made me curious. 

Bookworm and country bumpkin Catherine "Cat" Morland gets invited do Edinburgh by her wealthy neighbours. She loves vampire novels instead of gothic novels, has facebook and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who lives in Northanger Abbey and might be a vampire!

She enjoys the festival with her new BFF Isabella Thorpe who turns out to be engaged to her brother.
But when Bella drops Cats brother for the wealthy older brother of Henry, she feels she has to leave Edinburgh immediately.
Luckily Henrys father invites her to join them in Northanger Abbey and here things turn mysterious....

'Val McDermid’s brilliant re-working of Jane Austen’s original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery – I loved it.' J.K. ROWLING - See more at: http://theaustenproject.com/books/#sthash.ojrYjr1d.dpuf
 I was hoping for more installements by McDermid but it turns out that Northanger Abbey is one in a series of six novels called the Austen Project by different authors: http://theaustenproject.com/books/


'Val McDermid’s brilliant re-working of Jane Austen’s original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery – I loved it.' J.K. ROWLING - See more at: http://theaustenproject.com/books/#sthash.ojrYjr1d.dpuf


'Val McDermid’s brilliant re-working of Jane Austen’s original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery – I loved it.' J.K. ROWLING - See more at: http://theaustenproject.com/books/#sthash.ojrYjr1d.dpuf
'Val McDermid’s brilliant re-working of Jane Austen’s original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery – I loved it.' J.K. ROWLING - See more at: http://theaustenproject.com/books/#sthash.ojrYjr1d.dpuf

Dienstag, 8. Juli 2014

Chardonnay Selection by Salzl Seewinkelhof

Last weekend I had a wine revelation again. I discovered a wine that had me raving and now telling you all about it.

It was one of those balmy summer evenings. Warm, with the  threat of storm in the air that leads you to strolling through town, not wanting to go home even though it's late.

We decided to go to my favourite bar "Cole & Porter" (https://www.facebook.com/ColePorterBar) right in the city center and took a seat in the hidden courtyard.



Here I had a lovely glass of Chardonnay from the Austrian Vinery Salzl Seewinkelhof (http://www.salzl.at/de/weingut/weingut-1.html). They are situated in the east of Austria, the famous wine region Burgenland.






When you see the brilliant, sunny yellow colour you can imagine the fruity bouquet of pineapple, pear, bananas, litschi, mango. Fresh and mellow at the same time! 
Definitely one to remember!



Mittwoch, 2. Juli 2014

What I love about Munich

1. Its size
Not too small and not too big. I can reach everything by public transport, which is usually very efficient and clean. I like the anonymity of my apartment block with its 100+ flats but I also bump into people I know on the streets all the time. In some parts of town you can still recognize the former village centres.

2. Its location
Within an easy one-hour trainride I can be in the countryside with awesome mountainviews and stunning lakes.
Two hours on the train get me to Salzburg (of the Sound of music fame) and four hours to Vienna.

 

3. Summer cycling
There's nothing better than riding my bike through beautiful, leafy-green Munich on a balmy summer night. The sweet scent of the linden trees never fails to make me happy.
Cycling also reminds me of my Cambridge days where I was lucky enough to encounter the "Naked Cyclist" once. Must be damn uncomfortable.

4. Its people
The Bavarians are amazing and lovable in their honest grumpiness and I am one of them. I adore the local dialect and I'm never happier than when I can chatter away with colleagues in my native lingo.  It reminds me of my childhood days and my grandmother who wasn't very tolerant when I mistakenly spoke in "High German" (like the Queen's English).


5. River surfing
Not that I would dare to venture out onto the river on a piece of fibreglass but it's fun to watch. The Eisbach has an artifical and constant wave which makes it popular with every surfer worldwide.



















6. A Castle in the city with huge parks and the typical blue and white sky reflected in the Bavarian flag!


All in all I can't imagine living somewhere else anymore.
The one drawback is the cost of living. Due to its popularity and prosperity the rents and property prizes are ridiculously high so that it is very difficult to find an affordable place.

But if you're thinking about coming over for a holiday, let me know and I'll show you my favourite haunts.

Donnerstag, 26. Juni 2014

My beautiful suntrap

This is the third summer in my apartment and for the first time I managed to turn the balcony into a colourful haven.




I have lavender, mint, basil, geraniums, a bamboo and one tomato plant bearing at least five tiny tomatoes!
"A flower meadow benefits butterflies and bees." A marketing gag from my local supermarket brought me a small packet of seeds to support the bee community. Always keen to beautify my summer room I got to work and only one week later you can already see some results. I also added  sunflower seeds for extra cheer.
 


My geraniums, acquired cheaply from Aldi in April are giving me a lot of pleasure. They remind me daily of my late gran, who's probably still dead-heading her geraniums in heaven.


To celebrate this years football worldcup I got out the flags. 

There's still room for improvement and a couple of more plants, maybe another bamboo.

Freitag, 20. Juni 2014

If I should die by Matthew Frank

I have just finished this amazing debut crime novel written by my friend Matt. 

It introduces Afghan veteran Joe Stark and follows him through his first weeks at the London Metropolitan Police. Although he suffers from PTS he can offer in-depth knowledge of army life and an soldiers code of honour to his new job helping to solve the case. 
A definite must-read for every crime fan leaving you wanting for the next installment!
 
Find out more about the author and the new series here: http://www.matthewfrank.co.uk/books/



Sonntag, 15. Juni 2014

How to copy & paste basil and mint plants

Did you know that you can easily propagate your basil and mint plants by putting cuttings into a glas of water?!
I'm certainly no gardener and so I was completely taken by surprise when I discovered roots after a few days. I had simply forgotten  about the cuttings which I had put into water to prevent them from wilting before I could use them.

So I decided to give it a try and planted them and here we go, they are thriving! One word of advice though: Do not plant the mint directly into your garden bed. It will grow rampantly and take over the whole bed!








Donnerstag, 5. Juni 2014

Inspirations

How or where do you get inspired? 

I find inspiration in my friends, magazines, other blogs, shop windows and very often in my craft supply cupboard.
Whenever I need a gift I get out my  piles of material in all sizes and put my thinking cap on. I sort through my hoard and consider options and possibilities. I hold different fabrics and designs together to see if they compliment each other or test the strenght of fabric.

To be honest I find it terrifying to go and buy "proper" fabric by the meter. The ones I like are usually horrendously expensive and I'm scared to make the first cut in case I ruin it. I love recycling clothes or using inexpensive stuff like tea towels.

This week I needed a gift for my favourite brother who I thought could use a wonky shopper for his grocery shops and was looking for some sturdy fabric. I found the rest of a former Ikea curtain (never throw cut-offs out) which seemed suitable and for something to sew onto it for decoration. There were a few differentsized leftovers of a leaf-design teatowel left and hey presto there it was again:



Result:


I also like that my sister got the leafy cushion earlier in April. Siblings rule!