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Sonntag, 26. Juli 2015

Summer in the city

The last few weeks we enjoyed a glorious summer. With an average temperature of about 35 degrees Celcius it was too hot to do much but I tried to make the most out of my beautiful hometown Munich.

- Walks in the park, al fresco dining in the city and on the balcony.

- After-work swimming in the amazing ecological swimming pool Maria Einsiedel.

- BBQ in my colleague's garden.

- After-work Wakeboarding with another colleague, where falling in is half of the refreshing fun!

- Reading, reading, reading!

- Enjoying the amazing ZAZ in concert!  Go and buy her music instantly!

Sonntag, 12. Juli 2015

Summer reading

Summer is here and so it seems only natural to share my latest reads with you.

Young Adult Fiction:

 Kerstin Gier: Silber (english edition: Silver, The book of dreams trilogy) two volumes of the trilogy already published. In the fist volume Liv Silber moves to London with her mother, little sister Mia and nanny Lottie. Just after their arrival their mother surprises them by moving them into her new partners house. While getting to know her new step twin siblings Grayson and Florence, Liv discovers that she can meet up with Grayson and his friends in her dreams....

By the same author,
Kerstin Gier: Rubinrot, Saphirblau und Smaragdgrün (english edition: Gem trilogy). This is a long-time favourite of mine, a fast-paced, gripping and romantic timetravelling saga, telling the story of 16-year-old Gwendolyn, who has inherited a timetravelling gene and must, together with the dashing Gideon, figure out an ancient secret. 


Eric Lomax, The railway man 
Recently made into a feature film with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, this is the true story of a scottish railway enthusiast, who ends up in a japanese pow camp during WW2. To keep their spirits up the english prisoners manage to assemble a radio from salvaged parts to secretely keep up with what's happening at the front. They get found out and Eric falls into the hands of a sadistic prison warden. He survives but is badly traumatized. Years later, Eric must face his demons, when he discovers that one of his tormenters is still alive ...

Robyn Davidson, Tracks 
Also made into a feature film, Tracks tells the inspiring story of Robyn, who arrives in Alice Springs during the 1970ies to prepare for a 1700 mile trek through the Australian desert, accompanied by four camels and a dog.

Hilary Burden, A story of Seven Summers: Life in the Nuns House
Hilary returns to Tasmania after decades of living abroad, leading a high-powered life as a magazine editor. She buys a run-down homestead in Karoola and allows herself time to find her feet and to decide what to do with her life.   


Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds
Never having seen the tv adaptation I read a recommendation on a blog and voila - really enjoyed this classic family saga, situated in Australia.

KC Dyer, Finding Fraser 
Emma Sheridan, a 29-year-old American, is at crossroads, when she decides to pack a rucksack, travel to Scotland and find her very own James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser while blogging about it! Surely everybody knows the hero of Diana Gabaldons Outlander Saga! 
Ridiculed by her sister, supported by a Japanese reader, she stumbles through the Highlands meeting friends and foe ...


Guess where I'm heading next? The brother and I have booked a trip to Lisbon in September.

Mittwoch, 1. Juli 2015

Writer's block

It's a well-known fact that after an extraordinary event or holiday you'll feel somewhat low.
So, after the amazing London weekend I'm back in my ol' life and have nothing to tell.

I've been reading up on my fellow Blogtacular participants blogs and am a bit intimidated by their quality. But hey, I'm doing this for the fun and am having it!

I have managed to assemble a photo book already (wise move to take an extra day off for unpacking, washing and sorting out the pictures).


I got inspired by the Urban Jungle Bloggers and decided to style some of my plants:


Another plan is to go on my own Munich photo walks. Just the other day I was cycling through Munichs meat district and thought, this would be amazing to shoot. 

Sonntag, 21. Juni 2015

My very own London photowalk

The Blogtacular event was a very good excuse to plan a short trip to London and to squeeze in some quality time with my  friends. The three who I was lucky enough to meet have been my close friends for more than ten years and took time off to meet up with me.

I arrived on Friday around lunch time and spent the afternoon and evening ambling around town, stopping only for Lunch, coffee and dinner.

On Sunday I headed towards Canary Wharf on the DLR - the Docklands Light Railway. I just love that there is no driver as it's automated and if you're lucky you can sit right at the front with a perfect undisturbed view. It's been a while since I last visited Canary Wharf but its architecture is always impressive. This time I discovered the great Jubilee Park, a green and tranquil haven for all those office workers.

After taking lots of pictures I jumped on the DLR again to Greenwich, another one of my favourite spots full of history and atmosphere. Especially the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College were amazing and full of photo opportunities.

After a restoring tea break I made my way to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping (DVDs and a T-shirt) and then onwards to Victoria Station to meet my friend. We headed towards Waterloo and Southbank for dinner. Unfortunately it was too cold and windy for a walk so after dinner we boarded the London Eye.

On Monday morning I dumped my luggage at Paddington Station and took the Underground to Lambeth to visit the Imperial War Museum for an exhibition called "Fashion on the Ration". For lunch I met my friend near Baker Street and after a walk and coffee headed back to Paddington to board the Heathrow Express.

All in all I have to say it was a very successful trip, full of inspiration, new impressions, meeting friends, old and new.

Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2015

And finally: Blogtacular 2015

Photo courtesy of Mollie Makes

Although the Blogtacular event happened last Saturday I can only write down my impressions now. It was such a full-on day that I needed some time to digest everything.

Wow - what an absolutely amazing day jam-packed with adventure, excitement and incredible people!

It turned out that I was one of the lucky fifty (check out the photo above) participants chosen for the photowalk, which meant, turning up at 7:00 am beneath the London Eye. If you have no idea what a photowalk is, get yourself on Instagram immediately. According to Wikipedia:

"Photowalking is the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that the photographer may find interesting.
It is often a communal activity organised by camera clubs, online forums or commercial organisations, sometimes in the form of a walking tour. Often the aim is to practice and improve one's own photography skills rather than a specific focus on documentary photography.
While the camera need not be a digital camera, in practice the low cost of digital photography and the ease of digital photo processing and online photo sharing allow a casual approach in photowalking.
While related to street photography, photowalking is differentiated by its impetus to photograph things of interest rather than people specifically. As with any walking that may go a few miles or kilometers, photowalking can also promote physical fitness."

We were met by the lovely Xanthe and Samee, who split us up in two more manageable groups, and started tramping around the South Bank Centre area. We posed, jumped, pretended to be Zombies (not hard after a nearly sleepless night), posted our shots on Instagram, in short, having a whale of a time!

And it broke the ice. In no time we were exchanging names, blognames, business cards, compliments and what-not. The result: Fantastically wacky pictures uploaded to Instagram under the hashtags #blogtacular #westelmlondonscenes.

At around 9:00 am we hopped on the tube to the conference location, the Royal Institute on Abermarle Street in Mayfair. There were refreshments waiting for us and more unfamiliar faces to meet.  The opening keynote held by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge was titled: "The Power of Fear: How to embrace what scares you most and use it to grow your personal and professional life." How inspiring.

Grace Bonney

I managed to attend four talks, a lunchbreak and a coffeebreak before I ran out of steam, due to my sleepless night. So in order to be fit for the party I left all the fun, opportunities and sadly the goodie bag behind, went back to my hotel, had a nap and a shower and made my way to the West Elm branch on Tottenham Court Road. West Elm, one of the sponsors, is an US company selling furniture, tableware, soft furnishings and all sorts.

There was great food, drinks and several more craft stations where one could sew, paint, cross stitch and more.

And of course mingle and chat with all the other like-minded, creative geniuses. I managed to corner Igor, one half of the Urban Jungle Bloggers and Munich resident and got invited to the next Blogging Round Table  he organises in our beautiful home town. Igor and Judith (his collaborator) had also given a talk about their project and "Creating Community". I'm very excited about meeting fellow bloggers on my home turf.

So what did I learn from this full-on day?

  1. Don't be shy, talk to strangers.
  2. Embrace change and new technologies.
  3. Don't worry about the small stuff.
  4. Network, network, network.
  5. Be proud of your achievements.
  6. Have fun!
Do I want to go again?
Hell yes, time and money permitting I'd love to come to the event next year or any other blogging party worldwide! 

PS: Thanks to Mollie Makes for the picture.

Sonntag, 31. Mai 2015

May recap - June lookout!

I have to say, May has been pretty busy. Starting with the amazing Yodelling Weekend, I then went hiking in the area around Neuschwanstein Castle, where I have never been before.
The exertion was rewarded by breathtaking views and luckily the hordes of tourists didn't venture out into the forrests so we were mostly undisturbed.

Only when it came to using public facilities and buying icecream in the village underneath the castle our patience was taxed.

Last Friday I headed to Schliersee again, for my first visit of the "Wasmeier Farmhouse Museum" of the year.  The avid reader knows that I go there several times a year, due to my seasonal ticket. It is such an inspiring place, beautiful, tranquil and in every corner you can feel the dedication of the team behind.
The inn, offering rest and delicious treats sitting in the sunshine, doesn't hurt of course.
The website unfortunately is not available in English yet

As we also had quite a bit of rain this month and several birthdays I managed to get some sewing done.

Here's another piece of the bespoke cushion collection and as you can see it's a sailboat (obviously!).

And here a beautiful and oh so handy zipper wallet, with a very royal corgy lining for a beautiful girl!

The outlook for June, of course is:


As surely everyone knows by now, I'll be heading to London town in less then two weeks for the annual Blogtacular event and of course to see my lovely friends! I have plans for lovely lunches, shopping sprees, lovely dinners and lot's more!
Stay tuned and bring on June!

Sonntag, 24. Mai 2015

The Spectacular Blogtacular Bonanza in London ...

is happening in less than three weeks time. The Social Media Machine has been going wild. There's a Facebook group where the attendees can get to know each other and exchange information, as well as Pinterest boards and Instagram posts. I'm also hoping to win a place on the Blogtacular Photowalk!

It's soo exciting and I'm slowly crossing things of my list.

Here are a couple of essential gadgets, the UK plug adapter and the power bank for my weak-in-the-chest mobile battery:

My lovely friends from JMS Design ( sacrificed their Friday night to help me with my business cards. In a matter of hours I had a printing file uploaded and ordered. Here's a sneak preview. What do you think, aren't they marvellous? I certainly can't wait to hand them over to my fellow Blogtaculars.

Until then I should probably get a blog app for mobile blogging, get a roaming tariff and figure out what to pack.

I'll be staying for a long weekend in my favourite city and am also looking forward to meeting my friends, catching up over lunches, dinners and drinks! You know who I mean, folks! xxx