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Sonntag, 31. Januar 2016

The 20-minutes-a-day-challenge

It's all about challenges nowadays and I sure think it sounds better than good intentions. After an unpleasant experience with my scales I decided it's time for action.

So I decided to enter a 20 minutes of sports/movement a day for 30 days. It can be a walk (though not the daily walks to  tube stations), yoga at home and of course visiting the gym. This should get me started to incorporate sport into my daily life again.

The first week went well, which I documented on a special calendar:

I've been telling people left, right and centre in order not to be tempted to give up and my friend, the athlete, kindly offered me to join her in her swim training. Now, I'm not a fan of indoor pools, hating the smell of chlorine and how it makes my skin itch but as I want to take some surfing lessons in Queensland this summer, I thought, I really ought to.

Then it dawned on me that I would need to buy a new costume, argh... But hey, any excuse to buy new gear and I managed to grab some bargains.

To motivate myself even more I did the unmentionable and bought a skirt that won't do up. But to my defence I've coveted it for ages and it'd been reduced by 45 €!

Sonntag, 17. Januar 2016

The ribbons are for fearlessness

One of the books that inspired me the most in 2015 was "The ribbons are for fearlessness" by Catrina Davies (

It's a true story about a young woman crippled by heartbreak and grief who decides to fulfill her dead friend dream to busk his way to the midnight sun. In a huge, yellow rust bucket armed with her cello she sets of to Norway, conquers her fear of performing in public, meets amazing people and ends up driving all the way to Portugal. 

'Fearlessness has got nothing to do with being unafraid. It's about doing things anyway, getting on with it, living, whether you're afraid or not...Courage is about being who you are with your whole heart.' 

Go and get it and let it inspire you to re-think the fears that stop you from living! Ok, we might not all be musicians, able to earn money while travelling but I bet every single reader (as well as me, of course) has dreams which need to be fulfilled!

CARPE DIEM everyone!

Mittwoch, 6. Januar 2016

Welcome 2016

Today is the last day of my christmas leave and so it's time to come out of hibernation.

To be honest I'm quite glad to return to the office, after nearly three weeks, to get back into routine. And I've been missing my colleagues, chatting, coffees, laughing, shared lunches and so on.

For me 2016 is dedicated to koalas and kangaroos i.e. the big Oz adventure in July.   I've started the detail planning, booked some Airbnb accomodation for the first 10 days and bought a new piece of luggage.
One big resolution for this trip is to take it easy. Not like with other trips where I planned every single minute and filled the weeks with adventures and excitement.

My recent Lisbon trip showed me that it can be very rewarding just to be. Breathe, sit in the sun, have coffees, sketch, relax. Of course, there are still many adventures to be experienced but I will also keep days free to stroll around Brisbane or Cairns with no agenda!

So lets get it started! To all my readers a very happy new year full of love, health  and adventures!

Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2015

Vienna Christmas Magic

The last four days I spent in Vienna on a pre-christmas visit with my delightful brother.

We hadn't made many plans apart from buying concert tickets to the Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach at the Musikverein. It was very festive and amazing!

Then we had a hot drink at the market. I decided to give the mulled wine a miss as it doesn't agree with me, but I can wholly recommend hot orange juice with spices.

Apart from that we had Schnitzel and Palatschinken and of course: Kaiserschmarrn!

We visited Castle Schönbrunn for a walk and a Kir Royal at the Gloriette.

We went to the Prater for a ride with the Giant Ferris Wheel.

And to the Albertina museum to see some art.

Our hotel, the Hotel Alma,  is small and quiet and beautifully located near the city centre. Only 5 minutes walk from the Stephansdom and close to the river.

I reckon Vienna is well worth a visit no matter what season but it sure knows how to decorate for Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Samstag, 19. Dezember 2015

Wonky December

This has been a really strange December and the past three weeks I’ve found myself in a terrible slump.  At the office I’ve been very busy and at the same time felt the days stretch ahead like chewing gum.
I tried to pull myself out of it with a visit to the wonderful Christmas market at the Wasmeier Farmhouse Museum and enjoyed spending time with my sister, deeply inhaling the clear alpine air and every food and drink that came into my vicinity.

This week found me at the Hypokunsthalle again, visiting the exceptional Gaultier exhibition. I can’t say that I am a fan of Haute Couture but I am deeply in awe of his creative genius and phantasmogastic costumes.

Dowager Countess of Grantham, can you see it?

Gotta love denim!



I’ve already penciled in the next exhibition, a retrospective of the Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla, on show between March and July.

Now that I have shut the office door behind me for the final time this year, I can hopefully switch off completely and find my inner Christmas elf.
There’s still a ton of presents to wrap and a suitcase to pack, cookies to bake,  a concert to go to and then a flight to board. 

Most of all, I am looking forward to the magic of New Years Day and the promise of new beginnings and opportunities, leaving tears and heartache behind.

 A Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Sonntag, 22. November 2015

November Blues

This has been a unseasonably warm and weird November! With temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius and emotions running high both at the office and at home I felt really low and drained.

On top of that I felt strangely uninspired at the sewing machine, trawling through the internet for gift ideas for christmas, fearing that my inner sewing goddess has shut up.

This past week I had leave from work and spent it at home, feeling tired and listless, frustrated that I didn't get through my chores as quickly as planned. I hardly got anything done. Only a bit of sketching which still gives me lot's of pleasure. 

But maybe I needed that. Maybe my body had decided, I needed a break and lot's of sleep. This morning, on my last day of leave I look outside my windows at the rain and snow, as the temperatures have finally dropped. Proud that I have managed to sort out my balcony with hours to spare before the snow arrived. I needed to empty the flower pots and stow away the furniture.

While I put away some stuff in the basement, as well as my winter boots I got out my Christmas decorations and from the balcony I carried in my selfgrown tree. I hope it will thrive inside. 

Thinking of Christmas, I feel optmimistic for the first time in weeks. Just before Christmas Eve I will travel to Vienna with my brother for a short break, involving lot's of mulled wine and Austrian delicacies.

After Christmas it'll be time to start in-depth planning for the next big Australian Adventure in July 2016. I'll be touring Queensland and am looking forward to countless teas and coffees with the delightful Lady A. Now if that's not enough reason to finally cheer up, I don't know....

Sonntag, 1. November 2015

Autumn Hiking

Last Friday I joined a bunch of very energetic, young colleagues on a hiking trip to the Brunnsteinhütte, right at the border to Austria. There were 18 of us and the weather was beautiful. It took us nearly to hours to reach the chalet or mountain hut where we gladly fell over some refreshments.

After a short break my colleagues headed on towards the summit but I just couldn't face it, having thouroughly overexerted myself with the climb to the hut.
So I stayed behind on my own, sitting on the sunny terrace, sketching and enjoying the breathtaking view. 

At first I regretted not having brought my Kindle e-Book-reader but in the end I enjoyed the forced time-out with nothing to distract myself. Nothing but pen and paper.

We had arranged to stay the night and watched the sun vanish behind the mountains before we headed inside for dinner.

It was amazing to watch the time pass, the fog rise, the night sky. The accomodation was very basic though with only a compost toilet about 50 metres behind the hut and  no hot water.  The dormitories were freezing and we didn't get much sleep, although the reasons for that were probably large amounts of alcohol...

In the morning, after very basic ablutions and breakfast we shouldered our backpacks and headed down the mountain again, meeting lots of early-bird hikers on the way up. 

I won't ever forget the beautiful views and ever-changing skies during our time on the mountain.