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Samstag, 29. August 2015

Sunrise photo walk

Ever since a mate told me about his jetlag-induced early morning walk through Manhattan I wanted to do something similar.
Granted, Munich is not NYC but hey, beggars can't be choosers and Munich possesses a lot of inspiring motives!
So last Sunday saw me rising even before the sun at 5:35 am, rushing off to mount my bicycle anxious not to miss the magic moment.
My first stop was a lookout with a great view over Munichs skyline.

After a breakfast of energy bar and water I cycled downhill towards the river Isar. 

The BBQ scene on the river bank leaves a lot of rubbish behind, complete with leftover steaks. 

Here comes the sun....

 Love birds

 This graffiti found in the meat district says "Free Paul". In that context I fear, this might be Paul (below).

 Beautiful brick buildings.

 On the way home, the power station.

I arrived back home at 8 am and went straight back to bed. Although I was totally shattered I can't wait to do it again. There are so many corners of Munich I want to photograph and the empty streets are so inviting.  
Only two more weeks until my leave. If I'm lucky the weather will be fine and I might get some autumn mist on camera.

Sonntag, 23. August 2015

Arty inspiration

On Saturday my creative buddy and I met up for an afternoon in Munich. The only plan was to visit the Keith Haring exhibition at the Hypo Kunsthalle . Everything else would follow.
The exhibition was totally unexpected and inspiring. I especially liked his use of different and unusual material like truck tarpaulin and car doors.

After some lunch and armed with ice cream cones we ambled towards the Lenbachhaus, just because we have seasonal tickets and fancied a rest in its beautiful park.

We cruised past the blue horse by Franz Marc (her favourite) and my favourites, a series of cloud studies by Johann Georg von Dillis, a very important member of the Munich School, around 1800.

Sufficiently rested we headed off in search of drinks and sat down again for a light dinner. Do you know the urge on balmy summer evenings to walk and walk and walk?

After taking refreshments we then ambled off again towards the train station for my friend and to the tube station for myself, making plans for the future which involved sketching, shopping and driving her Vespa. What a Saturday well spent.

Donnerstag, 20. August 2015

I joined the Club - the Online Sketchbook Club!

Many times I have praised the virtue of Instagram and yet again I was inspired by it. All of a sudden there were lots of posts about a Sketchbookclub on my fellow Blogtacularistas' feeds. Because I have been feeling the urge to draw recently I was intrigued, googled it and discovered the amazing artist Jennie Maizels:
I read up on the Online Sketchbook Club and hey presto one Paypal transaction later I joined the Club!
There are four modules and 3 months to work my way through them:
  • Houses
  • Fish
  • Bugs
  • Washing line
You get instructions, a video,  reference material to print out and the community as support. Once you have the first results you can upload photos to Instagram to share with the other club members.
First I checked my extensive art supply collection  and went off to buy the missing material, acrylic paint, a little white mixing tray and a set of two A5 sketchbooks.

my stash

excellent excuse to go shopping

At first I was a bit uncertain about the templates - wouldn't that be too restrictive and wouldn't everyone end up with identical sketchbooks? But I hadn't counted on human nature because as soon as  I started with sketching, I started to deviate from the templates, making shortcuts and bringing in my own ideas.

ready-steady go

After the first page was done and drying I couldn't help myself but sneek a look at Instagram at what my fellow sketchers were producing, even though I was scared to be tempted to copy peoples ideas. I was very impressed by one artist who had drawn a boat sailing past the front of houses, reminding me of an Amsterdam canal scene. But instead of wanting to steal the idea I was flooded with new, personal ideas, hardly able to contain myself, wanting to start immediately.


I can't wait to get on with the other modules and to incorporate sketching into my everyday life, e.g. on my forthcoming trip to Lisbon. Images of bottles of wine, tapas, the river....

Montag, 10. August 2015

The year of firsts

This year seems to be the year of firsts:

  • First international outing as blogger at Blogtacular
  • First time wakeboarding
  • First time visit of a Music Festival!
And what would be more fitting than a brass music festival? I love a bit of brass music and when my  colleague told me about the 3-day festival I ordered my ticket for Saturday at once. Main attraction was "LaBrassBanda", a famous Bavarian combo. I find it hard to describe their style, so check them out here:

I managed to talk my sister in joining me and on Saturday lunchtime we set of, prepared for every eventuality with umbrellas, sun hats, blankets and swim stuff.

First we had lunch: roast pork butty (see photo) and a meat loaf butty - very yummy!

(taken by my sister)

Then we checked out the festival grounds and listened to some music:

The heat was unbelievable. I try very hard not to complain as the last few summers have been abominable but with nearly 35 degrees Celcius and hardly any shade it was too much. In 4,5 hours I drank 4 litres of water and juice spritzers (which we love in Germany, there are countless varieties available).

(taken by my sister)

The music and atmosphere were great. My favourite bands were "Monobo Son" and "Donnerbalkan"

Unfortunately by late afternoon we were exhausted and decided to leave without seeing our heros from LaBrassBanda. They were scheduled for 11 pm and we would never have lasted that long.

But what an amazing start to my career as a festival enthusiast, next time I'll be more careful with planning my visit according to the programme. Also I want to go out and listen to more local live music.

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.