Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday 29 August - Clifftop camping

11.11am, Sitting in Ken and Jenny's (Jo's parents) campervan, with a bacon sandwich in one hand, a cup of tea in front of me, and a wriggly Zac on my lap. I literally could not have wanted anything more...It was the exactly what i wanted. Pippa had the best party ever yesterday, so I'll forgive her for waking me up before 7am ("I don't like being awake on my own!" - We're so similar!).

A day of sorting myself out at home, and hanging out with family/friends, then I'm back to Berlin tomorrow. Time is speeding by, and visits to home always go so fast anyway. Being home and talking to people about Berlin has made me realise how much I love it though, so I am really looking forward to going back.

(Picture from Adventure Learning Eco Tours)

Saturday 28 August - Pippa is 30!

11.11am, Beginning of birthday joy... My sister knows how to throw a party...

Beach party
Sennen beach
Sea swimming
Beach rounders
Live music
Sparkly cake
Mackerel barbecue
Sandy feet

Sleeping bags

(Photo of Sennen beach, my favourite place in the whole world, taken from Cornwall-Online)

Friday 27 August - Let's get ready to rumble...

11.11am, Preparing myself for the birthday extravaganza that will be Pippa's birthday tomorrow. Dream girl Ruthy Ley and I went to town (literally and figuratively), buying banners and balloons and party poppers and decorations for Pippa's birthday tomorrow. Then we rewarded ourselves with a long, lazy afternoon in her garden, where Nicky joined us and we dined on pasties, red wine, cheeses and fig salad. So decadent, so wonderful.

The evening brough more joy, with annual Newlyn to Penzance swim (along the prom), where we cheered on Jack and also saw lots of familiar faces. Then I was joined by the dynamo that is Audrey Ward, one of my favourite people, who I met in London and is now working at The Sunday Times News Review. She was having a holiday in Cornwall and I took the opportunity to introduce her to rum and shrub, and have a good catch-up with her and her boyfriend, Ultan.

How can you not love Cornwall when your days are full of such joy?!

(Photo of the prom from Cornish Retreats)

Thursday 26 August - Oooh-aaarrrr

11.11pm, Sitting in a very random pub, the Admiral Benbow, with sister Kate, her husband Jim, sister Claire and her boyfriend Matt. We were drinking rum and shrub, and laughing at Jim laughing at Penzance. It's so nice to be back to weird, fun, piratey, rickety, lovely Penzance. How I love it.

I spent the day up in Truro hanging out with Pippa and amazing Vinny and gorgeous Zac, then kate turned up with Jim and beautiful Ella! I love being surrounded by such gorgeous nieces and nephews.

Picture of inside the Benbow taken by BugBog)

Wednesday 25 August - I'm back!

11.11pm, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my amazing family (well, some of them). Claire, Mum, Dad and I were all just chilling out and chatting and catching up, after a yummy dinner which Lily joined us for too. She had picked me up from the train station, after a pretty easy journey from London (which included a stop-off in Exeter to have lunch with Emily). I'm feeling pretty warm and fuzzy at the moment because last night I stayed at Emma's AMAZING new house in Brentford and Sara, Catdog and Sarah were there too! So in the last 24 hours, I have been lucky enough to see most of my favourite people in the world!
(Picture taken from Andy's Facebook page)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday 23 August - Tomorrow, tomorrow...

11.11am, At my desk, feeling smug that I remembered to bring teabags to work. However, I then got up to make said tea, and found a whole cupboard of teabags. I'm not sure why I thought there would be none in the kitchen, but I guess I just didn't want to take the chance. After all this time of not working, sometimes I need some caffeine to keep me on track!

I've got one more day at work tomorrow, and then I'm off to Cornwall for nearly a week, for my ace sister, Pippa's, 30th birthday. I can't wait to be on the beach again and see my gorgeous niece, Ella, and nephews, Vinny and Zac. They are a dream! I'm also going to be seeing Emma and Emily in transit, so all in all, lots to look forward to. The only rubbish thing is that, by the time I get back, Bree will have gone back to Australia. Which sucks. I am hugely going to miss her... Is it bad to wish for an ash cloud?!

Sunday 22 August - Funday Sunday

11.11am, Waking the family (Andy, Nick, Bree) for a day of dreams. Our day started with a visit to Neukölln Flohmarkt (flea market). It is completely different type of market to Mauerpark, which our usual Sunday jaunt (see here for the kinds of treasures you can find there). It's much more grass-roots, pikey junk, which means that when you find something you want, you can usually get it for an absolute bargain. So far we've picked up a delightful pair of shoes for €1, a polaroid camera for €2, a vintage 35mm SLR for €3 (which we've since found out is worth about $200) and a giant giraffe. Lots more too, but they're the most exciting ones.

Next we cycled to Prenzlauer Berg to go to the French Cafe of Dreams, the same one that I've written about lots... here and here. Had my usual cheese platter and left feeling full and happy.

Next was onto Tempelhofer Park (the old airport), where Bree, Andy, Nick and I drank white wine spritzers and played Trivial Pursuit. Andy won, even though the rest of us cheated. A lot.

Finally, Bree and I had a lovely girl dinner with Emma, Eri and Lee at Maria Peligro. Super super evening, despite getting caught in stupid amounts of rain.

Dream day.

(Picture taken from Anne Wallingford)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday 21 August - Party in a park!

11.11pm, Having a late-night picnic/party in a park for Marriette's birthday. The lovely lady is 25 and we celebrated with lots of prosecco, chips, dips and Boggle (my favourite). It was a super day/eve/night... Happy birthday Roughy!

Friday 20 August - The night of a thousand pittas

11.11pm, Nearly exploding with fullness (is that a word?!). Lee, Emma, Bree and I went to Nil, a Sudanese place for dinner. With none of us having eaten Sudanese before, we went for some things that sounded like starters/tapas-type dishes, at around 2 Euro each. Halloumi, chicken, salad, falafel, that kind of thing. We ordered nine of them between us, and it turned out that they were definitely NOT little tapas-style dishes. They were big pittas. So we had nine between us, and then nearly exploded for the rest of the night.
I would totally recommend going there, but maybe just order one or two things. Not nine.

(Photo taken from where's the revolution?)

Friday 20 August - Write and wronged

11,11am, Writing a piece about a designer called Natascha Stolle. It's so nice to be writing again, I've missed it.
After work, I went back home where the boys were all skulking around with their tails between their legs, after having come home at 5am and kept me up by being drunken fools.
(Picture of Natascha Stolle's A/W10 collection, taken from Refinery29)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday 19 August - Deer oh deer

11.11am, Looking at more websites. I'm pretty much researched out now, and am itching to do some real work! Who would have thought it? Apparently three months is my limit for being out of work...I'm starting to feel like my brain is shrivelling up.
Had a lovely evening with Emma, Eri and Bree eating pasta (with venison), drinking wine and talking about boys.
(Picture taken from StockFood)

Wednesday 18 August - Happy birthday!!!!

11.11pm, Drinking in a cute place on Torstrasse, for Leeli's birthday. We'd just been for an awesome dinner at Chi Sing, the loveliest Vietnamese. Turns out I do actually love Vietnamese (ignore this!). It was a fab, fun, lovely night and Lee look radiant. Thirty suits her!
(Picture taken from Wallpaper*)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday 18 August - A break from funemployment

11.11am, Sitting in a real live office, doing real live work!! I have started at a fashion website, doing some work for a couple of weeks to fill in for someone. My official title is Project Assistant for London Fashion Week, (which is highly exciting!) and so far my duties have included familiarising myself with the fashion world. Tough work, but someone has to do it.
I'll be there at 9am tomorrow morning too, so when it gets to 11.11am, I'll be sure to do something just a little bit exciting. Like make a coffee, or check my email. Whatever it is, I'll let you know.

(Image taken from Fashion Directory)

Tuesday 17 August - Ciao (not tschuessi!)

11.11am, The whole team (me, Andy, Nick, Bree and Mellis) had a final breakfast before the four of us headed back to Berlin on a ten-hour journey on an ICE train or three (ICE = InterCityExpress). Mellis was a dream host and we had such an awesome time. Though it WAS ace to return home and have all our family reunited!

Monday 16 August - Bowling for six

11.11am, Having breakfast with Bree in the middle of Kitz, admiring the beautiful town! It really is gorgeous and, as I ate my wurst and kraut, the sun shone. Lovely. In the afternoon/evening we went to Innsbruck with Jossi and Jen, two of the world's funnest. Here we ate amazing Indian food and I very almost died. Death by choking on chicken... Not pleasant or pretty for anyone to witness. I'd like to block that memory out now.
We went bowling and had quite a lot of giggles. And a few strikes, which was nice.

Picture from Travel Pod

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday 15 August - Poker face

11.11pm, Playing poker with Nick, Andy, Jossi, Mellis and Colin (world's most handsome man). It was ace to play as I haven't played poker since uni, and even more ace because I won. Woop! Had a lovely day at the lake (the same lake the boys swam the triathlon in, see here for a picture; it's a beautiful place. There was a slide and a diving board at the lake, and we also played volleyball and then got caught in the rain. And then ate the most amount of Chinese food of all time ever.
It's pretty wonderful that I can have dream days in Kitzbühel as well as Berlin! The summer of joy is in full swing!
(Picture from Elextra & Jero)

Saturday 14 August - Keep on running!

11.11am, Relaxing with a beer in the sunshine after the boys had just finished the triathlon! So super super proud of all of them - they all finished in under 1 hour 25 minutes, which is faster than they'd all hoped for. Mellis even did it in 1 hour 15 mins!
Here are the breakdown of their speeds if you want to see (Colin came 122nd, Andy 126th, Nick 139th - and Mellis was 92nd so you have to look at the page before for his results).
It was such a beautiful route as well, as you can see from the picture... (Taken from PlatzPirsch)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday 13 August - Just bad luck?

11.11am, On a train taking us from Berlin to Austria. Well, one of four trains. The first was at 4.02am, which took us from our house to the main train station in Berlin (the Hauptbahnhof), then the next took us from Berlin to Munich. On this train, a woman with a cat was sitting behind us. A really loud, noisy cat that meowed every three seconds, on average. If only it was a black cat, and it had crossed my path, then at least it would negate any Friday 13th superstitious feeling... But no. It was just a noisy cat.
(Image ©Wolfram Schubert lovemeow)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday 12 August - Through the keyhole

11.11am, I was in the lounge, alternating between doing work, eating cereal, applying for jobs and talking to Emma on Skype. A nice chilled (though productive) morning, followed by a cycle ride with Lee. We cycled out to Charlottenburg, where there is an amazing Schlosspark, with a palace that used to serve as a 'summer residence' for an electress named Sophie Charlotte. Pretty massive summer house.

Now I am just preparing for tomorrow's journey to Austria, which is going to start at 3am. We'll be away until Tuesday night, but I will try and keep this updated. Andy (and Nick, Mellis and Colin) are all competing in a triathlon on Saturday...shame my camera is still broken as I think the speedo shots would have been pretty hilarious. Good luck boys!

(Picture taken from The Royal Forums)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday 11 August - A little bit of nothing

11.11am, I was doing...nothing. I know this because I was messing around on my computer, when Andy suddenly said, "What are you doing?" Assuming I'd done something I shouldn't have done, my automatic and immediate response was, "Nothing!" Of course, he was only asking because it was 11.11am, but it was too late. I was officially doing nothing.

Luckily the day improved somewhat; after a fun day of work punctuated by naps, coffee and bad TV, I met Sus and Lee at pizza place of dreams (Pizza Dach on Simon-Dach Strasse in Friedrichshain) and ate way too much pizza and pasta.

Cycling home, I dropped in on Andy at work at Santa Maria. I thought I was just being nice and saying hi, but he had different ideas and I was soon put to work making a chicken marinade. It was quite fun actually but now I smell like garlic and chillies (there are other ingredients, but I cannot reveal them for fear that it is a secret recipe!).

(Photo taken from Mirchiz)

Tuesday 10 August - Chicken and chats

11.11pm, I was in Görlitzer Park with Eri, Alex and a new friend called Bea. The park is on the former site of Görlitzer Station, which connected West Berlin to East Germany when the wall was up.
At one end of the park is Hühnerhaus, a chicken stand with literally the best chicken I have ever tasted (though Alex reckons her gran's is better). It was in the queue for chicken that I met Bea, a lovely Londoner who moved to Berlin a week ago. A few beers in the park later and the lot of us were firm friends!

(Picture taken from

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday 10 August - Filling my days

11.11am, I was doing some freelance work after having already been for an hour's run, put the washing on, done the washing up and spoken to our landlord. I'm much more productive when I get up at 8.45am.
Erm...ok, that was actually what I did yesterday. Today at 11.11am, I was sleeping. But I wanted to show off that I'd been for a run. I ran around Tempelhof airport (which is now a big park) and it was super hot and tiring. But I felt smug when it was over. Smugger than I do now, when all I've done today is watch Grey's Anatomy and eat crisps.

Photo by Adam Kahan, from ExBerliner

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday 9 August - A friend indeed

11.11pm, Sitting on Susann's couch for the eighth hour in a row. I arrived at three this afternoon and, except for a brief spell of pizza-eating on the balcony, we sat for eight hours in the same place on her couch, having the best chats of all time ever. The chats were punctuated only by getting up for bubbly water, then tea, then wine, as the night wore on. I love that girl to pieces and she is making my Berlin time soooo excellent.
(Picture taken from Susann's party earlier in the year)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday 8 August - Mum's the word

11.11pm, I was talking to my mum on Skype. She's one of the world's most amazing people, and she cracks me up every time I speak to her.

She's 60 this year but acts like she's about 18. Yesterday she ran six miles, and last time I called home, she was out surfing. She's also an award-winning writer of teen fiction (check out her website here) and at the moment is being shortlisted for the Queen of Teen award. Vote for her here!

She's the kind of person who asks 'How do you do paragraphs in a text message?' and 'Is your dad 'indie' because he wears a cardigan?' but, basically, I think she's awesome.

Here's some pictures of her in her various roles: Nana, surfer, amazing Mum.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday 7 August - Riding and riding and riding

11.11pm, In Peligro again! This has definitely become a habit; I seem to have become one of those people who celebrates Friday and Saturday nights, even though I don't have a job!
I had a very busy day today (busy for someone who doesn't go to work every day!). I met Keno, Eri, and Eri's cousin and boyfriend at a cute Russian place in Friedrichshain, called Datscha. It has really good food and I had a very weird but refreshing rhubarb juice. After there I rode to Lee's house, where we dyed our hair blonde(r).
Then the two of us met Susann in Prenzlauer Berg for some Vietnamese food. The restaurant we went to is lovely, but I think I've decided I'm not a massive fan of Vietnamese food. Still lovely to have dinner with the girls though, and then we rode to Maria Peligro where, for once, I didn't drink Rose wine!
And that's not all - after Peligro, we went to the opening of a new vintage clothes shop/coffee shop that isn't too far from my house... Only in Berlin would you have a shop opening, at midnight!
My legs are so tired from all the cycling around Berlin, but it's definitely been ace to ride my way around the city.

(Picture of Datscha taken from nomelybot)

Friday 6 August - Time of our lives, man

11.11pm, In Peligro with everyone. I was super excited tonight because I saw Alex for the first time in aaaaages. She's an ace friend who has been away working for four months, and tonight is the first time I'd seen her since she's been back. She is so beautiful and it was fab to have a catch up.

I've had another lovely day today. Andy and I woke up late, then just had a really funny day hanging out together, which included eating the world's best pizza and watching Juno, one of my all-time favourite films. Not a particularly special day but just soooo nice to hang out and be silly and enjoy being young and carefree!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thursday 5 August - Dreamy days

11.11pm, I had just left Solar bar with Lee, Sus and Andy. Not only was I with three of my all-time favourite people, but we had just had very fancy cocktails in the amazing bar. It's on the 16th floor and the view over Berlin is simply amazing. I had a cocktail called 'Jules' Delight', which had balsamic vinegar in. Sounds rank, tastes amazing. And before you feel sorry for Andy having to join in on our Sex and the City night, it was his suggestion and he was only too happy to 'be Carrie'.

Before Solar, the four of us had enjoyed beer and wurst in Schlosspark, and before THAT, Andy and I played mini golf in Hasenheide Park, near our house. He won, but then, he also paid for the games and the beers (and the wurst, the cocktails, and the cinema), so you could say I won.

After Solar, Andy and I went to see Inception in the huge SonyCenter cinema complex in Potsdamer Platz (the film was in English, luckily). Such a good film though took a lot of explaining afterwards! Then we cycled home at 2am and played Trivial Pursuit.
Today has been one of my favourite days since being here!

(Picture from Solar, taken from tip-berlin)

Ps, My camera broke after mini golf so, until it gets fixed or replaced, there may be less pictures (or they may be more pics poached from other people and less from myself!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday 4 August - Movie night

11.11pm, Lee and I were watching Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters). It's an amazing true-story German film made in 2007, about a group of men that were imprisoned in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and forced to make fake passports, documents and money. By being skilled at graphics, printing and counterfeiting, they were kept alive and given special privileges so that they could recreate the English Pound and the US Dollar.

The film was made even more poignant by the fact that Lee and I had visited Sachsenhausen just a couple of weeks ago (see here) and saw the actual barracks where the men worked and lived (Barracks 18 and 19). The film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008 – with good reason. I won't tell you what happens, but I hugely recommend you watch it (though it's in German with English subtitles, so remember your glasses)!

(Image taken from

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday 3 August - Polly, put the kettle on...

11.11am, Having a cup of tea from our new kettle. We'd been looking for a stove top kettle since I got here, and at Mauerpark on Sunday, I finally found one. And it's gold! And what a fine cup of tea it produces...

Monday 2 August - Chinese laundry

11.11pm, Still folding and sorting and putting away the six loads of washing we put on during the day! It was a longer job than I anticipated!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday 2 August - Auf Wiedersehen!

11.11am, Cleaning the house! Cat and Emma left at 7am this morning and I felt hugely sad that all my amazing visitors had gone home. So I went back to bed for a bit, then staved off my sadness with some cleaning. The apartment is spotless now and, six loads of washing later, so are our clothes, linen and towels!
My love for these girls is just ridiculous, they are awesome and I had the best time with them. See you soon dreamies, thanks for the visits and all the laughter.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday 1 August - A looooooong day

11.11am, In the Reichstag with Cat and Emma, looking at panoramic views of the Berlin skyline. And trying not to fall asleep as Cat and I had only a couple of hours of sleep the night before because we were too busy dancing to ska and drinking whiskey at Wild at Heart. The night involved broken shoes, leapfrogging on the dancefloor, unintentional crowd surfing and staying up until the next morning. But nevertheless, just a couple of hours later, up the Reichstag we went, before I showed off French cafe of dreams to the girls. Cheese comas r us. Then we hit Mauerpark for some flea market exploration (subsequently I now happen to own the boots of dreams).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday 31 July - Lakes and meat and trivial pursuit

11.11pm, We are currently drinking Irish coffees and playing drinking trivial pursuit before going to a house party on our street. Had another dream day (they seem to occur pretty often in Berlin!) at a lake in Grünau. We met a random old German man who cycles his way around the country, and he showed us a lot of photos he'd taken on his travels. Then we had perfect swims in the lake (complete with rope swing)...such beautiful places just outside the city; I love it here! Then it was onto the opening of our friend's new Texan-style bbq restaurant. Think ribs, onion rings, prawns, and lots of beer.

Friday 30 July - Girl time

11.11pm, In Maria Peligro (of course) with Sus, Eri, Anna Lena, Emma and Catdog. We'd been to a birthday bbq at our friend Jess's house, and managed to work our way through five bottles of Rose by the time we left Peligro. Then it was time for chicken kebabs and the train home (complete with escaltor self-timer photos) before me, Em and Catdog all passed out on one bed cuddled together. It reminds me so much of when the three of us use to live together and sleep in Catdog's bed because it was closest to the front door. Love love. x