Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday 29 September - Back to work

11.11am, Lying in bed, finishing my book. Been a bit of a blah day today, trying to sort out my life a bit and book flights and all that stressful stuff. There's a good reason behind it though, because I got the job that i went to London to interview for! I have accepted, and so now, for two weeks of every month, I will be in London working for Incisive Media. I will be subbing British Journal of Photography and Computer Active! Exciting times. I am really excited that I will get to see my friends and family a lot more, and also to be working again, but today has been a bit of a stressful one realising how little money I will make (virtually none) once I pay for all the flights/rents etc, plus I am pretty much not going to see Andy for six weeks as he is away for the two weeks I am back. Ah well, I still feel really positive about it, and I have another month to figure out the finer details.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday 28 September - So long, Leeli...

11.11am, Waking up. I actually woke up at exactly 11.09am today but I was still in bed, deciding whether I had to get out into the cold real world or if I could stay in my warm bed for a bit longer. I'm sure you can guess which option won.
I'm back in Berlin again, feeling half like a jetsetter and half knackered. I have taken seven flights this month! I feel like I should plant some trees or something to counteract it... Good job i don't have a car I guess!

Just doing a few sorting out bits at home today, then tonight going out for a lovely dinner with lots of people at Maria Peligro. Which should be lovely, but is tinged with sadness because it's Lee's leaving dinner! I can't believe it's time for her to go... It's weird, as it really feels like the Berlin summer is drawing to a close. I guess it is nearly October but, with Lee leaving, who has been here almost exactly the same amount of time that I have, it seems to mark the end of silly season of summer of joy party times!

I've had some ace times with her, the girl with the smiley eyes, including... homemade dinners, chilled out movie nights, high-flying cocktails, Charlottenburg bike missions, the Night of a Thousand Pittas, lake trips to Potsdam, concentration camps, pink wine, birthdays, mooching, lots of pizza (not to mention wurst) and the many, many gin times. It's been ace Leeli, thanks for a fun chapter of Berlin. x

Monday 27 September - Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go...

11.11am, Coming out of the interview... Who knows how it went, as I did manage to somehow talk about all manner of bizarre things, so we'll see. The office is right off Carnaby Street and it was lovely walking in this morning, in all my smart clothes, pretending I had a job. I love all the hustle and bustle of rush hour, everyone hurrying and clip-clopping in their fancy office shoes.

Ps. Of course, the five-year question came up!

(Picture taken from International Business Times)

Sunday 26 September - Family values

11.11pm, Hanging out with my sister Kate and her husband Jim. They're a super-duper couple and ace parents to baby Ella and I love hanging out with them.

We watched Juno (one of my all-time fave films) and ate chilli and talked about songs with no words (Jim likes them; I don't).

I'd had an ace day with lots of my favourite girls; Emma, Sara, Emily and Catdog (most of my uni A-team) came for a pub lunch, along with Abi an Vic, two of my girls from the City University times. It's been a while since I've seen them so it was ace to talk boys, journalism and five-year plans (Of which, none of us have any clue, but it always comes up in interviews).

It makes me really enjoy being in London, which is good considering I have an interview for a job here tomorrow morning.

Saturday 25 September - Touching down

11.11am (London time), Landing at Luton Airport after a very uncomfortable flight. Andy and I went to an amazing gig last night, where we saw The Cinematic Orchestra, Fink, Andreya Triana, Bonobo and Lou Rhodes at Astra. It was such a good venue, such a good gig, such a good night.

Andy and I started the evening by cycling to Tempelhof park and watching the sunset with Snacky Crackys (Lidl's best offering) and Cointreau. Then we headed to Friedrichshain, which is fast becoming my favourite suburb of Berlin, and ordered copious amounts of gnocci and pizzabrot, much of which went uneaten. Then we sat in the middle of Warschauer Strasse, the main street that has a big pedestrianised bit down the middle (where they are usually lots of skaters) and put the world to rights over a few drinks. By the time we had got to the gig, I realised we'd been on one of the world's best dates, without even really meaning to. Go Andy.

It did mean that my flight (with a hangover and about three hours' sleep) sucked, but I went to Sara and Emily's house and they made it better for me. We made the most handsome, delicious and hilarious roast chicken dinner (one we figured out which end of the chicken to stuff), watched The X Factor, then Sara and I went for some drinks in Brixton. I love my life.

Ps. Andreya Triana absolutely rocked my world at the gig. I think she's my new girl crush. I loved her voice, her look, I even love her album covers a lot. Pictures taken from ParisDJs and Swagger Lifestyle

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday 24 September - London calling

11.11am, Planning and preparing for London. I'm off again tomorrow until Monday, for a job interview. If I get it, it will be two weeks of work in London a month, so I guess I will have to get used to the travelling.

I still haven't been able to sort out everything from the Bag Thievery incident, and I didn't really realise how annoying it would be to not have bank cards or an English phone. But, as long as I can get hold of people, then I'm sure the weekend will be ace, especially as I'm seeing my amazing almost-10-month-old niece, Ella, on Sunday. She's such a sweetheart and I'm super excited to give her a cuddle again. I'm also going to be seeing all my ace uni friends, and my sister and brother-in-law etc, so it's going to be a good one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday 23 September - Happy 100th!

11.11am, Realising that this is my 100th Blog Post! It doesn't quite mean that I have been here for 100 days (some days I did two posts), but it's still a good milestone. I've had such an awesome summer here, and I'm super excited to be staying for autumn and part of winter too. The leaves are already changing colour and the winter boots have been dug out.
In honour of the 100th Blog Post, here are some pictures of my favourite times from the last three months... Danke Schön Berlin, Ich liebe dich!!

Wednesday 22 September - Day of dreams

11.11pm, Reminiscing on what may have been my favourite Berlin day so far. Well, top five at least. Emma and I met on the streets of Friedrichshain and then walked to the 'Secret Spot' off Schlesische Strasse (try saying that fast!). The sun was shining so brightly and it was actually hot again; maybe we haven't seen the last of summer just yet!

With a bottle of red wine and a chicken schnitzel semmel, we sat by the river and talked about all those bizarre things that only two good friends can spend hours talking about.

Then we walked to Treptower Park, which is absolutely beautiful. I'm so excited because our new house (see here) is right near Treptower Park so I can envisage a few lazy Autumn afternoons there, playing ping pong or throwing leaves around. There's an abandoned amusement park there, which Nick and Andy broke into to get some pictures, but were promptly thrown out of, so they came to meet Emma and me.

The Spree, the river that runs through Berlin, goes right through Treptower Park, so the four of us decided to hire a paddle boat. Lying on the boat's deckchair with a glass of wine in one hand, a wurst in the the other, and the sun and the water and the calm and the friends... It made me realise how this really is the time of my life. We paddled to a little island in the middle of the Spree, moored our boat and had a little look around. Lots of greenery and birds and quietness; it was simply the best.

Tuesday 21 September - Road to nowhere

11.11pm, Sitting on a train. The U-bahn line I use (U8) is having work done after 10pm weekdays, which I didn't realise, so my easy sit-on-one-train-for-20-minutes journey into town turned into an hour and a half and three changes. Well, that sucked, but I didn't really mind as I'd just been hanging out with everyone in Mitte, at a lovely Indian called Amrit. You should go there, but don't ask for poppadoms; they won't arrive.

(Picture taken from my first visit to Berlin, January 2006)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday 20 September - Back in Berlin

11.11am, Sleeping!! It's so so so nice to back in Berlin after being all over the place in London, Liverpool, Oslo... I've had a lovely couple of weeks, but it's nice to be 'home'. Had such a crazy month of visitors, work and travels, which has been ace... But not setting an alarm this morning was also quite ace.

The last few weeks has seen me hang out with my niece, nephews, sisters, parents, best friends and new friends... Here's a very small selection of some of the times I've been lucky enough to have... x

Sunday 18 September - Time to check out

11.11am, Andy and I dragged ourselves up after another late night to take full advantage of the huge breakfast buffet... Then it was time to check out and face the fact we had to leave Oslo. But not before we went to Vigeland Sculpture Park, which is full of intricate and awesome statues of naked people.
Had such a fab weekend; thank you amazing people (the friend people, not the naked people)!

(All photos by Andy Lawrence)

Saturday 18 September - Whitest Boy Alive

11.11pm, Dancing to a man playing the harmonica. We'd just come out of a Whitest Boy Alive concert that I have to say, what I remember of it, was fab. Though to be honest, there's a fair amount I don't remember, thanks to the pre-drinking we did back the apartment.
We'd had a lovely day of exploring, which included wandering through parks, shops and pretty Oslo streets, as well as checking out the Oslo Book Festival... which sounds good, until you realise everything was in Norwegian. I love this city though; it's sunny, fun and pretty, even if it is hideously expensive. I hope we come back one day, as the weekend is going so fast and there's still so much to see and do!

(All photos by Andy Lawrence)

Friday 17 September - Velkommen til Norge (welcome to Norway)

11.11am, On a plane on the way to Oslo to meet Andy, Nick, Eri, Keno, Emma, Steemy and Britt. They got there yesterday and it sounds like the fun started almost as soon as they touched down.

After I met Andy, we went on a little explore around the area where we're staying. There's an awesome Opera House where we did a lot of hanging around, looking at the view and trying to take pictures of the birds (as well as obligatory starjump shots).
Back at our hotel, we took full advantage of the free waffles before indulging in an amazing three-course meal before heading up to the apartment where the others are staying.

Today is Eri's birthday so we had a lot of fun drinking time (with a home-made drinking game called 'Things About Europe', thanks to me and Eri, the only Europeans). Next it was on to a bar/club ( I have no idea what it was called) that saw Emma piggy-backing me around for a lot of the night, and some pretty good dancing. Ace night, and happy birthday gorgeous Erika! x

(All photos by Andy Lawrence)

Thursday 16 September - Thumbs up to you lot

11.11pm, In the pub with Catdog, Sara Maden and Sarah Potts, after having had a yummy tapas dinner with them and Emma, Brodie, Emily, Bethan and Sam. I had my final day at Candis today, then jumped on a train and met everyone in London.

I have been amazed at how, having had everything bar my passport stolen yesterday, I have managed to come to London, have dinner, and am off to Oslo for the weekend tomorrow. This is all because of the kindness of my friends and family. So thank you everyone, so much!

(Picture taken from

Wednesday 15 September - Bag(less) lady

11.11pm, Crying on a train. I went to Manchester to see my amazing mum and three of her best friends from her 20s. Mum was doing a talk, and it was ace to see her in 'author' mode. Then the five of us went out for dinner to a lovely place called Zinc (I can't recommend them enough), had loads of yummy food, hilarious conversation and some delish wine. It was time to go, so i reached into my bag to get my purse, to pay... And there was no purse. Or bag. Or anything, thanks to a pikey Mancunian couple who decided they wanted my awesome bag and all the awesome stuff that was in it...the usual stuff: phone, purse, cards, keys and a book I was halfway through.

Anyway, probably the best person I could be with was my mum, as she is inherently amazing, so she sorted me out good and proper. But then I had to go back to Liverpool on the train, with absolutely nothing to keep me entertained on the very slow two-hour journey. So I cried to pass the time. But it wasn't all bad; I didn't have to pay for my dinner/wine! Every cloud...

Ps. RIP bag of dreams...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday 14 September - Breaded goodness

11.11am, Eating bagels at my desk. I am a bit obsessed with bagels at the moment. Cinnamon and raisin with butter for breakfast; seeded with bacon and avocado for dinner. Nom nom nom.

(Picture taken from This Week For Dinner)

Monday 13 September - Girls' night in

11.11pm, Sitting on my old sofa, in my old house, with my old housemates. I love them so much, it's so ace to see them again... It just reminded me of how much I loved living with them. We drank wine and ate chocolate and found the world's worst film, and generally laughed loads and caught up on the last four months. Susan and Karen: dream girls. Hilariousness.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday 12 September - Crazy Maisie

11.11am, Waking up in Maisie's house. Let me tell you about Maisie... She is a dream girl, who has lived in Liverpool for six years and is about to move to Manchester. She is an illustrator (check out her website, here) and a very good friend.

Last night we drank wine, watched The X Factor and chatted about all manner of things, including crying at Big Brother, being posh and little-known facts about tea. Then this morning, we took our spots on the couch again and resumed our conversations, but with an egg muffin and a cup of tea instead of wine. Excellent.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday 11 September - Chester chats

11.11am, Meeting my friend Paul for some catch-up time in Chester. We had such a lovely day, going for a walk around the Roman walls that surround the city, then having lunch in Telfords, by the canal. I had seafood linguine and it was delish.
The sun shone and we laughed a lot.

(Picture taken from Sandown Heritage)

Friday 10 September - Working nine to five...

11.11am, Sitting at my desk, subbing the UK Travel pages. I know I'm a geek but I love subbing! I wonder how many days it would take for me to get work-weary and tired of all this again... I am applying for a few jobs in Berlin/London as I feel my brain needs to be used again, so maybe I'll find out soon how long it takes to get work-weary!
It's nice to have a two-day working week though, especially as it's been a while since I've worked 9-5.

(Picture of the office in the olden days, last year)

Thursday 9 September - Bottoms up!

11.11pm, Drinking red wine in Anita's house. I had such a good day back at Candis; I was sitting at my old desk, doing work I knew how to do, with people I liked (though it was in an office with no windows; I'd forgotten how bad for the soul it is!). It feels strange, but great, to be back.

(Picture taken from PFI magazine)