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Münster in the Morning

Last week I went to Münster for a two day strategic workshop with my department colleagues from work. Münster is just about 1,5 hours from Düsseldorf by car, so not too far away.

When I arrived at the hotel at 9 am in the morning, the sun was just coming up and since I was too early (I always plan for some buffer time in case of traffic jams, etc.) I decided to take a walk around the Hotel area. It is located next to a small lake and the atmosphere was quite serene and philosophical.

I adore such settings, to be the only one at a beautiful spot in nature, so that you can let your mind wander and ponder, so I watched the sun rise and reflect its light on the lake, and then I roamed the small forest for a bit.

Since I naturally took some pictures, I want to share them with you. I tried to capture the atmosphere, but also to bring some artistic aspect into the photos. Let me know what you think.

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A fresh start in 2018

Well, well, well…

Yes, I am still alive and kickin’, even though I haven’t published anything on here in ages. After my return to Germany Fall 2015, and after starting to work I just didn’t feel like anything exciting enough to write about happened in my life.

The years flew by and now it is the beginning of 2018, and I decided I shall try again to write this blog.

2017 was a very good year for me in terms of change and motivation. I changed jobs, which gave me both more free time and energy to (re-)discover hobbies, such as Pen and Paper, dancing and writing.

Writing is definitely most surprising – I had the new year resolution to keep a diary throughout 2017, half expecting this project to fail at some point due to lack of motivation. But no, I managed to write a page each day for the entire year. Quite the achievement! Through this I rekindled my love for writing in general and I found inspiration for some short stories in my Pen and Paper environment, for which I am very grateful. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy finding the right words, capturing stories and emotions in short snapshots.

So the natural evolution from all this was to come back to this blog and to start writing and publishing on here as well! We shall see what sort of posts will come up, I have no plan yet as to what I’ll talk about, but I have a feeling that 2018 will be a good year. Stay tuned!

Rapunzel

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Coming out of hibernation

Dear readers,

I am aware that I was woefully absent in the past few months. I was wrapped up in some form of numbing coldness, winter depression, hibernation mode, whatever you want to call it. Fact is, I had absolutely no motivation to write about things I have done, I didn’t even have much motivation to do anything at all.

But now finally spring has announced its arrival and with the returning sun, my energy is also starting to come back. I have quit my part-time job as zombie and since then I feel so much better! Instead, I am now walking my neighbour’s dog a few times a week – I am happy to get active again and having a young, energetic, and curious dog with you is bound to lighten your mood.

My days of being a postgrad student are coming to an end. Two days ago I had my final lecture at uni – I still cannot believe that it was my last lecture in possibly ever – unless I decide to pursue another degree in god knows what. Photography or stage design or something like that 😀 But let’s face it, it is unlikely. Soon, the “real world” will embrace me as a contributing part of the workforce.

The past weeks have been very stressful. Not only did I have some assignments to hand in, I am also preparing my master thesis and simultaneously applying for jobs, both in London and back home in Germany.

I am hoping to have a little more time around May to catch up on my blog and write about past events. There have been a few: Museums, city tours, choir events etc. But I am sure you all understand that after writing 3000-word essays, I don’t necessarily feel like writing another few hundred words about those adventures. I actually have a few drafts sitting in my blog profile… So stay tuned for those to be posted online.

For now, I wish everyone a Happy Easter and joyful spring break. We all deserve a little sunshine in our lives after the rather bleak winter.

After rain there will be sunshine by LinaDesigns

by LinaDesigns

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Off into a new year!

Hi everyone and very belated Happy New Year.

I was busy with exams the past weeks and thus didn’t have time to write anything here. But now I’m back!

Semester two has started yesterday and I’m excited to see how that will go. I’m planning lots of awesome things, like theatre visits, trips to other cities, pub quizzes, karaoke, going dancing etc. And I’ll let you take part in it whenever I can via this blog.^^

I’t amazing to think that I’ve been here for two years now – doesn’t feel that long at all! So I’d like to thank all those readers who have been with me from the beginning and wish all of you a great Charlotte New Years Eve 2015

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Merry Christmas

My dear readers,

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

https://i0.wp.com/covershub.net/uploads/covmg/joy-to-the-world-christmas-quotes.jpg

Enjoy your time with your family, loved ones, friends or whoever else you spend your holidays with. Let it be a time of joy, peace and happy thoughts! May it be a time where you give some extra time to someone who didn’t get enough of it before, where you make others happy and are showered with happiness in return. After all, “Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” (Washington Irving).

My personal christmas song this year is “That’s Christmas to me” by Pentatonix. They sing “The only gift I’ll ever need is the joy of family” and I believe that is absolutely true. So again, I wish everyone happy holidays and also a Happy New Year.

Here’s the Pentatonix song for you to enjoy, too!

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Help! I’m a part-time zombie!

Just a quick update today, I’m a super busy person currently. 😀

About two weeks ago, I had a interview for a part-time job at The London Bridge Experience and guess what – I got the job! So now I am part of the promotion team at TLBE and get to dress up as a zombie for work.Zombie Maid by x-a-eOriginal

Pretty cool, huh? But I have to say that the job is pretty tough, too. Especially next week, since that is Halloween and naturally, a very scary attraction in the heart of London will be busy.

That’s the most exciting news, I guess. Other than that, I’ve been trying to keep up with the massive reading for uni, had a few workshops and went shopping yesterday. I also went to the cinema, but that is for another post, as I will write a review of the movie.

So keep your eyes open for the upcoming posts (and the occasional zombie looking for brain food.)

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Choir, karaoke and zumba

Good morning everyone!

It is a lovely Sunday morning and thus time for a new post. I’ve been quite busy the past weeks, trying to get into the rhythm of uni again. But today’s post will be about all things BUT uni.

I have joined the university choir and we had two rehearsals so far. I am very happy to finally be in a choir again. For those who don’t know, I had solo voice lessons for the past two years or so – which is great and helped me a lot, but try as I may, I’ll never be able to sing a harmony with myself. So being in a choir is really making me happy.

We have worked on a different song each week, learning it during rehearsal and then going out on and doing a street performance. How awesome is that? I’ve always wanted to do something like that! It is tremendous fun and most people in the choir are very talented. There will be a Christmas concert on the 12th of December, maybe I’ll tell you guys the details of that later on, if there are some who might be interested in coming.

After rehearsal and street performance, we all head to a nearby pub to just hang out, get to know one another. It’s not mandatory of course, but I think it is a great way to integrate and get to know the others, especially if you’re new. I went both weeks, but only for about an hour – I do have classes the next morning, unfortunately. I don’t know if I’ll go every week (after all, going to a pub can be expensive), but it sure is a lovely idea and I’m very glad to have this new group now.

The other thing I did last week was going to karaoke. We had guest staying at our house that week and we all headed out together on Thursday. I haven’t been to karaoke in a long time and it sure was fun! It was at a smaller bar, not the venue where I used to go last year. I liked the bar and they have a broad repertoire of music, but the DJ wasn’t so good. For some reason, he didn’t turn the volume of the mics up enough and you mostly didn’t hear the people singing very well.

Do you guys know the cup song from the movie Pitch Perfect? (If not, google it!) I know that it is probably not so cool anymore, but I’ve always wanted to learn it but never got anybody to show me. So while we were at the karaoke bar, I found out that the Norwegian girl I had met the very first day at uni (who was with us at karaoke as well) knows it. So we asked for plastic cups at the bar and I finally got to learn that thing! Now I’m practicing regularly to make it perfect and to be able to sing the whole song while doing the cup thingy. If I manage that, I might shoot a video and post it…

Anyways, karaoke was good fun and I am planning to go another time. It is unfortunate that it is only Thursdays, for on Thursdays, there is also zumba.

My neighbour told me about the zumba classes here and I decided to join her and another au pair to try it out. I have zumba for the Wii back in Germany and I like it, so I figured – why not do some excercise. This was last Thursday. The class lasts one hour and god, it is intense! I was completely fix and foxy afterwards, feeling like jelly and desperately needing a shower (which I got of course, since it’s only a ten minute walk home). But it was also fun, I liked the different routines they were doing and apparently they do the same ones each week, so I might at some point actually know them and not stumble around doing everything a beat too late (it wasn’t that bad, but you get the idea). I didn’t even get sore muscles the next day. Yay! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do this every week, but I’ll try to do it as regularly as I can.

Over the week, I also applied for a few part-time jobs. Got to earn some money if I want to enjoy life here to the fullest! And one of the advertisers already replied and now I have an interview this week! Hopefully it will work out – I don’t really know what they pay or how many hours they’d expect me to do, but I’m sure I’ll find that out. Wish me luck!

Last Friday (which was the Day of German Unity by the way), I went out with some of the au pairs to go clubbing in Camden. It was the first time going to a club since I came here and it was a great night out! (I always love it when you don’t have to pay for getting into the club.) I think it was around 3 a.m. when I got home and went to sleep. We had started with a group of around 20 girls, but in the end we split up anyway, it’s just too much girl power there. 😀 The club we went to is called Ice Wharf, you should check it out if you’re in the area.

Well, I guess that’s it, folks! I’ll now enjoy my sunday watching series and listening to music and all that jazz. Hopefully, you’ll have an equally lovely day and stay tuned for the next post (which will probably come by the end of the week).

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Let’s do some orientation!

What’s up, people? Goodness, I’ve been busy these past few days. Orientation week has started and I am actually a little overwhelmed.

But let’s do this chronologically.

So basically, the first weekend in London was relatively quiet. I went up to High Street and found that nothing has changed much since I went away. Boots, Poundland, Tiger, all still there. Yay! Saturday evening, I went out with the au pair from next door and two of her friends – to one of the two pubs on High Street. We had a great time there (and later at the McDonalds because we got hungry for some reason) and I am glad to have joined them. I’m sure we’ll be doing it again!

Monday, I went to uni and got enrolled. Or rather, I had to practice queueing first. Approx. 2 hours of standing in line, but it was worth it for now I have my ID and can start signing up for student discounts and all those things. I also got a British SIM so that I can access mobile internet everywhere.

SO HAPPY, MUST TELL EVERYONE!!

While queueing, I met the first few international students, from Norway, China and Belgium. All very lovely people with interesting stories. We met again the next day for the continuous introduction speeches at one of the big lecture theatres. Tuesday afternoon we had a short guided tour around the area, which was a good opportunity to get to know the immediate surrounding (I never got to explore the area last year, what a shame! I missed out on so much!). We ended at ISH – short for International Student House, an institution where students from all over the world can come and join in many events and trips. On Tuesdays, there is always a pub quiz, and of course we all participated. I was in a group with seven girls and two boys and that evening was the starting point of what will hopefully become a great friendship. I named our group “snow white and the six blondes (+the guys)”, since we were all blonde except for one girl. By now, we have a whatsapp group and a facebook group by that name as well.

Our group by some miracle won the pub quiz (we are just that awesome!) – the prize was a voucher for a Welcome-to-London-Trip next Saturday for each of us. Which is pretty awesome cause now I get to do some touristy stuff like seeing Buckingham Palace without paying extra! Would you have known how many cubicles are on the London Eye? Or where in London the Queen isn’t allowed to go? (I did :D) 

Wednesday wasn’t overly interesting regarding the presentations we had. We went to Regents Park for lunch, with a group of probably a dozen people, which was really nice. After we got off in the afternoon, I went with the Norwegian girl to the ISH to collect our tickets and sign up for the Travel Club Membership. With that, we can go on some trips for less money than is normally charged. If I have time, I’ll definitely do that!

The highlight of the International Student Orientation week was the boat trip on the Thames in the evening. Some of you might remember that I had that last year as well. But this year was infinitely better! The general atmosphere was awesome, everybody was friendly and ready to party and taking selfies with whoever was next to them. The music was pretty good as well and most of us were dancing at least half the time. By then, our pub quiz group had grown and we know have probably about twenty people in our loosely formed clique – from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, the US, France and god knows where else they are coming from. Most of them were getting pretty drunk on the boat, but it was all still ok and fun. Compared to that evening, the boat tour from last year seems incredibly dull. We have some plans to do culture cooking, so that we get together and taste the food from whichever countries we are from. And of course go to the pub quiz or karaoke or just clubbing and whatever else there is to do in London.

Today – Thursday – was the first day of postgrad orientation. So I finally met the people from my course (since nobody from the international orientation was on the same course as me). There are about ten or so of us, but there might be coming more next week. Mostly girls – actually just one guy so far, from Italy. We have three America girls, three Germans (counting me), a girl from Ecuador and another from India and some I didn’t get to talk to. We already have a facebook group as well and I think we’ll get along very well.

I was hugely surprised to find that a girl I did an internship with two years ago is with me on the same course. It was like “Hey, I know you from somewhere….right?” The world is just so small!  (I couldn’t resist the Disney…)

However, meeting all these people and getting loads of information is a lot to take in. This time around, I apparently have to register with a local PD, get a national insurance number to work part-time and god knows what else. My student oyster will be in the mail next week so hopefully the immense amount of money I’m throwing into public transport will go down a bit. There are also a few things to do concerning module registration and all that. I won’t have that many lectures during the week, but I can see a huge amount of essays piling up around New Year and then again in May. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyways, that’s the update for now. I don’t have any plans for Saturday yet, but on Sunday we’re going to Brighton with the Internationals, so that will be fantastic! Stay tuned!

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There and back again

My dear readers, I have embarked on a new adventure. Guess where I am – yet again!

London has called me back and I have followed that calling. It has been over a year since I left and I remember telling my lovely host mom and the neighbours that I would come back.

Well yes, I did. And I’m staying with them once again. Yay! https://i0.wp.com/www.fanboysoftheuniverse.com/images/uploads/Yay.jpg

The journey here was relatively eventless. Possibly because I have by now made the trip to London a few times and I no longer get overly excited by that. Everything went smoothly. The flight arrived only about ten minutes later than planned and I got my suitcase without waiting (I actually had to walk quite fast to catch it – otherwise it would have gone around the belt a second time!). The queue in front of the bus was longer than I had hoped but not as bad as last year when I first arrived (remember my very first post?).

At Golders Green I was challenged by the fact that it is indeed no longer possible to pay for your ticket on the bus. I actually had to get an Oyster card for that 20 minute trip, but oh well. I probably won’t get my student oyster card before next week, so now I’ll just use the normal one until then.

I made a quick stop at Waitrose to get something to drink and cereals for breakfast tomorrow – the Waitrose hasn’t changed a bit! I found everything in the same lanes as last year (or maybe they changed it inbetween but are now back to the old way? Who knows…)  https://i1.wp.com/media.tumblr.com/tumblr_macgdfyqFW1rwmb58.gif

At my new home I was greeted by my neighbours, since my host mom is on holidays. I was treated to a lovely dinner (lasagne and cake for desert!) and now I’m sitting in my room, the suitcase is empty and most stuff at the same place as last time I was here. There aren’t many changes around the house, the biggest and for me most tragic, however is: The flatscreen in my living room is gone! Imagine my face when I saw that: https://i2.wp.com/www.troll.me/images/sad-guy/why-just-why.jpg

 (Of course, I’m exaggerating. It would have been nice to have, but I’ll live without it.)

Well people, that’s it for today. Over the weekend, I’ll go on a few reconaissance missions around the area, see what has changed. On monday, uni starts with that whole orientation stuff (or in German, because I love the word: Gedöns.)

I’m pretty sure that will be exciting and I’ll tell you about it. So stay tuned! (And subscribe, if you haven’t done that by now…)

 

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We are “Weltmeister”!

I just want to celebrate with all of you: We finally made it and won the World Cup Finale!

 

A always believed in this incredible team of amazing players. Still can’t quite comprehend what happened! The German team is just full of talent: Neuer, Hummels, Müller, Lahm, Schweinsteiger… And of course also Mario Götze, who shot the decisive goal!

Great game and a lot of respect to Argentina for being the best opponent we could have faced!

Thanks to everybody who supported the German Team and let’s continue to play soccer with passion and fairness. 🙂

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