The British in me


You knew this would be coming, didn’t you? But don’t be disappointed that I’m only referring to the British in me in this posting. There will be another coming up where the American in me will come forward. Because … I’m kind of a mixture of everything. Born and raised in Austria my love for everything “English” started to develop quite early. Despite a really horrible experience at school in the form of awful teachers up until the last four years, where I totally lucked out with a great and inspiring English teacher. Thanks to the vacations with my parents I also never had trouble actually using foreign languages, no matter how much or little I knew in those times. And I admired my father greatly, who spoke French fluently (thanks to his school education) as well as English and Italian, thrown in with some Spanish and Czech. All of those other languages he learned by himself on business trips and I guess my love for languages is something I inherited from him. But that’s not the real topic here, is it? You want to know why I consider myself as part British, even though my family tree reaching back to the 18thcentury doesn’t show anyone resembling having lived on the British isle. Or in one of its colonies.

  • My car: yes, I’m living in a country where the “best” cars are being manufactured. And what do I do? Buy a British one! My lovely Range Rover Evoque! And let me just say, every time I drive it and pass a VW, Audi, BMW, Opel or Mercedes I’m proud to not being one of the masses! And I never will be … (hope I’m not thrown out of the country now for not driving a German car!) Oh, and have I mentioned that even my navigational system is talking to me in English only? Even though, I haven’t decided yet whether I prefer British or American English. So, I just switch between those two … guess the sensible thing would be British, right? After all it’s a British car. Oh … how difficult to choose between my two navi guys.
  • My books: it’s sad. It’s really sad. If it’s not an English book store I can’t be tempted at all … everything I read in my private life is English. Luckily, we’re living in times now where I can just download the latest British mysteries for my Kindle …
  • My entertainment – at least part of it, since I dutifully divide my attention between British and American: which is sad part II. Movie theatres? Hardly go to the movies cause synchronized movies are just awful. I prefer the original. So, sad old me has to buy DVDs, if I want to see the movie. Latest TV series? Same game. Not to mention that lots of really awesome BBC series don’t even make it to Germany. And since my TV set is not up to all the new stuff like internet and streaming yet. (Even though one of my colleagues constantly tries to convince me to move into the new technology age on that!) Sad part III? All those great British magazines I need to download to be up to date in terms of gossip, cooking, history, country life, travelling and interior decorating.
  • My tea: favourite brand – M&S Earl Grey. Just opening one of those packages, with the bergamot infused tea bags is pure bliss. Preferably to be enjoyed on a lazy Sunday afternoon in real tea time fashion. (Apart from the loose leaves!) But I do pre-warm my china teapot, then put the tea bags in to develop the aroma before adding the hot water. One teaspoon of sugar in my cup and … enjoy! And I never forget what my aunt Do once told me, “Never stir more often than three times, don’t tap your spoon on the cup, don’t lick it, just carefully put it next to your cup! And always take up your cup with the saucer, taking one sip at a time!” Gosh, I miss her so much!
  • My toiletries: since the first time I entered “The Body Shop” I was hooked and it has led to a lifelong obsession. Wherever I see one I have to go in … which can be quite exhausting in a city like London where the density of Body Shops is still large. I can’t help myself. I love the smell, the products. And I’ve tried them all – Strawberry, Shea, Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit, Moringa, Virgin Mojito, Frosted plum, Vineyard peach, White musk, … and whenever there’s something new … guess who will have to get it as quickly as possible!?
  • My groceries I can’t live without: SPAM, Ovaltine Just add water, Horlicks Malted Drink, tea biscuits, scones, baked beans, …
  • My office breakfast: porridge! Earning a disgusted “Euw” from my colleagues whenever I prepare my oats with hot water, seasoned with raisins and honey. It’s funny, though, that porridge has made its way across the channel and is now fashionably available here in Germany too.
  • My paleness: sun is evil! Evil, evil, evil! Not going out without an SPF 50 sunblock, protected by my sun hat at times and my sun glasses, of course!
  • My vacations: well, I’m cosmopolitan of course. However, London is one of my favourite cities, feeling quite at home there. Definitely need to get back there soon for some power shopping!

Oops, bit much today! I could go on for at least double of that, but I guess you would be totally annoyed with me and stop reading. So I’ll just keep some of my British to me … and might continue another time!



I love to hate tennis


A few years back I decided it would be time to start doing something for my fitness again. And I was thinking very hard which kinds of sports would suit me. Cause, let’s face it, apart from power shopping – which I can do endlessly, from early morning till late afternoon without a single break – I’m not the most sportive person. (And that’s an understatement!) So, I was thinking back to my childhood, being lucky enough to grow up in a place where a 15-minute-drive would take us to the mountains for skiing in winter and lakes for swimming in summer. I also played basketball, did ice skating, played tennis, did some jogging and biking, inline skating, tried squash and cross-country skiing (which I never got the hang of, by the way).

I loved skiing … but living in a part of Germany where the highest hill is 174.4 m above sea level … well, you do the math. The non-existence of snow might be another obstacle, though! So, skiing was out and only an option for winter vacation.

Skating in an indoor ice rink, going in circles and circles and circles? Hell no. I’m used to skating on frozen lakes, endless smooth ice, crisp air and mountains all around you. So, I had to scratch that too. Swimming? Yes to swimming in lakes and the sea … no to indoor swimming pools with kids jumping onto your head and little ones using it as a quick relief, too busy to go to the bathroom. Lakes are kind of scarce here too. So, another thing to scratch off my list.

Running around? Too exhausting. And I wouldn’t even know where to run since I still haven’t managed to explore the surrounding area where I live more extensively. And driving somewhere to run … that just doesn’t make sense to me. Since in my running days I basically just had to cross the street to run on secluded forest paths. So … another thing I decided was not for me.

Biking? Huh, that’s a definite option. Cause I hated it in Austria with all those hills and mountains. I prefer the cruising around in level country. Which is exactly where I live now. Flats, flats, flats. Now I just need to have the time to actually buy a bike …

Since you are not stupid and have read the title you already know what I chose: tennis, tennis, tennis! The advantage? I still had a racket – 20+ years old and my trainer was cursing it up and down cause he had to restring it which was a hellish job for him – and didn’t have to invest in anything. Cropped leggings, T-Shirt and my old tennis Reeboks and off I went to get back into it. Everyone I was and am playing with – including my trainer, who is just shaking his head in resignation – by now knows that A) I don’t want to play a double and matches, B) I don’t want to count, C) I don’t care about rules. All I want is to play and it doesn’t matter whether the tennis ball is bouncing around twice or three times or lands far out of the court. I just want to play once or twice a week, no pressure, no competition, just fun. Luckily, I found someone to play with who doesn’t care either and plays after my rules with no rules. And that’s really rare, looking at the other tennis players at my club. (Otherwise my trainer would be stuck with me forever and he has to suffer enough with my crappy backhand!)

Well, so much for my extremely busy sportive life … guess I should get back to some more power shopping too, don’t you think?


IMG_3966I have to! I have, I have, I have to! I can’t not write about him! I tried to keep my fingers still for more than a year! But I just can’t keep silent about him anymore! I don’t like this guy! I really don’t! I never did! Just looking at his pouty face and childish behaviour gives me the creeps because I’m so disgusted.

My first impression long, long before he became “POTUS”? No style, no manners, no respect towards other people. And every single day, again and again, he proves my initial impressions right. I love to be in the US, but right now? I wouldn’t set one foot there voluntarily because of HIM. Spoiling every joy and love I have for this country. Just imagining him and his awful family residing in the White House … makes me want to puke. And I bet George Washington is turning in his grave … and every other president after him.

Trump claims to have a higher IQ than anyone else? Yeah, right! Because only intelligent people would

1.)  Get out of climate deals because climate change doesn’t exist. How stupid of all those scientists. And all those extreme weather situations and natural catastrophes … they can’t be that bad either, right? What’s a little rain, hurricane, drought, fire, mud slide and snow? Could be much worse! It’s only bad if you can’t go there in high heels anymore! Isn’t that right, FLOTUS?

2.)  Alienate every single country. Not just those leaders who are already crazy on their own. All the other leaders who could once have been called allies as well have to deal with someone like him.

3.)  Wreak havoc all around the world as well as back home, on the verge of starting the one or other war, nuclear or economic, due to incredibly intelligent Twitter messages sent in the middle of the night from the presidential … throne.

4.)  Impoverish his people even more by cutting taxes for the rich, eliminating food stamps, cutting health care services and everything else that might help those who are struggling with two jobs to survive.

5.)  Disrespect everything and everyone! Women particularly. Then come journalists and everyone who might be in his way! Fake news? Please! The only one making fake news and lying his head off is Trump himself!

6.)  Manage to act so ridiculously unpredictable without any real knowledge of politics and the world news that no one is taking him seriously anymore anyway!

Well done, Mr. President! You certainly are making history! As the worst president of all times who has ever graced the White House! Trump! One word! As bad as it can get! This will be your legacy!

I am an old soul

I can hear you saying, „Please, don’t tell me you believe in reincarnation. That’s just plain stupid!”

Well, I do, kind of, but that’s another story. Although, now that you mention it, considering the fact that I’m the world’s greatest vintage and antiques lover I can’t deny the thought of having lived before – in other centuries and decades. Maybe I died young and couldn’t fully enjoy ancient Rome, the 18th, 19thcentury, the roaring 20s or the bombshell 50s.

And now I have the gruelling task of buying every single vintage gown available on the planet. With the space in my closets dwindling away, there probably can’t be any more vintage clothes around. Wrong! There are! And I’m constantly on the hunt. The internet has become my best friend and my favourite online stores already know me by name …

If you believe it or not but I do think about the reasons for my “old stuff” fascination. What could have influenced me? Or am I just crazy? Plain and simple? Thinking back to my childhood I guess everything started with one movie. I don’t know how much you know about Austrian history but until 1918 Austria had an emperor. The most important one Franz Josef until 1916 – his successor was insignificant, so I won’t even mention him – and his wife empress Elisabeth (Sisi), who was murdered in Geneva in 1898. A movie made in the 60s portraying the early and romanticized couple got me hooked immediately as a little girl. Those beautiful crinoline gowns – gosh, I wish I could go back in time and live there for some time … I even used to “make” my own crinoline dress using a hula hoop (every household had a hula hoop in the 80s), two pieces of string and a long wide blue-green-white checkered peasant skirt from my sister.

That my parents took me to Vienna to see the Schönbrunn Castle, where the emperor and empress had lived most of the time, and their hunting lodge in Bad Ischl, and the castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau of the empress’ crazy cousin King Ludwig II of Bavaria … well, that didn’t really help getting me off the hook when it came to everything that happened in the past centuries.

(Don’t even get me started on how much I love to listen to old stories from the 30s and 40s …)

Consequently, I even bored my classmates by holding presentations about my favourite Austrian empress.

So, that’s how it started and has become an obsession of mine over the years. But I’m not just a vintage clothes collector. On occasion, I also wear my vintage clothes, buy vintage style clothes like simple shift dresses, pencil skirts, dresses with flaring skirts and try to add some classic 50s or 60s style to my office outfits. Rest assured that if I took a trip on the Orient Express I’d be totally in 20s/30s style and Capri represents the 50s and 60s era … will keep you posted as soon as I manage to do these planned trips! Greetings from the old soul!!!