Summer is over

Fall. It’s here. It’s finally here. After an incredibly hot and dry summer, followed by beautiful sunny and warm September and October days, fall is finally here. With drizzling rain, falling leaves and the sense that Christmas is near. So near that even I dare to buy gingerbread cookies, marchpane and spiced biscuits again. Heroically running past the shelves having been stocked in early September for the hardcore Christmas lovers.

I like fall. I like the changing colours of the trees. The first time switching on the heating. Taking hot baths again. (After all who needs a hot bath at 30°C outside temperature? I had to buy minty bathing salts for cold baths just to get my regular bathtub fix!) Tea times on Sunday afternoon. Cuddling up beneath one of my cuddly blankets, surrounded by burning candles. Reading. Real books, not digital ones. Enjoying being home, protected from the awful rainy and foggy weather. And the smell. Every season smells differently. Fresh and green in spring, dry and haylike in summer, warm and woody in fall and crisp and clean in winter.

Thinking back – yeah, I know, I tend to do that occasionally – I realize that there are places I prefer visiting at certain times of the year. Venice … I would only go there in fall, late fall. Without the masses of tourists covering the whole Piazza San Marco being crapped at by doves and led around by guides with colourful umbrellas. I don’t even mind rain and fog. It just adds to the atmosphere. Austria … I prefer in winter for skiing or late spring. Even though it doesn’t really matter when I go. After all Austria is not exactly a vacation destination. More like going home. And as long as I get to eat Wiener Schnitzel every day and have one of my supermarkets in the close vicinity to stock up on my favourite groceries, I’m ok. England? Any time! Of course, what are you thinking? I was there in all four seasons and was never disappointed. I had the one or other rainy day, which – to be honest – is not much different than here in Germany. Remembering the summer of 2017 I bet we had more rain in summer than all of England. So much for the misconception that it’s always raining in England.

Do I miss summer? No, not really. I don’t like the heat and too much sun and my friends are constantly laughing about me when I tell them about my closed off apartment, having the shutters down, living in the dark to avoid the summer heat. I do like going to the ice cream parlour, though, and barbecuing on the balcony. And, believe it or not, I managed to go swimming in a nearby lake after work with my dearly beloved. For the first time in many, many years I was swimming in a lake again. And I enjoyed it incredibly, this rare treat. But apart from that? Nope! Fall is here and it’s a great season all on its own. Hope you can enjoy it too! XXX

(Pics courtesy of a very dear friend)


Declutter your life


As you already know I’m a big fan of magazines. Especially interior decorating magazines. And if I could I would stack them in one of my Ikea Kallax shelves to always have them on display and be able to take them out and thumb through them whenever I want to. Unfortunately, having my favorites like “Ideal Home”, “Homes and Gardens”, “House Beautiful” etc sent from the UK to Germany is not the cheapest option. (And that’s an understatement!) So, in the times of digital media I too have gone paperless … yeah, poor me! Since magazine stacks look just terrific and can always be seen in the most stylish apartments. Just like the Kitchenaid stand mixer, part of every single kitchen displayed in every single magazine … and of course I want one of those! In black! But only for decoration (after all baking is not my thing).

Why am I telling you this? I don’t have a single clue! Since I could have started my article simply by saying, “I’m decluttering my life!” Having read an impressive article in one of my mags regarding this topic. And you are wondering, why in the hell I would consider doing this? Being fortunate enough to reside in a 100sqm plus apartment – on my own? Having space and space and space … plenty of space. Space enough to have a large Pax wardrobe just for organizational plastic drawer boxes for my cleaning and household supplies. Not to mention a chest of drawers and special plastic boxes in the bathroom, where shampoos, shower gels, moisturizers and antitranspirants, soaps, hair styling equipment, bathroom accessories (various colours of course to exchange together with my towels when it’s time), tooth brushes, tooth pastes each have their own drawer. Crazy? My boyfriend thinks so too. But I LOVE it. I just love it. I love to have not only one tooth brush in reserve but about a dozen. My very own personal shopping paradise in my own home. Never running out of stuff. Cause what’s the point when you are already at the drugstore to just get one spare set of brushes or one tube of tooth paste? Just to have to think of buying another one a couple of weeks later. What a waste of brain capacity and time. Better get half a dozen and you’re done for the next months. Way more efficient! (Of course, the one or other person in my life sees it quite differently!)

Shoes, clothes, handbags, books, candles, … I have everything in abundance. And, believe it or not, but my apartment is still not that cluttered with still lots of free space available. Then … why am I even considering “decluttering”? Because it also feels good getting rid of things. Some kind of freedom. It’s hard to describe. Like unloading There’s stuff I would never give away. But then there are other things one has to part from. It’s a process. Ongoing and never finished. And not easy at times. Considering very carefully what I can and can’t live with … and deciding what to just throw away, what to donate and what to sell. My “decluttering” reward? The thought of making other people happy in the hope they will appreciate the things that had made me happy for a period of time. So, I guess I will keep decluttering my life and maybe you should too!

Dancing Queen


I am the dancing queen, na nana na nanana na nana. Oh yeah, groovy … nope, this is neither an article about ABBA nor about the second part of Mamma Mia! It’s about me! ME ME ME! Hitting the dance floor again! After many, many years! (And with “many” I mean 20 plus … ohhh, that does sound depressing, doesn’t it?) My silver star badge is totally worthless now, of course … the only couple of dances I halfway remember how to dance are the waltz and the foxtrot. Or at least I thought so!

For the first dancing lesson, I excitedly chose a black swing dress – there’s just something about the way a skirt moves while dancing – and black high heels. Weeeell, I was seriously overdressed. Being the only one wearing something resembling a feminine outfit, not to mention shoes that were anything but … boring. Sneakers for standard dances? Jeans? Slouchy T-shirts? Euw! A total no-go! I do kind of miss the old times where one dressed up and appropriately for the various occasions. Like going to the theatre or nice dinner or afternoon tea. Usually I wouldn’t be caught dead in jeans there – except in the direst circumstances … have I told you that I particularly bought a new dress for afternoon tea at “Betty’s” in Harrogate? No? Well, I did! Yeah, I know! That does so not surprise you now!

Darn, how do I manage to always get distracted from the topic at hand? Annoying, isn’t it? So, back to my first dancing lesson in over 20 years. After the first insecurities and getting used to my boyfriend as a dancing partner, it went better than anticipated. I only managed to step onto his toes a dozen times, tried to lead for a dozen more and stayed in step more often than not. Slowly, it all came back to me and my feet soon moved more automatically without too much thinking and that made all the difference in enjoying this “new” experience. I remembered more than I had thought and I especially enjoyed the Viennese waltz, even though the music was more modern and not the “Danube waltz” as I would have wished for to float across the dance floor to.

The Jive and Cha Cha Cha were funny as usual, Discofox is still not quite my thing, the foxtrot in a decent speed much more and the Rhumba I just don’t get rhythmically. Which I never did and probably never will.

After one and a half hours of dancing my feet were dead. Literally. (Stupid me, having to wear high heels … but they looked sooo nice!) I could hardly walk, every step hurt like hell and my boyfriend had to drag me back to the car, laughing a little sardonically in a loving way and laughing even more when I got out of my beautiful heels, limping up the steps to the apartment a few minutes later in my bare stockinged feet.

My résumé? (Apart from maybe choosing less high heeled shoes for the next lesson!?) Fun. Happiness. Floating across the dance floor again. And looking forward to the next dancing lessons!

He’s got a cold


Help! HELP! My boyfriend is seriously ill! (At least he thinks so!) He’s got a cold! And just because of a little sneezing and coughing and slightly increased temperature he thinks he is going to die.

Everything started about a week ago when he came home from one of his guys-days-out, complaining about a headache! (Which I dared to mention might be due to too much beer!) Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for this one week ordeal! Being the good girlfriend I spoiled him by getting him some aspirin and orange juice! Oh boy! THAT was a big mistake! For the whole weekend – of course it had to be a long one with a couple of free days – I had to play private nurse, jumping whenever my lord and master called for me. “Honey, Babe and Baby” have become the worst words. All I did was making tea, carrying tissue boxes wherever he decided to rest and fulfil his breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack wishes … of course I had to cook exactly what HIS mother used to cook when he was sick as a child – starting with honey on toasted bread (crust removed), followed by mashed banana with cinnamon and sugar as a late morning snack, chicken soup for lunch (from scratch of course), in the afternoon he wanted vanilla pudding (the real deal) with raspberry syrup and for dinner meat loaf with mashed potatoes (every single day).

Apart from being his very own personal cook and maid I had to read him the daily newspaper from front to back because “the light hurts my eyes / the small script is giving me a headache / I must not exhaust myself”.

Time for getting a manicure? Taking a relaxing bath? Washing my hair? Having some time for myself? Forget about it! I look like a scarecrow – or at least how the girls from “Lost” should have looked like if they had actually stranded on a deserted island without makeup and stuff. (Yeah, I know, you probably don’t even remember the TV series “Lost” … it’s all I could think of at the spur of the moment … maybe should have found a comparison to “The Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones”)

Gee, who would think our strong guys could be such whoozies! I mean, come on! A cold! A common cold! Not even a real flue! Just a cold! While our guys less than silently suffer at home, lying around, being a pain in the … and assuring us and themselves they’re certainly going to die soon, us girls still go to work, take care of everything and please our better halves with steamy sex. If they had to go through our monthly menstruation routine, they would be completely useless for at least two thirds of the month!

Anyway, after this long, very long weekend he’s as good as new! And I need a vacation! Far, far away!!!

(Alright, alright, I admit it! I used the literary device of exaggeration more than usual … actually, the guys in my life are tough, still going to work when they definitely should stay home … however, I just couldn’t resist … and had lots of fun writing this piece …)