Oh yes, it feels sooo good to be bad occasionally! Living in the middle of a pedestrian street I unfortunately hear what’s going on outside. Whether it’s children howling, drunks shouting or teens being teens. (By the way, the clever city has decided it might be a good idea to install not only benches along the middle of the pedestrian street but also playground toys for the poor, bored little devils … I guess you can imagine the added noise day-in, day-out, night-in, night-out. Again, used by drunks and teens alike in the middle of the night or early morning …)

Anyway, a few days ago I had a chance to be really mean, kind of. Some teens were outside, right below my windows, playing awful crappy music on their cell phones. At 11 pm. So loud I could hear it through my closed windows. And I had a brilliant idea! I’ll just drown them out! So, I opened my window, put my fashionable loudspeaker outside on the window ledge and played a piece from Mozart. With full volume to overpower their measly cell phones. Just imagine, the sound of Mozart filling the silent pedestrian street underneath, having the neighbours take part and enjoy one of the greatest and most beautiful music ever. That they were surprised, is an understatement, but they finally got it and moved further down the road, away from my nightly peace. Oh, how I enjoyed my little stunt!

Or … writing a “nice” email to a burger chain, which uses the names of Austrian emperors Elisabeth (died 1898) and Franz Joseph (died 1916). Burgers! Sisi and Franzl certainly are turning in their coffins in the “Kaisergruft”. Austria with its wonderful food, influenced by its former cosmopolitanism, Hungarian, Czech, Yugoslavian, North Italian food – which were all part of the Austrian monarchy – and they use those great emperors for burgers! It’s a disgrace, it’s just too horrible to contemplate for an Austrian. As if I didn’t have to suffer enough by having to live in a country which drowns breaded schnitzels in horrible sauces. (Goosebump moments!) Not to mention other culinary disgraces …

Apart from writing Elisabeth’s nickname Sisi wrong (with two s), they also managed to invent a “Sisi” and an “Elisabeth” burger (how cleverly stupid) and divide Franz Joseph’s name to use for two burgers. Burger Franz and Burger Joseph. Their daughter Marie Valerie had to suffer the same fate. And eldest daughter Gisela? She was hidden away in the dessert section. Used as a New York cheesecake. Inconsistency also in the salad section … where salads were named after towns like Bad Ischl, Gödöllö and Budapest, others after islands like Korfu and Madeira, and two more for the palaces Miramar and the Achilleion on Korfu. With some research, they surely would have managed to find some more cities the Empress – because it was mostly the Empress who travelled far and away to get away from the strict Vienna Court – visited on her extensive travels. Boy, this really pisses me off big time … so, there I was “bad” again, venting my anger at the burger chain, how tasteless this choice as a name for a burger chain is … pointing out their many mistakes … and displaying my disgust. And rightly so!

So far, I haven’t received a reply to my “nice” email from the burger chain … but I do intend to visit their restaurant here in my “hometown” and put them in their place while probably ordering the “Otto burger” (grilled chicken, chili-cheese-sauce, pickles, burger sauce, bacon, lettuce, tomato and parmesan dressing) or the classic “Joseph burger” with BLT, cheddar and fried onions. Accompanied by “Pomm Süße Kaiserin” (sweet potato fries called “Sweet Empress Fries”) and a G&T to wash everything down and drown my sorrow.

I know, I know, it’s ridiculous to even think about something like that! But it’s also sooo much fun to especially put the high-and-mighty-Germans in their place occasionally … and frankly, it’s neither funny nor ingenious to name a burger joint – even if it’s supposed to be “high end” – after great historic personalities. It’s just bad taste. Very, very bad taste. Incredibly bad taste. And just disrespectful, plain and simple.

Or would anyone dare to use Shakespeare’s name for anything but a British Pub? Or Churchill? Or George Washington for a traditional American restaurant? Just imagine … “George Washington Pizza Place”, “Queen Mary of Scots Kebap stand”, “The Queen Elizabeth – Prince Philip Sushi Den” … just like “Sissi and Franz burger place” …

So, yeah, that’s part of me as well, to be a bitchy chick and let my surroundings know what I think of them … hell, at my age, I don’t have to bother anymore what anyone thinks of me. And I definitely don’t. Cheerio!



I’m such a creature of habit. It’s horrible! Every time I’m in London I plan to do something different … just to end up doing what I always do. Occasionally, at times when I’m there for more than two days I actually manage to get some sightseeing or plain relaxing done, doing something I haven’t done before. Or when I’m lucky enough to not be there on my own for a power shopping trip … I actually get to see something new.

But, when I’m on my own, it’s basically always the same. Staying at my cheap hotel very close to the Victoria Station … so close that if you’re lucky enough to have a room facing the back you will hear and feel every single train passing by. 

I usually start my shopping spree right there on my day of arrival and basically right after checking into my B&B style hotel – after all at the station you’ve got Dorothy Perkins, Ann Summers, Whittard, WH Smith and Boots there. Less stuff to carry back from Oxford Street. And, of course I take the opportunity to already get a ticket for one of the next evenings to see the latest musical at the Victoria Theater.

The first full day is devoted to shopping – what else!? Starting as early as possible to enter the first store as soon as it opens. Oxford Circus is one of my favourite haunts with all my favourite shops and department stores in one place. Would you believe me if I told you that I’m running up and down this street all day without rest? No lunch or coffee break required. Oh no! I don’t have time for that! I’m way too busy checking out everything and not breaking down from the weight of my bags. The way back to the hotel is hell, though. I especially loathe to change at Green Park station. Why? Because the way to the Victoria Line seems endless! Bone tired I just take a last stop at Sainsbury’s to get sandwiches, cake, crisps, juice or whatever else I fancy for my evening in front of the TV with my feet stretched out, unable to move another inch.

Day 2: after the usual excellent breakfast consisting of cornflakes, tea and toasted bread with preserves, my second day can start way more relaxed with main shopping done! Covent Garden is a must as well as having burgers at the Hard Rock Café – the first and original one. Every time again. And every time again they remind me that their ice tea is real tea without sugar. With me rolling my eyes and sighing, “I know!” Apart from that? Some strolling around, maybe along the Thames, go to Camden Market or Portobello Market, sitting at Starbucks writing, enjoying London. Maybe buying the one or other small item like food to take with me back home, but other than that? Just me being where I love to be. My London. One of my most favourite cities. Soon, soon, I’ll be back! Coming home!


Sometimes it’s hard to find those moments, those happy moments during those tough Corona times. Even though we’re finally on the way to beating it back through vaccinations. And the more people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the better. The numbers are slowly going down but we’re still not quite there. Here in Germany, we’ve just started with group 3, the above 60-year-olds (apart from other risk groups). So, being in my mid 40s it will take another … couple of months? … to be among the lucky vaccinated ones. At least I’m already on my MD’s list … and then I hope some kind of normalcy will return to my life. Like shopping and beauty appointments without testing and appointments, having my coffeeshop Saturdays, taking trips, going out with friends, MEETING friends, …

Still, most of the time I’m quite happy. I try to make my life a happy one. To find pleasure in the little everyday things.

  1. My Amazon deliveries: every single one! (Mostly books, as you know by now!) Every time I receive my parcel it’s like birthday and Christmas together … 
  2. My books! Many, many happy moments with my darling books! Expanding my library and having plenty of unread books in store to choose from. It’s like my own little bookstore, with currently 62 books to pick the next one. My great pleasure apart from reading each and every book? Putting them in their right places, either according to colour, series or – reserved for my Austrian books only – the special shelves in my living room. Just looking at my books makes me happy.
  3. The latest speciality burger from McDonald’s or Burger King! Restaurants are still closed … so, whenever I see a new special burger I just have to have it. Recently, it was the Asparagus Sauce Hollandaise Burger. Quite an adventure to devour. I made quite a mess … luckily no one could see me at home!
  4. My balcony garden! Spring is here, my favourite time of the year! Giving me most happy moments! The happiness I feel by making my balcony spring ready, cleaning the furniture, hoovering the grass carpet, planting flowers and veggies. Especially this year, with barely a shop open or testing necessary, it was an exciting and wonderful trip to the garden centre to get soil and plants. For the first time ever I’m also trying my hand on growing potatoes and green beans in planting bags on my balcony. The pleasure when the first sprouts appear.
  5. My balcony … and every single minute I can spend outside in the sun! (Until it’s too hot …) But now it’s just perfect! A cool wind, the sun shining down on me, sometimes so hot I have to use sunscreen and open the umbrella. I love having breakfast outside, when everything is still quiet apart from the birds singing and the sun is just around the corner. I love reading outside, enjoying a glass of iced coffee. Or using my electric BBQ grill on weekends. 
  6. Cooking! Yes, trying a new recipe on the weekends is among my happy moments too! Together with the preparation – starting with choosing the recipe, writing the shopping list, buying the groceries … and looking forward to devouring the new dish. 
  7. Special DVDs evening! I have started to also expand my DVD library with Austrian cabaret and theatre DVDs. Saturdays I then usually enjoy one of those, accompanied with a small glass of egg liquor. After all, it’s special! What I’m going to do when I’ve watched those? I will go back to old classic movie nights to enjoy Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, the Carry on crew or just my favourite series …
  8. Tea or coffee time: especially on weekends I enjoy a slice of cake with Earl Grey – nicely prepared in a tea pot – or Latte Macchiato to go with it. A simple, small “everyday” pleasure which nevertheless makes me happy.
  9. Last but not least whenever my friend has time to stop by for half an hour or hour … very happy moments!
  10. Aaand … whenever my cat makes me laugh. Which is daily, thankfully. Just by being there, interrupting my home office days by bringing me his toy mouse – complaining loudly – to urge me to play with him for a couple of minutes. Or wanting food. Or …

What are your happy moments during those times? Wishing you lots of them! XXX, MJ


You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? You have those days as well. Those days where everything seems to go wrong and the tiniest thing annoys you and makes you mad as hell, swearing like a banshee, throwing everyone crossing your path the evil look. And mostly it’s the small everyday occurrences that annoy so much, don’t they? Even though they are not even worth mentioning, let alone getting annoyed in times like these with so many suffering … but you also just can’t help it.

I had one of THOSE days recently. It started out not so badly, actually. Like any other home office day with having Earl Grey at my desk – and no, nothing happened, I didn’t spill the hot liquid and short-circuited my laptop and didn’t drop my precious Demmers Teehaus cup (only to be used for Earl Grey) I inherited from my Mum. My crappy day started late morning with the delivery of my long anticipated small table I had ordered for my balcony. And for the sole purpose to put my electric grill on for summer BBQ. Well, it was wrapped tightly, sealed in its original plastic wrap … and still arrived damaged, with a broken hinge and therefore unusable. Great, just great! I already saw myself lugging the bulky piece to the nearest post office to mail it back at my expense to receive a new one …

Mood sinking, the next annoyance came in form of an email. From Austria. From my Austrian bank, regarding information on my taxes in Germany. Of course, they wanted me to fill out a form, sign it and mail it back together with a copy of my German proof of residence. Mail, as in real mail. No email. So, printing everything and searching for a fitting envelope to stuff the papers in. Since I like to get the annoying things done immediately, I decided to take an office break at 1:45 pm and head to the post office, a 10-minute-walk away from my apartment. And guess what? It was closed! CLOSED! Lunch break until 2:30 pm. Can you believe it? Every shop is open through noon, but the post office is closed!? Bloody post office! I was hopping mad and swearing loudly as I made my way back home with a little detour. Waiting for 30 minutes was not an option since my next teams meeting was waiting.

Next stop – basically to calm my nerves and at least get the weekly grocery shopping done – my favourite discount grocery store. Treating myself to green asparagus for the weekend, chicken, blueberries, yogurt and Snickers ice cream bars (50 cents off from the original price was just too good an offer to pass up). And guess what? There was only one cash desk open and the queue endless. Of course! Of course, this had to happen. Of course, everyone had to go grocery shopping at exactly the same time I was out and about. I was actually considering putting the ice cream back – worrying it might melt before I even reached the end of the line to pay. Impatiently, I counted the minutes and hoped at least the ones before me wouldn’t be of the annoying customer kind who tend to count out the single coins from their wallets …

Finally, having paid and stuffed everything into my tote bag I hurried home … just to discover, that the large yogurt container had split open, spilling its contents lovingly over my asparagus. The rest covered my letter, which I wasn’t able to mail because the post office was on LUNCH BREAK AND CLOSED! Of course, the papers in my letter were soggy as well and I had to print and copy everything again and use the last A6 size envelope I could dig out of my office supplies.

I returned to work, with a cup of chocolate vanilla cappuccino to enjoy its hot sweetness and tried not to bitch too much at my colleagues, when they dared calling me via MS Teams.

You think my annoying day was over? Nooo, stupid as I am, I headed back to the post office to finally post the letter and scratch another “To Do” item off my list. And nearly jumped at the post-office-guy-who-thinks-he-is-so-funny when he announced I had to pay 3,70€ for a measly letter to Austria. As I was laughing out sarcastically, he meant, I should have used a smaller envelope, then it would only have been 1,70€. And that at least the receipt – which I always request everywhere – is free of charge. Boy, if I weren’t so well-mannered … 

The German post office in general is a red flag for me. Don’t get me started … not to mention, that my general mood as soon as I step one foot outside my apartment usually is in the dumps nowadays. I hate those bloody medicinal masks I have to put on as soon as going outside (the disadvantage of living in a pedestrian street). I didn’t much care about the cloth masks, they fit snuggly under my glasses and didn’t fog them. But those light blue medicinal masks which the ridiculous German politicians decided we have to wear from now on with their piece of wire inside … they never fit and I’m running around not seeing anything. I hate them so much I barely leave my apartment to avoid this ordeal. Hoping that soon I too will be vaccinated and some kind of normalcy will come back into my life.

Well, apart from that … most days are happy days. I try to make them happy days by enjoying the little things. A new book, sitting outside on the balcony in the sun with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, reading (of course), having DVD theatre nights, cooking something special on weekends, chatting with friends on the phone … and planning the post-Corona-vaccinated-and-travelling-again-time. So, don’t worry about YOUR crappy days, they will pass … and the next day will look bright again!

By the way, my little side table for the balcony was replaced immediately and I could trash the damaged one. And clever me discovered a way to make those bloody blue masks fit better … I just remove the wire now … (why didn’t I think of that before?) As for my issue with the German post office and it’s officials … they will remain an annoyance for me forever!