Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


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Hoepfner Burgfest 2014

Every year over the Pentecost weekend, one of Karlsruhe’s local breweries has its beer festival. There are live bands, tasty things to eat, face painting and activities for children and, of course beer. Those of you who speak German and were paying attention will probably have noticed that little word “Burg” in the title… meaning castle. There is no actual castle involved, but Hoepfner’s building is made to look like one, earning it the name “Hoepfner Burg” – Hoepfner Castle… so naturally the annual event had to be the Burgfest, or castle festival. The Burgfest has been going since 1983, which makes it as old as me! (Actually a few months older since I was born after Pentecost). It starts on the Friday evening and runs until 8 p.m. on Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday). During that time various bands perform live both in the tent in the top courtyard and on the big stage down in the bottom courtyard. A lot of the bands are the same every year, but there are usually a couple of new ones.

This year, we decided to skip Friday and Saturday (I don’t think I’ve ever been to Burgfest on a Friday). There was a band called “Acoustic Rock Night” performing on Sunday afternoon that sounded interesting, so Jan, K and I took ourselves along for that. A friend of ours who was away from Karlsruhe the weekend of the festival had two beer tokens which he gave to Jan and I, so my first drink was a beer. I chose the Hoepfner Schwarz-Gold (Black-Gold), which is a dark beer. After that I switched to Weißweinschorle (white wine spritzer) and then had two glasses of Erdbeerbowle (strawberry punch). The band was good, but sadly the sound in the tent wasn’t brilliant so most of the time you couldn’t even hear the backing singers! Here are some photos from Sunday afternoon:

It was about 36°C that day and there was no breeze whatsoever so we were all boiling! I bought bottle of water that I drank about half of, using the other half to wet my face, neck and wrists for some momentary relief from the relentless heat! (I had actually brought a bottle of tap water along with me but I had to down that at the entrance. No drinks at all were allowed in!). Towards evening we decided to eat something and I felt like I was going to pass out while queuing for my food with all the ovens and grills blasting at me from behind the stalls. I’ve no idea how the people working there coped! After Acoustic Rock Night, another band came on… I think they were called the Moonlighters? They were okay, but we decided to move down to the bottom courtyard anyway as by that time another friend had turned up who wanted to see the band performing down there. Me and the Heat. K decided to leave at that point as it was still way too hot and she had a headache. Jan and I stayed for a few Me and the Heat songs, but left after having one more drink each. I’m not a huge fan of Me and the Heat, really. Technically (musically) they’re very good, but I don’t like most of the songs they do and they seem very uninterested in the audience somehow.

The next day, Monday, we headed down to see the final act of the Burgfest. The Sean Treacy Band is well known in Karlsruhe… If there’s a festival of any sort, they will almost always appear on the program! And they always close the Hoepfner Burgfest. This time, there was a surprise special guest performing alongside them. Fish, formerly of the band Marillion, was performing in a charity concert with them the following day and had popped along for a quick trial run before the main event. It was a great performance and a nice end to the long weekend.


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Friday Letters & Daily Diaries: 5–11 April 2014

Work-wise, this week has been just as full as the two before it, but somehow it’s still managed to go by quickly – probably because of all the deadlines! I’ve spent a lot of time worrying that I wasn’t going to get things finished when I was meant to, but somehow everything was ready by it’s due date. Go me! Anyway, have some letters and some more detail about my week. Apologies for the huge blocks of text without photos – I’m typing this from work, so I only have access to those that are already uploaded.postbox

Dear temperature. How am I supposed to know what to wear when it’s 7°C in the morning and 22°C by the time I leave work? Sort it out!

Dear large groups of women on trains. You have your reserved seats, so please just sit in them and let the rest of us pass, instead of standing next to your seats clucking away!

Dear Easter. This time next week, you will be here! (Well, Good Friday will be). I’m sooo looking forward to my four-day weekend.

Dear stomach. I’m not sure whether the doctor’s pills are working or you would have got better now anyway, but I must say I’m thoroughly enjoying actually being hungry again!

And now for the week that was…

The weekend. As I mentioned in last week’s Friday letters, I wanted a fairly relaxing weekend after the stress of the week before, so on Saturday I actually slept in til 11 a.m! I then had a cup of tea and did some cross stitch before jumping in the shower and then heading out to do some shopping – I purposely decided not to watch the Newcastle United match and I’m very glad I didn’! When I came home, Jan and I made tea together (pumpkin and pasta) then watched an episode of Farscape before heading to bed, where we read aloud to each other from Terry Pratchett’s Snuff.
There was an Easter market going on in Karlsruhe at the weekend, so on Sunday we decided to go and have a look at it. As it turned out, there wasn’t much there… mostly food stands. It claimed to be an “Easter and Gastronomy Market”, but most of the stalls were just from local cafés or the sausage/langos/crepe vans that are at every single event in Karlsruhe ever. However, it was also a verkaufsoffener Sonntag (a Sunday on which the shops are open – towns are only allowed to do this about twice a year!), so we headed to T.K. Maxx because Jan had never been. I managed to get a wooden letter holder thingy, so it worked out pretty well. Instead of going straight home, we stopped off at Bratar for yummy burgers – at this point my stomach was actually feeling fine! Then, back at home, I made practice Easter nests just to make sure I still remembered how (I’ll be making more this weekend for my colleagues). I ate precisely one Easter nest, but by bedtime my stomach felt uncomfortably full and bloated, although not sore. Gah!

Monday. I woke up feeling okay, but by the time I arrived at work my stomach was blown up like a balloon (I honestly looked pregnant!) and I had no appetite. It was 11 o’clock by the time the bloating went down and I could actually eat my yoghurt. By 1:30 p.m., I was slightly hungry but afraid to eat what I’d brought with me (it was curry), so lunch ended up being three rice crackers. I also had a sensation of acid in my throat all afternoon, which wasn’t fun! I had promised Jan toad in the hole for tea, and by the time it was cooked I’d managed to get rid of the acid and feld quite hungry. I only managed a small portion though. Apart from cooking, all I did on Monday night was watch an episode of E.R and wash the dishes.

Tuesday.  The acid reflux and bloating were back when I woke up, so I decided it was time for a trip to the doctor.  I informed my colleagues that I would be working from home and called the docs for an appointment (Jan wouldn’t do it for me and I still have no idea what the receptionist actually wrote in the appointments book – I highly doibt it had anything to do with my actual name though!). I managed to get an appointment for 3:30, so I worked til just before 3 then headed out. The doctor’s verdict was hyperacidity of the stomach, probably caused by stress. So he gave me some stomach drops and some tablets to stop my stomach from producting as much acid then sent me on my way, telling me to eat light foods for a few days and come back in 14 days if I wasn’t feeling better. After picking up my prescription, I headed home to carry on working for a while. It was my grandpa’s 80th birthday on Tuesday, so in the evening I phoned by dad while he was at the hospital so I could talk to my grandpa. His voice was very weak, but I could just about hear him say “Thank you for calling” and “Love you”. Wishing him a happy birthday was bittersweet – he always said he would live to be 80, and now he’s achieved it. That night was pub quiz, in which my team came second. YAY!

Wednesday. I went into work on Wednesday, armed with my medicine. This week was our intern’s last week with us and we were having pizza for his leaving meal on Wednesday. I didn’t think pizza counted as 2light food”, so I ordered Pizzabrötchen instead – little bread rolls made from the same dough as the pizza. The ones I chose had spinach and a small amount of goat’s cheese on, and were apparantly plain enough for my stomach – at least it didn’t protest. I had wanted to get an early night on Wednesday, but I ended up coming home, watching E.R then getting back on the computer and working til 20 past 8 before finally getting round to cooking tea. We ate fishfingers with croquettes and frozen peas because it was quick, easy and at least fairly plain.

Thursday. I woke up feeling incredibly hungry and had to buy a couple of muesli bars for breakfast on the way to work – usually breakfast is a yoghurt, but I’m avoiding those til I’m sure my stomach has settled down. The morning was pretty stressful with deadlines galore, but by 3 p.m. I’d finished everything I had to do and was able to move on to a translation that I technically wouldn’t have needed to start til next week. I worked precisely 8 hours for the first time in ages, then went home to sort out the living room ready for Jan’s choir coming over to practice (they’re a double quartet  – so 8 people when everyone’s there, which they never are at my place because they only come to us when the person whose flat they normally practice at is away). I then quickly made us a meal of gnocchi with creamed spinach. Once the choir arrived, I retreated to the spare room where I worked on some cross stitch – it’s an Easter card so I really need to get it finished ready to send off! I also uploaded some photos ready to use in a blog post about Colmar. The choir finally left at just before 11 and, after taking my medicine, I basically went straight to bed.

Friday. And that brings us to today. So far, I have worked a bit on next week’s translation and entered the corrections from proofreaders for two jobs due today. Now I’m on my lunch break and as soon as I’ve posted this, I’ll be reading the news before getting back to work. It’s looking like I should be able to leave on time today, so I’ll be out of here by 5 p.m. Then tonight I’m off to watch my quiz master’s band perform – the first time I’ve seen them this year (although we saw him play solo on St. Patrick’s Day). As for the weekend, other than making Easter nests for mine and Jan’s colleagues, I have no real plans as yet…

And that’s what I’ve been up to. Why not join in with Kate’s link up on Diaries of an Essex Girl and tell us all about your week. Just click the button below…
Daily Diaries with Diaries of an Essex Girl


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Gutenbergplatz Weekly Market, Karlsruhe

tea stallThe market on Gutenbergplatz is Karlsruhe’s oldest weekly market… and, according to all the people who told me to go there, also the nicest. It’s probably the largest, too, along with the one on Stephansplatz, which it alternates days with. I’ve been meaning to go ever since I first heard about it two years ago, but until now I’d never made it. Everybody I spoke to recommended getting there early and, let’s face it, I’m far too lazy to get up early on a Saturday, especially since Gutenbergplatz isn’t exactly around the corner from where I live! But the Take 12 Trips challenge gave me just the kick up the backside I needed to actually drag myself out of bed and head on over there.

According to the Karlsruhe city website (view it here, in German only), the Wochenmarkt Gutenbergplatz ( Weekly Market on Gutenberg Square) takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. Both Tuesday and Thursday are out for me – I’m already on my way to work by that time – and there was absolutely no was I was going to be anywhere near Gutenbergplatz that early on a Saturday, but I did manage to get myself there for 5 to 10, which is still pretty early – especially considering I walked there, which took me half an hour! Yep… I definitely think this can be counted as a trip. I even took a couple of photos for you on the way there, almost like a real tourist ;-).

As well as the usual fruit & vegetable and flower stalls, this market has stands with spices, fresh herbs, tea, cheese and various international specialities – I saw a stand selling Asian goods, a van with Italian goods (lots of parmesan!) and a stall selling “südländische Spezialitäten” – literally Mediterranean specialities, but what I saw there mainly looked Turkish and Greek. And, being Germany, there of course had to be bread! I spotted two vans selling various different kinds, both with huge queues in front of them. Here are a few photos. I apologise for the terrible quality of some… in such situations, I’m always paranoid that the stall owner might tell me off for taking photos of their wares instead of buying them!

The square itself is actually really pretty as well, although it’s difficult to notice it. Here’s a photo that might give you some idea of how nice the old buildings are:

Gutenbergplatz

The trees also look much nicer when they’re in bloom or completely covered in leaves. There are two fountains on the North side of square – the Krautkopfbrunnen and the Pelikanbrunnen – but neither has been switched on yet. It went cold again last week though, so they’re probably waiting to be sure that the spring is going to stay!
And now for tourist information part…

What: Weekly market
Where: Gutenbergplatz, between Gutenbergstraße and Nelkenstraße, Karlsruhe Weststadt
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 7 a.m.
Nearest tram stop: Yorckstraße or Sophienstraße (more lines serve Yorckstraße)

The market is quite nice and certainly offers more choice than my own local market (which I think has about 6 stalls!). I wouldn’t say it’s something all visitors to Karlsruhe must see, but if you’re into markets and stuck for something to do on a Saturday give it a go! It’s a produce market though, so don’t expect to find clothes, books or anything of that sort! Saturday is probably the best day to go to that particular market as may of the stalls aren’t there on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Alternatively, if you’re around on a Friday, check out the market on Stephansplatz instead. It has many of the same stalls that go to Gutenbergplatz on a Saturday and is much more central (I believe Stephansplatz is considered to be “Innenstadtwest”, with the actual “centre” of town being the castle).

Do you like to get up early and go to the market? Or do you prefer sleeping in on a Saturday, like I normally do? Let me know in the comments.


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A Sunday stroll

The sun actually came out today and I felt the need to get some fresh air, so I decided to go out for a walk.
First, I headed towards the train station. On the way there I spotted some daffodils dancing in the breeze.

daffodil

I walked along the front of the zoo, stopping to see whether I could spy the red pandas. On the photo below, you can see a red ball of fur curled up in the tree. The other panda was in a higher tree further along. Most of him was hidden behind a branch though, so I didn’t take a photo.

red panda

After calling in at the train station to see whether they still had my cross stitch magazine (they didn’t – I knew I should have bought all three last week!), I headed towards Beiertheimer Allee (a street leading towards the part of Karlsruhe called Beiertheim… although I actually walked down it away from Beiertheim). In the middle of the street, there’s a large area of green with paths leading through it and a play area part way down. When the sun comes out, the green area (it’s not a park or garden, really) is incredibly popular with parents pushing buggies, joggers and dogwalkers. I spotted more signs of spring in the grass.

flowers

Continuing my walk, I passed the Karlsruhe minigolf course… still closed for its winter break until 1st April.

mini golf

The play area that you can just about see beside the minigolf is actually inside the Stadtgarten bit of the zoo.
Leaving the minigolf course, I turned a corner and came to Festplatz, a square that houses the buildings belonging to the Karlsruhe Kongresszentrum (congress centre), where many conferences and trade fairs are held. The one pictured below is the Stadthalle (City Hall… not to confused with the Rathaus, which confusingly also means Town Hall or City Hall…).

Crossing over Festplatz, I made my way back to the Südstadt and home for lunch after a lovely walk in the Spring sunshine. If only we could have weather like this every weekend!


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Photo an hour: 18 January 2014

Yesterday, Jane from Is That You Darling was again asking people to join in with taking a photo an hour. At the same time, Manda from Break the Sky is hosting a “Day in the Life” link up. Her actual “Day in the Life” date was 14 January, but she invited those who didn’t record their day then to add themselves to the link up at any time until the end of the month. A chance to participate in two link ups at some of my favourite blogs couldn’t possibly be passed up! And so I give you the most boring Saturday ever. ;-)

Not all of my photos were taken exactly on the hour, mostly because it’s not always possible for me to do that. I’d like to see you try to take a photo while wandering round Aldi with 2 carrier bags in one hand and a shopping basket in the other (which is wgat I was doing when I should have been taking my 3pm photo…)

11 a.m. (ish): I managed to hit off on my alarm instead of snoozing it, so I stayed in bed way longer than I was intending to. I’m up now, though, and it’s breakfast time.

Tea, toast and caramel biscuit spread

Tea, toast and caramel biscuit spread

12 noon: It’s shower time!

12 noon

1 p.m. Off into town past one of Karlsruhe’s giant construction sites. (Actually, “giant construction site” is a pretty accurate description of Karlsruhe’s entire inner-city area right now!).

Karlsruhe

2 p.m.: In town. A fairly crappy photo because I was trying not to include any people in the picture (there are laws against such things in Germany…)

2:10 p.m.: A bonus photo! I once told you that German dogs can go everywhere, including into shops, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to provide evidence! Photo sneakily taken with my phone so the owner wouldn’t get mad.

3 p.m. Just one more place to stop at then I can head home with my way-too-many bags of things I never intended to buy…

3 pm

4 p.m.: Time for the football! Checking out BBC Sport’s pre-match information on my phone. (We won, in case you care. And by “we” I mean Newcastle United).

Blackberry

5 p.m.: Half-time cuppa! Tea is a perfectly normal beverage to drink during a football match, right?

Tea

6 p.m.: Time to do some tidying. Desperately attempting to sort out the chaos that is the desk in the spare bedroom…

I am sooo ashamed of this...

I am sooo ashamed of this…

Somehow I missed my 7 o’clock photo, so instead I give you 8 p.m. (ish – my phone said it was 8, but my camera seems to imagine it was 10 to?).
Off back out because I forgot to buy washing powder and bread!

Stairs

9 p.m. Tea time! (The food type of tea this time). Lemon flavoured cous cous with vegetables.

9:15 p.m. I decided to take a bonus photo to make up for missing out 7 o’clock. Hoovering the kitchen while it’s still early enough. (My neighbours are actually nice and not the complainy type, but I still like to get the hoovering done while it’s “officially” allowed.)

10 p.m. Time to wash the dishes – my most hated household chore! (With the possible exception of dealing with Biomüll)

Dishes

11 p.m. Flicking through some old cross stitch magazines for inspiration – I want to stitch my grandma a card for her birthday.

Cross stitch magazines

Midnight: Bed time! I wasn’t going to include this photo because it’s terrible (and boring), but you might as well have it…

Owl bedding

And there you have it! There’s still time to take part in January’s A Day in the Life with Break the Sky (or wait til 7th February and join in with the next one), and you can check out Is That You Darling’s blog post (link to follow once the post is up) to see other people’s Photo an Hour posts.


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Durlach Mediaeval Christmas market

Last night, some friends and I went to Durlach to check out the Christmas market. Durlach is the largest district of Karlsruhe and its residents like to say that they are the “real” Karlsruhe because Durlach was there first! (Karlsruhe is a relatively new city, having only been founded in 1715). Like some of the other more remote districts of Karlsruhe, Durlach has its own Christmas market – a Mediaeval one! And what, you ask, makes a Mediaeval Christmas market different to an ordinary one? Well, along with the usual Glühwein, alcohol-free hot punch and hot chocolate with added spirits, Durlach Christmas market sells hot mead – which I actually find a lot nicer than the cold variety – and provides lots of wood fires for people to huddle around. (Apologies in advance for the quality of photos in this post – my camera doesn’t do too well with darkness!)

Fire

It’s also held in a square in front of a former castle, the Karlsburg, which now houses a museum and a school, among other things.

Karlsburg Durlach

There are stands selling all the usual Christmas market foods – Bratwurst, steaks, crepes and more – but something you don’t find at just any Christmas market is a pig on a spit! I didn’t try any of it this year, but I have in previous years and can assure you it’s delicious!

Pig on a spit

There are also stalls selling interesting things, like these bottle containing various types of alcohol:

Interesting bottles

We ate, drank and chatted while huddling around one of the various fires – my hair still smells of smoke! It’s a nice smokey smell though, nothing like the scent of cigarettes! Later, we headed to the stage to check out some of the entertainment.

Mediaeval entertainment

It’s not every day you see people in Mediaeval costumes dancing!

Mediaeval dancers

Later, there was a fire show, which was very cool to watch!

If you’re in the area, I would certainly recommend paying a visit to this Christmas market. It’s smaller than the main one in Karlsruhe proper, but it tends to be less crowded and I find it makes a nice contrast to all the other Christmas markets that are basically the same concept. Be warned though… if you go anywhere near the fire, you will end up smoked!

If you would like to see the fire show, they’re back on Wednesday 11 December and Friday 13 December 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

**I’m counting this as my December trip for Need Another Holiday‘s #Take12Trips challenge.**


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Karlsruhe Christmas market 2013

I did go to the Christmas market last night, but my train was delayed so I went straight into town from the station and had no time to pop home for my camera. It was dark and my phone has no flash, so photography was impossible… but I had to go into town today and I made sure to put my camera in my bag before I left. Sooo here are a few impressions of Karlsruhe’s Christmas market for you…

There's always a children's carousel at German fairs...

There’s always a children’s carousel at German fairs…

Glühwein pyramid

Glühwein pyramid

The Glühwein pyramid may look cool, but be warned… they make you queue twice for your Glühwein! First you have to buy tokens at a stall off to one side, then you queue again at the actual pyramid to order your drink.

Just a few of the yummy treats on offer...

Just a few of the yummy treats on offer…

 

All the stalls have something on the roof...

All the stalls have something on the roof…

KA Weihnachtsmarkt


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Look Up, Look Down – The Vierordtbad Tower

For today’s look up, look down entry, I’m using an old photo that was taken right here in Karlsruhe. It shows the tower of the Vierordtbad swim baths at sunset.

Karlsruhe Vierordtbad tower

The “tower” is actually a chimney, and all that remains of the former thermal power station, which provided heat for both the Vierordtbad and the neighbouring Tullabad. The rest was torn down in 1989 when the Gartenhalle was built – that green roof that you can see in front of the tower on this photo is the Gartenhalle, which is part of the congress centre. Here’s another photo of the chimney/tower taken on a different day and from a different perspective:

Krlsruhe Kongresszentrum + Vierordtbad

Got a photo that would be perfect for the theme? Check out Travel With Intent’s blog post to join the challenge and view everyone else’s entries.


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Bratar burgers and Bratwurst

Yesterday, after an afternoon spent clothes shopping (and not for me I might add – although I did get some new winter boots) Jan, me and a friend we had met in town decided to try out the new burger and Bratwurst restaurant that’s arrived in Karlsruhe. By “new” I of course mean it arrived some time in the summer and we hadn’t got round to trying it out yet…

The table we chose to sit at

The table we chose to sit at

The basic concept behind Bratar seems to be organic and local. The menu assured us that the pigs from the Bratwurst are kept in a manner appropriate to the species, with plenty of space and the right kind of food. They live in Schwäbisch Hall, which makes them local in the sense that it’s the same Bundesland (and there probably aren’t too many pig farms in the Karlsruhe area, to be fair).

All three of us chose to drink Alpirsbacher beer and eat a burger. The burgers come in three different sizes – single, double and triple. I chose the double burger, which was 300 g of beef! They also had turkey burgers, vege-burgers and a children’s beef burger, which I assume was smaller. All the burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions and gherkin (I ordered mine without the gherkin) and you can then add extra ingredients yourself. The list of extra ingredients is fairly long and I’ve already decided I will have to go back to try out more combinations! This time I went for jalepenos, goat’s cheese and bacon. The bacon was grilled and very tasty, but I think another cheese would have been better in this combination… the mid taste of the goat’s cheese was pretty much drowned out by the generous portion of jalapenos. That was my fault though, nothing to do with the restaurant! You can also choose from three different types of bread bun, although I just went with the traditional burger bun that it comes with automatically. To go with my burger, I chose the rosemary potatoes, which were amazing! I love potatoes, and these ones were nice and crispy with just the right amount of rosemary. They came with a sour cream dip, which also contained rosemary and provided a nice contrast to the spiciness of the jalapenos.

My burger... please excuse the terrible photography!

My burger… please excuse the terrible photography!

The kitchen, which is in the middle of the restaurant, has glass walls so you can see inside. I saw some chips (fries) through the window as we were leaving and thought they looked tasty too… nice thick cut chips, not the barely there “fries” you get at McDonalds and co.! This is definitely the best burger I’ve had in Karlsruhe and I intend to go back some time.


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Who Am I?

This post was inspired by Charlotte at Sherbet and Sparkles. Recently, she wrote a blog post based around the question “Who am I?” and asked all her readers to get involved too. I’ve actually had quite a few new followers on the blog recently, so I thought this was an appropriate time to finally respond to her request.

So, hello! I’m Beverley, a 30-year-old English girl who is currently living in south-west Germany. Karlsruhe, to be exact. Most Germans should have heard of it because it’s home to both the German constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) and the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof). The latter is the highest court for all matters relating to criminal and private law, so Karlsruhe is mentioned on the news a lot. I share a flat with my boyfriend, who I will have been in a relationship with for 10 years in February 2014!

The botanic gardens in Karlsruhe

The botanic gardens in Karlsruhe

As an army brat, the question “where are you from?” is not an easy one to answer. Do I say the place I was born, even though I always hated it and never felt like I belonged, even while living there? Should I say the town my parents are from, despite the fact that I’ve never lived there? Or is “home” the place my dad moved to once he got out of the army, and where I also moved to when I was 13? Usually, I tell people I’m from Northumberland without specifying a town – I tend to get away with it because most people couldn’t even locate the county on a map, never mind name any individual towns! My parents are both from Morpeth, where my remaining grandparents still live, and that’s been the most constant place in my life. We went there for at least one holiday every year. Both my parents now live back in Northumberland, although neither of them actually moved back to their home town simply because it’s too expensive!

Stepping stones crossing the River Wansbeck in Morpeth

Stepping stones crossing the River Wansbeck in Morpeth

As you probably know by now, after graduating from university I moved to Austria for 10 months. I still have a slight obsession with all things Austrian! In 2006, I moved back to Karlsruhe and as of September 2012, Karlsruhe is officially the place I’ve lived in longest in one stretch ever! Technically I lived in my birth town for more years in total because we were posted there twice, but Karlsruhe is catching up… if you count my year abroad, I’ve actually spent 8 years in Karlsruhe now.

Snowy Feldkirch, December 2006

Snowy Feldkirch, December 2006

I have one sister, with whom I share two parents, and two half brothers who are not related to each other. My younger half brother, my dad’s son, was born a few days before I moved back to Karlsruhe. He’s 23 years younger than me!

I used to be a natural red head, but based on the photos above, you’re probably thinking I’m a brunette. Here’s a photo of me from the days before I was allowed to dye my hair. See… red! Well, reddish anyway…

Me, aged 3 or 4, with my grandma's dog

Me, aged 3 or 4, with my grandma’s dog

What else can I say? I work at a translation company, which is usually interesting but can get stressful. You won’t read too much about my job on the blog because I’m not sure how much I can say without getting into trouble. I certainly know better than to name any of our customers ;-)

My biggest love is reading and I dream of having my own library some day, like the ones you see in old houses and castles. My other big passion is travel – I get restless if I have to stay in one place for too long. So far, regular day trips and holidays have been enough to keep me from getting entirely sick of Karlsruhe but I’m not sure whether I’ll live here for the rest of my life…

So that’s me! I hope I haven’t repeated too much of my blog’s about me page. If there’s anything else you want to know, just ask and I’ll see about answering ;-) Now it’s your turn… tell me about yourself!

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