Sunshine Blogger Award

Wow, a blog award… I’m pretty sure it’s been literally years since I last did one of these! I was nominated by the lovely Chomeuse with a Chou – if you don’t know her blog definitely go and read it. She’s an amazing writer!

sunshine blogger

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. As always, there are rules.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to the blog.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Link up there ^)

2. Answer 11 questions that the Blogger asked you.
See below.

3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write them 11 questions.
Also below.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post on your blog.
Done and done 🙂

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    Short answer: to clear my mind of all my random thoughts (see tagline). Slightly longer answer: My first blog was an MSN space (later MSN Live Space) that came with my e-mail address. I started using it out of curiosity, having no real idea what it was. Later, I used it to blog during my time in Austria, as a way to keep friends in the loop about what was happening over there. I started this blog shortly after I moved back to Germany. I was bored, basically friendless and my boyfriend was busy writing his Diplom (German version a Master’s) thesis, so I started a new blog to keep myself occupied and get my thoughts out of my brain.
  2. What are your favourite things to do (when you aren’t blogging, of course)?
    Read, obviously. If you’ve read even one post on this blog you’ll probably know that 😉 Other than that cross stitch, travel and eat.
  3. If you could only visit one place, where would you go?
    Japan – assuming this means visit one place on holiday and not if you choose anywhere other than “home” you never get to go and see your family ever again 😉
  4. Do you have a favourite post from your blog?
    Ooh, umm.. difficult one. I enjoyed writing this one: https://confuzzledom.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/the-best-or-worst-of-denglish/
  5. What is your favourite book? (If it is far too difficult to choose, who is your favourite author?)
    Do you really think favourite author is any easier than favourite book? Both faaar too difficult! If forced to choose I would say Terry Pratchett (with massive apologies to Stephen King, Joanne Harris, Michael Bond and Agatha Christie!). Book is literally impossible.
  6. What are your goals for your blog?
    I don’t have any really. Just to keep going with it for as long as it makes me happy.
  7. Which three possessions would you grab in the event of fire?
    Nick (my stuffed mouse who I’ve had since I was born – you can see him at the end of this post, although these days he no longer lives in the bed due to a hole that I’m afraid might grow), my passport, and the only photo of my step-mum I own.
  8. Do you live in the town or country where you were born?
    If you’ve read even one word of my blog you should know the answer to that 😉 No, no I don’t.
  9. Do you have any unusual phobias?
    I don’t like ironing because I’m afraid of burning either myself or the clothes. SO pretty much I have a phobia of the iron (as opposed to iron the metal). Is that unusual enough?
  10. Do you speak another language?
    German. Plus the tiniest bit of Spanish.
  11. If you could chat to any person in history (real or literary) who would you choose?
    If we’re talking famous people, Beatrix Potter. Otherwise my Ukrainian great grandmother.

Here are my questions:

  1. What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
  2. If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be? (In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten)
  3. What food could you happily eat every day?
  4. What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
  5. Where were you born?
  6. Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
  7. What is one talent you wish you had?
  8. Do you have a favourite board game?
  9. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  11. If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?

Now to nominate people. Feel free to not do it and please don’t hate me 😉

Kristen from See You in a Porridge

Shazza from Sunshine and Celandines

Audrey from Life as Louise

Dubliner in Deutschland

Elaine from I Used to Be Indecisive

Beth from Ami in Schwabenland

Heather from Heather goes Deutsch

Jessica from Ever the Crafter

Steven from Sunshine. Whimsy. Tacos.

Lyndsay from Our Girl in Zurich (who is currently away on an adventure in South America, but will hopefully answer my questions on her return after Easter)

Sorry, that’s only ten. Everyone else I can think of us has been nominated already or doesn’t really read my blog. If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed this little insight into me!

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A Photo an Hour: 17 February 2018

Saturday was February’s photo an hour date. I didn’t take part on Twitter because I was in France for most of the day and didn’t want to buy a data package, but I did take photos ready for uploading to a blog post. I had actually forgotten about it until Jan said “don’t forget to take a photo every hour”… at 20 past 11! By then I had missed just over two hours worth of photos! So I decided to wait 10 minutes and make it a photos at half past day, rather than on the hour. As a result, getting up and breakfast are missing and my “day” starts shortly after checking out of the hotel.

11:30 a.m. Just left our hotel in Dijon. The red phonebox (with no phone in it) is a meeting point for tour buses.

12:30 p.m. Rainy Dijon. We had just bought tickets from the Tourist Information office to climb the tower you see in this photo.

1:30 p.m. After a tea/coffee break, we’re back out walking in the rain.

2:30 p.m. Our tower tickets were for 2 p.m. At this stage we were at the bottom of the tower waiting for the guide to open the door and let us out.

3:30 p.m. At the museum of Fine Arts, formerly the Ducal Palace.

4:30 p.m. Another museum! This time The Museum of Burgundian Life.

5:30 p.m. All museumed out, we headed to a nearby bar.

6:30 p.m. Still at the bar. There were lots of these drawings on the wall.

7:30 p.m. After collecting the suitcase from the hotel, we picked up some food for the train journey home.

8:30 p.m. On the train reading Anna Karenina.

9:30 p.m. Back in Basel and on the train home – Dijon is only just under 1.5 hours away!

10:30 p.m. So happy to be all snuggly in my PJs!

That was the last photo I took – I did read for a little afterwards, but I was snuggled up with the lights out long before it would have been time to take the next photo.

As always, Photo an Hour was hosted by Louisa and Jane.
What did you get up to on Saturday?

35 before 35: Progress report #8

I would have liked to do this yesterday, when it was exactly 6 months until my birthday and thus the end of the challenge. But I was in the office yesterday so by the time I was back in Switzerland and had eaten there was no way I was switching the computer back on! So today it is. My last progress report was seven months ago. Let’s see what I’ve achieved since then…

Number 6: Travel round Britain again

Technically we only spent time in England and Scotland and it wasn’t a round trip (we flew into Gatwick and left from Edinburgh), but we spent two weeks travelling within Great Britain so I’m counting it as completed in August 2017.

Number 13:  Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books

Last time I was up to 19… now I am on 20 (and the time before it was 18). This does not bode well! I read The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright. There’s a short review here.

Number 15: Read 30 books in German

Last time I was up to 24, now I’m on 27. So three read. The three were Toten Stille by Daniela Arnold (fairly meh), Mein Leben, mal eben by Nikola Huppertz (really enjoyed it), and Das Mohnblütenjahr by Corina Bomann (good, but not as good as the other book I’ve read by her). And now I have another three to go – should be doable.

Number 18: Bake ten different kinds of biscuits

It’s been a while since I’ve baked biscuits. Last time I didn’t even mention this category! The time before I had been on 7, and now it’s 8. I recently baked coffee shortbread. (I actually baked chocolate brownie biscuits at Christmas, but I’ve done them before so they don’t count).

coffee shortbread2

Number 21: Read all the books from the BBC Big Read that I hadn’t before starting this challenge

Last time I was up to 56 and now I’ve made it to 63! That leaves another 69 to read in 6 months. Hmm. I’m not going to mention you all the ones I’ve read since last July in this post, but you can find the entire list here. I will say I read the last one, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, yesterday while waiting for my train home and it’s possibly the weirdest book I’ve ever read!

And that’s everything this time. Only one challenge actually completed, but a bit of progress made on some others.

19 items remain incomplete. Some I can finish fairly easily, others will not be happening. I may try to check in one more time before August, but I’m not promising anything. This may well end up being my final progress report. And now to try and complete as many things as I can before August… Wish me luck!

Friday letters

Hello friends! (I hope none of you mind being called friends?). It’s finally Friday and I haven’t done Friday letters for a while, so I thought I would today. Here goes.

Friday letters

Dear Switzerland. A recent blog post by Kezzie and a slightly less recent one by Hazel have reminded my once again of how badly you need to up your recycling game. After being able to place basically all packaging in the recyclables bin in Germany I find it so frustrating to have to throw so much into the ordinary household waste here (and yes, I take my plastic bottles back to the supermarket but they won’t accept yoghurt pots or toothpaste tubes, for instance). Even Britain has recycling bins. Sort it out, Switzerland!

Dear unread books. I recently rearranged my shelves so that most of you are together and I hadn’t realised quite how many of you I own! I really need to start reading books I own before buying more…

unread books
I actually have more unread books than this, but I couldn’t fit any more on these shelves. Also, I excluded classics & non-fiction entirely since they have specific sections on my bookcases.

Dear water. Why is it so difficult to remember to drink enough of you? Must try harder!

Dear Basel cinemas. Why aren’t you showing the new Jumanji film in English? Just because it’s aimed at children doesn’t mean nobody wants to see it in the original language – do you know how many English-speaking children there are in the region?

Dear weekend. I’m glad you’re almost here. I’ve been very tired this week and I’m looking forward to a lie in!

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for sorting out the dishwasher and not complaining (often) when I fail to put away my lunch dishes.

That’s all for today folks. Happy Friday, wherever you are.

Recent doings #25

Hello my lovelies! Well, here we are… the first month of 2018 done. January was a relatively quiet one for me, but that was what I wanted after being so busy in December. Today is the first Thursday of the new month, so of course I am linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You? (Although the answer to that is nothing, really). Here’s what I got up to in January:

whats-new

Reading. First, I completed Erin’s book challenge. I then read a few other books and, thanks to being in the office yesterday (=looong train ride), I actually finished On The Road. Yay me! I will tell you about my reading in detail on Show Us Your Books day.

Watching. Jan got The Big Bang Theory season 10 and Arrival DVDs for Christmas from my family so we watched them. Also, a Facebook contact from high school reminded me of the existence of Pushing Daisies… my dad showed me the first episode years ago and I always meant to watch it. So I asked Jan whether he would watch it with me and he agreed. We watched our way through all of Season 1 within a week, so now I need Season 2!

Eating. The month started off as a continuation of December… well, I had to finish the Christmas chocolate, right? But after the first week I was back at work so I decided it was time to try to be healthy again. There was a lot of soup/broth. But then we were trying to use up some vouchers from a booklet we had (it expired yesterday) so we ate out way too often and on two of those occasions I had dessert. So yeah.. not a good eating month.

Drinking. Tea. Probably too much if I’m honest. I need to cut down on my caffeine again!

Celebrating. A Basel friend’s birthday. We went for dinner at a Turkish restaurant then to some bars.

Making. Birthday cards for Post Pals children and also one for my grandma. And I’ve just realised I forgot to take a photo of the one I made for my grandma…

owl tape card

Cross stitching. Cards for Post Pals children – now that Christmas is over I’ve returned to my mission of a cross-stitched card for every child. I managed to get two out in January.

Playing. Jan’s colleague invited us over one Saturday to play and escape game that he got for Christmas. Like an escape room, but in table-top form. It was cool, but relatively easy. And I still want to do a real escape room even though I expect to suck at it.

Burning. Yeah, weird category. I found candles that were Swizzles sweet (candy) themed online and could not resist ordering them! The scents are supposed to be Lovehearts, Refreshers, Drumstick Lollies. The Lovehearts ones are rose scented, which is not what a Loveheart smells like! Refreshers smells kind of lemon sherbet-ish, which kind of works. As for the Drumstick Lolly one… the actual wax just is Drumstick Lolly. When burning it mostly just smells like any other red fruit scented candle – sort of sweet and not really like anything – but occasionally I will get a waft that smells exactly like Drumstick Lollies.

Buying. Apart from too many books? I bought a fox necklace from Etsy and I looove it. It came from this shop, if you’re interested. I’m sure bought other stuff as well, but I can’t remember it. Huh.

I’m linking up with Kristen and Gretch, of course.
Happy February everyone! What’s new with you?

A Photo an Hour: 20 January 2018

Despite having seen the reminder the day before and even mentioned it to Jan while out in the evening, I managed to forget about photo an hour day! Luckily I checked Twitter at noon and saw the posts so I was able to still join in, albeit a few hours later. I only missed two hours though, and those photos would have been tea and cross stitch so you didn’t miss much. Here’s the rest of my Saturday:

12 noon About to heat some bread rolls in the oven for brunch (although Jan then ended up deciding he was too hungover to eat his and going back to bed…)

1 p.m. Time for a shower. Yes, so late. No judging! Also this photo shows how much lime scale is on my shower head. Again, please don’t judge.

2 p.m. Boots on as I’m heading out to buy a birthday present

3 p.m. Haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, so across the river I go to check the shops on that side of Basel. As you can see, the weather was not the best.

4 p.m. Found what I wanted, now on the tram home.

5 p.m. Time for a cup of tea and to start a new book.

The book was so good that I missed my 6 o’clock photo. Ooops!

7 p.m. Deciding what to make for dinner since it was just me eating (yep, Jan was still hungover…)

8 p.m. Nearly finished eating. Not shown: the book that I continued reading while I ate. (I finished it at 8:30… for everyone who has ever asked how I get through so many books, there’s your answer. Most people socialise on weekends, I read or cross stitch.)

9 p.m. Making a birthday card for my grandma

10 p.m. Pyjamas on – time for bed.

And that was my Saturday. How was yours? As always, Photo an Hour was hosted by the wonderful Jane and Louisa.

Recent doings #24 – December 2017

Hi everyone! I’m not really sure what I can write in this December recap post that wasn’t already covered in my yearly review or another post, but I hate to miss out on the What’s New With You link up again (I missed Novembers because I was packing and then on a plane to England), so here we go…

8fdf5-whats2bnew2bwith2byou

Reading. I will post all my December reads next week when Show Us Your Books rolls around, but I feel the need to mention (again) that I finished Magician in December. Not only was it over 800 pages long, but it also ended up being the 100th book I finished in 2017. Woo!

Watching. I finally watched Being John Malkovich and it was just so weird! Other than that a bunch of Christmas films… Miracle on 34th Street (the 90s version), A Muppet Christmas Carol, the end of Home Alone 2 and The Snowman and the Snowdog. Also Christmas specials of Pointless and A Question of Sport. I think I watched more TV in December than the entire rest of the year…

Making. Christmas cards… for Post Pals and for my family. I think I made over 100 cards this year! Here are some that I’m fairly sure you haven’t seen:

Eating. All the things I really shouldn’t have… what else does one do in December? Ferrero Rocher, Gingerbread men, biscuits, crisps… it was bad. But oh so good. Then we had lamb for Christmas dinner.

Drinking. Prosecco. And that was before Christmas even arrived 😉 The day of my sister’s wedding we literally drank fizz for breakfast.

Celebrating. My sister’s wedding. And obviously Christmas 😉

Visiting. My dad’s cousin on Boxing Day (26 December for those that aren’t familiar with it). He lives in Germany, but a relatively short train journey away from us. He has three kids and his parents (my great aunt and uncle) were also visiting so it was a full house! We had a fun afternoon.

Hosting. A friend from uni days! She came to stay for the first week in December because she wanted to see some Christmas markets. We obliged by taking her to the ones in Freiburg (Germany) and Basel.

Travelling. To England for the wedding, obviously. Then to Geneva for New Year.

wedding balloon

Buying. Christmas presents, of course. Although to be fair I had bought almost all of mine before December rolled around since I needed to take them to England when I flew over for the wedding. But I did end up buying one last-minute gift the day we flew and then still had to buy the very last one in Newcastle! For myself, I think I only bought 4 books in December, which is actually pretty good going. I won’t tell you how many I normally buy…

I can’t think of anything else. It was a busy month, but somehow all the busy seems to have been covered in just a few categories. I was also working until the 22nd though, so between that and all the Christmas cards there wasn’t really time for much else before Christmas. I’m hoping January will be slightly less insane.

I am linking up with Kristen and Gretch as always. Please go and say hi!