The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award…. times 2!

I was first nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award way back in 2013… you can read my answers here. Then Lolo, aka California Globetrotter nominated me again back at the beginning of August. I’ve been meaning to answer her questions ever since, but spectacularly failed to find time for it. Now that Becster has also nominated me, I thought it was about time I actually did the tag! Apologies in advance… this will be a long one as I’m answering ten questions from each of those bloggers. Feel free to skip this post and wait for a shorter one.

SisterhoodFirst of all, thank you to both bloggers. As always, I am honoured that you thought of me (even even though answering questions is haaaard /end whine). I will start with Lolo’s questions since she tagged me first. Hers are all travel related, which is nice.

  1. When did you realise you were a travel addict?
    I think it was probably when I was a child. I have a memory of going to visit my grandparents. We were living in Northern Ireland at the time, which puts me at between 5 and 7 years old. We travelled by ferry and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever and hoping I would get to go on many more ferries in my life. Even though we were “only” going to stay with my grandparents, I’m pretty sure that was the moment I caught the travel bug.
  2. Where will you never, ever travel to again?
    Hmm, I don’t think there is anywhere really. I’m not really that keen on Paris, but things keep coming up there (brother wanting to celebrate his 21st birthday there, it being the closest Night Vale live show to us…) so I’ll never say never!
  3. What was the most thrill-inducing activity you have ever done while travelling?
    I can’t actually think of anything. Sorry guys, I guess I’m boring! Hmm, maybe tobogganing down the road in Madeira counts?
  4. Have you ever had a terrible travel companion to the point you couldn’t wait for the trip to be over?
    I actually haven’t! Some of our companions in Ireland kind of annoyed me at times, but I successfully ignored them and made sure I fit in everything I wanted to do, so I still had an amazing trip.
  5. Where is one place you keep going back and visiting over an over again?
    I’m going  to say Northumberland doesn’t count since I mostly go there to visit family! Bizarrely, I think the place I’ve been most often is Paris with 4 trips! Most of those just happened that way though (see above), so it’s not like I just loooove Paris so much I have to keep going there. I mean, I like Paris but there are places I like a lot better! One place I would visit over and over again is Austria, but various parts of the country rather than one specific place (although I have been to Vienna twice).

    Marktgasse in Feldkirch, Austria
    Marktgasse in Feldkirch, Austria
  6. What advice could you give to newbie travel bloggers?
    Well, I’m not actually a travel blogger so I’m not sure any advice I give would be any good. I’ll just give some advice that isn’t specific to travel blogging… just be yourself! Find your own voice and don’t try to imitate big bloggers in the hope of achieving their level of popularity quickly. I will never have a “big” blog, but I will also never get tired of blogging because I’m actually doing it in a way I enjoy and not trying to do the “right” thing to achieve success.
  7. Is there something you always have to do in every city you visit?
    Try the local food! I always like to get away from the touristy areas and walk down random side streets to hopefully find out where the locals choose to eat. This often means a lot of pointing and gesticulating, but the experience is much more authentic than in a restaurant where the menu consists of pictures of the dishes 😉
  8. Where was the first place you visited overseas?
    Rhodes, Greece aged 11. I loved it!
  9. If you could live in any country right now, where would you live?
    Can I be boring and say the one I’m in? I haven’t even been living in Switzerland for 6 months yet so I still have so much to explore!
  10. If you could go back in time, which time period would you love to travel the world in?
    As a woman, I actually quite enjoy the fact that I get to travel the world now! While there obviously are places where it’s not really safe/desirable to be a woman travelling (especially alone!), for the most part things are pretty good these days. However, I do think it could have been interesting to travel the world when Captain Cook was on his voyages of discovery. Interesting but not very comfortable… so maybe I’ll stick with my own time after all 😉

Thank you Lolo for those interesting questions! And now on to Becster’s…

  1. What’s your favourite film/movie
    Oooh, so many good ones! I don’t think I can pick just one, so I’m going with two… A League of Their Own and Clue (if you haven’t see the latter, please go and find it right now. It’s seriously one of the funniest films ever!!)
  2. If you could visit anywhere for a day, where would you go?
    One day is such a short time, and there are so many places I want to visit. But I think this time I’m going to choose Iceland. I’m desperate to see the Northern Lights!
  3. Are you a cat or dog person?
    Dog, definitely. I don’t have anything against cats, but in a pet I want a someone who is always pleased to see me. Also, the idea of cleaning out cat litter trays makes me feel ill. I’d much rather pick up dog poo somewhere outside my house!

    Not my dog, sadly...
    Not my dog, sadly…
  4. Do you watch any soaps?
    No. I watched Hollyoaks for a while as a teenager, but I don’t really watch much TV at all these days.
  5. Favourite snack to binge on?
    Chocolate! And Switzerland is a dangerous place for chocolate lovers…
  6. Most hated chore to have to do?
    Ironing! 100%. I’m actually scared of burning myself on the iron (because I’m a weirdo) so all ironing at my place is done by Jan. Of the chores I actually do, I hate washing dishes the most. I love the fact that we now have a dishwasher!
  7. Do you eat your fruit and veggies?
    I try to 🙂 Vegetables I’m actually quite good with, but fruit seems to go bad too quickly for me.
  8. 50 Shades of Gray – yay or nay?
    I’ve never actually read it, but from what I’ve heard, apart from the storyline being awful I’d end up throwing it across the room a few pages in because the writing itself is so terrible!
  9. What do you normally eat for breakfast?
    I don’t always eat breakfast (if you’re reading… sorry mam!), but when I do it’s usually toast. Lately I’ve been enjoying it with Ovomaltine spread.
  10. Tea or coffee?
    Definitely tea! I do drink coffee, but not often, and at home I almost always drink tea.

    It's always a good time for a cuppa!
    It’s always a good time for a cuppa!

And that’s the end of that! I’m supposed to nominate ten other people now, but the only people I can think of are ones I’ve nominated for similar awards a dozen times, so here are my six nominations. That’s almost ten, right? 😉

Kezzie
Courtney from Welcome to Germerica
Beth from Ami in Schwabenland
Zoe from Where’s Zoe now?
Briony from Fear of the Reaper
Charlotte

And now I have to try and think of interesting questions to ask you (this part is also hard!).

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What is the best food you’ve ever tried while travelling?
  3. If you could have a second home where would it be and why?
  4. If you were a ghost, which place would you haunt?
  5. Have you ever planned a trip just because a book/film was set there?
  6. What is your favourite item in your home?
  7. What is your favourite pancake topping/filling (depending on how you make your pancakes :-))
  8. Which song title best represents your life right now?
  9. Which of your blog posts has the most views?
  10. What is a book you’ve been meaning to read for a while but keep putting off?

To my nominees: I apologise if you’ve done this before or just hate tags! You don’t actually have to do it….
To everyone else: the people I’ve nominated have a fab blogs and you should really check them out. Also, sorry if I’ve bored you 😉

Would you rather…? (Travel version)

I’m sure we all remember the old game where you’re given a choice between two difficult (or disgusting!) things and made to pick which one you would rather do if you had no choice. Well, I saw this travel version over on Diana’s blog a while ago and was immediately intrigued, but I’m only getting round to stealing it now. So, without further ado, the questions…

Madeira sunriseScenario: you have a €10,000 budget for your vacation.
Q: Would you rather fly first class for €5,000 and stay in mediocre accommodation; or stay in luxury accommodation for €3,000 and fly economy?
Hmm, luxury accommodation isn’t that important to me (I only use the room for sleeping and showering!), but then again neither is flying first class. Unless I was flying to Australia or something, in which case a more comfortable seat might help. I think I’ll pick the luxury accommodation option though purely because that leaves me with extra money to spend on experiences during my holiday (I’m just assuming luxury accommodation+economy flight comes to less than first class flight+mediocre accommodation).

Q: Would you rather have an all expenses paid trip to a small town in the Netherlands with your best friends or an all expenses paid trip to your dream destination with your frenemy?
Well, I’m not sure I have a “dream” destination – there are many places I’m desperate to go to – and I had a fabulous time when I visited my friend in Delft a few years ago. Plus I don’t actually live in the same country as any of my friends right now, so the choice is pretty simple. Give me the small town in the Netherlands with friends please!

Q: Would you rather have a cup of tea with Jon Hamm or Josh Homme? (Diana changed this question to “Would you rather have a beer with the cast of parenthood or the original grey’s anatomy cast?” but I’ve never watched either so I’ve reverted back to the original question).
I’ve never actually heard either name, but googling tells me Jon Hamm stars in Mad Men (never watched it) and Josh Homme is the lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age. I like Queens of the Stone Age so I choose him 🙂

Q: Would you rather never take the train or never take the aeroplane again?
(Sorry, but I had to change airplane to aeroplane!). This is actually really difficult! Never be able to quickly get to England again if there was a family emergency or no more day trips? I suppose I’d have to choose never taking the train again and then learn to drive so I can get to the office once a month! I’m assuming trams also count as trains, but luckily I can also take the bus into town from where I live.

Q: Would you rather spend a full day with a thief or with a beggar?
Beggar. I would get them a shower, new clothes and a hot meal and ask them how they ended up in that situation. After having my purse stolen in Paris (with the only photo I owned of my step mum!) I would probably punch the thief!

Scenario: you have won a prize with two options, and you can choose either but not both.
Q: Would you rather spend a year in the USA with a monthly stipend of $1,000 or be ten minutes on the moon?
I have no interest in going to the moon, but a whole year in America sounds like a lot (sorry Americans!). What if I get ill? Would my §1,000 stipend include health insurance – I’ve seen ER guys, I know what happens to uninsured people! I would still choose the US though, and spend the entire year travelling.

Q: Would you rather wake up without your wallet or without your passport and phone?
I had my purse (that’s British English, so it means money holder not handbag!) stolen in Paris and it was horrible! However, cancelling cards, etc. was more annoying than anything else and passports are expensive so I suppose I’d have to wake up without my purse and hope I’d just lost it and it would actually get handed in somewhere!
Q: Would you rather be left behind in the bush on an African safari or Be left behind in the water on a scuba trip?
Both options sound terrifying, but I’m not a great swimmer so the bush would be the better option. I might get mauled by a lion but at least I wouldn’t drown! And hopefully another safari group would eventually come by and find me.
Q: Would you rather loose your luggage but land on time OR land 12 hours late with your luggage intact?
Assuming the late landing was because of a late take off and not because we’d been randomly flying in circles for 12 hours, I’d pick the latter. I’m also basing my answer on the assumption that I’d actually be allowed to leave the airport and wouldn’t be stuck in departures for 12 hours!
Q: Would you rather bike across the US from New York City to San Francisco, or bike across China from Beijing to Tibet?
Umm, I’d really rather not bike anywhere to be honest. I hate cycling! However, since I have to pick one, I want whichever involves the least cycling on the road!

Scenario: you’re stuck on a deserted island, and can only take one book.
Q: Would you rather take the Unbearable Lightness of Being or Dracula?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being because I’ve already read Dracula. I would prefer to have something new (then I’d have to ration myself to only a few pages a day to make it last longer!)

Q: Would you rather be able to teleport to places you’ve been to or only be able to teleport to places you’ve never been before?
Places I’ve already been. Much as I love visiting new places, being able to quickly teleport home if a family member was seriously ill, for example, decides this one for me. If I wasn’t so far from home the decision would be more difficult…


Q: Would you rather be stuck on a seven-hour delay, or turn up at the airport and realise your flight is tomorrow?
Turning up a day early actually sounds like something I would do! Hmm, I think I’d prefer the embarrassment of being early to being stuck in an airport for seven hours. I just hope it would either be the flight out (so I could just go home) or I’d be able to easily find a new hotel room in whichever city I was in.

Phew, finished. That was hard work! If you feel like doing the tag, please let me know in the comments so I can see your answers! The tag originally appeared here.

The Liebster Award (again)

Dubliner in Deutschland nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you my dear! 🙂

liebster-award 1

I’ve been given the Liebster award before, but usually the rules say to list some number of facts about myself and that’s haaaard 😉 With this version, I’m supposed to answer some questions set by the person who nominated me and then make up some questions of my own before passing on the award. Here are the questions from Dubliner and my answers:

  1. What do you mostly blog about?
    Everything! Although I suppose books, travel and food are my top three themes.
  2. What do you love about blogging?
    The community. I love reading/responding to comments and seeing what my favoruite bloggers have been up to. But I also like that it gives me an outlet for my thoughts. Even if I didn’t have a single reader I would keep blogging to save myself from insanity.
  3. What is your favourite movie?
    I have to pick just one? That’s impossible!I can narrow it down to three for you, but no further (and please don’t ask me to put these three in order!). 1. The Princess Bride, 2. Clue, 3 The Crow
  4. What makes you happy?
    many things! Sunshine (as long as it’s not toooo hot), spending time with my boyfriend, spending time with friends (and also actually having people to call friends!), good food, dogs, seeing the red pandas when I walk past the zoo…
  5. Tea or coffee?
    Tea! I am British after all 😉 When I drink coffee it has to be drowned in milk and preferably flavoured.
  6. Do you have a favourite song?
    That’s even harder than the films! There are so many good songs. I’ll give you four, okay? 1. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler, 2. No Time to Sleep by Tina Dico, 3. Quick Fade by Feeder, 4. Belgium by Bowling for Soup.
  7. What’s the last book you read?
    The Surgeon of Crawthorne by Simon Winchester It’s the story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary and one of its main contributers, an American who was imprisoned in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Very interesting. I can recommend it.
  8. Name three places you would love to travel to, if money were no object.
    Canada, Japan and Denmark
  9. Why did you start blogging?
    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 about my time in Austria. 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 – hence my tagline.
  10. What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)
    You Know You’re Turning German When… is the first one that comes to mind.

I nominate:

Beth from Ami in Schwabenland
Marianne from Californienne
Becster
Sophie from Sophie in Clogs
Molly from The Move to America

And now here are my questions (only 5 because I’m not imaginative enough to think of a whole 10!):

  1. What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2014?
  2. What is your favourite food to eat in autumn/winter?
  3. Where was the last place you travelled to?
  4. What is your favoruite snack food?
  5. If you could learn any language (and were guaranteed to actually manage it!), which would it be?

So very versatile!

I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award again! Many thanks to The Erlangen Expat. Go and check out her blog and read all about the expat life (much more than you’ll ever find here, anyway). I especially like her post “My life is not a holiday…” YES! Take note, people who have never left their home country… life abroad is far from being one big holiday! We do have to work in our chosen countries of residence, you know! (And shop and clean and deal with Internet providers…)

versatile-blogger

The Versatile Blogger Award is given to blogs that are considered to have a good quality of writing, a level of love displayed in their posts, good photography, and for the uniqueness of their posts.

In order to accept this award, you have to –

  • Thank the person who nominated you for this award
  • Link to the persons blog
  • Nominate 15 people for this award and let them know you’ve nominated them
  • Write 7 facts about yourself

15 is a lot, especially considering I’ve given out this award before. Eeep! Please, nobody be annoyed at being tagged. You don’t actually have to do it if you don’t want to! Here are my nominees:

Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons
Charlotte Steggz (formerly of Serbet and Sparkles.. check out her fancy new blog!)
Elaine from I used to be indecisive…
Katrin from Land of Candycanes
Nina, aka Indie Rock Kid
Becster
Lady of the Cakes
Aussa Lorens
Angelle at She Drives a Vegetable Car
Manda from Break the Sky

And that’s it. Yes, I know I’ve only nominated 10 bloggers, but so many of the others I would have chosen have been nominated already. *Sigh*. Anyway…  now I’m supposed to give you seven facts about myself. SEVEN! Do you know how difficult that is, especially considering I basically put everything about myself on the blog anyway. *Sigh* Okay, here goes… I do apologise if you’ve read any of this before…

  1. I used to be able to quote the film The Lion King by heart thanks to my younger brother. I still know most of the songs and can quote huge chunks of the text. Luckily it’s actually a good film!
  2. I would eat potatoes every day if peeling and chopping them wasn’t so annoying.
  3. I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate… I might think I’m only going to eat a square or two, but before I know it half the bar is gone.
  4. I would love a pet, but the idea of having to clean out a cage (or cat litter tray) all the time puts me off, so the only animal I would consider is a dog… I can take them outside to do their business! (Yes, there might be accidents, but that would be one off cleaning, not All. The. Time. Yes, I’m lazy…)
  5. I only started using a smartphone last year (and it’s a BlackBerry which some would say isn’t even a real smartphone). Before that, I used my old dumb Nokia mobile for 10 years. I still would be using it if it hadn’t got soaked in Ireland and stopped working properly.
  6. I will only drink coke if it’s mixed with alcohol (vodka, Bacardi, Tia Maria…). I can’t stand the taste of pure coke.
  7. I’m a quick reader and usually have up to 4 books on the go at one time. One of those is usually something non-fiction… the only exception to the quickness. I take forever to get through most non-fiction books, even if I actually find them interesting. I presume it’s because there’s no story for me to get involved in.

Phew, made it! Sorry if I’ve bored you, but nobody said my facts had to be interesting… just random 😉

 

The big reveal: Part 2

I think I’ve kept you in suspense for long enough, so here’s the final post on my five truths and a lie. Just to recap, here are my original six statements:

1. While at university, I got paid to kiss one of my friends.
2. When I was 17, I got incredibly drunk at my mate’s birthday party and threw up all over the floor (and myself)  in the toilets.
3. I could read before I started school
4. I was conceived on my mum’s 19th birthday
5. One of my earliest memories involves checking under a car for bombs.
6. During my first year at university, I had a one night stand with my flatmate’s ex-boyfriend.

I have already revealed that numbers 2 and 5 were TRUE.

Of the remaining statements, number 4 has one vote, while a grand total of seven people now think number 6 is the lie. Who got it right? Did anybody? Let’s find out, shall we…

Number 1… While at university, I got paid to kiss one of my friends is TRUE!

Just a kiss
Photo credit: mgbon Рgra̤a neves

What I didn’t say in the statement was that my friend is female, and the person who paid us to kiss was male. It was on the last day of term, an event known as Drink the Bar Dry (can you guess what that involved?). We had been offered payment to kiss at some point during the day and said we might do it at the evening part. Ironically, the person who had offered us a pound didn’t even see the kiss! He was incredibly drunk and managed to get himself extracted from the queue while we waiting to enter the student union for the evening’s drinking sesion… He still paid up though. The same guy had confessed his love for me during a previous drunken night – despite the fact that he was engaged at the time! My former flat mate also managed to miss the kiss, despite the fact that he was standing right next to me and it wasn’t exactly a quick peck! In case you were wondering, the kiss did nothing for me…

Number 3… I could read before I started school is TRUE!

Nobody guessed this one… I suppose it must have been too easy or something? I don’t actually remember when I learned to read, but both my parents assure me it was while I was still in nursery and I believe them. My dad likes to tell a story about a time he was walking somewhere with me when I was about three years old. Apparantly, I tugged on his hand, pointed to a wall and said “Look Daddy, somebody’s spelled ‘where’ wrong!”. No prizes for guessing what the word really was….

Number 6… During my first year at university, I had a one night stand with my flatmate’s ex-boyfriend is TRUE!

In my defence, I didn’t know he was my flatmate’s ex at the time! He had come over from America to visit his “friend” Sarah… or so I thought. It was only after I drunkenly slept with him that he told me she had been his girlfriend… right up until she came to pick him up at the airport and informed him she’d been seeing a French guy pretty much since she arrived in the UK. Ouch! No breaking of the girl code here… she deserved it!

So that only leaves one more statement…

Lies
Photo credit: mcritz

Number 4… I was conceived on my mum’s 19th birthday is a LIE!

It could have been true… my mum is pretty young But if you had been paying close attention back in the summer, you would have realised that, actually, the dates don’t match up. I wrote a letter to my mum on her 50th birthday on 26th July… and turned 30 myself on 13th August. So although I was conceived when my mum was 19, it was definitely not on her birthday (unless she managed to have a pregnancy that lasted over a year…).

That would mean one person guessed correctly… congratulations to Fay at Fly on the Wall! If you feel like dropping me an e-mail with your adddress, I’m sure a chocolate-y prize can be arranged…
And that’s the end of the game.  I hope you all enjoyed playing along. If you decide to do your own post, leave me a comment so I can come and take my guess.

Would I lie to you?

Truth lies

Aussa from Hacker. Hooker. Ninja. Spy recently wrote a post in which she listed six things about herself, five true and one false. She then chellenged her readers to a) guess which statement was not true and b) create their own blog post with five true statements and a lie. My life not being nearly as interesting as hers, I knew I wouldn’t be able to come up with any really good things (especially with everything I’ve already revealed about myself on this blog!), but with nothing else to write about today I decided I might as well give it a go. So, can you guess which of the following five “facts” about me is not actually a fact at all?

1. While at university, I got paid to kiss one of my friends.

2. When I was 17, I got incredibly drunk at my mate’s birthday party and threw up all over the floor (and myself)  in the toilets.

3. I could read before I started school

4. I was conceived on my mum’s 19th birthday

5. One of my earliest memories involves checking under a car for bombs.

6. During my first year at university, I had a one night stand with my flatmate’s ex-boyfriend.

That’s it! Take a guess at which one you think is a lie… and if you feel like joining in, please give me a link to your post. I will reveal the correct answer in a few days…

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!

An award I don’t deserve

So Lu from Moose Noose gave me an award back in.. errrm… September(!!) which I’ve failed to actually post on here until now. Oops! Not even sure I deserve it any more after ignoring it for so long. But here it is anyway, the Verstile Blogger Award:

versatileblogger

This award isn’t just there to look pretty. There are rules to this game, too…

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award. That’s just common courtesy, that is.
    I believe I did, in fact, thank Lu when she first gave me the award, but after all this time she deserves to be thanked again. Publically. Thank you Lu!
  2. Include a link to their blog.
    Done. Look up there ^.
  3. Share seven random facts about yourself.
    Will do, once I’ve finished with the rules.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and share a link to their site.
    15? I’m not even sure I know that many! But I shall give it a go…

First, seven random facts about myself. A difficult one, this. Those of you who’ve been reading for a while probably know pretty much everything that’s even vaguely interesting already, but I have had a few new readers recently so at least these will (hopefully) be new to them. Regular readers, I apologise now if I repeat myself…

  • Once I start reading a book, I feel compelled to read it to the end even if I don’t like it. The book I’ve come closest to not finishing is Wuthering Heights. I got it for Christmas when I was about 14 and 7 year and 4 attempts later, I finally finished it, then immediately gave it to a charity shop
  • I love garlic! I would eat it every day if I could. I’ve wanted to go to Tallinn, Estonia ever since I heard there’s a garlic restaurant there. (That’s a perfectly good reason for wanting to go somewhere, right?)
  • I also love potatoes and cheese. Any meal containing garlic, potatoes and cheese would be my idea of heaven! (Garlic and Cheddar mashed potatoes anyone?)
  • I am currently obsessed with owls. I also like hedgehogs, tortoises, red pandas and seahorses.
  • I actually enjoy writing letters, as in with an actual pen and paper. E-mails, on the other hand, I am useless at. I’ll read them, make a note to come back and reply later, then forget about them for months and months.
  • I sometimes wish my commute to work was longer, so I could continue reading my book. Strangely I never think this on the way home…
  • I would LOVE to be able to sew, but I am terrifed of sewing machines and my hand stitching is a) slow and b) messy

I believe that is seven. Now I have to nominate people…

– Tina at Kulturschock
thepinkrachael
Katyboo (who I’m sure will already have had it, but deserves to have it again, and again, and again…)
Working Berlin Mum
Pinklea
– Thoughtsy at Thoughts Appear (who again has probably already had it several times, but see note for Katyboo…)
– Charlotte from Sherbet and Sparkles
– Alex at Ifs, ands & Butts
– Jessica at Booshy
– Svenja at Happybluebird
Sarsm
– Elaine at I used to be indecisive…
– Sam at Wie sagt man…?
Eating Wiesbaden (and Mainz)
– JP of Pining Liwasan

And that is 15. Phew! If you don’t do the blogging award thing, please accept my apologies and ignore this post. For the rest of you, I’m looking forward to reading your seven facts! And now I have more gifts to wrap… I’ll be glad when they’re all done and winging their merry way to England, to be honest.

Taking the easy way out…

I’m tired today. And once again stupidly busy (flat viewing this morning… then home to laundry, dissertation. Now it’s almsot time to cook tea…). But I feel bad that I’ve been neglecting my poor blog again. So I’m taking the easy way out with a meme that I meant to steal from Hails ages ago. You know you’ve been busy when you haven”t even had time for a cheat’s post! Ah well, I’m doing it now…

A. Attached or single? Attached. Although I prefer to think of it as “in a relationship”

B. Best friend? I don’t think I have one. I used to have one, but then my sister moved up to my dad’s and most of my friends suddenly realised they liked her better. Anyway, I live too far away from most of my friends now. And the people I know here are mostly just that… people I know. Three of them I would refer to as friends, but best friends? No. They already have one.

C. Cake or pie? Right now definitely pie. Preferably meat pie. I miss pie! And pasties. Why do German bakers not do pasties?

D. Day of choice? Strangely I think right now it’s Monday. I love my job (even though it’s stressful and tiring at times), Monday is early enough in the week for exhaustion not to have kicked in yet, and it gets me away from the dreaded dissertation of doom which is currently taking up every minute of my weekend that isn’t spent on housework.

E. Essential item? Train ticket, to get to work.

F. Favorite color? Red. But don’t tell my family, or they’ll buy me so much red stuff I’ll get utterly sick of it and never want to see it again. That’s what happened with my old favourite colur (purple). My old bedroom at my dad’s is still full of purple candles, purple ornaments, purple items of clothing.  Aargh!

G. Gummy bears or worms? Sour worms.

H. Hometown? Mostly Karlsruhe. Although part of me still thinks of the North East of England as home (I know that’s not a town but I just can’t bring myself to call the actual town I spent my teenage years in “home”. I was too pleased to get away from the place!)

I. Favorite indulgence? Eating ice cream on a cold day.

J. January or July? July. I love the summer (despite that fact that it hates me) and January is all dark and cold. At least in July I still get to see some sunlight… in January I leave for work in the dark and by home time it’s dark again.

K. Kids? Love them. I always wanted three, but with each year that passes the chances get slimmer (and my Grandma’s pleas to be made a Great-Grandma get louder…)

L. Life isn’t complete without? Friends, love and travel.

M. Marriage date? Possibly never.

N. Number of brothers and sisters? One sister. Two half brothers (who are not related to one another). All younger, although in the sister’s case nobody believes it.

O. Oranges or apples? Oranges I guess, although I prefer satsumas… which you can’t get here.

P. Phobias? Moths. Ugh.

Q. Quotes? Lots. I collect them. In fact, I have a whole page of them. If you really want to see a quote go there.

R. Reasons to smile? I love my job and soon I’ll (finally) have a flat with the boyfriend. Once the dissertation is handed in the smile will get bigger.

S. Season of choice? Spring, if it’s warm. I love summer, but it hates me (I get sunstroke reeeally easily). Autumn is nice for about three days (when it’s still warm and the trees are pretty colours), before turning grey and miserable, and Winter means Christmas which is not the favourite holiday of my family.

T. Tag 5 people. No. Anyone who wants to do it may feel free to tag themselves.

U. Unknown fact about me? Umm… what haven’t I already told you? No idea. Tell you what… anything you want to know, ask and I’ll write a post with answers. (And now it’s going to be really embarrassing if nobody asks anything…)

V. Vegetable? I’m not good with vegetables. Most of them make me feel sick. But I LOVE aubergines. Which is probably strange when you think about it…

W. Worst habits? Biting my nails. I’ve been trying to stop for years! Also, sarcasm. And an inability to stop buying books (curse you Amazon!)

X. X-ray or ultrasound? Huh?

Y. Your favorite food? Potatoes! Mashed, roast, baked. As chips, in soup. Prepare them any way you like, I will eat them.

Z. Zodiac sign? Leo, the lion. Which makes my birth stone tiger’s eye. Much better than my month birth stone, which is peridot.

I promise to tell the truth…

So I’ve been given an award by the lovely Welsh Girl whose blog you can get to by clicking the link. It’s a very cool award. Just look at it:
honest_award_black

Cool no?

However, this is not an award that’s made purely for the purpose of decorating your blog. Oh no. It comes with strings attached. You see, as part of the deal I’m supposed to tell you 10 honest things about myself, then pass it on to other unsuspecting bloggers whose days I want to ruin.
I’m a little worried about this whole “honesty” thing though. Something tells me what the award is actually asking for is a bunch of embarrassing secrets that I never had any intention of sharing with the world.

Oh well, it’s not like I have that much to hide.
Here goes…

  1. When I was younger I desperately wanted a twin sister. So desperately in fact that a friend and I went around telling everyone at school we were twins but had been adopted by different families at birth. Nobody believed us of course. My friend is two days older than me and at the time our mothers were best friends, so for our 6th birthday the two of them arranged for us to have a joint birthday party at the Family’s Bar (it’s an army thing). We even had a birthday cake with both of our names on it. After that everyone believed us.
  2. I once snogged a girl for a pound and a bottle of Reef. I was at uni at the time. When you’re a student you don’t turn down free alcohol! (I did know the girl in question by the way – she was my housemate at the time). A few years later I snogged one of my best (female) friends because she thought it would be a good way to impress a guy she fancied. It worked – he went home with her that night.
  3. When I was 17 I dumped a boy by posting a letter through his door. I know, awful right? I was too much of a wimp to do it in person. I don’t feel too guilty about it though – a few months later he got with a friend of mine. They’re now living together and are apparantly getting married in 2010.
  4. I had my first real kiss when I was 6 years old, behind the garages on our estate in Northern Ireland. I no longer remember what the boy’s name was but I do know he was 9. After that I wasn’t kissed again until I was 16.
  5. When I was about 12 I sat on some broken glass while at the park with my sister and my friend. My friend had to pull the aforementioned piece of glass out of my bum. My mum was out at the time and we weren’t supposed to leave the house so I hid my blood-covered knickers in a bush so she wouldn’t find out. (I can’t believe I just admitted that. On the internet! Eeek!)
  6. I have a scar on my chin from falling down the loft ladder when I was 14. I bled everywhere and had to be taken to hospital to have it stitched up (actually I only got steri strips). My friend insisted on coming to hospital with me and was given a card with the symptoms of concussion on it just in case.
  7. I cry really easily. If I know a book is going to be sad I won’t read it on the tram in case it makes me cry in front of everybody. I also cry when I have arguments with Jan, even when it was me who started it.
  8. I have incredibly long toes. The three in the middle actually remind me of fingers. I find this quite disturbing.
  9. I have completely forgotten all my times tables. I have to use a calculator or my fingers to work them out. My year 6 teacher would be disgusted.
  10. Part way through year 3, when I was 7 years old, my family was posted from Northern Ireland back to England. Shortly after starting at my new school I wet myself in the playground at lunch time because I was too scared to ask the prefects on duty (big scary year sixes!) to go to the toilet. Later, when we were back in class, the teacher asked me if I had wet myself and I completely denied it.

OK, that’s your lot. Phew, that was hard! Now it’s time to pass it on…
Soo… Sleepyjane, Hails and Lauren, over to you…