My bee-day party

Yesterday was an interesting day. First, I left my purse at home and only realised when I was sitting on the train ready to go to work. Luckily I was able to get back off the train just before the doors closed, then I power walked home, got my purse and took a tram back to the station in time for the 8 o’clock train… all within 24 minutes. Miraculously, I actually got a seat on the second train… I tend to avoid that one because I always end up standing in the corridor, which is not what I want that early in the morning. Then, after work, I arrived at the train station ready to go home only to find police on my platform and the Bahn personnel telling everyone to go away. I headed back up to the departures boards to wait for them to announce where my train would be arriving and decided to treat myself to a Magnum while I waited. To get to the new platform, I had to pass the steps leading up to my original platform, which I saw were now taped off with Deutsche Bahn employees standing at the bottom stopping anyone from getting up there. As soon as I got home, I googled to try and find out what was going on, but the Internet had no information. Nothing in the news this morning either… curious!

But that’s not really what I want to talk about today…
What I do want to do is finally tell you about my birthday party! But first, some background.

I like bees, and one of my nicknames used to be Bee (for the first letter of my name, but written out), so a few years ago, I mentioned to Jan that one day I would like to have a “bee-day” party. The idea was that I would get people to dress in either black, yellow or black and yellow (black and yellow stripes would, of course, be perfect), decorate the flat with bees and have bee-themed food and drinks. I then didn’t have a birthday party for a couple of years for various reasons (last year I went to Sweden the day after my birthday, for example) and kind of forgot about the idea… until I found bee glasses at Claire’s in Dublin. I bought them, saying “these would be perfect if I ever do decide to have a bee-day party!”, then found myself explaining my idea to the friends who were travelling with me.

Bee glasses
Bee glasses

Fast forward to my 30th birthday… Jan’s gift to me was a dress with bees all over it. He made me try it on straight away to make sure it fit, then said he would like me to wear it at my birthday party that weekend. I had originally planned to wear a dress my mum bought me, but was easily persuaded to go for the bee dress instead (did I mention I like bees?!)

The Saturday after my birthday was the day of my party. We had arranged to have it at a relatively new bar/café called Soul, which does interesting cocktails and excellent food, including delicious homemade ice cream and excellent mozzerella Maultaschen in garlic butter. If you live in Karlsruhe, you should, check it out! We had the room from 7 pm, so Jan and I went a little early along with a friend who was staying at mine that night (it’s difficult for her to get back to where she lives late at night). We arranged the few last-minute details, then settled down outside with a portion of ice cream each. Then, at just before seven, Jan went off to see whether anyone was coming yet (the plan being to move inside when people started arriving so they would find us).

He was gone for quite a while, and my friend and I had started to joke that he’d run off leaving us to pay the bill, then he turned up with the group of friens I go to the quiz with. All of them (including Jan now) were wearing yellow and black striped T-shirts and my friend K (I really need to think of better pseudonyms for people…) was carrying a cake. This cake:

bee cake

How adorable is that? Underneath the icing is chocolate Guinness cake… which is delicious! Don’t let the Guinness put you off – it really does taste good! They also had bee-themed gifts… despite the fact that I had already received my gifts from them on my actual birthday (a Tina Dico CD and a bunch of flowers, in case anyone’s wondering). I got some honey, a bee-shaped ballon and this:

My pillow pal
My pillow pal

I’ve named him Johnny Bee (geddit?).

Jan had arranged with the bar owner that he would pay for everyone’s first cocktail plus crostini for everyone, and I had asked for everyone to be given a glass of Prosecco when they came in so we could do the glass-clinking thing. The crostini were really good – at least the tomato-mozzerella and the red pesto ones were. I didn’t try the others (the toppings contained things I don’t like) but they seemed to go down well… they disappeared quickly enough anyway! The cocktails were tasty too, and as far as I can tell everyone had a good time. I know I did!

Thank you to my amazing friends and boyfriend for arranging it all! ♥♥

And now I have to go cross stitch… my friend most inconsiderately went and gave birth and I’m not finished yet 😉

Cocktails and cross dressing

I kind of neglected my blog this weekend… mostly because I was busy, but also because I had nothing much to say. Now that my 30 German Towns Before 30 challenge is over, I don’t have a ready-made filler topic any more! Will have to find something new to post about! (And on a side note, why to I misspell “because” 9 out of 10 times when I type it?!).

Blue alarm clock
Follow the alarm clock… you know you want to! (Photo: Wikipedia)

Anyway… I’m sure you’re all wondering what I did with my last weekend in my 20s… and if you’re not, tough! I’m going to tell you anyway 😉 But before I do, a favour.  My friend is taking part in GISHWHES… which stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, and as part of it her team’s alarm clock Twitter account needs 200 followers. Nope, I have no idea why an alarm clock either! But I’m sure it would help very much if all my lovely bloggy friends could follow the Twitter account: @TeamBrokenAngel. It’s only for a week… and also the whole thing is for charity. Thank you lovelies!!

So… what did I do this weekend? Well, on Friday night my friend came round for tea. We ate homemade burgers and homemade chips, drank wine and chatted about life, the universe and everything.

On Saturday I spent most of the day going round every clothes shop in Karlsruhe in search of hotpants and fishnets, among other things. Do you know how difficult it is to find black hotpants when every shop has already switched to the autumn collection, despite the fact that it’s only August? The answer you’re looking for is very!

That evening, Jan and I headed to somewhere near Bruchsal to watch a friend of ours perform. She had been taking part in a workshop for aspiring choir conductors and the performance was their final concert. Instead of an entire program made up of different songs, they only performed a few songs, but with a different conductor each time so that the audience could hear how different ways of conducting influences the sound of the song. Very cool! On the way home, I remembered that it was my final weekend before turning 30, so Jan suggested going for a cocktail. We went to the same place where I’ll be celebrating my birthday, and Jan was able to speak to the person in charge, so the party is now basically sorted. Woo hoo!

Rocky horror lips!
Rocky Horror lips (Photo: glyn_nelson)

Sunday then marked the official start of my birthday celebrations… and the reason I was on a hunt for fishnets!
Knowing how much I like musicals, Jan had bought us tickets for The Rocky Horror Show! It’s part of my birthday present, but because yesterday was the last day of the current run, it had to be done before my actual birthday. And naturally I had to go in costume… where’s the fun in going to Rocky in normal clothes? We went as a group of six, three of whom were male, and we even managed to persuade the guys to dress in women’s clothing… well, what did you think the title of this post was about? 😉 It was… “interesting” seeing the show performed in German, especially since the songs were still in English! But once I got used to the sudden switches it was quite enjoyable, and all in all, I thought they did a very good job, especially considering it was a small theatre! Because we all went in costume, we each got a small bag of props, which was a new experience for me! Last time I went, the theatre didn’t allow props. Chucking toilet roll around a theatre is a lot of fun, let me tell you! 😀

The last time I saw the Rocky Horror Show, it was the official 30th Anniversary Tour in 2003. This year, in June, the show celebrated its 40th anniversary. I suppose that means I’d better watch it again in ten years for the 50th anniversary show. Traditions must be upheld, after all! 😉

(P.s. If you’re wondering how I’m posting so early on a work day… it’s because for once I have time for a proper lunch break! ;-))

What am I stitching? Part 3

I couldn’t possibly go away for a week and leave you without a single post, could I? Since it’s exactly a week since I last had you try and guess what I’m currently cross stitching, I decided to take the easy route for this one and give you part 3.

Last week, I gave you this photo to base your guesses on:

What am I going to be?
What am I going to be?

Here are the answers:

Lady of the Cakes was unwilling to commit herself too much, but she did spot a little grey cloud of doom on the picture!
Elaine from I Used to be Indecisive thought it might be a green teddy bear sitting astride an ‘arm’ of a star.
Thoughtsy had a few ideas: An angel on a moon…or a banana. Maybe a little kid sleeping on the moon…or a banana.
Janey of Is That You Darling? initially wanted to suggest a canary, but decided the yellow thing probably is a moon after all.
Linda of Expat Eye on Latvia came up with the hilarious suggestion of a leprechaun with an egg-shaped head, kicking his heels together as he dances a jig in his green booties. For some reason I can’t explain, a banana is throwing up a little in the background. I almost wish it was that!
Gina4Star‘s answer was “a banana boat in the (green) sea?! Or more topically, I think it might be an angel.
Someone calling themselves JJ asked “Is it a baby climbing a banana?“. I can neither confirm nor deny that at this point, JJ.
Elaine from I Used to be Indecisive then returned with another guess: A dragon!
Then JP, aka Pining Liwasan, came up with this: “A hungry bear eating a loaf of bread, resting his back on something“, the something being either a moon or a yellow tree trunk.
And finally, I asked Jan what it looked like to him, and his response was “A woman dancing“. The grey thing is her hat, she’s rather well endowed, and the yellow is a spotlight shining on her.

Lots of fun guesses… and lots of bananas! Let’s see what you all come up with for this week’s picture:

Is it becoming clearer?... Or more difficult?
Does this make things any easier? 😉

Also, Lady of the Cakes asked whether there would be a prize. So, I’m thinking German chocolate. The only question now is does the first person to guess (or come close to) the right answer win, or do I send the goodies to whoever’s answer I like best? Decisions, decisions…

Cross stitch, cocktails and a new dress

Did you all have a good weekend? Mine flew by too fast, as usual, but I managed to cram a lot in.

On Saturday, I dragged the boyfriend shopping with me. After weeks of failure, I wanted to finally purchase a dress for the christening I’m going to in 2 weeks and I needed him along for a second opinion. We ended up in a shop called BiBa, which I’ve never been in before, and after trying on a dress that made me look completely shapeless, the shop assistant remembered something else they had in stock and came back with something else for me to try on. It fit, it emphasised my good bits (whilst hiding the worst of the lumps and bumps) and I liked the colours… even the little bit of pink on the front didn’t disturb me too much (I hate pink!). And – best of all – it was size XS (something I suspect had more to do with the shop’s sizing system than me). Jan liked it as well, so we decided to go with it, even though it cost slightly more than I had been planning to spend.
And now I bet you all want to see the dress, don’t you? OK… here it is:


That evening, we went to Karlsruhe’s beach bar. One of our friends couldn’t believe we’d never been, and insisted that we take the opportunity now the weather is finally nice. It could very well be raining again by this time next week, and there isn’t that much of the summer left any more. The place itself was nice enough… it’s on the roof of a multi-story carpark, which is pretty cool. You can watch the birds and, once it gets dark, see the stars. The service was incredibly slow though, and the cocktails I tried were a bit meh. The Mojito Razz (raspbery mojito made using Bacardi Razz) was nice enough, but the Hugo was far too sweet and Jan’s Sundowner was awful! Later, we moved on to a new place that Jan and I have walked past a couple of times and been meaning to check out. The Strawberry Colada I had there was amazing! Not too sweet and made with real strawberries.

Cocktails at Soul
Cocktails at Soul

Sunday was mostly spent alternating between housework and cross stitch. Once again, I’m rushing to get a gift finished in time for an event (last time it was a wedding, this time it’s a birth). Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Anyone feel like guessing what it's going to be? ;-)
Anyone feel like guessing what it’s going to be? 😉

I still have a long way to go before it even starts to resemble a picture! Guess what I’ll be doing with my evenings this week…
On Sunday evening, we were invited round to a friend’s place for dinner. We had peach chicken with couscous, which was delicious! This was followed by chocolate fondue with plenty of fruit for dipping. My waist line did not thank me, but it was so, so worth it! I also indulged in some Pimms and lemonade (now that’s what they Aldi should have had for their British Isles week instead of Buck’s Fizz… Pimms!). Good food, good company and wine… could there be a more perfect way to finish the weekend?

Awesome Internet find

I came across this site this morning thanks to Facebook and I HAD to share it with you all as soon as possible.

It changes whatever you write to cats.


To get your own writing turned into cats go here:

The website is Japanese, but there’s a button at the top right to switch to English. Now go forth and create cat writing!

Weekend fun

I have more to tell you about Berlin, but the photos are taking ages to sort, so for now I shall tell you about my weekend instead.

Yesterday my friend brought her Wii round and a few of us had a games night. We invited my downstairs neighbour over so we couldn’t disturb anyone and did Just Dance. It was a lot of fun but sooo exhausting! And I can really feel my thighs today! At least I can definitely say I got my exercise this weekend! Photos do exist, but they will not be finding their way on to this blog ever.

Today, the sun was shining, so after watching Newcastle United lose horribly in a football match against their local rivals (I wish I’d stayed in bed!!), Jan and I headed out to look for signs that Spring has finally sprung. We found them in the form of blossoms… finally here a month later than usual!

Spring tree

My new shoes finally got their chance to go outside! Hopefully this is the start of this year’s good weather and I won’t have to get my winter boots back out again!

Polkadot shoes

Our yearly passes for the zoo ran out a week ago, so we decided to go and renew them, and pop in to the zoo while we were at it. We got to see the new baby giraffe! Very cute.

Baby giraffeWe also went to visit the alpacas, but they were too busy eating grass to pay any attention to us.


Walking round zoos is thirsty work, so we decided to head to a cafe and have an iced chocolate (well, I did. Jan had some yoghurty fruit thing).


Then it was time to head home for our tea (or dinner, if you prefer), which is currently cooking. Meanwhile, I’m off to watch The Big Bang Theory.

35 before 35: Schwarzlicht minigolf

When looking for things to do in Berlin, I came across something called Schwarzlicht Minigolf (blacklight mini golf), which I immediately knew I wanted to do, so on to the 35 before 35 list it went. I wasn’t sure whether I would actually have a chance to do it in Berlin, but it turned out that Duisburg, Bremen and Hamburg have their own blacklight minigolf courses, so I was fairly confident that I would manage it before my 35th birthday. As it turned out, Jan was all for it, so I did get to do it in Berlin.

Basically, it’s pretty much the same as ordinary minigolf (but I like minigolf so that’s ok). The only difference is, in the words of the lady who gave us our clubs and balls, this version is “darker and more colourful” (for an extra Euro, we could also have got a pair of 3D glasses, but we chose not to). After collecting our equipment, we headed downstairs into the cellar where we immediately spotted the first hole. Colourful certainly wasn’t an exaggeration! This was on the wall by the first hole – unfortuntely I didn’t manage to get a good photo of it.

Colourful minigolf wall

Hole one was separate from the others, so after completing that one we headed into the first proper room, which was Berlin themed. Well… it had a picture of the Brandenburg Gate anyway.

Brandenbrug Gate art

I actually did pretty well in this part of the game (or maybe Jan just did badly? Either way, I ended up with a better score than him… well, one point better anyway).  Room 2 was basically just colourful (there was no theme that I could work out) and room 3 was set in a kind of futuristic desert kind of scene – maybe it was supposed to be a space station on Mars or something?

Wall art in room 3
Wall art in room 3

The decorations in room 4 were my favorite. This time there was no doubt that we were supposed to be in space… and even without glasses the planets looked 3D! My crappy photos really don’t do it justice…

One of the holes in room 3
One of the holes in room 4

Minigolf in space

Space art

Until this point, the courses had been fairly standard with just one or two more unusual ones thrown in. Then we moved on to the final room…

Crazy minigolf

My first reaction was “How is this even supposed to work?!”. Take this for example:

Hard mini golf course

The aim is to hit the ball up the slope, over the gap and have it land on the yellow bit at the other side then roll into the hole (the black dot you can just see at the back of the photo). Falling off the sides counts as having gone out of the course, but we chose to ignore that rule. Neither of us managed to get the ball across the gap even once anyway…

Jan actually did pretty well in the final room. I failed utterly miserably at every one of the courses in there. So much for my good start! The final results say it all…
Bev 78, Jan 63

Apart from the last room, this wasn’t much different to ordinary minigolf, but it was fun anyway!If you like minigolf and want to try something different, I would certainly recommend it. And I’m sure it would be great fun for kids as well! The staff give each person a gold club to match their height and we noticed they had some tiny ones so even little kids should be able to have a go. We went at night, and the place was full of teenagers (as can be expected) but there were a couple of adults too.

The Berlin Schwarzlicht Minigolf is located in Görlitzer Park, which is in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. (Kreuzberg apparantly used to be a fairly dodgy area of Berlin but is slowly becoming gentrified, so you’ve got graffitied buildings right next to nice looking cafés, which is slighty disconcerting.) The actual address is Görlitzerstrasse 1, but Google maps apparantly doesn’t have a clue where that is and tried to tell us it was right in the middle of the park, which resulted in us going through the wrong entrance and wondering around in the dark for a while! We were even approached by someone who asked whether we needed “something!” No, I’m really not here to get my “fix”, honest…

To get there, take the U-Bahn (underground train) to Görlitzerbahnhof. The park entrance is on the corner of Skalitzerstrasse and Görlitzerstrasse, and the minigolf place is fairly close to the entrance. The building is covered with graffiti and there’s no proper sign but look out for the blackboards with “Schwarzlicht Minigolf” written on them. If you’re going at night or on the weekend, I would definitely advise making a reservation! We were unable to get through by phone, so we just turned up only to find that it was full so we ended up booking then for two nights later. During the week it might be ok as long as it isn’t school holidays.

Here, have a bonus picture of me playing minigolf (I don’t normally post photos of myself, but on this one I’m basically just a shadow…)

Minigilf girl