Samstag, 19. Dezember 2009

BYE BYE BERLIN (well, for two weeks)!!!

And hello Armagh. City of angels and dreams. Well, not quite, far from it. Everything is sort of strange and dull and every new building that has popped up in my absence seems to have been designed along the lines of very large, very imposing public toilets. But, but, but it is the city of home-cooked meals and tins full of homemade mince pies. Good freakin' times. I swear to God I am going to do nothing but eat for the next two weeks. And watch crappy T.V. and annoy my family. Yay yay yay.

But, to be fair, it was hard to leave old B-lizzle this morning, snowy and sunny and BRILLIANT as she was. She? He? I can't think of what sex I think of Berlin as. And I can hardly say "it". The B-town is so much more than an "it". Oh, I don't know. But I shall miss being there, even if I am just gone for two weeks. I am very much in love with my city at the moment. Smile, sigh, cosy warm feeling.

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2009


Wowee, but do I love Christmas. We just put our tree up and he (namely, Chubby. Last year's was Fatty) looks awesome. Terribly tacky and garish but in the best possible way. We had a great time putting him up, with one of us wedged under the tree wedging newspapers into a pot, with poor Chubby wedged into the bottom half of a tonic bottle. Decorating him was even more fun, helped along by the Flatmate's "Now that's what I call Christmas" album.

We are now having "medicinal" hot toddies and watching Arrested Development. Good times.

Samstag, 12. Dezember 2009

On being THAT girl...

Oh god. Office party. Have never been to one before, due to never having a proper job etc etc, may never be able to go to one again. So many bad decisions it's hard to know where to begin. So I don't think I will. Suffice to say that neither it, nor I, were pretty. Certainly not towards the end of the night. Good Lord.

But yes, onwards and upwards, Leute. I am trying to acheive good things this weekend, in an attempt to balance out the baaaad karma that I totally deserve after Thursday night's performance. I did a lot of knitting today. My scarf is about three and a half inches long which is pretty good seeing as I made it so freakin' wide and with freakin' fine wool. This pleases me. In about a year's time I will be able to wear it and I shall do so with much pride.

I have also been reaccquainting myself with Buffy, of late. Namely seasons 2 and 3. Man alive, is that a good show. Comedy, drama, romance, amazing nineties fashion and VAMPIRE SLAYING. Literally, what more could you want? Exactly. We've also been looking at a lot of first season Sex and the City which is hilarious as they all look so alarming. I have now developped a fear that I am going to end up like Carrie in a few years, running around town in the same old odd and vaguely slutty attire calling it "fashionable" and "individual" when really it is just odd and (not even that) vaguely slutty. Think I might need to start paying heed when my mother talks about me getting some "proper clothes". Though I will draw the goddamn line at a trouser suit. Her and my grandmother have been trying to get me into a trouser suit for years and I just refuse, refuse, refuse. There is nothing more hellish and sad as a trouser suit. Though, to be fair, what do I know? At the age of twenty three I've decided to "go grunge" and can often be seen around town in skintight purple velvet and biker boots. Is that acceptable? I just don't know anymore.

Samstag, 5. Dezember 2009


Which is awesome for many reasons. The first is that you can drink things like Gluehwein and Apfelpunsch like all of the damned time and noone can judge you or they are a soulless heathen with no sense of what is good in this world. This also goes for the consumption of chocolate, Lebkuchen and mince pies. Oh God, I wish I could get my hands on some mince pies right now. They really are my festive treat of choice.

Other things about Advent in Berlin that make me happy, in list form because a) am as lazy as the day is long and b) I have to go soon to the...

CHIRSTMAS MARKET. Love them, love them, love them. And anyone who says anything bad about them ("ooooh, they're so touristy and tacky") is a fool and deserves a bag of coal and a punch in the face. You get to wander round looking at Christmassy things whilst listening to Christmassy songs and eating and drinking Christmassy things. And everyone is nice and happy and smiley because IT'S CHRISTMAS.

That my BVG ticket was cheaper this month as a Christmas present from them, and the fact that any Saturday or Sunday in advent a 2.10€ ticket counts a day pass. How nice is that?! I love BVG. Even if they did fuck up a little, S Bahn-wise, this year. But, come one, the BVG on a very, very bad day still kicks Dublin Bus' dirty, unreliable, overpriced arse all over the shop.

That I get to teach Christmas to the kiddies for two whole weeks. This involves a lot of glitter, snowmen treasure hunts and CHOCOLATE. Awesome.

Got to go, tat to buy, hot things to drink and so on and so forth.

Freitag, 27. November 2009


Haven't blogged in a while.I can't imagine this affecting anyone other than myself, really (though, hello eight readers! Very heartening, thank you.) but still.

Things that have been distracting me from blogging:

Awesome Casella's visit. Wowee, how much fun was had? Too much. I miss you ladee, come back to us soooooon.

Reading Nora Roberts. Again. I know, I know, it's sick and wrong. I have a BA in Literature for fuck's sake. But can I stop, no I bloody well can't. The one I finished last night finished with a cougar killing a criminal to save the woman he loved. A cougar, a big mountain cat thing. there was alot about cougars and such, since the leading "strong woman" (so the blurb tells us) is a leader in her field of big cat preservation. All while managing to be beautiful and sexy and slim and ever so slightly vulnerable (even if she won't admit this vulnerabilty, even to herself). But it's okay, she ultimately lets herself admit her vulnerabilty, and succumbs to the love and protection of some man. I mean, it's angering me so much to even vaguely outline the plots of these things (the last one I read had exactly the same plot but instead of wildlife reserves the woman was really great at refurbishing houses. Seriously.) but I cannot put them down. It's like really awful, patronising, cliched heroin.

Cleaning the flat. Not something we often do, but yesterday it became a matter of neccessity after the flatmate and I discovered that the leak coming from under the sink was in fact soy sauce.

Adjusting to the new Butter Cutting Regime that the flatmate has me under. Apparently I cut at the paper too much and that creates some kind of trouble for her. But I have been shown the Error of my Ways and am Truly Sorry.

But, wahey, it's the weekend again. So if you'll excuse me I have to go get gussied up (as my grandfather would say), or at the least amake an attempt and femininity.

Dienstag, 17. November 2009

Soooo, I was in London last weekend.

And spent the whole damned time missing Berlin. Well, nearly the whole time. Any time I had a sausage roll or a Rich Tea biscuit in my mouth I was pretty much the U.K.'s biggest fan, but you know what I mean. Yeah, 'tis good to be back. Berlin is very definitely home now, which is a good thing as I live here and it's always awkward feeling out of place the whole time.

And Berlin is being particularly AWESOME to me these days. First of all I have a Besuch, Sara, who has come all the way from NEW YORK CITY to see us and our city. So exciting. We are showing her all the sights. Like the inside of various bars and Das Perfekte Dinner. She is Loving It.

Secondly, I went ice-skating last night and it was freakin' cool. (No pun intended. Seriously, that would be an awful pun, and I take my puns seriously. You're talking to the woman who recently made an AMAZING pun involving knitting magazines which referenced the Smiths.) We all went and had fun times and gluehwein. Lots of gluehwein. Seriously, the state of us. Literally on the ice for about fifteen minutes before we established a gluehwein station, whereby one person would wait off the ice with a cup of wein and proffer it as each person glided past*. Like the water station at a marathon**. Good times.

* For "glided past", in my case at least, read "shuffled by in an awkward and terrified manner".

** Well, nothing like, really. I mean it wasn't water, it was wine and, exciting as it was, 50 minutes ice skating ain't no marathon. But still.

Montag, 9. November 2009


So it's been twenty years since the auld wall came down. Big day. Here's how I chose to mark the historic occaison:

Woke up feeling awful. Have slept little since, oh god, maybe Wednesday night. Staggered to work, which was quite a feat. Managed it though, with only a hint of possible vomit action around Koepenick, when I contemplated leaping off the train for a quick tactical puke. Didn't though, which was probably a good thing.

Lamented repeatedly the loss of my iPod, circa 4.30 a.m. Friday night. My own, stupid, irresponsible fault. But still.

Failed to prevent a four-year-old destroying a pot plant. Soil, plant and general embarrassment all round.

Listened to some world leaders address Berlin on ye old BBC World. Got all emotional, and also slightly perturbed by the fact that I now seem to count myself as one of "the people of Berlin".

Managed to miss the flash mob thing I had planned on doing. Went to pub instead. Good times.

Dienstag, 3. November 2009

(More) Uncomfortable Confessions.

At the risk of this blog becoming little more than a weirdly candid series of posts detailing my eventual and inevitable total failure to be a proper human being there are some things that have been perturbing me of late.

I am getting more and more drawn into the world of Nora Roberts, romance novellist extraordinaire. It's not even trashy (read graphic) romance either. It's like proper "her pleasure drove her to the peak of the mountain and down over the other side into the valley of dreams as he ravished her"-type romance. But goddamnit, she spins a damned good yarn. Better, I suppose, than the weird vampire romance/porn/sci-fi/street-fighting "novel" I was so entranced with this time last year.

Last night the lovely ladies that I teach English to were joking that I needed to find a nice boyfriend and then I'd stay in Berlin. And what did I reply to these lovely women who PAY for me, as a PROFESSIONAL, to TEACH them stuff? "I like boys who are in rock and roll bands". Good one, Super Teacher.

I had a sex dream about Kerry Katona last night. I really don't think this one needs much explanation. That and I really, really don't want to talk about it.

Sonntag, 25. Oktober 2009


So on Friday lovely Camilla taught me to knit. First we went to the most amazing wool shop way out West. The U-Bahn stop was Guentzelstrasse, other than that I have little idea where exactly it was. But good golly, it was amazing. A lovely room with really high ceilings all full of lovely, lovely wool. So much lovely wool. And I was really quite over hung, it was so soothing. It took all my self restraint not to climb into their display wagon thing and go to sleep. Almost as soothing as that room with all the model ships in the Technik Museum. But yes, anyway, lovely Camilla sorted me out with wool and needles and then we went and sat in a cafe in F'hain and she taught me to cast on and knit. It was super exciting. Unfortunately I have decided what I want is a really big scarf made from really fine wool so it's going to take me until next Christmas to actually finish it, but still. It's very fun and satisfying, even though I have only knitted about a centimetre. But mark my words, in eighteen months or so I am going to have one freakin' cool scarf.

Other things that have made me happy this weekend:

Discovering (again thanks to Lovely Camilla, who is all kinds of awesome) Nil on Gruenberger Strasse which does these amazing chicken kebab things with peanut sauce. Heavens above.

Having a McDonalds. Yup, it was great and I don't regret eating it one bit. Sometimes (by which I mean those times you've been sicking up last night's fucking Corona ALL DAY) only McDonalds will do.

Getting an hour's extra kip last night, I don't know about you but I really, really needed that.

And, and, AND tonight I'm goingto White Trash for lots of yummy food and giggage.

Great weekend!!!

Samstag, 24. Oktober 2009

Rosie, Queen of Corona...

...I am certainly not.

So last night we all went to to Tacheles to see our friends play and deejay. Fun times were had all round, fun times and a fuckton of Corona. Dear Lord, how is it legal to make a beer that tastes just like juice? It's hardly normal. Or advisable. But when do I ever stick to what's normal or advisable? Gods, but I wish I would. I was So Sick today. Horribly, horribly so. The whole world now has permission to punch me in the face if they ever see me drinking beer at a rate of more than one an hour. Right in the face, I mean it.

And what do I have to go and do now? Yes, that's it, DRINK. Good God.

Dienstag, 20. Oktober 2009

Money for nothing and chicks for free...

Ah, Brett Michaels and your Rock of Love, I salute you. The amusement I derive from watching the THIRD season of this genius programme more than compensates for the twinges of pain watching 12 women forced to "compete" for the "affection" of a "man" causes my feminist sensibilities. Not least as the third seasontakes place ON TOUR. There are two buses! One pink (for the slutty ones) and one blue (for the non-slutty ones). As far as I can ascertain, there is no difference between the sluts and the non-sluts. And oh boy oh boy are these gals crazy. One of them, "Ashley", has a naked picture of herself tatooed on her arm. HERSELF. NAKED. ON HER OWN ARM. They get drunk all of the time. And howl abuse at eachother and wear nothing but underwear. It is terrifying but also electrifying. What will they do next?

Samstag, 17. Oktober 2009


Yes, it's the weekend. Almost halfway through, in fact. Hence the hangover and the fact that I've been wearing the same Klamotten for more than twenty-four hours. I was taken to a new bar (new to me) last night. I liked it a lot. It was cheap (3.50 cocktails, G and T for 2.80) and friendly. I mean, the bar staff were appallingly slow (when oh when are they ever not in this town?) but nice with it. So yeah, Kaptain Mueller's on Simon-Dach, I salute you.

Tonight it is the turn of the Oscar Wilde's and Villa to be graced with my sometimes lovely and always entertaining (at least that's what I tell myself) presence. I can't remember why exactly we're going to the Oscar's but I'm sure it'll be a blast. It smells of home. Well, if home was a dirty, dark and frankly unhygenic toilet, but you know what I mean. Villa should also be pumpin', the Flatmate informs me. I only hope I can stay awake long enough to get there, I'm freakin' exhausted.

Must dash. Body to shower, stomach to line etc etc.

Donnerstag, 15. Oktober 2009

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts.

Good Lord, it is what can only be described as mothafuckin' freezing outside. I mean, I know it's not and things are only (contrary to what East 17/Labour back in its Tony-is-awesome days would have you believe) going to get much worse but STILL. However, the sudden cold snap does have its upsides.

And there is no side more up than GLUEHWEIN's side. Oh yes, mulled wine season is back, kiddies, back with a vengeance. Seriously, I can't remember drinking anything else from October to March last winter. Why the hell would you? Yummy. Fun to make, fun to heat up out of a carton, fun to share, fun to drink a whole fucking saucepan alone. Perfect accompaniment to cake, stew, spag bol, film nights, Christmas markets, nights in, nights out, Wednesdays, Mondays, dinners, lunchtimes, possibly breakfast, definitely brunch. You get the picture.

I have yet to have any yet but mark my words I shall. In fact I may just organise some kind of ceremonial gluehwein party on Saturday to officially mark the start of the season. Invitations are in the post, bring cake and joy.

Montag, 12. Oktober 2009

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

So, in my first post in approximately eight years I have a few things to admit.

1) My obsession with Katy Perry's 'Waking up in Vegas' has been replaced by an overwhelming LOVE for the Black Eyed Peas 'I've Got A Feeling'. No, really. The 'Peas. I really have no justification. THE BLACK EYED PEAS, FFS. One of the lines in the song just contains the word 'mozoltov', inexplicably shouted. A word I had to Google to spell, which upset me even further as the first Google result is 'What does the word 'mozoltov' mean? I heard it in that Black Eyed Peas song'. Crikey, what have I become?

2) I have got worryingly involved in the latest MTV 'reality' show thingy, 'Scream Queens', where a bunch of hired maniacs compete for a 'starring' role in Saw VI. I haven't the strength to go in to this any further at this juncture.

3) On Saturday night I literally slept on a doormat. Albeit within an apartment building, but still. Three things you should remember to do when leaving a flat at four in the morning to go on a (frankly unnecessary) wine run 1) BRING YOUR FUCKING KEYS 2) bring enough cash to actually BUY the wine so you don't have to beg for money outside the spaeti (thank you lovely man who gave us two euros) and 3) don't live with people who SLEEP LIKE THE FREAKING DEAD. So yes, four a.m we leave the flat, nine forty-five a.m we re-enter it. I've had more fun.

4) There are six full bin bags on our balcony. SIX. I may well be the most disgusting person I know and I know someone who once used Cillit Bang as antiseptic.

Samstag, 12. September 2009

Easy steps to banish the mean reds.

1) Listen to your favourite song from when you were 17. On repeat. All evening. It may be angsty but must be up-tempo. Give no thought to how uncool it now seems. Back when you were seventeen this song was the shit and you knew it. The zeitgeist is for idiots.

2) Dance to the aforementioned with joy and abandon all over your living room. If you get tired you may switch to a slower song (again, only if you listened to it as a teenager) but you should continue to gesticulate emotively along. If the ballad in question is of the middle-of-the-road-American-altrock genre then all the better. Something about losing a woman, or a horse, or a bet, or sanity is ideal.

3) Look out your window and notice that there's an amazing fireworks display going that seems to have been put on just for the betterment of your mood. If the world fails to comply with this imagine one. Or stage your own. Buy some sparklers. Set a cushion on fire. Set yourself on fire. Whatever it takes, honey.

4) Have some cake. I'm not talking comfort eating a whole fucking Kaesekuchen here, just to be clear, about a quarter should suffice.

5) Remember that you live in a world with the following: cake, tea, plain chocolate digestives, Dolly Parton, Barack Obama, blueberry pie, white russians, Margaret Atwood novels, Shakespeare, Ryan Gosling, your friends, your family, your pets, Ikea (particularly the meatball section of Ikea), the National, the Guardian, William Faulkner, Katy Perry (feel free to skip La Perry if she don't do for you what she does for me) and countless other amazing things and people and ENTITIES.

There now, don't you feel better. I do.

Donnerstag, 10. September 2009


I was in Club de Visionaer last night and to look around at the collected facial expressions in the queue for the loo you'd have thought we were waiting to be ritually excuted with a blunt spoon. Heavens above the sheer, unaldulterated misery on these girls faces. Now, to be fair, there could have been some mitigating circumstances that had them all standing their looking like bulldogs licking piss off a nettle. Maybe they just collectively found out that their collective boyfriends are gay, or cheating on them with that horrible bitch Scarlett Johannson plays in that weird film, or massive Red Hot Chili Peppers fans. But more than likely this was just another Wednesday night of drinking with their mates on a lovely Indian summer's evening that they had to toil through. Seriously, the looks of them when they used to come into the bar I worked in on a Saturday night. It would take all my waitressy charm and perk just get a smile out of them, and they were the ones out for the night rather than mopping up Guiness and piss for 6 euro an hour. I ask you.

But the thing is, see, that they are not just horrible grumpy people who don't want to have fun. A few pints and a lot more waitressing perk and they're all smiles and "Oh ja, these Irish pubs macht so much Spass" (incidentally this one didn't, at all, which just proves my point). It's just that they don't seem to be comfortable being fun with total strangers, which I can understand but not condone, seeing as one of the greatest joys in life is connecting with a random individual on a personal level, if only for a fleeting moment. Think about it, that warm fuzzy glow you get when you share a dear-lord-aren't-we-hilarious-and-sure-we-don't-even-know-each-other-madness-total-madness! joke with a total stranger comes about because, if only for the length of time it takes to discuss the state of the loo/queue at the bar/hideousness of the RHCP, you realise that the rest of humanity is not, in fact, made up of horrible shitheads out to ruin your day by being cooler and thinner than you but is choc full of awesome, hilarious people who essentially just want to have a good time.

So, come on Berlin. You can do it. Trust me, you'll enjoy it. I swear I've seen a flicker on amusement and pleasure behind the bemused half-smile you throw me when I insist on making eye contact and smiling when you come out of the bathroom stall. I double dare you to ask if I've any lipgloss on me, if all men are cheating bastards, or just dive straight in there with "Jesus, how awful are the Chili Peppers?". You'll enjoy it, I promise. I'm a scream.

Samstag, 5. September 2009



Other things that are RWTW (Right With The World):

1) It is a Saturday and I am not hungover. I feel glorious and also so smug I could just do a smug dance. Maybe I'll go the whole hog and start doing yoga and give up caffeine and say things like "God, to think I used to just poison my body with that stuff! I mean, I might well have just been shooting heroin for all the tea and coffee and meat I was ingesting! Ugh, I don't know how I could live with myself!"...I mean, it's unlikely, especially when you consider my addiction to all of the above plus doener kebabs and overly processed "American style" chocolate chip cookies, but maybe, just maybe.

2) Florence and the Machine are playing Berlin in October. I love her. After Katy Perry she is my number one Inappropriate Crush. Inappropriate only in that she is a lady and I am not a lesbian. As opposed to La Perry who is inappropriate in pretty much every way going. But can I help myself? No, no I cannot. The course of true love never did run smooth.

3) The new Mexican imbiss on Danziger Strasse. Yum, yum, yum, yum. A little upset that it's name appears to actually be Maria Bonita rather than TACO! (I don't know where I got that from) but still. I think it's also run by go-getting young folks who used to cook in White Trash before setting up on their own. I am a fan of go-getting young folks, and the burritos are goooood.

4) I am about to have some tea and cake now.


n. One who loses things. See also Fuckingeejit, Megan.

So, Wednesday night. Club der Visionaer. Sitting on the dock (of the bay, cue obligatory rendition by all present) having a beer and the craic. Lovely night, last of the summer etc etc and what do I bloody well go and do? Manage to knock my whole bag (open end down) into the gap between the docks. Everything into the Spree, EVERYTHING. IPod, camera, phone, wallet (with all my cards, plus my newly acquired bus / train monthly ticket), EVERYTHING. The phone and the iPod were recovered (though not in working order, natch) but the wallet and the camera SANK LIKE FUCKING STONES, never to be recovered.

And the worst thing? Everytime I tell this story people start laughing.

So this is it, my friends, I am officially Off The Drink and On The Wagon. Well, for two weeks. Just to see how it goes, like. Wouldn't want to torture myself too much etc etc.

Montag, 31. August 2009

The Art of Being Back in Berlin.

For the authentic Back in Berlin experience it is necessary (apparently, to my somewhat addled mind) to complete at least some of the following steps.

1) Have night out that you can only remember about 17% of.

2) Spend day in bed vomiting (this step is more or less directly linked to step 1).

3) Resume marvelling at just how wired one can get off of a Club Mate.

4) "Lose" close friend for a good 36 hours (and counting). Seriously, where is she? I texted her last night to assertain whether she was still alive and got the prompt, but not terribly reassuring response "Just about. See you in the morro.xx"

5) Go to Sachsenhausen, spend rest of Sunday afternoon pondering the pointlessness of human existance.

6) Watch Goodbye Lenin and have faith in German / human race restored. Also get really excited when you recognise bits of Berlin. Also get quite excited, but in a different way, everytime the camera does a close up of Daniel Bruehl's lovely face looking lovely.

7) Continue to nurture unhealthy obsession with Katy Perry. Though to be fair, this isn't exactly linked to Berlin. Just to me. Somewhat upsettingly.

Ah Berlin.

Montag, 27. Juli 2009


So I started off writing a long ranting post about how annoyed I am with Germany at the moment and how difficult and unbending I am finding my German employers and how I was going to make some innocent S Bahn passenger a scapegoat for the entire German populace and just PUNCH THEM IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD and so on and so forth but then I started boring myself and realised I sounded like one of those nightmarish people on English language expat community websites that just moan on and on about how everything was better under the Empire and so I stopped. Stopped using punctuation as well, apparently, but that is besides the point.

So yes, today was a little hot and sweaty and the kids are sick of the sight of me and my employers informed me there was no way I could get paid a little early so I am going to be heading to Canada with approximately no money at all but all is not lost and hideous.


1) I am going to Canada in SIX SLEEPS' TIME.

2) I went (Lena's Jahreskarte in hand) to pay my 7e for not having a ticket on the tram the other day and the woman behind the glass screen of power WAIVED THE RULES FOR ME and so even though I didn't have exactly the right paper work I just paid my dues, shared a conspiratoral wink and headed off. I love her, she is my BVG idol.

3) I am going to make cupcakes in a bit. Lemon flavoured.


5) I am going to Canada in SIX SLEEPS' TIME.

Freitag, 24. Juli 2009

What the holy hell is up with the weather?

Seriously, though. It's fucking disgusting out there. Today started out alright, I even put on a summery dress and flip flops. Now flip flops are not really an item of footwear I like to be associated with unless I am actually on the beach but I don't currently have any viable alternative in the flat, summery pump/more eleganter sandal department (and God knows, I can't afford to buy any) but thank God I did don them for they are made of rubber and by 12 noon THE STREETS WERE AWASH. Seriously, I have just discovered I have watermarks on my heels. And gravel and OTHER DETRITUS.

This is a grave, grave state of affairs. One of the first phrases I learnt when I moved here was "Ich freue mich auf den Sommer", anticipating many long afternoons supping Augustiner in the Volkspark chatting to my elegant Deutsch friends about barbeque techinques and Marxism. But no, what am I doing instead? Trudging through enormous puddles and having epic and awkward battles with my umbrella on the tram.

Now, you'd think that being Irish and all I would be some kind of umbrella ninja/Zen master but you see having lived in Dublin for some years I am out of practise. This is because rain rarely shows his face in Dublin without his good pal wind (who is a total, total cunt) who enjoys blowing rain (this analogy is getting decidely out of hand, sorry) into one's face at an angle of 90 degrees so an umbrella is pointless and stupid and trying to carry one just makes you look like a dick as either you have to hold it vertically in front of your face or it blows inside out. So umbrellas and I are not on the best of terms. Particularly this new umbrella (which, to be fair, I got for free as apparently "if you have a penis you can't have an umbrella" and therefore must give them away to ladies) I find myself in the company of. First of all its got one of those buttons which makes it open itself at alarming speed, with little to no heed paid to those standing immediately in front. Except that this one doesn't open fully but rather charges forth only to adopt a sort of wilted posture. What I am currently carrying around town is the umbrella embodiment of premature ejaculation, if you will. But will the damn thing then close in a humble or appropriately shamefaced manner? Hells no, you have to wrestle with the damn thing, pushing its end into the wall of the tram and sliding all over the damned wet, slippy floor in the process, to the amusement of many a German who, naturally, all have normal, well-behaved umbrellas.

If you'll excuse me I have to go out now, and God knows how long it'll take me to get him into my bag.

Mittwoch, 22. Juli 2009

I am feeling kitschy.

All I want to do is listen to happy, sunny, quirky music like this:

and wear florals. Today is defintely a tea dress day. I want to eat cupcakes too. Maybe I should make some. I still haven't got the hang of baking here because a) they don't have self raising flour and baking soda and powder confuses me and b) I am goddawfully lazy. But maybe today is the day.

Freitag, 17. Juli 2009

Signs that the heat might be getting to us:

I have been having very fevered dreams of late. Involving canoes and chips and being guilty of murder but noone knowing and wondering if I should just keep quiet or maybe just tell my mum.

I cannot contemplate getting on the S Bahn any more.

On the floor this morning I found just the lower legs of a pair of jeans, presumably the Flatmate decided she just couldn't take any more of jeans' shit and wanted to go with shorts instead.

I have been having loud conversations with the weather for ages now. A minute ago I looked up from Facecrack just long enough to hurl a "stop winding you bastard" over my left shoulder. Hardly polite, or grammatically correct.

It's not even that warm today. Crikey.

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2009

So I want a drink...

...and there is sweet Fanny Adams in the flat. Actually, that is a lie. There are several delicious beverages in the flat. Such as the "wine based Caprihina flavoured" monstrosity that Lena insisted on buying on her birthday (I was pushing the trolley around Lidl so had no hands free to wrestle it back onto the shelves, the reason I was pushing the trolley was because I was too hungover to stand up unaided). I would give it a taste but the last time I did I got oddly drawn into its revolting, neon green clutches and only stopped drinking it because Sara arrived and I was too embarassed to to it in front of someone.

The second option is a bottle of white that's been in there for yonks. The reason it's been in there for yonks may or may not be related to the fact that I cannot drink white wine any more. This may or may not be related to Christmas Day 2007.

There is a third of a bottle of red left, its name is "Ciao!" (as opposed to "Bon Soir!", which is the first cooking wine Lena and I got properly into. Many bon soirs were had, let me tell you) and the obligatory bit of Tafel wein in a box but for some reason neither of them are appealing much.

There is a bottle of tequila (well, some) on the door of the fridge, but I cannot drink tequila as my first drink of the evening. Maybe if I was in Mexico and it was proper tequila but hells no to a bottle that comes with a shiny plastic sombrero that Lena insists is for drinking out of. It is not, and will only make you spill it out of the corners of your mouth and down your top and make you look like a total maniac.

There is also a quarter of a bottle of Club Mate which might have vodka in it. I can't imagine why any one would have saved just a quarter bottle of Club Mate.

Have just tasted it and someone did indeed just save a quarter bottle of Club Mate. Dear God. Have poured myself a glass of Ciao! to help me get over the shock.

Montag, 6. Juli 2009

So I watched Steel Magnolias again last night...

...which is probably something I should stop doing in front of people as I just Over Emote to the point of ridiculousness, but ANYWAY, it's amazing. It makes me want even more than normal to up sticks to the rebel states, find a veranda and get working on some mint juleps. For reasons best known to myself (though I have a sneaky suspicion it has something to do with reading Gone With The Wind at an impressionable age) I have a borderline obsessive interest in the Southern states, and its women in particular. They're just so feisty. The fact that I live in the same world as Dolly Parton genuinely enriches my life every single day.

LOOK AT THIS. Her hair is at least 10 inches high, ffs! This video makes me sad I am no longer peroxide blonde (no mean feat, I looked like a transvestite. And not in a good way).

Mittwoch, 1. Juli 2009

Holy Ovary.

Now I am never usually one to cry PMT, but the past twenty-four hours has been utter, hormone induced hell. I have, to date:

Spoiled an otherwise lovely afternoon in very good company by getting "freaked out" by the way the conversation was heading. It was, of course, a totally normal conversation, but no matter, I went stonily silent. Naturally I kept saying "it's fine, nothing wrong here, I'm totallyfinethankyouveryfuckingmuch".

Purchased and ingested an inordinant amount of chocolate and Pom Bears, the remants of which I am consuming stale.

Nearly cried as I passed a man in a wheelchair because he was "so thin".

Told a member of the opposite sex to "for God's sake grow up". I'm sure he would have had he not been SEVEN.

Almost fainted in a Schlecker and a lift and a photocopy shop. And I am not a fainter.

Almost killed about six people on the S Bahn because they KEPT FUCKING TOUCHING MY HANDS OR MY BAG.

It's enough to make you wish you were a man. If they weren't all so bloody USELESS.

Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2009

So the weekend

was awesome and all but the emotional fall-out from all the drinking and non-sleeping and general CAROUSING was on a truly terrifying scale. You know that feeling when you just know for absolute certain that NOTHING WILL EVER BE OKAY EVER AGAIN. Well yes, that times about a hundred.

But of course everything is okay again, for various reasons:

1) We are listening to Rod Stweart. Yes, Roddy ma boy, I do like your body and I think you're sexy. Your version of Ruby Tuesday, on the other hand, is fucking horrific.

2) My cousin Emily is coming tonight. And then my dad, my sister and my brother are coming on Friday. Hurrah!!

3) After days, nay weeks, of truly fucking shocking weather Berlin has finally pulled its socks up and produced some lovely sunshine. No more tramping about in your flatmate's effective but terribly unsexy raincoat in torrential rain trying to buy cotton wool before you go and teach 8 six-year-olds about "winter clothes" (this is how ridiculous my life is, yes).

4) Sunshine = White Russians. Hurrah!

Life is good again.

Freitag, 12. Juni 2009


Well, almost. Two classes left to teach but they two of my favourites. In fact, all the kids this week have been awesome. Not counting Monday's. But I rarely count Mondays. Particularly if Monday starts on two hours sleep and a hangover.

But back to this WEEKEND. Tonight has turned into one of those nights where there's just not enough time to go to everything you want to. I am being forced to choose between a birthday party, another potentially brilliant night at the top of a film studio (at least I think that's what it is) near Sonnenallee, a 90s party in Xberg featuring LIVE HAIRCUTS by Becky and the Exberliner relaunch party. And it's not even properly the evening time yet, so God knows what more revelry will be added to this plethora. I feel vaguely hungover just thinking about it. Jesus, talking about hangovers, last Saturday was possibly a Top Five Of All Time. Not pretty, not pretty at all. Couldn't even look at my Potato Smiles until about 9pm.

As for tomorrow, tomorrow promises to be an event of biblical proportions (referring to its potential to wreak havoc, not any religious affiliations. Unless you count gin as a form of religion, which I probably do). Not only is it WORLD GIN DAY but it is LENA'S BIRTHDAY PARTY. Ich freue mich.

All this raises of course the question of what the devil to wear? Luckily, I was handsomely kitted out last Friday at the lovely Bea's swap shop evening (my first ever, and man, it was SO MUCH FUN) so my options are considerably expanded. Which is a damn good thing indeed as the looks I am sporting most frequently are two of my least favourite, namely Primary School Teacher and Colourblind Transsexual. Particularly tragic when really what I want to look like is this, ALL OF THIS:

Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009

Things that depressed me today:

Doing lots of lovely shopping, including buying ingredients to try to replicate haircutting, cakebringing Becky's brownies of joy, only to have my card refused at the desk. Depressing and also sehr sehr peinlich.

Reading my online bank statement.

Being berated (even worse as she was smiling and gushing throughout, but a berating it was) by one of the kids I teach's mother for "always talking too loudly in the class". Show me someone who can keep a group of crazed six year olds occupied for an hour in a small room full of toys that they're not supposed to play with whilst trying to interest them in learning English without raising their voice occaisionally and I will show you someone who uses valium as a teaching aid.

I think this is actually all there was. I feel much better now. Catharsis and all that jazz, I guess. Huzzah.

Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2009

I have a lot of errands to run today.

And none that I'm particularly looking forward to. Apart from two: picking up a parcel that the lovely Sarah (my teaching-the-world-to-sing/shut-the-hell-up-for-two-bloody-seconds mentor) has sent me which I think is full of stuff to bribe kids with, and shopping for Jessie and Lena's birthday presents. Apart from these fun and possibly cake related activities (as in they require some walking, and therefore SUSTENANCE. Nothing so sustenancing as cake) I have to:

Go to my office to leave in my invoice for last month. This involves a lot of INTERFACING with GERMANS IN SUITS, not my most favourite activity ever. And pretty light on the cake front.

Send off a letter to the Student Loans Company detailing just how little money I earn and thus convincing them not to try to take it all away from me. This will involve writing a serious Dear Sir type letter which I am considering hand writing on a bit of old file paper, as I can't be arsed with/afford the printing off of a typed one. This will only help my argument I feel.

Fill out a German tax form.

Go to goddamned Spandau to teach for 45mins. I travel for FOUR TIMES THAT to get there and back. I fail to see how this is normal.

And goddammn it all to hell I have to go there NOW.

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2009

(More) (cheap) things that make me happy I am in Berlin:

There is a man here who does cookie treasure hunts. He hand delivers your winnings. Unfortunately he is apparently already married, but is opening a shop soon. In the absence of free love I am prepared to pay for (cookie) love. Check it out.

Burgeramt (clever, eh?) on Boxhagener Platz. Amazing burgers and good, generous portions of properly cooked chips. For about a fiver, if even. I had the chicken burger with Erdnusssauce. Odd, but delicious. Lena went for chicken guacamole which had big strips of fresh mango in it. She said it was yummy yummy.

The fact that you meet so many awesome people here. I mean, this goes for everywhere, apart from maybe prison or the House of Commons, but it seems to be doubly true here. In the past week/end alone I met a girl who edits a photography magazine (and owns a brilliant black jumpsuit), another who cuts hair, bakes cakes AND events manages at places like Glastonbury, and yet another who has taken three months off teaching sculpture to three year olds (how, how, HOW?! Mine can barely colour in a house...) to travel around Europe. Wowee.

The fact that you can buy eight mini ciabatta rolls in a bag for like 75c. I still get excited everytime I take a warm broetchen from the oven. If anyone knows of anything better than bread straight from the oven do let me know.

I don't know what was going on here:

But I liked it.

Sonntag, 31. Mai 2009

Oh Peter Andre

I salute thee.

I'm pretty sure I've been busy for the past while.

And that's why I haven't been blogging much of note / use. But I can't for the life of me think what it is I've actually been doing. Drinking, most likely. Drinking myself insensible and then dealing with the inevitable physical, emotional and financial fall-out. Why the hell do I do it to myself? Ugh, hangover depression just take the fucking hint, will you? Noone likes you and certainly noone wants to spend another Sunday afternoon in your shitty goddamn company.

On a (much) more positive note, Lena and I got our haircut by the gorgeous Becky yesterday. The woman is a marvel. She came (bearing the most delicious brownies- and I am fucking fussy when it comes to brownies), she cut (my hair looks normal and healthy again- yay!) and then she came dancing with us last night. She is awesome, her cakes are amazing and the aforelinked blog is great too.

On Friday night my good friend John got me on the list for a huge party at the University of Art near Zoo (there are very few things I enjoy more than being On The List) which was an amazingly OTT masquerade / costume ball thing. I wore Gold Lame (possibly my favourite dress ever) but even she was outshined. Not least by the man who chose to have his outfit better interpret the ball rather than costume element of costume ball, wearing a lot of necklaces, a mask but precious little (in fact nothing) else. Much fun was had by all. Fun and a Burger King on the way home. Yummy. My date for both the ball and BKs (though I fear the latter was probably at my insistence) was the lovely Stephanie, who has a ver ver amusing blog of her own.

Today I am, I AM I AM, going to drag my sorry ass to Kreuzberg to check out some Karneval de Kulturen action. Nothing, as I have previously said, I enjoy more than a street party. And all that's standing between between me and this one is showering, dressing, possibly putting some slap on, maybe doing the dishes, locating some clean clothes (this will not be easy) and finding some peeps that'll put down their hangovers long enough to come play with me. Easy peasy.

Freitag, 29. Mai 2009

Things I found under our sofa today:

Empty bottles.

Two pairs of shoes.

Countless odd socks.

A hair roller.

A hair clip (like, a big one).

An Irish rugby shirt.

A watering can.

Oh dear....

Dienstag, 26. Mai 2009

Things I am pondering today...

If the person hanging up this laundry realised how beautifully it complemented the building and the blossom. I hope so.

The awesomeness of Obama. And women.

The awesomeness of Timm, the gay TV channel. I literally don't know what the hell I've been doing without it. A gay TV channel! They have Queer Eye, they have MILE HIGH ffs. They have a weird lesbian programme I'm now watching my second episode of. Terricle, obvs, but awful compelling.

Freitag, 22. Mai 2009

Making the bridge..

...between Bank Holiday Thursday and the Rest of the Weekend is a lot of fun I have discovered today. Pottering about, drinking coffee and eating the most delicious salad I might ever have tasted (the salate provence at Atlantic Cafe on Bergmann Strasse, in case you're wondering)- it's a hard life but someone's got to live it.

And then I went shopping. Which is a fairly fucking momentous occaison in my life at the moment. I long for the days when I would gleefully spend my student loan on shoes and frippery, when Topshop sales assistants would ask tentatively if I might not have a "bit of" a spending problem. Not any more, my friends, not any more. I more or less have to force myself, shaking and sweaty palmed, to buy even the barest of essentials. Which brings me to my next point:


Holy mother of God, I spent over THIRTEEN QUID on just one (small) bottle of shampoo and one of conditioner. I mean, admittedly, this was in Lush which is widely acknowledged to be stupidly, gallingly over-priced (I have to shop there though, as I think my hair might actually fall out if I subject it to any more chemicals. And the stuff does smell of SUNSHINE), but still. And don't get me started on goddamn American Apparel. A more ridiculous shop I have never encountered. Everything I picked up today was apparently "unisex" which is just fancy talk for "if you're not a ridiculously underweight hipster boy or so gripped by anorexia that puberty has passed you by PUT THIS DOWN AND GET OUT OF OUR SHOP YOU FAT OAF". I declined to purchase any of their stock.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go try and find a way to sneak into Scala tonight as a) apparently it's sold out and b) I have spent all my monies on fucking shampoo.

Dienstag, 19. Mai 2009

I am procrastinating... I really don't want to clean our flat. It is pretty disgusting. Dirty dishes and unreturned Pfand as far as the eye can see. What I actually want to do is lie on the sofa and watch Arrested Development*.

In addition to cleaning/watching AD, I shall also be pondering the source of all the white fluffy stuff that's floating around Berlin of late. What the deuce is it? It was dancing around all through my carriage the S41 this evening which gave the auld Ring Bahn even more magic than usual (seriously, it's all kinds of awesome, oder? All that city grot and allotments and general brilliant Berlin-scape). And it was all over the park like a fluffy rash the other day (as shown, poorly, above). It's a mystery.

OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO GO, JUST REMEMBERED I BOUGHT THE GUARDIAN ON THE WAY HOME. A sluttish and unkempt apartment and appearance I may keep, but I shall be damned well informed.

*It is highly likely that this what I will actually do.

I blame Jessie...

...but I am spending a lot of time listening to female singer songwriters these days. Usually I avoid the auld SS like the plague but how can you fail to fall in love with someone who sings lines like "If you're sleeping with someone who doesn't get you / you're going to hate yourself in the morning". And look how pretty:

Similarly, the more I listen to Laura Marling the more I think "Sweet Jesus, this girl is amazing", and she's only like seven or something.

The album is staggeringly good, if you ask me. Which I feel more people should, if only so my tendency to bang on and on about my musical opinions seems a little less rude.

Freitag, 15. Mai 2009

Me and the girls are heading out on the town tonight...

for dancing and high jinks. Most likely at Villa as they are giving out free fried chicken. Which is amazing by itself, but when you consider that the only thing about 57% (at least) of Villa's clientele ever ingest is cocaine we stand to make a fucking killing.

I hope there are some boys there I can look at. Looking only, I'm afraid, for two reasons. Firstly I am, for the millionth time, OSO (Offically Sworn Off) as I CBA (Can't Be Arsed) and secondly, boys don't talk to me in this town anyway. I'm almost beginning to hanker after the total lunatics that used to approach me in Whelan's. Almost. Luckily I am not alone in my OSO-ness. Jessica has embraced celebacy wholeheartedly in the past wee while (Me: So you're becoming a spinster at the age of 25? Her: Well, it's got a bad name but I'll tell you what, marriage sounds hellish). Anyway, who needs boys when there's dancing to be had, and you're planning on crimping your hair and listening to this a lot before you head out:

It's awesome. Makes me feels like I'm going to a teenage disco again. In a good way. When the night still held glitter (usually in my hair and on my Tammy Girl top) and promise, before the crushing disappointment of watching the boy you loved from a far kiss another girl (to be fair she probably actually had breasts) and failing to "go with" anyone oneself. Ah, youth...

I think it might just be gin o'clock...

So I am going to have one. And a shower. Drinking a G and T in the shower before a night out* is one of life's simplest and best pleasures.

* Careful now, drinking gin in the bath after a night out/in/wherever can be altogether more complicated. Not to mention probably ineffective.

Sonntag, 10. Mai 2009

This was the only photo I saw fit to take last night:

I mean, that is an impressive amount of loo roll for a club loo at two in the morning but there were possibly other things that might have made a better picture.

Last night we went to a party out near Sonnenallee. It was on the top floor of some huge building and it was really cool. I think it was called Skid Mark, charmingly. I met some cool people. One large man from Finland, one medium sized Glaswegian and a small French fashion designer. Can't remember what we talked about but I'm sure they were all entralling.

Got a kebab on the way home as well, awesome. And, as it was PISSING RAIN, Lena fell over. Sad for Lena, pretty funny for us...

Samstag, 9. Mai 2009

I have been on the piss...

...for approximately four and a half decades now, by my reckoning. I look deranged and my skin is unspeakably horrible. My hair is averaging a 6.7 on the Robert Smith scale like, all of the time. Ugh.

We (there are four of us staying in our flat at the moment) were doing that awful drunk girl cackling on the way to the bar. Howling about men and sex and feminism. I think Lena was the soberest at this point and was trying to get us to shut up but to no avail. On we went, knackerdrinking from shared bottles and throwing derisive comments at the sheep queueing at Watergate (honestly, what is all the fuss about?).

We went to Madame Claude's, which I really like. It's got that picture of Laura Palmer framed on the wall as you walk in. It does seem to be having some Polizei issues at the moment though, the music is ver ver quiet after 12. But still, a good time was had by all. We were fairly mangled by the time we even got there. Jessica claims to have been "incapable of holding a normal conversation with anyone" and I think I may have made an appointment to have my hair cut by a French Canadian who spent most of the evening demonstrating how his flannel shirt could be used to conceal the fact that he'd pulled his trousers and pants down until whenever he felt it necessary to reveal his bare arse to relative strangers.

Brilliant night.

Mittwoch, 6. Mai 2009

My wonderful friend Jessica...

has just moved to Berlin and we are currently discussing Things That We Will Always Enjoy Doing Forever.

1) Getting pissed with our friends.

2) Dancing to records (whilst pissed).

3) Listening to Otis Redding.

4) Listening to Leonard. I love washing dishes to Leonard, personally.

5) Discussing who would be the better boyfriend: Bob or Bruce. Bruce usually wins, I just think Bob would leave you behind at parties and things. I mean, not intentionally, but still. You know, he'd be all like "God, I'm so sorry about last night. I just, you know, met this guy and he had like this kazoo and like we just had to go and see this other guy who had a banjo".

6) Eating eggs in for breakfast.

7) Listening to Van. One of my first gifts to Jessie was, like many of my first gifts to many people, a burnt copy of Astral Weeks. I have not the words at this juncture.

I wanted to finish this post with a video of that song but alas I can't find one. The live one sounds weird (he's too old dammit, why was I born TOO FUCKING LATE FOR EVERYTHING?) and I'll be damned if I'm going to accept some lunatic with a guitar, a youtube account and a digital camera as a reptuable substitute. So this post will have no multimedia aspect to it at all. So there.

I made a man cry today.

It wasn't terribly gratifying though, seeing as he was eight and it was accidental and over his (decidely dodgy) drawing of dogs and cats, but still. Nice to know one's still Got It.

Sonntag, 3. Mai 2009

Not wanting anyone to get the wrong idea...

and think (due to the below and similar posts) that my life is just one constant merry-go-round of me putting a brave face on things here are some things that are worrying me today:

1) I might never marry someone like Jarvis Cocker.

2) I might never marry anyone at all.

3) The "look" I am sporting today could best be described as "rampant 1970s feminist-cum-lesbian". Not that there is anything wrong with this look, per se, but my possibly too-literal interpretation of it is leaving me cold. I'm not even wearing a bra, ffs, and my armpits are stubbly (though this is less commitment-to-the-look and more lack-of-commitment-to-showering). It's not good.

4) Just burnt my bastarding tongue on my bastarding tea.

5) I have five lessons to plan for tomorrow and I just cannot be arsed. If anyone has any ideas how to get three year olds to stop drawing on tables / eachother for long enough to learn about "house and garden" in English please let me know.

6) Have hardly any money. Again. Want festival tickets. Have hardly any money for festival tickets. Again. Etc etc repeat as fucking necessary.


Every cloud has a silver lining...

Sometimes bad things happen. Things that make you say ridiculous things like "I can't believe I'm hearing this" or "Jesus, I did not see this coming" and then make hollow little laughing sounds. It is during times like these (or possibly a little after, once the sobbing and the "I FUCKING HATE THEM AAAAAAALLLLL"-ing have subsided), however, that one must remember the Important Things In Life:

1) Friends. Where the holy hell would we be without people who will (repeatedly) drop everything and run to your bedside bearing chocolate, waffel mischung, Bulgarian wine (affairs of the heart may get messy, but they need never be expensive) and fucktons of sympathetic expletives / offers of violent retribution? Up shit creek, alone, with no paddle to speak of, howling in pain / vain and gagging for Eastern European alcohol, that's where.

2) Mothers. As above but with added wisdom. And an oft creepy, but ultimately useful, insight into one's own head. And probably better taste in wine.

3) Other people's blogs what which you have just discoved and love so much you spend most of the weekend reading their archives.

See, life's not all bad.

Samstag, 2. Mai 2009

Carol Ann Duffy is the new poet laureate!

Yesso! A woman and a lesbian! This is a good thing indeed for poetry and me. And Carol Ann Duffy, I dare say. Read all about it here, her thoughts on it here, and some brilliant women's poetry here.

God I miss the Guardian so much...

Photograph taken from the aforementioned publication of wonderment, taken by Eamonn McCabe I'm told.

I wish we could have a street party everyday.

As my good friend Elisa said to me at one particularly euphoric moment yesterday "why can't life me like this every single day?". And why the hell not indeed?

I had SUCH a good day yesterday. Good weather, good food, awesome company and some questionable music, what more could a girl want? Particular thanks is owed to Hubert and Miriam who, after their gin and tonic / rum and coke stand was lamentably shut down by the powers that be, simply upped sticks to Oranienplatz and summoned all their friends (and friends of friends) to come help drink their stock. They had crushed ice! Fucking A.

Freitag, 1. Mai 2009

I predict a riot!

Kudos to Lena (flatmate extraordinaire) for choosing that as the "rebel song" (Me: We need ONLY rebel songs today Lena!) that we started today, MAY DAY no less, with.

Our May Day activities have been exciting so far to say the least. We are currently on "police escort watch" which involves running out onto the balcony to shout "MAYDAYMAYDAYMAYDAY" when anything that has a police escort drive past. So far we have just had one, a rake of motorcyclists protesting/demanding/celebrating I know not what, but the day is yet young. We are going to Kreuzberg later to see what is going down, though obvs will be fleeing before nightfall.

These gals wouldn't though. Hells no. They'd stick it out to the bitter end, stillettos and all. Fucking brilliant:

Shiny, shiny disco balls.

I love disco balls. Love, love, love 'em. Particularly the one in Villa as it's frickin' massive. They make everything seem magical. So magical, in fact, that when you and Lucy leave Villa at six a.m. you decide not to go home to sleep but to change your shoes in order to go on an "adventure".

Note to self: wandering round Friedrichshain in search of a kebab and eventually settling on a (disgusting) borek whilst drinking beer and tonic water (that was Lucy, I hasten to add, for reasons best known to herself) and alarming passers-by is NOT much of an adventure.

Samstag, 25. April 2009

I have the weekend off!

A whoop! I am going to do the following:

1) Be sad that I am not on the above tour. Even Uma looks postively put out about it.

2) Hang out with Lovely Lucy who is visiting us all the way from Norfolk. She also came bearing Krispy Kremes, one of which I just ate for breakfast.

3) Go shopping. It has been Too Long. But I am, staggeringly uncharacteristically, "alright for money" at the moment and so may actually be able to buy something shiny for dancing in this evening. I have a (possibly worrying) hankering for an 80s off-the-shoulder-disco/prom queen number. I will ask Lovely Lucy for her advice as she has awesome style (and works in a clothes shop) and therefore knows these things. I, on the other hand, work with small children and so have a disgusting cold at the moment because small children are unclean.

4) Consume a lot of Vitamin C.

5) Go dancing at here tonight, should my cold permit me. Tried to go out last night, epic fail. But hopefully I will be cheered by a shiny new dress or some such to wear.

6) Marvel at the weather. Get John to fix my bike so I can cycle around wearing some sort of floral tea dress marvelling at the weather.

Happy Sunshine Everybody!

Mittwoch, 22. April 2009

Busy, busy, busy... barely blogging at all. Normal service will resume shortly. In the meantime:


Mittwoch, 15. April 2009

Hi, I'm Joe Cocker.

And I am a giant chalk-drawn sperm coming out of a giant chalk-drawn penis surrounded by other chalk-drawn penises (penii?) of varying shapes and sizes that can be viewed all over the lake area at the Volkspark Friedrichshain. At least until it rains. We are despicable and yet GENIUS.


I know I've been banging on for ages about it but it seems like Spring might finally have sprung. LOOK AT MY PARK PICTURES and MARVEL AT THE LACK OF SNOW and the PROFLIFERATION OF SPRINGTIME THINGS. Golly, but this makes me happy.

Donnerstag, 9. April 2009

Oooooh golly...

I haven't blogged in ages. I have actually, uncharacteristically, been very busy. I now have a total of four jobs (don't ask). One of them, excitingly, involves teaching kids so I get to play games and do puzzles and so forth all whilst being paid. Super awesome.

Anyway, I'm back in Armagh, your ma, everbody's ma etc etc this week, which is cool except that the weather is horrible. Have taken to wearing my sister's snow boots indoors. Our central heating allowance (particularly in my sister and my rooms at the top of the house) has been drastically cut because of "the crunch". Charming. My mother did make some delicious chocolate chip cookies for us today though, so she has marginally redeemed herself.

Oooooh, I learned a very handy tip yesterday vis-a-vis German airport staff. They can't deal with outbursts of emotion (presumably because they don't have any themselves). Late for a flight? Desk closed? What you must do, dear Irish (or other non-German, ie. someone who would/could ever be late for anything) passenger is IMMEDIATELY BURST INTO HYSTERICAL SOBS. They panic and do whatever they can do to get rid of you a.s.a.p which is of course getting you out of the country. Works like a charm, and is very economical as it removes the need for both buying expensive replacement tickets and bribery.

I'll leave you with this. Because it's pretty and we all need some prettiness to get us through the day sometimes:

Samstag, 4. April 2009

Things that are making me love Berlin even more than usual...

1) The weather. I am not wearing tights and my vest is more of a floaty camisole type affair (as opposed to the long sleeved, thermal, M and S variety I have been sporting for the past AGES), yet am I cold? No, no I am not.

2) The above gaffiti which is all over the pavement near Warshauer S-Bahn. I don't know whether I want it to be referring to ponys like ponies or ponys like the German for fringe. Have one, would very much like the other.

3) The fact that I am eating an enormous salad from an enormous plastic bowl and finding it refreshing and delicious, rather than cold and depressing but necessary for not getting scurvy etc etc. Take that Scurvy, your Winter-long tyranny over my emotions is over. OVER.

4) In a moment I am going to go sit outside a cafe and watch the world go by in the sunshine. Without a doubt one of my favourite things to do.

5) I might go to the park ALL MOTHAFUCKIN' DAY tomorrow.

6) I am wearing knee socks and a floral playsuit. I defy ANYONE not to be happy wearing knee scoks and a floral playsuit.

Donnerstag, 2. April 2009

Free but immensely gratifying thing to do #17

Walk along Rigaer Strasse and look at the cars. LOOK AT THEM. They are wonderous, wonderous things.

Montag, 30. März 2009

Berlin, take a bow...

I am SO IN LOVE with B-lizzle these days. It was staggeringly beautiful this evening as I was on the S-Bahn back from a job interview (I hope it went well. I had to stand on a chair and sing "Frere Jacques" at one point. I think I pulled it off...). Riding the S-Bahn actually is an amazing thing to around sunset time, particularly the S9, S7 AND S75 in my humble opinion. You get to see loads of the city, especially the cool architecture around Hauptbahnhof and the Reichstag. One should also endeavor to listen to suitable choons on the auld mp3 if you have one. I recommend this:

which is a lovely video in its own right, and this:

All these things make me happy.

Sonntag, 29. März 2009

I have a new favourite bar...

Sorry Astro Bar, I love you still, but the times they are a-changing. Step up Fischladen, part of one of the squats on Rigaer Strasse in Friedrichshain. Wonderfully dirty and grimy and SO CHEAP IT MAKE MY HEART SING. I think (I'm fairly certain, but I can't vouch for anything really that happened in there on Wednesday night. Or Sunday, come to think of it) I got a whiskey, a gin and tonic and a beer for like six euros. Bottles of beer (0,5l) are certainly less than two quid. Not bad going my friends, not bad going at all. The staff are also nice and friendly/forgiving, and there are many fantastic looking dreadlocks on offer to keep one's eyes occupied until vision is suitably impaired. What's not to love? They also do amazing things like play Jimmy Eat World albums straight through:

And oh, wonderful, "embedding disacbled by request". So no 'Sweetness' for anyone.

You can have that instead. Enjoy!

Freitag, 27. März 2009

Much to my relief

...the latest Wolf Parade album (which I have only recently procured due to chronic cash flow and computer problems) is looking to be grower. Was not overly impressed on the first two listens but I'm getting more and more excited with every play. 'The Grey Estates' is particularly delicious.

Dienstag, 24. März 2009

Boys are great.

So they are, in many ways. They do their best sometimes to make us forget that they are, but they are. And one of the best things about boys is that they SPEND MONEY ON RECORDS AND CDs RATHER THAN CLOTHES AND OTHER FRITTERY. Which in turn means that when you go to their houses you can spend ages prentending you are in a record shop without any of the inconvience of feeling like an imposter who is obviously only browsing as you obviously spend all your money on clothes and other frittery. It's lovely, and makes me feel like yer one outta Pretty in Pink. They also play bands' and musicians' stuff to you that you know that you should make time to listen to but you never do. Like Smog:

Obviously not the real video as youtube is a bastard, but the song made me smile. As did songs from these people, and these and these, all of whom were brought to my attention by boys. And just in case you need a little more convincing on the general wonderment of boys (I fully understand, they can be SO ANNOYING), heeeeere's Duckie:

Oh, Kuchen Rausch, let me count the ways...

Fancy pants tea, delicious cheesecake AND fancy sugar what which you can eat on its own if you can't afford cake (not quite as delicious, but worth a go)- there's three ways right there. Oh and the staff are lovely. Corner of Boxhagner Strasse and Simon-Dach Strasse. Check it out.

Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

Things to do in Berlin this week (for less than a tenner).

1) Pretend you live in an house brilliant enough to have details like this painted around the window. If I lived here I would fling the window open every morning and serenade the world.

2) Go to Broken Hearts Club tonight in the Ballhaus Berlin. It promises to be a riot of over-the-top tomfoolery with wall-to-wall scenesters.

3) Eat a Wunderbar.

4) Buy Neon magazine. Even if you don't understand it, it has cool fashion-y bits and photoshoots which *bargain tip of the week* you can stick up on your walls rather than spend your hard earned euros on posters. It also has good articles usually, which take me bloody ages to read as they're auf Deutsch of course, which means the magazine lasts for ages. Whoop!

5) Join a video shop place and rent Grey's Anatomy, buy the biggest and cheapest bottle of red wine you can find (preferably decide to do all this at 1 a.m.), and just EMOTE for a few hours. Better than therapy, I say, and not nearly as damaging to the wallet. To the dignity, yes, but never the wallet.

I Dream of Celine.

Dear God, but I love the Interweb. I was in a horrible mood earlier, due to feeling yucky and possibly having flunked a job interview this morning (bad news anyway, disaster in Berlin where job interviews seem to happen on average about four times a decade) but then I find this gem. A site dedicated to people's dreams about Celine Dion. And also her dreams. Oh, life.

This is easily the finest of La Dion's oeuvre, if you ask me. Ice sculptures, denim on denim and PURE RAW EMOTION in fuckin' spades. Awesome.

Montag, 16. März 2009

Back in Berlin.

So after a minor setback circa Sunday 6 a.m. (a hint- getting wasted on Buckfast if you have a flight at 0605 is NOT A GOOD PLAN) I am officially Back in Berlin. It's good to be home, away from "the crunch", closing times and overly censorious ad campaigns. And where things are not ridiculously over priced (my tea-and-cake habit it seems is not sustainable in Dublin, where people seem to think it's acceptable to charge 4.60€ for a piece of cake. Harumph!). A trip back to the old country does wonders for my relationship with Berlin and this week I have been mostly been giving thanks that I am broke here rather than broke at home which, on my current salary, would mean I could just about afford a box in a doorway somewhere. It also is very Springy here which makes me so happy I could sing. The above were taken in the Volkspark in F'hain (one of my favourite places in Berlin, I have to say), don't those little flowers seem to be shouting "ACHTUNG!!! SUMMER IS COMING!!!!"? They do to my mind anyway.

Sometimes all I want to do... run away in a campervan and make the Open Road my home. Particularly if the campervan in question had such snazzy curtains as those above. I feel that curtains + the Open Road would = one very Happy Megan.

Dienstag, 10. März 2009

Reasons to be cheerful...

So the last post was a little serious, but I feel I needed to say it all. However, this is not a political blog and so here are some things that have cheered me up today:

1) At home I get to eat wall to wall M & S food FOR FREE.

2) I also got to read the Guardian and Love it! whilst eating a sausage roll. Good times, AND I have the newest Elle for later.

3) I got chatted up in the street today (I mean, he was obviously a lunatic, but still). I love it that here you still smile and say hello in the street but it does up my already alarming tendency to attract oddballs. He was pretty smooth though, at first, asking me what I was listening to (I had my headphones round my neck), then swiftly changing that to "What are we listeing to?". His skills slumped rather and he reverted to the time old Northern Irish boy trait of prolonging the conversation by trying to convinve me that my accent is so weird I could not be originally from here (A hint, lads, implying a girl is so stupid that she doesn't understand the question "Na, na but where are ye ARIGNILY from?" will NOT get you laid).

All in all a pretty good day AND I found this piece of awesomeness on the auld World Wide Web:

Broke in Armagh...

Well folks, the crunch is definitely ON. Literally, LITERALLY all I have talked about since my arrival here is the Price of Things and the Price of Things to Come. Ironic, since people here certainly have more money than people in Berlin, but I guess if you stand to lose more by the dreaded R word then you're justified in having a bit of a moan. But Jaysus, it does get a little dull and makes me appreciate the very non-financial orientated vibe in Berlin.

I have just realised the massive hypocrisy of criticising people for talking only about money in a blog more or less solely concerned with my own financial situation so I will stop.

It is so nice to be here, which makes the recent violence even more horrific. And so unjustifiable it makes my blood run cold. This is not what Northern Ireland wants and anyone who would consider a return to the Troubles as a remotely acceptable option has abdicated any right to represent us. I think the wife of the murdered policeman puts the pointless horror of it best, saying "A good husband has been taken away from me, and my life has been destroyed. And what for? A piece of land that my husband is only going to get six feet of." Not in my name, you bloody well don't. What is immensely heartening (if anything coming from such awfulness can be seen as heartening. What kind of a person can view a pizza delivery guy as a "collaborator"?) is the unanimous condemning of both the attack at the barracks and Craigavon from everyone, apart from maybe a few bored kids who have blindly swallowed another generation's prejudices. We are not that country anymore, and I really, really hope that the political system is secure enough for it to stay that way.

Mittwoch, 4. März 2009

ACHTUNG: The perils of drunk cooking...

If you have been cutting, using or generally Having Dealings with chillis, DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS.

You know what's cheap to do?

Make Chilli. Cheap and Yummy. However, it an be hazardous, particularly if you are a little drunk. And if your flatmate has "researched" how to properly dice an onion. How to properly and cunningly get your innocent flatmate and alleged "best friend" to dice her OWN FINGER more like. Grr, grr.

But yes! Chilli! What you need to do is go to Edecca's meat counter (cheaper by some cents than getting it from the fridge and it doesn't come in those sad little boxes) and get some mince (1.73€ for 500g of Rindfleish mince which will do you a sizeable chilli AND A bolognaise) and then some beans (remember- Lidl is best for tins!) and oinons (you can get loads of Ja! Spiesen oinions in Reve for like 70c. Oh my God, could my knowledge of supermarkets be anymore in-depth/tragic?) and put them all in a pot with spices etc etc (my knowledge lies in supermarket deals, I cannot profess to be a chilli expert. Look it up elsewhere). It is best also if you can find a good quality-and-chilli-suitable pot "zu verschenken" in your friend's appartment building an nab it before she can, as I did yesterday- result! Making chilli is immensely satisfying and makes you feel homely and motherly. It is also entertaining to cook tipsy. Not least for onlookers. Also, CHEAP but with a level of danger (how spicy will you go? will my finger stop bleeding anytime soon?) that you might well be expected to pay for in other contexts.

I have car lust...

...which is a stupid and pointless thing to have when one cannot afford the tram let alone a car but look, LOOK th these puppies! The yellow one even has a disco ball in the window. I think I might go out and lie beside them and wait for their owners to come and claim them and ask them to marry me.

So yesterday was a Bad Day... I didn't blog as all I wanted to do was moan and bitch and gripe and complain (thanks to Kate who joined me in doing so and provided the accompanying proper tea and plain chocolate digestive biscuits, no mean feat in this town) and noone needs to hear that. But today has been much better and I feel much better disposed towards Berlin for several reasons:

1) There is definitely a hint of a tint of Spring around these days. For the first time in about three months I AM NOT WEARING A THERMAL VEST.

2) This lovely Springyness means I can walk around in relative comfort (which is a double bonus as I currently can't afford public transport) and look at all all the wonderments that Berlin (or at least the walk between my home and P'berg/house-of-Kate-and-her-digestive-biscuits) has to offer, like the awesome graffiti above.

3) I might soon have an exciting new job which will not involve selling/pulling/carrying pints of Guinness. I don't want to say anything in case I jinx it though, so for the moment it is Top Secret.
4) I am going to scrabble up all my loose change and go for a pint in my favourite bar in Friedrichshain in a bit. It is truly lovely (in a dark and dirty way), with awesome music and hilarious Americans who are never "bartenders" but rather "screenwriters" and "musicians", despite the fact that they just pulled your pint. It's also as cheap as chips- 3€ for a big beer and 3.50€ for a gin and tonic. What's not to love?

5) I am going home next week and plan to eat nothing but Creme and Mini Eggs.

Montag, 2. März 2009

Supermarket Sweep.

I went to three supermarkets today. Three! And you know why? Because my reduced financial means have made me into the kind of woman who Shops Around. I know which supermarkets to go to for what kind of goods. Netto for fruit and vegetables, Lidl for things in tins and Edecca for meat. My flatmate and I not only do not throw out the "Special Offer" leaflets that arrive in our Briefkasten as if by magic (actually, not by magic, I know people deliver them because we have the bastarding first buzzer and so let most of them in. Dudes come EARLY.) we actually READ THEM and work out what to buy where that week. My flatmate cut out a coupon to get a mop for cheaper (9.90 at Real, if you're wondering) the other day. We are planning a trip to Ikea tomorrow because we got a coupon for pretty vases from there in the post today. This is all well and good but IT IS NOT THE SEX DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL (techno) LIFESTYLE WE LEFT THE ISLE FOR. Plus, I am worried that no pretty boys WILL EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN if I spend all my time going from discount supermarket to discount supermarket like some deranged pensioner.

So, this week(end) I am injecting the SDARAR back into my B-lizzle existance. On the cheap, obvs. Tonight I am drinking FREE WINE (someone left it in my flat) and when I finish that I may well move on to Tafel Wein (89c per delicious litre, from Spar, which is the best and cheapest on offer AS I WOULD BLOODY WELL KNOW). Okay, it's not exactly Fear and Loathing but it beats sitting eating waffel mischung out of the bag (soooo good, by the way, and on special offer in Real im moment. OH MY GOD.) and watching Hell Boy II (which is what I did last night). This weekend, as already mentioned, I am going to a squat to watch a rock and roll band and I fully intend to be inappropriately dressed, drunk and Overtly Forward. I enjoy boys with guitars, you see, and as they're Yanks I shall be applying my friend Kate's philosophy that as fellow English speakers in a land they probably don't know the correct lingo for chatting up the locals they shall be AT MY MERCY. Awesome. As are they, incidentally: