Mittwoch, 13. April 2011

Cons and Pros.

So, as the Big Move (to Belfast) draws ever closer (some time in July), I'm beginning to worry about some things, and rejoice about others. There are the practical worries like "will I get into university?", "how long will The Husband's visa take?" and "how the holy jiggedy fuck are we going to move all our crap there?"

There are other worries to be taken into account as well. Like, what am I doing moving back somewhere I never thought I'd be pre-retirement age? Or at least "settling down" age. I'd be worried that that's what I'm doing, except that it's hard to settle down without a proper job, a house or the means to procure either. I am also feeling some slight trepidation about re-involving myself with a society that is somewhat less open minded than where I am now, with regard to religion, race and sexuality. Though, who knows? I've been more or less away for three years. For all I know it's like Sodom and Gomorrah on Buckfast by now. No rules, no judgment and mind the weird purple-brown puke on your way out. Here's hoping.

But yes, with cons comes pros. Lovely, lovely pros. Like the aforementioned Buckfast, and the oft-mentioned Scampi Fries. And pubs with fires and people in them who talk and laugh LOUDLY. And family, and old friends and maybe a little kitten to call our own. And a new city, and new beginnings and EXCITEMENT.

Pros ALWAYS outweigh the cons. 

Mittwoch, 6. April 2011

Ach, Jaysus.

So all my Lenten promises came to nothing and I reverted to my usual ways in an alarmingly, but not exactly surprisingly, short space of time. My usual ways consist of spending my time drinking wine, watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks and not writing anything. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

I have also been doing other things like enjoying the FANTASTIC WEATHER this weekend by drinking by the Landwehr Kanal, which probably THE BEST thing to do in Berlin. It is also very much in keeping with the purported theme of this blog (no, not mad-woman-rants-about-strange-love-for-Katy-Perry's-single-Waking-up-in-Vegas, but rather stuff-to-do-when-broke-in-Berlin). If you're visiting Berlin* in the sunshine I cannot recommend highly enough grabbing a few cold Augustiners (green label, creepy old man face picture) or Tegenseer Hells (pretty pretty blue and white Bavarian flag label) and parking your butt by the canal. I like the bit near Prinzenstrasse U-Bahn, with the boat restaurant, swans and close proximity to the ER visitor toilets in the hospital. Very roomy and, seeing as it's a hospital, pretty fucking spotless. Useful if you're the kind of person who, without fail, pisses on their own feet when trying to pee discreetly in bushes after dark.

* If you're actually living here and you haven't already been doing this at every available opportunity what exactly have you been doing? 

Donnerstag, 17. März 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I am, obviously, not out and about getting drunk and proclaiming my Irishness to the world (by getting drunker) because I am still a bit sick and every time I laugh I have a fantastically disgusting coughing fit.

But yeah, have a good one. It's days like to today (when it pisses with rain) that I miss Dublin. Where the pubs have cozy fires and scampi fries.

I miss my iPod.

Yes, I lost my iPod just after Christmas. The third I've lost because I am a total fucking tool. Left it on the plane like a tit and didn't notice for ages. Too weary and disillusioned to phone the airline (I flew Ryanair) so now I am forced to spend my days listening to German teenagers and maniacs' inane chitchat on the BVG. Grr, argh. Along with the blissful, blissful removal from others' conversations that portable music devices bring I miss my freakin' music, man. In particular I miss The National. They make me so very, very glad I have ears. No mean feat as my ears and I have always had an uneasy relationship, though this has improved slightly since I achieved what my mother always promised I would and "grew into them". But yes, this band are truly, truly fantastic. I also miss the hip hop playlist that me fella put on there, that I would put on when I was in a pissy mood/it was raining/I'd no cash to buy a Ritter Sport*, put my parka hood up and stomp around to.

* Yes, these are the problems in my life, pretty much. I should be shot for ever complaining.

Mittwoch, 16. März 2011

The Guardian's New Europe

So the Guardian are doing a series on "New Europe", whatever the dickens that means, and this week Germany ist dran. This article might be a little on the facile side but generally I found it fairly accurate and amusing. Any other Berliners/Germans/random people who have ended up living in Germany out there who feel differently? I am interested in how nations see themselves, and how this correlates with other views, however (un)informed*.

Me, I quite like the Germans, deep down. Except that it takes you bloody ages to reach "deep down", as opposed to Ireland where time required to move from near-strangers to near-best-friends = approx. half a pint/full normal-sized cuppa. And until you get there it's all Frau Chamberlain this, Sie that. Formal and restrained and just the teensiest bit cold. At least in my experience.

* If this sounds like I'm soliciting for material for some sort of thesis, I'm not. Just really, really nosy.

Montag, 14. März 2011

Things I do now that I'm married...

...that I'd never have done before.

#1 Contemplate buying a house. When my uncle (who is "good with money") suggested this when we were asking for advice as to what to do with money accrued from the wedding I very nearly passed out. Seriously, I went all pale and weird and started stammering that I wasn't a grown-up yet and that it seemed "too permanent". But I've more or less overcome that now, just about in time to discover we probably couldn't afford to do anything of the sort. Ach, well.

#2 I have started collecting interior design images in my special folder on the hubby's Mac. My laptop finally died you see*, so I'm using his, and he made me the special folder to stop me "messing up the whole darned desktop"**. I went shopping today not for clothes or other trinkets but for a laundry "hamper". I actually used that word in my head and all. A "hamper". Ker-ist.

#3 I am contemplating making a spreadsheet to sort out our finances. I figure this will be the final nail in my hip-and-cool-gal-about-town persona's coffin, but, and this is the really worrying bit, I really don't care. When I'm not having a silly, hangover induced freak-out about how "boring" my life has become (it hasn't at all), I am perfectly content pottering about doing domestic things. At least for the moment, I'd imagine the novelty of domestic bliss would wear of pretty sharply if I was to follow through on the threat I made today and just become "a stay-at-home little wifey". But for the moment, for these next few months before the Big Move location and career-wise I'm going to try and glean all the enjoyment I can out of the simple miracle that is me being a lovestruck newlywed.

* To be fair, it didn't completely. I just finally ran out of patience with the fucking thing.
** The husband doesn't actually used words like "darned" unless he's being ironic. But sometimes, him being Texan and all, I like to have him speak like a cowboy in my head.

Being A Better Me

So after a weekend of doing fuck all but drinking myself into an increasingly pissy mood and thus being horrible to my lovely husband (a man of immense patience, thank the good lord) I have decided that enough is enough. I am (seriously now) going off the drink until Good Friday. I know if I was going full Lenten hog it would be Easter Sunday, but we're going on our honeymoon that weekend, and I want to be able to enjoy a beer or two* on the banks on the Donau (we're going to Regensburg, in which the husband used to live, and which is apparently gorgeous). Wish me luck!

* Seriously, I am going to have to become one of those people that says "going for a few drinks" and actually means just that. I just cannot handle it otherwise.


...I went for a walk in Templehofer Park. For shame I have never been there before due to last stage terminal laziness. But in my new spirit of Being a Better Me I dragged myself along (I hadn't left the house since Friday evening, disgusting). And d'you know what? It was lovely. All misty and crazy looking and really flat. Full of weird "art" and cool dogs and also some mean looking dogs, but they were in the little fenced off bit so that was okay. I should mention I'm not some weird dog-fearer, this one was just really mean.

Then I went for a potter about in the neighbourhood next to mine, that bit with the Schillerpromenade and Herrfurthplatz in it. It was nice, I love aimlessly wandering round another Kiez, particularly if it's close enough to my house to make discovering a new bar or cafe doubly exciting. I did peer into one promising looking one on Selchower strasse that I am going to properly check out when I get the chance. I love a good cafe, and I need to make the most of them before the summer comes and I spend all my free time down by the kanal drinking Augustiner and Tegenseer Hell and wondering if I'll ever really, truly, totally want to leave this city.

Freitag, 11. März 2011

More Wedding Stuff

And then I will stop, I promise.

At the ceremony, which was in the lovely Armagh Registry Office/Council Chambers, Steven and I walked in (together, European style. I think. They do it in Greece, anyway) to this song, my cousin read the lyrics to this as our reading, my brothers played this one, and then we walked out to this.

I want to do it ALL OVER AGAIN.

Megan's Top Wedding Tips

Just in case you're in the market. I can honestly say it was the best day I can ever remember, so if you'd like to hear how we did it, read on....

#1 Marry someone you adore to the end of their fingertips (seriously, I love his fingertips). Sounds obvious, seems like a lot of people overlook it.

#2 Get a dress that makes you feel like a gazillion dollars, but that is not actually a gazillion dollars. Seriously, the MONEY people spend on ONE DRESS that they will wear ONCE. I adored my dress but the fact that I got it for considerably less than a gazillion dollars meant that I didn't have to freak out when it ended up a bit frayed by my bracelet, and a wee tiny bit covered in red wine and Guiness by the end of the night.

#3 If you can persuade them, get someone you love to perform at your ceremony, not some random strangers. My brothers played and sang this song and it made me cry. In a really good way.

#4 If you can, at all, have some of the day at home. We had drinks in my granny's house, then lunch in my mum's (they are next door to each other). It was lovely. You should try to do it because home is home and function rooms are not and they often have weird carpets.

#5 Have the party in your favourite local pub. Everyone will have the best time, if our party is anything to go by. Plus strangers tell you you're beautiful all night, and you'll never have to buy a drink. What's not to love?

The Missus.

Yup, that's me. A married woman. Hence why I haven't blogged in AN AGE. Too busy getting married and doing the necessary gin drinking and comedy dancing that constitute our family gatherings. But yes, I'm back in the land of reality now (as much as I ever am... Jesus, doesn't that sound lame? Like I see myself as some free-spirit hippie fairy. I don't, I'm just a bit vague, is what I'm getting at). And as my Lenten bit I am going to post something every day for the next forty days. And if not every day then at least one for every day (I have to catch up a bit already), if you get me. It was either this or joining the gym and going three times a week. This won. Needless to say.

Right, okay, interesting stuff...I've been discovering lots of new blogs lately. This is of course because of the large gap left in my blogosphere by the departure of the Wedding Blogs. We shall not speak of the WBs again, as they are truly, truly ridiculous to anyone but wimmen planning their "Big Day". Though there seem to be a huge volume of women who keep reading them even after their wedding has been and gone. Really? How can you like weddings that much? I mean, I LOVED my own but it was, you know, mine. Anyway, yes, so I've resorted to my old favourites, food and pretty pictures blogs.

Joy the Baker (I want to move into her kitchen and become her friend and have her bake me treats all day. In a non-creepy way. Maybe...)

Erin Ever After (I like the things she likes)

Have a read, Internet Folks, you like blogs, you like food (if you don't please stop reading this blog, it is NOT FOR YOUR KIND), you probably like pretty things, and so you might just like these.

Donnerstag, 10. Februar 2011

How to have a cheap and delicious dinner...

...because this blog was actually supposed to be about being broke in Berlin and what to do about it, rather than my endless ramblings.

1. Take the day old baguette off the kitchen counter and run it under a little water. Stick it in the oven at about 150 degrees for 10 mins. Stale to lovely and crunchy and soft-in-the-middle in two easy steps! Fry two free-range eggs (seriously, I am not usually too fussy about food but battery eggs, really? Really?) in (quite a lot) of butter. Not oil, butter. If butter is important enough for me to have a really embarrassing strop with my fiance in Karstadt about it's good enough for you to fry your eggs in. While they are frying up salt and pepper 'em liberally. Take the bit of salad that is just about to go a bit wrong out of the bottom of the fringe, pick out the really dodgy bits and put some salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil on it. Enjoy, I know I did!

2. Get a doener from the place just at Rathaus Neukoelln U Bahn. Can't remember the name but the sign is vaguely orange and you have to go up steps into it. Their meat is all delicious and stewed tasting. They also do a fine lentil soup.

3. Make soup. It is literally the most bestest thing to do in the winter. It is also easy peasy. 1 part onion, 1 part potato, 1 part other vegetable (or mix of vegetables), 4 parts stock, plus seasoning. The blend that shit up with one of those funky hand held thingymajiggys and eat it with bread and your lovely friends who have come to help you out with wedding invitations. Gals, I love y'all.

Freitag, 28. Januar 2011

Things I need to stop doing... that I am about to become a Proper Grown Up Married Person.

# 1. Always being hungover on Thursdays.

# 2. And Tuesdays.

# 3. Having half a bag of cheese nachos as "an hors d'oevre".

# 4. Only doing laundry when begged by the Betrothed or when the pile behind the door makes it difficult to open said door.

# 5. Relying on kebabs for my vegetable intake.

Samstag, 15. Januar 2011

I'm sick but I'm definitely not pretty...

Dear lord, that's it. I am giving up the high life. I'm just not able for it anymore. I'm not sure I've ever been so sick in my life. And in the actual street. I should be banned, or at least more heavily regulated. This always happens when the Betrothed is away, I think I can just slip back into my former party girl ways with barely a ripple but no, no, no I cannot. It takes training and dedication to get as wasted as I used to and emerge unscathed, one can't just do it on a whim. So yes, until the time comes when I'm ready to do fully-fledged alcoholic mania, I am out.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready for the pub. As Alanis probably wouldn't say, seeing as her grasp of the concept appears to be so tenuous, isn't it ironic?

Samstag, 8. Januar 2011

I'm sick but I'm pretty (ish).

Is there anything fucking worse than being sick on the weekend? All the live long week this lurgy could have struck me down and earned me sweet, sweet guilt free sick days (as opposed to my other sick days which are inevitably hangover-guilt ridden) but no, the little fuckwit waits until Friday night to really pounce. No booze for Megan (well, not as much as I'd bloody like) and, because I live in goddamn Germany) no fun drugs either. It baffles me that you cannot get so much as a cold compress without a prescription here. I am rationing my imported Day Nurse like it's smack, but after that it's bloody Salbei sweets and Erkaeltungs Tee for muggins here.

Moan, moan, bitch, complain, ugh, sorry. Happy New Year Leute! Bit belated but, you know, bit lazy. Anyone make any resolutions? I did, I think. I was incredibly drunk on New Year's Eve, but I think I vaguely remember some redemptive contemplation between the Hendrick's Gin, Buckfast, "Dolan Bombs"* and rebel songs being sung around the kitchen table.

Don't complain about my work unless I'm doing it constructively. Grown-up, professional meetings with the bosses= good. Moaning "but whyyyyy are theeeeeey sooooo eeeeeevil???" over and over to anyone fool enough to listen= bad.

Spend more time, and dare I say it, money on my appearance. Call me shallow (the reasoning behind why I think you shouldn't I am currently too achy to go into) but 2010's looks of choice (Colourblind Trannie, Mental Childcare Professional, and, my personal favourite, Really Boring Ugly Person) left me feeling a little cold, not to mention dispirited, cranky and crap.

See more live music. I think I saw about one and a half bands play last year, and that's just silly. I'd like to blame Berlin and it's, admittedly pretty poor, indie music scene, but I wasn't even trying. You have to be in it to win it! 

Eat less. Move more.

Wish me luck!!

* Dolan Bombs are, allegedly, a variation of the Jaeger Bomb created by our good family friends the Dolans. As far as I can gather, it involves pouring a lot of different alcohols into some form of disgusting energy drink and forcing people to drink it really fast. Explanation or even justification escapes me.