Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I've had a rather busy week - Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) has arrived and with it the traditional German Christmas markets. Christmas alone may make being in Germany completely worth it - I don't think any country does the twinkly-ness and good cheer of the holidays quite so well as here. I'll be showing pictures from the markets as I visit them (two so far, oh so many more to go...), but perhaps what I'm most excited by is my very first Christmas tree which I bought for my flat. Growing up my family didn't really celebrate Christmas so I never really got to do the whole decorating thing. But look how adorable this is! All I need now is a viewing of Love Actually and the Christmas spirit shall officially be upon me.



Sunday, 20 November 2011

This is small town music, this is big town music

I've liked this song for a while but recently stumbled across this alternative music video for it. Being in Germany means half of the content on YouTube won't work, which normally has me snarling at my laptop screen, but this time it's kind of worked out in my favour. Isn't it lovely? I love the concept of trying to record the sound of bubbles, sparklers, the song of a shell and happiness with your friends :)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.

About a month ago Germany had the Herbstferien, or Autumn holidays. Because schools over here start so early in the year, compared to England at least, they also have a large Autumn holiday as well as a break over Christmas in order to break up the school year. Which meant that when my friends at home had barely been back at university for a week, I was off having a glorious two week break. I ended up spending a week of it doing absolutely nothing, and by absolutely nothing I mean absolutely nothing - sleeping in late, making stacks of pancakes and eating them in bed and watching the usual ridiculous amounts of television. Before you all take utter pity on me for my boring and lazy lifestyle, I did take the opportunity to spend the second half of the holidays interrailing around Germany with three other girls. We went all the way across the country in an epic eight-hour train ride to Dresden, which was cold, raining and rather dreary, but which also boasted some of the most beautiful architecture I'd seen since being in Germany. It's a sad fact that a lot of Germany was destroyed during the Second World War, which makes it unlike any other country I've ever been to - there's barely anything authentically old anywhere. Even though a lot of what we saw in Dresden was rebuilt copies of what had existed before, it was so well done that it still looked wonderful. As well as Dresden we also popped down to Munich, which was a gorgeous city I wished I could have spent much much more time in, and Lake Constance which was just breathtaking. Here are some of the snaps I took :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

It would be nice if something made sense for a change

I have to do a presentation next week in the German course I'm taking on my favourite book. Even though I thought it may rather bore the rest of the class, most of whom aren't English and all of whom seem like rather serious grown-ups (I'm still not one. Ask me again in ten years.), I chose Alice in Wonderland, because I could talk about it for hours in English, so hopefully I can ramble on for ten minutes in German. Anyway, one of my favourite things about the books isn't in fact the story itself, however good that may be. Rather, I think it's what has captivated generations of children before me - the wonderfully charming illustrations by John Tenniel. These days there are so many editions of the Alice books that it's hard to find these original illustrations, but they remain by far my favourite. Tenniel takes all of the quirky, bizarre and beautiful things that Carroll writes about and transforms them into captivating art, so full of details lovingly drawn. I don't think I could ever get tired of looking at them. It's amazing how a series of simple line drawings have become so firmly ingrained in our culture, but personally I don't think the world would be the same without Alice, and Alice wouldn't have been the same without Tenniel. Just lovely.

The lion and the unicorn
Were fighting for the crown
The lion beat the unicorn
All around the town

Some gave them white bread
And some gave them brown
Some gave them plum cake
And drummed them out of town

Friday, 11 November 2011

I get this feeling I'm in motion, a sudden sense of liberty

I've wanted to do outfit posts for a long while but I've always been surrounded by people and just too self-conscious to make it work. I now have a huge apartment to myself and loads of spare time, so I'm gonna start fiddling around and seeing if I can make it work.


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I always get interested in girls who aren't right for me

Isn't this a great homage to A Bout de Souffle? I love how effortless and intimate it looks.

Photography: Martyna Galla

Monday, 7 November 2011

I want you, I need you, I love you

Isn't this the most perfect trailer you've seen in a long time? Absolutely cannot wait to watch the whole film!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

For God's sake, kiss the girl

Have had a lovely week made up of travelling around my state of Rheinland Pfalz (photos coming soon!), skyping friends back home (have currently been talking to six of my Oxford gang for over three hours) and watching Scrubs in German. I spent last weekend visiting another language assistant and we spent almost an entire day companionably drinking tea, listening to the radio and solving crossword puzzles. Although things are nowhere near as fun or exciting as last year, it is making me appreciate the smaller things in life - cooking and cosy days in watching TV, making book lists and taking walks.

Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to the tunes that have been dominating my Spotify playlist recently. Have you guys heard of Alex Day and Charlie McDonnell? They're two English guys in their early twenties who have become incredibly well known in the world of the web for their incredibly funny and quirky Youtube vlogs. I'm not particularly interested in video blogs as a rule as I find them rather awkward, but these two are just very charming and witty. Also Alex Reads Twilight is the best thing ever ever ever. Anyway, the two of them - as well as doing their own independent music work - are in a band called Chameleon Circuit. Which sings songs about Doctor Who. Um. So yeah, it's beyond levels of acceptable nerdiness but to be honest I think this is a good thing. Being away from Oxford makes me realise what a geek I really am and how much I love it. Also there's something so lovely about music at such an independent and almost homemade level - it feels like so much more care and effort has gone into it. So yeah, here are some of my favourite songs of the last couple of weeks.

- Heart on My Sleeve, Alex Day, Soup Sessions: Acoustic
- Kiss the Girl, Chameleon Circuit, Still Got Legs
- Missing You, Alex Day, The World is Mine
- Duet With Myself, Charlie McDonnell, This is Me

(how utterly adorable?)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

It's consolation. All literature is consolation.

the history boys

Scripps: Oh Pos, with your spaniel heart. It will pass.
Posner: Yes, it's a phase. Who says I want it to pass? But the pain, the *pain*.
Scripps: Hector would say it's the only education worth having.
Posner: Yes. I just wish there were marks for it.