2015: What a Year!

Apologies for my long absence. It’s been none stop. I went the first months without internet connection due to many issues with the new flat, internet company and the phone line company and the complications arising from Germany’s extreme burocracy. I began working which at 9.5hrs a day, five days a week took a lot of my time and have been getting used to living in the city, but now I’m back. I thought as it’s nearly Christmas I shall have a retrospective look back on the year’s events and a glance forward as to what may or may not happen in 2016.

Happy New Year Drunk man

I count myself as a traditionalist so true to form the New Year’s was brought in DRUNK, with Mona in her humble abode, needless to say the first start of a brand new year was a write off. Ah well they say things can only get better. January brought the boy’s birthday and with that the meeting of the parents. I HAVE NEVER MET PARENTS BEFORE. I was terrified. What to wear? What to talk about? Don’t swear. Don’t start every story “this one time I was super drunk” all these little things I’d been told as a child “eat everything on your plate” “say thank you for you stay” “offer to help/take a gift” came into full affect. I survived and have since had many more successful encounters. It’s only when seeing the workings on another family unit you realise just how god damn dysfunctional yours is.

MEETTHEPARENTS

February came along and now the boy and I are not avid Valentine’s supporters so we did what we did best, ate and drank, with Mona. This month the boy and I ventured to Morocco. Now I used my passport for ID (I don’t drive, I’m driven) and successfully didn’t loose it all through my times at Aber and the first four years of London, admittedly it was battered and I was told I would only be able to travel within the EU with it. So 7 successfully years passed of having said passport when one evening, not even drunk I lost it. The very same month I began dating a pilot. CRUEL CRUEL FATE. The passport office then lost my first form and I had to resubmit another, so for the first five months of dating and the boy living in Berlin I was passport-less. BUGGER! We arranged that as soon as it came I would venture out to Berlin and then we shall take a trip together. Marrakech was wonderful, a real assault on the senses. A vibrant, lively and energetic city with fantastic food and interesting locals. Best of all we didn’t kill each other so the first trip was a success.

passport

March brought more travelling in the form of Dublin. The MT ladies and myself headed to the land of the leprechauns for St Patrick’s Day and what a trip was had. We did what we usually did and got fair too drunk the night before St Patrick’s so we were painfully hungover the next morning until we managed to find an Irish breakfast and carried on with the drinking. Maria acted as the tour guide extraordinaire, Amanda made friends with some unlikely nuns. Nicola proved she really was a Harry Potter character and Tanga true to form enjoyed some chicken.dublin

In April I make my usual trip home and teach 60 delightful children how to sing, dance and act. All with the aid of lots of gin and my wonderful partner in crime Richard “Gayle” Barker. Let it be known 60 children on a hangover is not pleasant. A night out with the mother, as is tradition also occurred. I also left Harrods after 2.5 years there and made the leap to Charlotte Olympia in Harvey Nichols. Leaving drinks were had and after I apparently had a dance off with some guy of Made in Chelsea I headed home and some other guy gave me his fries on the night bus.

In May things were slightly more dignified Sir Patrick Cooper kindly took me as his guest and chaperone for the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Outfits needed to be scouted out. I didn’t want to look like a WAG, I was aiming for more Kate Middleton perhaps with the aim of picking up a Duke or two (the boy understands). The day arrived and it was a glorious day, sunshine, a bubbly breakfast to start, a highbrow afternoon spent sipping tea and eating the daintiest sandwiches you ever did see and delightful conversations and introductions with the other guests. which was then finished off with a few more bubbles. The day only confirmed that I was clearly mixed up at birth and was in fact born into a title. I have to admit when waiting to enter Buckingham Palace swarms of Americans appeared all wanting to take our photos as we were all dressed up. Obviously we told them that this is simply what one does on a Tuesday if British by birth.

 

June as the temperatures began to rise, meant long days in the parks and late nights in the common. I finally saw The Book of Mormon, a very late birthday gift to the boy from I, fabulous show. I had yet another trip to Berlin and the boy and I ventured to Ascot to see if we could win some monies. My little brother made the leap from the Shire and moved to London to find his fame and fortune too.

ascot

Now came the best month of the year. My birthday!! All of my friends are aware that I enjoy fancy dress and ask them each year to dress up and hit the streets of London with me. This year’s theme was The Sound of Music as it was it’s 50th anniversary. Maria and her lederhosen clad friends hit Hyde Park complete with a fabulous Birthday cake made by Master Bates and a highly entertaining adult pass the parcel made by the lovely Cat. Next came a pub crawled across London complete with flaccid guitar case, we played football with stolen apples and then headed into Heaven for the 90s night spectacular. I was groomed by a lesbian couple with Malibu shots, Malibu I ask you?! I was treated to a wonderful day of champagne, cocktails and a fabulous meal at Barbecoa by the boy and continued to celebrate my turning 25 again for two weeks. Then came Dani boy’s 30th, needless to say this wasn’t a quiet affair as all those who know what happened will agree.

 

August brought wedding season. First came Henna’s Hen party, a fantastic night at the Oxo Tower with all the Harrods girls, thanks Harvey Nichols discount!!! The Mehndi party came next. dressed in our finest we celebrated Henna’s last single night. The food was incredible, authentic Pakistani food and there was dancing and Henna. It was then time for the wedding. Now putting on a Sari is difficult. The boy and I attempted to wrap me in this never ending beaded fabric whilst following a YouTube video. It wasn’t a bad attempt but Nassima tidied me up on arrival. The wedding was a brand new experience, the colours, the music, the food, all very exciting. A week later it was the turn of one of my oldest friend’s (23 years) to tie the knot. Michael Willson and his bride Kerry held a lavish pink affair in Newark which I was honoured to attend. Champagne was first had with the lovely Zanda to get us in the mood. Oscar proved a wonderful dancing partner along with his stash of champagne. The after party continued to Flick’s well into the early morning. An early train to London hungover is just awful. I finished the month off with a trip back to Aber, 5 years after graduating. Amazing times were had. It turns out I can’t drink like I did when I was 18 years old. You shouldn’t spray a 16 year old with champagne on public transport and Downies hasn’t changed a bit.

aber

September heralded my move to Berlin. Everything I had bought and gained over the past five years of living in London had to be sorted. It took so long as every time I sorted through something I’d stop have a play/dress up. Eventually it was all sorted and everything was shipped home, gifted or sold. Now of course London had to be seen out properly and where else than were it all started than the Met Bar. Everyone from Madame Tussaud’s, Harrods, Uni and school gathered and we reminisced and drank many many jagerbombs. I received some wonderful gifts too. It just so happened that this day was also mine and the boy’s year anniversary so we had a very Parisian meal before the boozing began. The next day I had to pack. Trying to fit your life into two suitcases is hard, impossible when hungover…I told you I’M A TRADIONALIST I LIKE TO DO IMPORTANT THINGS HUNGOVER. I had one last night with Master Bates and we drank and watched Will & Grace, another tradition. My last day I met the wonderful Francesca Butler for one last meal and far too much prosecco before she sent me on my very merry way. I now lived in Berlin. That month saw they getting of the keys for our brand new flat, we attended a German wedding but you all know about that and I got to work in Berlin.

 

October proved to be a hectic month of moving, setting up bills, bank accounts, work and other such boring adult stuff. Nevertheless living with the boy was proving to be great fun as we started to explore the city more together.

mark

 

November brought Nana G out to Berlin, her first trip to Germany and adventure using apps to access boarding passes, both entertaining and stressful on my end of the phone as I was presented with endless questions. Francesca sent an inspired British housewarming package with gifts from Mablethorpe and packet wine. The boy also had visitors so it was a month of hosting, entertaining and partying. Needless to say my waist line has expanded, screw it it’s winter and Germany is cold.

gifts

December arrived and so did my excitement for Christmas. The markets began popping up all over Berlin and the boy and I had a trip to Budapest which looked like a Christmas Market on crack. The most festive I’ve ever seen a place. We ate, we drank and bathed in the thermal spas, an excellent city break that I highly recommend. Nana G had kindly sent an advent calendar so I could count the days down and work became hectic with many starting their Christmas shopping. Preparations have begun for the Christmas feast I will be making for the boy and his fellow First Officers, most of them are on standby, so if they get called it’s just me and a turkey and a mountain of pigs in blankets, can’t complain really. The boy’s family shall be visiting after Christmas and Jessica shall be celebrating her birthday and New Years with me here just like we did in Paris years ago.

So what’s next for 2016? Weddings galore for one. Alice and Andy shall tie the knot as will Dan and Elle. More travelling and my annual trip home. I shall endeavour to learn German as pointing and smiling is wearing thin. The boy and I shall add to our flat and add some personal touches and no doubt we shall be inundated with visitors. There will probably be a few engagements, arrivals of babies, new jobs and exciting new stories to come. I hope to get back into my dancing and jump aboard the Berlin Burlesque scene. I want a dog, whether it will happen or not remains to be seen but keep those fingers crossed for me. I’m hoping such friends as Timothy J Howe are given fantastic new directing opportunities that require a gin dependant, bacon eating choreographer. Francesca, I’m hoping we get to reunite for V or something in which we are just dirty and drunk for three days. Above all I wish you all good health, new adventures and a very exciting new year. xoxo

 

cheers

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Hallo aus Berlin!

Well I think it’s fair to say I’ve landed. One week in Berlin and lots has been done. We have the keys to the new flat and furniture shopping has begun. The creation of the furniture list is very much like the Generation game, you just keep shouting out things that you vaguely remember are required to make a functioning home. I’m told however that chandelier and bar is not an immediate necessity. My first big adventure has to be that of a German wedding. A 200km/h train journey to Münster and a relaxed evening of beer and pizza; where you’re constantly being apologised to because they Germans feel their English is awful, believe me their English is better than most Brits, provided the perfect start to the big day ahead. Now Münster is what most people would imagine if you said picture a German town. Cobbles, cafes, bratwurst, churches, rivers and cyclists. We arrived at this small but picturesque Church and everyone was waiting outside in their finest. Upon entering the small church was beautifully decorated with flowers and candles and the golden cherubs smiled down on us below. The groom waited nervously at the Altar and then the bride arrived in a beautifully simple and flowing gown with a pastel bouquet. The service was in German but after to being to so many weddings I got the gist. What I wasn’t expecting was the Gospel choir singing “Like A Prayer”, Sister Act’s “I Will Follow Him” and “One Love” complete with arm choreography the congregation had to follow as we danced and clapped in our pews. The Groom then whipped out a selfie stick and took a shot of him and his new wife much to the confusion of the Catholic Priest at the front.

Ceremony over and confetti thrown, the Bride and Groom were whisked away in an Indian tuc tuc (they’ve travelled a lot together) and the rest of the congregation were ushered onto a privately hired open top double decker tour bus where we all headed upstairs and were toured around the city whilst the B&G took pictures around the city. The sister of the Bride then began to hand out cocktails in a can to all on board the bus. We were already told that they expected a lot from us this evening “the Brits know how to drink”. I looked down at the percent on the can 11%, Christ they start hard. We arrive at this beautiful riverside restaurant and are greeted with Prosecco, cocktails, beer, bucks fizz and canapes. Then a very hipster looking guy with a beard and a ponytail shows up with a piano on wheels and an amp and starts singing classic love songs in a very jazz lounge manner. People chatted amongst each other in the sunshine and then in the distance we saw a boat with a standing paddle board escort. It was the Bride and Groom making quite the entrance to their reception. People cheered and sang and they harboured by the pianist.

Inside the venue there was a photo booth, table plan with maps on the world. I was proudly flying the Union Jack flag that night. We all sat down to dinner in this beautiful rustic hall with roses chandeliers and place settings all complete with a test tube shot. There were topics of discussion placed on each table varying from travel, food, swingers and hangovers. The couple sat opposite were great fun and wanted to hear about our endeavours in Berlin. Dinner was served, a starter of risotto a main of pork with what can only be described as potato cake and ratatouille and then a huge fruit bowl and the cheese board to end all cheese boards. I was in heaven. The food was fantastic and the bar was open. Now when I say open I mean everything, wine, beer, spirits, jager and vodka…all night….what ever you wanted….oh dear! Cake was cut and a fantastic 1920s themed video was shown made by the friends of the B&G. Then the dance floor opened.

90’s pop, disco classics and the odd German pop song blared out and absolutely everyone danced. Spice Girls, George Michael, Beyonce. I was in my element and then the Cha Cha Slide came on. It turns out the Germans know the song but they don’t understand it. Cut to me teaching 25 drunk Germans the moves! After this is was time to cool down, we headed outside for a breather and the B&G hit pinatas of themselves showering us all in confetti and sweets. We danced and drank some more. I hit that point of just drinking anything in front of me something the Germans didn’t really understand “but if she wants a drink she can just go to the bar, it’s free” The sister of the bride also devised a clever game for the guests. You had a small questionnaire to fill in, horoscope, eye colour, weight etc. Now once collected all the slips she brought out some scales, for every kg you lied about you had to pay one euro and it was going in the honeymoon pot. I argued that I don’t understand metric and just guessed and I was wearing heels and that I had just eaten an entire cheese factory but I paid up nonetheless. Currywurst was served at midnight, score!!! Goodbyes were said and the next thing I’m waking up in the hotel. A absolutely fabulous wedding and I wish the happy couple all the best for the future.

After recovering from the wedding and a very lazy Sunday at an excellent food market where I dined on whiskey ribs from Happy Belly, buttermilk chicken from Born Again Chicken, Jerk chicken from Spice Spice Baby and then liquid nitrogen ice cream from Woop Woop.  I thought I should probably find a job, with the help of a certain Spanish Spice Girl I have found a great job working for The Corner in the very fashionable and luxurious shopping district. Now all that’s left is a bank account, German phone number, the move to the new flat and to commence German lessons. Wish me Luck! Lots of German Love to LDN xoxo

Packing; The Countdown Begins.

So in 23 days I shall be packing up my little bags and moving to Berlin. Having lived in London for 5 years now I have acquired more stuff than you can imagine and so the sorting begins. My mind is a whirl of “to do” lists, contacts to inform, addresses to change, notices to hand in and then of course excitement. After doing the exceedingly British thing of Google-ing “what should I pack for Berlin?” “what do people wear in Berlin?” “how cold/hot does it get in Berlin?” it’s fair to say I still have no idea what to pack. The only two things I’m definitely taking is my red sequin gown and tap shoes, I figure if all else fails I can become a drag queen.

There’s that sudden jolt, a pang, a feeling of “oh shit I’m a grown up” that comes with a decision such as this. Now I’ve not lived at home for 8 years now but this move feels more major. This may be because I’m moving in with a boy for the first time…yes I know I have to live with a boy. Or it could be down to the fact all I can say in German is “two beers, please” some may argue that’s all I need, others may not, mainly employers. The aim of this blog is to document my adventures, the style, energy and buzz of a brand new city. A city that if it weren’t for aforementioned boy I would never have visited, being a Paris girl at heart. So please follow in my adventures as my blood turns to Jägermeister, my liver gives up due to the ridiculous amounts of currywurst I shall be consuming and no doubt a change in attitude, wardrobe and habit.