Late-Summer / Early-Fall Vacation 2017: At the Darss!

A small artwork I found at the “Weststrand” (west beach) near Ahrenshoop. All pics by Franzi.

It’s already one long week ago since we came back from our vacation at the Bay of Barth at the Darss. It was such a relaxing time: With lots of books, ice-cream, delicious meals, day trips – and even a bath in the (cold) Baltic Sea. Here are some impressions of those two fantastic weeks for you.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Have a wonderful time :)!

We made two hiking trips near Barth:

At Barth’s harbor we observed stunning sunsets:

Both of us adore the “Weststrand” (west beach) between Ahrenshoop and Prerow:

We also made a day trip to the city Greifswald, which we both really liked:

The old harbor in Greifswald.

The old wooden bridge in Wieck.

The stunning ruins of the monastery Eldena – famous because artist Casper David Friedrich painted them.

The Bay of Greifswald.

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My Vacation (in) Books!

The six books I read during the last two vacation weeks. All pics by Franzi.

Our (late summer / early fall) vacations are already over. Those two weeks were incredible relaxing and fun. And finally there was time for reading :)! Here are the six books I indulged in.

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray:

In spring 1936 seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family owned “Café Paradis” in the small French village Juan-les-Pin. The already famous artist Pablo Picasso stays incognito in a nearby villa and makes a deal with the “Café Paradies” that they are responsible for his food. Thus, Ondine rides everyday with her bicycle to Picasso’s villa and cooks for him her extraordinary dishes.

Céline is a Hollywood makeup artist in New York of the present days. From her mother Julie, she learns that her Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso and that she may once owned a Picasso painting. But where’s the painting got to?

This was a perfect vacation book – French Riviera atmosphere, excellent food descriptions, a gripping story and plot that combines the real facts wonderfully with imagination.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This is a historical letter novel that plays shortly after WWII and is about a young English author on the search for a topic for her new book and a bunch of people located on Guernsey who created the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” during the German occupation on Guernsey. The plot is hilarious and entertaining and sometimes sad. But then there’s also a romantic story-line ;)… A big must-read recommendation!

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

This is the first book of a crime series around the Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his young sergeant Gemma James:

Overworked Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid plans to make vacation at the time-share “Followdale House” in northern England. Some of his fellow guests have been to the time-share hotel before. Others are newcomers. Then someone dies…

I am a big fan of good-written crime series (I love the Elizabeth George series!) and this book was a good start into a new addiction :).

Becks letzter Sommer (Beck’s last summer) by Benedict Wells

A bored teacher in his 30s, his depressed and addicted black best friend and a 17-year-old Lithuanian, who’s a highly talented musician. Those three people are experiencing not only a summer together, but also a road trip to Istanbul full of adventures that have consequences for all of their futures.

A nice German book that’s well written, easy to read and has a clever plot.

Ein Kind für mich allein (A child all for myself) by Elfriede Brüning

This is a German 1950s classic about a woman who is trying to find her life’s purpose. Shortly after the war ended, she works as a nurse in a hospital in Berlin. She falls in love with a doctor of the same hospital who is not interested in a long-term relationship with her. Then she believes she’s pregnant…

At the moment, I am interested into German literature of the 1950s – especially if it is about the life of women during this time. The book illustrates a woman on her search of independence – which was a lot harder in the 1950s than it is now. But some of her thoughts are nevertheless up to date. Like: What is one’s purpose in life? Or: When is the right time to get a child and with whom?

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This novel from 1926 was one of the first successes of Hemingway. It describes not only the “lost generation” of the 1920s in Paris but plays also in Pamplona during the Fiesta of San Fermin where the protagonist Jake Barnes travels with a bunch of friends to visit the running of the bulls. He is in love with a typical 1920s girl named Brett. Unfortunately Jake was injured during the war and, as a consequence, is now impotent. Brett on the other side loves life and men – her fiancée Mike is with her in Pamplona – as is also her latest affair Robert Cohn.

The story is typical Hemingway – fast and with a passionate plot it narrates the story of Jake and Brett and the destiny of all those involved.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have an entertaining one :)!

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Two Cookbooks I Love: a modern way to eat & a modern way to cook by Anna Jones!

Pic by Franzi.

Today I would like to present you two current cookbook favs of mine: a modern way to eat and a modern way to cook. Both are written by Anna Jones – a cook, stylist and writer. The books are a wonderful collection of vegetarian recipes that are not quite ordinary but easy to prepare and totally convenient for everyday.

Plus, every recipe is accompanied by a little story told by Anna Jones: Why and how she did create the recipe in the first place, at which season it should be served or she gives some clever tips regarding the preparation. I have the German versions of the cookbooks – simply because those books are printed on apple paper (yes, that’s indeed paper made from apples). I just think that’s wonderful – not only because it’s sustainable, but also because it looks and feels really beautiful.

Two weeks ago, Anna Jones announced her third cookbook – its name will be The Modern Cook’s Year and it will be released (in English) on October 5, 2017. Yeah :)!

Enjoy your week!

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Lately … on Instagram!

Race! All pics by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

Today just some new pictures from my Instagram account I made during the last four weeks. I use Instagram mainly as a way to live out my artsy moments ;). So, I thought it would be great to share the latest pics with you from time to time. Last month I discovered not only a loooong (chalk) snake in my courtyard, but I also visited for the first time a horse race, saw some stunning 1980s architecture in Chemnitz and enjoyed the evening sun at the Alster in Hamburg.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Have a beautiful one :)!

Snake!

Architecture (Chemnitz)

Evening (Alster – Hamburg)

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Si jamais j’oublie by ZAZ!

“Si jamais j’oublie – Les nuits que j’ai passé – Les guitares et les cris – Rappelle moi qui je suis – Pourquoi je suis en vie – Si jamais j’oublie – Les jambes à mon cou – Si un jour je fuis – Rappelle-moi qui je suis – Ce que je m’étais promis”

A song that’s an attitude of life: Si jamais j’oublie by  French singer-songwriter (and everybody’s darling) ZAZ. It’s from her 2015 live album Sur la route. The message of the song is simple and important: Never forget where you come from and all those wonderful experiences that created yourself, your dreams and your personality. A perfect mood-lifter for rainy late-summer days!

Happy listening!

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Those Small Pretty Moments!

Sunset on the Alster (Friday, August 4). All pics by Franzi.

The last four weeks felt like a rollercoaster ride. There were extremely emotional moments and I was always on the run. Looking back, I first remember those big events that were incredibly important for me and my pals. But then there were also those pretty little moments: The ones that lasted only some hours or even minutes and came unexpected. Those moments are what makes life worth living and the happy power boosters that always give me fresh energy.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Enjoy those small pretty moments :)!

Stunning view on the Dove Elbe in Vierlande (Friday, July 21)

A relaxed afternoon in the allotment garden of my pal Annika (Friday, July 21)

A tour through the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine with its impressive library (Thursday, July 27)

A walk from my dad’s house in Chemnitz to the Adelsbergturm – the same walk I did with my grandpa every time when I visited him as a kid (Saturday, July 29)

Home-made meringues and fresh roses from the Isemarkt (Friday, August 4)

On the CSD pre-party at the Jungfernstieg (Friday, August 4)

Sunset in Planten un Blomen (Saturday, August 5)

A relaxed evening on the couch: Just me, Stephan and a bottle of wine. Perfect (Tuesday, August 8)!

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Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann

Pic by Franzi.

“The whole point of good literature is to make newness durable. You are creating alternative time. You are making vivid that which did not exist before.” Colum McCann, Letters to a Young Writer

Letters to a Young Writer by author Colum McCann comprises fifty-two short texts that give some practical and philosophical advice about various matters of authorship – like creating characters, developing a plot, the terror of the white page, the first line and many more.  For me, each of the small texts was highly motivating and full of inspirational lines, which I would like to write down on a BIG mood board and hang it up above my favorite place to write (so currently this would be above my sofa).

A big recommendation for everyone who is loving the written word but also fighting with it from time to time.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have a creative one :)!

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Paneer Tikka Masala

Pic by Franzi.

This dish tastes like made in an Indian restaurant (at least in my world). I made it already several times – especially for guests. It’s easy to prepare (but takes some time) and always gets lots of praise :). You can make it either with paneer (an Indian fresh cheese that’s available in good-sorted Asian stores or you prepare your own home-made cheese), or alternatively use tofu, which tastes nearly as good as paneer in this Tikka Masala.

Recipe:

Ingredients: Serves 4.

2 TblSps coconut oil for frying, 250 g paneer or tofu (cut into cubes), 3 TblSps olive oil, 1-2 garlic cloves (smashed), 1 diced onion, app. 60 ml tomato paste, 2 TSps ground cardamom, 1/2 TSp pepper flakes, 2 TSps minced ginger, 2 TSps ground turmeric, 1 TSp garam masala, 1 TSp ground coriander, 1 TSp ground cumin, 800 g whole peeled tomatoes (tinned), 500 ml heavy cream, 450 g frozen peas, salt.

Preparation:

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a big cast-iron pot. Fry the paneer (or the tofu) until it is golden-brown (2-3 minutes on each side). Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the oil.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot. Add the smashed garlic, the minced onion, the tomato paste, the cardamom and pepper flakes. Roast, stirring often, until the tomato paste has darkened and the onion has softened (about 5 minutes). Add the rest of the spices (ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin) to the pot and roast, stirring constantly, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown (about 4 minutes).

Add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands while you add them. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits. Cook until sauce thickens (about 8 minutes).

Add in the heavy cream, the paneer and the peas. Season to taste with salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (15-20 minutes). Serve with rice.

Enjoy!

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In Memoriam of a Princess…

Pink roses for a princess who stated “A dash of pink is always a good idea!” Pic by Franzi.

Last Thursday a friend lost her battle against cancer. She was a hell of a fighter and will be missed forever.

I am incredibly thankful to knew her and for all the happy hours we had together. Never will I forget her singing this song or her sleepwalking or her homemade jams or her being able to be ready in the morning in only 5 minutes (max) or her or wild dance in a car full of helium-filled balloons at her hen night or her love of karaoke or her first attempts on a snowboard or her being “kidnapped” by some unfriendly police-officers or the situation in which I realized she was pregnant or her socks on the bath mat in our first winter vacations or all those other small events that we were able to enjoy together. …Or the moment she came back into the life of one of my besties, as her so-called “fortune cookie”.

She also was the big luck of another dear friend of mine – she was the mother of his son and his newly wed wife. …Those two people were the reason she fought this hard. T & H: Thanks for being at her side during this battle and all the strength you gave her.

I am grateful to had her into my life, in the life of my friends and for every intensive moment we were able to experience in the last year – despite all odds. Now that her fight is over, we will carry her in our hearts. To enjoy every moment – that is what she taught as during those last months.

Goodbye princess C. You will be in our hearts forever.

I wish you a week full of memorable moments. Enjoy every second!

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Everything Now – A New Arcade Fire Album!

Arcade Fire concert on July 2, 2017 in Berlin. Pic by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

Arcade Fire’s new album Everything Now will be released on July 28, 2017. At the beginning of the month, me and two of my best pals were at the Arcade Fire concert in Berlin. It was a big party, where they not only played their old indie-rock hits but also some of their new tracks. If you never saw this band live, you definitely should put this onto you bucket list. They are incredibly powerful on stage and are creating a wonderful atmosphere in the audience. The few new songs, that I already listened to, only intensified my anticipation of the album.

Have a wonderful new week and happy listening!

 

 

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