Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tübingen


Yesterday my dad was a guest lecturer at the university in Tübingen so we made a day trip out of it.  Tübingen is a gorgeous town.  The old town centre survived WW2 and it's exactly how Würzburg would look like now if it hadn't been so heavily bombed/if there had been money to restore the buildings.  Summer is finally starting to show its good side so we had a beautiful day out.

I've been very boring recently, and just catching up with my guilty pleasure TV: New Girl and Hell's Kitchen (terrible I know but I love cooking shows).  Zoey Deschanel is my current hair and style inspiration.  This week is pretty exciting though: tomorrow is my parents 25th wedding anniversary so the family is going out for a celebratory meal.  Then on Thursday we're going to Berlin! We'll be gone until Monday.  The best thing about it is that we'll be there for the Germany vs Italy game and then hopefully if Germany make it through to the finals we'll be able to go to the public viewing in the middle of the city.  So excited.  I've never been to Berlin before (shame on me) so there's so much I want to see.  Can't wait to share the photos with you.  If you have any tips please do let me know.

I'm getting a little giveaway together for you guys so keep your eyes peeled!

More soon
x
Nina

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Off duty

(Jeans: Zara.  V-neck: H&M mens.  Sunglasses: H&M.  Shoes: Converse)

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a major fashionista or that I have impeccably exciting style.  Far from it.  I'm pretty safe when it comes to clothes.  Being small and far from skinny minnie means that I don't really like showing my legs and the tops of my arms.  Hence my dislike of dressing for summer.  Tights and knitwear are my life long friends.  

But this kind of outfit is my 'off duty' look - easy, comfy and not fussy.  I was traipsing through my aunt's raspberry shrubs this afternoon trying to collect enough for a cake/make jam with so I was 'sensibly' dressed.  These Zara jeans have been hiding away at the back of my wardrobe for a long time since I bought them (about a year ago).  I tend to find that when it comes to trousers, the Zara sizings can be slightly cruel as they run quite small (or is that just me?).  So I was very self conscious about wearing these but then through some strange miracle I lost weight in France without really trying, so it was 'now or never' with these jeans.  Might as well.  I see that Converse don't seem to feature on many blogs, are people not that keen on them? For me they are my go to shoes, they are so comfortable and easy to wear.  Saying this, they are the few shoes that actually fit me well.  I have a constant battle with my size 2.5 feet (EU 35, US 5).

I hope you guys have had a lovely Saturday and that the weekend treats you well.  Tomorrow my family and I are having Sunday brunch and then I'll try and make a head start with Anna Karenina.  I want to read the book before the film comes out in September but the book isn't that easy going.  It's Tolstoy, what's to be expected?

More soon

Friday, 22 June 2012

Tu me manques

(Shirt credit goes to my boyfriend.  I get to rummage through his 'charity shop' piles before they go to a worthy cause)

The photos from my last few weeks in Montpellier got forgotten about and lost in between flea market photos and the wine tasting at the chateau.  I didn't think that I was missing Montpellier until I saw these photos and was proven wrong.  Apart from the weather and amazing people there, I think the main thing I miss is being able to see so many new places and doing what I want to do.  Living with my parents (even if it's only for 4 more weeks) is taking some getting used to.  It's their house, so their rules.  But I'm enjoying the family time nonetheless.

I know I said I'd write a full ERASMUS report and to be honest I've had one sitting in my draft folder since the third day of being back in Germany but I can't seem to finish it.  Maybe once I'm back home home (Cardiff) I can get my brain into gear and close that chapter.  None of it really feels real.  It's as if the year abroad was one long and sometimes incomprehensible dream.  Funny how these things work.

More soon
x
Nina

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Madewell's Fall 2012 Lookbook


I'd never heard of Madewell before, I stumble across this amazing lookbook after browsing Honestly... WTF and since then I'm head over heels in love with every single outfit.  Madwell is an American brand and from taking a look at their website their look tends to sway towards the 'classic chic prep meets hipster' (Americans please feel free to correct me).  They have some amazing pieces including beautiful trousers but clocking in at $110 for a pair (roughly £70) it's a little out of my price range (I'm not even going to think about international shipping).  

However, their A/W looks seem very doable with the current contents of my wardrobe.  I'm a sucker for knitwear and bright reds.  It seems to be all about clashing prints and textures which works perfectly for me.   I'm already wishing June away so I can start thinking about A/W again.  I enjoy the summer but I just don't like dressing for it.  Do you guys have any favorite lookbooks? Are any of you going for a certain look for autumn winter? I'd be curious, please do share.

More soon
x
Nina


I also wanted to thank you all for the lovely comments on my 'Deutschland, Deutschland' post.  They really touched me and I'll be replying to them soon once I can properly put my thoughts and feelings into words.  You're all too kind and sweet.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles


You'll be glad to hear that this isn't me taking the sports wear trend too literally.  I am, for lack of a better word, being patriotic.  


My family and I are 100% German and that hasn't always been easy for me to accept.  Not getting a very positive response at all to being German during my first years of secondary school was devastating to me.  I had wonderful friends in primary school and being a different nationality never mattered to anyone.  Then in secondary school I learnt that children could be cruel, especially children who themselves were unhappy and angry.  Picking on someone for being German was easy because of our genuinely shameful history.  1933 to 1945 is a devastating legacy.  I went to a British school so of course learning about the Second World War from an Allied point of view and being the only German in class was sometimes uncomfortable.  It has to be said though that for all the friends I've ever had, me being German didn't matter to them at all.  But when I was a teenager I wanted to please everybody and everybody's opinion mattered so much to me.  When I moved to England at 14 my accent-less English became more British and it was very easy to fit in.  I didn't really have many bad experiences with being German in the UK.  Only once when my taxi driver who was taking me to the airport was complaining and bitching about the Germans before I told him that I in fact was very much German.  He didn't say a single word for the rest of the trip.  But a lot of the time, especially in university when asked where I come from I'd say that I was from Leeds (my boarding school was near there).  It was partly to save having to explain my whole TCK background but also because I was frightened of the reaction I'd get if I said I was German.


I didn't realise how much being bullied for being German as a child had affected me until about a year ago.  As a German it is very difficult to be proud and patriotic.  The past is so very present in everything we do.  From a young age we are educated about the Third Reich, almost drilled in a sense so that we are both hyper aware and hyper sensitive about every thing from 1933-45.  In school my mother was shown the videos that the American troops took when they liberated the concentration camps.  We are constantly reminded of that dark time and rightly so because something like that is never allowed to happen again.  But when the past weighs so heavily all the time and means that the current generation, which literally had nothing to do with the Third Reich, suffers from being ashamed of being German constantly, that's not right either.  


Strangely enough the moment when everything changed was in 2006 when Germany hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  It was as if someone had flicked a switch.  The German team reached the semi finals and it was described by the press as a 'Sommermärchen' (A summer fairytale).  People were waving flags, hanging them outside their houses and attaching them to their cars.  There were more football shirts around than ever before and nearly everything was in the  black, red and gold colour scheme (the German flag colours).  Flag waving and patriotism had always been associated with the Third Reich and the massive Nazi rallies up until then.  The fact that the world cup was hosted by Germany meant that people actually came to visit Germany, something they might not have ever thought about doing.  Germany had put it's best foot forward and proved people wrong about badly placed stereotypes and prejudices.  We were proud hosts.  In a small way watching the German national team play football became the stepping stone for Germans to say 'okay this is my country and I'm proud to be German'.  


As I write this the German football team haven't lost a game in the Euro 2012 championship and have made it to the quarter finals.  I'll put my hand on my heart and honestly say that I generally disliked football but if watching football is the small stepping stone that brings me closer to being a proud German then I'll take it any day.  It's a work in progress but I'm getting there. 


x
Nina

Friday, 15 June 2012

An Guadn/Guten Appetit

Italian Sfogliatelle:
Mascarpone herb ravioli, served with roasted vegetables, water cress and parmesan foam:
Käsespätzle with pork, roasted onions and creamy mushroom sauce:

In Bavaria just before you start a meal everyone wishes you 'An Guaden' which essentially boils down to 'bon appetite!' in all it's Bavarian glory.  I spent 9 months in France and while it's safe to say the French love food, the Bavarians really love food.  If you're counting calories Bavaria is not the place to go.  In some ways Bavarian food often reminds me of being back in Yorkshire where the portions are generous and the food is hearty.  That's not to say that German food isn't refined; classy and well presented food has been creeping it's way into the kitchen and it's there to stay.  But sometimes there's nothing better than a massive pile of Käsespätzle or a Schnitzel the size of your face.

More soon
x
Nina
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