27 April 2013 @ 12:55 am
I took a well-deserved break from work today after the first two courses were done. Far longer than expected, but I did get to test the full degree of how water-resistant my softshell coat really is. Turns out that it's very water resistant, since I took a walk in the pouring rain at nine.

My plan worked, however - it being so late and so wet there were several toads. Sadly not as many as we saw the first day, and there were clear signs that their numbers were being diminished by the other creatures on the shores of the lakes and thus there were lots of little dismembered webbed feet everywhere, it was quite disgusting.

So, here are some toads!

The neighbourhood wants you to be warned so you know to be careful.

Here be a toad. )

Irresponsible dog owner rant )
26 April 2013 @ 08:33 am
Sportparksee III  
Now that the weather is more dry we tried walking all around the lake, and yesterday we managed.

We weren't really going to do that, we came for the toads. So, this should be about a billion pictures of toads, but we walked around the lake far too early today. When we were there yesterday evening, there were dozens of toad every couple of meters and we had to tread very carefully in the dusk not to tread on them. But we were there too early yesterday, so this is just our lake and what I saw walking around it.

Sportparksee 18 )
Current Mood: stressed
13 April 2013 @ 07:10 pm
Spring? Where?  
They said that the weather would be nice on the weekend. Well, if yesterday is anything to go by, I don't really have high hopes.

I also managed to catch a cold, and I'm not surprised - my job is not stressful at the moment, but there is some idiocy that is. More on that later. I also need to stick to a better work-break-regimen to not totally lose it.

11 April 2013 @ 11:44 pm
Spring hasn't quite gotten into the swing of things around here, but Crocky's tissue consumption certainly does mark the transition in seasons. We've started going for walks on the muddy shores of our favourite lake which is still far too cold for swimming, of course, but hiking in the mud is fun, too.

Sportparksee )

Catkins, mushrooms, and spiders.  )
Current Music: Conquest of Spaces - Woodkid
Current Location: Bremen, Sportparksee
Current Mood: listless
31 March 2013 @ 04:53 pm
Dear flist,

I hope you all have a happy, snow-free and relaxing Easter if you are celebrating or similar spring-related holidays!

It's a blessing to have you in my life. ♥

Current Mood: okay
19 March 2013 @ 10:33 am
And back home.  
We arrived back home at 6am yesterday morning! The trip was a very mixed experience - the bus ride there and back were both miserable and I need to remember to never get it into my head again that an overnight bus tour would be a good idea. It's just not because in spite of the company's announcements, you can't sleep on overnight buses.

Still, Paris is of course amazing and like being hit in the face with significant European history every couple of meters.
There are a lot of things (mostly museums) that I would have really liked to see but didn't get to because we didn't have enough time to waste on standing in line for hours, but even like this there simply was not enough time to take everything in and I think you could probably walk the same routes several times before you have seen what there is to see. I put the picture dump into two backdated posts called Paris I and Paris II.

Ten things... )
Current Location: Bremen, Germany
Current Mood: okay
17 March 2013 @ 11:28 pm
Paris II  
It's amazing how little I remember of my school French, and yet, how much comes back when I'm surrounded by native speakers. Because everybody speaks English I did not have to use my A2 French to full advantage, but it's still comforting to know that in a pinch, I can buy meringues in various flavours in French. Ordering food at the restaurant we had lunch at did not work as well and thus we switched to English, but speaking the language after such a long time was still a very nice experience. Today, we had a look at Notre Dame and the Operas. There is so much to see that I only have pictures of a fraction of the interesting things that we did see, and even those are too few.

Notre Dame )

Odds, ends, and the opera )
Current Mood: tired
Current Location: Gallieni, Bagnolet
16 March 2013 @ 11:24 pm
Paris I  
Bus tours: Never Again. I think we vowed that last time we went on a bus tour in '07, and yet again we found ourselves cramped into bus seats on an overnight bus. We thought it probably wasn't going to be so bad because it doesn't take as long to get from Bremen to Paris as it does to London, but we were wrong. Many of our fellow travellers were sick and kept the bus up coughing, it was impossible to put back the seats and get sleep, and thus, we arrived in Paris dog-tired and stiff-limbed.

We still had a lovely time.

Trip and generic Paris. )

Louvre )

Various of the Tuileries )

Eiffel tower: way to and view from )
Current Mood: tired
Current Location: Rue de la Sablière, Paris
27 January 2013 @ 06:07 pm
Vaguely disappointing insect exhibition with surprise reptiles  
Crocky and I went to a local insect exhibition today. It was at a tiny community centre around the corner and the poster had promised all manners of exciting large exotic creatures and they charged a rather hefty entrance fee. However, we soon realised in the first room that it was two small and rather dingy rooms and most of the all insect exhibits and also most others were pinned, some already very old and discoloured, and therefore not all that exciting - even though the organisers had clearly attempted to make them look more interesting by arranging them in terrariums. 

The second room was a very pleasant surprise because the organisers had brought their pet reptiles, spiders and myriapods and were showing them to visitors. Espeially the boas and the tortoise petting zoo were a big hit, though was a bit worried for the tortoises in particular. But the owners always watched out for their animals, and especially the teen handling the snakes and spiders seemed to know what he was doing and always made sure that the visitors treated his charges with respect, so I suppose they were fine.  

Spiders, insects, myriapods, and snakes. )

I want giant millipedes as pets. Crocky favours the boa we met today, but I think that these tiny plant-detritus eating creatures that don't grow to a length of 6m and don't live on live piglets are infinitely preferable. 
Current Mood: okay
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
21 January 2013 @ 05:12 pm
Snowy Blockland  
Supervising our students during breaks today was annoying. We have a no-snowball-rule, and of course nobody ever sticks to it, so we watching teachers have to pick our battles wisely. Today there wasn't that much snow, so they got bored with trying to scrounge up enough snow for a snowball fight, but I don't want to know what tomorrow is going to be like. 

It hasn't stopped snowing for the last two hours over here. It snowed last night, too, and it looks as though it's going to keep snowing for quite some time. While I don't like slogging through the frozen waste that is our street and digging out my car every morning the snow does look beautiful, especially in the Blockland, an area consisting of a picturesque village, pastures and marshes:

Snow and Lesum )
Current Location: Bremen-Burg
Current Mood: Cold
Current Music: OotP Audiobook
12 January 2013 @ 08:42 pm
Frosty Lake  
Over here, the weather has gotten really cold again, much to the delight of several of my colleagues who suffer from migraines alleviated by the chilly air and much to my dismay, because our car doors keep freezing shut so thoroughly that I can't defrost them enough to get to work on time.

Still, in spite of the chilly temperatures Crocky and I took a walk to the lake around the corner. It's not our favourite swimming lake, but it's in walking distance and is beautiful even though it comes with a view of the industry area and a wind park close by. 

Read more... )
Current Mood: cold
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
22 December 2012 @ 09:57 pm
Christmas Bakery  
Sorry, this is a baking post. This year I made a bunch of thumb print cookies for everybody! They don't look very Christmassy and I can't make cookies look pretty, period, but at least they taste good.

Below are thumprint cookies with mint icing, white chocolate icing, rum icing with sugar hearts. I also made thumprint cookies with salted caramel. It's my favourite things at the moment, they're amazing. 

I'm also thinking about making peanut butter pillows

Current Mood: cheerful
12 December 2012 @ 07:39 pm
Seasonal decorations  
Bremen is snowy at the moment, the annual Christmas market is in full swing, and our house is becoming more Christmassy, too - all the other windows are blinking or light up at night.

To join in, I put up some decoration as well, though compared to the lavish display of our neighbours mine is half-hearted at best, but then, I never really know what to do in terms of window decorations. I don't really like things that blink or light up, and thus I went for red sisal stars. And there's our tree and wreath, too. 

Close-ups of decorations. )
Current Mood: calm
Current Location: Bremen
Current Music: TYT on youtube
09 December 2012 @ 01:02 pm
Stint in Amsterdam at night  
After my conference was over, I had an hour to kill in Amsterdam in the evening before heading home. 

Stroll from Amsterdam Centraal down the Damrak to the Royal Palace and back )
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: exhausted
24 November 2012 @ 08:45 pm
For the last two days, there has been thick fog in the north of Bremen that makes it hard to see further than fifty meters ahead, even with the lights on on cars and bicycles. 

Read more... )

Some on-topic verses by Herman Hesse. )
Current Mood: awake
18 November 2012 @ 08:07 pm
Weather Mope  
It's Sunday evening already? I don't want to go out tomorrow. Thanks to autumn the weather has become really depressing around here. Our car is in the shop, too, so I'm taking the bus, which means leaving the house at 6:45am, and due to various meetings and parents evenings and that type of nonsense I am usually only home after 6pm, which means that in the mornings I go out and at night I come home and the sky looks like this: 

It's always cold, dark, and wet. Thanks, Bremen! 

Mild the mist upon the hill Poem

by Emily Bronte

Mild the mist upon the hill
Telling not of storms tomorrow;
No, the day has wept its fill,
Spent its store of silent sorrow.

O, I'm gone back to the days of youth,
I am a child once more,
And 'neath my father's sheltering roof
And near the old hall door

I watch this cloudy evening fall
After a day of rain;
Blue mists, sweet mists of summer pall
The horizon's mountain chain.

The damp stands on the long green grass
As thick as morning's tears,
And dreamy scents of fragrance pass
That breathe of other years.
Current Mood: busy
10 November 2012 @ 08:08 pm
Pictures and meme  

My neighbourhood is firmly in the grips of autumn and the light around dusk makes the trees in front of our house look beautiful. 

Trees outside )

Alphabet meme... )
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30 October 2012 @ 10:12 pm
Crocky and I went on a trip to Verden today. We were actually going to look at an abandoned ammunition factory in a village near Verden, but then found the entire area roped off and warning signs saying those going there were in mortal danger, so we opted out. 

I am now a bit sadder that the school in Verden that I applied with back in the day did not want me, the town is very pretty. 

Touristy impressions of Verden. )
Current Mood: exhausted
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
27 October 2012 @ 10:06 pm
Portus sanctae Mariae  
Today, Crocky and I had a look at the ruin of the medieval Cistercian abbey in Hude (German Wiki here). In spite of the already rather frosty temperatures it was a lovely walk. We had a look at museum, ruins, nearby hamlet, and a mill and then went home before our feet froze even further. 

Read more... )
Current Location: Hude, Niedersachsen
29 August 2012 @ 06:50 pm
Big Cellar Spider  
I am not even kidding. Having a balcony and autumn weather sometimes means that the creepy-crawlies we get are really big and interesting. This is one of them - a spider with eggs. 

Below are the resulting pictures - they're a disturbing if you don't particularly like spiders. Some of them are sadly a bit blurry. 

Here be spiders. )
Current Mood: awake
23 August 2012 @ 01:10 pm
Balcony Macros  
Our balcony herb garden is in full bloom right now. The plants that Crocky gave me for my birthday are fine, though they did not take kindly to the hottest day of the year, when they did dry out more than I expected they would. I had forgotten to water them the night before and was greeted with very seriously drooping leaves the next day.
But they recovered and still look great:

I'm in love with the Black-Eyed Susan vine. ♥ Susan, spiderweb and bee. )
Current Mood: calm
19 August 2012 @ 08:18 pm
Clearly our house  
Crocky is a musician. She plays instruments, she needs to practice. We're living at a place that has us flinching whenever something is loud in our flat in case the neighbours break down and sue us over dropping a shoe after 10pm. So, from time to time, we browse sites just to window shop for new places. We specifically started looking for a place that is better isolated than this one.

I think I have found my favourite. This is not a serious plan, but a girl can dream. 

Before and during the second world war a lot of shelters were built inside the city that they could not tear down after the war. Those shelters remained sitting there, undamaged, quietly gathering graffiti and ivy and otherwise being quite overlooked. However, the city has started to give up ownership of these places and now, they are for sale all over the city. 

Look at this place (pictures stolen from the agent's site)! 

I want to live in a former air raid shelter, who wouldn't? )

It comes with a permit to build a house and a patio on the roof, a very large garden and walls that are over a meter thick. It's quite a project, of course, because the living space inside the shelter is not very hospitable right at this moment and needs work (and, well, windows) but it's in the middle of Bremen, it's really cheap, and you can play sets of drums in the middle of the night and nobody would hear a thing.

I want one of those!  Not that I can afford to buy any kind of property right now or will be able to in the near future, but still! Bomb shelter! 1m walls!  
10 August 2012 @ 08:52 pm
As I've said before, Crocky and I have been swimming a lot this summer. 

This is our lake! 

It's close to the university and, like nearly all big bodies of water around here, strangely empty even when the weather is warm. Apparently, swimming is low on the list of people's priorities even during the summer holidays, although a couple of days ago we met a young lady who was dictating her bachelor thesis to a dictaphone while slowly walking through the shallow water close to the beach. I'd have loved to have that option while I was working on my thesis! 

More Lake. )
Current Mood: tired
Current Location: Bremen-Burg, Germany
01 August 2012 @ 07:39 pm
We're back!

As always right after camping (and de-sanding everything we own, and catching a night of sleep in a real bed, and shower under real showers) I am quite convinced camping is not for me, but the memory of the trip is already clouding my memory of ice-cold nights and wet tent ceilings. 

So. The trip! 
  • The North Sea! Swimming in the North Sea. You have to do it. 
  • Vikings! They have longhouses with great windows and the best beds
  • Vikings! They have ships! Lots
  • Danes! They can speak all the languages I speak better than me and then some!
  • Vikings! They have funeral boats
  • Reading in a tent with a flashlight! All Fantasy quest novels should be read like that, I suppose.
Links to holiday snapshots from our various destinations can be accessed by clicking on the images below. I hope that the individual travel journal posts don't show up on your friend's pages. 


Man, I'm knackered, and the Mojito I'm having clearly doesn't help me concentrate, but I earned it. 
Current Mood: tired
30 July 2012 @ 06:06 pm
Ladby Skivet  
At the beginning of the twentieth century a Viking burial ship was discovered in a burial mound near Kerteminde.

Today, there is a a museum about the burial mound as well as a replica. They also have a shipyard in which they rebuild findings from the tenth century (with period tools!). 

Read more... )
Current Mood: happy
Current Location: Kerteminde, Denmark
29 July 2012 @ 10:49 pm
Esbjerg and Ringkøbing  
I've been to Esbjerg before with [ profile] angie_21_237 and her family when I was a teenager, and the most vivid memory I have of the place is eating my first hot dog, pretty buildings, after, if memory serves, a visit to the Artillery Museum in Varde (which these days is advertised as "a great day for father and son", so I suppose I don't have to feel bad about giving it a miss, being neither). In short, I don't really remember the city. Crocky really wanted to go, though, because she's liked the city for a long time. 

So along we went. I'm glad we did, too, the weather was lovely, we had a picnick in the park, and we found the most flattering bathing suit that I have ever owned. Since I am self-conscious about my size there isn't a lot of swimwear that will make me get excited to get in the water, but I feel rather good about my newest aquisition of a swimming-dressy-kind of garment. 

Ringkøbing and pictures from the road - with extra cygnets! )
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Location: Esbjerg, Denmark
28 July 2012 @ 11:29 pm
Bork Viking Harbour  
I was born in Hamburg. The city has a big harbour, and excursions to said harbour and prerequisite tours of it by boat are a school trip staple of all towns in a 50km radius. There is also the annua Hafengeburtstag a street festival celebrating the anniversary of the harbour, and plenty of other, harbour-and-boat-related activities. I get seasick and somehow never caught the any romantic ideas about a seafaring lifestyle. 

Thus at some point I did mention to Crocky that I am not, really, that interested in boats. She gave me a long look and said, "I may have bad news for you." She was not wrong. Still, the reconstructed harbour we visited was very nice. It's another living history museum and very much worth the trip. 

There were some boats. 

This is Bork... )

Modern Bayeux-style-tapestry on the history of the harbour )
Current Location: Bork Vikingehavn, Denmark
Current Mood: cheerful
27 July 2012 @ 09:01 pm
Ribe Viking Centre  
The Ribe Viking centre go look at that page!) is a living history centre which uses volunteers from Denmark to play Vikings and introduce visitors to their various crafts. To boost their numbers they also take volunteers without any special skills (who then get to camp close to the centre for free in exchange for being a Viking for a few weeks), and Crocky and I were seriously tempted. They get lot f German visitors, after all, and need to translate for them, too. 

It has three different sites, a marketplace from around 710, a town from around 825, and a manor farm with a long house from 980. The buildings are all reconstructions from buildings archeologists found on the site, and they're fascinating to walk through. 

Inside the longhouse on the manor farm. 

Read more... )
Current Mood: bouncy
Current Location: Ribe, Denmark
26 July 2012 @ 08:31 pm
Hvide Sande  
Our journey was really relaxed and pleasant. We packed our car, drove to Hamburg to pick up our tent and were welcomed with a great breakfast my mother had prepared. We spent some time there, then left for Denmark. 

And arrived in Hvide Sande that evening. The camp site was alright, and the highlight of the trip were the gigantic moths which always came to the kitchen and bathrooms during the night, most notably the garden tigers (see the last two pictures under the cut).

Also, I'm marvelling at what the Danes think of the infestation of my country(wo)men every summer. There are more Germans than Danes on the campsite we are on, and most natives we've run into had a frightfully good command of both English and German. Of course, German must be easy to learn for speakers of Germanic languages as close to ours as Danish, but my Danish is not even good enough to get me through a casual chat at the supermarket, so I can't help but be very impressed, and feel a slight Fremdscham or some of my more noisy and impolite compatriots. 

Tonight at a tiny seaside restaurant the German family next to us, confident in the knowledge that we wouldn't understand their language, talked about us and then pointed out our meals and commented on it to each other. They did stop after a pointed look (and after we started a German conversation), but even without us being German, given the language expertise of the natives and basic human decency, I wonder what got into them. 

Read more... )
Current Location: Hvide Sande, Denmark
01 July 2012 @ 01:11 am
Bunker Valentin  
The "U-Boot Bunker Valentin" is a gigantic submarine pen and shipyard in the north of Bremen built by 10-12,000 forced labourers who were prisoners of the concentration camp Bremen-Farge. It cost the lives of over 2,000 people, was never finished and damaged by an air raid in 1945. Today half of it is a memorial, the other half is a ruin. We only walked around it, but we're going to be back for a look at the exhibit inside for more information on its construction. 

Aerial shot from Wiki demonstrating the stupendous size of this madness: 

Read more... )
22 June 2012 @ 11:42 pm
Birthday presents  

A few days before my birthday this year, Crocky and I went flower shopping.

We found some kitchen herbs for our balcony, found where seemingly all ladies from the North of Bremen hang out on Saturday mornings (said flower store, it was basically an all-female-shopping experience and great fun), and found my birthday present: 

On the left: a tiny Wisteria! So many fabaceae are amazingly pretty, but I love these especially, from the leaves to the beautiful flowers. On the right: a Black-eyed Susan vine that has been growing like crazy, Pomona would be proud. 

Current Mood: happy
01 October 2011 @ 10:12 pm
Witches Abroad  
Crocky and I went to foreign lands today!

Or rather, we took a short roadtrip to see Gröningen or Grunnenn two hours down the road. 

Gröningen )

Way home )
11 August 2011 @ 02:24 am
Wyk is the town on the North Frisian island Föhr and Crocky and I went there to visit her grandmother for a few days at the beginning of the week. I've been to various of the North Frisian islands on excursions organised by Hamburg nature conservation societies before, but I've only been to Föhr once when I was four, so I don't know this particular island that well. Crocky on the other hand spent half her childhood here because this is where her family on her father's side hail from and where all her family spends time during the year, mostly, of course, during the summer months. 

Since our stay was short, we limited our activities to swimming, mudflat hiking, icecream sampling and spending time with her family. 

Generic beach )
20 July 2011 @ 06:00 pm
Various walks through the neighbourhood  

I'm very envious of all you con-goers and crone cottage-dwellers and hope you are having a lovely time! Have fun, ladies! 

We won't go away this summer, it seems, mostly due to work and having to  house-sit my parent's place. So we take lovely walks instead. Yesterday, Crocky and went to an area of Bremen known as "Blockland" and took a walk through the area around a tiny ex-village called Wasserhorst which is now a part of Bremen. I instantly fell in love with the river and the landscape and annoyed a poor Crocky because I stopped at nearly every bend in said river to take pictures and wax poetically about the beauty thereof.

These are a lot like the one above, plus some houses. Basically, it's just a lot of pictures of the same river. )

Flowers and M-rated beetles )

Dyke of the Lesum close to our house )
Current Mood: calm
18 July 2011 @ 12:18 am
Our neighbourhood  
Probably not interesting for anyone but me, but Crocky and I've been going for walks through the neighbourhood a lot lately. It's a great area - walk ten minutes into any direction and you're close to a lake, river, or park, fifteen minutes and you're in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by fields. 

Some people are even lucky enough to live as closely to one of the small canals, and it looks as though a lot of children spent time building bridges across them.

Walk... )
Current Mood: calm
16 July 2011 @ 06:35 pm
Great spotted woodpeckers  
Turns out that there are two great spotted woodpeckers!

Usually, I've only ever seen this little guy: 

And I always get really excited whenI see him, and even more when I see both of them: 

More woodpecker )
Current Mood: cheerful
10 July 2011 @ 05:48 pm
Boring holiday life  
Our first order of business after the holidays started was to tidy and clean our flat, and it's much more enjoyable to live here now, without paper and school things lying on every available flat surface. Our plants on the balcony are also thriving, and apart from the birds we've got several creepy companions on our balcony. 


More creepy crawlies )

Next, we went for a long walk on the dyke (yes, dykes on a dyke. Just to get it out of the way) of the Lesum, the nearby river. 

Walk along the Lesum ) 

In other news, my slave drive died today. It won't start even though it's plugged in correctly and not even the BIOS knows it exists. Even though I plugged and re-plugged every cable, nothing. Luckily, there's no important data on it, but it does have all programmes apart from Windows. This wouldn't be so bad if this were the only thing that needed fixing, but it's not. My computer is over six years old, most of the parts are older, and thus my monitor won't start up without flickering for ten minutes until it's warm, my headphones broke today, my printer (and it's the newest! It's only 3!) broke down after the move and my graphic's card is outdated.


Still, life is good. 
Current Mood: calm
03 June 2011 @ 01:41 pm
Bugs and Flowers  
We have a playground around the corner that has some very pretty flowers, a pond and a water pump.

Here are some macro shots of flowers and bugs living, breeding on and feeding off them.

+2 )

Who did this? +5 )

Here be bugs. +5 )
Current Mood: hungry
20 February 2011 @ 02:42 am
Photo meme  
stolen from [ profile] lordhellebore :

Ask me to take pictures of any aspect of my life that you're interested in/curious about -- it can be anything from my favourite shirt over the inside of my fridge to my mobile phone. Leave your requests as a comment to this entry, I'll snap the pictures and post them as soon as I can.
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Current Mood: amused
22 December 2010 @ 02:40 pm
Merry Christmas  
Just finished packing for my trip to Hanover today to see Crocky and spend Christmas Eve with her, head to Hamburg on Christmas Day to see my family, then maybe to Hesse to see the in-laws on Boxing Day.

I hope all of you have great holidays and a lovely Christmas!

(Yesterday's lunar eclipse)
Current Mood: busy