london

Oh boy, I want to move to London, if I can be guaranteed it will be sunny at least 60% of the time. No, seriously, our last trip to London was amazing and a huge thank you goes out to Susan!

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It was a nice warm sunny weekend where exploring was all that we did – in London that is.

We checked into our hotel, grabbed our Oyster cards* and were quickly on our way toward the great big red bus (line 7) to take it to Soho and explore the marvelous shopping streets. We found the street overwhelming and many stores could be found three or four times up and down Oxford Street. Tourists were scrambling up and down to find a perfect present indicative of London, aka great people watching.

Seven Dials is more of my style of shopping and taste. It is quite the unique shopping district nestled among great restaurant and cafes – think Distillery district in Toronto. And of course there is Harrods, which I can safely say is an upscale Holts found in London. We also found another beautiful shopping area with tons of organic coffee shops and unique merchandise fairly priced in the Covent Garden neighbourhood. We did lots of walking…

The London Eye is a must when in London! I mean you get a 360 degree safe panoramic view of the city, which lets you mark special buildings on your mental map to see later. Great photos can also be taken and if you are with the right crowd a couple of jokes could also be exchanged – our crowd was quite boring though.

The Buckingham Palace. You know when someone of the Royal family gets married or has a baby and you see footage on TV of the Palace and think “wow, quite spectacular” – well you get an even more intense feeling when you stand right next to it. I would have thought there would be more guards guarding the grounds… it seems super open to the public. I felt amazed to see such a huge Palace in the middle of the city opening its back doors to so many tourists. Really quite amazing, but I guess the Royal Family is quite used to this.

High Tea at the Savoy. Well hello London! The tea service was amazing and the company even better – It was amazing how seriously the Londoners take their afternoon tea time. It’s a beautiful custom and so relaxing! I feel as though any heavy topics can be discussed when you are holding a well made fine China cup of tea and munching on perfectly cut sandwiches and mouth watering desserts.

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Really, I mean really, who wouldn’t be back for more. Well done London!!

happenings

“When it rains it pours” is a saying that can be adapted to describe either negative or positive occurrences in one’s life. I am choosing to write about the latter.

It is true that I have been a bit tardy with my blog posts recently, but here is why.

I am teaching English three times a week to three wonderful humans. Two small adorable kids and an university graduate student. Although every person has their own unique way of learning, the common goal of learning is nevertheless evident when looking at their improvement with each class, which makes me very happy.

Then, of course, I am still learning Deutsch. Believe it or not I have reached B1.1 – yahooooo! Great achievement, however, the great abyss is that the more you learn, the more you discover how much more you have to still learn. This is especially true when learning German. Just when I think I’ve wrapped my head around something, here comes the lingering word “aber”. Oh well, I will have to stick it out as I am sure it will all fall into place eventually.

And lastly, you know the saying, “common goals often bring people together?” Well, I’ve made friends with a wonderful person named Sabrina who has come on board with me to create a food and art concept here in Köln that is completely new. I love new things and I love challenges, and I think we will both have our hands delightfully full with this project. Check it out:  artcookery.ca.

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We have our first event to open the spring/summer season the first weekend of April. This concept requires an aesthetic layout, which we will have after our April event. Ah it feels so good to come out of hibernation and be excited about your own oyster project! You can find out more details about our opening event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/544297599016178/

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See I told you I had good reasons for being tardy with my posts 🙂

xo muchlove xo

Image credit: © Michel Laflamme

come one, come all!

streetcar

Come one, come all is the name of this game, or should I say Karneval!

I wrote an earlier post documenting the start of the very famous Karneval here in Köln, which happened on November 11 @ 11:11, and I feel as though I should report on the closing ceremonies of this festival.

Oh boy where do I start – my first Karneval was quite the adventure.  After Deutschkurs on Thursday (Feb. 27) it basically meant the shutdown of the city of Köln and a huge welcoming crowd of drunk people in costumes for 5 days straight.  It wasn’t all that bad though. It all started with a party at our house on Friday Feb 28 with all our guests dressed in costumes, of course. Yes, we even listened to more than 100 Colonian Karneval specific songs, which as the saying goes – you start to learn the lyrics the more Kölschs you have! I was Minnie Mouse this year, but after seeing how much effort and attention people put into their costumes I felt as though next year I should have a more elaborate one. So I gave away the fact that there will be a next year…

Saturday was spent around the house…(no Kölschs)

Sunday was spent going over a friend’s house for dinner and on the way home, man was there a lot to see… The streetcars were jam-packed with super, super drunk locals and tons of tourists trying to make sense of the whole affair. Or was that only me, not sure, but in any event it was quite funny to watch.

Although, once home it was good to put my feet up with – ta-daa! – a Kölsch and sing a couple of my Colonia favourites: Viva Colonia; Et Trömmelche; Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht – catchy tunes they are.

Monday marked yet another unique experience. So you know how you wake up super early to try to get front row seats to a show you want to see and then you find out that it was cancelled? Well, imagine that, except different. I woke up around 9 AM to try to get a front row view to a parade that is the epitome of Karneval in Köln – the “Rosenmontagszug”. More than 60 groups with elaborate floats all celebrating the climax of the Karneval season by throwing tons of candies (Kamelle!), toys and flowers (Strüssjer!) into the crowds. Quite fun! One thing to note is this show takes about 5 hours from start to finish and washrooms are hard to come by, just saying.

On the positive side, you can, if you have a good seat, get many bags full of candies and lots of beautiful flowers that you can later turn into arrangements. That’s exactly what I did! I made flowers arrangements and sorted all the candies into “priority eating” piles vs. “to be sent away” piles – yes, I did get that much candy! Honestly, I felt like a kid again, because it reminded me so much of Halloween, expect no knocking on people’s door, so less work, but more crowded.

Although, the whole point of the Karneval is being among crowds!