Mittwoch, 31. Dezember 2008

Bluescreen of Doom

Mein Rechner dachte sich heute, mich mal mit einem Bluescreen of Doom begrüßen zu müssen. Äh... das wär jetzt wirklich nicht nötig gewesen. Nunja, andererseits lernt man so einige Weisheiten fürs Leben:

1. Es reicht nicht ständig zu sagen "Du müsstest mal deine Daten archivieren." Nunja. Jetzt habe ich eine vollkommen leere Festplatte, auf die ich neuen Kram sammeln kann. (Meine schöne Icon-Sammlung. *sniff*)
2. Wenn Windows 40 Minuten sagt, meint es drei Stunden. Kann man schonmal verwechseln.
3. Windows gibt dem Wort Recovery neue Bedeutung! Man stellt nicht wieder her, man macht einfach neu. Naja, auch eine Art wiederherstellen.

Nunja. Irgendwas hustet hier noch ein bisschen, hab ich den Eindruck. Und ich bin mir nicht sicher, dass mein altes "Ich brauche ewig um mich herunterzufahren"-Problem gelöst ist. Aber ich werde mal weiter einrichten und auf das beste hoffen. Zumindest für zwei bis vier Uni-Sachen brauch ich einfach den Rechner. Aber falls ihr nichts mehr von mir hört: der Rechner ist Schuld und wir sehen uns nächsten Freitag, wenn ich wieder am Laptop in der Heimat sitze. Also: einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr. Nur für den Fall der Fälle.

Und wieso scrollt das hier so seltsam?

Montag, 29. Dezember 2008

Spelunking!

Während ich Christian Bale und Gary Oldman in Batman Begins bewundere, kann ich ja mal auch ein Lebenszeichen von mir geben. Mit Bloggen wurde über Weihnachten leider nichts, irgendwie hatte ich ständig was anderes zu tun. Mit dem Hund spazieren gehen. Weihnachtsbäume schmücken. Mit den Nachbarn Karten spielen. Meine wundervolle Weihnachtpause ist leider morgen schon wieder vorbei und ich überlege so ein bisschen, wie ich Silvester verbringe.

Ich habe definitiv keine Lust am Potsdamer Platz im Qualm zu stehen und mit Menschen anzustoßen, die ich kaum mag. Daher hoffe ich, dass sämtliche meiner Mitbewohner ausgeflogen sind, ich in Ruhe nach der Arbeit nach Haus gehen kann und mit mir allein und meinen Gedanken ins neue Jahr starten kann. Und mir vom vierten Stock aus das Mordsfeuerwerk ansehen kann. *gg* Es ist auch eine sehr bewusste Entscheidung den Jahreswechsel allein verbringen zu wollen. Also bitte kein falsches Mitleid. ;)

Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2008

Treffen sich zwei Parallelen.

Sagt die eine zur anderen: "Na endlich!"

Äh ja. Heute war Tag der Kalauer im Theater, allerdings hab ich gelacht wie sonstwas, was wohl so einiges über meinen momentanen Geisteszustand aussagt.

Übrigens könnte ich mal wieder House gucken, wenn ich denn mal wieder sowas ähnliches wie Zeit hätte. Also ab Sonntag. Vielleicht. Da werden die Tage wieder länger. Und es ist Weihnachtsurlaub. Und die Tage werden wieder länger.

Und noch ein Witz zum Abschluss: Warum können Seeräuber nicht richtig im Kreis navigieren?

Weil sie PiRaten.

Mittwoch, 17. Dezember 2008

Wie dumm von mir.

Dieser Tag hatte doch wirklich mal wieder alles, von hellem Entzücken über die Schokolade, die Vianne mir geschickt hat, über die Findung eines Themas für meine Hausarbeit im Vorbeigehen, bis zum Verlust des letzten bisschen Glaubens, den ich noch in die Menschheit hatte. Naja, zumindest kann ich mich mit der Schokolade trösten. Aber was gibts da schon zu sagen. War auch dumm von mir anzunehmen. Warum sollte es auch einmal anders sein.

Samstag, 6. Dezember 2008

'Hab ich noch was im Ofen?'

Da lese ich gerade bei Vianne im Blog, dass ihre Cranberrymakronen 50 Minuten in den Ofen müssen, und mir fällt spontan ein, dass mein letztes Blech Husarenkrapfen wahrscheinlich gerade verbrennt. Äh ja. Sie sind zum Glück noch essbar, besonders, wenn ich sie dann mit Gelee gefüllt habe.

Ich hab also heute den ganzen Tag mit backen zugebracht. Gestern hab ich schon Schokoplätzchen gebacke, heute dann die nächsten sieben Sorten. Montag sind nochmal so zwei dran oder so. Filme zur Untermalung waren The Stone Family, Love Actually und Harry Potter und der Orden des Phoenix. *gg* Inzwischen sind auch die zuckerinduzierten Bauchschmerzen wieder weg. Und an Weihnachten werde ich vielleicht auch in der Lage sein, was von den Plätzchen zu essen.

Montag, 1. Dezember 2008

Meine Lesegewohnheiten...

... sind seltsam, aber im Moment an Seltsamkeit kaum zu übertreffen. Nunja, ich kann mich noch nicht so recht von Harry Potter trennen, vor allem, weil mir gerade so ein bisschen die Inspiration fehlt, was ich anderes lesen möchte. Also lese ich erst nochmal Band Eins und Zwei (und wahrscheinlich Drei (I know, siriusly. :ugly:)), bis mich die Inspiration beißt und mir was anderes vorschlägt. Nachdem die Sachen, die ich für die Uni lesen muss, aber doch relativ beanspruchend sind, (muss As you like it finden, muss As you like it finden) ist Harry Potter schon genau richtig gerade.

Ansonsten gibts nicht viel Neues, außer, dass ich mit einem Murmeltier verwandt bin. Ich könnte die ganze Zeit schlafen. Schön wärs, wenn ichs könnte.

Montag, 17. November 2008

*schubs*

636 Seiten in drei Tagen. Samstag morgen um drei war ich fertig. Ich muss das mit dem Schluss der Bücher mal besser timen; ab 150 Seiten vor Schluss kann ich das Buch nämlich nicht mehr beiseite packen, sondern muss fertiglesen. Was dazu führte, dass ich völlig verschlafen am Sonntag bei der Arbeit erschien. Egal. Buch 5 wird inzwischen gelesen, zum Frühstück, zum Mittag, und abends ab acht oder so. Das Fernsehen gibt eh nichts her, und der Film in meinem Kopf, der beim Lesen abläuft, ist eh viel besser. Und ich habe lange nicht mehr für eine Buchfigur so gefangirlt.

Donnerstag, 13. November 2008

Have you seen this wizard?

I tend to get those phases of uncontrolled fandoming sometimes, when I am excessive about absorbing everything I can find about my chosen fandom. I blame Hoppi and El and Oxford for the sudden appearance of Harry Potter, though. I guess the mindwarbling undercurrent of forum-fandom-transfer made me buy the Gryffindor-coloured wool a couple of weeks back. Anyways, after finishing The Prisoner of Azkaban in three days I thought I'd watch the film. Guh. Bad idea.

I am not usually someone to complain about cuts being made when you transfer a book to film. Usually I am the one who points out that cuts often have to be made, that simplification of subplots is often a good idea to be able to focus better on the main plotline. However in this case... they cut all the stuff that made me cling to the book last night, not being able to put it away before I had finished it. I know I had seen the film some time last year, but I hardly remembered anything of it when I read the book. And now I know why. So many of the things that made the book such an enjoyable read, the explanation and re-evaluation of things that I knew from the first two novels, were just not there anymore. The backstory of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, all the things that happened in the past that are revealed in Book 3 gave the story so much emotional weight. Without that the film hardly conveyed anything for me. The film felt very rushed up until when Hermione used the time-turner. That was the only real twist actually, and I am sure the film works with the one twist, but it just did not for me. Apart from that I was not too happy for the sort of cheap jokes the film went too often for. The maid at the Leaky Cauldron was hilarious; Dumbledore patting Ron's injured foot was not. The hand-camera scenes were too hectic for my taste, somehow attracting too much attention to itself. The scene inside the Shrieking Shack were wonderfully acted, but again felt too hectic. And what I missed most was the sense of threat to Harry and the darkness that originates from that; the fact that he only overhears certain things that he is not supposed to hear. Somehow things didn't form one coherent picture for me.

So, more luck next time. Next week or something I guess, unless I spend all Saturday reading.

Moment... ich muss da mal eben...

... was in der Buchliste ändern. Azkaban muss da mal weiter nach unten in die Liste und Goblet of Fire muss neu rein. Äh ja.

Ich kann eigentlich nicht fassen, dass ich bis drei Uhr nachts auf war um The Prisoner of Azkaban fertig zu lesen. Muss an Sirius Blacks Charme gelegen haben. *räusper* Außerdem wusste ich nicht mehr, warum eigentlich jetzt was passiert war, also musste ich weiterlesen, bis ich das Buch aus hatte. Jedenfalls hab ich vorhin mit Band 4 angefangen. Und ich frage mich, was das werden soll, wenn ich mit den Büchern anfange zu denen ich die Filme noch nicht kenne. Also Band 6 und 7, weil da sind ja die Filme noch nicht draußen. Und wie sehr ich heulen werde, wenn ich Band 5 lese. *schnief* Nachdem ich gestern schon einige Male am Schluchzen war.

Äh ja. Blogeinträge müssen also bis Samstag warten. Im Moment werden die zwei, drei freien Stunden mit Lesen gefüllt. Exzessivem Lesen. As in 'Bother me and I will turn you into something slimy' - exzessiv. Samstag hab ich aber frei und gehe nicht einkaufen, was mir dann auch noch ein bisschen Zeit zum Bloggen übrig lassen wird.

Mittwoch, 12. November 2008

Ich bin nunmal Jäger, nicht Sammler.

Jeder, der schon jemals mit mir einkaufen war, weiß, dass es ein einziger Krampf ist mit mir einkaufen zu gehen. Es gibt wahrscheinlich keine Frau, die shoppen so sehr hasst wie ich. Durch Läden wandern und stundenlang Sachen anzuprobieren, ist für mich eine Zeitverschwendung sondersgleichen, besonders, wenn zu Hause ein gutes Buch oder ein Film oder einfach nur der Stuck an meiner Zimmerdecke auf mich wartet. Nun denn, ich wagte mich dann heute doch mal eben zum Alexa, weil ich zum einen den vierten Potter brauche bei dem Tempo, mit dem ich den dritten verschlinge, zum anderen brauch ich ein paar DVDs für das Shakespeare Project in Adaptation Studies. Und nachdem heute Waschtag ist und ich nichts mehr anzuziehn habe, dachte ich mir ein paar langärmlige Sachen und noch ein warmer Pullover wären auch nicht schlecht.

Den Potter hatte ich ja recht schnell erledigt, aber Media Markt verweigerte mir leider meine DVDs. Hallo? Bei Orsay schlich ich 10 Minuten durchs Geschäft, probierte einen Pullover an, der mir dann aber doch zu teuer war, dafür, dass er mir eh nicht gefiel. Ernstings hatte aber wenigstens nen Fünfer-Pack schwarze Socken für wenig Geld. Ich glaube, ich werde meine Initialen in die reinsticken, nachdem irgendwie ständig meine schwarzen Socken verschwinden. Tauchen bei irgendwem ständig schwarze Katzen auf? Nein? Seltsam das alles.

Ich wackelte also zu H&M im Alexa, um (wieder, ich lerns ja auch nicht) vergeblich nach deren Logg-Abteilung zu suchen. Ich fand irgendwann drei Shirts. Zumindest schicke Shirts. Das machte mir Hoffnung, doch noch zum Ku'damm zu fahren und da nochmal zu schauen. Ich komme also da an, wackel in die Logg-Abteilung, die ich da nichtmal suchen musste, und zehn Minuten später hatte ich den Arm voller Klamotten, die ich alle hätte haben wollen. Jetzt musste ich nur noch entscheiden, was ich (noch) nicht nehmen wollte. Mit den DVDs hatte ich heute dennoch absolut kein Glück. Hugendubel hatte nichts von dem was ich wollte. Gibts keine Brannagh-Verfilmung mehr irgendwo auf DVD zu erwerben? Was noch nerviger ist: die Videothek hier hat sie auch nicht. Und Amazon auch nicht. Ich hätte danach mal in England gucken sollen, aber da hatte ich das Projekt noch nicht. Nunja. Was mich aber am Shoppen hier am meisten nervt: es dauert unanständig lange. Ich wollte heute eigentlich noch was anderes machen. Außerdem fiel mir auf dem Rückweg ein, was ich unbedingt demnächst mal kaufen muss: Unterwäsche.

Dienstag, 11. November 2008

Stratford Day 4 Part 1 Or: "Twenty Pounds!" - "Third row, dear."

So here we go - I'm splitting entries. My notes on Hamlet are just so extensive, I will put those into an extra entry (that I still have to write *cough*), so here is the account of what we did during the day before we went to the theatre.

Day Four has a complete weather change. When we open the curtains in the morning, the sky is nice and clear and it looks like a calm and sunny day. After having taken the obligatory shower we go to room number 5 to knock, wait for El and Kristy and then go down to have breakfast. (BTW I've just started reading the third Harry Potter novel and they said something about fried tomatoes for breakfast and I was like "Hmmm, yummie!" and now I have a craving for fried tomatoes. Damn.) After breakfast we decide to walk to Mary Arden's Farm which is something like 4 miles away from Stratford ina viallge nearby called Wilmcote. Kristina has already been there the day before, but she doesn't mind going again. And she knows the way. Besides the weather is really lovely by now, the sun is shining and it is pretty warm. We walk through town, find our way to the canal (past Shakespeare's Birthplace where we admire that gogeous tree once more) and start walking alongside it. Rather close alongside it, as in "Slip and you can swim to Wilmcote"-close.

After about two miles we leave a rather noisy area (Stratford obviously has some industrial area along the canal) behind us and walk through the beautiful countryside around Stratford. We observe the masses of locks that must make travelling on the canal quite annoying actually. At every lock you have to get out of the boat, close one side and open another, and then go some twenty metres forward to the next lock. The things look interesting enough though. We also pass some former lockkeeper's houses, all with lovely gardens and in the middle of nowhere. I really like that kind of stuff. Kristina and I are walking ahead most of the time, as Hoppi and El stop a couple of times< lot to take photos. They catch up when we met an elderly man whom Kristina has already met the day before. He greets us and then points at me saying "Oxford, right?" We talk a bit about the weather and things, Hoppi and El catch up and we go on once more. We meet all those cute dogs to squee at as many people take their dog for a walk today. And we find food along the way. There are brambles, lots of them and sweet too! I pick and eat; Hoppi points out that you might not want to pick anything that's too low, seeing that a lot of people walk their dogs along the canal, and I remember this useless bit of knowledge that pandas can stand on their fore-paws to pee as high as possible when they mark their territory.

After about an hour we reach Wilmcote. Kristina and I are ahead again and standing on a bridge over the canal waiting for the others (delayed by taking pictures). We talk about something and start wondering whether we have lost El and Hoppi, when a car goes by. I only get a very brief look at the driver but think 'That guy looked like David Tennant.' Which is not weird at all considering why we've taken the trip and all, and I still have no idea whether my eyes gave in to wishful thinking, but then again why would I wish David Tennant would drive by in his car except maybe for giving us a ride back to Stratford, because our feet hurt pretty bad after the long walk, but then I'd have seen him too early and I think I'm drifting off slightly, sorry for that. Anyways, I tell Kristina that I think I saw David Tennant in that car and we decide to simply agree that it actually was David Tennant. No more wondering about which part of my body's causing hallucinations, my brain or my feet. :ugly:

The others finally arrive, delayed by a couple of geese they had to take pictures off, and we go to Mary Arden's Farm. The farm is very lovely, something where I'd want to drag my mom. They got a lot of information on farming one hundred until three hundred years ago, there's beautiful country gardens, there's sheep and pigs with brown fur, and cows and a proud and colourful cock. When El tries to take a close-up picture of him, one of the hens comes striding over, evidently very jealous and in fear El might take her husband away. We also squee at the bunch of Gewandungskinder, kids in Elizabethan clothing who are taking a tour of the whole farm and are dressed up in costumes. They all look so cute. We then sit at one of the tables in the garden where I eat half of El's chocolate-coated pecan nuts. I couldn't help it, El kept offering them and they were damn delicious. There are stones and small blocks of wood lying on the table; pieces to play nine men's morris with. The playing board is actually set into the field. I ask if anyone wants to play, but the others are not in the mood. (Lazy buggers. ;)) When I have children I'll build a board like that in my garden as well. Probably even if I don't have children. :ugly:

We go on further and have a look at all the birds. The farm has its own falconry and we intend to see the display later, but we have a good look at the falcons, hawks, kestrels and owls that sit on their perches. We all like the swaying owl extremely. As it sits behind its perch it suddenly starts swaying in this odd manner. Quite hypnotic actually if we hadn't had to laugh so much. *gg* We walk into a court then; from one of the houses comes a strange sort of yelping. We can't help it and look inside and there they are: the three cutest dogs ever! One of them immediatly jumps up the door and begs for our attention which we are only to willing to give. The dog is whining in this heartbraking manner, obviously missing its master or mistress and we try to comfort it as good as we can. One of the other dogs brings over a ball which El takes and bounces into the office (it's actually an office we look into - my god, we are so nosy, but those dogs were so cute!). The ball gets stuck on a bunch of stacked up chairs in one corner, onto which a jacket is thrown. Ooops. The dog starts circling the chairs and the jacket searching for its toy, and we stare awkwardly and wonder what happens if the dog decides to start tearing the jacket apart in search for the ball. *cough* Ooops. Whiny!Dog seems to sense our distraction and diverts especially my attention back to itself by setting its teeth into the sleeve of my cardigan. Actually I hardly notice at first, one moment I'm cuddling the cutie under the jaw, the next I can't get my hand back. I try to pull and it really doesn't work, because Whiny!Dog has now turned into Playful!Dog, tugging at my sleeve. I say "Aus! AUS!" in my most authorative voice and then realize that that's German which an English dog not necessarily understands. We wonder what the right command is in English and try out several
but nothing helps. I wonder briefly that the dog maybe hasn't been that far along in its training. After some minutes of tugging the dog finally looses its grip and lets go and I snatch my arm back. The sleeve is luckily just thoroughly wetted through with saliva, but that's nothing my own wouldn't have done. Nonetheless, we decide to retreat before the third dog decides to do something weird as well.

The falconry display is due to start anyway, so we go to the field and wait a bit. A lady with a bird on her hand arrives and introduces us to Audrey, explaining that Audrey is a kestrel. She talks about how the birds are used for hunting and that you can only use them when they are hungry because they will only do what you want if they really want the food you give them as a reward. Then we can give it a try and 'call' Audrey onto our arms. We let the children who are there try first, then we close in on the glove. When it's my turn I put on the glove, stretch out my arm and Audrey lands on my hand the next moment. I take a close look while she sits on my hand getting her reward, then she flies off. A really lovely animal. After we have all taken a turn, we stroll back to the entrance of the farm. Of course we visit the shop before we leave. I buy a small thing to weave threads with and some postcards.

When we leave the Farm we wonder briefly if we should take the tourist bus back to Stratford. Someone (probably Kristy) rushes out to ask for the ticket prices which we decide are to expensive just for the trip back to Stratford. We decide to go to the station instead. Of course we head off into the wrong direction at first. But this brings us to a small store which sells groceries, plants, and stamps too. I get those for my postcards. I also get a piece of bread pudding as I'm starting to get hungry. El manages to encounter and buy the most digusting food of the trip: turnip-flavoured crisps. Huuhhaa. The lady at the store also explains the way to the station to us, and we walk back, past Mary Arden's farm and up the street. As we arrive there we realize that the only train back to Stratford is the one that we took yesterday, the one that arrives at quarter past five. And we don't want to go through the preparations all in a hurry again. Apart from that that train is still hours away. So we decide to go back the way we came. The weather is so good that I take off my coat, turn my bag into a backpack and then we walk off again. An hour later we arrive at Stratford, and by this time I'm sure my feet are capable of giving me all kinds of hallucinations ranging from David Tennant in a car to a nice hot bubble-bath. (Uhh, I can hear El almost eliminating words in that sentence.) We walk around town in search for a nice pub to get something to eat. We end up at the Rose and Crown. After studying the menue for a while we go to the counter to order, and get in touch with more British humour. Kristy starts off by saying that we are at table number two, to which the landlord responds "Well, that's good for you." Then she orders J2O with water on top. He looks at her while preparing that and ask "Why not lemonade?" She answers "Because I'm not British." He ask where we are from and Kristy answers "Austria." (At this point I've given up to add "And Germany." :ugly:) He looks at the waiter who is also behind the counter and asks him "Austria. Isn't that near Wales?" So here we are. I have just switched nationalities three times in thirty seconds, from German to Austrian to Welsh. Oh well.

We finish ordering and go back to our table. After some minutes our food arrives and while I'm wolfing it down I realize once more how I just fade out the rest of the world while I'm eating. I'm so occupied with my food that I don't listen to anything anyone else says. It's almost like falling asleep and the voices around you melting into one big blob of sound. Sorry, girls. I was really hungry. I am also the first one to finish. I had a potato filled with chicken in salsa sauce (although hot or even spicy is different, but it was tasty though), Hoppi had Shepherd's Pie and I have no idea anymore what El and Kristy had. There you see how much I focus on my food when I'm hungry. :ugly: As we eat the waiter comes by and asks if everything was fine and if the food was any similar to Welsh food. *gg* After finishing we sit and relax. Hoppi and I finish writing our postcards and pass them around for El to sign as well, if they are going to people from the Forum. After a while we feel refreshed enough to make crazy jokes (I don't really remember what we laughed about but I remember that we were laughing about something). We leave and go to a DVD store, one of my wishes as I want at least one of the twenty DVD boxes that I can only get as expensive UK imports in Germany. It's just so hard to decide. There are all those lovely BBC films. And they have Doctor Who. Lots of Doctor Who. The price for Season Three is still a bit more than I can afford, but Season Two for 35 pounds is doable. I also find Blackpool for 10 pounds. I call El over to the shelf and show her one of those DVDs which she almost starts ripping from my hands when her eyes widen as she sees another DVD box in the shelf and her arm stretches out past me to grab one of those. For the whole rest of the day we are shocked though that the Casanova DVD is 20 pounds. El will exclaim "Twenty pounds!" and I will answer "Third row." Our seats for Hamlet are on third row, thus awfully close to the stage. And as we get closer and closer to our second night at the theatre we get more and more excited. So we pay for our DVDs and go back to the B&B to get changed without the hurry this time, and go to the theatre.

Donnerstag, 30. Oktober 2008

Booklist update

I've finally managed to update the booklist, after I just got new food for my mind. It took me about three months I think, but I finished reading Moby Dick some weeks ago already. Glenkill was next and the first book that I've read in German in ages. Very good read. Then came Through the Looking Glass which had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I tried Round Ireland with a Fridge but I didn't get very far before reading for class arrived: The Hours by Michael Cunningham was another fast read that I finished during some long shifts at work. The Fellowship of the Ring travelled to England with me, as I didn't know what else to take. Turned out I didn't read very much on the trip; instead I kept staring out of windows and sucking in every impression. Now I have picked up Peter Pan as interim-reading until my new books arrive which they did just today. So Love's Labour's Lost will be carried with me now because now that I've seen it, I want to read it as well. And then see it again. Next up will probably be the third Harry Potter, possibly Oliver Twist, and then again reading for class.

Beware of the news

For those of you who are very Doctor Who - sensitive: better not read on. Although there is definitiely no way to hide from this: David Tennant will leave after the four specials next year.

My initial reaction was: More time for theatre!

(El's reaction was actually the same.)

And the entry for Day 4 of the trip to Stratford has to wait until tomorrow. I am actually not that awake anymore. At least not to type away for about four hours.

Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2008

Stratford Day 3 Or: "The which I hope is not enrolled there"

Day Three saw us watching Love's Labour's Lost, so there might be some slight spoilers ahead. Though I probably mixed up details of the play. Bear with me, it's been a week already since I saw it, and my notes are a bit difficult to read. Also there will be a bit of uncontrolled fangirlying that can only be rendered in German because in English the joke would be lost. :ugly:

Hoppi and I get up at seven today; as we want to go to Oxford we had asked Mr Kim yesterday for breakfast at eight, so we could catch the train out of Stratford without problems. Today first Hoppi's cellphone wakes us with birds singing and then my cellphone goes off making Tardis sounds. We shower and then go to room number five to knock on the door again. We head down for breakfast, but the door is closed. After half an hour, at half past eight, Mrs Kim lets us in; apparently the news didn't reach her. She is a bit surprised to see us waiting and we tell her that we need to catch a train at 9:41. she promises to serve breakfast at once, which she does and even offers to give us a lift to the station. We are speechless for a second but then assure her that we can walk there and be perfectly on time. If we haven't fallen in love with her by now, we certainly do now.

After breakfast we grab our stuff and march off across Stratford to the station. Kristy has seen Oxford already and decides to stay at Stratford, so we part. After a brisk walk Hoppi, El and I reach the station ten minutes before the train leaves, buy tickets (with group discount) at the counter and flop down on some seats, being a little out of breath. Our train arrives and after checking thrice we head in and sit down. On the way to Leamington we admire the wonderful landscape and squee at the sheep we pass by. We get off at Leamington Spa and wait for train service to Oxford, which is late. As is almost every train announced. I briefly wonder if that is a normal day of British train service. We sit inside the heated waiting area when I notice the rain that is pouring down. I tell the others, who tell me that it has already been raining for a while. Hey, I tend to see the obvious a little later than most people.

Our train finally comes, we step on and only find some single seats. Hoppi and I sit down, El is left standing in the aisle. The conducter arrives and checks our tickets. He stamps El's, when I show him mine he looks a bit longer and says that these tickets are not valid on Cross Country Services because of their group discount. Uhhh, what? He says we either have to upgrade or get off the next station. We think getting off is the better idea. Who would want a free upgrade? :delete: So we get off at Banbury, one stop away from Oxford. And find out that there actually is no train service today to Oxford that is not Cross Country. The leaflet says something about occasional service. Now that doesn't sound too reassuring. We decide to get on the next train no matter what train it is and either bat our eye-lashes at the conductor or submit to the upgrade then. So the next train is Cross Country Service again, and we keep standing at the door this time, as there is no free seat anyway. The conducter arrives - and is a woman. So no batting of eye-lashes. She sees the ticket El holds still in her hand. A ticket that has already been checked. Before Hoppi and I can get out our tickets she mumbles something like okay and is passed on into the next waggon. Well - yay! We escaped the upgrade! Some ten minutes later we arrive at Oxford and get off the train. At least it is not raining that heavily. We go into the town and head towards Christ Church. Harry Potter has been filmed there, so we go to worship another fandom. On the way however we pick up some nice postcards, among them the nice one that will be sent to The Hole.

Christ Church is very nice and part of it can be visited by tourists. We pass by a huge park and then enter. But bad luck: as this is a normal university the Hall is closed today. Damn. We take pictures in the corridors that have stood in for Hogwarts nonetheless and then go into the cathedral. I love churches, so I grab a leaflet and have a good look at everything. (Looking at the leaflet once more I have just realized that we haven't really taken the whole tour. We didn't go down Tom Quadrangle and passed the library, did we?) Anyways, while we have been inside, it has started pouring with rain. We get out our umbrellas and fold up our jeans as we make our way back into town. We buy something to eat and drink at a store and then decide to worship the second fandom of the day: Tolkien's grave is somewhere at Oxford. So we walk through the pouring rain trying to find the tourist information to ask the way, but we somehow miss it. We find a map though, and a cemetery not too far away on it. After memorizing the way we walk there. We reach the church and feel a bit like trespassing because we actually have to push open a door to enter the cemetery. There is a sign listing the famous persons buried here and Professor Tolkien is not among them. Damn. We conclude we are in the wrong place. Which is true, we were in Holywell Cemetery and Professor Tolkien is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery. It would have been too far to walk on that day anyway.

We decide to head back to the station to catch an earlier train home as we are now soaked. Hoppi's Chucks are wet, and my supposedly waterproof boots proove to be not waterproof at all. Even El's shoes are giving in. The water in my jeans has crept up over my knees by the time we reach the station. But hey, there is a train leaving which we only happen to catch because it is delayed (Ahahahaha.). We get on and stand in the aisle waiting with our slightly not valid tickets for the conductor to upgrade us. He arrives, asks whether we got wet (No, not at all.), checks our tickets and hands them back to us without another word. Okay. We escape upgrading a second time, this time probably because of the pitiful state we are in. At Leamington we get of the train because we remember there was a heated waiting area there. Unfortunately the heated waiting area turns out to have been on the other side of the tracks and we are just to tired, wet and lazy to walk over. Instead we sit down for half an hour, after finding out that we have to wait a whole hour for the next train. After half an hour we are not only wet but also cold because of not moving and decide to grab a coffee. We think we have to go to the other side of the tracks now, but - lo and behold! there is a cafe with tables to sit at and a television in the corner right next to the waiting area. Ahahahaha. We spend the rest of time waiting at least with a hot drink in our hands. The train arrives (only slightly delayed) and at last we find seats again. We overhear a girl some seats behind us who is talking on the phone telling that she is also going to see Love's Labour's Lost tonight. The mention of the play lightens up our moods at least a little, but there are still a couple of things to be done.

First we are a bit late because of the delay of the train. So when we get off, we again fall into a brisk walk, where El proves to be the fastest walker of us. (I suspect because she needed to use a toilet. :ugly:) El and I decide to go to New Look once more. El wants legwarmers, I need new shoes now that mine have turned into small fishponds. No way I am gonna sit through the play with wet and cold feet. So Hoppi goes ahead to the B&B, and El is a bit faster buying her legwarmers than me, and runs ahead as well. Still I reckon this is the fastest purchase of shoes ever done by me. I circle the boots three times, lock eyes with my prey, hunt down a pair my size, stuff my wet feet into it, walk three steps, and carry my prize to the counter to pay (student discount! Again!). Then I fall back into the brisk jog towards the B&B.

Having arrived I get out of my completely soaked clothes and put on something dry. My feet start warming up, too! Yay! We all get dressed and then walk off to the theatre. Another brisk walk as we start a little later than we intended. Having arrived, we leave our coats and umbrellas at the cloak room and then go and buy a programme. I am delighted; cloak room is for free and the programme is a wonderful book with lots of information for three pounds fifty. I am used to much worse products and service for much more money. The shop they have is so crowded we don't fit in, so we decide to have a look later. Some minutes later the auditorium is opened, so we head in. Our seats are in the stalls, last row three seats away from one of the ways that lead onto the stage. But as the seats are rising, we have a brilliant view of everything happening, and right behind us the actors pass during the play to get on stage. (David Tennant passed by right behind us. Sorry, the inner fangirl just had to type this. :ugly:) So we all sit there and flip through our programmes. I kinda have to look at what the staff are doing. Professional interest you might say. (They write down which seats are not occupied to match them with possible latecomers. I also want a notepad!)

On stage is this lovely big tree, and ten minutes before the play starts Dumaine and Longaville enter the scene and make themselves at home. We briefly wonder that maybe we are so unlucky that David Tennant doesn't play tonight, when he enters the stage right at the same moment. He walks around a bit and then lies down, pulls a hat over his head, and sleeps. We watch and try not to squee too loudly. El breaks the silence saying "Er ist ganz schön groß." Hoppi and I stare for three seconds, then El adds "Also ich meine lang." We all start laughing and agree there is no way to phrase without the innuendo. Oh well.

The play starts with the King dropping a chest onto stage, waking Berowne from his slumber. The edict is to be signed, but Berowne is not very happy with it. His more and more panicked "the which I hope is not enrolled there" makes us laugh more the more often he repeats it. And the accent. Awww. Scottish accent. There is just nothing like it. The penalties against trespassing women are read out, and Berowne's shock is just hilarious. And after three minutes I realize that it is so different to see a play performed than to read it. The problems the audience may have with the words are glossed over brilliantly by the actors, and they pull just so many jokes. I already wrote about Berowne throwing his hat towards this protruding branch of the tree and missing - we just laughed. And I still wonder whether the "every time" is in the play or not, because we all seem to recall that he said it when he missed, too. Costard enters the scene in all his bouncing madness. The next scene then is a bit hard to understand with Don Armado and Moth. Then the princess and her ladies enter. Did I already mention that they all wear Elizabethan costumes? So we four girls admire the dresses. There is the first exchange between Berowne and Rosaline. Costard redefines the word 'remuneration', a Shakespeare rap follows and then he mixes up the letters to Jaquenetta and Rosaline. Berowne enters, all fool in love writing sonnets after he thought he would be the last one to break the oath he signed. Berowne's monologue is so great because he addresses people from the audience, talking to them and using them as examples. One guy who has folded his arms has to stand in as Cupid along with Berowne mimicking the shooting of bow and arrow. Then he turns to a woman in the first row. "A woman-" Long pause and a long meaningful nod towards her as if she already knows that it is just her fault "-that is just like a German clock, Still a-repairing; ever out of frame; and never going aright, being a watch, But being watcht that it may still go right!" When he hears the king approach he climbs onto the tree to overhear the king all in love. Longaville comes on stage, while the king hastily hides behind some strands of leaves from the tree that he pulls down. Then Dumaine comes in, carrying a huge book with him, which reveals to have a ukulele (?) inside, and Dumaine starts singing. Awww. Longaville and the King reveal themselves, and we scream with laughter as the King asks "What would Berowne say?" as Berowne makes a face full of glee. We laugh even harder when Berowne comes out of hiding and asserts "I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin to break the vow that I'm engaged in" -- until Jaquenetta enters, carrying the letter Berowne wrote and giving it to the king. Berowne gets hold of the letter, tears it to pieces and --- stuffs them into his mouth, chewing it down. We almost fall off our chairs with laughter. The scene just so brilliantly piles joke upon joke, it is just a joy to watch. Berowne confesses and then lectures about love, delivering my favourite line from the play: "When love speaks, the voice of all the gods make heaven drowsy with the harmony." By now the whole audience is silent again, listening. And by the way, while we try to squee not too loudly, El hears a distinct "Awwwwwww!" from above at some point.

I think at the end of this scene the interval starts. We head out into the crowded foyer, get something to drink and then the others go back in already, while I go to the toilet. As I come back Costard and some others perform a song in the foyer before they go back in onto the stage where they perform another song before the play goes on. Holofernes, Nathaniel and Armado plan a show of the Nine (or five) Worthies to perform for the Princess. Then the princess and her ladies enter, deciding to swap the presents they received from the King and his attendants so that they should mistake them. Moth enters to introduce four Russians and the King and his men enter dressed in coats and beards and huge hats. And they dance. And sing. And then speak in Russian accent. "Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your feces, that we, like savages, may worship it." Believe me, if we could have continued watching from the floor, we would have rolled on it laughing. It is just hilarious. The women mock the men so much that they retreat, and return without their disguise only to be told that the ladies played a trick on them. They are mocked more and more and at some point Berowne just gives up: "Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end." Yet all settle down to see the Worthies. But the show ends in a fight between Armado and Costard over the pregnant Jaquenetta with Berowne waving a lance between the contenders, and the scene breaks into a only half-serious struggle, when a messenger enters bringing the princess bad news. Berowne's "Worthies away! the scene begins to cloud." sobers everyone in an almost heartbreaking way. The light changes. The princess asks the King to wait a twelvemonth and a day, and so do the other ladies. Especially Rosaline's request to Berowne is just great: he is to jest a twelvemonth in a hospital and make the sick laugh. All would be rather sad if it was not for the song at the end of the owl and the cuckoo. I so wish there was a recording of that song because it was so lovely, the whole mood of the scene and at the end Rosaline and Berowne looking at each other as the owl flies around the stage. Awwwwwww. At some point they had hung big lanterns into the tree to create an even lovelier atmosphere. The play ends and we applaud like mad. Hoppi mimicks the tuwhit towhoo of the owl. We all go out with big smiles on our faces and sighing all the time because it was so beautiful.

Haaach.

Sorry. Just the memory. Haaaach.

Well, we collect our coats then and go outside to maybe get an autograph or two. Well, yes, we wanted one of David Tennant. I mean, we came all the way, so it would have been weird not even to try, right? Some of the actors come out at the front door and we get their autographs, but we are not fully aware of the fact that the real stage door is around the corner. (Actually I should have known, working at theatres and stuff.) Anyways. We wait. And wait. And sing every weird German song that comes to our heads, just to keep doing something. And wait. And chat with a lovely American lady who had come all the way to see the plays and can't leave either. So we wait longer. Our feet freeze. Our hands freeze. (Except mine because I have stuffed them into the pockets of my coat at some time.) But we can't stop waiting.

At midnight we give up though and head home, still smiling about the lovely play. Not even our cold hands and feet can harm the warm feeling inside.

Montag, 27. Oktober 2008

Stratford Day 2 Or: "So, do you know David Tennant?"

Hoppi and I get up at half past seven because breakfast is set at half past eight, and we both want to get showered until then. So while Hoppi is in the bathroom I switch on the telly to find that childrens' programmes in England seem to be as weird as in Germany. Until we are confronted with the baby tapir, the first animal we squee at in a long day of squeeing at animals.

Five minutes before breakfast time we knock on the door of room no. 5 where El and Kristy are still sorting themselves. We head downstairs, are greeted by Mrs Kim, and after some minutes I get my first English breakfast since my stay at the boarding school twelve years ago, where I decided to go for cereals in the morning for the whole week. So here it is: sausage, bacon, poached egg, hash brown, beans and toast to go with it. The sausage is really not my taste, and beans and what in Germany would be a variety of Kartoffelpuffer, seem a bit strange at first, too, but I am starved, so I dig in. And I even like it. (We should have taken a picture of that plate.)

We sit at the table for almost an hour, enjoying breakfast and chatting, before we head upstairs, get our things and go into town to find a way to get to Oxford. Going down Shipston Road we see the pear: a small pear impaled on a spike of the lovely metal fence underneath the tree. We have to take a picture. Next there is the hightech telephone box: Email, text and phone! All in one box! Seems a bit like a Tardis dressed in red. Later we try if it is really bigger on the inside, but we are mistaken. We pass over Tramway Bridge where El makes a ridiculous number of pictures of the swans, geese and other birds swimming on the Avon, squeeing at each of them. First we go to the bus station, then we realize we have to find out somewhere else when exactly the busses are leaving. Cultural difference number two of the day: the bus station not always has a sign saying what's its name and when which bus is going where. So we are sent to the tourist information, which we had already visited because one of us wanted to buy something. We go back and ask the lady at the counter how to get to Oxford today. She gets two leaflets containing train service information and marks the pages for us. We find out that there is really only one suitable train leaving Stratford that would get us on our way, and it has left already. Public transport on a Sunday. I am once more glad I decided to travel on Saturday already. So we postpone the trip to Oxford to the next day, and have a look at Stratford instead.

We head into town and find all shops open. We walk right into New Look, the equivalent of H&M just with cooler shirts. My problem of finding clothes I like continues even in another country; I try a couple of things but don't find anything until Hoppi shows me a shirt in just the right shade of purple that suits me and goes well with my scarf. I yell an enthusiastic "Mine, mine!" and find the shirt in my size. Prizes are reduced for students that day, so I get the shirt even a little cheaper. Good times.

We go on into town, squee at a lovely fluffy dog, and get to Shakespeare's Birthplace, a lovely old house. Next to it is the most disgusting building I have seen in Stratford so far. Unfortunately that is the Shakespeare Centre. Prices for admission to the birthplace are not too convincing to us at first either. So we go on down the street when I suddenly see something in a window. I just manage to stare and point and stammer "Da! Da! Da!" The window has a miniature AT-AT and a Dalek sitting on the shelf battling each other. Hoppi and El both take pictures and we briefly wonder if alleged fanboy Tennant lives there.

We go on and after circling the statue of the Fool at the end of the street decide to head out to Anne Hathaway's Cottage. We find the small way that cuts a direct way through Stratford to Shottery. We practically walk past peoples' gardens and squee at every cat and dog we come across. There is a particularly fluffy cat sitting on a shed first eyeing us, then turning its back on us. After a while the way leads over a patch of grass, and - OMG! - there is a fork in the road. Kristy says we go left, because there is a house that way that looks like it could be Anne Hathaway's Cottage. The way to the right on the other hand leads up to a sign that looks from afar like the others pointing to the cottage. We decide to go left anyways. We see a sign - we walk in the opposite direction. And of course we are wrong. So we trudge on, keep to the right and manage to find the way again. We pass a field with cows to squee at. Finally we reach the cottage. We figure out that actually the pass for all five Shakespeare houses is 13 pounds and is valid for a whole year. So we buy the pass, and a booklet along with it. The guy at the counter needs to see our student ids, and seeing that we come from abroad, he asks us why we are here. We explain that we have tickets for Love's Labour's Lost and Hamlet, and that's why we came. He pauses for 10 seconds and then asks "So do you know David Tennant?" We just burst with laughter, as our inner fangirls take over for a second and jump up and down. Having quieted down we explain that we know him from Doctor Who. We add that he probably is not very famous in Austria and Germany, but some people know him. Like us. Well. (BTW, one running gag of the whole trip: "Where are you from?" "Austria." - "And Germany!" hastily added by me. :ugly:)

So we enter the cottage and the lovely lady there explains to us that the house used to have only two rooms before more rooms were added. We find out later on that each of the Shakespeare houses focus on some different aspect; here we hear a lot about life in the sixteenth century, especially women's life, spiced up with the origins of sayings like being left on the shelf. Unmarried women slept up on a sort of shelf, so if you stayed unmarried you were left on the shelf. You simply have to love the English for idioms like that. The cottage is just lovely. If it had running water, I'd move right in. We even sit in the bay on first floor at the window. The garden of the cottage is so lovely; we wander off underneath the apple trees that are still laden with fruit which just seem to fall to the ground and rot away. What a waste we think, and Kristy briskly walks over to a tree, jumps and picks an apple, also dislodging a not very subtle cloud of leaves falling to the ground. We move away from the crime scene quickly, but no one comes after us. And really, it seems like such a waste. Part of me wishes to be hired as gardener here and being able to pick the apples and tend the trees and make hay of the grass.

We take the walk through the forest, which is long because it is winding and winding in endless turns through this patch of forest. Another funny bit: all trees are green on all sides. So no way of finding out which way is north. Finally we go back into the orchard and El steals another apple, this time with more stealth and without the rain of leaves. We spend some money at the first of the shops, I buy a pen, some postcards and a book with farmhouse recipes, which I intend to try out as soon as I've made a translation for the measures and weights used. We head back to town then, to find some more food. This time we follow the way which leads through a lane in Shottery (The Old Tramway? No that was the name of one of the inns.) with the cutest houses and gardens and everything. At one house stands a cart full of apples with a sign saying "Please take!" We take and take the time to write a "Thank you!" note. Back in town, we go to Marks and Spencers and buy sandwiches; then we head over to Sainsbury's and buy cup soup. We have a kettle and cups in our rooms after all. We go back to the B&B and devour our food; then after resting a while we go to Shakespeare's birthplace. Now that we have the pass for all five houses it is the most sensible thing to visit one more today.

Shakespeare's birthplace starts with a tour through the visitor centre where an exhibition tells the story of Shakespeare's life. Then we head over into the house. We are shown the glove-making shop (Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker and traded in wool, something that was a bit unusual at the time). I am particularly impressed with the heavy painted linen that covers the walls. It served as much as decoration as as isolation against the cold, creating another pocket of air between the wall and the linen. The beds we see are shorter than ours would be, not because people were smaller then, but because people slept sitting upright in bed. On the one hand they constantly suffered from respiratory infections, and sitting upright made it easier to breathe. On the other hand they believed only dead people would lie down and if they lay down to sleep the devil would come and snatch their soul away.

We head upstairs then. I have to say, it is rather weird to stand in the room Shakespeare was born in. I mean, I don't feel like the Japanese tourists the lady at Anne Hathaway's Cottage told us about, who kissed the floor upon which Shakespeare supposedly trod. The hushed air of history and significance that we create around these places is a bit strange to experience nonetheless. We go into the back wing next, a part of the house that was probably added when it was turned into an inn. We go back downstairs and then head into the garden. Awww, another beautiful garden with an astonishing tree at the end of it. We pass through the second shop where I buy the Shakespeare Insult Mug that already struck my fancy at Anne Hathaway's. How can I not be enchanted by something saying "I do desire we may be better strangers" or "You rampallian! You fustilarian!"? Next I decide to test the nice phone box and call home to tell my mom I survived the trip. After several tries I finally throw enough money into the phone to eventually get a call out of England. My mom is delighted to talk to me as I pop pound after pound into the telephone. As my coins draw to an end I try to say goodbye before the bloody phone cuts me off and --- don't succeed. I really don't like that.

We head off next to find the theatre. Not a big problem actually as Stratford really is a village. We pass the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Swan, which are both under construction, and walk on to The Courtyard Theatre which is closed today. Damn. And we thought we could stalk David Tennant check out the theatre and the shop. But the theatre seems always to be closed on Sundays, something completely new to me as I have to work most Sundays at the theatre. We go up the road towards Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare's grave is and haunt the graveyard just as it is getting dark. Standing at the door we hear singing and then the service being held, so we decide not to go in but listen for a little longer. I briefly wonder what kind of Church Holy Trinity is, being completely unfamiliar with the English Church system. In Germany it's Catholic or Protestant, and it's usually quite easy to tell which is which.

We leave after a while and decide to hit a pub. What else to do on a Sunday night? We find the Garrick's, a lovely old place. Kristy is sent to order cider for all of us (another ongoing thing of the trip, whenever we need asking something we usually wait until Kristy volunteers to ask someone), and we are told we have to wait a while to order some food. So we drink our cider and our conversation gets livelier and livelier as our cheeks get more and more flushed by that stuff that tastes like apple juice. After a while we order a bowl of chips for each of us. (After it has taken me quite a while to realize that chips are chips, not crisps. I really didn't imagine I would fall for that false friend. You are taught that in sixth grade.) We eat and chat and I notice that especially Hoppi is drifting more and more into Austrian accent. And that I start to pick up the accent as well. I mean, I am not bothered by that at all, but I'm always a bit afraid that people think I mimick them when I suddenly start to adopt their accent, but it's just what I do. I've been watching Scottish TV shows for the last three days and I start thinking in Scottish already.

So we chat when suddenly a deep booming voice behind me says "Excuse me, but we were wondering what language you are speaking." One of the four people at the next table has addressed us. He adds "We have considered a lot of things, even Latvian." The Austrians laugh out loud at the idea of speaking Latvian, and I explain that they speak Austrian German at which the guy on the left reveals himself to have won the bet. We chat for a while about why we are at Stratford. They tell us about the Music Festival that has just ended today and tell us that they were singing earlier at Holy Trinity. We tell them that we were there, but only heard them from the outside. What a coincidence. It is one of the funniest chats though. They say something to me that I don't understand (three times) only to find out that it is Brahms pronounced in English. The booming voice says to me "So if you don't know Brahms you are Liszt?" I understand that I am the butt of the joke here, but I don't understand the joke. The booming voice kindly explains it is rhyming slang. No matter how good my English is, rhyming slang is simply beyond everything. :ugly: But it is funny though. After introducing us to "the local witch" and talking about the weather (Stratford lies in a sort of pocket for good weather, and it has all something to do with the moon and the water, and the cider is slightly blurring my memory here), the booming voice, the witch and the other guy leave. The winner of the competition moves over and buys us another halfpint of cider. We find out that he has been living in Austria, having a job there which is why he knew the language. We chat and after finishing our cider call it a night. As we walk home we laugh about the coincidence of meeting some of the people we have been listening to earlier. I think Hoppi and I watch Graham Norton before we turn off the TV and fall asleep, and agree once more that British television (well especially Graham Norton) tends to be a lot more respectless and funny than German television.

Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2008

Stratford Day 1 Or: Sorry, I'm German.

This is going to be rather longish because it is my first trip of that sort and, you know, I can't just cut it short. Sorry for that.

It's Saturday morning 5:30, and after a really short night (my flatmates just plainly suck) I get up, pack the rest of my stuff and am off to the airport. After a major freak-out because of not feeling well for the whole week and being afraid I couldn't go on the trip I feel remarkably well. (Sorry to Hoppi once more, because I managed to freak her out too.) I arrive at the airport, go to the Check-In, think for a moment, and call my mom to tell her I'm going. She almost drags me through the phone. So I go through the first security check, then to check-in where I tell the guy "Hi, this is my first flight, so I'm gonna need a little help with all this." He tells me what to do, where to go and when I leave check in I start missing my luggage. They took my luggage! I feel almost naked without my luggage! I usually go by train, and there you practically sit on your luggage!

Anyway, I go queueing for the next security check. I take off my coat and scarf, go through the metal detector and "BEEEEEP!" Uhhaa. The nice lady does the whole check with the small scanner and I realize I forgot to take off my belt. *cough* Oops. I pass on into the shopping area, look to the right and there it is: a plane. I briefly ask myself what on earth possessed me to decide to go on one of those things. Boarding and everything happens relatively fast. I get a window seat, although I doubt my own sanity for a moment for wanting to have a window seat. But then I doubt my sanity most of the time. So I sit down and the flight attendant introduces himself: his name is Craig and according to his accent he is from Scotland. I try desperately not to squee. Craig is hilarious because he talks and talks really fast and the accent just makes me smile, so I utterly forget to panic. Then we accelerate and take off, for a moment I think "Oh my God!" as I am pressed into the seat. Then I look to the left out of the window and think "Oh my God, how cool is that!" Which is the state of mind I remain in for the rest of the flight. We have quite good weather and I enjoy the view. Land from above, clouds from above, sea from above, all great. So: good first flight besides the pain in my back because the seats are just horrible.

We arrive at Luton on time which is remarkable given that we started about an hour too late; ten minutes later I have my luggage and find a cash dispenser to get money. Then I head for the toilet to store the money away in my bra. I just feel safer that way. I briefly wonder how I'll get the money out of my bra discreetly when I want to pay at the B&B but decide I will take care of that problem later. I head to M&S and grab some water and a sandwich. After some thoughts I head in a second time and get some fruit too. And before I know I'm wandering around a bookshop. And find out that it is actually cheaper to buy English book in Germany. I sit in the waiting area for an hour and then head outside for the bus stops. National Express is easy to be found. I lean on the seats, or I should better say leans, because you can't sit on them, you can just lean. A guy leans next to me and asks something. I ask "Sorry?" because I can't understand what he says, he repeats twice and finally I get it: he wants to know the time. I apologize for being so slow, adding that I'm German. After a second I realize what a dumb excuse that is. I look at my watch which still has German time and is five minutes ahead as well. That's just too much for my poor brain to process after my first flight ever, so I stare for something like ten seconds and then tell him what I've found out. That poor guy must think Germans are not able to read the clock. Great first impression I've made there. :ugly:

Well, the bus finally arrives. On time. I am delighted, so far this is better than I could hope. We go through Luton and I see the first cute English houses. Then we head for Coventry and I get to see some English landscape. The weather is brilliant and I enjoy the trip. At Pool Meadow bus station I get off and wait for another hour for the next bus to Stratford. That one is on time as well, the bus driver says 'luv' and gets my bag and I'm on the last leg of my trip to Stratford. And it has only lasted 9 hours yet. This time the bus driver announces the stops yelling through the bus. I get a wonderful view of Warwick castle as we go past, and fifteen minutes later I am dropped off at Riverside bus station in Stratford. Perfectly on time and still more than an hour before the others arrive. I decide to find out where I am and where the B&B is. I try to buy a map from one of those machines but the damn thing eats my pound without giving me a map. Bloody thing. I look at the map that is there, memorize the way and ten minutes later I head up Shipston Road. Not long and I stand in front of The Sunnydale. Way to early. A stray cat greats me. "Hey, kitty cat, meet stray tourist." We shake hands. Kitty-cat looks like having been in a fight with its face all swollen up on one side.

I decide to go into town and head back down Shipston Road. I find a bridge and park at the river, and sit down. On the other side of the river is a huge construction site and I think "This looks like the perfect place for a theatre." I am not mistaken because I sit opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which is being transformed at the moment. Now of course I realize I should have gone into town, wander around and grab something decent to eat but hey, this is my first trip anywhere on my own, so give me time. After enjoying the view for a while and writing I head back to the B&B. So I stand there again, stray cat with swollen face joins me once more, and nobody else comes. I begin slightly to worry again.

After waiting for another twenty minutes I knock on the door and meet Mrs Kim who welcomes me warmly, gives me the keys and sends me upstairs. I enter my room and settle in. I have never seen such a tiny bathroom in my life. And because I am not used to the fact that things sometimes just work out perfectly I go on panicking. I had wondered what was meant with tea-making facilities. A kettle of course, cups and tea. :ugly: Great, I decide to make some tea, have a bite of my sandwich. And wait a minute, didn't the website say they have TV sets in every room? Where is the telly? I look up and there it is perched in the corner of the room. I switch it on and the first thing I see is Anthony Steward Head. :-) My panic subsides for a moment. While watching Merlin and a bit of that dancing show (on which John Barrowman briefly appears :-)) Mrs Kim asks me if I could answer the door because she has to go out for ten minutes. She comes back but no Hoppi or El yet. I decide to go to the garage on the corner to get some chocolate and cookies, and leave the key to the second room with Mrs Kim. On my way down the road I see three girls with luggage on the other side walking up. Hmmmmm. That could be them. But I am not settled in enough yet to yell across the street. I buy my sweets and go back up the street. A guy yells "Excuse me!" from across the street. After the third "Excuse me!" I realize he's yelling after me without having any of the reservations that I had earlier. He asks for the way to I don't remember what and I yell back "Sorry, I'm not from here!" refraining from revealing my nationality this time. Back at the B&B the key is gone, and as I head back up the stairs Hoppi is about to put a sign on the door telling me that they have arrived. Horray! We hug and settle into room 5 and chat for some hours, before Hoppi and I head over to our room.

The funniest moment comes when Hoppi gets out of the bathroom after she has changed into her pyjamas: red plaid trousers and black shirt. She looks at me wearing my pyjamas: red plaid trousers and black shirt. The next morning we find out El is also wearing red plaid pyjamas. The definite proof that the forum shares a collective brain. We all hear the song of the Ood I guess. I just never figured they sing about pyjamas. Hoppi and I sample a bit more of the English TV programme and watch Never mind the Buzzcocks before we fall asleep. And I realize that sometimes things just simply work out.

Mittwoch, 22. Oktober 2008

Berowne and Hamlet

"There was a moment in the beginning of the play when he tossed a straw hat from his head onto a short, protruding tree branch. The hat landed on the branch and stayed there without a hitch. The audience erupted into enthusiastic applause. Then, David broke character for a moment, flashing us a cheeky grin and saying "every time."" Source

Liar! Every time my ass! We just laughed our heads off because he missed. *gg*

I'm back from Stratford and extensive blog entries with all the madness will follow as soon as I can get my hands on Els and Hoppis pictures. Until then I'll enjoy my new Doctor Who Season 2 DVD Box and Blackpool, and miss Stratford, English breakfast (never thought I'd say that), and my fellow travellers. And that poster is going to end up above my telly.

EDIT: Oh, I'm talking about David Tennant in case you haven't noticed. Just to make sure. *gg*

Mittwoch, 15. Oktober 2008

My current state of mind...

... in pictures:

Concerning work:








Concerning love life:








Concerning health:








And no, I don't care to elaborate.

Montag, 6. Oktober 2008

Miaauuuuuu!

Ich habe gerade festgestellt, dass ich kein Icon mit Katzen drauf habe. Nen Wookie könnt ich anbieten. Naja, egal. Im Zuge des Völkerverständigungsprogrammes auf dem Hof hier habe ich heute zwei Stunden draußen verbracht und drei kleine Katzen und einen Hund gehütet. Man ist sich nämlich noch nicht so ganz grün, besonders nicht, wenn Frauchen dabei ist. Katze Nummer Drei begrüßte mich auch gleich mit lautem Mauzen und wies mich mit exzessivem Hinken darauf hin, dass ihr das Hinterbein weh tat. Dann breitete sie sich demonstrativ auf der Katzenbank am Ende der Terrasse aus und maunzte herzerweichend weiter, bis ich begriff, dass ich gefälligst endlich hinkommen und sie liebhaben sollte, damit es nicht mehr so weh tut. Und ich hatte bisher angenommen, dass ich nur Dosenöffner und Kratzbaum bin. Katze Nummer Drei bewegte sich auch en Rest des Nachmittags nicht weg. Ich holte irgendwann den Laptop und ließ mich am Tisch neben der Katzenbank nieder, um meine Hausarbeit zu schreiben.

Keine zwei Minuten später sprang Katze Nummer Zwei auf den Tisch und stieg auf den Laptop um im Internet nach "ozzt666666666666666666666666666". Ich war schockiert. Keine zwei Minuten im Internet und schon auf der Suche nach satanistischen Seiten. *tsts* Katze Nummer Eins begann derweil mit der Maus zu spielen. Weil Katze Nummer Eins und Zwei ja fröhlich spielen konnten, stellte ich der invaliden Katze Nummer Drei das Internet und insbesondere Simon's Cat auf Youtube vor. Wenn man krank ist, dann schaut man ja auch fern. Er war auch sehr interessiert. Ich hätts vielleicht nicht machen sollen, gerade Katze Nummer Drei ist der wahrscheinlichste Kandidat dafür, mich mal mit dem Baseballschläger zu wecken. Nur heute nicht, da war er das liebste, was man sich vorstellen kann. Irgendwann lagen dann auch alle drei Katzen zu meiner rechten und der Hund zu meiner linken. Ohne Gekläffe und Gefauche. Und morgen wiederholen wir das Ganze dann. Genialerweise hab ich da hinten in der Ecke auch WLan. Und für Strom kann ich auch noch sorgen.

Freitag, 3. Oktober 2008

Sie mögen mich...

... wir kennen den Rest. :herzchen: Mein Abendprogramm ist gerettet. Entschlüsse der letzten Tage:

~ Ich werde Schäferin. Und baue Flachs an. Und werde Leinen weben.
~ Hausarbeit Nummer wird 9000 Wörter lang. In kürzer geht nicht.
~ Singlesein ist schön unkompliziert.
~ Kleine Katzenbabies, die einem ins Ohr schnurren, sind unglaublich niedlich.
~ Kevin McKidd ist ja wohl sowas von sexy als Militärarzt. Mein Vorsatz, Grey's Anatomy nicht mehr zu gucken, ist kläglich an seinem "So?!?" gescheitert. :herzchen:²

Und jetzt übergeben wir an Obi-Wan.

Sonntag, 28. September 2008

I have no words.

Ich habe wirklich gerade keine Worte. Ich hab nämlich eigentlich gerade nicht viel zu sagen. Ich bin mal wieder krank (wie der Rest der Familie), will aber darüber höchstens meinem Arzt die Ohren vorjaulen. (Ich sehne mich nach Medikamenten, die funktionieren.) Wir haben heute aber trotzdem ne Radtour gemacht, was auch erstaunlich gut ging. Und die Luft hier und die Feldwege, und die ganzen Büsche an deren Rand, die sich jetzt schon rot und geld verfärbt haben... und ich Hornochse hatte die Kamera nicht mit. :headdesk:

Übrigens wurde ich von kleinen Katzen beklettert und habe so laut gequietscht, dass die Kätzchen sofort losließen. Statt mich in die Hand zu beißen, fingen sie an mir die Hand zu lecken. Außer Mopsi, der musste natürlich weiter beißen. Er macht seinem Namen alle Ehre. Morgen gibts wieder Arbeit an der Hausarbeit und anschließend Arbeit auf dem Hof. Und jetzt mach ich mir noch nen Tee und schleiche mich dann ins Bett.

Mittwoch, 24. September 2008

Es ist...

... Herbst. Falls es noch keiner gemerkt hat.

Donnerstag, 18. September 2008

Bunt sind schohon die Wälder...

... und ich verpasse dem Forum wahrscheinlich gerade einen kollektiven Ohrwurm. Sorry. Mir ging das Lied jetzt schon seit drei Tagen im Kopf rum, und gestern haben wirs dann auch beim Kirchenchor gesungen. Und wenn alles glatt läuft, bin ich auch bei der nächsten Probe in zwei Wochen dabei und am Erntedanksonntag ebenfalls, wenn wir dann im Gottesdienst singen. Die Arbeit erfordert meine Anwesenheit in Berlin nur ganz acht Tage lang. Welch ein Glück. Wenn ich etwas bemerkt habe in den letzten zwei Wochen hier, dann, dass mir das Leben hier unglaublich gut tut. Ich mache mir viel weniger Sorgen und habe viel weniger Angst vor allem über das, was mein Körper so anstellt. Den halben Tag über arbeite ich an Hausarbeiten, die andere Hälfte des Tages verbringe ich draußen. Garten, Wald und Hof kann einfach nichts ersetzen, und mir ist wieder klar geworden, dass ich aus Berlin raus muss, so schnell wie möglich. Ein Jahr sitze ich eh noch fest, aber danach.

Die Tage hier waren wieder so ausgefüllt, so wie es sein muss. Wir haben viel im Garten erledigt, Erdbeeren gepflanzt, alte Erdbeeren rausgeworfen und angefangen, das neue Beet anzulegen. Wir waren in Mieste und ich habe neue Kontakte geknüpft, die mir vielleicht weiterhelfen werden. Letzte Woche haben wir das Stroh von Stall Nummer Eins wegbefördert. Wir wollten eigentlich nur ein Loch im Dach der Garage stopfen, aber das ganze Stroh war im Weg und das Loch im Boden war ganz praktisch um es da durchzustpfen. Also hab ich zwei Tage lang Stroh geschippt und wegbefördert. Es konnte kein anderer auf den brüchigen Fußboden vom Stall, also durfte ich. Aber so gesehen habe ich den Teil meiner zukünftigen Wohnung vom Stroh gereinigt, der später mal meine Küche und mein Essbereich sein soll. *ggg*

Vorgestern haben wir den kleinen Anbau vorm Haus weggehauen (ich habe eine Mauer weggerissen! *grunz*), um dann bald mit der Terrasse weiterzumachen. Am Sonntag waren wir morgens zum Flohmarkt und nachmittags zum Dahlienfest in einem Nachbardorf. Für abends habe ich mir Strickzeug rausgesucht und mache mir ein paar neue Armstulpen. Aber ich kämpfe gerade mit dem Daumenkeil, weil ich keinen Plan habe, wie ich das anfangen soll.

Hachja. Es ist schön hier. Hier möchte ich bleiben.

Mittwoch, 3. September 2008

Pale September

Es ist September! Nicht mehr diese brüllende Hitze, dafür wärmende Sonne und kühlerer Wind. Ich bin gespannt, wies zu Haus aussieht, und wies Hund und Katze geht. Passend zum Wetter und zur Stimmung höre ich mir gerade die wunderbare Aimee Mann und die tolle Fiona Apple an. Haaach.

Thema für Hausarbeit Nummer Vier ist übrigens durch, morgen muss ich noch mal zur Bibliothek und das restliche Material besorgen. Und dann arbeiten. Ich sollte langsam mal ins Bett.

Freitag, 29. August 2008

Ein neues Kapitel im Leben von ...

... D'Oh! Es begab sich eines Freitags, als Pursi vollkommen fertig wegen keiner Ahnung was --- Werdet ihr wohl nicht auf den Ava starren? Hallo, ich möchte jammern! *starr* Äh, okay.

Naja, wie schon gesagt gings mir heut mal wieder nicht so toll. Ich schleppe jetzt schon seit Wochen irgendwas mit mir rum, oder es ist einfach nur mein Umfeld, was mich krank macht. Kann auch durchaus sein, denn das ist heute mal wieder echt zum Kotzen. Passend dazu hab ich auch einfach keinen Appetit auf irgendwas. Soviel zum ätzenden Allgemeinzustand. Da hilft nichts, da muss ich durch.

Der Plan ist ja, dass durch Umdenken und positive Dinge zu erreichen. Neuer Job, der mir morgens einen Grund zum Aufstehen und abends Zeit für andere Dinge lässt, ist in Arbeit. Außerdem muss ich mindestens einmal am Tag meinen Kreislauf ordentlich ankurbeln, was ich gerade durch Fahrradfahren erledigt habe. Auch wenn mir schmerzlich bewusst wurde, wie groß doch der Unterschied zwischen Fahrradfahren hier und zu Haus ist. Dort begegnet mir kein Mensch, wenn ich durch drei Dörfer fahre, hier kann ich froh sein, wenn ich nicht einen vom Radweg runterbrüllen muss. Aber ich stelle fest, hier fährt auch jeder wie er will.

Nunja, ich hab also heut mein Fahrrad in der Stadt eingeweiht. Ich dachte, ich drehe mal eben ne kurze Runde runter nach Strahlau, setzt mich ein Weilchen auf eine Bank im Park und fahr dann wieder zurück. Wenn ich dann hinreichend Hunger habe, kann ich mir eben noch ne Pizza holen und dann nach Hause wackeln. Gesagt, getan. Ausweis, AOK-Karte (man weiß ja nie, ob einen hier einer übern Haufen fährt oder nicht, und ja, ich bin paranoid) und etwas Geld für die Pizza eingesteckt und losgefahren. Auf dem Weg fällt mir ein, ein Glas Wein zur Pizza wär ja auch nicht schlecht. Da müsste ich aber zu Kaisers über die Brücke, aber hey, ich hab ja n Fahrrad. Nur leider kein Schloss dabei. Photobucket Das hängt noch am anderen Fahrrad, dass ich erstmal noch in den Keller oder wahlweise nächste Woche nach Hause befördern muss. (RegionalExpress fahren. Oi vey.) Okay, also gut. Pursi kommt zu Hause an, verstaut das Fahrrad im Keller und beschließt zu Kaisers zu laufen. Zur Not kann man ja auch noch Tram fahren. Im nächsten Moment fällt Pursi ein, dass sie keinen Studentenausweis dabei hat. Der steckt oben im vierten Stock im Portemonnaie. Nee, da klettern wir jetzt nicht hoch. Da können wir auch gleich laufen.

Pursi überlegt als nächstes, dass sie ja noch ne DVD mitnehmen kann, wo sie eh schonmal da so in der Nähe ist. Bis ihr einfällt, wo der Ausweis für die Videothek ist. Genau. Im Portemonnaie im vierten Stock. Photobucket Und die Moral von der Geschicht: ich brauch nen Rucksack, damit ich das Portmonnaie beim Fahrradfahren mitnehmen kann.

Okay, jetzt könnt ihr wieder den Ava anstarren. Und die Szene war toll in The Dark Knight. Wie überhaupt der ganze Film. Ich spiele mit dem Gedanken meinen Ava im Forum zu ändern. Und den Header hier. Mal sehn.

Montag, 18. August 2008

Meine Freundin, die Drahtbürste.

Nachdem ich heute zuerst mal Hausarbeit Nummer 1 fertig geschrieben habe (OMG, die ist so schlecht), beschloss ich mich mit meinem alten Fahrrad zu befassen. Ich habe noch ein altes Diamant-Fahrrad, das mein Vater noch zusammengebastelt hat, und das seit gut 10 Jahren nur noch in der Garage stand. Samstag wusch ich schon den Zementstaub runter (fragt nicht), und pumpte die Reifen auf, die tatsächlich noch Luft halten. Heute rückte ich dem restlichen Dreck und dem Rost auf die Pelle. Mein Bruder hatte mir schon ne chemische Keule bereitgestellt, die da helfen sollte. Ich also das Zeug auf ein Tuch gegossen, die Speichen damit eingerieben und dann geputzt. Es löste sich was, aber nicht viel. Dann fand ich die Drahtbürste. Wieder Speiche eingerieben und die Drahtbürste angesetzt - und siehe da: der Rost ging ab. Also hab ich jede Speiche von vorne, von hinten, von der Seite und überhaupt abgeputzt. Das Vorderrad ist dann jetzt fertig.

Den Lenker hab ich dann auch noch geschafft. Morgen ist dann das Hinterrad dran, und ich muss noch das Licht vorne reparieren. Und ich will wieder diese tollen bunten Filzdinger innen in den Rädern haben, die da den Dreck aufsaugen.

Und ansonsten bin ich ziemlich erschlagen heute. Duschen und dann liegen und dann Bett.

Freitag, 15. August 2008

But I just want to go and see Shakespeare! or: Stratford in 10 steps.

In case I haven't mentioned it yet, almost a year ago I had the very mad idea to go to Stratford-upon-Avon and see David Tennant and Patrick Stewart in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet. Right now it appears to have been a completely bad idea, because right now I'm planning the trip. The problems start with the fact that I can't fly to Birmingham from Berlin. I can go to London Stansted. So I somehow have to get from Stansted to Stratford. And I have no idea about public transport in England apart from that they probably have trains and coaches just like we do. And I asked some people who supported that theory. On the website of Stansted Airport I found a link to Transport Direct and I thought "Shiny! Something to help me plan!" I typed in my travel infos and I got this:

Photobucket

Well, yeah, right, I thought this was no short trip. Let's see the details.

Photobucket

That seems easy enough. I've seen the bus stations at Tegel, and I guess there are signs for a dumb tourist like me.

Photobucket

Uhu. Okay. Tottenham... isn't that a football club?

Photobucket

Ahhh, what? Underground? Photobucket

Photobucket

Ahhh? I mean, as much as I'd like to explore London, I didn't really intend to do that on this trip.

Photobucket

What is this? PhotobucketI'm walking around the underground station for four minutes? Oh, okay, I'm only supposed to explore the London underground on this trip. Right, I get it. I see tourists in Berlin doing that everyday.

Photobucket

Marylebone? Bakerloo? Wealdstone? If I ask people for this, they'll probably not even understand what I want because I'm pronouncing it wrong. And somehow I am reminded of Aragorn's Secret Diaries: Still in London.


Photobucket

Oh yeah. Right. We leave the dark tunnels and go back to the light. Okay.

Photobucket

Uhhh! We're leaving London! The place I didn't even want to go to! Yay! I mean that's a bit like travelling from Rostock to Hannover via Berlin. Or in other words: it's completely unnecessary, but railroads tend to go through Berlin. Or in yet other words: it's taking up lots of time and it's absolutely dumb.

Photobucket

Oh yes, sure. I'll get straight off the train and to the Parish church. PhotobucketBecause by then I will be so tired out that I'll want to pray for this journey to end soon. And of course I know the direction.

Photobucket

OMG. I will actually reach Stratford somewhere at the end of this journey? Yay! How cool is that! And they even drop me off at McDonalds too make sure I get something to eat! Photobucket

Well yeah. I am so sure I'm not gonna do that. To save traveldirect.info's honour a little, they also spit out a journey by coach, where I only have to change once. Which is what I'm gonna do. I am developing a bit of love for National Express. And I'm thinking about going a day earlier, so I have two full days at Stratford. Depends a bit on how much the rooms at the B&B are gonna cost. I'll talk that over with the family and then book the flight and the bus tickets.

And now I'll take a nap and pump myself full of Vitamin C to be in a halfway decent shape tonight.

Donnerstag, 14. August 2008

Na danke.

Ich habe eine Verabredung, und was passiert? Ich bin krank. Heute fühle ich mich wirklich wie durch den Wolf gedreht. Und ich darf heute noch arbeiten gehen, denn wenn ich jetzt absage, bin ich den Rest meiner Termine für diesen Monat los. Also gehe ich lieber hin, und wenn es nicht geht, lass ich mir ne Deppen-Position geben, oder ich gehe nach Hause. Und Morgen? Morgen werde ich versuchen so viel wie möglich zu schlafen, um dann hoffentlich abends halbwegs fit zu sein. Wir machen ja Gott sei Dank nichts anstrengendes. (M., verkneif dir den Kommentar.)


Und jetzt werd ich noch ein bisschen das abtippseln, was ich gestern im Theater während der Show geschrieben habe. Ich glaube, dann ist Hausarbeit Nummer zwei bis auf die Überarbeitung tatsächlich fertig. Das wäre ja grandiosestens.

EDIT: 2000 Wörter mit genug Potential um nochmal 300 im Fazit unterzubringen und dafür vorne noch was zu kürzen. Wenn ich bei der Arbeit Zeit habe, gehe ich Arbeit Nummer 3 an.

'300 im Fazit unterzubringen' ist höchst metaphorisch, wie ich gerade feststelle. Ich schreibe unter anderem über den Abschnitt in Herodotus Histories, der die Schlacht bei den Thermopylen beschreibt. :ugly: