Homeward bound

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Ok, so as promised, today’s post will pertain to my trip home!

For those of you who don’t know me that well (shame on you!), I’m an Irish girl who’s currently living in Germany. I think that’s pretty much all you need to know!

Oh, and I love my family, boyfriend, friends and home country very much!

So, as I was saying, I’m flying home this evening so I can spend a few days at home over Easter (because who wants to eat a load of chocolate on their own!). This means that from this evening until next… *consults a calendar* Thursday (ooh, that’s a week!), I will be out of office, so to speak. I know what you’re thinking; “But Claire, how ever will we survive without your captivating mix of language and life related blog posts until then?!”, to which I say “Breathe. It will be ok. If you are anything like me then you’ll be spending the next few days gorging on vast amounts of chocolate, and will not notice much going on outside of the fridge”.

I am über excited (who says I’m not improving my German here!) about being home again. I am, of course, dreading the travelling again. Let’s do the math here:

Travelling = hard work

Hard work + Claire = Grumpy Claire

*

Hard work = stress

Stress + Claire = even Grumpier Claire

*

Stress = sweating

Sweating + Claire ≠ attractive

Do you see why travelling + Claire ≠ excitement? Now being home + Claire = EXCITEMENT OVERLOAD!! It’s just the travelling part I dislike.

And why? Well because it’s long and tricky and tiresome and there are too many suitcases and not enough aisle space and there are people everywhere and it’s loud and uncomfortable and it seems to go on forever…. like this sentence!

Some people love travelling. They think it’s better than the actual destination. To these people, I say this: [click here por favor]

I would just prefer to be able to click my fingers and *poof* be in the place I wanted to be in. Even when I’m at home this happens- e.g. I’ll be in my house and it’ll be late and my boyfriend will text and I’ll want to be able to just *click* and be out at his. I think this is probably to do with the fact that I am inherently lazy.

Digression aside, I just think travelling would be so much easier if there was no actual travelling involved. To myself, I say this: [one more time with the clickety click]

So to sum up: I’m going home, I don’t like travelling , I’m good at basic math and, as always, memes are fun! ^^

Peace out! xx

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Another Eggscuse for Chocolate

*drool*

*drool*

*WARNING: this post will contain numerous Easter puns (see the above blog title), all in very poor taste. It is your job, as dedicated readers, to A.) Find all of these puns and B.) Add your own ones in the ‘comments’ section below. Eggstreme dedication and patience required*

Easter is just around the corner and we all know that means one thing: Easter eggs! Eggsciting stuff, right? That’s right, Tesco (American version = Fresh & Easy, I think) are offering their ever-tempting deal of 2 eggs for €3 (I’m not working out the dollar/ any other currency rate) and I plan on scrambling to the store and taking advantage of this offer when I am home (I’m flying home tomorrow night for a few days over Easter… but more about that in tomorrow’s blog!).

Anyhoo, as I was saying… Easter! Basically, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last few hundred centuries, then Easter is celebrated at the end of Lent in memory of Jesus’ death and resurrection. More recently though, the tradition has become a lot more commercialized (hasn’t everything?) and the notion of Easter eggs has gradually seeped into multiple cultures. In Ireland, for example, the Easter eggs that we have come in an eggscellent range of sizes; small, medium, large (you get the gist!). In Germany, I’ve noticed that the eggs seem to be much smaller (but I could be wrong, that’s just what I’ve observed from my time spent shopping in Aldi).

Personally, I love Easter eggs, because for some uneggsposed reason the chocolate they use for the eggs tastes absolutely AMAZING and WAY better than it does for the rest of the year (even though I’m presuming it’s the same chocolate that they use… odd!). And yes, before you ask: I am a self-confessed chocoholic (Dairymilk and Galaxy are my favourites!)

But I’m not actually writing this blog post to inform you about my eggstra strong love for chocolate. I’m actually here to tell you a little bit about how Easter is celebrated in some other countries, because what is life without diversity! So here we go:

*Sidenote- This is, of course, just a very tiny sample of some Easter customs, as I am not an eggspert in this area. Please feel free to add traditions from your own country/ any other countries whose traditions you know of. I like to learn about new places! Thank you *

Germany- is regarded as the birthplace of modern day Easter icons like the Easter bunny and the Easter tree. Children in Germany have to find eggs and chocolates hidden by the Easter bunny (Osterhase) on Easter Sunday. Other traditions include baking lamb-shaped cakes and hanging painted eggs from the Easter tree with colourful ribbon.

France- incorporates the Easter Fish and Flying Bells into its Easter festivities. On April 1st, as an April Fool’s Day trick, the children try and stick a paper fish onto the backs of as many adults as possible. The Flying Bells (Cloche volant) symbolize the mourning of Christ and are rung on Easter Sunday morning to bring chocolate and eggs to the children.

Russia- participates in the tradition of decorating the Easter eggs. Eggs are usually painted red, to symbolize Christ’s blood. The family dinner is also a very important part of Easter in Russia. Cakes known as kulich (кулич) are baked and families play games with the eggs, such as smashing two boiled eggs off each other and seeing which one breaks.

Hungary- does things a little differently! A bucket of water is poured onto a woman of the Palóc minority on Sunday and Monday. The woman wears her traditional clothing while she has the water thrown at her.

Norway- also cherishes an interesting tradition. Not only do they carry around pieces of bread in their pockets on Holy Saturday, but there is the belief that all murders will be solved at Easter and so detective films are usually shown on the television and magazines publish crime stories.

And that’s Easter in a nut shell… or should I say in an egg shell! (Oh c’mon, someone had to say it!) I look forward to hearing any other egg-related puns you may have to offer, but please remember- try to be original with them, we’re trying to crack people up here!

As always, hugs xo

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

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This has been a very good week for Ein Sprachblog! Last Wednesday I received a nomination for the Liebster Blog Award and yesterday I was lucky enough to be chosen as a nominee for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by the very kind (and well-travelled) Alli from The Vintage Postcard: Go raibh céad míle maith agat, Alli! (that’s Irish for “a thousand thank you’s, Alli!”

So there are just four simple rules that accompany the SotWBA and these are as follows:

1- Answer these 10 questions (don’t worry, they’re not too tricky!)

2- Nominate 10 blogs that you find a joy to read (girls only!)

3- Give links to these blogs and let the nominees know that you have put them forward for the award

4- Include the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award logo in your post

All very straightforward! 🙂 So here’s the brief Q&A session:

1.Who is a woman from history that you respect?

In school I did a history project on Amelia Earhart. She was so brave and ambitious- I respect that.

2. Do you like your handwriting?

I think I do. My handwriting changes, so sometimes I like it more than others.

3. What book are you reading right now?

Does a Sudoku puzzle book count?

4. Are you ticklish?

I think I kneed my boyfriend in the face once because he tickled me. Involuntarily, of course.

5. What have been your favourite methods of transport?

Walking if it’s dry outside. Otherwise the car.

6. What is your favourite breakfast?

Plain ol’ cereal. Or ‘Roses’ chocolates on Christmas morning!

7. Do you ever sing in the shower?

I’ve been known to belt out a song or two.

8. Are you wearing socks right now?

Yes. They have owls on them.

9. If you could be given any gift, what would it be?

A ring/necklace from Tiffany’s. Or a new laptop, as my old one is kaputt. I’m a bit greedy with my gifts, aren’t I?

10. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass it?

Talking to my mum/my boyfriend or maybe watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother/ The Big Bang Theory. I love them both!

And now for the nominees:

1- Lucrezia: Learn Italian with Lucrezia

2- Linda: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

3- Andrea M: You Know You’re Over 40 When…

4- Andrea B: Butterfly Mind

5- Jemini: Jemini

6- Jackie: The Jackie Blog

7- Jessica: Each Word Weighs a Ton

8- Katy: Happy Little Somethings

9- Hannah: Conjugating Thought

10- Elena: Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately & Don’t Forget To Breathe

Good enough to eat!

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Ok, so it’s ca. lunchtime now and I’m a bit peckish (I’m being polite; I’m actually rather hungry… as in “the little apple on the back of my iPhone is starting to look good” hungry!). So my quandary is this: what to eat?

I could be a healthy eater and bring a lunch from home, but that is no good to me because:

A.)   I’m already at work and I see no pre-packed lunch in sight (well, not unless I eat my coworker’s lunch, but I doubt she’d appreciate that!)                                -and-

B.)    I tend to try and get a dinner at lunch time because my cooking facilities at “home”/room are fairly meager, and the thought of trying to cook something in the evenings is rather daunting

So… options in the proximity are limited, as where I work is just out of the city centre, i.e. all the restaurants/cafés/etc are juuussst outta reach. However, I have stumbled across a few gems:

1-      The bar around the corner: I know what you’re thinking- a bar? At 1pm? Seriously?! But I don’t go there for their drinks (unless I’m having a really rough day!); rather I go there for their tasty lunch menu. Although there’s not a vast choice of options, they have weekly specials, which I think is a great idea, as it keeps things fresh. Plus, the food there is really nice, so you don’t really mind!

2-      Then there’s the pizzeria across the road: again, another small joint with “the regulars” (me and a few old Italian men), but there’s such a nice feeling when you walk in there and are greeted by ‘ciaos’ and those ever-practical plastic table-coverings. The owner used to always give me my Coke on the house, and this could be why I feel in part responsible for them going out of business. Yes, much to my horror, last Friday I saw the awful sign in their window; “Zur Vermietung” (For Rent, for all the non-Germans out there). I really liked that place, as the chef (Little Old Italian Man #1) made the nicest pepperoni pizza in the world! (and his lasagna wasn’t bad either). So I guess I won’t be frequenting there anymore… Arrivederci Pizzeria!

3-      The Thai restaurant down the street: good food, good value. What can I say; I’m a sucker for a soy-covered bargain!

4-      The bagel place further down the street: only just discovered this place last week, but I’m so glad I did! I haven’t found that many (if any) places that sell bagels here and this made me sad, as my mum used to make really delicious bagels at home. But this little spot offers bagels, fruit salads, salads that don’t have fruits in them, coffee, tea (the German kind, unfortunately, but still!), cookies, doughnuts and brownies- what more could you want? (apart from regular Irish tea, naturally!)

And I think that’s it really… there was this other place that I tried once, and I regret going there no end! I got soup, or something claiming to be soup, with purple bits in it and it tasted like crap and then I was charged a tenner for it. For “soup”?! Crazy talk! Needless to say, they didn’t get a tip from me! (Tip: learn how to make proper soup… And then charge accordingly!)

Anyway, now I’m definitely hungry after all that talk of food! I still don’t know where I’m going to go for lunch/dinner, but I figure once I get outside into the open air, my bloodhound-like nose will guide me in the right direction!

Bon appétit!

Aloha indeed!

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Liebster Blog Award

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Hey you guys!

This is really cool! Yesterday I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the very lovely Lucrezia from Learn Italian with Lucrezia (grazie mille Lucrezia!)

This is kind of a big deal for me, because to be nominated then obviously someone out there has to think that your blog is worthy of a nomination, and apparently mine is… yay!

So the rules are as follows:

–  I answer 11 questions posed to me by Lucrezia

–  I also give you guys 11 facts about myself

–  I nominate 11 other blogs for the award

–  And I then I set 11 questions of my own for these bloggers to answer

…Simples! 🙂

Let’s get started with my 11 questions to answer:

1- What’s your favourite movie? Despicable Me. The sequel’s coming out this year- yay!

2- What’s your favourite food? I love Chinese, chocolate and my granny’s homemade trifle is the best.

3- What is the best place you have ever been to? We spent a lot of our family holidays in Ireland and I loved those! Italy was very beautiful as well.

4- Why have you decided to start a blog? Because I’m currently living in Germany and I wanted to document my experiences/ I was bored one day!

5- Do you have a YouTube channel? Nope. I’m only present on the social medias of Facebook and WordPress.

6- What languages do you speak? English, German, Irish, Spanish and I can say “hello, how are you?” in Polish and Russian. I’m counting those!

7- Do you have siblings? Yes, 1 brother.

8- Cats or dogs? Dogs. Preferably little fluffy puppies!

9- Sweet or salted? Depends on what I’m eating. Probably salted though.

10- Blackberry or iPhone? iPhone. I caved about 2 years ago, and haven’t looked back since.

11- Write your favourite quote. From the Big Bang Theory:

“Sheldon: Why are you crying?
Penny: Because I’m stupid!
Sheldon: That’s no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad”

Right, next item on the agenda- 11 things about me:

1- I’m a brunette

2- I  love languages

3- My mum is my best friend in the whole world

4- Laughing and smiling are two of my favourite “hobbies”

5- Going for walks and chatting are two more

6- My favourite shop is Penneys (Primark, for my English friends)

7- The act of travelling annoys me, but being in new places is nice

8- When I’m hungry/tired I get grumpy

9- I only get milkshakes when I’m with my boyfriend

10- I can drive, but I prefer to be in the passenger seat

11- I have an obsession with dangly earrings… anyone who knows me will tell you that!

Now to the nominations *drumroll please*

1- Smile! It won’t bloody kill you…

2- The Vintage Postcard

3- boy with a hat

4- The Open Suitcase

5- The Happsters

6- Where’s My Backpack?

7- Tyson Adams

8- The World’s Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

9- A Clown on Fire

10- Word Geeks

11- Plenty to Do

And finally, my questions to these bloggers:

1- Writing or reading?

2- Why blogging?

3- If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and why?

4- Best way to relax?

5- What makes you happy?

6- Favourite band/singer?

7- Drink of choice?

8- Is there any gadget you couldn’t live without?

9- Which memory do you treasure most?

10- What inspires you?

11- What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?

A reason to smile

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Today, March 20th 2013, is the first International Day of Happiness as declared by the United Nations (UN). A day of happiness sounds like a great idea, so let’s find out where this notion came from and what it means exactly.
Where it all began: in Bhutan. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a tiny state located in South Asia. In 2005, Bhutan began building the world’s first Gross National Happiness Index- a means of measuring well-being through aspects such as life satisfaction, emotions, spirituality, health, education and ecological diversity. By 2010, 41% of people surveyed in Bhutan ranked as “happy”, based on factors like work, literacy and housing. A year later the nation sponsored “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development”, which stated that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic growth should promote sustainable development, but that worldwide happiness is reliant on social and environmental well-being as well.
Aim: what the UN hopes to achieve with its International Day of Happiness is to illustrate that happiness is essential for global progression. A society which adopts a more holistic outlook, and which realizes that its development is not solely based on material wealth, is likely to be “happier”. The UN also hopes to encourage countries to approach public policies in a more comprehensive manner, e.g. Italy is using online consultations with citizens to help judge the country’s well-being, which includes specific indicators such as “quality of urban air”.
So take a moment to smile today, because the world is literally becoming a better and happier place! 🙂

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