Author Archives: Heidisblog2016

About Heidisblog2016

I'm no skilled writer nor a talented blogger. I've just decided to write at least one post each day, along with a photo. Or I should say: I post at least one photo per day along with a few words. Mostly just random things. Or things that were noteworthy on each specific day... for me at least. Or funny. Weird. Irritating. I'll see where this leeds to. I'm not writing for anyone. Basically I'm writing just for me. If you... yeah YOU! ... are reading this now: hello and welcome :-) By the way: I'm German (so please pardon my English) and already too old to die young. I love (almost all kinds of) music, reading, traveling and 'being on the road', photographing and - although I'm not good at it - writing. I am a typically overly critical and bitchy Virgo and my own worst critic. I am a sucker for clear words, honesty and no-bullshit. I have a Job that pays the bills but I'd say I work to live and don't live to work. I'm a fast walker and driver, love my orchids and my flat rate movie ticket that allows me to see as many movies in a year that I like. I hate most of all ME ME ME people and those who think the world should revolve around them and they should be the center of the Universe at all times. Don't take yourself so f-ing seriously! I also hate raisins, cinnamon and slow, scaredy drivers. I'm an animal lover but no vegan and I take a cat over a dog anytime.

Why In The World…

… has Word Press decided to post my December 30 article on top of my December 31 article???

Just so you guys know… scroll down for the very last article of the year, it appears below December 30th.

Weird.

And for those who didn’t get the message yet: this blog is now closed for good.

The new blog is written in German, my native language, so if you are able to read German and/or would like to look at some photos on my new website, just please click here.

Not much photo content yet, but I’ll add a lot more in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks and see you on the other side 🙂

December 30

This is a Cappuccino…

… that we drank after we ate salad at restaurant Farina in Essen between seeing two movies.

The movies were:

Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard and despite the movie looking very well made with a certain old Hollywood glamour factor and a story that could have been captivating, it never really clicked with me. It took too long until the story started to pick up and then I never found it in any way touching or shocking or suprising or suspense-packed. Not even the ending, which was… I don’t know… supposed to be shocking?… failed to touch me deeper. It wasn’t the fault of the two main actors. They did their job very well… I can’t put my finger on it. Something was missing here.

Nocturnal Animals which has got to be one of, if not THE best movies I’ve seen in 2016. Had I already high hopes and high expectations (which can turn out to be a problem), it 100% met ALL my expectations and high hopes.

A great and intelligent 3-layered story which was never confusing but had me on the edge of my seat for the whole time. I had already liked Tom Ford’s debut as a director in 2012, A Single Man, starring Colin Firth. And with his 2nd movie he proves that he’s not only an A-list haute couture designer but can hold his place among the big names in directing. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal were amazing in their roles, as were all the other actors down to the supporting roles. It’s so refreshing to see a movie where everything fits: from the top screenplay to the breathtaking and very stylish cinematography to a well-chosen cast. All too often these days there’s so much crap coming out of Hollywood. This is a very welcome change from all the sequels, prequels, franchises, superheroes, bad comedies and sci-fi battles out there. Highly recommended!

December 31

Good Riddance 2016

You’ve been a royal asshole of a year.

And now please don’t anyone tell me that it is “not the year that does this and that and kills people”. Of course it’s not The Year that does all that.

But please, do I really have to remind you, why people feel that way?

No wait.

This is the last day of a year where we have complained and cursed enough, haven’t we. What about making an effort to look at what was good in 2016? There must be something to find, don’t you think?

However, I don’t want to go as far as looking at what good has happened in this big world. I want to look at my own little cosmos. What have I liked about the year? What was positive? What was fun?

  • First of all, and most important: I am a heart attack survivor! This is a disease, where a lot of people die from. So far and 6 months after it happened, I’m still here, doing well. I’m not bragging. I’m just enormously thankful. I may have mentioned that in the one or other post since June 10, but in all honesty: I can’t repeat it often enough. I’M THANKFUL. So yes, this IS a good thing.
  • In the process, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to look after me a bit better, I’ve learned to eat healthier, I’ve learned that it DOES help to get off of the couch and do sports. I’ve lost a lot of weight, I feel better than I did before the heart attack, I’ve lost 2-3 clothes sizes (depending on what brand I buy, ha! 😉 ), if that’s not positive, then I don’t know what is.
  • All my friends and family are still alive and doing well
  • I’ve discovered how wonderful it is, to listen to audio books. I’m addicted.
  • In the process, I’ve discovered Harry Potter. I’m in love.
  • I’ve seen Lee MacDougall playing live 11 times (hereof two times at private events)
  • I’ve seen Bobby Long playing live 2 times (hereof one time at a private event)
  • I’ve seen Noel Gallagher (he of ex-Oasis fame) playing live for the first time
  • I’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera 3 times!
  • I’ve been on a wonderful summer vacation in East Germany and Travemünde
  • I’ve ate the best spare-ribs in the world in Scharendijke (Netherlands) at least one time
  • I’ve discovered the joy that are Swatch watches (another new addiction)
  • I’ve got a new great lens for my camera
  • My car didn’t break down or cause any major costly problems
  • My BFF has managed to crawl out of a very dark hole and is in the process of turning her life around, which is great!
  • I have a safe (knock on wood) job that pays all my bills
  • It was the 28th year of being bestest friends, partners in crime and soulmates for S and I and we’re still counting.

And last but not least, I’ve managed to reach my goal: to post at least one photo each day of the year. Well… almost. Am I excused for that one day where I was sick as a dog?

Please go ahead and tell me in the comments what were your highlights and good and fun things of 2016. Let’s always concentrate on the good and forget about the bad, shall we?

And with this day and this post, this blog, this project comes to a definite end. At least on this platform. And in this language.

I will continue, but in a slightly different way and also not on Word Press. It took me quite a long time to decide what to do next. Should I continue with a blog at all? If yes, should I continue in the same way as this? Should I simply write the next post on January 1st, 2017 in the same way right here?

The answer is: no! In fact I’ve worked on my own website in the past weeks. It’s by no means completely finished. It’s not that easy to set up a website, and I’m not the most patient and skilled person when it comes to stuff like that. But then… should I wait until I’ve learned enough to be perfect? That might never happen so why not just go on and do it and learn in the process?

Part of that website is a blog. The thing is though: I’ve decided – and it wasn’t an easy decision – to write in German this time. It was fun to write the last 366 days in English. I really like writing in English, even though I’m far from perfect. It’s fun, and a good training. But I’m German and I would like to write a blog in my native language for once. It’s funny how the English language has taken up a big part in my life but I want to find out now, how it feels to write in my mother tongue for a change.

If you are not yet sick of my senseless babbling and random photos, I’d love to see you on the other side site. If you don’t understand German… doesn’t matter. You can still look at the photos, right? 😉

Thanks everyone for staying with me for this past year. I know there were only a handful of regular readers and that was fine. I didn’t really want it the other way. This project was more for me than for anyone else. Some of you were along for the whole ride from start to finish. THANK YOU! Some followed, probably only to be followed back on their own blog and never read one post, that’s fine too.

A very special thanks to my dearest friend Jinjer, who not only read each and every post, but also commented on each and every post. This is beyond awesome and means a lot to me! Thanks, Dear :-* I’m sorry that my next project will be written in German only, but I hope you understand my reasons.

Starting tomorrow you’ll find me here.

Wishing you all a very happy, prosperous, fun and healthy 2017!

I’m off then….

Heidi ❤

December 29

Bye Bye Christmas

And so it’s time to pack up again. As much as I love Christmas season and as much as I go into it as deep as possible… right after the festivities are over, it’s also over for me. I’m not one of those people to have the deco up until well into January.

Traditionally, the season in Germany ends with the 6th of January – Epiphany. But I never wait that long. I have everyting down by New Years Eve at the latest.

I hate taking everything down and putting it back into the boxes though. Hate it!!! But it doesn’t help.

December 28

Harry Potter

So this post will be entirely dedicated to the Harry Potter. Or better… the book series. And the audio books.

First off, to comment the Photo of the Day: I’ve received my Complete Collection: a box that contains all seven paperbacks. Had ordered it to be delivered to my local book store (as you know, I don’t shop books on Amazon but rather support the stationary book shops, which is more important than throwing book-money into Amazon’s mouth thank you very much) and picked it up earlier this afternoon.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It’s the first time ever that I’ve bought the printed version of (a) book(s) after reading it/them on the e-book reader or listening to it as an audio book.

But everyone who knows the Harry Potter series will not really question this, I’m sure.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll remember that I have discovered Harry Potter through my newfound love for audio books. I only wanted to check out an English book and looked for one that would not be all too difficult to understand.

I only listened to a 5-minute-audio-sample of the first book and was completely hooked! Never would I have checked out the printed versions. Never ever would I have thought this is something for me. And here I was, addicted to listening to Stephen Fry’s wonderful narrating.

It was only after the first book that I listened to something different. After book #2 I kept going without interruption. It was the last book that took me the longest to get through. The only two reasons for that were: a) I couldn’t listen when I was sick – no way to concentrate and b) I tried to stretch it out as much as possible because I didn’t want it to end.

But the inevitable end came some days ago.

The first thing I wanted to do was taking a real book into my hands and start reading everything again from the start. Which, if you know me, is VERY unusual. I’m not someone who reads a book twice, no matter how good it is. I don’t even read a book after I’ve seen the movie adaptation because I lose interest when I know the story.

What did it for me in the end was Stephen Fry’s narrating. I know I’m repeating myself over and over with this, but I can’t praise this man enough for what he’s done with the books. I’ve tried once with the German narrator – insufferable! I listened to an audio sample of the American narrator out of curiosity – better, but still not as perfect.

So if you plan to listen to the English audio books of Harry Potter, I URGE you to choose the British version. And it doesn’t matter if you’re already familiar with the books or not.

If you now think I’ll be writing reviews of each book – no I won’t. There are tons of you out there who are familiar with the storylines of each book and those who are not will not be persuaded to read the series by me telling the exact plot of each book. All I can say here is: if you have ever wondered if this could be something for you… don’t hesitate – READ!

So what is it, that is so special about this story… these 4100 pages? It’s first of all J.K. Rowling’s writing. No, it’s not flawless, yet in no way bad or mundane. It’s amazing, the world that she creates. And those characters. That little boy who loses his parents and grows up with his nasty Aunt and Uncle until he learns that there’s another world than the grey and unfriendly one he’s used to: a world full of excitement, wizards, witches and magic. And we, the readers, experience everything from his point of view and go with him through all these crazy adventures. We grow up with him, suffer with him, feel his angst, his joy, his courage. And we can totally relate because we were all teenagers once with the same problems, fears and joys when growing up!

We get to love all these wonderful characters: From Harry, The Boy Who Lived, to bright and brilliant Hermione, to the funniest and most loyal friend Ron and his awesome family – the Weasley’s, to Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts who guides Harry with a careful hand, to Professor Snape who’s got to be the most complex and interesting character of the series (to me at least), to beloved Hagrid the half giant… even to Voldemort (He Who Must Not Be Named) and not to forget Hedwig, the beautiful snowy owl and Harry’s dear companion. The list would endless if I named them all… those characters who feel like they’ve become personal friends by now.

And if anyone thinks, these books are only for kids/teens… this couldn’t be farther from the truth. That’s one of the amazing facts about Harry Potter: Rowling has created something that is for the young and the adult alike.

And now I got the complete DVD collection of all movies from Santa and treated myself to the complete collection of books.

I think that says it all.

Thank you J. K. Rowling for coming up with this incredible story.

Thank you Stephen Fry for your wonderful narrating and for bringing the characters of the story to life in a one-of-a-kind way.

December 27

The End

No, not of the world, but of Christmas season. At least Christmas MARKET season. Went into town today for some shopping and saw all the stalls being taken down. It always goes by so so so fast…

The ride home…. (Don’t drive and take pics, kids!)

Later in the afternoon though, we’d meet up with three girls: S and another S, who’s her soon-to-be-ex-coworker. Let’s call the one SK and the other SP, shall we?

Anyway… SP is the one we had met during our summer vacation, when we went to Boltenhagen beach for one day. The one or other reader may or may not remember that.

She had said recently that she would really like to join us here and there at the movies, if we don’t mind (we don’t!) and SK had the idea to ask her to join us for the movie Sully we wanted to see today. Maybe having dinner before the movie? SP was in!

SK picked us all up around 16h-ish and we all went to Essen to eat at Farina. It’s located directly at the CinemaxX and we visit it frequently when we see a movie there. They serve everything from pizza to pasta to burgers to salads and whatever it was that we’ve tried so far, it was always excellent. And so SP ate a breadless burger (I loooove those! who needs the stupid bread when eating a burger LOL), SK and me had salads. The calories and and all… 😉

Everything was very very tasty, as usual. After the meal we went up to the movie theater to see Sully.

Most of you will remember that day when an aircraft ended up in the Hudson River in New York City. That was in January of 2009. Unbelievable that it is almost 8 years ago already. Pilot of the aircraft was Chesley Sullenberger, called Sully. He made the almost impossible possible: he landed an aircraft with 155 people aboard, that had dealt with two broken engines due to a flock of birds, safely on the river. Everyone survived, no major injuries. If anyone can be called a hero, then this man for sure.

I thought that the movie told this story very well and very compelling. However, I think that the way of how the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handled the investigation afterwards, was very much dramatized. The only minor complaint I have is that they put the focus on that and how the NTSB plagued poor Sully in the aftermath a tad bit too much.

Otherwise: very good movie. And Tom Hanks – what can be said that hasn’t already been said about the man. It’s amazing how you forget that you’re watching an actor play a role. He completely disappears behind his characters. Once again this was a flawless performance. He didn’t play Sully, we WAS Sully. But also Aaron Eckhard as First Officer Jeffrey Skiles did a great job.

The scenes of the plane landing on the river were quite spectacular but never overdone. It looked very realistic… probably not exactly suited for those with a fear of flying…

For everyone else: highly recommended!

December 26

Movies & Hot Chocolate

2nd day of Christmas is the day when people leave their houses again to… I don’t know… do things like going to the movies, eating out, going for walks, visitng relatives they haven’t visited on the 1st day… things like that.

We, of course, went to the movies. Hadn’t done this for more than two weeks because of The Illness, and we were already suffering a bit of a withdrawal.

Started with Rogue One – A Star Wars Story.

Let me tell you first that I am not a Star Wars nerd. I haven’t seen a single one of these movies and back in the 70s, when it all came up, I could only watch with with an open mouth how big of a deal these movies were to many people and how beloved the characters were and how Harrisson Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (R.I.P.!) rose to fame with them.

I never had even the slightest interest… I was never a fan of sci-fi or fantasy at all. Not even in later years, after discovering that not all sci-fi and fantasy movies are bad and that I actually DO like some of them very much.

No trailer for any of these movies has ever made me rethink that.

It was until now, where I said to S “do we want to see this one?” “Why not”, she replied. But although I had heard that this was basically a stand-alone movie, not an awful lot connected to the other ones in the series, I wasn’t sure if it made sense to see it with not even ONE movie of the series under my belt. S had at least seen the first one and had liked it back then.

Then I asked someone in the know on Twitter if that movie would be okay for people who had never seen a Star Wars movie. Answer: yes it is, because the events in the movie take place before the events of the very first movie.

Then I read all the raaaaaaaaving reviews by the fans and also the critics, how awesome that movie would be. Alright then. I’ve discovered Harry Potter this year, so why not also Star Wars. Always stay open-minded!

The Verdict: ‘t was alright. It wasn’t boring, the story was enganging enough to keep my full attention for the full two hours. It was well acted, the CGI was fine. Saw Voldemort Darth Vader for the first time live on a movie screen, but surely missed a ton of references to the series that were buried here and there and easily to recognize for the nerds, yet not for me.

And so I’m probably not a very reliable source for an opinion about this movie. I can’t say where it stands in the whole Star Wars universe. As  I said, the fans seem to be mostly happy with it, and at least it didn’t bore me to tears but it was two hours of good entertainment. That’s all I can really say about it.

Trailer:

Second movie of the day was the animated movie Sing. Already the trailers had looked adorable and so was the movie. We both LOVED it (albeit not as much as Zootopia which remains to be the fave animated movie of the year – there’s no excuse if you haven’t seen it yet 😉 )

But all these animal characters taking place in a casting show to save a theater… it was delightful! If you like the trailer, you’ll love the movie.

Back at home it was time for a yummy hot chocolate. No whipped cream. Saving some calories 😉