Christmas in Berlin and Hanover

At the start of December I flew to Berlin for a bargain price of £24! I hadn’t planned anything for my trip despite reading Trip Advisor recommendations so I let my feet take me around the streets. I used Airbnb for my accommodation which cost me £68 – again another bargain for two nights. My Airbnb host gave me directions to his apartment from the airport which was a great help because I can’t speak a word of German.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of my room I just popped them onto my Instagram story. It was very spacious and had lots of information leaflets on the desk which was really useful.

My first day I spent following Google Maps as I was roughly 15 minutes away from the Berlin Wall. When it comes to history I am obsessed with it. I am fascinated with how the world has changed and what people did for us so I can write this for you now. The Berlin Wall was never a subject studied at school so I wasn’t particularly familiar with why it was ever built. Not knowing why gave me the opportunity to take a visit to the Berlin Wall Museum just opposite the remaining parts of the wall. This is extremely informative and definitely worth a visit if you plan on venturing over to the wall.

Of course I didn’t just go to Germany for the historical aspect, I went because their Christmas markets look absolutely incredible! Yes they do live up to expectations before you wonder what they’re like. There are lights everywhere, I couldn’t help but walk around smelling the different cuisines, hearing the laughter and looking at stalls wishing I had this in my town. I ventured to quite a few markets around Berlin and all of them had their own German twist. The memorial for the terrorist attack at one of the markets was so moving – rest in peace.

Christmas German market

One of my favourite moments from my trip was bumping into Ricky Gervais and his wife at a market. It was an extremely surreal moment and he said ‘hello’ to me as if he was David Brent. I wish I thought of filming it but it was a spur of the moment incident – I mean who would have thought I’d bump into Ricky?

There are endless things to do in Berlin but it was hard to squeeze it into two and a half days. I will be writing a separate blog post on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe because it needs to have a dedicated post. There’s a small Anne Frank exhibition down a really interesting alley which was good to see as I never had the opportunity when I visited Amsterdam. It is self funded so please do try to visit if you can.

Hanover took me by surprise. I expected it to have more to visit than it did but walking through the Christmas markets at night was sweet. It didn’t have the same impact as Berlin’s because some were just down a street so it became extremely overcrowded. I would say Berlin loves Christmas probably a little more than Hanover.

Hanover German Christmas market

Herrenhaser Garten is absolutely beautiful although a summer visit is most likely more interesting than a winter one. This isn’t just a standard garden, it’s huge! There’s a lot of different plants to see amongst the naked statues. One aspect of the garden you will enjoy is the mosaic glass outbuilding, it is full of intriguing art.

I stayed with a friend whilst I was in Hanover and we were snowed in on my last few days but it was absolutely worth it. I had to have a Netflix and chill day because my joints and back were struggling to keep up with me after my adventures on my own.

I would love to keep talking about my trip but the word count is going up and up. Have you ever been to Germany during Christmas time?

Four ball snowman

Scrooge the Musical – The Curve

I have always wanted to see Scrooge live at the theatre because it is one of my favourite films and such a fantastic story. When I saw The Curve were having this production as their Christmas musical I instantly booked.

Scrooge is definitely a family treat for all. It was great to be at a musical with such a vast range of ages watching. Most know that Scrooge is about an old stubborn man who absolutely despises Christmas and everyone in the community that wishes to celebrate it. Until one night, Scrooge is visited by his former partner Jacob Marley (played by Karen Mann – fantastic actress) who informs him that he’ll receive three further visits from ghosts.

As soon as the curtain lifted I felt like I had been taken back to the Charles Dickens era and I was bobbing from left to right to the music. I must say the costumes were brilliant, it felt like I was watching the film.

As you’re first introduced to all of the characters you are not quite sure where to look because the stage is so full. I was looking everywhere, I wanted to take it all in and I was facinated by the designs. Trying to take in all of the different people, the costumes and the best scenery I have ever come across within a theatre production. The colours were bright, the detail on the props were outstanding and I was so happy to be there.

Vocally the performance was perfect. For me, I thought Jasper Britton (Ebenezer Scrooge) portrayed his character exceptionally well. Jasper didn’t make me compare his version of Scrooge to any of the previous films which I think is an added bonus. It was also nice to see Eastenders’ Danny-Boy Hatchard back in action and playing such a fun character. His vocals were also top-notch along with that very good cockney accent!

There were a number of hiccups during the show but the cast dealt with it so well. At first I thought the show was going to be cancelled due to a technical issue which was shortly resolved. However, the actors didn’t let what was happening distract them, they continued with their lines and even made jokes when things went wrong – it had a great reaction from the audience! By the way, Jasper Britton and Anton Stephans are a brilliant comedy act – they are perfect on stage together and bring so much presence.

This musical is one everyone will love. I will just say that the bit with the chains and the dead people did terrify me a little bit but it was worth it! Everything just flowed, I loved the choreography by Stephen Mear it was fun and exciting. The orchestra, the designs and much more. There are too many people to mention about their involvement but I would like to say you all made the show so thank you.

Everyone on that stage deserves a huge round of applause!

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Why am I feeling lonely?

To be honest I am not quite sure why I am writing this post because there’s no reason for me to feel lonely. I have a boyfriend, I live with my incredible family and I have lots of different friends but right now I feel sad about being lonely – weird.

My friends do a hell of a lot for me so I cannot say they’re not there. They are. If I needed to call one of them about something, they’d answer and they’d listen. They wouldn’t care if it’s a boring story or if they’ve heard something similar before, they’d sit and get earache for me. Thank you guys.

In my mind I think I may know why I’m sad a little. Everyone I know has moved on with their lives like we’re all supposed to do but I haven’t changed. I don’t care that I’m not engaged or having a baby as I’m nowhere near ready for that but they’re moving forward and moving on…moving on from being in my life all of the time. I sound like a jealous ex but it’s because I value people’s friendships and I’m sad when they deteriorate. I’m sure you’ve probably felt the same at some point.

I’d say because I’m still living at home I’m wanting to go out with people, wanting to explore what I can and I know when I officially become an adult I’ll be like one of you. It’s kinda scary. I don’t want to be alone or feel alone.

Maybe I need to realise that being nearly 25 means everything changes. People change, the environment changes and friends change I guess (I am not ditching anyone). It’s life but I won’t accept it.

The Text by Claire Douglas Review

I have never really thought about reading a short story before but I was intrigued by this one. The Text is has been described as a thriller and yes I would agree with that but I would also say it was a disappointing read for me.

I liked the beginning of the book, I found the introduction of the characters really good. The domestic violence side of things was great for the author to explore because it happens so often and people may feel they can speak up after reading this. However as we found out more about the characters and what was happening, it just faded out.

I was finally getting into the book because I wanted to know who had sent the text, who had sent the letter and what had happened to Andrew. It was building up so well until the twist was announced. Boo. Boring. Annoying. For some reason the book just suddenly ended – why?!

In my personal opinion this could have easily been a longer book with more of a thought process to extend the story. It was such a shame it ended in a short time because at the start I couldn’t stop reading it.

Unfortunately I would give this a two star rating.

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Being away helps your mind so go!

As some of you probably know I’m currently in Germany having the most incredible time. I will be writing a post about my trip but for now this is about something else.

I’ll admit I have been struggling a lot recently with stress so I thought let’s run away from it. I ran away. I am so glad I did decide to come on my own because it’s given me lots of thinking time. At first I was terrified of my own thoughts, I envisioned me having a melt down but I actually feel so free.

The problems I’ve been having in my shoulders and upper back have been liberated. The pain was so bad it made me cry and I had to go for a Indian Head Massage to help relieve the pain – it worked but there were still knots.

I won’t go into what this trip has helped me come to terms with but I am pretty confident I know what the right thing to do is. I almost feel like a new person which is daft because I’m still the same old curly haired glasses nerd but with a weight lifted.

My understanding of bad situations is get yourself out of them. Don’t think I need this or but it’s been like this – just do what you need to do. Don’t hold back, don’t live with regrets. The new year is coming so we know everyone will be saying ‘a new year,  a new me.’ Well may be I’ll be one of those people.

Let’s see.

Queen of Bradgate, Leicester

Last night was my first visit to the Queen of Bradgate pub / restaurant in Leicester. My friend and I were looking for somewhere to eat that had cocktails available which this place has – added bonus. As soon as you walk in you are mesmerised by the decor and want to buy everything that’s hanging up on the wall…well I did anyway.

Everybody loves a happy hour don’t they? I tucked into two cocktails (2-4-1) but I can’t remember what they were called but they tasted incredible, it had Collins in the name so look out for that! For my main course I had the Chicken Fillet Burger with the most delicious fries but I was torn between the Wild Mushroom Risotto and the Marinated Chicken so the only way to decide was to eenie meanie, miney mo it. The Chicken Burger won of course and I live life with no regrets because it was exceptionally tasty.

Chicken Fillet Burger and Fries

I had another round of 2-4-1 cocktails before 8pm (cheap date alert) but this time I decided to try something completely different. The French Martini sounded really nice and I loved the art on top of the drink. I think they used a raspberry sauce to draw the pattern and I’d happily have it again. Happy tipsy customer.

Then came dessert! I wasn’t overly mad with the choices on the menu but I went with my favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was a really nice pudding and I know you’ll probably think well it looks a little dry with no custard or ice cream – where is it? I’m not a huge ice cream fan to be honest so I would have preferred to have custard as an option. This wasn’t available so I opted for no ice cream, it was still really enjoyable and very very sticky.
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I would happily visit the Queen of Bradgate again because their menu offers something for everyone and it’s not badly priced either. The atmosphere was great and like I said above the decor is to die for. It’s very well put together and doesn’t look like they’ve purchased everything from a car boot. P.S. I want the stag head light that was on the wall near our table, it was stunning!

What I want for my future

I want what every other blogger wants, I want to write full-time. I want to be able to create engaging content and to work with endless brands because writing makes me really happy. There’s just one problem, how can you go from a full time position to a ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen to me next month‘ position. Every full-time job guarantees you a monthly income whereas becoming freelance is a risk taker.

I have always been a bit of a risk taker with my career and choices but right now I haven’t got the balls to just quit my job. I mean I am in a great position to do so because I still live at home so now is the time to take these chances but I am terrified.

How did you become a full time freelancer? I haven’t worked with many brands as you will see on my blog but that’s what my aim is. I won’t pretend I am happy working with a brand if I’m never going to use the product.

Please send me some advice xox