I want to ride my bicycle!

Yesterday afternoon I went to pick up Gonzo from work. We strolled all the way up Oxford Street and once in Hyde Park Gonzo had the most brilliant idea: we hired a pair of bikes and off we went along the Serpentine, through alleys and parkways and past people soaking up the sun and playing all kinds of sports. It’s been ages since I rode a bike for the last time and it felt absolutely great! They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I feel like I almost forgot that special kind of happiness and freedom and how it feels to have the wind in your face.
First I felt a little like back in primary school when I did the “driving license for bikes” – I had to get used to the traffic on the wrong side of the street (especially tricky when turning!) and to the front and the back brakes being mixed up on the handle. But soon we adjusted to the bikes and set up for a race 🙂

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After a lovely tour in the park we gave back the bikes and went on to Kensington Gardens, where we visited Peter Pan. The sun was just about to set and so the whole park was showered in amazing blue and orange colours.
At last it started to rain and it was just magical. Seeking shelter under a linden tree didn’t save us from getting all soaked up but we saw the most amazing rainbow stretching all over the parks.

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I hope you had a magical afternoon too!

XX, Angie

missing: may bugs

Good morning everyone!

I just came back from a run through the green and blooming Stratford Park and the smell of the trees in spring reminded me that it was actually time for the May bugs to be around. But there are none.

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It’s a pity, because I have lots of lovely childhood memories of setting out at dusk for a May bug hunt or just how it tickles to have them crawl over your hands. And I would love to take my international friends out at night to a street lantern and catch some of those ugly-beautiful beetles.

Well, in the meantime read Wilhelm Busch and think of me when you recite

Jeder weiß, was so ein Mai-
Käfer für ein Vogel sei.
In den Bäumen hin und her
Fliegt und kriecht und krabbelt er.

What kind of a bird a May-
Bug was, they knew, I dare say;
In the trees they may be found,
Flying, crawling, wriggling round.

see http://germanstories.vcu.edu/mm/mm5_dual.html for the full story of Max and Moritz!

I hope there are lots of them at home!

XX, Angie

Guilty Pleasure Songcontest

Es geht um die Wurst! – It’s all about the sausage! 🙂

Maria and I home alone, the Eurovision Songcontest and loads and loads of chocolate – that’s a girl’s night in by the book.
And what shall I say, guys? We had so much fun discussing and gossiping about the songs, outfits and performances. Malta: Hipsters united; Poland: tries boobs for a win; Germany: who dressed that girl??; Armania: they sent a sick vampire; Island: a singing rainbow! 😉

And finally: 12 points for Austria! Chonchita “Wörst”! Next year the Songcontest will come to Austria 🙂 🙂

Probably somewhere at the ORF (national TV) somebody fainted. ^^

Good night everybody, dream of a phoenix.
a very happy and revved-up

Angie, XX

A daytrip with the family

Brighton, the little town on the seaside. Ever since living in London the plan of getting out there was stuck somewhere in the back of my head, but it was always either too cold or too busy, mistimed, or we were just too lazy to actually go there.
So when we saw that we’ll all have a day off together, the first reaction was: daytrip! And the second was me croaking: Brighton! 🙂

Brighton_ Collage_IIYesterday morning we all got up (relatively) early and took a train out to Brighton. It’s actually not far at all; within one hour we left hectic, crowded and rainy London behind and found ourselves in a lovely, quiet, sunny and windy (!) seaside town.
First thing we headed to the beach, of course! I couldn’t wait to see the sea and all the way down the road I just could stop smiling! The sea looked absolutely majestic that day. The waves were mounting up high and it seemed the seagulls were flying in slow motion against the strong wind. I was just so happy. I think the boys couldn’t really understand it, both being spoiled by growing up at the seaside, but for me it’s just magical every time I get to be on a beach.

A golden star for Maria! She spotted the kites in that tiny shop on the promenade. Yes, they were cheap and didn’t last for very long, but it was so much fun running up and down the beach, trying to get them fly high! I can’t remember the last time I flew a kite and though the wind actually tore my rainbow-colored plastic hawk violently apart, it was still great! Maria cheated and created a Franken-kite attaching a plastic bag to hers – but I still think mine flew better! 😉

Afterwards we went for Fish ’n’ Chips (what else?!) and walked down the promenade to the Brighton Pier. The Pier is an awesome thing on its own. It’s huge and they fitted a whole funfair on it! There is a carousel and a helter skelter right there, surrounded by sea. Crazy! A lot of the attractions were still closed, but I imagine it must be amazing to go there on a summer night, riding the rollercoaster overlooking the beach!
Further we went to see the Royal Pavilion. “Pavilion” in that case seems to be understatement of the century! For me the word “Pavilion” indicates that the construction of interest is somehow small and petit – but we found ourselves in front of what seemed to be the palace of an Indian maharaja directly imported to England. Anyways, it’s surrounded by a beautiful garden, where we sat for a while, soaking up the sunshine and blowing bubbles. Andrea used the moment and took some really nice pictures of Gonzo and his pipe.

Another golden star goes to Andrea! He found that amazing chocolate shop hidden somewhere in the narrow lanes of the old town. The shop itself is already marvellous enough – impressive cakes and extraordinary chocolate creations everywhere – and then we found out that there was a café upstairs. It was like we found ourselves at the mad tea party. The room under the roof was painted in bright red, no chair matched the other and the counter was overflowing with cakestands, high and low, random tea service and sumptuous and extravagant cakes and treats. And not surprisingly it was everybody’s un-birthday!! What a wonderful excuse to have cake! 🙂

After taking some sundown pictures at the beach we slowly made our way uphill towards the train station and finally back to London.

 
It was an amazing day, and I had so much fun. Thank you, Maria, Andrea and Gonzo, for this lovely family day out! ❤

XX, Angie

Daytrip to Spain

Wow, Gonzo and I had a Saturday off together. Miracle! 🙂

spainCollageOf course this rare circumstance needed to be well used and so we decided to go for a walk at Embankment and have some Tapas at the current Streets of Spain Food Festival. And guess what? It is weekend, the sun was shining – so there was one big crowd, trying to eat Paella on the go and get hold of a (very overpriced) glass of Sangria.

A little aside we eventually found a small van selling Pintxos and we shared a plate of meat, cheeses and bread with olive oil over some cool red and rosé wine. It was good but honestly nothing more than a starter. And as we were still hungry we went for some guiso de carrillera (stew of cow cheek) and a goats’ cheese and sweet potato pie. I knoow, a pie! Pff! Not very Spanish indeed, but what shall I say, the tapas just left us hungry 🙂
For dessert we had Alfajor cookies and Churros!! *hmmm* The Churros were amazing but definitely not as good as the ones I tried in Malaga – but I think that might also be due to the lack of palm trees nearby. ^^

gonzoOne of the main attractions of the Festival was the Campo Viejo Colour Lab. The idea was to taste a wine under various colour and sound influences and find out if you taste and differences according to your surroundings. I think it was a very interesting idea but not very well executed. Although it was advertised as an official experiment of a Professor from Oxford it was merely a marketing gag. And believe me guys, I just deleted a whole paragraph describing the experiment situation in every detail and analysing the biases from my point of view… Yes, I do miss university sometimes.

fortune tellerOk, anyway, as it was getting chilly we decided to head home, but uh-oh, a nasty amusement arcade jumped in our way! And so we more or less successfully fought some zombie pirates, rocked guitar hero and asked a fortune teller for our luck before we finally called it a day and went home. If I wake up tomorrow as an adult, I blame it on the fortune teller 😉

XX, Angie

Look at the webpage, I really like the the colours!
http://www.streetsofspain.com/