Sunday, September 21, 2014

Work, Leaving Parties and University Shopping

A lot of my time since I came back from Germany has been spent working, which is good because it means I have a nice amount of money saved up for University. And as part time jobs go, mine really isn't too bad. I work in quite a small pub/restaurant, and all the other people who work there are really nice.

One of the girls at work is in her second year of Uni, and so when she left to go back to Uni the other day, we had a little leaving party on the beach. It was really nice - there was a bonfire, and music, and alcohol of course (which I may have drunk a little too much of).

Speaking of leaving parties, one of my friends is off to start Uni today(!), so on Wednesday I went out with a few of my friends for cocktails. It was meant to be a birthday celebration for another of my friends as well, but unfortunately she couldn't make it as she was ill. It was a great evening anyway. We sipped our cocktails and chatted, and then I went back to my friends house and watched The Great British Bake Off. It was strange to say goodbye in the morning, knowing that we won't see each other again until Christmas, and that the next time we do see each other our lives will be completely different.

As well as working and occasionally meeting up with friends, I have been doing lots of shopping for things for University. Who knew that I would get excited about buying mugs and kitchen utensils? There is now a huge pile of stuff in the corner of my room, and I'm not really sure where to put it. There's only one week to go now though (how exciting is that?!), so I guess I should probably start packing it all up soon. Knowing me I will probably leave it all til the night before, and then panic and end up forgetting something really important.

As well as buying actual useful things such as pots and pans and bedding etc. for university, I have also been buying quite a few fancy dress items. the reason for this is that the first week of University in the UK (called freshers week) is basically just a week of parties, many of which require fancy dress. If anyone looked at my Amazon purchase history they would probably think I was very strange - the last two things I bought were a cowboy hat and a viking helmet!

I hope you enjoyed this little ramble.

Freya x

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Sunshine Award

Gosh, I haven't been posting much lately, have I? Anyway, I'll skip all the apologies and excuses and say a big thank you to Rhiannon  for nominating me for the sunshine award!

The rules are:
  1. State 5 facts about yourself
  2. Answer the 5 questions received
  3. Create 5 new questions and nominate more bloggers for the award
Ok, so 5 facts about me:
  1. My favourite films as a child were Pippi Longstocking and The Secret Garden
  2. As a child I was also obsessed with the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. My brothers and I would always order Ginger Beer because that was what they always drank in the books. They also ate lots of Corned Beef sandwiches, but fortunately we never ate those. 
  3. At the moment I am extremely excited, but also a little bit nervous, about starting University at the end of September. 
  4. Everyone at work always makes fun of me for being rubbish at driving, just because I forgot to turn my headlights on once when I was giving someone a lift... 
  5. Whenever I can't sleep I always seem to end up buying really random things on Amazon
My answers to the Questions:
  1. What's the last book you read, and your thoughts on it? The last book I read was 'Summer in the City' by Candace Bushnell, which is the second Carrie Diaries book. It is a prequel to Sex and the City, which I have not actually read. I absolutely loved the main character in the books - 17 year old Carrie Bradshaw. She was relatable, and real, and a little bit crazy in a way that made the book amusing and unpredictable. You never know what situation Carrie will get herself into next.     
  2. What's your favourite quote/saying? This is so difficult, there are so many quotes that I love but for some reason I can't think of any at the moment! I love this one from Looking for Alaska: "We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken". I also love this one from Paper Towns: "I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is."
  3. When are you at your happiest? I would have to say maybe when I'm at the beach with friends. It always feels so chilled and I'm always so happy, whether we are sunbathing during the day or having a party or a bonfire in the evening. 
  4. What is your party trick/unusual talent? I don't actually think I have one
  5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?  In 10 years time I will be 28, and honestly I really don't know how I see my life going. Maybe I'll be married and maybe I'll have a child (or children). Maybe I'll be living in the countryside somewhere, or maybe I'll be living in the city. I could be living in a whole different country, a different continent even. Who knows.  
My nominees:

  1. Imogen from Imogen Scribbles
  2. Ellen from Wanderlust

My Questions:

  1. What are you looking forward to at the moment?
  2. (I'm going to steal this one from Rhiannon) When are you at your happiest?
  3. What is your favourite book, and why?
  4. Are you a morning person?
  5. Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly?
Thank you again to Rhiannon for nominating me, and I really am sorry it took me so long to write this post. 

Freya x 

Monday, August 4, 2014

July Favourites

I have to say I am pretty sad to see the end of July. July was probably the best month of the year so far. I spent most of it in Germany, where I got up to tons of fun things, and then the last few days of July were spent at home with my family and my cousin who lives in Holland. We even managed to fit in a two day trip to thorpe park (a big theme park in the UK). Anyway, lets get on with my favourites from this month.

More Than This by Patrick Ness
I was given this book as a birthday present, and was really pleased to receive it, since I remembered thinking about buying it a couple of times while I was browsing Waterstones. I really enjoyed it, and it is very well written. I would definitely recommend it.
I won't give too much a way, in case any of you are thinking of reading it, but basically what happens is that at the beginning of the book a boy drowns. He then wakes up somewhere else, where it seems as though there is no-one but him.



Hot Chocolate
It took me a while to remember how to say 'hot chocolate' in German, but now that I know what it is I have been drinking so much. If you're wondering what it is, it is "heisse schokolade", which should have been obvious really, since that is literally the words hot and chocolate translated. You never know though, because in Dutch it is "warme chocolademelk", which translates to warm chocolate milk (although you probably already worked that out for yourselves).

Catfish the TV show
My cousin introduced me to this TV show, and it has been on a lot lately. People who have been talking to someone online get in contact with the guy from the catfish movie (which I haven't actually seen), and then he helps them to find out if the person is real. It is pretty entertaining.

I think that is all for this months favourites, I hope that you all enjoyed July as much as I did.

Freya x



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goodbye Germany

On Saturday I am going to be leaving Germany and heading back to the UK. I can't believe how fast time has gone, and I am going to be so sad to go. There are so many things I will miss - my host family, the city, practicing my German, my fellow au pair friend, the amazing ice cream shops... I could go on and on.

I have had an amazing time here. I have not only had massive amounts of fun, but I have also gained a lot from the experience. I was out with my friend today, and she said that she thinks I have become much less shy - something which I definitely agree with. We have only known each other a few weeks - we met when I started au pairing - but I think that this just shows how much more confident I have become.

Moving to another country, even if only for a few weeks, has been really good for me. And I would urge anyone reading this to do something similar. Not necessarily going off to another country, but just to step out of your comfort zone, do something new, go on an adventure.

Freya x

Monday, July 14, 2014

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Yesterday I decided to introduce my host family here in Germany to the most classic of British cakes: the victoria sandwich cake. I made it with my host kid, and despite me making up quantities myself, it turned out really well. Normally you would have two layers of cake sandwiched together, with cream or buttercream and jam or fruit. But we chose to do four layers. It was huge, and cutting it without it toppling over proved to be quite a task.


Ingredients:

400g caster sugar (or 300g caster sugar and 100g Brown sugar - this is what we used, and I think that the Brown sugar was really nice in it)
400g butter
400g plain flour
6 eggs
1 sachet vanilla powder (I don't know what this is actually called, but we couldn't find vanilla extract so used this instead. Obviously you could use 1tsp vanilla extract).
1 sachet baking powder
A splash of milk

400ml double cream
Strawberries

Method:

1. Cream the butter and sugar. This will be easier if the butter is soft, and if you cut it up into smaller chunks. 
2. Add the eggs and half the flour, and whisk until they are mixed in. 
3. Add the rest of the flour and whisk. 
4. If the mixture is too thick add a bit of milk, and mix again. Continue doing this, until it looks about the right thickness. 
5. Add the baking powder an vanilla, and mix. 
6. Divide the mixture between four cake tins. We only had two, so we did two rounds of cooking. 
7. Cook at 175 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. A skewer inserted into the cake should come out clean. 

8. Leave the cakes to cool. While you are waiting, whip the cream and chop the strawberries. 
9. Once the cakes are cool, spread cream onto the first cake, and then put strawberries on top. Put the next cake on top and then do the same. 
10. Sprinkle a bit of icing sugar on top of the top cake


Freya x



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nordic Walking and the Opera

Today was a day of firsts - my first day off (as an au pair), trying nordic walking for the first time, and my first trip to the opera. If you don't know what Nordic walking is - I didn't either - you basically just walk normally, but with a pole in each hand (they remind me a bit of ski poles) which I am still not entirely sure what you are supposed to do with. My host mum goes every week with a group of five other people, and she asked me if I wanted to come along. We went for a one and a half hour walk, but it really didn't feel that long, and it was really nice because I got to see some areas that I hadn't been to yet. We walked up to this huge park, and I definitely want to go back to take some photos because it was so pretty. 

This evening I went to the see an opera called rigoletto. It wasn't the full thing though, it was the "kostprobe", which is sort of like a dress rehearsal before the opening night, which they let people go to. I looked up what it was about beforehand, which was good since all the singing was in Italian so I didn't understand a thing. I can barely understand opera in English. I still enjoyed it though, and it was really nice to have an evening out. 

I hope that everyone is having a good summer (unless you are still at school - in which case, poor you).

Freya x

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sometimes the Internet can be an amazing thing

As you may know, I am au pairing in Germany at the moment. I have been here a week, and so far I am really enjoying it. My host family are great and I am in a lovely area. The only problem is that I haven't met any other au pairs, or anyone else my own age. Until today that is.

I posted in an au pair Facebook group to see if there were any other au pairs nearby, and found a girl who is in a town about 40 minutes a way. Meeting up with people who you have met on the internet is one of those things that parents and teachers always tell you not to do. I ignored these warnings, and we made plans to meet at the main train station of the city that I am in.

There was a slightly awkward 'are you the person I am supposed to be meeting?' moment at the beginning, but after that it was a really day. Unfortunately the weather was not great, but we still had a good time wandering around the shops, sitting in Starbucks and chatting. We also managed to get a little bit lost on the tram, but when there are two of you, getting lost can be pretty amusing.

Freya x