Where is the journey going?

July 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

hamburg elbtunnel

The entrance to the Elbtunnel at Hamburg harbour

Hello! It’s hot here at the moment, the whole week it’s been over 30 degrees celcius (86 F) and I’m feeling the effects of it – hot and bothered! I feel like I really can’t concentrate on anything either at work or at home and it seems like balancing keeping on top of things at work along with a relatively clean home, nutritous meals, being washed and looking put together is becoming more than a bit overwhelming. I discussed it with my behavioural therapist, who recommended strongly that I come home from work on time. No if’s or but’s. And although it will be hard sometimes, so far so good. This weekend has been a lazy one, just what I needed. Setting clear boundaries is something I struggle with.

I need some time to get myself together for leaving my current job (which is becoming more urgent) and getting a mid to long-term plan for where I’m going to go in general. I’m slowly getting the courage to making the first steps to getting out of here and developing more of a concrete anti-anxiety plan for myself including much more exercise and free time.

Other than that I have been trying to eat paleo for the last two weeks to try and fit more comfortably into my clothes. I’ll do it for a month. I notice a small difference already but do struggle with breakfast in particular because I don’t always have leftover meat or fish and I seem to be going through eggs like nobody’s business. Today I made paleo pancakes, enough for 4 people but we ate them all in one sitting! LOL!

DIY plant feeder – worked for 2 weeks!

July 13, 2014 § 1 Comment

DIY plant feeder in a pinch!

While chatting to Lois at her Livingsimplyfree blog I got inspired to have a go at making my own plant feeder. Last year I asked a friend to feed my plants and my milk kefir, and not getting into the details too much, I really felt like I was imposing on her. So this year I thought I would try this, or just get some new plants.

Keeping in mind I don’t own SO many plants, this did work for our two week holiday – even my delicate basil plant lived! I thought I would share what I did. I used:
– 1 lasagne tray
– A couple of squares of damp kitchen roll (line the tray first with a few layers and pour on some water enough to hold it
– then I poured on about a centimeter to two centimetres of water
– and covered with couple of clear plastic bags

I couldnt believe my eyes when my basil plant was still living when I returned! Actually it’s doing pretty well :)

Hope this is useful to somebody!

Austria and Switzerland Driving Adventure

July 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

austria, alps, hiking, teichschnitzertal wandern, berg

Hello! I’m back from our Austrian-Swiss adventure and it was so wonderful! All in all we travelled about 3,000km in 2 weeks, through 4 different countries (Germany via Fuessen in Bavaria), Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. We could have easily dropped into Italy from Austria, but were trying to keep our car travel to a minimum and have more time to enjoy the places we stayed.


We saw fireflies and danced with a man in Lederhosen in Füssen, hiked in the countryside around Kals am Grossglockner and stayed at this wonderful B&B that I can’t recommend enough. On thursdays in a little watermill abotu 10 minutes hike from the guesthouse into the forest, traditional-style fresh baked bread is served. We regretted not staying here longer – not just for the bread but because it was so relaxing and there was so much to do.
In Switzerland it rained a lot but enjoyed the famous Interlaken area  and saw some spectacular views and even some strange wildlife (beetles and bugs). « Read the rest of this entry »

Elderflower Cordial

June 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Elderflower Cordial

The recipe made enough to fill this bottle of Havana Club and also a half a small 300ml glass bottle too! And boy is it strong!

Rügen Elderflower-lime Cordial

June 22, 2014 § 2 Comments

Lime and Elderflower Cordial

Hello everyone!

I’m just back from a wonderful weekend on the island of Rügen in former East Germany. I brought back some Elderflower from our travels. Last year I had grand plans last year to make some cordial but I couldnt get any elderflowers from a non-roadside source (too many toxins). This year I got the last blossoms from a beautiful coastal walk directly at the Baltic sea. It was such a wonderful, secluded spot, I can already imagine myself sipping on a glass of elderflower syrup with some fizzy mineral water and a sprig of mint, remembering the calm, quiet walks along the coast.

 

Here is the recipe from my blog post from last year. I switched lemons for limes because that is what I had in my fruit bowl. When it is made and strained I will post a photo of how it comes out, I’m super excited already!

Below are a few photos of Binz, Rügen. Rügen is the largest German island and I would certainly go back, next time for some camping. There was a campsite right next to the hotel which was near to a lovely quiet walkway with easy access to the sea for swimming. I cant find anything listed on any website for it, but I will try to contact the hotel to see if they can give me the info to keep.

Promenade, Binz, RügenThe beach at Binz

 

We’re now in full holiday mood and looking forward to next weekend when we drive down to Füssen on the German border in the South in Bavaria where we will set of on a 2 week driving holiday of Austria and Switzerland.

Here is our route:

I have so much to prepare! have a wonderful week!

 

 

Last Week in Denmark

May 11, 2014 § 2 Comments

Our Hut

Hi folks! And welcome to Mel for following my little blog!

Last weekend was the May Day long weekend and back in February I booked us a hytte or hut in Denmark.

We drove to the island of Orø, which requires a ferrytrip to get there (about 200 kr for a car and two people return). The island is located in the Isefjord and there is a lot of bird and wildlife and a nice coastal route to follow around the island for long walks. The perfect escape for peace and quiet, and the weather was fresh but sunny. I didn’t take my camera for the walks, sorry! I was really enjoying being “offline” :)

We invited two friends and we had a wonderful time together. You can see our barbecue was out the front, but the first day it was far too cold to bbq, so we opted for some ravoli cooked on the hob!

We drove over the Great Eastern Belt bridge rather than taking the ferry from Puttgarden to Roedby. The toll for the bridge came to a whopping €63, but they did take visa and it was easy and quick. Perhaps it would have been cheaper to take the ferry! In any case it’s an amazing bridge, 18km long.

The rest of our break was very relaxing. The only thing that wasn’t so relaxing was that there is no ATM on the island that will dispense cash using a visa card, in case you need a topup on groceries/need a ferry ticket back. Luckily we had just enough kroner to scrape together the bill and had brought plenty of groceries to cover us! (Lesson learned from our last trip to Denmark!)

To be out in nature really recharges the ole batteries, and my boyfriend and I are now seriously considering updating our humble tent and turning our summer holiday into an all-out camp challenge which we have never done before :S

Campsite main building

This is the main building of the campsite, there is a well-equiped kitchen inside.

Wind Energy on the Great Eastern Belt Bridge

Driving on the Great Eastern Belt Bridge

Driving the Great Eastern Belt Bridge, Denmark

Strawberry, Raspberry and Apple loose-set crockpot jam

April 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

strawberry rhubarb jam in the crockpot

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at making a small amount of jam in the crock pot. It came out kind of loose-set (thick but not syrup-y). Still better than shop-bought jam and the ingredients all together cost less than €1.50! That made two jars and a bit.

I put in

  • a punnet of strawberries
  • a stick of rhubarb
  • a grated apple (for the natural pectin – could probably put in two apples for a firmer set)
  • a cup and a half of regular white sugar
  • a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon

And let it cook on high in the slow cooker for about 4 hours or so. After the four hours, I smashed up the fruit a little more evenly and poured it into the hot clean jars. I had some on bread this morning for breakfast with a cup of tea and it tasted very good.

Still the best strawberry jam I ever tasted was given to me as a present from a friend of mine called Sarah. She cooks hers in some Prosecco (sparkling white wine). If you have any of that going spare, I would strongly suggest throwing it in! Do you make strawberry jam? Do you have some special ingredient you like to throw in there? Or do you prefer to keep it simple?

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