This blog of mine as been sadly neglected. I keep meaning to get around to updating it and being more consistent with it, but adjusting to our new life in Germany has been harder for me than I maybe naively anticipated. That, on top of work/house/puppy responsibilities just piling up, it seems like this is always at the bottom of my never-ending to-do list. But anyways, in an effort to be more consistent, I thought I would start an information “Ten Thoughts” post, where I post ten random thought on life lately each week, accompanied by whatever pictures I grabbed on my extremely old, dangersouly cracked iPhone (I do keep meaning to repair it, but honestly Bao either knocks it off a surface or off me every couple weeks, and my phone is so old they don’t make cases for it anymore, so it’s kind of hard to justify fixing it. I usually cave when bits of glass start getting stuck in my fingers….).
I was the one who pushed this move to Germany, to fill a desire I always had to live in Europe. The first few months were really hard for many different reasons, and I think because I had such high expectations for it, that only added more heaviness to how I as feeling. But ever since we came back after being home for Thanksgiving, things have really started to feel a lot better. This past weekend was the best one so far in Hannover. On Saturday morning we took our bikes and rode to the Farmer’s Market in List. I bought my bike before we even arrived here, and it was my first time riding it! We even got a basket attached to the front that we can put Bao in. We did almost all of our grocery shopping for the week at the market, and at the end bought some homemade apple pie from an 87 year old German woman, and ate it right there at a coffee stall in the market. It was delicious! While walking back to our bikes, I spotted a group of elderly men and women enjoying a glass of champagne on the sidewalk. It just looked so lovely I told Zane we needed to follow their lead and stop for a glass of champagne, so we did. Apple pie and champagne for breakfast, truly an extraordinary start to the weekend. These were the kinds of Saturdays I dreamed of us having while living Europe, and it was perfect.
One of the things I love most about Hannover is the farmers markets. Every day of the week, there is a farmers market in a different neighbourhood. In our neighbourhood it happens on Fridays, and is literally just down the street. You can get the obvious stuff like fresh, local and organic produce, meat and cheese. There is also this homemade pasta stall that sells the best homemade pasta. Seriously it is so good, I get some every time we are at the market. There are also fresh flowers, and now that Christmas is approaching, more decorations appearing. There are always some coffee stalls too where people will sit down, have a coffee and enjoy a waffle or pastry in-between their shopping.
It’s now getting dark so early here. Like 4:30 pm, it’s dark outside, and it’s a weird adjustment. I need to find ways to keep my energy levels up with such short days and long nights. One of the ways I’ve been trying to do this is committing to getting outside in sunlight, being active and meditating for at least 10 minutes every day. I use the app Headspace and love it. For my workouts, I either go for a run around the lake with Bao, or I do the Melissa Wood Health at home workouts and have ordered some small exercise props off amazon to help, like a yoga mat, weights and bands. With a dog, you kind of have to get outside every day so that’s been easy, but now I try to make a point of going out at lunch when the sun is at its peak. I’ve only started this week doing these three things daily, but I do think it makes a different in my energy, mood and productivity. I’m really trying to keep these 3 daily promises to myself and see where it takes me.
Last night our things from Hong Kong finally arrived, 6 months later. It was overwhelming! Our apartment became such a mess and disorganised again with so many boxes to unpack. But Zane, being the best human ever, did the majority of the heavy lifting and cleaning after I called it quits and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, he had cleared out the back of the office (where we had all the boxes stored) and set up my desk for me! I am so grateful he did this for me. It feels amazing to have a proper desk space, in a room that is separate from the rest of the house and meant purely for working. It feels great. I’m sitting here right now and I love it. I cannot wait to set this space up as my home office. He is the best. I am the luckiest.
We live about a 10 minute walk from a big lake here called Maschsee. A walk around the entire perimeter takes about an hour and a half. It’s actually really beautiful, and Bao and I had a particularly gorgeous morning walk there the other week.
We are going to Berlin tonight for the weekend. Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. We didn’t know this when we were planning this trip and only found out yesterday, but it’s made me even more excited to go. I know almost nothing about the Berlin Wall, so I’m especially excited to be going on such a momentous weekend and to learn all about it and see how the city celebrates.
The other weekend we went to Venice to see Zane’s aunt. I hadn’t been to Venice since I was 17, and even then I think it was only for a night. I got to spend 4 days there this time and really soak it in, and I have to say I think it is the most beautiful city in the world (at least that I’ve been to). It almost doesn’t seem real. Sometimes I would see a scene, and think “That looks fake, like a movie set”. But it wasn’t, it’s just Venice. We also had an amazing tour guide and explored many non-touristy parts of Venice.
After finishing Harry Potter, it’s been hard to find a book that grips me as much. I just finished Maya Angelou’s “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, and there is no denying it’s a great book and incredibly well written, but it didn’t have the same hold on me as Harry Potter. I guess maybe it’s not fair to compare the two, they are very different. Don’t get me wrong, I highly appreciate and respect Maya Angelou’s work – she’s beyond talented and is a beautiful writer. But I miss being fully absorbed in another world. I just started reading “Where the Cradads Sing” and have heard amazing reviews, so maybe there’s a world in there I can escape to. By the way, if anyone reading this has any book suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.
This is random, but I just got a one month free Amazon prime membership. It is awesome and makes my life so much easier haha. Maybe after the free month is up I’ll opt to pay for the subscription service.
I’ve been struggling with feeling homesick. I see my sisters and their boyfriends going on double dates, and I feel left out. Last night I asked my sister if she wanted to see The Nutcracker with me when I’m home for Christmas (I am a HUGE fan of the ballet, especially the NBC, and big lover of The Nutcracker. I’m listening to the music right now. I find it so moving and beautiful). She told me she already had plans to go with our other girlfriends. Apparently it was planned back in September. I understand why I wasn’t included, because I live in Germany and they probably thought I wouldn’t be home. But it triggered those feelings of being homesick and missing out on things. I realise though that on the other side of that, Zane and I get to do incredibly things together we wouldn’t be able to do at home – like to go Venice for the weekend, or Berlin this weekend. Theirs pros and cons, and it’s a tradeoff. I don’t think that means I’m not allowed to feel how I feel, but I do fully recognise and understand there is a ying and a yang.