i heart frankie (and my sister)

Whoo-hoo!  My sister is in town for the week.  She received word that she'd passed all her uni exams and hot-footed it onto a plane and arrived on Monday night.  As well as bringing lots of hugs and boundless energy she packed in her bag the latest edition of frankie.  If you don't know frankie I highly recommend you check it out.  I've spent the last few hours devouring every, single page of goodness.  I even read the 'dear frankie' section where one eloquent lady said "... I finished frankie feeling that the world is an amazing and inspiring place and that I am just fine as I am."  Kudos for a magazine making you feel good about yourself and inspiring you to create, listen, dance, laugh and genuinely enjoy life.  I *heart* frankie.  

I also *heart* my sister, Elle.  And in celebration of her arrival we ventured to one of Berlin's beach bars lastnight.  Good times all round.  Roll on summer...

etsy love : ruffles and bows

I'm a bit obsessed with frills, ruffles and bows at the moment.  I'd love to be able to wear a cute summer dress with ruffles and bows, but sadly I think it would just look silly.  Or at least, I'd feel silly wearing them.  But on a bag?  On a bag, I could definitely do.  

All found on etsy.



Summer has finally arrived in Berlin!  I'm soaking up the heat and loving the street life, made all the more exciting by the World Cup.  Germany played on Sunday, did you see the game?  I think half of Berlin saw it sitting out on the street, drinking beer and eating ice-cream.  Next weekend - Germany vs Argentina.  It's going to be a big one...


Clickin Moms

clickin' Moms

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will have noticed that my interest in photography has grown exponentially since I moved to Berlin.  I've always liked photography, but this year it has grown from a passing interest into somewhat of a passion.  I'm almost never without my camera, you know, "just in case".  As Matthias sits down to watch the world cup, I sit down to edit photos, look at photoblogs and play around on Photoshop. 

I've also joined a few internet photography communities, one of them being Clickin' Moms.  I'm not pregnant but I'm assured that you don't have to be a "Mom" to join.  I've spent the last few hours browsing around their site and it offers lots of friendly, helpful information, tutorials and forums for photographers of every level.  Until July 2nd they're offering a discount on membership, click the link, sign up and use the coupon code FRIEND at checkout, they get 10% off any subscription, or coupon code LOVECM for 20% off a lifetime subscription.  

Oh, and if you don't like it you can get your money back within 30 days.

sacher torte

Firstly, thank you to everyone who read my post on Friday and commented.  I feel like I should say something else more eloquent or prophetic but everything I write sounds insincere or a little false.  So instead I'll just leave it at 'thanks'.  It meant a lot.

This weekend we received a delicious (and edible) package in the mail from Vienna.   A Sacher Torte!  I had no idea you could sent foodstuff in the mail, but our little chocolate cake arrived in pristine condition.  After deciding that it was only appropriate to have our cake for breakfast on Saturday morning, Matthias and I had what turns out to be a fairly common conversation around our house.

M*: I suppose you don't want me to throw the box out?
C: No
M: And what do you think you'll do with it?
C: It's pretty, we can't throw it out
M: But what will you do with it?
C: I don't know, I'll think of something
M: We don't need it
C: But it's pretty
M: So we're keeping it?
C: Yes

*To get the full impact of this conversation you have to imagine a fairly thick Austrian accent for M.  

Turns out that I was able to find a use for it sooner than I imagined.  It's currently housing my latest paper goodies waiting for a project that I'm currently playing around with in my head.  There's also a few granny squares tucked away for something I might get finished this week.


ears and eyes and mouth and nose

Health, or ability, in this case is a strange thing.  You never really appreciate it is there until it's not.  I suppose this is the case with most things, but somehow it seems all the more so with health.  You take it for granted.  It is.  It always has been.  And mostly, you think, it always will be.  And then, quite unexpectedly, it disappears and all of a sudden your left with a gaping hole where once something was, which you never really even noticed before, but  now it is not.   
For the last two weeks I've been partially deaf in my left ear.  Moderately-severe according to Google.  My Ear, Nose and Throat doctor didn't tell me this, but I saw my audiogram and then googled what it meant.  I have become the patient I used to despise - googling for answers that, for whatever reason, my doctor chose not to answer.  But I digress.  What I thought was a fairly normal, albeit severe, middle ear infection ended up leaving a mark on my inner ear (the bit that does the hearing). I knew that something was wrong, but it was only confirmed on Monday when I had my first audiogram.  Essentially I had lost the ability to hear high frequency tones in my left ear. 
But what did this actually mean?  Most obviously, and ironically, it meant that everything low pitched sounded louder as my brain registered low tones and not high.  I found walking along the street an overwhelming experience - too much noise and the traffic sounded different - I was no longer able to hear the tell-tale clatter of trams passing, car engines sounded like a deafening rumble.  I would look at people having a conversation on the street and only hear half their words.  At home I couldn't hear the water boiling on the stove.  When having a conversation I would purposely stand to the left of the group so that my right ear (the good ear) could do the listening.  I struggled to hear conversations when there was any background music. 
So on Monday I embarked on a salvage attempt.  A daily anaesthetic infusion which aims to 'quieten' the sympathetic nervous system and allow the inner ear time to heal.  Every day this week I have woken up and wondered if my ear has healed.  I've listened for the water boiling on the stove, analysed the sound of the traffic on my way to work.  I have been grateful that it is "just" my hearing, and not my balance, or my sight.  I have pondered what it would be like to live like this, forever.  I have, on occasion, wished, that everyone could experience this loss to know what it is to hear.  Really hear.  I have also paid attention to my other senses - my eyes, touch, taste and been grateful that they are there without knowing what it is to loose them.

Yesterday, I thought I heard the trams and I smiled. 
Today, this morning, I had another audiogram.  The ringing in my ear remains, but my hearing has improved, neigh, it is almost normal again.  

My health is back and I couldn't be happier.

Have a lovely weekend. ox

All images from www.weheartit.com - 1. Guilhemabarf  2. Brock Lefferts 3. JeanBroc 4.Sophie


you capture : get down low


These beautiful, white flowers are carpeting our balcony boxes this week.  Each bloom lasts only 24 hours - by morning they are finished.  Close-up, and from below, they remind me of curtains blowing in the wind.

If you're interested in seeing what everyone else has been doing this week, follow the link.

I am woman

Yesterday Australia swore in it's first female Prime Minister.  Julia Gillard, welcome to the top job.  

I heard Julia Gillard speak once, long before she was deputy or shadow anything.  She was good.  She'd done her homework, knew her audience, understood our issues.  She stood out from the other politicians.  I liked her.  First impressions tend to stick and I think she'll be good for the job.  Here's hoping that she'll continue to talk politics and the media will continue to listen and we won't see a replay of superficial discussions about her hair-cut, wardrobe and decision not to have children.

a poem on thursday: to see the summer sky

To see the Summer Sky, by Emily Dickinson
To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie --
True Poems flee -- 

This photo reminds me of the clouds you see in the big masterpieces hanging in the galleries around europe.  Big, stormy, summer skies framing scenes from the Spanish Conquesta.  Photography, poetry, paintings. sigh.


feeding time

"Feeding Time"

Based on some very nice comments on my blog, conversations and overwhelming pats-on-the-back, I decided to have another play around with mixed-media.  

This time last year I was preparing to move to Botswana.  I was to spend a year there doing research with a celebrated research group.  I was pretty stoked about the opportunity and while quietly cautious about how it would 'be', excitedly thought that it would be a wonderful 12 months of adventure, learning and fun.  Three months later I was back in europe.  What went wrong?  Many things.  Wrong job. Wrong time. Wrong place.  I spent three months staring down a chasm of everything that was 'wrong' with "Africa" (sic).  It made me cynical and jaded long before most ex-pats get over the honeymoon romance of sunsets and servants. It made me question my research, the aid industry and fundamentally question the role of the white man in africa.   I haven't talked about it much except to say that it 'wasn't good'.  'Feeding Time' is my tribute to those three months and what I learned.


etsy love

I thought I had well and truly left my crochet mojo behind with the potholders, but it seems that it's back.  You see, I've seen a few crochet "adorned" clothes popping up here and there in the shops this summer.  Every time I  see them, I hear a little voice in my head saying "You know, you could make something like that.  You could buy a plain t-shirt and crochet a few bits and pieces , sew it together and 'Prest-o'.  It - you - would look fabulous (darling). And everyone would ask you where you'd bought your t-shirt and you'd be able to say you made it. More fabulous-ness (sweetie)."  It's usually at this point that grumble-bum, negative Clare steps in and protests away loudly with disclaimers about it taking too long, not having enough time, it looking silly in the end etc etc etc.  Thankfully the celestial stars must be favouring my positive vibes because I've been checking out what's on Etsy.  I've even gone so far as to delve into my statsh and made a couple of little crochet circles. If I keep this up it's possible, maybe, I might have a t-shirt by the end of summer.



Such a lovely, sleepy weekend filled with watching football, playing petanque and drinking beer in the shady beer gardens that are filled with soccer fans at the moment.  With another loss to Australia this weekend, I'm thinking about jumping on the German bandwagon.  What do you think?


thoughts are free

Translation : Thoughts are Free

A quiet post this morning.  This weekend there's more World Cup watching planned, drinks and dinner with friend's from Vienna, brunch on Sunday and a bit more resting before I start back at work again on Monday.  

The photo is completely unrelated - a little bit of meditation to take you into the weekend.  


You Capture: Water


The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) quietly sits on the banks of the Spree.  Like so much of Berlin it is an enigma.  A catholic-looking church of baroque style, built by protestant Kings, with state money, for an evangelical congregation.  It was supposed to be a counter-point to the Vatican's Basilica, but I think more likely, built to surpass with the magestic New Synagogue built by Berlin's Jewish community a few hundred metres up the Spree.  If you look closely you can still see bullet holes in the walls, memories of the battles waged at the closing of World War II.  

On a summer evening it's the perfect place to stop and gaze, chat and watch the sunset over the water.

If you want to see what everyone else has been up to this week in You Capture, follow the link.