Too Hard to Keep

Do you have any photos that are just too hard to keep? Jason Lazarus has started a blog and respository for all those photos that are just too hard to hold onto. Any theme, any memory. The photos will be stored away in Chicago so that they may exist without being destroyed. And you never have to look at them again. The blog is an interesting peak into the unknown world of other people's "too hard to keep" box. And it got me thinking about my own little collection... what would be in yours?



Thank you to everyone who complimented my fine "making skills" on Friday. I'm pleased to say that the making continued through the weekend, but, with a little encouragement, I did also manage to venture out and see the world.  

On Saturday night we ventured down to Wannsee for what should have been a balmy mid-summer nights Summer Party. Unfortunately the weather man didn't agree. It was very chilly and with rain threatening no one stayed very long. We stayed just long enough for me to become mesmorised by the clouds before scampering back to central Berlin and watching Biutiful. Well, Matthias watched it and I fell asleep on the couch, but there's nothing new in that.

Other than that expedition there was a trip to Schloss Charlottenburg and the consumption of about 3 kilos of stone fruit - cherries, peaches, mangoes, apricots. I'm eating fruit with everything and anything - breakfast, lunch and dinner and quite often multiple times in between too. Everything is in peak season and I can't get enough!


I make things

I've been told that some women start cleaning towards the end of their pregnancy. Do strange things like get down on their hands and knees and scrub floors, clean the windows or reorganise the basement storage. Not me, although I have thought about how nice it'd be to have clean windows and a polished floor. It's just that I don't want to do it. I'm too preoccupied. I'm making things. It started with a few bibs and some burp clothes and quickly extended to blankets, change mats, hats, pants and of course, little knitting cardigans. 

My patience and reserve for the act of making seems limitless.  No time for all the other things I was going to do with my maternity leave like, ahem, taking photos of summer in Berlin, visit all the museums that have been on my "list" since we moved here two years ago or sorting out my archive of photos and creating a photo album of the last two years.  No, no, no, as soon as I think I might be "done" with my making for a little while, another idea pops into my head. Of course the Bean needs a hat to go with the cardigan or another little blanket or something red or...

I'm 37 weeks today. The Bean is officially ripe and it's anyone's guess when s/he might decided to join us. So if it's a little light-on around these parts it's either because I'm consumed with making things or the Bean has got impatient and decided to come a little early. 

Either way, wishing you all a lovely weekend. 



I'm a little late in posting today. The day seems to have got away from me. I all of a sudden realised that it's almost 'thinking about dinner time' really before I've had a chance to think I've started the day at all!

We spent a lovely weekend in Vienna attending a quite traditional Austrian wedding. The reception was at the Kunsthistorisches Museum and we were lucky enough to be able to take a guided tour through the new Duerer, Cranach and Holbein exhibition. I don't usually like 1500s paintings but a lot of the portraits in the exhibition were of couples, painted to celebrate their nuptials and I got quite caught up in the moment imagining these new pairs embarking on their lives together. Matthias and I also got a chance to practice some of our new dancing skills. The consensus is that we're much better than we were in January, but still need a lot of practice. Especially in managing to avoid banging into other people. Ahem.
Sunday morning we were back on the train again and 10 hours later, back in Berlin. Lots of time spent reading, snoozing, knitting and enjoying drinks in the dining car.



It's strawberry season here. Lots of little strawberry stands like these here are lining the streets and the Brandenburg strawberries bought from these stalls are unbelievably good. They smell so, so sweet and the taste is incredible. I bought a kilo to make jam and ended up eating half of them before they'd even been washed and hulled.  Oops! Back to the stall, another 500g, a few lemons and half an hour later I had... strawberry syrup. The jam didn't set. Bother. Anyone have any tips? Nevermind, it's delicious syrup and will be perfect with my yogurt in the morning, but I really was looking forward to thick, strawberry jam on my toast.

So domestic diva-like people who are good at preserves and jams. What are your tips for jam making? It needs to be a recipe that uses natural pectin as I can't find the packet stuff in the shops.
Beautiful Bite


Let Summer In

 Summer's are short in Berlin. Air-conditioning seems a bit of an over-kill when there's only a few weeks of the year when it'll be truly useful. Instead as the temperatures rise, windows and doors open and life is lived on the street. It's something that I've come to really enjoy about this time of the year. With my balcony door open I can hear our Kiez waking up. Someone is practising their Piano scales, down on the street a child is crying - probably having fallen off his bike and a man's laughter wafts in from somewhere else. Big belly laughs that make me want to know the joke.
 Let Summer in
I took this photo the other day while waiting for a artist to talk at the Based in Berlin exhibition. The talk was, unfortunately, incredibly disappointing. The same could be said for much of the exhibition. Oh well, at least I got a photo that represents summer in Berlin!



This is what I've just snuck away from to write this post - a glorious summer morning and my lovely European man sunning himself in his dressing-gown. On any given day, you can see half a dozen men sitting on their balcony doing the same. Matthias doesn't quite understand why I find it so curious and, well, funny. But it does make me smile. Everytime.

So the weekend is continuing here on into Monday. A lazy sunny day full of reading and snoozing and generally enjoying life's pleasures. To which I must shortly return. But not before a few pictures from last night's evening spent on the banks of the Spree.



I discovered this little spot on one of my walks this week. It's Cafe am Neuensee in Tiergarten. It's a little fairytale oasis in the middle of Tiergarten where you can rent boats and drink beer (what else!). It's actually quite a popular summer drinking spot and hardly unknown, but it was a first for me. Won't be the last time though. Think there are another few afternoons left where I can read and drink Apfelschorle and Alcohol-free Beer beside this lake before July comes around. Yes, I'm quite getting used to this 'growing baby' business!

This weekend is another long weekend around here but think it'll be a quiet one for us. Matthias is still working hard trying to rid the world of dangerous food-borne pests, which for him means another weekend spent at work. Don't envy him really. Meanwhile I'm planning on taking a break from ticking things off my "to-do" list and getting back to the important business of relaxing pre-baby. 

How about you? I know Australia is celebrating a royal Birthday and a few other catholic countries must be celebrating WhitSunday. Does anyone have any exciting plans?


Fleamarket Finds


It's been a while since I visited a Flohmarkt in Berlin, but last weekend the weather was perfect and with a Sunday afternoon to myself I took the opportunity to do a little scavenging. Oh, I could have spent hours and hours sifting through all the boxes and rummaging to my hearts delight. The only problem was that I kept finding things that I needed. You know, really needed, as in "my life depends on it, why haven't I had this before?" kind of thing. After only half an hour of pottering I ended up removing my itchy fingers and greedy eyes from all the goodies and went and had an ice-cream. But not without having first bought a Birthday presents or two (got to take the opportunity when it presents!) and this wonderful sewing box.
06_06_sewing box
I had to do some serious haggling with the stall owner to get this to a price that I was willing to pay. He kept telling me about all the lovely things inside, and even though I did take a quick glance inside at the stall, I wasn't really convinced until I got home and conducted a proper inspection. Not only were there buttons and threads and lovely old boxes filled with thimbles and pins, but hidden at the bottom was this Faber Castel tin full of beautiful, tiny (!) crochet and tapestry hooks.
Just to give you some idea about size - that "huge" piece of thread dwarfing the hook is embroidery floss. Even with my macro lens these hooks look teenie-tiny. I'm not likely to ever have the skill to use them but I love them all the same. Some of the hooks are a little old and rusty now, but they truly are beautiful little pieces of handiwork. The wooden handles are smooth with wear and the detailing is beautiful. They really do put the functional, modern variety to shame.


Leonardo's Elephant

I think I can
This is possibly the cutest thing that I've made in a little while. It's Susan B. Anderson's Elefant. A link to the pattern is here, ravelry page here.  Yes, it was a little fiddlie at times, but so worth it once it's all sewn up and sitting on a little pile of books... or your bump, as the case may be.
Leonardo's elephant
As the name of the post says, this little one is destined for a Leonardo in Turino, Italy where it's a little too hot in the summer to be dressing babies in anything other than nappies and a singlet. Some other handmade goodie was in order and this little softie seemed to fit the bill perfectly. The only problem is that now that he's all sewn up and looking so dandy I'm a little reluctant to give him away.  It's quite possible they'll be another one of these made in the not so distant future - one which will be only too happy to stay at play with my bump in Berlin.
the bump
Oh, and I know these pictures are perhaps a little riskque. Lacy underwear! Bare bump! Dear me!?! But honestly, an elephant climbing a bump is also pretty cute and I couldn't resist. More info and pictures (of the elephant, not the bump) can be found on my ravelry page.



Well, I'm only a few days late with this and it somehow seems appropriate to be kicking off my maternity leave by posting about Relaxation. Do you remember how I issued that challenge at the beginning of May? Did anyone else feel up to joining in?

I actually found this a lot harder than I first thought. Five photos around one theme in one month. Surely not too challenging... You'd think. I umm'd and ahh'd and procratinated and thought and pondered and did very little picture taking. But here it is - my response to Relaxation. Quite early in the month I decided to focus on how people in Germany tend to gravitate to outside spaces when the weather is sunny, which led to reading in parks, which led to reading the news. I somehow found this an interesting juxtaposition - we read the news to stay informed and yet apparently it's a wonderful way to relax as well! 
So... not my five best photos of all time. But five photos on the theme with ample wiggle room to improve.

If you also played around with the theme relaxation this month, leave a comment and a link to your blog/flickr/instagram site. I'm really excited and curious to see what other people came up with. If you want to join me for the month of June I've decided that I'm going to be exploring "Hands".

June: Hands