Once A Year, Go Someplace You’ve Never Been Before

It’s Monday, raining, pretty chilly, and my chemistry revision is staring at me across the room. But I have tea and dreams of days of the future when I have the freedom to live out this quote, because my world has so much more to offer than I can ever find:


norwaygreece spain Hungary holland



Christmas Catch-Up/30 Days of Thankful

Merry Christmas!

Yes, let’s just start with the obvious. There seems to have been a lack in posts over the past few weeks. Reason being, Christmas seems to bring out the extreme lazy in me. At the best of times I’m far from energetic but the idea that I have the option of sitting on the sofa all day seems to drain any sort of motivation away pretty damn fast. And who actually even enjoys not doing anything? Seriously, it would be so much more fun to go out and do something, but somehow I’ve ended up on the other side of Christmas without having done much at all (apart from narrowing down the 204 unread posts on Bloglovin’ to 45. Achievement I know.)


Of course there is a rather long list of things I should have done over the Christmas period. January mock exams are creeping up quickly and despite the fact that I’ve been telling myself for the past few weeks that as soon as college breaks up ‘I’ll get down to some extreme revision’, I’ve opened my textbooks three times, at the most. Things will not go well there.


The wedding decorations I made being put to good use as Christmas decorations

But who cares about working! It was Jesus’ birthday and that’s the main thing! We spent the day with my brother and his wife in Nottingham and it may have been my favourite Christmas ever. How can a Christmas not be great when you get a tape measure in your cracker! Highlights included beating thrashing my brother at a game of Checkers, getting Jack Whitehall tickets from my lovely brother, watching my (other) brother and his wife cook their first Christmas dinner together, seeing my dad in a bright pink wig and playing a massive game of nerf-gun-wars with my sister-in-law’s family.

And yes, I’m going to count this as one of my 30 days of thankful because over Christmas Day and Boxing Day I realised that I’m really thankful for my family. That my parents are still happily married and still love to snuggle up on the sofa; that my brother has found a wife who could not be more perfect for him; and that she has opened up a whole new group of relatives that has brought us an even bigger family to love and cherish. So Merry (late) Christmas!

Finally, to highlight that point about loving families, this last picture is one that my dad took. He said he was trying to get a good picture of me but then went on to tell me that my nose is too big and the only way to get a nice photo of me would be if I turned my face away. He’s a charmer. (and a hypocrite, I got that nose from him!)

(P.S. I’ve just noticed, this is our blog’s 200th post! Yay!)



30 Days of Thankful

#3 – Thanksgiving and American friends

I may be thoroughly English, but I do have quite a large number of American friends, which means that every year I celebrate Thanksgiving. Don’t be tricked into thinking that that means that I know what on earth it’s all about though. In fact, I spent a good majority of my study period today, attempting to work it out, but I’m still pretty much none the wiser (though in all honestly, I did get slightly sidetracked into learning about Belarus. Did you know they found some mammoth fossils there?). Something to do with pilgrims?

Anyway, despite the fact that Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday, we decided to live life on the edge and celebrate four days early. So, yesterday was a day filled with turkey, pumpkin pie and some pretty dodgy American impressions. But it’s not the turkey I’m especially thankful for (though it is pretty good), but the fact that even in times where every single news story seems incredibly depressing, people can still get together and celebrate the good parts in their lives and be thankful.

Also, here’s something I uncovered on my Thanksgiving revision. I learnt a lot …


thirty days



Life Lately

The Half Term Edition:

Wait What Homework?!

You may have missed us last week (or if you didn’t please just pretend) because we were living it up on half-term which means, I at least, spent all my time avoiding doing half-term homework, sitting around doing nothing and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians for the whole week, up to the point of Sunday evening when I realised I’d done pretty much none of the 16 pieces of work I’d been set. This led to a secret meltdown out of sight of my parents (who are still under the impression that I’m happily on top of my workload), and an emergency study session this morning during breakfast. I managed to make it to school with the three pieces of work that were set for today (shoddily) completed. How many of those do you think were checked? That’s right. None.

Torquay … T-adventures

There’s nothing better than a bit of awkward alliteration, admit it. Ah and the second one wasn’t even on purpose! I digress. Our family’s annual ‘holiday’ happened last week. I’ve noticed something about holidays as my brothers have left home and my parents have grown older, an that’s that they’re getting shorter and more dull. When we were younger, holidays involved going away for a week or more in caravan, going to beaches and on trains and eating a lot of ice-cream. This holiday consisted of three days in a Travelodge, a National Trust visit, country walks (avoiding the muddy paths of course) to beaches with no sand and a big fat no to any suggestions of trains or cliff trams or ice-cream. I’m sorry if I sound ungrateful, but frankly, none of those things are fun to me. So as a cure for this, I’m forcing Katie to come on holiday with me this summer, whether she likes it or not.


Awkward Parties

Me, my brothers and sister-in-law, traveled down to London on Saturday for a friend of our’s 40th birthday. Of course, we got there and knew nobody, so our friend’s wife introduced us to his nephew. Unfortunately, the music was so loud that my brothers and I were too far away to hear him, leaving him to chat to my sister-in-law who, also unfortunately, doesn’t actually know the birthday boy at all. Their awkward conversation about why she was actually there was then interrupted by an older, rather eccentric looking man, who immediately dropped an extremely inappropriate sex joke, then left again. Nephew guy then also left and avoided us for the rest of the night.

A New Claim To Fame

The most exciting part of that night is obviously the fact that the Captain of the Cutty Sark was there, and gave me a kiss on the cheek which I will now always refer to as my claim to fame, displacing that time that Jessica Ennis smiled at me across a room. Before you get excited though, the Captain was about 80 and told me I’d have to be 60 years older for him to whisk me away on his boat … which is kinda a good thing I guess …



German Bears and Rubber Ducks – Part 2

From one capital city to another. If you’ve read my first post about my summer holiday then you’ll know that I went to Germany for 10 days this August.

I believe we’d only got to Day 3, so this will be a (really rather long) rundown of Day 4-10.

Day 4

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin. Statue of George slaying the dragon.

In Germany, they have this incredible shop full of hundreds of different chocolate combinations. Hence why there is a picture of me next, what I can only assume, are giant chocolate bar replicas.




Remainders of the Berlin Wall.

Day 5


At the station, before getting on a train to Munich.

After our final day of sightseeing, the next morning we headed to main station in Berlin, to catch our train to Munich. Over the course of the 6 hour train journey (which we were very nearly late for because the timetable said it left 20 minutes later than it did) I finished An Abundance of Katherines and managed to get some of my summer work from college done. After arriving in Munich, we headed straight to the hotel and out for dinner.

Day 6




On our first day in Munich we visited the famous Hofbräuhaus which is one of Munich’s oldest bear halls, founded in 1589. My mum and I obviously didn’t have one of their massive 1 litre house beers, but did get to enjoy our soft drinks in beer steins. We also got to meet some of the locals – well some of the slightly tipsy locals shall we say. A German man came to sit next to us on one of the long tables in the beer hall and introduced himself as Pete (very disappointingly un-German). He then continued to talk to us for the next half an hour, playing the game “Guess the English celebrity I’m thinking of” with my parents whilst I got intensely stuck into reading the guide-book – did you know they repainted the roof in 1972?


On to another trip to Starbucks, no name on my cup at all this time.



Day 7

We woke up to pouring rain so it was time for Science Museum number 2! No windmills this time, but there was a planetarium. So almost the same… After that we went to the German version of Pizza Hut where they put little Pizza Hut shaped chocolates on our desserts which I found amazing.


Day 8

You may have heard of Bayern Munich. Well the clue is in the name – their stadium is in Munich, so we went to visit. Not so much a fan of the football, my mum and I decided instead to take pictures of ourselves. We have no idea about this photo either.



DSC_1359We then headed back into the centre and visited Olympiaturm which is at the Olympic park built for the 1972 Olympics. As you can see we climbed to the top at 955 ft.


I was taking a photo of the Olympic Stadium and my dad thought it would be hilarious to step into the photo just as I was about to take it. This is the result of that…


We spent the majority of the day walking around the park and enjoying the beautiful weather. Also, when we had gone back into the centre for dinner I noticed these incredibly creepy mannequins. Seriously…bleughh.


Day 9

Day 9 took us on another train, to another country. After getting to the station at 9:30 we booked ourselves on a guided tour around Salzburg in Austria. There were 7 people on our tour including us – the other 4 were Americans from Chicago (I just wanted them to keep saying my name because I loved the way they called me ‘Kadie’ instead of Katie).  So we had a tour guide who directed us to our train which took roughly 2 hours to reach the centre of Salzburg.

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Like many other places now, this is a bridge across the river has loads of padlocks locked onto it with people’s names engraved on. Its a tradition that people will write their names on the padlock, lock it onto the bridge and throw the key away into the river below.



After our tour, the guide gave us some free time to visit anywhere we wanted before catching the train back to Munich. She had told us about a shop that sells handpainted chicken eggs. Intrigued, we went to have a look. They have literally thousands of individually, and beautifully I might add, painted eggs so we bought one as a Christmas decoration.


Day 10

Our final day of holiday was spent mopping up all the last things we wanted to see in Munich before flying back to Heathrow. I ingeniously named it ‘Moperation’ (a combination of operation and mopping up).  First stop was St. Peter’s Church tower where you can get a brilliant view of the whole city.



Admittedly, I did take this with a zoom lens but this the Münchner Kindl who is the symbol of Munich.



Lunch was much needed after our trek up to the top of the tower and around the city so we went to one of the parks that has a massive outdoor beer garden selling food as well as their famous beers. We opted for a stereo typically German meal as it was our last day.



In the gardens they also have an artificial wave maker in the river that surfing experts are allowed to use. The river has a very strong current making it perfect.


Then it was onto our last Starbucks of the holiday with a better version of my name than they’d managed to do in England on my cup.


Now to solve the mystery of the Rubber Ducks part of the title…




German Bears and Rubber Ducks

Summer holiday photo album time.  Hopefully this won’t depress you as its now all cold and rainy…

Whilst in Germany this summer, I took 864 photos so I won’t be showing you all of them in one go, but over the next few weeks I’ll give you little snippets of my German adventures.

Now if you’re wondering about the title I shall explain a little. In Berlin, where we went for 3 days at the beginning of the holiday, they have loads of bear statues everywhere painted in loads of different designs by different people. So whilst we were there I made my dad take a picture of me in front of each one we saw, here are just a few:

The rubber duck part you will have to wait until next time to hear about though…ooo the suspense.

Day 1

So pre-getting-on-the-plane-and-actually-going-on-holiday, we took a little trip to Starbucks at the motorway services. Now you would think, in an English-speaking country, when you tell them your name is Katie they wouldn’t put a completely different name on your cup would you? Well in fact Katie sometimes sounds like Tracy apparently and so began a whole week of misspelled Starbucks cups as you will soon see.


So once we arrived in Germany and settled into the hotel we went out for an evening meal then got an early night for the busy few days ahead of us.

Day 2 

After a lovely breakfast in an overly extravagant dining room we headed out for a day of sightseeing. We visited the Brandenburg Gate and The Holocaust Memorial which is just around the corner. Although with an important and sombre meaning, the memorial also an amazing sight in itself. It covers 19,000  square metres and contains 2,711 concrete blocks.

Holocaust Memorial

We then headed for our first German Starbucks where they managed to spell my name better than they had in England by only missing out 1 letter.

Kate Cup

We then continued to revisit some of the places we’d been last time we were in Berlin to get our bearings back, and went to the Sony Centre.

It’s not got a lot of things of interest there other than some shops, but it has an amazing roof that you can see for miles out of the city so I thought I’d share it with you:

Sony Centre

After some more visiting we went back to the hotel room to get changed for a meal out and then to a lovely little restaurant 5 minutes walk away.

Day 3 


Although this may not sound like the most exciting thing to be doing, it was actually incredibly interesting. There were windmills and all sorts…



I don’t want to overload you with the excitement, so I’ll be doing another Germany post soon (yay) so check back next Friday.

Also, I just realised how many times I said Germany and Holiday in that. If you were wondering, I counted:

Germany: IIIII

Holiday: IIII