warm, sunny, christmas greetings

Merry Christmas! It’s a beautiful day today: the skies are blue, the ground is dry and the mercury’s hovering around 8°C.  There’s not much going on this Christmas Eve in Hamburg, except a dinner/get-together at Sean’s in the evening.

Visitors. Debbie and then Nicole visited this month. It was fun! Hamburg is a great city to show off to your visiting friends, especially when it’s all done up for Christmas. And Hamburg does Christmas right ;)

Glühwein at a Weihnachtsmarkt

Berlin. Nic and I went to Berlin for three days. To be honest, it didn’t leave as strong an impression as it did the first time I went in June 2009. I’ve changed a lot! But it’s still a cool city.

Brandeburger Tor
A Trabi breaks through the Wall

My 2011. It was one of my best years, and one of the most newsworthy. I went to Amsterdam (twice), Austria and Sweden to visit Uppsala friends. I went on my first ever work trip. I got an internship at a great organisation that gave me a sense of direction and worth, then got that internship extended. My uni grades were high, despite juggling an abnormally heavy courseload with a part-time internship. I earned pocket money working at a call centre. I felt more comfortable speaking German.  We started a bi-weekly ‘dinner club’. I started a German language current events discussion group. Summer came early in April and May, and then left again. I was inspired by a showing of true democracy in the Occupy movement and the revolutions in the Arab world. I was appalled by the London riots and Brevik massacre, and reactions to them. I despaired when the Conservatives won a majority government in Canada.  I became very wary of media spin. I had three out-of-town visitors.

January - day trip to Bremen
February - visiting Em in Amsterdam
March - dinner party at Chelsea's
April - navigating Ratzeburg
May - Hamburg Hafengeburtstag
June - sunrise, then Fischmarkt
July - glorious vacation in Sweden
August - hiking Brocken and the Harz
October - Uppsala reunion in Amsterdam
November - dimsum with the dinner club
December - annual PEP secret santa

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