(Life) Style Tips in August

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  • Soak up every bit of sunlight, days are already getting shorter. To spend more time outside why not take your books to a lake or riverbank and study there or have dinner in the garden or on a rooftop of your choosing?
  • Speaking of Autumn coming and dinner: Try to use up all the stored food stuff in your pantry. You’ll stock up again come the colder days anyway and in the end it will expire so why not get experimenting? In most cases all you’ll need are a few fresh greens (or reds or oranges or yellows) to make something new and unexpected and in the process you’ll safe money (from eating the things that only gather dust anyway) and maybe find a new favourite dish!
  • The beginning of a new school year is upon us: the ideal time to stock up on unusual stationary even outside webshops. Fist-size erasers in shape of gorilla figurines? Check. Smart-ass quote pencils? Check. Pastel cute fountain pens? Check. Want a fresh start? Get one of the day planners that start with July and go for 18 months to draw a clear line for the next school year, semester or – in my case – a new stage of life in general.
  • If you have a friend who’s starting something new why not make them a school cone? Schultüten are a German tradition in which children starting school for the first time get big paper cones filled with sweets, stationary, lunch boxes and other more or less useful knickknacks to ease the transition process. There’s no reason to give those only to first-graders in my opinion, so why not take a small personalised cone and make it a little happy-making cornucopia?
  • Use a jar or some string to make Summer mementos. Put in or braid in dried flowers, branches, small bottles of water, candy wrappers or sugar packets from your favourite ice cream parlour, shells or whatever will remind you of the Summer of 2016. Add your favourite memories, seal the jar or knot the string and put it somewhere you can see it during the drearier days of the year. Mine will have rock sugar and straw from ConQuest and daub pieces.from the dig!

10 Things I ♥ in July

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  1. The Yan Tan Tethera. I first heard of this shepherd counting system when I read The Cuckoo Tree by Joan Aiken (still one of my favourite books) where the handsome smugglers under the leadership of Yan Wineberry use it for their nicknames. I decided to learn it late last month for LARP reasons and used it since to count the steps I have to climb to my internship workplace. Counting makes it easier, and I already only counted twenties anyway, so the Yan Tan Tethera was a good option, and this way I got it into my head pretty fast. I also like the sound of it and by the way it also features in Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.
  2. The Magpie And The Wardrobe blog. I don’t think it has been updated lately, but it’s a beautiful archive of folklore tidbits. I think I might have need of the book (but only after the move, this way I’ll have to pack less).
  3. Sugary cute Youtubers. I feel a deep need for pastels and overall cutesy things at the moment with all the sad things going on so after a failed attempt to go shopping for cute things to cope with everything I went and started watching people not failing at it. So far I discovered Noodlerella and Pixielocks and Mo’brien (but she gets her own bullet point), but if you have a favourite you’d like to recommend I’d be happy about a comment.
  4. While we’re at it: #haulternative. It’s basically thrift and refashion hauls, which is such a great concept! I plan on posting one myself sometime soon-ish (but don’t quote me on that). Until then you can look the whole thing up here at Fashion Revolution.
  5. Pokémon Go. Who would have guessed. I’m not playing myself (yet, I’m still playing Platinum via ROM) but I love walking by people on the street who talk about catching a Squirtle or how many Magikarps they still need. And of course I love how it helps people to get out of the house and into the wild! Augmented reality is so incredibly cool! Just don’t run in front of a car for a catch. If you do that’s natural selection, guys, and you know it.
  6. Mo Mo O’Brien. What can I say, I’m a fangirl. And yes, her channel is what gave me the final push to start my vlogging experiment (she’s adorable!).
  7. WE HAVE A PLACE!!! And we’re moving at the end of August! To Hannover! More on that once I’m back from the dig and Conquest!
  8. Crafternoons with my friends. We had a whole crafting weekend for the upcoming ConQuest lately. It’s so much more fun together and if you’re stuck you can always ask the others for help. Granted as I am the one with the most experience in crafting and the one who has all the tools and the material I am the one who gets the least of her projects done because I’m always busy helping but that’s just as fun.
  9. Underwater Cameras. I always wanted one and after my old camera broke I finally took the plunge (haha) and bought one. It’s such a great experience that you’ll definitely see more photos of the riverbed soon.
  10. Spending time with my Mum. She was here for a visit with a friend last week and we had such a great day! I’m glad to have her, she tries her best to be there for me and we’re really great friends now we’re done with puberty and the other usual things that come between mother and child.

I’m Doing A Thing Now.

I’m basically offline for next week because of the dig. The horror. I’ll try to at least queue up one more post for you, though, and I thought I’d try my hand at video blogging, too.

I’m still a bit rambly but I’m sure it will get better each time I’ll film.

If you happen to have an idea for the name of this weekly vlogging experiment please let me know!

Field Trip: Officially Monasteries, But Mainly Pretty Scenery

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Two weeks ago we went on one of our infamous uni field trips – infamous because our Professor tends to be slightly chaotic.

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The theme was monasteries, matching the theme of our seminar this semester. Well, you’d probably expect something like the scenery of The Name Of The Rose, but I fear I must disappoint you (maybe I’ll find another monastery for you to drool over sometime). While some monasteries in Hesse were lucky the 30-years war wasn’t exactly gentle with them to begin with. And the two monasteries we visited that Saturday were particularly unlucky…

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Flechtdorf used to belong to the Ordo Sancti Benedicti aka. the Black Monks (which sounds pretty badass if you ask me) and was built during the 12th century. It used to be much larger than what one can see today but at some point the monastic parts were demolished and only the outbuildings and church remained.

DSCF0252DSCF0253There were several of these small wooden doors. They probably led to tool storage but I like to think they are entrances to secret passageways or faerie trods.
DSCF0267DSCF0275The current camera situation wouldn’t let me take better pictures of what remained of the painted ceiling and the window. But I really liked the eight-pointed star, apparently something they put in during the Renaissance (don’t quote me on this, it was a fun fact a friend told me when we went and explored the dungeons cellar – or what was left of it).

DSCF0309DSCF0299DSCF0304DSCF0306One of the small wooden doors again. Secret passageways, I tell you.20160709_153441Same order, different monastery, far less remaining structure (read: basically none) but a far more magnificent view, Hasungen monastery was founded during the 11th century.
DSCF0325This church is not part of the monastery, it’s the church the village uses today. It’s halfway up the hill where the monastery used to be but from its looks it could just as well be somewhere in the Deep South bayous. It was so light and clean and you could hear the sheep and goats outside, I really liked it.
20160709_164652Hasungen even has a tiny museum with what’s left of the arches and some pottery – like this little (probably) devil figurine that actually served as the spout of some sort of jug.
DSCF0312DSCF0316The monastery was built by the grave of an apparently very charismatic but also much-despised hermit – he had violently been thrown out of several places after two or three years before he came here – who lived in a shack by the chapel that used to be on this hill. Legend has it than whenever his fangirls got too close to him during service he would dash out of the chapel door and jump into the pond on the hill to calm his nerves (and to not give in to temptation). Well, even a holy man might have needs, apparently (I imagine medieval-style panties being thrown towards the pulpit and a shaggy guy running out of the door with flailing arms plunging into the pont head-on. It’s kind of slapsticky.).
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Well, now here you can see what’s left. No, not the pedestal thingy with the plaque, that’s from the 19th century. The pile of rubble beside it and the bit of wall to the left that you can barely see. That’s what’s left.
They did electromagnetic surveys and discovered the rough outlines of the structure but there hasn’t been a real dig yet. There used to be much more rubble but in a fit of trying to get things done it was all shoved down the hill after WWII and has since been reclaimed by nature (and people who built a stage for folk plays with some of it).

However, the view is truly magnificent.

 

Monastery webpages (German):

Flechtdorf | Hasungen

 

Plastic Free July – Week 1.5

We’re almost two weeks in. So far it’s going abysmal.

Why? Because we had more than one week of contaminated tap water. I usually don’t buy bottled water but had to recently, and let’s face it, plastic bottle six packs are easier to carry than the whole box-with-glass-bottles thing. Well, at least the bottles were returnable. By now the alarm is over and we’re able to drink from the tap again.

It’s also surprisingly hard to find the time for conscious grocery shopping at the moment, not only with the internship (where I work nine to five) but also with all that happened last week.

Things that are really hard to come by without plastic wrapping this week:

  • nori
  • pasta (there is one brand with paper packaging, and they’re homophobic)
  • pills
  • toilet paper
  • lactose-free yoghurt

I plan on starting over this week though, with decent bentō and non-bottled water. Maybe I’ll even find the time to make pasta from scratch, but I wouldn’t bet on it…

I hope your Plastic Free July (if you partake) is going better than mine so far!

P.S.: Thank you all for your kind words. I really appreciate them.