And all of the sudden there was light

When you’re sitting alone in the dark for so long, when you feel lost and lonely and hopeless, you don’t expect feeling this spark of warmth all of the sudden. You might try finding your way out, without any climbing gear and flashlight and compass, but you try. But instead getting closer to the way out, you find yourself getting closer to the big Exit sign. The one you know there will be no return. It’s a comforting thought. You never know when the time will come, but it’s there and knowing you can end it all once you can’t bear going any further is there like a blanket that keeps you warm.

Therapy is getting a guide who has a rough idea about that darkness, a general idea where to go and what to do. And at first you don’t think it will work because you are so used to disappointments and being let down, you don’t think there will be a change at all. You keep clinging to the dark because this is what you know and familiar with. And then…there is light. Just a tiny ray of light. So small you think your imagination is playing tricks on you, but then there is this warmth telling you it’s there and all you have to do is continuing your way to get closer and closer. And you do. You take one tentative step after another, your therapist standing next to you and showing you it’s okay…

Today I had this surreal thought that I don’t want to step into the light. Not because I don’t want to feel better, but because I don’t know who I am anymore once I get rid of this blanket called darkness and let the light warming me. For the last week, since I got really good news, I’m faced with a sudden wave of positivity I don’t know how to handle. There are days when I wake up and feel light and like dancing and then the next day I feel like staying in bed and crying. My therapist told me that was okay because all these changes meant stress and this is how my body reacts to it. Still it feels like so wrong. I should be elated and excited, but right now I’m facing all these doubts again – which I know will be gone by tomorrow – but it’s so frustrating to battle your brain and telling it it should be happy instead of filling me with doubts. And I know this will be a constant from now on I don’t feel strong enough to handle. Right now I want to stay in this familiar darkness because once it’s gone I’m not sure who I am anymore.


When you think you are Tony Stark, but you are actually Bruce Banner

I bet some people don’t understand this reference, but I swear I will clear everything up by the end of my entry. As I already mentioned, I’m in therapy right now. Once a week I sit with my therapist and talk about everything that is on my mind. Literally. Like this week I had a very surreal experience on my way to my session as a young guy came up to my and patted my shoulder. Now you have to know that the city I live in is not the nicest part of Germany and this was anything but a nice gesture. I’m still not sure what the guy said while touching me, but it wasn’t nice and so I told him he should please keep his hands to himself. To make things short: this was what we discussed during this last session, about this moment and how people are treating each other in today’s society. It was strange, but good to hear someone else’s opinion about feminism and work ethics. Two weeks ago, though, my therapist and I talked about my relationships with the people in my life and how I tend to find people who mirror my very strained relationship with my sister. And this is not good. Not at all. My sister was bossy, loud, could be very vocal when things weren’t going her way and actually quite manipulative. I don’t say any of this to make her look bad because this is how she grew up as well. Things in our family have been seriously wrong and everyone tried to make the best of it. Back then, I made myself small and did what I was told because I had no other option.

These days, I let my friends dictate my life and choices. If I disagree I try to tell them and find a middle ground, but most of the time it ends with my friends saying what we do in our free time, what we eat, where we go. And I go with it because I want to please them and don’t argue about my needs. Again I put myself on the back burner and it’s not right and I’m not happy. Ever since that conversation with my therapist I noticed a shift in myself, realizing that I am important. What I want is important. And I have a right to voice my opinion without others getting butthurt about it. After all this is what I have been faced for eight or more years, depending on how long I know my friends. Of course it is partly my fault, stepping back and keep my own wishes to myself and now I find my friends being confused about how differently I handle certain situations. Just the other day a friend came over and I made food for us and I love to listen to music while I cook. This one Ed Sheeran song came on that we had been playing at work for a couple of months and she told me to skip it and I just said no. It was no other word needed to turn the mood sour. She was taken aback about my reply and I could tell she wasn’t please by the way she looked at me, but I stood my ground and it kept playing. As she kept looking at me I told her that this is my place and those are my rules. Again it was a change in my behavior, something unusual I still have to get used to. My heart starts racing and I feel nervous whenever I say my opinion now, but like my therapist said either the people around me will accept it or they don’t and if the latter is the case, it’s probably no real friendship.

I never felt like people overlooked my needs or didn’t take me seriously, although were had been situations I truly felt ignored when asked about my opinion or when I made a suggestion. Do you know these moments when people ask what you think and you explain your vision in great detail and they just brush it off because their idea is so much better although it only benefits them? This had happened time and time again and I let it happen. I let it happen because I didn’t want to lose those friends. But are people like this even friends if their needs are more important than the well being of others involved? Of people who they allegedly care about? Of course I noticed I was often unhappy. There were times when I spend a whole weekend with friends and felt completely exhausted because what was suppose to be fun turned out to be draining and tiring to the point I felt seriously uncomfortable.

What makes this so horrible is that I thought all the time it was just me being too hard on them or on me, that it was probably my depression who couldn’t look past their words and that they only meant everything in a caring way. But if you have a neutral person telling you that no, those people were actually not seriously caring for you and only looked for their benefit and their needs, that is the point when you feel like the rug has been pulled from beneath your feet. It changes your perception of the people around you and it make you think about their responses and how you are suppose to reply to them and I know I have a long way to go to feel like I’m not forcing someone to do what I want, but that I have a right to disagree or to think about what I would like to do.

Now what does the title have to do with my entry. For the past years I thought I was like Tony Stark. Standing my ground, putting on an armor and doing a good job at hiding how miserable I feel [if you don’t know why I say he is feeling miserable, watch the movies], but in the end I’m just like Bruce Banner who is lying on his back and show his belly, being the submissive one. And while it’s not bad having your feelings under control and take care of others, your own needs shouldn’t stand back. You have to take what you want, of course without hurting others, but if you hang out with friends and they want to watch a movie and you another one, say it! Say that you would like to watch something else. Maybe you won’t watch either of those movies, but it’s better than always pleasing others and feeling like you’re not important while you wait for others to realize they are overlooking you. This is what I have done those past years and since I’m telling myself over and over again that I am too important, things are changing. I’m changing. I still have a long way to go, but it’s a start.

There are so many more things I would like to mention today, but this was confusing enough as it is.

The Hate Alphabet – Letter H

This is only the second letter in this kind of alphabet, but I’m pretty sure there will be a lot more in the future. For now it’s the letter H for Helpless.

Feeling helpless is one of the most heartbreaking feelings in this universe and it’s pretty much my default state at the moment. When I look at my friends and see what is happening, it’s tearing me apart. Some of them are in my life for eight years others only for five, but each and everyone of them is as dear to me as if we have been grown up together. So not being able to help puts me in a position where I can feel my heart being ripped out of my chest. And it’s not that I haven’t tried talking to them…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Have you ever saw a friend getting addicted to something or someone and while you thought it was doing them good you realized things were changing? I’m not talking about jealousy, although there is probably a part of that green little monster lurking in the background all the time, but what I mean seeing them getting wrapped up in this moment they forget everything and everyone else around them. For the past months – yes, I mean months – I watched my friend getting more and more addicted and I thought, it would get better with time. But it didn’t. In fact right now it’s that bad that I can reach them no matter how many times I talk to them, no matter how many times I tell them they are hurting me. Now people might think I should just walk away, but this is something I was never good at and never will be although it would be the best seeing my own health at the moment. I guess, though, this is probably what binds me to them. Seeing myself in them, seeing their troubles and sorrows and knowing they just want to keep running away instead of facing them. The worse is knowing they don’t want any help because for them everything is okay and right. Well, it’s not. It’s not healthy ignoring the people who are sitting beside you while you type on your phone, preferring talking to people on the internet. Again, I don’t say this out of spite. I made a lot of friends over the internet which I love and adore, it’s just getting unhealthy when you take your phone to the toilet so you won’t miss the next message. It’s unhealthy when your friend has to repeat their question up to three times and then just stop trying because you won’t listen. It’s unhealthy when you forget appointments you made with your friends in favor of someone new in your life. It can all happen once or twice, three times if you want…but this is happening far too often in the last weeks and months and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose this friendship, but more than talking to the person and saying ‘This is hurting us’ and nothing changes…

I’m probably repeating myself and I know it will look like jealousy is speaking, but there are so many more details and factors I don’t wanna write about although they would explain the bigger picture so much better but I just don’t feel comfortable sharing that much. Let me just say that I’m not the only person who is noticing a shift and is worried beyond believe with a bad gut feeling and it makes it so much worse watching this car crash happening.

And seeing I mentioned two of my friends…I can’t even say if there is anything to worry about with the second, if it’s just me and my fear of loss is speaking, but at the moment I feel like we are drifting apart and again it’s a feeling I don’t like at all. I know I just said that talking to one person all the time can be unhealthy especially when you get so addicted you forget everything and everyone around you, but while this other friend and I talk a lot it’s a healthy amount and we know when to stop. When I’m out with other friends, I usually don’t check my phone and text with others due to respect to the people around me and she does the same, but there are times when we talk and then it stops and I’m wondering if I said something wrong or if I’m that boring or if we don’t have anything to talk about anymore. I know we have a lot of different interests, but at the same time so much in common. I was thinking about asking if I was imagine it, but am worried I’m just seeing ghosts and will cause us just a lot of stress.

Sometimes I wished I lived in a cave far away from everything and all I have to deal with are stones!

Huge Update will be HUGE!

For the last weeks I told myself I have to post some updates. Not only concerning my therapy, but also about all the little trips and events I visited. Unfortunately my schedule became that busy I barely had time to clean up let alone sitting down and writing lengthy entries about cons and events and trips. So I decided I will make a huge post and then will take the time, in the future, to write about every trip on its own.

As I mentioned in one of my previous entries, I have been to this huge event in April. And while I made a big secret about it and only hinted at certain circumstances, I decided to quit being scared and ashamed and admit: Hi, I’m Mel and I’m a cosplayer. I only started cosplaying last year after my friend and I had been to HobbitCon 2 but so far it’s fun [if I overlook all the fights and pressure and circumstances that comes with it, but I come to that later] So in April my friend and I had been to HobbitCon 3 and it was so much fun. We finished our costumes in time and we met so many nice people. It was a lot of fun! To explain how a con works: Most of the time – if it’s a con about a specific show or movie – they invite actors and people who are involved. In this case they invited a couple of actors from the movies. It already had been very exciting for me last year that with meeting Adam Brown and Dean O’Gorman and Graham McTavish [O.M.G.!!! The Scottish chest McTavish!] but this year I was seriously overwhelmed. Not did they invited Graham to the con again but also Luke Evans. At first we thought it was a joke or he had to cancel last minute, but then he posted on his Instagram a picture of him in Germany and we just KNEW he would be there. So of course I wanted to get a picture with him as well. Now as it’s their job to be at these cons and you have to pay for the pictures and even signatures, I knew it would be very expensive. Especially with Luke being involved in so many popular movies like Fast and the Furious, The Hobbit and now he is shooting Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. Either way it was so worth it although I have to mention that Kathy was so lovely and kind and generous she made it possible that I could take the pictures I wanted to take with a little gift.

He was such a sweetheart during the shoot and the panels, told so many funny stories and actually he was the living jukebox of the convention because at least once in every panel someone asked him if he would sing something for us. Such a heavenly voice *sighs*

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Although I got my picture with Graham last year, I couldn’t resist for a new one this year as well [the one on the beard] On the other side is Ken Stott [both play two of my favorite dwarves] then of course Luke and on the bottom right Mark Hadlow. He is so funny and adorable. I thought it was so sweet as one of my fiends commented on my picture with him with the words, it looks like we’re related ♥

As you can see I decided not to wear my costume for these pictures. I still feel a bit awkward about the fact that someone my age starts cosplaying and I don’t think it’s so good that I can show it to the actors who saw the original up close. A stupid thought and one people already rebuked me for, but I can’t help how my mind works. Of course we took some pictures as well, but we did another photo shoot a couple of weeks later with people we met at the con and I have to say those pictures are so much better because of the minor improvements I made that I will rather show you some pictures of that shooting rather than from the con :p For this shooting we met in the Netherlands. It wasn’t so far away for either of us, but you can imagine the looks we got from passers-by.

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It’s so not easy moving with these boots and getting on the tree was only possible with the help of the people who had been with us. One of them described me climbing on the trees like watching a bear cub. Guess that is rather a nice way to put it. We definitely wanna do this again, but maybe, by that time, we have finished our armors because that is our next project. Although I also want to work on my Loki Cosplay which I always dreamed bout doing but never thought I would. It will take me a while because finding a pattern is impossible and making my own will take some trial and error seeing I never made a pattern myself before. Anyway yeah a couple of dwarves in the wilderness.

Neither of us expected we would be at that many events with our costumes because a couple of days later, we had been on our way to Cologne to the Role Play Convention. So many amazing costumes. I even met Captain America and even more amazingly sweet The Hobbit Cosplayers.

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I even met a friend of mine I haven’t seen in ages but know for years. It was the first time one of my none cosplay friends saw me in my costume and while I thought it would be awkward, it was so much fun. There was unfortunately not enough time to see everything and except for buying some more worbla for the next project nothing exciting happened.

*takes a deep breath* You still there? If yes, there will be some more pictures and another event we have been to and that was the Tolkien Day in Geldern. Once a year the Regulars’ Table of the Lower Rhine take care of this event and while it’s more than tiny, it’s everything a dwarf can wish for. There are Rangers and Orcs and more Dwarves and this year there was no Elven camp, but they plan on making one next year. It was fun meeting all the lovely people we had the pleasure meeting at HobbitCon AND Role Play Con and sitting together, making fun pictures and just have so much fun it was hard for us to leave in the end. I talked to a couple of Orcs who had been very nice and even tried my luck with bow and arrow and somehow I didn’t hurt myself and even hit close to the center. Yay me.

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Aaaaaand now I want to go back D: I miss those dorks…at least most of them. Being with these guys is a lot of fun and it always ends in laughter and smiles. I seriously wished I could get my none cosplay friends to join these adventures. Not necessarily in costumes, but just so they are part of it.

Anyway, now you have a small idea what I did those last months and there is more to come 😀

Fix what is broken

Therapy isn’t easy. I never thought it would be although I had no idea what to expect. That you would be talking about your past, your life, your failures, your hard moments…that I knew, but I never expected the feeling of being ripped open like this. Yesterday I had the second appointment and although it’s just one of the first five to see if my therapist can help me and if we can work together on what is troubling me, it already became very serious. Once a week I will see my therapist for fifty minutes. At the beginning we talk about my life. Yesterday I gave her a brief summary of those past thirty-two years and as I was finished I realized how much I have been through. I remember I wrote it all down once on livejournal and maybe, one day, I will translate everything and post it here again, for now I just know it will be too much to go through everything again so soon.

Ever since I left the doctor’s office I get these moments when I feel tears coming to my eyes. Even as I was with my friends last night. We went to the movies because I thought it was a good idea, and it was, but I had to try very hard not to cry. It was a constantly battle and struggle and I felt so bad because this was now what it was suppose to be. And still I feel tears coming up and I know tears are nothing to be ashamed of or you should just suppress, but I know I need to get a grip somehow. Not to make them seem as if I don’t have a right to cry or because it makes me weak, but I still have to go to work and I still have to live my life. But now I’m wondering if it’s even possible, especially at the beginning of what is happening. My therapist already said it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and the beginning will be anything but easy, but I didn’t expect it to be that tough. What really got me was how honest I was as if it was necessary for me to say certain things to get them off my chest, although I mentioned them before to different people. I could tell then they were not sure how to react and now there is someone who listens and understands or at least seem to understand what is going on in my mind. I mean, I was fourteen when my mother died of a heart attack and I still blame myself that she didn’t make it. Maybe if I had been faster, maybe if someone else had called the ambulance, maybe if…

The looks on the faces of the people I told this before were something between pity and being uncomfortable. I never knew what I wanted to see instead, but I know it was a lot to hear and who knows the right way to respond in such a situation. But this is what is on my mind. And if it’s not about my mother, about how I grew up and how fucked up it was, then it’s about how much of a failure I am and how I never gonna make it, how it would be so much easier to just be gone…how can I expect the people around me handling those words and thoughts well when this is nothing they can relate. And thank God they can’t! I know there are people who have a lot more to tackle and this is not a competition, but I do know there is a lot of baggage on my shoulders I carry around and weights me down and makes me the person I am. Looking at it like this, it’s no wonder I don’t like myself and it’s not very surprising people are leaving or changing the way they treat me when I’m drowning in my worries. I don’t blame them and this is no pity party, but I know I need to work on myself and on what I expect of people and how I treat them. Just because I’m willing to sacrifice myself for the people around me doesn’t mean they will do the same and it’s okay and still heartbreaking.

The next appointment will be next Monday and I still have to fill out some papers, about my family and my life and although I already told my therapist a lot already it will be very hard to write it down all over again. It’s like opening old scars over and over again to see where they come from in the first place and it hurts so much. I can’t even describe how it feels properly, but it’s raw and I can already feel myself pulling back although I know it can help me if I – for once – won’t give up. But it’s hard not giving up on yourself when so many people before already thought I wasn’t worth being kept in their lives and I guess they all had good enough reasons to leave. Again this shows how little I think of myself, how I can only focus on the ones who left and not on the people who are still there. But then there is this little voice saying, who will guarantee you they will stay.

Right now I wished I could sleep for hours and days without any consequences just because I feel so tired and drained. I really do hope things will get better in time and that I will look back at those entries in a year or a couple of months and won’t find myself in those words again. I’m tired of being tired and I’m tired of lacking the enthusiasm and motivation to start something new. I want to live and breath again. Right now it feels more like a slow death and suffocating.

Vanity’s like a funeral and everyone is at my wake

So I met this girl via Instagram [she follows our cosplay account and befriended my friend] two weeks ago we met in person and she is a doll, probably one of the most stunning people I met. Like jaw dropping gorgeous and too adorable for her own good. After we met we started talking on facebook and now I get these amazingly sweet good morning and good night texts via whatsapp.

However, we talk about all sorts of stuff and even flirt a bit [it’s probably the beard when I’m in my Thorin cosplay XD] and she constantly tells me how sweet and pretty and beautiful and stunning I am.

This is not fishing for compliments, but whenever I get another of her texts or she comments on my IG pics, I want to tell her to stop because I’m not. I’m none of these things and it makes me feel horrible because you can tell she is nothing but genuine. I don’t have any idea how to respond to these texts because I’m THAT bad with compliments. same goes with that message I got from that anon on tumblr who told me I could be a model and I just had no idea how to answer that because it baffles me how people perceive me.

Come to think of it, it should rather encourage me because this is all about feminism and how we support each other and what not, but I can’t believe a word I read and hear when it comes to myself. I would never compliment someone else if I don’t mean it, but I’ve learned my lesson in the past years: just because I look at it that way doesn’t mean other people handle it the same. I’m so used to be overlooked and be that awkward-trying-to-hard-fit-in-chick I can’t imagine someone like her could find me even remotely attractive or pretty. Just last night she send me this text saying ‘Good night, dream girl’ and I couldn’t even wish her a good night in return because I just wanted to disappear reading this. I seriously thought I got better in the last months. I still think I’m ugly and only make up can help that, but just writing this down reminds me on what my ‘best’ friend said to me once, that I seem vain. She tried explaining how this word wasn’t meant in a negative way, but it still showed how little she understands my mind and how I work, how I use make up to look decent. I don’t look in the mirror and think ‘Wow, I look good’, although I do have days when I don’t want to hide in a cave, but it stings nonetheless and when you have someone else – a complete stranger – showering you in all sorts of compliments, it just went over my head. I just don’t understand it.

It only shows how fucked up I am.

And then BOOM

Just yesterday I said to my friend ‘I haven’t blogged in ages, but I don’t know what I should write’. It’s not that my life is completely boring, but there are some things I feel ashamed about or not like it belongs here. I also said, I don’t feel like ranting all the time about my life and how much it sucks, but something had built up inside of me in the last couple of weeks which is eating on my insides and it makes me wonder if it’s just my contorted perception or the truth:

Why is it that I’m constantly the one asking about how people are doing, but they never ask?

It is a common theme and right now something I experience on a daily basis. My friend experienced something great just last week and they are still over the moon about it, talking about it none stop and I listen. I listen as patiently as possible for me right now. I even help them preparing for that event, looking at pictures of different outfits to pick and so on. We met the day after so they could tell me in great detail what happened and how it happened and by now it even feels like I had been with them that day and I’m seriously happy for them and how things turned out. That is not the problem. But an equally big event will be taken place next weekend [starting from Saturday till Monday]. Something I’ve been waiting for for a year. At the beginning of the month I ordered a dress for said event in hopes it would arrive in time, but no such luck and as if ‘bad luck’ was my second name, I won’t have my salary in time for the weekend. Bummer. Big, bad bummer. So my friend said, I shouldn’t worry, they would help me out because I can pay it back by next week. So today we had this long talk on the phone about their problems at work and how their event was last week and about some other major stuff for them and once again I listened. I listened for roughly five hours. In between I tried to get a word in about how I’m worried about the weekend and the money and the clothes and…they brushed me off. Completely. Whenever I mentioned clothes, a long silence followed just before they started talking about something completely different. As I mentioned the money, it was the same. Except they offered they could borrow me money so I could go see a movie with them on Monday evening after my return from that event.

I would like to believe it is a one time thing. That it’s just still the excitement what happened to them last week, but I know from experience it’s not. As I had been to London in January the same friend didn’t even bother asking how my trip was after I returned. Last night I had been to a movie premiere at the red carpet and they didn’t ask once how it was, just on the side if the movie was any good.

Not that I don’t know I can be difficult. And right now I’m an utter asshole because my thyroid is probably acting up seeing I didn’t take my meds for a month for some reasons which I are too difficult to explain and to go into, but I’m well aware this has nothing to do with my behavior. At the same time I know asking them about it and what is going on won’t do me any good at all because I won’t get an answer. At all. It’s driving me up the wall because why should I gather my energy to talk to people about what they are passionate about and pretend it’s fascinating and asking questions when they can be bothered to ask the simple question ‘How was it?’. Why should I sit down and watch an interview of a band or person I don’t care about if just me mentioning the name of my favorite musician make them go silent? The last couple of weeks I tried to hint at things being a bit off between us but there was no reaction except silence. And I can’t take silence. At all. When I speak up and try being honest, I want the other person to be the same. They should have an opinion! Everyone has an opinion. So just speak up, for God sake! Say what is on your mind and tell me why I should listen to everything you’re so passionate about if a simple ‘How was it?’ is too much of a bother?


Right now I feel like I’m drowning in my thoughts. There is too much going on in my head to focus on one thing and a lot of these things have to do with my past, which is quite unnerving to say the least. All these quotes about if your past is pulling you back you can’t step into the future and that is when I start thinking about my future as well and the present and it’s just too much. While I know writing it all down won’t get me the solution for everything, I do hope by writing some of the it down it will clear my head.


Breathing in London is expensive

…but it’s so worth it. Four, or rather three, amazing days in one of my favorite cities. Not that I have seen a lot in my life, but London is a place I love to come back to. I can’t even describe exactly what draws me to this place, but I never get tired visiting all the sights and museums and shops. This time I went with my lovely friend Kathy. It was the first time ever we went on a trip together and that while we are friends for the past four years. I already told her how scared I was for us to fight all the time because we never did this before and there are times when little things can blow up between us, but those had been the best days in a long long time for me, but let me start by the beginning.

Day I

While I appreciate cheap flights, I don’t appreciate the time you have to get up. This time, I had to get out of bed around three in the morning so Kathy could pick me up at four. Somehow I managed to sleep for a couple of hours, but I still felt exhausted by the time we arrived at the airport. To make it short: the day Ryanair has friendly employees is the day you know the world will end. Then again, the flight was short and uneventful and I’m more than thankful for that. Since Kathy is a little control-freak, she had booked the transfer from the airport to London beforehand. The last time I went, we got in a big, comfy bus so this was what we waited for as we stood outside. We both didn’t expect to see a little van showing up. It regentstreetwas small, it was warm, I missed the drive by oversleeping but that way everything passed in a blur and before I knew what was happening we were already on our way to our hotel. It was located in Clapham South and okay-ish, but because we arrived rather early all we did was leaving our luggage there and took the underground back to get some breakfast: Hello Starbucks and hello Wlan.

Jesus, you don’t know how addicted you’re until you don’t have access 24/7. We just did some light shopping and then I texted a friend of mine who is staying in London for a couple of months. Seeing we had the whole day we decided to start with the British Museum where we met my friend. It was good seeing her and she had some recommendations for us where to eat and what to see so it was another plus. Anyway, back to the British Museum. I guess I never mentioned I started studying archaeology and Egyptology a couple of years ago, but couldn’t finish it. I’m still interested in everything involving Egyptian and Roman culture, so I had to see the Rosetta Stone and all the other amazing pieces there as well. Unfortunately I realized how much I’ve forgotten in the past years since I quit my study and that made me rather sad. I did, however, found the bust of my favorite imperator but once again forgot to take a picture. I hope my dear Vespasian can forgive me once more. Unlike the last time, we visited some other exhibits as well like the Asian and Assyrian. Much to my dismay the Alexander The Great exhibit was closed but there is always a next time. britishmuseum

After a final trip into the library of the British Museum, we decided to leave and see Covent Garden. Maybe it’s just me, but after everything what I had heard I expected it to be more alternative and a little less posh. The building, however, was nice and it had been a part of London I haven’t seen before.

Seeing I’m a vegetarian, I always have to find some place to eat where I can order more than just a salad. I do like me some lettuce, but there is nothing better than a burger. Luckily, my friend told us about this burger place called Nando’s and I didn’t even take a picture of the amazing mushroom burger, but it was great and I loved it and I hope Kathy can remember it because I have to go there again! The people were nice, the food was good and although we have been tired, we spend a nice evening with another friend and had a great conversation about music. After that we stopped at HMV for a bit more shopping and at M&S for some food before we headed to our hotel. Due to some refurbishment we got a room in the third floor and while I don’t mind walking some steps, my lungs were burning by the time we arrived under the roof. The room was…tolerable. Very tiny for two people and we had to share a bed although Kathy booked a twin bedroom and had only one duvet, but sharing a bed came in handy seeing we couldn’t turn the heater on and it was rather cold.

Day 2

IMG_2117Okay, yes, I’m a huge Sherlock fan and although I can’t remember every story by heart and I still need to read some of them, I would call myself a Sherlockian. So of course I wanted to see the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street and the exhibit at the London Museum. Still, I felt bad for suggesting this to Kathy seeing she only saw the new series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and all I could hope for was she enjoyed it at least a tiny bit. We started with the Sherlock Holmes Museum and can I just say how much I love all the little details? Of course they sell all kinds of trinkets and some of the stuff in the shop is overpriced, but I would still buy it in a heartbeat. The entrance fee was 10£ which I think is totally okay seeing there are three levels in this tiny house were you can walk around and experience how Sherlock and Watson had lived if they had been alive. It was pretty much how I imagined it would be. Every little detail, the bowler hat and topper in the hallway; the pipe and magnifier on the table in the living room, was just on point and I loved that the employees wore either a maiden dress or a suit. I loved the creaking of the steps and the floor, the crackling of the fire places in every room and little hints you could connect to different cases Sherlock and Watson solved. I could have moved into this place, but I guess the rent is a bit too much for me.

Of course we had to go to King’s Cross after that because hello?! Geek alert? Last time I was in London, you could just walk up to the little trolley they had put into the wall with the sign Platform 9 3/4 above and take a picture, but now with the new Harry Potter shop they found a new way to make money. Now you go in line and there is a professional photographer and an assistant who will ask you if you want a scarf [of course every house is represented, but there had been four IMG_2119Gryffindor scarves] and/or a witch hat. You can take either no matter if you want the picture the photographer takes of you or if you have someone who will take it. The assistant will hold the scarf up and the second the photographer shouts ‘And scarf’ he lets it flow and it will look like you are moving through the wall. I do like the idea of it, I really do, but I don’t want to know how much the picture costs. Luckily, Kathy was so quick-thinking she waited for the ‘and scarf’-shout before she took my picture. From all the people in the line, I was the only one taking the Slytherin scarf, which the assistant commented on. However, seeing I wasn’t sure if you had to pay for the picture, I stepped out of line and while I wanted to figure out how much it would be, there was an announcement saying there was an emergency and everyone had to leave King’s Cross. You can imagine that after everything that is currently happening all over the globe, we had been a bit worried what was going on. There was no further information, but soon after we could go back inside and gave it another try to go through Platform 9 3/4. We also stopped in the shop and I have to say they had some nice souvenirs. It is a nice idea opening a shop right there.

Seeing it was getting late, we decided for one last stop at Tower Bridge before we did some more shopping. It was nice getting out at London Bridge and then walk along the Thames straight toward Tower Bridge. With every step it was getting 10948709_1525015931111343_1814296172_ndarker and the lights were turned on and it was such a nice evening. And seeing this was Kathy’s and mine first time for everything trip we finally managed to take a pic together. Yes, we didn’t take a pic sooner, but I think it was worth waiting for such a nice background image.

Again we stopped for a coffee and some Wlan at a Starbucks before we continued our journey to Oxford Street. First we stopped at House of Fraser where we met the most adorable and handsome Urban Decay salesperson ever. I had to check twice if he was a girl or a boy, but either way, I wanted to take him home and talk with him about make up and let him do my make up and just look at him in general. Anyway, Kathy gave me for Christmas a UD Basic palette gift voucher and while I did like some of the colors, I would have felt horrible for her spending so much money on something I only liked a tiny bit. So I suggested to split the money and I picked the Naked 2 palette which I lovelovelove although I don’t dare touching the colors. I still have to give it a try, but I want to wait for the right occasion. Then we went into Waterstones. Books. So many pretty books. Of course we have some great bookstores here in Germany, but I would love to have Waterstones here as well. Or maybe it’s because I prefer the UK/US covers to the European ones. Anyway, once again Kathy found the perfect book for me called Tinder which we found in the Young Adult section. It has a creepy tone to it and had some Burton-esque pictures inside.

This day we decided to get some food from M&S instead of going out and I have to say, it was really good. I got a salad with some lettuce, potatoes, eggs and green bell pepper with some great dressing which I would have loved to get my hands on but I totally forgot.

Day 3

Seeing it was our last day, we wanted to get up early to get as much sightseeing done as possible. Unfortunately, our hotel had something else in mind. At four in the morning the fire alarm went off. Only for two seconds, but still we were wide awake and it took me a bit to fall back asleep. Due to this incident, we stayed in bed for a bit longer and just as we were getting ready, the alarm went off once again. On our way down I complained about it, asking the receptionist what it was about and she said it was because of the refurbishment and it wouldn’t happen again after 5:30pm. That was okay because we planned to be back around 7 pm to get some hours of sleep before our flight back home so we went on our way to the Museum of London and the Sherlock exhibit. As you guys might know, usually you don’t have to pay an entrance fee for most museums unless there is a special exhibit. This exhibit was 12£ and while I adore Sherlock to pieces, it was just not worth the money. The exhibit was called Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die

*dramatic pause* if this isn’t the most amazing title ever, I don’t know what is. So what I expected was to find something sherlocklondonmuseummore about Sherlock, something about his character and even about Watson. And while there had been some original manuscripts and paintings from the books, most of the exhibit showed the paths Sherlock and Watson took, the changes between Victorian London and now and how the streets and architecture has changed. There was, however, one video of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle where he talked about Sherlock and Watson and it was such a strange experience seeing him in moving and talking, it was definitely the highlight of the exhibit. Of course there was some movie props, like Benedict Cumberbatch’s coat [I couldn’t find out if it was the original or not] and some videos playing from all the different movie adaptations, but I have to say it again, it was not worth the money. There was only one picture I took at the exhibit, and it was of my favorite painting [The Houses of Parliament with Westminster Bridge and Abbey, Seen from South Side of Thames by John Anderson 1872]

We checked the Romans in Britain section as well as other parts of the Museum of London but either we had been too tired or not that into the matter so after a last Victorian Walk, we left and headed over to St. Paul’s where we took some more pics and had another coffee and talked where to go next. We didn’t have much time but seeing I’ve never been to the National History Museum and Kathy wanted to visit the raccoon, we headed over to the most beautiful building in London. 10597380_860493530640148_1954017068_nLet me tell you, I was blown away as we got out of the station and even more so as we stepped into the museum. The dinosaur at the entrance was so cool and the architecture was just too much for me. I think I fell in love with this beauty! And while the main wing is huge, we had to go to the more modern part of the museum for the mammals. It was strange seeing elephants and horses and bears and little bats behind glass. I expected them to wink any given second. Of course the dinosaurs were cool too, but you could tell it was more for the little ones than for adults, or maybe it was just me and us being tired. Unfortunately, the museum was about to close so we didn’t spend that much time in there, but once again there will always be a next time.

Again we didn’t have a fancy dinner or anything and just stopped at a Subway on our way to the hotel and you could tell that we both got a bit sad to leave this beautiful place so soon again. We got some sweets for our last night in London at a Sansburry and as we got back to the hotel…the alarm went off. We thought it was a one time thing, but not even ten minutes after our arrival it went off a second time so I went back down and told them how this was rather inconvenient seeing we had to get some sleep before our flight back home. While they told us it was because of the refurbishment now it was because of a guest taking a shower, leaving the bathroom door open and the steam set off the alarm.  Either way, after I – and three other guests – complained about it, it didn’t happen again. Our flight was scheduled for 7:35 and so we had to get up at two in the morning seeing we had to switch buses to get to our transfer to Stansted.

And now our actual adventure began. For our stay we got ourselves the Oystercard which makes travelling via underground so much easier. Now, that morning my Oystercard was empty and I thought ‘what give, I can get a ticket in the bus’. Oh how wrong I was. It was four in the morning, we had to get our connection and the bus driver told me he couldn’t accept cash. I must have looked more than shocked because he only smiled, winked and said ‘Tell you what? It’s okay, go through.’ Bless this guy!, I thought but worried about the other bus we had to get. By the time we got out of the bus, I was already a tiny bit worried we wouldn’t get our transport to the airport. Not only because of the time, but because we couldn’t find the right bus stop and as we finally did we saw we had missed the last bus. Time was running and once again Kathy saved our asses by saying she would pay for a cab. The problem was, where we could find one. The streets flightwere empty and I was so worried about not getting our plane, I totally missed the one driving passed us as Kathy yelled at me to stop it. Bless this guy as well, because he saw me waving at him and stopped and he was so patient with us. We got into the cab and while we were more than worried we would miss our flight, he drove over the London Bridge with a perfect view on the Tower Bridge and if this wasn’t a good sign and a nice goodbye, then I don’t know what it was. He helped us finding the right bus stop and once again, our patience was tested. The transport to the airport was scheduled for 4:45 but didn’t show up until 5:10. The driver said something about the other transport having some trouble, but I guess they had other reasons. Either way, we were finally on our way to the airport and back home and all I can say is that I had an amazing time with a great friend and another proof that Englishman are just awesome and polite and most of the time more than helpful.

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Normally I shy away from stories that screams “You can relate to it, so don’t open old scars”. A friend of mine read this book and she was blown away by it, recommending it whenever we talked about Rainbow’s books. So after reading Divergent [a must read as well], I thought it was time for something light and boy was I wrong because there is nothing light about this book.

We met Eleanor and Park, two teenagers who slowly, silently fall in love with each other despite the odd circumstances. Eleanor who gets thrown out of her home because she used the typewriter her mother got her and her stepfather – a drunkard and textbook asshole – didn’t approve of and who was only allowed to return a year later. Eleanor with red hair and clothes that don’t really fit, who doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin, and who is constantly afraid to breathe when she is home.

And then there is Park who, despite being insecure about his appearance and suffer in silence about it, gives Eleanor strength. Who feels like he will never be manly enough to please his father, who loves The Smiths and comics.

Both face troubles on completely different levels any teenager can relate to in the one way or the other and even I, at age 32, remembered how it had been back in High School, how people didn’t like you because you dressed differently, you were overweight, you liked none-girly things. All the bullying and name calling sounded pretty familiar – and to the ones who said “no one goes through that during high school” congratulation that you either fell of the radar or was on the other end of the spectrum – which was probably the biggest reason for me to relate to it on such a deep level. Unfortunately I didn’t have someone like Park, though.

Something I liked about this book was how we could read both of their thoughts and lives. Usually the reader only gets one perspective and, depending on the story line, you crave to read what is going through the other characters mind. I think it was cute to see how much Park was into Eleanor and what he saw in her and I thought it was also brave of Eleanor asking Park this question right there, why he wanted to be with her.

Which leads me to the only things I didn’t like in this book. The way they talked with each other. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean they were disrespectful or sounded naive. What I mean is the deep level those two sixteen year old communicated. It sounded so poetic and at times unearthly, it didn’t feel like I was reading a conversation between teenagers. Maybe it’s just me and this is something I’ve forgotten how it’s supposed to sound, but there was one moment I had to roll my eyes.

Also the fact that we never get to know what happened to Eleanor’s family, her mother and the kids, why she didn’t write Park right away and took so long to respond to his letters.

Another, maybe tiny detail, that stuck out to me was the times people implied Eleanor wasn’t telling the truth. First Park as they tried to figure out who wrote those nasty comments on her books and he implied maybe it was her doing it and then at the end as Eleanor heard her aunt asking her uncle if she was even telling the truth about what had happened back at her place. I was expecting a reason behind the mistrust, but seeing we got none it left me feeling a tiny bit empty.

That being said, I think I never read a book by Rainbow Rowell that disappointed me. She just has this voice in her stories that reach out to you and suck you right in.

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