An Ode to Yellow, or: Welcome to Suburbia.

Sooner or later the suburbian paradise will get you. Doesn’t matter how much you have laughed before about your neighbours with their range of suspiciously yellow tools, vacuuming their cars, steam cleaning their windows, or water blasting their garden paths… being industrious on a sunny Saturday morning while you sit on your balcony in your robe, drinking tea. You’re not one of them, the “two kids, big SUV, sparkly shiny house” world is not your cup of tea. Let them have their yellow tools, you are different. Not so…. German.

Then the day arrives when you encounter the need for a tool of that yellow brand yourself. You will try to talk yourself out of it, but you put it on your wishlist anyway – for reference. Then, after another frustrating round with your old vacuum cleaner, which just hasn’t enough power to deal with your beloved shaggy carpet and your long hair entangled in it, you give up. You order it.

It arrives, in a wonderful big box, and the minute you hold it in your hand, you know that you deal with quality “Made in Germany” – in other words: It’s sturdy. It’s heavy. It is huuuuge. And very yellow. Its powerful roar makes the dustbunnies shiver with fear, and rightly so: Vacuuming that shaggy carpet suddenly turns into an all-body workout. That thing has suction! Its wonderful water filter system shows you in a glorious gross way how much dirt was hiding in that shaggy carpet.

You are a convert. You love your big, yellow KÄRCHER, and there’s no way denying it.

Welcome to Suburbia. Resistance is futile.

the year in review

It’s Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Eve with lots of yummy food and shiny presents. The end of the year is just right around the corner – time to do my annual wrap-up then.

It was a very good year. I got a promotion at work, our big symposium was a thorough success, and the man and I went on our first real holiday together. Without killing each other, I must add. It was also the year in which I revived two long neglected hobbies of mine, writing and photography. I got myself a shiny new camera for my birthday, which I already love to bits. Gadget love is the best. ;-) I also managed to ditch my hermit mode and get out more, doing stuff with friends. The flesh and blood sort of friends, not the online version.

Getting back into writing was a very very exciting journey, and I met some interesting people on the way. I hope those brand new, ocean-spanning friendships last. Writers are a delightful bunch and I kick myself for not seeking out writer friends earlier. Having people to bounce off ideas, brainstorm with and get opinions from is awesome.

Not so awesome was the toll that this writing endeavour took on my household… it pretty much imploded. The most important lesson I learned about myself this year is, that I have an obsessive brain. I can’t do anything in moderation, it seems. The plan for 2014 is in consequence, to get the derailed household train back on the tracks and find a way to do everything I like doing without letting anything else going downhill. Like, seeing friends, spending time with the man, writing, running around taking pictures and not turning this house of mine into a hellhole. Let’s see how this goes.

the year of reviving old hobbies

2013 seems to be the year in which I revive long neglected hobbies. First writing, and right now, I feel a growing pull towards photography. No, not only taking pictures with the new camera, but also re-learning composition, technique and training my eye again. Scrolling through my flickr-Stream, I found some pictures from a time when a camera was always with me… and I thought: Did I take this picture? Wow.

This is one of my all-time favourites, I just love the red tag in the midst of the blue fabrics.

innsbruck bei nacht
I can’t remember how I shot this one, as I’m sure as hell wasn’t lugging around a tripod through Innsbruck.

The one and only wedding picture I ever took that I actually like. I photographed countless weddings for my friends, but I’m no people photographer, and my inner perfectionist was never happy.

chain II
I used to find motives in the most mundane settings…

… and apparently went to great lengths to get my shot. I also can’t remember how I managed to photograph soapbubbles. Alone. Without an assistant.




missing summer

Needless to ask where my photographic passion lies though… I will always love taking pictures of flowers. And their insect friends. The old Nikon was a great companion, and I might drag her around as long as her battery life allows for milking that macro lens.

I also realised that I became a hermit in recent years. Pretty much since finishing Uni, to be exact. As if that drama around writing the thesis (don’t want to get reminded about that, huh) and finding a job stiffled all my creative energy and the will to venture out into the wild world. Happy to feel it coming back. And happy to have a new camera to use all that creativity with. *dives into her photography books*

the week in pictures, 08.09.2013

Haworthia reinwardtii

Soooo… I got myself a very very early birthday present. A brand spanking new camera. And oh my god, I’m in love. It’s my very first, not-compact-all-in-one-camera, and it is awesome. As a die hard Nikon girl, it is, surprise surprise, a Nikon. A Nikon 1 V2 to be specific, one of those pretty small system cameras. Because I’m not somebody who lugs around huge camera bodies with a gazillion of lenses, no matter how great these cameras are. Big DSLRs are just not made for me. But still, with this one I can switch lenses! Eeeeeeh!

The new baby and her lens kit

It came with two lenses, a 10-30mm and a 30-100mm and I’m stoked. Haven’t figured out yet which one I like more. Of course, I’m now trying to take as many pictures as possible, and here is a selection.

Unidentified Semper Vivum

Of course, first stop were my plants, as I needed some patient models to get to know the camera. Love. it. Missing a dedicated macro lens though.

september sky

The beautiful blue september sky. We had a really nice week weather wise.

fluffy and wet

I even took the camera to work, to take some pictures of the pretty dew drops in the morning.

And for the grand finale, here is the Kaiserstuhl at sunset:

Sunset and the volcano

shopping experiment

The thing that stands between me and an oversized closet is the fact that shopping for clothes entails that you have to visit stores. And I don’t know why, but clothes shops are stuffy, narrow contraptions in which you can barely move. Then there are the changing rooms, gruesomely lit with unforgiving mirrors and nasty floors. So, my desire to venture into town, when it’s already hot to only get more hot and disheveled in the pursuit of finding fabric shells to wrap my body in, is more or less zero. No, it’s below zero, somewhere in the arctic regions of “No Way. Never. Not gonna happen.”

I actually love that big bad online retailer with an A for the fact that they spare me the hassle of having to run around town to find… basement shelving… spare parts for my toilet… bike parts… oh, and books on every matter I can think of. Right now I try to venture out a bit more to find other online shops, and I am very happy with design3000.

Being a skinny minny with an hourglass figure, I always thought that there’s no way to shop for clothes other than going into stores and try them on. But in my predicament I remembered that there’s one brand which always fits me like a glove. And I thought: What the heck, why don’t you try their online shop, for a change? Sending stuff back is less hassle than having to wrangle clothes in a changing room. Said and done, and I can declare this experiment a success. It is really nice to have all options, all colours and all sizes at your fingertips. You can sip tea while browsing the collection, getting inspired and finally making your choice. Then you have to wait a few days until your carefully selected parcel arrives, with your clothes still wrapped in sealed plastic bags. Nobody already had their grubby fingers on them, nobody had tried them on yet, they are all new and pristine. And they did fit like a glove. Consider me a convert.