A Study of my Drink (A Blog about Photography)

I have a confession to make: I`m a serial offender for ordering my food and drinks for their looks, so I can photograph and, if I find them particularly appealing, post them on social media.

The prices in certain places used to annoy me, but ever since I started photographing, I have become more lenient, considering all the added value I`m getting.

Worst thing (apart from dealing with the impatience of fellow diners) is usually to determine which ones of all those many shots of the same thing are actually any good. The following are 10 out of 29 shots of the same white sangria I enjoyed in our favourite wine bar in Lisbon at the weekend – Bar Bica half way through, and with a stunning view onto, the very famous and much photographed Ascensor da Bica (and with free WiFi seducing you to post the first picture right away, which, of course, I did :-))

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All photos were made on an Iphone 7 Plus (with the background blurring portrait mode, which was a major selling point) and, apart from Chrome and said Portrait Mode, not edited.

Feedback would be much appreciated – while I do think I progressed in both technicque and composition, I often seem to have no idea of what a good photo is. (It always amazes me on Instagram how people like the pics I was not sure about and almost ignore thoe ones I`m particularly pleased with).

Jahresendstoeckchen 2016 / My Annual Review 2016

Well, I certainly didn`t like everything that happened in the wider world, but for me personally, 2016 was absolutely fantastic – best year since a long time. It wasn`t so much about things that happened to me but things that I`ve done, and I think that`s hugely different. Places I`ve seen, things I have done for and accomplished in my career… I was doing wonderful things while I was working part time – cultivated hobbies I`d been neglecting, accomplished things with my photography, started studying towards a degree and finishing my first module with a distinction , went old and new places… it just was a really, really, good year, and I`m excited to say that 2017 is looking like it keeps going into the same direction.

I used to always do New Year`s Resolutions, and then I stopped them and started them again, but honestly, this year`s only resolution is to keep all those things going just the way they are.

Coming soon…

Over the month of January, I will dig out and revamp some of my lifestyle posts from the last year and a half. I`ve written a lot about the things which people are usually wanting to improve (fitness, money, de-cluttering, and a bit of beauty and fashion) now.

A few holiday posts are also still forthcoming – I really wanted to take my time writing about this amazing trip to Israel, but we`ve also been to Crete, Porto and Lisbon, and I didn`t forget my promise to write more about my home town, which is (well, near) Edinburgh.

And that`s for all my new readers. It`s been a great year for my blog, too, and although I don`t know whether you are all actually reading, it`s been great to see it grow, and I`m really committed to keep producing content which I hope you`ll find interesting.

Apologies for the following being in German…

… but we (that`s the group of German bloggers who came here when http://www.blog.de closed down) do this little survey thingy every year.

1. Zugenommen oder abgenommen?
Zugenommen. Aber nicht viel.

2. Haare länger oder kürzer?
Ein ganzes Stueck laenger. Ich wollte mal wieder was anderes, und nachdem ich es oft versucht und wieder abgeschnitten hat, gefaellt es mir dieses Mal richtig gut. Ich hatte fast 10 Jahren keine langen Haare mehr!!

3. Kurzsichtiger oder weitsichtiger?
Wenn man`s im uebertragenen Sinne sieht, auf jeden Fall kurzsichtiger, und das ist gut so. Ich komme davon ab, mich immer so sehr um die Zukunft zu sorgen. Es sind in den letzten zwei Jahren so viele Dinge passiert, die mich ueberzeugten, dass das (within reason!) nicht die gesuendeste und hilfreichste Denkweise ist.

4. Mehr Kohle oder weniger?
Mehr.

5. Mehr ausgegeben oder weniger?
Weniger. Als ich auf ein Halbzeitgehalt runter ging, wurde ich echt sparsam, und da ich das so beibehalten moechte, wird die Differenz jetzt automatisch auf ein Sparkonto ueberwiesen, auch wegen befristet und so…

6. Mehr bewegt oder weniger?
Weniger. Hoert bloss auf. Weil das trotz weniger arbeiten so war, kam ich zu dem Schluss dass ich es gar nicht so toll finden kann. Ich glaube es war eher ein Stressabbauventil. Ich bin ja auch immer dann viel gerannt, wenn ich unter starkem Druck stand.

7. Der hirnrissigste Plan?
Nee, also da stehe ich schon ueberall hinter…

8. Die gefährlichste Unternehmung?
Manche sagen einen permanenten Job fuer einen befristeten aufzugeben. Andere sagen Urlaub in Israel machen. I say: you miss out 🙂

9. Der beste Sex?
Naechste Frage…

10. Die teuerste Anschaffung?
Es gab neue Moebel und Elektrosachen, aber einzeln waren sie alle im Rahmen.

11. Das leckerste Essen?
War wie immer im Urlaub

12. Das beeindruckendste Buch?
Ich finde meine Open Uni-Buecher beeindruckend, und ich glaube sonst hab ich nicht viel gelesen.

13. Der ergreifendste Film?
Auch nicht.

14. Die beste CD?
Bon Jovi Greatest Hits. Klar zaehlt das.

15. Das schönste Konzert?
Sorry – aber auch nicht.

16. Die meiste Zeit verbracht mit?
Meinem Mann und meiner Freundin B. Die ist in der Naehe gezogen und hat auch viel Tagesfreizeit.

17. Die schönste Zeit verbracht mit?
Mit meinem Mann, und  mit Bandora und ihrer Familie in Israel.

18. Vorherrschendes Gefühl 2016?
Sehr gemischt. Es ist so viel passiert, da kann ich kein einzelnes Gefuehl raus picken. Vielleicht immer mal wieder Verwunderung, dass das wirklich mein Leben ist…

19. 2016 zum ersten Mal getan?
In Israel gewesen

20. 2016 nach langer Zeit wieder getan?
Eine Freundin verloren.

21. Drei Dinge, auf die ich gut hätte verzichten mögen?
Nr 20. Brexit. President Trump.

22. Die wichtigste Sache, von der ich jemanden überzeugen wollte?
Meinen Mann, dass ich nach Israel will. Ich hab da grosse Ablehnung erwartet, aber ein grosser Ueberzeugungspitch war zu meiner eigenen Ueberraschung gar nicht noetig. Er hat einfach gesagt fahr, aber halt ohne mich.

23. Das schönste Geschenk, das ich jemandem gemacht habe?
Da muesste man jetzt andere fragen, aber ich glaube, das war wahrscheinlich das Brautkleid, das ich sehr kurzfristig geholfen habe fertigzustellen. Es waere zwar trotzdem schoen gewesen, aber ein paar zauberhafte Details, die der Braut wichtig waren, haette man weg lassen muessen.

24. Das schönste Geschenk, das mir jemand gemacht hat?
Mal ne Weile weniger arbeiten und  mehr Zeit mit anderen Dingen verbringen.

25. Der schönste Satz, den jemand zu mir gesagt hat?
Wiederholen will ich ihn hier nicht, aber es war etwas von meinem Mann, das einen Beschuetzerinstinkt mir gegenueber zeigte, von dem ich manchmal nicht glaube dass er wirklich da ist.

26. Der schönste Satz, den ich zu jemandem gesagt habe?
Nun weiss ich ja schon wieder nicht, was andere als schoen empfunden habe, aber was ich am schoensten fand war als ich zweimal Menschen gratulieren durfte. Einer hatte sich etwas ganz, ganz lange gewuenscht, die andere haette es sich nie traeumen lassen, aber zweimal waren in 2016 ganz besondere Glueckwuensche angebracht.

27. 2016 war mit einem Wort?
absolutelymegabrilliant

28. 2016 leider gar nicht getan?
Bestimmte Leute wieder gesehen.

29. Wort des Jahres?
Livinthedream

30. Stadt des Jahres?
Lissabon. Diese Stadt loest einfach was in mir aus. Ich will da leben!

31. Song des Jahres?
Rockabye

32. Erkenntnis des Jahres?
Man muss auch mal ein paar Risiken eingehen, wenn man nicht auf der Stelle treten will.

33. Beste Idee/Entscheidung des Jahres?
Eine feste Stelle fuer eine befristete zu verlassen. Das passt jetzt (erstmal…)

I`m wishing you…

all the best for 2017, and once again, thank you so much for your support :-))

More Jerusalem Photos and a note on Travel Posts in general

I still haven`t quite finished my blog about Israel, but I deliberately spaced this out a bit recently, as I was quite conscious that this blog was starting to look like a travel blog. My intention was always (and still is!) to write about quite a varied range of topics, but I`m pleased about and flattered by the unexpected interest in my humble holiday snaps.

I would like to (at last!!) take this opportunity to extend an especially warm welcome to over 120 (that`s one hundred and twenty!! :-)) new followers, who came since I started blogging more about travelling, and while I was not going to post more pictures of my 4th stay on Crete and 5th visit to Lisbon, you have changed my mind, and I will! I may even start posting more about Edinburgh, which is where I live. Not all at once, but that`s actually a good thing as it means I`ll not run out of material any time soon. In any case, I herewith promise to please 🙂

*

… and here come some more pictures of Jerusalem (and I hope you`ll forgive me for posting them on a day where there is so many sad pictures of this country as well, due to the wildfires. But what this blog never wanted to be is the BBC). It`s Friday now, and, after a rather brief revisit of the Jewish Food Market (NOT recommended on Fridays when everyone is coming to stock up for Sabbath!), I went to have a look at the more modern part of Jerusalem:

Those pretty ornaments here have been photographed and put online numerous times before, and apart from being pretty, they`re also rather useful to provide some shade in this hot climate:

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The headscarves of the Jewish women have been fascinating me ever since I started to notice them. I didn`t even know there was a dress code for girls, and while their actual clothes are rather plain (which is the requirement), their headwear is a piece of art. It`s meant to look modest (because it conceals her hair), but to me, it looks regal, elegant and sophisticated. Sadly, I have not been able to ask anyone to teach me, but I bought a little headband for myself, which is… just a band rather than a proper scarf but, at least in, as well as on, my own head, able to replicate some of the glamour. Sadly, not entirely appropriate for the office. I almost envy those women for wearing them absolutely everywhere.

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Even though this was the modern part of Jerusalem, there was a different feel to it. I can`t quite tell whether this was because of the buildings or because people still did things like selling vegetables and fresh bread in the street…

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At the end of the day I had a less pleasant surprise. Bandora told me, but I had forgotten. When I arrived at the bus stop at 5.30pm, there was no one there but me, and the electronic timetables which reliably told me on all other days when buses were due, were out of service. A passer by reminded me that Sabbath actually starts at 5pm on a Friday, and as the buses were operated by Jews, they were already finished until Sunday morning. Obviously, (Christian) taxi drivers were used to people being caught out, as it did not take long for one to arrive and take me home.

Someone else`s garden:

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BTW, Muslims stop working at lunch time on Fridays (I desperately wanted to visit the Islamic Arts Museum but didn’t watch my time). Jews don`t work a Saturday, and Christian shops are closed on Sundays, so my souvenir shopping had to be rather well planned. Being from Germany, I know differently, but here in Britain, we are spoilt: Everything is open every single but two days of the year, which is Christmas Day and New Year, and we now expect it. They are currently trying to pass a law banning winter sales starting on Boxing Day with a view of extending family time that once a year.

Not exactly chronological order, but I saved the best thing for last: lunch in a Jewish Restaurant near the Jewish Food Market. I`ve been stuffing my face with delicious Middle Eastern things all week, but so far, had not had anything which was decidedly Jewish.

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What caught my eye was the last item listed under “first course”, because it said Fridays only. So I asked whether this were vegetarian, and the waiter grabbed my arm and took me to the kitchen to speak to the chef. What I saw there was probably the highlight of my rather full day:

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Isn`t this incredible????? I`ll leave it for another post to show you what happened to my own kitchen after I revisited the idea of mosaic tiles in Portugal a couple of weeks ago (not quite ready yet…)

 

How Do You Usually View This Blog? (Poll)

I need your help – could you please tell me how you usually view my blog? I`d like to get a rough idea of how many of you see my my template and particularly the widgets on the side. Thanks so much! 🙂

full website

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simplified website fuer smartphone and tablet

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simple post view

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preview only

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Blog Liking

I`m not happy when my posts get, say 3 views and 4 likes.

To the outside world, it may be looking as if that 4th person is complimenting me on the piece, but as I`m looking at my stats, I read: “It`s probably not worth reading, but I`ll like it anyway, just to pretend.”

 

Decluttering

Oh yeah, decluttering. This project that we did last year, and that I started in good spirits again in January. I promise from the bottom of my heart that I kept decluttering (just brought the last bag away today), but to tell you the honest truth, I got bored blogging about it. I felt I was cluttering my blog with pictures of my clutter.

I was loving the project last year – there were at least two handsful of people participating, we were all laughing at and commenting on each others` things, but this year, it was just me and one other person (from my friends group, anyway), and while the other blogger fared quite a bit better, I attracted no comments on my clutter. Classical example for the effectiveness of support, or its withdrawal in this case. Maybe even of competition.

… and I finally have an Avatar!

I wasn`t sure at first whether I wanted a real picture of myself or rather a bitstrip or something totally different, and then I was wondering whether I should use the same avatar that I had on the platform I just moved from, particularly as people already have to get used to another name.

Anyway – here`s a really current pic of myself, taken last month on Crete.

A very warm welcome…

…to my new blog.

I can honestly say that I was only party upset when my previous host announced its closure yesterday. I have been blogging there since 9 years and built very meaningful offline relationships; however there were several aspects of my very active life there that I had started to question.

Ideas were had as to what I should and should not do about it, but so far, I kept postponing to put them into practice. But here’s the perfect start – the decision has been taken out of my hands; if I’m to keep blogging, I’ll have to start afresh, although I sincerely hope for at least some of the old crowd to join me here.

Starting afresh means my online me will change, but, of course, I’m still the same silly me underneath and can be contacted elsewhere any time. I’d love that, in fact.

Because I’ve been thinking about this anyway, I also decided to leave start immediately and write here from now on.

Thank you for your loyalty, and an especially warm welcome to all my new readers.