Berlin

We have just got back from a last minute family holiday to Berlin. And by family I mean pretty much all of us – me, hubby, the kids, my mum, my stepdad and my sister. Seven of us spending the week together. Recipe for trouble right?

Actually it wasn’t. We had a fantastic time. Although I do think my sister has seen enough of her niece and nephew for a while now 😉

My stepdad isn’t allowed to fly due to medical issues so we looked into other options and found we could go by train. The Eurostar took us from London to Brussels, an ICE train from Brussels to Köln and a second ICE train from Köln to Berlin. 9 hours altogether which sounded like a nightmare.

I was genuinely surprised by how easy it all was. Each train was on time, clean, comfortable and the journey was just so easy. I would definitely consider doing it this way again.

We did a lot of sightseeing and even went on a Hop on Hop off tour bus around the city. This was probably the warmest way to do it as temperatures were in minus figures the whole time we were there. We even had snow!

Both myself and my step dad have been to Berlin before. Him, as part of his time in the army 40 years ago, and me, as part of a school history trip 20 years ago (that makes me sound so old!) The city has changed so much and we barely recognised it. On the plus side, it was clean, easy to navigate and the people were really friendly and tolerant of my basic German skills.

The only negative thing for me was the amount of beggars there were. I found it hard that (1) there were so many of them and (2) they were quite pushy asking for money. I know that it’s not their fault, that homelessness is a major problem and all countries (and individuals) could probably do more to help the situation. It just made me very sad to see it.

Since coming back we are all still talking about it and I think we would definitely go back again should the opportunity arise.

Have you ever been to Berlin? Or the Germany?

2018

2018? Another year gone. Time certainly does fly as you get older!

I’ve seen so many “New Year, New Me” posts across the whole of social media over the past week and while it is nice to see people setting goals for the year ahead, how many of them are realistic?

I know I’m guilty of it. It’s easy to get swept away with the glamour of new diaries and blank calendars and think “this is the year I….. <whatever>” But then the real world kicks back in, the mundane day to day stuff and it’s easy to get sidetracked. To put things off til tomorrow, til Monday, til… well any day that isn’t today.

I’ve tried to keep that in mind while setting myself goals for 2018. I like having targets to aim for but I can get downhearted if they turn out to be unachievable. So I’ve dialled it back this year. No big sweeping status, no grandiose plans. Just a list of things I’d like to do in the house, things I’d like to do with the kids and things I’d like to work on personally.

I hope to write here a lot more often and I’d like to share with you both the work we are doing in the house and the steps we are taking to live a more sustainable life. And I’d love it if you would join us as we negotiate the unknown that is 2018.

I wish you all a healthy and happy new year.