Don’t let anyone tell you that Germans don’t know how to party…

It’s not everyday that you fly over 400 miles for the pre-wedding party of your best friend but long distance friendship sometimes takes a little more effort…

I’d just come home from work on New Year’s Eve, about to get ready for a party when I noticed an envelope on my bed. I knew immediately who it was from, her writing is unmistakable (and her address is always written on the back) and rushed to open it. I thought it was an invitation to her upcoming wedding and the dress on the front of the card also aided my suspicions but the point of the card was even more exciting. I read it slowly, taking in every word and smiling at the well wishes to my family (“greetings” as she always says). I reached the bottom of the first side and there was the question in silver swirly writing; “will you be one of my bridesmaids?”. I read it a couple more times before running down the stairs ecstatically to tell my family. An invite to the wedding was one thing considering I’m in a different country but asking me to be such a special part to the occasion was something else. I was thrilled. It was probably the best start to a new year I’d ever had. 

The card she sent me and the one I replied with

Since January I’ve been to visit her twice. First for the very important and extremely fun task of finding a wedding dress. It was like real life Say Yes to the Dress! Her sister Inga and her best friend Pia had made little gift bags for all the bridesmaids, six of us in total, each with snacks and tissues, and flash cards for rating each dress – theirs were in German, mine were in English and they were all adorable. There were individual little milk bottles filled with champagne and beautiful pink edible flowers resting at the bottom, decorated with a mint green ribbon round the top – they were so sweet I kept mine to display in my bedroom. The wedding dress store was about two and a half hours away so the car journey was more of a car picnic party – German pastries, sausage bites, sweets, and of course champagne were circulated round the car as we all chatted away and sang to Justin Bieber. I have to say, if you’ve never been wedding dress shopping before its 100% as much fun as it sounds. I loved it. The bride tried on a few dresses and she looked stunning in all of them but when she put on ‘the one’ we all knew it. There were hugs and tears and it was a really special moment – one I’m really glad I was a part of. 

The cute little gift bags

The second time I visited was more recently for a pre-wedding tradition called Polterabend which directly translates as “noisy night”. We definitely don’t have this idea in Britain and its a little odd if you’ve never heard of it but the mentality behind it is very heartwarming. Basically, the couple throw a party for all their friends and family – people coming to the wedding, people that can’t (or couldn’t be invited due to numbers) and there’s food and music and games and then there’s the traditional aspect. To show their well wishes, friends and family of the couple smash china- plates, mugs, vases (even a toilet was thrown!) and the couple then has to sweep the mess up, proving that they can work together. The noise of the smashing objects is also to ward off evil spirits from the engaged pair. Like I said, we definitely don’t have an equivalent and it was crazy to witness but also really cool to be a part of such a valued tradition. At the party there was also a huuuge buffet, a kind of “bring and share” system – I helped to make more Currywurst, because you can never have enough; it’s delicious. There were all kinds of pasta salads, noodles, bread rolls, cakes, desserts, cupcakes – even a candy floss machine or ‘Zuckerwatte’. There were gazebos and fairy lights and one of those mobile do it yourself bars with beer. So much beer.  

The bride and groom and the very pretty snack table!!

Don’t let anyone tell you that Germans don’t know how to party because I’ve partied the hardest when I’ve been there. This party started at 7pm and we didn’t get to bed until 6.30am. It was a lot to take in since I was the only person who wasn’t German but everyone’s English was incredibly impressive (and their English accents reciting Harry Potter were the cutest) and they’re also incredibly kind and understanding. It was the day Brexit had been announced and everyone was asking what I thought of it and how I felt and what was happening back home and they all agreed how sad and scary it was and they nearly all jokingly offered for me to stay with them, although considering what’s happening I might have to hold them to it. Also, don’t let anyone tell you that Germans are hard, non humorous people because they’re not. They’re some of the most loving, most appreciative and most funny people and my best friends family are my family and vice versa. 

My next trip over is in September for her hen party and the wedding taking place the week after and I’m so excited! It’s always lovely to be reunited with her and it’ll be great to celebrate ‘German style’ again with the other bridesmaids too, and of course share in the wonderment of her big day. I know I’ve said it a thousand times before but thank you for making me part of your special day, it really does mean the world. 

The two of us


June Favourites… 

Aaaaand she’s back (back, back, back again..) and since we’re a scary number of days into July I thought I would start of with a June favourites. You know the drill by now. June was actually a pretty busy month for me as it included my birthday and a weeks holiday from work which I crammed as much into as I possibly could. Slight regrets due to my perpetual tiredness but I’d say it was worth it. 

First up on my favourites for last month is Funny Girl, the multi-award winning West End musical which I saw in London on my week off with my best friend (shoutout to Catherine if you’re reading!). The musical is based on a movie musical which is based on a book which is based on the real life events of the one and only Miss Fanny Brice; played in the movie (and originally on Broadway and the West End) by queen of musicals herself, Barbra Streisand. Sheridan Smith was set to revise the role for the first time since Ms Streisand ended her run back in the 60’s, however after a couple of months with the company she was taken ill but is due to return later this month. Sadly for us we didn’t see her perform but we were lucky enough to watch her understudy, Natasha Barnes, and we were not disappointed! The rave reviews she received were more than deserved and after having a starring role in such a prestigious musical I’m sure she’ll go far – she’s definitely earned it. If you like musicals/theatre/stellar performances and have a free afternoon or evening in London, I would highly advise you to grab a ticket for this while you can as it’s only on for a couple more months and for a near perfect view it didn’t cost the earth (like theatre so often can!). One of the best stage shows I’ve seen, it’s got a bit of everything – comedy, heart and some of the best songs in showbiz. 

Next up is another performance, look at me being all cultured! This time it was at the Bristol Colston Hall for Nashville: In Concert which was the tour of the US TV show Nashville. I’m a huge fan of this show and couldn’t be happier that it’s been renewed for a fifth season after momentarily being cancelled… And yes, I did sign the petition to save it. The tour featured four of the main ‘characters’ singing both as they do on the show and as themselves, since they’re all country singers in their own right. Scarlett O’Connor (Claire Bowen), Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio), Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) and Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) introduced each song and explained the stories behind them which made the evening nice and intimate, however they did have us partying in our seats as they danced round the isles of the stalls. It was such an incredibly fun night and the talent in the room that evening was phenomenal, they’re all such gifted performers and I felt lucky to be able to see them perform in person on such a date restricted tour. My friend even managed to get her ticket signed after the show for me (sadly I had to get the bus home and they don’t wait for anybody) by my favourite character Deacon – he wrote my name and everything! *fangirls into the distance* Anyway, if you’re a fan of country music then this show will probably strike a chord with you – I’d start from the beginning as there’s lots to catch up on even though there’s currently only 4 seasons. Enjoy! 

I can’t write a June favourites without including Orange is the New Black. I won’t give anything away in case you’re still catching up but OMG. Just watch it. Watch it now. 

One of my New Years resolutions was to read more books. And I can say, half way through the year that I have read one solitary book. I don’t think I’ve finished a whole book for a good few years so this was some accomplishment for me although it shouldn’t have been so hard because the book was great, hence it being in this list. Around the World in 80 Dates, written by Jennifer Cox, is exactly what it sounds like. Her own true story of how she travelled the world (thanks to her job at Lonely Planet and her well connected friends) one date at a time – all the way to 80. This funny, sweet, romantic yet sassy tale is a perfect book for those of you who love romance, hilarious/perfect/awkward date stories or travel… Or the whole lot combined! It will definitely give you a severe case of wanderlust making you want to pack in your 9-5 and follow in her footsteps. An easy and enjoyable read for holidays, the work commute or bedtime, and from someone who struggles to read full books, I’d highly recommend it. 

A final favourite for June is something a little more sentimental; friendship. I don’t know about you but sometimes I get a feeling, like a pang of gratitude for certain people in my life. Whether it’s just when they message out of the blue, send you a funny meme/gif/photo of someone you don’t like (come on, we all do it!) or whether you spend time with them and you’re like yes, thank you for being my friend, I appreciate you. It can be with new friends, old friends, friends you haven’t seen for years but have reconnected with, literally anyone and for me it’s been a mixture of them all. June was a pretty social month and it was nice to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for a while as well as making time for new friendships; like a trip to a new town with a new friend for afternoon tea in the sunshine. Reconnecting with old friends is such a heartwarming feeling too; the realisation that you’re still the best of friends even though there was a time when you thought you’d grown apart but you’re still the same people with the same goals and ideas and appreciation for each other. So I’m thankful for those friends, the new friends and the pop up every now and again friends. The ones that plan your birthday and make sure you have a great time, the ones that remind you to be your best self everyday and encourage you to do the things you love. I’m grateful for you all. 

That’s all for the month of June but be sure to keep a look out for my next post… Possibly a July favourites but hopefully something different in between if we’re both lucky! Thanks for reading!