Monday, April 24, 2023

The Great Oudoors


While I really don't mind (the occasional) rain, sunshine and above all  LONGER DAYS are my ultimate mood-enhancer and being able to spend most of my weekends outdoors makes me super happy. Morning coffee on the terrace, lunch and dinner in the garden: yes, please! Only beaten by a poolside picnic in the summer, when I bring bread-rolls, cherry tomatoes and baby cucumbers (fun fact: until less than 10 years ago I absolutely detested cucumbers and would give them a wide berth) plus some non-melting snacks in little ziploc bags or tupperware containers. Paired with a cold coca-cola from the kiosk = bliss. 
Plus, of course, I have turned into THAT person who flicks through garden center brochures now instead of tossing them straight into the recycling bin and who gets excited about the progress in her tiny vegetable and herb garden. Sorry, not sorry.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Darkness and Light

These days, I often stop to think: "Have I ever been so content and happy? Could I be any happier" I really am very, very happy with my life and feel very privileged to be able to say that. Obviously, my partner in crime that complements me so well, plays a big role int that. I have always been somebody who lives in the NOW, but the now has not always been as enjoyable. Not that long ago, true happiness and contentment felt like a distant and elusive state that I definitely wasn't experiencing first hand to the degree I wanted to. I always knew I would (again) one day, but there were some dark and unhappy times for sure. As cheesy and self-help-booky as it sounds: in retrospect, these were the months and years that really made me grow as a person and enabled me to be my happy self. Recently, I have found out about several people among friends and relatives who are unfortunately experiencing dark days and seeking professional help for mental health issues. Whenever I hear about such episodes I almost feel a stab of guilt for being among the lucky (few?) who have come out of those truly crazy past 2,3 years seemingly unscathed, and who are not (yet anyway) experiencing a crisis about their old age. I know only too well that this might well be self-delusion and a very fragile balance that could tip to the "bad" side any moment, what with ageing parents who live far away from me among other potential "landmines". Right now, I do feel very resilient and able to navigate difficult times and I really try to be compassionate to those who are having a shitty time, provided they want company.

Monday, April 10, 2023


It's all about appreciation. Mademoiselle was recently fuming (I have yet to hear the long version) when she returned from a week in France with her class as they apparently were a particularly thankless bunch who did not show the least appreciation for all the effort she put in organising their trip. I can relate even though I have long reduced my expectations from others in this regards. Highflyer makes a point of thanking me for every meal I cool for him and I really like this politeness and show of appreciation even though cooking is not a chore for me in the least, but one of my favourite hobbies. One of my pet hates is people who are mean and snobby to wait staff and people in the service industry in general and I really am friendly to everyone I meet and even tend to find excuses for rude behaviour along the lines of "he/she has had a bad day, probably" or "well, can't blame them given they work in this low-paid job and probably have to put up with annoying customers day in, day out". Sometimes even my patience and understanding are veeery stretched and I can't hold back sarcastic replies or just retaliate with actions I think might make them reconsider their behaviour. For years I also got the elder brothers of my godchild small presents (e.g. cinema vouchers) for Christmas. When I didn't hear a word of thanks from the teenagers I just stopped and gave her higher value presents instead. I actually heard back from their mother once that one of them remarked that he appreciated those gifts while they came in and did notice when the supply stopped, but well...tough luck.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Holy Grail

Well, we all do remember the title of this blog, don't we? Despite that, I've long shifted the focus from lunch-hour shopping exploits to a myriad of other topics...not only because I don't work right in the epicentre of retail attractions any longer. Recently, I bought THE BAG, however, and it's worth writing about. Back in the heyday of YouTube makeup gurus, there was this expression for their favourite products and particularly coveted items: HG, short for "holy grail".Well, for me a black pre-loved Chanel bag has been the holy grail of bags for quite a while and a few years ago I decided to get one for my 50th. That didn't happen as I was busy organising my wedding and only very infrequently browsed bag listings on my favourite platform for second hand luxury items. Last year, though, I had already narrowed down my search and decided on the model I wanted to get: a "camera bag" of a certain type (without a tassel) and size (not the oversized, but the compact one). I set up a few alerts and defined the maximum I was willing to pay, only to realise that most bags in excellent condition came with a much higher price tag. Well, until the week before last when I was sitting in a restaurant with Highflyer and two of his sisters, who were in town, and got a notification on my phone that there was a 48-hour-price drop (of about 500 EUR) on one of my bookmarked bags and my heart raced. In the subway on the way back to my flat I pulled the trigger and bought the bag, because I knew I would regret it if I didn't. About a week later it arrived after having been authenticated by an expert of the site and I could not be happier. Personally, I think the classic double flap bags (way more expensive anyway) only look cool on young women, but make somebody of my vintage automatically age a decade and seem more conservative, but this bag is really timeless and makes every outfit look cooler. One more handbag and possibly the classiest one of them all.

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