Tag Archives: travelling

On a Side Note #2

I want to give you a little status update on a few things, so I’m using this category again, as I had anticipated last time.
My pile of stuff to type is getting bigger and bigger by the day and I feel like my brain is busy with so many different ideas that I just don’t know where to start.
As I mentioned in the last What’cha Watching Wednesday did a simple story-idea ran totally amok and I’m barely catching up with it…
Aside from that have I managed to publish a few stories, namely my entry for the Clue Writing Blog Parade and Chapter Eleven of Crossing Over – that were on my to-type-list last time – and a short story for a contest over at Edge of Night.
Guess what?

R.O._Winners_Award_PoiSonPaiNter

My award!


Isn’t that awesome? 😀
Either way, I also managed to write two more stories for Your Picture – A Story – again both are in German: Preparations (a continuation of Lukas‘ story from my Advent Calendar) and The Medlar – a Fairy Tale for a change. 😉
During my recent stay with DarkFairy we also managed to edit quite a bit of our book in a few days time, you can read more about it here: Scenes of an Editing Marathon.
Just yesterday I also sent off my Season Summary for Season Three of Supernatural, that might be published one of these days on The Extremis Review.
By now I’m also half way through this years Advent Calendar, but it already looks like my original plan will fail, but I’ll tell you more about that in December. 😉
Other than that am I trying to catch up with my Journey through a bit of Germany-series, as there is still a lot to talk about from last year and some new stuff from this year. I’m also going to expand on the travel logs as I want to include my trip to Ireland from last Halloween, the short trip to Liegé during my mini-Journey and the one to Stockholm I’m about to partake in at the end of the month (24th-26th).
Back in July I participated in another Reading Stage (Lesebühne) and presented some of my stories. Between reading them, someone I’ve been there with commented that I should publish my stuff as it is really good. So now we come to the main reason, why I’m writing this post:
After long contemplation I created an exposé for my Advent Calendar stories, but I wasn’t sure if I should really give it away for quite some time. Then Ed proposed to set a deadline for doing so. That deadline is today, so printed the exposé, put it into an envelope and really put that envelope into the letter box of a local publisher.
I’m still not entirely sure if that was the right thing to do.
Part of me is thrilled at the thought of it being read by professionals, another part is terrified of just that. You know how the saying goes: You’re your own worst critic, so my pessimism is greatly involved in me not believing what I have done and that they won’t like it anyway…
Well, guess we’ll see what will come of this…
See you around
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. It’s been six months today and we regained some kind of normalcy by now, but it’s still so, so strange. Especially when Dad and I are cooking a meal after two different recipes at the same time or, you know, we’re attending a wedding together, that she would have loved to be part of…I just miss her soo much… 🙁

On a Side Note

As I haven’t really published anything here in these past few weeks, I felt like I should at least write something to explain this lack of content – or maybe even use this headline in the future to just rant about things.
Anyway, the lack of posts isn’t due to lack of ideas, far from it.
I believe, I could fill more than a month with The Wesen of Grimm alone.
Beside that, is my imagination working as well as it hasn’t had in quite some time. I have a rough versions of several stories or story-parts, but there is one minor problem:
I have them handwritten and I’m too lazy to type them…
Well, at least I managed to motivate myself to finish On the Run (German Story) and The Legend of the lost Keys (German story) in time for their release for Your Picture – A Story.

What else have I written?

You see, my mind was busy these past few weeks, but I didn’t get around or felt like typing any of it. Still, I prefer to write things by hand. I can’t really explain why, but I guess I just like crossing out stuff and not being dependant on technology. Back when I was still writing with a fountain pen, I also liked the way it cast its shadow on the paper…
Though, if any of you know an App or Program for a tablet that manages to turn terrible handwriting into computer readable words, I’d be more than happy to hear about it! A program like that would save me a whole lot of time…
As for the What’cha Watching Wednesday: It’s not that I didn’t watch anything either, but I didn’t really know what I should write about the series I’ve seen and apart from them I mostly watched old movies with certain actors and I still haven’t figured out how to include those things…
Either way, I’m not sure how often I will update the site during the next few weeks. On Wednesday I’m off to the Rockharz again with Anice, Black Kat, Babsi and others and two weeks later I’ll be visiting Fairy, Nazgul and maybe Icewolf, as a mini- Journey through a bit of Germany. Fairy and I will also be at the Noch ein Bier Fest (One more beer feast) by Sabaton, which will be a lot of fun…
Wish me luck that I can think up another Weekend Guess in time for my departure, as I already had trouble with the last one.
See you around
PoiSonPaiNter

On the Road: Travelling with a Heavy Heart

For the first time since it happened my Dad and I will be driving to Mum’s/our relatives for our more or less regular Pentecost visit.
It will be very strange to be there without her.

The missing Navigator

Whenever we went to see our relatives, since I got my licence, Mum would sit in the back seat giving us directions and telling us when to switch the motorway and we would tell her that we know and that we can read the signs.
Whenever she saw me struggling to keep concentrated she would give me snack or something to drink, as we kept a basket with food and drinks on the back seat beside her.
Now both those task will have to be done by my Dad and it will be really weird.
We will find our way, but she wont be there with us.
Though the hardest thing will be that down there, where Mum grew up, will also be all those people that knew her and now have the chance to express their condolences in person.
It will be a difficult weekend full of tears, even though I’m tired of crying, but my heart doesn’t care about that.

Small steps

These past few (nearly three…) months I’ve been trying to get some kind of normalcy back into my life and as my Dad supports me in pursuing my own adventures this even included minor trips.
The first time meeting people that know what happened is hard, but at some point you have told them what you need to tell and you can commence to different topics, which takes your mind off off things.
My first visit was to Janzy in Hamburg where we participated in the Lange Nacht der Mussen (Long nights of museums). It was an interesting, educative and really nice trip, but the whole time there was this aching in my heart when I thought of my Mum.
Whene I was travelling in the past I would call her or at least text her to give her an update, but this time I had to inform my Dad about all the things happening.
It felt really weird and it still does.
Another way of me to get used to texting my Dad and enjoying stuff without having the chance to tell her about it was for me to participate in the meetings of the local Animexx group in Greifswald. I discovered the HGWAnime last year and one of their meetings was my last trip I could still tell her about. I felt the need to go there again, to be able to continue going there without thinking of that last time and so far it worked and I could enjoy my time there without thinking too much about her.
Two weeks ago Breagit and I also made another trip to Berlin for Germany’s version of the Free Comicbook Day. We were so busy throughout those hours that I barely thought about her, but still managed to give my Dad some updates.
Another thing I have last done when she got out of the hospital in January was the Sabaton concert I attended with Anice. I was so occupied by my fear of losing her that I only could really enjoy the concert when the main band started.
Next week for the first time I will attend a concert again. It will be in the same hall, but a different band and a different person to accompany me. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I made the decision to see this band last year and I really wanted to see Blind Guardian in a standalone concert for quite some time now. I really hope I can enjoy it.

What is ahead

Last year I talked about my Fernweh and slowly but surely it keeps sipping in again. With all the sadness and memories surrounding the places I know here my urge to just drive/fly away, abroad if possible, is becoming stronger and stronger. But so far I don’t have any set plans for actual journeys, like the ones I did the past few years. But I want to continue to explore stuff and I’m certain my Fernweh will find a way. Probably even more so when I start typing up my travel logs from last year…
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S.  On a completely different note and in a different tone: My Post about Fernweh is now also available in an E-Book for ferngeweht’s Blog-Parade: 49 Gedanken zu Fernweh (49 thoughts on Fernweh), you can check it out if you like, some entries, including mine, are even in English.

On the Road: A rather ridiculous trip

Facebook has a new feature that tells you what you posted today throughout the years. Out of curiosity I clicked on it today and as my Blog has been gloomy and not as funny as before I feel like I should tell you about this ridiculous/strange trip that happened exactly a year ago – like I wanted to a year ago…

It all started on a misty morning in April…

Like almost every day I drove down to work by bus and even though it was fairly early was it a morning like any other. Expect: When I looked outside I only saw mist blocking my view. Still, through this mist I saw a black clad figure making its way through the thick layers of water. It did not take me long to recognize it as Black Kat.
When we both finally arrived at work I told her about it and she told me that she had seen me the day before as well holding a paper bag from the soup bar.
I don’t really remember the exact conversation, but the following theory was created through it:

The rustling in the bushes is not the wind and it is not movement of animals. This rustling comes from paper bag-packs (pack as in wolf pack not backpack) that form when people thoughtlessly throw away their trash and are now eagerly waiting for scraps.

Or something like that.

But this was only the beginning…

During lunch another colleague, let’s call her Breagit, mused that she wanted to go to Berlin again. The weather had cleared, it was sunny and she was out of bread.
While passing by a truck sporting the incredibly melodic logo/brand name „Badusch“ (technically: Bad und Dusche => Bath and Shower => Basho) and enduring a drunkard on the playground were we ate, the musing turned more and more into planning.
So shortly after this lunch break, when we checked the connections and looked at our work load, we made the decision: We leave work earlier to drive to Berlin to get her some bread.

And so we did…

With a Länderticket (state tickets Berlin/Brandenburg ticket in this case) it is easy to get from Neubrandenburg to Berlin and use public transport without additional costs. Through this we didn’t have any trouble to get to the special bakery Breagit had in mind. As this very special bakery that makes bread that bodes well with her and that you can’t really get in Neubrandenburg was our destination – and not because there are no bakeries here…
While getting the bread was a very serious business when it comes to health terms, we did have moments throughout the trip were we just looked at each other, recited the trucks logo and started laughing because of the absurdity of this situation.
We earned a lot of confused response when we talked about this trip to other people.
My Mum for one wasn’t entirely sure she understood correctly what I was telling her on the phone when I told her we were on the train to Berlin to buy some bread and only wished us to have fun. Later, when I had explained it a bit more thoroughly, she called us bonkers…
Well, rarely anyone makes a two/four hours trip on a whim just to get some bread.
Besides this, another constant reminder of our spontaneity was Breagits repeated use of the phrase:

„Usually when I come here I have [this-and-this] with me.“

While it was less convenient we did indeed manage to get around just fine and also found a few other things to buy besides the bread (e.g. a Cookie for me 🙂 ), even without the stuff that would have made the trip easier.
On this very trip I also saw/entered the Grober Unfug comic book and the Otherland book store for the first time and declared them evil and worth another separate visit with more time to spent there.

And so it ends…

With the shopping done we soon had to depart again for our two hours train ride back. And one would think that the ridiculousness would end, but well…it didn’t.
When we waited for the train to stop at our destination we noticed an unattended bike and wondered if people would look at it the same way as they would an unattended suitcase. People are afraid of suitcase-bombs, so we speculated how one would use a bike in a similar situation. We came to very interesting conclusions concerning the frame and the bomb material…
Luckily the owner of the bike came out to pick it up to exit with us and it was not a bomb in disguise.
Long story short: This was a day that started strange and became even weirder along the way.
Though I wouldn’t really mind having such days more often – especially now that my thoughts have an ever higher tendency to turn dark.
Hope you enjoyed the tale.
PoiSonPaiNter

Happy New Year

Here we are again.
A new day and even more so a new year.
So, let me repeat and add to my title:

Happy New Year! May all your plans and wishes come true to your liking!

Now that that’s said:

What has this new year in store?

Many things that I don’t know yet, but a few I can influence.
As I told you before am I planning to do another Book-Week in January, namely in the week from the 12th to the 18th, because on the 17th Unmei and I will be visiting the Harry Potter Exhibition in Cologne.
On the 19th I’ll be at another concert of the Knight Shoe (Sabaton), this time with Anice and Danger from the Black Pack and Babsi and Jenni from the Out&Loud.
I’m looking forward to either of those. 😀
In May I’ll be at a Blind Guardian concert, though I’m not entirely sure, who else will be there…
It is also highly likely that Anice and I will return to the Rockharz in July and won’t travel to Sweden – at least not this year.
But I hope Janzy and I will finally manage to make our trip to London, after she got her Master’s degree. 🙂
The rest is pretty open yet, but there are a few things I want to accomplish writing-wise.
Well, most of all I need to finally catch up with the remaining Festival/Concert reviews, I’m far behind on those ones and I’ll try to get them done before June (and some of those other media reviews I still wanted to write throughout the year).
I also want to finally finish Crossing Over – I managed to post the full amount of two chapters last year. Then there is The Return of Magic that doesn’t have a proper ending yet, but I want to at least get it actually started.
And the one I’m most anxious about is probably the re-write of the Elevator tale. I now have some more ideas to go on and I think I can improve it.
But I’m not planning on only writing Fanfiction, I also want to continue my original work. The tales of the Dwarves demand to be continued and one story only needs to be typed, the other finished and then there are many more notes that could lead to more stories.
Then there is Your Picture – A Story, DarkFairy and mine new project over at DF.PP Entertainment that will see me write new stories for photographs. (Feel free to send us your work, to be included in it. 😉 )
And I’ll try to get the concept and idea for this years Advent Calendar, I’m fairly certain it will be a 24 chapter long story.
With all this writing I still want to continue reading though. In the last hours of 2014 I managed to finish my 20th book that year and I would like to read at least the same amount this year as well. The reading challenges will help me pick the books.
Well, that’s all I can think of right now.
Guess we’ll see what this new year has in store after all. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

Fernweh

Throughout this year I suffered a severe case of Fernweh and ferngeweht’s Blog-Parade gives me the final nudge to finish the post I started back in May.

For quite some time now I have this urge to travel, to explore new places and to simply be somewhere else.
Though until a few years ago I rarely did any of that as I was either too young to go on my own or to shy/insecure to do just that. Or too busy with riding back and forth between my home, my workplace and my place of study.

A shared experience

I don’t know why, but my main argument against travelling on my own is that I can’t share my discoveries with anyone right away.
And writing a Blog post about it is just not the same as having someone with you, who is living through the same things as you.
Well, and as no one wanted or could accompany me, I instead set out to visit people.
Thus my idea to travel a bit through Germany was born in 2012 so I could at least see a bit of my home country, before I explore others as well.
Since then I managed to find people and places to visit each year.
In 2012 I saw Frankfurt, Köln (Cologne), Bochum and Raunheim for the first time, but I also paid another visit to Kassel, which became one of my yearly destinations.
The next year saw me not just visiting people but also attending two festivals in between.
Let me tell you, this is not an easy feat…
This year again was a bit different, as the first three days I travelled completely on my own, simply stopping whenever I felt like it. The rest of that journey I met up with family and friends again and it ended in the Metalfest, but I’ll give you a full review on that when I find the time.
Even with having these journeys and travelling to festivals in different places all over the country (this year: Geiselwind, St. Goarshausen, Ballenstedt and Hildesheim) and spending time in Berlin, Rostock and Hamburg for concerts and other events, my Fernweh wasn’t cured.
Then it hit me in July:

I hadn’t been to another country (for more than a day) in SIX YEARS

And I was no longer surprised that the urge remained.
Following different travel-Blogs wasn’t really a helpful thing to do either.
To be able to cure my Fernweh for a little while, I knew I had to make a trip outside of Germany.
Luckily I had a couple of vacation days left to think up something.
Again, I was confronted with the fact, that if I wanted to travel for a longer time, I would have to do so on my own. I possibly would have done it, but after scrapping my initial ideas and creating a variation of them a friend and I spent Halloween on the Emerald Isle. It was a great remedy.
Not even a month has past since this trip, but the effects are already wearing thin and I can feel the Fernweh crawling up again (especially while writing this post)…

Because Fernweh for me is …

  • the urge to see different places.
  • the yearning to explore new things.
  • the restlessness of the wandering mind.
  • the wish to be somewhere else.

I’m not sure if my Fernweh was ever as strong as it was this year, but it does become quite bothersome at times. Especially when you want to leave, but aren’t able to because of work, money or other reasons.
But it let/s me discover new and interesting places every time I succumb/ed to it.

And these are the ones I’ve been at so far* – in Germany:

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=zXiEU2SEb2vc.kgytXokG0mhU&w=640&h=480]
I’m sure that my Fernweh will lead me to more place, even outside of Germany.
Ireland was just the beginning.
Sweden, England and others are already calling loudly for my attention.
I’m not sure where I’ll actually end up and when that’ll be, but I do plan on at least making one trip abroad next year as well – even if it’s just for a weekend again.
Regardless of my own struggles, I wish you all save travels.
I’m certain that I will not cease to explore new regions and places thanks to my Fernweh.
PoiSonPaiNter
*No guarantee for completeness. I most likely forgot a bunch of places or left them on purpose.
[Edit: This post is now also available in an E-Book for ferngeweht’s Blog-Parade: 49 Gedanken zu Fernweh (49 thoughts concerning Fernweh), you can check it out if you like.]

A different kind of Halloween

Last year I told you about my experiences with Halloween and that I consider it to be one of the most interesting feasts I know.

Last years Halloween in Hamburg was fun – and I still owe you the review on the HellNights part of it – but it was still just Halloween in Germany and the same old story I already told you about.
We ended up in an Irish pub on the Reeperbahn, with a hilarious live band, nice drinks and a really funny barwoman, but the only costume was a Batman that briefly entered the room …

This isn’t technically something bad, but as you might remember did I also tell you that

it is one of my goals to one day spent a Halloween in the U.S. and/or other places with Halloween/Samhain traditions to see how it is celebrated there at first hand.
(Quote from the other post)

And guess what?

That’s what I’m doing this time. 😀

Throughout the year I discovered a more thorough interest in a certain country and as I already told you in my review for The Hunter’s Moon do I blame this on several posts by The Fairytale Traveler and Ed Mooney Photography.

With this and the fact that I still had quite a bunch of vacation days left for the remainder of the year an idea started to form.

An idea that became a plan that would have me spent

Halloween in Ireland

(and not just in an Irish pub 😉 ).

The original plan spanned over two weeks, starting from the 24th October to the 2nd November. This way I would have also been able to attend the Bram Stoker Festival. Unfortunately everyone I asked or told about this was unable to cover the costs for such a trip. With no one to accompany me, on what would have been my first flight ever, I canned the idea and stopped thinking about it.

Yet, it was still there at the back of my mind, waiting to be unleashed again. I wanted to go and the fact that I was also suffering from Fernweh at that time didn’t really help my case. In the meantime I had changed my plans to spent Halloween in Hamburg again. This time with a former fellow student of mine: Janzy (the one from the Jazzfrühling).
But when the trip to the MPS in Hamburg didn’t still this urge to go travelling, the idea returned on our way back.

Hamburg has an airport after all.

Not even a day after the medieval festival I started making preparations for the shortened trip (only from the 31st October to the 1st November) by working up my courage to write to one of the persons that started it all: Edward Mooney.

With his amazing help I managed to not just get an outline of activities, but also learn about things I would have otherwise spent hours googling for the same information.

Let this be a HUGE (public) THANK YOU, Ed!

As I wanted to surprise Janzy with this idea and give her a part of it as Birthday present did I not tell her at first and simply grinned like an idiot when she mentioned wanting to visit Ireland when we were on the phone one evening.
Still, the more concrete my plans became, the more I felt that I’d be overwhelming her if I only told her on my arrival.
Yet, I wanted to SEE her reaction. Luckily there are things like Skype. 😉

When I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer and had her ok, that she wouldn’t mind travelling somewhere two hours away from Hamburg we changed from phone to Skype for the revelation.

The part I gave her as gift was The Dublin Ghostbus Tour and I sent her the link for it.
She scrolled up and down the page to then start the following conversation

„And where do I see where it is?“
„Up at the top in the headline: DUBLIN Ghostbus.“
„Yes, but there isn’t a Dublin two hours away [from Hamburg].“
„Sure, by plane.“
The gears were visibly turning in her head until realization dawned upon her.
„No, no, I can’t accept that as a gift!“
„Everything is already planned.“

She was really delighted, yet shocked, about this turn of events.
And I was glad she liked the idea as much as she did. 🙂

So now after booking everything, struggling with car rentals and anticipating this moment for months it is finally happening!

When you are reading this post we hopefully safely landed in Dublin! 😀

Shortly afterwards we’ll be renting our car to drive up to Navan for our B&B and then a bit further to Athboy for the Torchlit Procession to the Hill of Ward (Tlachtga).

Tomorrow we’ll be exploring Newgrange, Tara and then Dublin by Ghostbus.
As we decided to return on Monday, do we also have the whole Sunday to spent in the Irish capital city.

While I’m writing this I’m really excited for the trip.
Driving on the left (*cough*wrong*cough*) side of the road, exploring a new country, spending Halloween where it is properly celebrated.

I doubt even rain would make this any less incredible, but it won’t rain anyway. 😀

Stay save in this spirit filled night and have Happy Halloween! 🙂

Have a carved pumkin for the way

Have a carved pumkin for the way

PoiSonPaiNter

P.S. This is a scheduled post so it might be that it doesn’t reach my  Facebook or Tumblr page.

A special place for book lovers…

is located in the Mecklenburger Schweiz (Mecklenburg Switzerland).

As I mentioned in the beginning of and throughout the Book-Week had I planned a trip with my Mum to a Book Hotel or more precisely the Gutshotel Groß Breesen that claims to be the first Book Hotel in Germany.

We had discussed a trip to this place for quite some time now, but this year my Mum got it from me for her birthday and in the end of July it was finally time to go there.

Getting there and the first impression

Their logo

As we aren’t familiar with the region the hotel is located in, we used a satnav to find our way. Yet, even though mine has current map material, we struggled a bit towards the end.
The address of the hotel claims to be „near Zehna“ in a „Dorfstraße“ (Village Road) and my satnav was clever enough to send us into the Dorfstraße of Zehna…
Luckily it isn’t too far to Groß Breesen from there and we just needed a look at a printed map and were back on track.

Already when we entered the entrance hall we were met with the sight of up to twenty boxes, completely filled with books of all kinds. A sight that already let a grin spread across my face in anticipation of what lay ahead for us.

After we picked up our key card and found our room we had a look around, before settling in.

The Hotel

The room we had was a nice double-room that had already two books lying on the window sills. One by two pastors telling stories from their sheep and the another describing funny situations. I didn’t read either, but my Mum picked the comedic one.

You could get jealous of all these owls..

You could get jealous of all these owls in the hotel…

Just beside our room was the first library, but also three more shelves in the different hallways. In the library you had a couch and two armchairs to get comfortable in and if you wanted, you had also the possibility to listen to music from a player in the corner. Alternatively you could sit on the terrace right outside the room. We used the chance to sit there a couple of times in the evening and in the morning, before it got too warm/too cold out there and we moved to the garden or the arm chairs/our room respectively.

Next during our exploration we looked through the book boxes on our way to the vaulted cellar with the restaurant and already picked up a couple of interesting looking ones. We also discovered that there seem to be two more buildings containing the guest rooms and another, a bit larger, library in the cellar of one of them. Outside you had chairs and tables from the restaurant, but also many more possibilities to sit in the garden.

Catering

During our stay we enjoyed the awesomeness that was the restaurants food. It was always delicious, always an enormous amount of food and did I mention delicious?

Aside from that were there three things that stuck with me like the taste of the food:

During our first breakfast I had an encounter that I would have not expected to have. When I turned around from picking up a role (Brötchen 😉 ) I saw a man standing there that looked awfully familiar and he recognized me as well.
A hotel in the middle of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern isn’t really a place you expect to – or rather want to – meet a former professor/student…
At least my Mum was highly amused by this and I was surprised how much he remembered about me…

On our second evening we sat outside to have dinner and my Mum had ordered a bread-plate and as it was still warm the insects still flew around or more precisely: The wasps. They were pretty annoying, but it was really interesting to see one of them slowly cutting off a slice of meat from Mums cold cuts and fly off with it…

When we sat outside on Saturday the waitress came up to us, asking whether we knew English and were good at it, which I replied to with „I like to think so“. When she next asked if I’d be able to translate the menu, I told her that I’d try, but wouldn’t promise anything. Not long after this she brought me a tiny Langenscheidt dictionary, a pen and scribbling paper alongside the menu and I started working. With my own vocabulary, the dictionary and the waitresses mobile phone (aka Leo.org) we managed to translate the meals. If it hasn’t been changed then the translation of the menu is still by me. 🙂

Read where ever and when ever you want!

The best thing, however, was that no one judged the place you chose for reading. Or the time.
The hotel provides you with a variety of different chairs, benches and couches to get comfortable in/on, both in- and outside. Even when food or drinks were served they would make sure to place them were you could still read your book. Everyone passing by just gave you a smile, instead of the scowl you occasionally get elsewhere. The overall lovely and welcoming atmosphere was even more heightened by this. And just look at some of the places outside:

A couple of sitting/reading places outside

Benches, canvas chairs and many more

Luckily I'm not afraid of angels ;)

Luckily I’m not afraid of angel statues 😉

Who wouldn’t want to spent time with a good book there?

Everything in this hotel simply allows you to enjoy your reading experience just the way you want/like it.

Except, for example, a Mum that teases you with a „Still not finished?“ when she is done with her first book, while you’re still stuck with yours….thanks Mum…
To be fair did I pick a rather heavy piece with Jack London’s John Barleycorn and she had the comedic one I mentioned before.

Books as far as the eye can see

Even more impressive than the vast collection of sitting possibilities were the numbers of books you saw wherever you looked.

They lie in piles, in boxes or suitcases, on shelves in the different hallways, in the library room with the terrace or in the two rooms of the cellar library and a huge barn containing about 250.000 books alone…
Even though we had planned to take a look at the latter we were soon overwhelmed by the books we already had at our disposal, so we shelved (pun intended) that experience for our next visit.

This huge collection was brought there by the guests and other donors and will probably continue to grow and change as besides providing a place to stay and read, they also offer you this trade:

Leave two books with us and take one with you in return.

We have by the way left a couple of my Mums book just as well as Tiger Tiger and The Haunted Glass from the four that were initially intended to go there.

The thing I was wondering about most regarding the books I saw, was that there were barely any of the Fantasy genre, but I guess we Fantasy readers are simply too much like dragons and hoard our preciouses unwilling to give away any of our treasures (The Hobbit sends its regards for this metaphor…).
The book I did find was Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin where up until now I only knew its story from the movie version and I managed to read the first book (A Wizard of Earthsea) during our stay and picked this one to take with me when we left.

And even though there is now an English menu have I not seen that many English books, but a few are there. You just have to look a little longer or you bring your own and leave them there to enlarge their collection. Alternatively there might me more in the barn, but you’ll have to explore that one yourself. 😉

Simply put: This trip was an incredibly relaxing experience and both of us really enjoyed it. We already are looking forward to staying there or visiting again one day and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in books. You won’t regret it. 🙂

PoiSonPaiNter

© I obviously don’t own the rights to the logo.

O.R. Melling: The Hunter's Moon

As my mum and I will be staying at the Book Hotel this weekend I spontaneously decided to declare this week „Book-Week„. With this I’ll try to finish the reviews I’ve accumulated so far, maybe this will help to shorten my To-Finish list a bit.

I was looking for something entirely different when I passed the reduced books in a store and the glittering cover of The Hunter’s Moon caught my attention. After reading the title (the translation of the German title would be „In the Shadow of the Elven moon“ – Im Schatten des Elfenmonds) I contemplated for a moment if I should really pick it up, as Elves aren’t really my thing. Against my better judgement of already having far too many unread books did I have a look at the blurb and after reading so much about Ireland and its folklore over at Ed Mooney Photography and The Fairytale Traveler I simply couldn’t resist actually buying it and totally blame it on them.

Why is that? What is it about?

Cover des Buches
3 of 5 stars


The Hunter’s Moon tells the story of Gwen and her Cousin that had planned on travelling the Emerald Isle for quite some time and are now finally on their way. Though nothing actually goes as planned when the Faerie folk gets involved and somewhat kidnap Findabhair.

Instead of being with her cousin Gwen now has to try to get her back from the Elves, hitch-hiking from one mythical place to the other, facing challenges and threats and meeting new allies along the way.

The reading experience

For some odd reason, that I also blame on the aforementioned culprits, did I start reading right away, I think even while I was waiting for the bus. If not, I started reading it as bus-literature the next day and finished it quite fast. Thanks to its fluent writing and nice short chapters it was easy to do so and be at a proper stop whenever my ride ended. (It annoys me if I have to stop a chapter right in the middle of a paragraph)

The thing that bugged me while reading was the language the girls used, though this might be due to the translation. They spoke in a tone that sounded so forcefully colloquial that it wasn’t fun reading their conversations. Though it did get better towards the end.

A thing that constantly confused me were the Irish words sprinkled into the sentences, but I’ll get to that later.

The characters

The main character is the sixteen year old Gwen (short for Gwenhyvar, I believe). A chubby, shy thing that has to overcome her fears to get to her cousin in time. Well, at least this set up sounded great in the beginning. Very soon these things weren’t really mentioned any more as if it only was used to establish that the girl is this way and then dropped because everyone she meets is sooo beyond judging her by physical appearance. Alternatively she thinned out quite a bit while running around looking for a ride to catch. Honestly, as someone who is quite fluffy and has experienced the looks and reactions one can get, this behaviour/change just sounds odd to me. I’ve heard of the hospitality of the Irish, but no reaction towards something that was supposed to burden her in the way it was described in the beginning makes this kind of strange. Of course she gains confidence throughout her journey, but it still happens too fast for my taste …
On the other hand is she quite gullible when it comes to the people she’s meeting and trusts them more or less instantly – which nearly got her killed a couple of times.
In short: I would have liked to smack her upside the head on more than one occasion.

Then there is Finabhair, whose name I always misread and mostly stopped reading it at the Fina. I’m not sure what I can write about her without sounding rude, but I guess I’m just really not a fan of strong females turning into lovesick dumbos. Even if she was annoying in the way she treated her cousin was her „I made the Faerie King fall in love with me and now I’m going to save his race“-attitude even more tiring.

Her beloved Finvara wasn’t better and it greatly bugged me when he still flirted with Gwen after being with Fina. But as we learned in the book: Faeries think differently about those things. They also have strange ways of stopping or supporting people but that seems to be based more on the folklore than on artistic license.

Just like Gwen her red headed helpers are also quite credulous and more than jumped at the chance to help the random girl they had only known for a couple of hours. If only half the people I come across were this loyal after our first meeting, I think I wouldn’t have so many trust issues. Nevertheless, they seemed more interesting than the actual main cast – well except the Island King, who rather soon fell into the „I barely know you, but I love you sooo much“-cliché.

Still, the whole „we only met shortly, but that’s enough for doing indescribable things for each other“ mind-set bugs me…

General Opinion

As a book about folklore it is really interesting to learn about these different mythical places as Melling certainly knows her way around it.

As a quest throughout Ireland-story it unfortunately felt a bit dull and rushed at times, with the most interesting aspect really being the insights into the Fae world and the finale.

It was still nice to read, but I don’t think I’ll continue with the other books of the The Chronicles of the Faerie – even though the fourth one sounds interesting.

Stuff I’d like to add

It’s strange that the authoresses daughter has the same name as the character, but I don’t know if she either was just an inspiration or Finabhair was an actual self-insert for her.

As I have the habit of skipping to the end to read the last page I discovered, after I read a couple of chapters and felt slightly annoyed by not understanding the Irish phrases, that there is a glossary at the end of the book that explains them and some of the places. It showed the incredible knowledge Melling has about her home even more. What it also showed me is that I have know idea how to properly pronounce Irish words … I would have read so many of them so wrong …
I consider languages to be a fascinating topic, but I don’t like having stories with other languages within them and no explanation for their meaning. Therefore this glossary was quite helpful – if depressing, when it comes to my lack of understanding …

But the „worst“ result of reading this book is that the thought Ed and the Christa had implanted in my mind with their posts about the Island has gotten more footing.

Now my wish to travel to Ireland is slightly larger than to do the same with Scotland.
Not to mention that I’ve already looked for dates, flights, accommodations and a couple of other things for a possible visit later this year …

PoiSonPaiNter
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

On the Road: Taking the Bus – Take Two

A couple of months ago I ranted about taking the bus and I really wish I could say that what I am about to tell you below is a really elaborate April Fools joke…but I’m afraid it isn’t…

The rough route to work...

The rough route to work…


 
For the last four and a half years I took a bus line to my workplace that directly connected the district I live in with the district I work in and a second one that drove into the opposite direction.
But as of today those two no longer exist.
What does exist are two new separate lines that cover half of the route each.
As I really like sketches I tried depicting the scenarios in what you can see on the left.
The green line is what it used to be, one cycle of bus lines that connected both districts. The red line is the connection of my living-district to the Central Station and the blue is a for me important part of the one from there to my work-district. The round thing symbolizes the ring we have surrounding the city centre, but I wont get into that right now as that would be to much off topic.
This morning the old lines where no longer in business and the new ones had started. A small part of me is proud that I did manage to make out the differences with the new lines and knew what I would have to do to get to my usual exit this morning, without having read about it somewhere. Sometimes I do like my ability to think things through based on little, but significant information, even at unearthly hours.
This whole change leaves now me with two choices when it comes to my stop, both of which are quite inconvenient in comparison to what it used to be like.
The choices are:

  1. Get out at the Central Station and switch into the other bus for the remaining stops.
  2. Get out at, before or close after the Central Station to walk from there to my workplace.

For someone who is far from being a morning person or let alone fully awake while taking the bus, a walk could wake me up a bit more, but I fear I am far too lazy for that.
On the other hand it probably will be difficult for me to remember switching the bus line in the first place for a couple of weeks and I’ll end up at a station where I do have to walk from before taking a full detour.
Another option I have, where my laziness might get in the way even more, is to use the upcoming better weather to get my bike to a check up and then actually use it to get to work; which is easier said than done if you live on a hill where going down is easy, but going up is awful…
Even though I complain about this change, I still do understand why it was necessary.
Further into the work-district a huge construction side started working today, so the traffic jam that area will cause will be quite long. If the complete cycle would still be taken by the buses this would cause enormous delays for the line to my living-district. Therefore the thoughts put into the alternative routes and the change itself is way more understandable than what I complaint about in the other post, but that does not mean I am supposed to like it.
I like my conveniences and especially a proper routine for certain things, so if you take that from me I will need some time adjusting and figuring out how I want to go about creating a new one.
The last few days have been pretty rough in regards to that and adjusting is kind of my top priority right now. It’s after all not every day that you change from being a student to be a full employee with a Bachelor’s degree. 😉
Still, why can’t this be an April Fools joke and my old lines have returned tomorrow? 🙁
I’d like that…
PoiSonPaiNter