Carnival craze

When I mention Cologne Carnival to foreigners (by whom I mean anyone not originally from or having spent some time in the area of greater Cologne), I’m often faced with large amounts of ignorance. Germans from other regions have heard of it but are mostly wary because they have a mental image of drunk bodies lining streets and door steps. People from other countries, such as the UK, often ask ‘When you say “carnival”, what do you actually mean?’ For the purpose of guidance through the maze of misunderstanding to do with the ‘5th season’, as locals refer to it, here are some facts about Karneval in Kölle.

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Doing it properly

We recently talked about the word hat-trick in this blog. Now it turns out that a German hat-trick is different from an English hat-trick! What does all of that have to do with the colours yellow and black and the German school system? Here’s what you shouldn’t die not knowing…

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Are you bloody serious?

Last Christmas, I gave Dracula my heart. The BBC brought the godfather of horror stories back on TV screens. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the creators of the brilliantly rewritten 2010 Sherlock TV series, came up with this all-new Dracula. But does it really make your blood freeze? Read on and find out…

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Tasty tea

For many, afternoon tea is the quintessence of Englishness. My English husband and I have enjoyed many a lovely afternoon tea in England, but we had never done so in our home town Cologne until a colleague recommended having Champagne Tea Time at Excelsior Ernst. Sounds fantastic, thought we, and made our way to one of the high-end, five-star hotels on location. Here’s how we liked it.

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Spudgate

The Germans’ love of potatoes is probably one of the most accurate clichés ever conceived about us. This particular German is definitely a tuber enthusiast if ever there was one. Potatoes thrill me in any way, shape or form. If you are keen to explore a seriously delicious potato recipe unfamiliar to a majority of Germans and, what is more, to hear about a blatant village scandal in Kent involving not one but two large potatoes, this read will be a treat… Weiterlesen

The Ultimate Butterbrot

In life, at times one happens upon unlikely combinations of things which either seem banal when regarded individually or do not appear to be too great a match at first sight. The culinary world is teeming with such wondrous creations as the BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, whose latest save-the-world variants are the TLT (tofu, lettuce & tomato) or the ELT (eggplant, lettuce & tomato)), Pommes Bahnschranke, and another very special treat, as simple as it is intriguing… Weiterlesen

One for the road

Recently, my English husband and I were invited to a private party. Later in the night, when the first people started to leave, one of them said, ‘Ich trinke noch einen Absacker, und dann gehe ich’. I thought to myself, what a nice German word, Absacker, and asked my husband if he knew what it meant. He said he didn’t, and thus started a lively conversation about German drinking terminology. Here are some examples… Weiterlesen

The glitter revolution

Living in Germany is great. I’ve talked to quite a few expats in recent times, most of whom confirmed that they have made a conscious choice of living here based on the standard of living, quality of life, benefits for families, social security and so on. There’s plenty to love about this beautiful country. However, one thing strikes many foreigners about Germans. What annoying quality might I be talking about? Weiterlesen

Musical hat-trick

Hat-trick (noun): three points, goals, etc. scored by the same player in a particular match or game; three successes achieved by one person (‘to score a hat-trick’). Word origin: late 19th cent.: originally referring to the club presentation of a new hat (or some equivalent) to a bowler who took three wickets successively in cricket. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/hat-trick?q=hattrick, retrieved on 4 Oct 2019) Read on to learn more about the hat-trick I’m referring to. Weiterlesen

This is it

I’ve joked about it a few times and now it’s been reality for a good year already: my English husband officially became my English-German husband. After an eleven-month trekking trip through the jungle of application deadlines, waiting periods and scraping together of long-forgotten pieces of paper, Mr K is officially Herr K. For those of you with a Brexit-induced interest in self-Germanisation, here are some of our experiences… Weiterlesen