Friday, 27 March 2015

The Harry Potter Guide to Scotland

My Harry Potter obsession experiences several highs over these past years: When I was in New York for the premiere of the last film, I thought Emma Watson waved at me and I awkwardly waved back (I stood in a crowd and obviously she was waving at everyone in a nice gesture- ugh), then visiting the exhibition that was touring in New York that summer.. and I bought the super expensive Marauders Map..haha. And then of course when Julia and I finally visited the HP studios near London.. aw man, all moments I will never forget.
However, living in Edinburgh and seeing JK Rowling's inspiration for this story every single day is a treat that is one of a kind.  There are many stories about where she wrote (Elephant House) and where she apparently hangs out now (the cafe on top of Harvey Nichols), but visiting the places that are used in the film is incredibly cool. So here is a mixture of things: Places she apparently visited, real places used in the films and places she got her inspiration from.

This loch is used as the 'Hogwarts lake' several times. It felt super familiar when we were there, so funny!

This picture might not be the best one, but this spot with the waterfall has been used as the back drop in the Goblet of Fire, when Harry is battling the dragon.

Aawww I think we all know this one. The actual train does not run all year round- it only starts around May.

The Elephant House is not part of the actual movies but rumor has it that JK Rowling was writing part of the books here, in that cafe. The view you get of the castle is actually really nice, so who knows?

Close to the Elephant House is Greyfriars Kirkyard. I love it because its just a proper old graveyard and the tombstones are quite scary. A lot of the names from the series appear here, Riddle, McGongall and Potter... Worth a visit despite all of this! Next to it is George Heriot's School, which is an incredible building and apparently an inspiration for Hogwarts.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

My favorite male TV characters

1. Phil Dunphy
Now Modern Family is one of my favorite shows, but mostly because they have a pretty cool variety of men. Phil is my favorite, because he is the most amazing blend of feminist, funny, caring, and never embarrassed of anything. Even though he comes pretty close to the sitcom stereotype of the 'fool dad', his character is not nearly as shallow. Phil seems completely oblivious to homosexuality as something other people object to. When he realises that other people perceive him as gay, he just sighs, shrugs and proceeds with his life. Phil’s blissful unawareness of these events is so heart warming. A male character who is confident about his own masculinity is rare on television! I mean, compare this to  Adam on  Rules of Engagement. He is constantly shown in stereotypical gay ways, laughed at for his cheerleader and a-capella group background and never taken seriously by the other characters. Even though Adam is engaged to a woman in the show, his heterosexuality is questioned for most of the series. It is always used to ridicule him. One more reason to love Modern Family- their treatment and portrayal of different kinds of masculinity is something I really enjoy watching.

 2. Marshall Erickson
It's really difficult not to like Marshall- I mean, look at him. He's the perfect combination of smart, funny, sporty, lazy, passionate and super cool. Who doesn't envy his and Lilly's relationship in HIMYM? I sure do. His loyalty and understanding of her is adorable, his crazy phases are more than forgivable and he just seems to have his priorities straight. While Ted is just all over the place and always reminded me of Ross from Friends (not in a good way), Marshall was the relatable one. Okay, he might be super superstitious and believes in the Loch Ness monster, but I think that is completely acceptable, haha. And my favorite part about him is that he and Lilly do hilarious partner costumes for Halloween.

3. Jesse Pinkman
Breaking Bad is interesting in so far that there is no likeable character. Everyone has serious flaws, to the extent where you cannot believe you are still watching these horrible people. Jesse is the character that got me through this series. Most of the time, he was breaking my heart because he never seems to get a real shot at happiness. All you want for him is to finally find that right person, to change and get out of this just want to take care of him! It's just so painful watch his emotional rollercoaster. And one a side note, Aaron Paul's beauty does not hurt, that's for sure.

Monday, 23 March 2015

A little help for cool friends (Kickstarter)

Just a little project I want to share with you.
This is a Kickstarter project started by some of my friends' friends, and I helped shooting this little video. I love their T-shirt designs and I really hope their Kickstarter project is successful!
Click here to see their project page: or their FB page here.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A new design +more stuff!

I know this blog has been really quite, but I have had plenty of ideas for it and never did anything about it. This wonderful weekend without any dissertation poop finally let me focus on this space and so here we go, a slightly different design.
I have added something I wanted to do for AGES: The pages underneath the header. Especially for like travel related things, you can now go on "my adventures" and find ways to look at my posts relating to Camp America, Texas or whatever you want to find.

Then there is also the regular search bar in the sidebar on the right, underneath the archive. Search results will display like this, which I really like:

If you want to find posts with a certain label, look at the bottom of the right sidebar, this is where you can find the labels I used most often. I use labels for each post, and I like to go a bit crazy with them, so I have a ridiculous amount of tags, so you can even find posts where I have used a list. Um yes. I like searchability!

Also, at the end of every post (not if you are reading my blog 'normally', only if you read a specific post- so click on the title of it if you want to!), it will now suggest similar posts you might like. Yay!

I have had an about me page for longer, but it was always a bit hidden. You had to click on my profile picture- that still works, but it is also accessible through the top links underneath the header. And for new readers, this will be even easier.

Now I hope this will make life a tiny bit easier on this blog.
Let me know what you think! (or if something's not working!)

The beauty of the Lake District

I think I have mentioned before that I work as a tour guide and sometimes accompany bus tours in to either the Highlands or to the Lake District. As much as I love the beautiful raw nature of the Highlands, the Lake District is not close behind.The three hour drive down from Edinburgh to Windermere is stunning and I am lucky that I sit next to the driver and have the freedom to just stare out the window through the massive front window. Never mind if going in winter or spring or fall, the landscape never fails to take my breath away and really all I wanna do is get out of the bus and run around in the fields. I was lucky enough to grow up with a lot of fields around my house, but the part of Germany I'm from is reaaaally flat. So the Lake District is massively fascinating to me with all these hills and rivers and stone walls and cute sheep... so proper English and so painfully beautiful. And just because I can't take great pictures on these bus tours, I have found some nice ones on Flickr that are pretty much exactly what I am talking about.
So if any one needs some travel inspiration, here you go!

A river runs through it, Great Langdale Valley, Lake District, Cumbria, England ( View Large! )

the Eastern shore of Windermere, Lake District, UK

Wetherlam view, The Lake District

Lake District - Scout Scar - Kent Estuary

Below Cunswick Scar, Kendal.