Arrival of Arschkalt
26 Jan 2014

Arrival of Arschkalt

The until-recently benevolent weather gods have relented in their delay of winter and have over the last week well and truly opened the fridge door. Herren and Frauen, I give you the arrival of Arschkalt. For those of you pondering the meaning of this lovely German phrase, I would invite you to divide it into its constituent parts – ‘Arsch’ and ‘Kalt’ . Proclaim them loudly  in your best German accent and you should grasp it, or at least startle...

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Switzerland: Scenes from a dream
13 Jan 2014

Switzerland: Scenes from a dream

I’d always dreamed of going to Switzerland. Growing up I’d spent a lot of time with some dear childhood friends/family who are half Swiss and this year I was ecstatic after being invited to spend a white Christmas with them in Switzerland. As with many dreams, they are so vivid and yet… Try to describe one to someone and you just can’t do it justice. In this case I think I could do a better job with  photos.  

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An open Christmas card
24 Dec 2013

An open Christmas card

Writing Christmas cards is a personal tradition I’m attempting to forge. It started off with such promise at primary school where, covered in green and red glitter, clothing blotched with PVA glue, we would proudly take self-made cards home to our parents. It died off somewhere between then and the point where we began to SMS our buddies “Merry Xmas!” on our indestructable Nokia 2280s. It took the Dutch December of my first Christmas outside of NZ for me to...

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Travel Guide: A Swedish Affair
14 Nov 2013

Travel Guide: A Swedish Affair

My latest travels have taken me to a destination some talk about in the whispered, reverent tones normally reserved for tales of El Dorado or the worship of ‘Cronuts’. It’s currently  in vogue and certain people back in New Zealand will no doubt be rather jealous. Others will probably ask if I tried the meatballs. As I left german soil and arrived in the grandoise atrium of my Scandinavian destination, I couldn’t help but be impressed. IKEA takes itself very seriously....

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Green to Gold
29 Oct 2013

Green to Gold

Outside, the wind is whipping leaves past the window in damp and frenzied flight as I write. Or so I imagine; I can’t see so much on account of the clocks being turned back for winter. But I really don’t mind the nights closing in. The summer had its fun, no matter how soon we may lament its passing and in its place lies space to breathe, cosy evenings and the not-so-far-away aroma of glühwein. That and there has been far...

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Carpe Noctem
13 Oct 2013

Carpe Noctem

Berlin, like all cities, is a completely different entity when the sun goes down. My first months here  have yielded all sorts of nocturnal adventures, but yesterday evening’s thunderstorm was a reminder that winter is soon going to make to make these escapades much more difficult. The Festival of Lights is an annual exploration of Berlin through the illumination of the city’s buildings, old and new. We joined a free walking tour at Potsdamer Platz to take in the lights, thinking...

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In focus, out of sight
6 Oct 2013

In focus, out of sight

The last few weeks have been a strange time for me; for the first time in more than a year and a half I have gone without using my trusty Sony NEX-5 digital camera. Don’t be alarmed – Nexie is fine – but she is just  getting a bit of well deserved cleaning and maintenance  after enduring tramping trips, festivals, backpacking, a near-drowning in Polish beer and several impacts that would destroy a less sturdy camera. (By the way, you...

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Tempelhof and the Fantastic Four
12 Sep 2013

Tempelhof and the Fantastic Four

Once apon a time, in the far and sheep-overrun land of New Zealand, where hobbits wear flip-flops and everyone commutes by bungy-jump (to work for our primary export industry; The Flight of the Conchords), a 13 year-old boy was given some music by Die Fantastichen Vier. His older brother, who had just returned from a year’s exchange in the German seaside resort of Usedom, pressed ‘play’ on their Windows 98 computer and in doing so created one of the most...

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Friendly Berliners: Don’t Get Used To It

Not long ago, as a few friends and I dozed in the summer haze at a Berlin lakeside, some departing picknickers approached us. “Would you like this?” they asked, offering us half of one of the enormous watermelons you see for sale everywhere here, which undoubtedly inspired the design of  Germany’s similarly over-sized zeppelins of yore. Hell yes we did. We thanked our benevolent sun worshippers and as they went on their way my Berlin-born buddy turned my way and...

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Snapshot Impressions
18 Aug 2013

Snapshot Impressions

  It’s somehow been three weeks since I excitedly arrived in my new home – Berlin – and now I’ve had a chance to sit down and catch my breath a little I wanted to share a few impressions of this unique community of millions. The problem is, to describe everything that’s happened thus far would be to write a novel (not an entirely un-Berlin thing to do), so instead here are my first photographic impressions: While on my way...

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