“Don’t take it so personally” – things we say to hurt the people we’ve hurt

“Don’t be so sensitive.” “Jeez, learn to take a joke.” “Wow, you really can’t take constructive criticism, can you.” “Lighten up!” “Don’t take these things so personally.” If you’ve ever said this or something like this to another person, this post is for you. If you’ve ever had this or something like this said to you, this post is for you. If you are a human who lives and/or works with and/or around other humans, this post is for you. And also, in a pretty major way, this post is for me. You have to have a bloody thick skin...

Entry for the Orange Prize for Imaginary Travel Writing

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Except sometimes life gives you lemons and, like, kale, so you begrudgingly make a green smoothie and feel simultaneously self-righteous and deprived. Sometimes life gives you a cold bottle of artisan lemonade and you get to enjoy it in the sunshine. And sometimes life gives you lemons, bitchslaps you across the face as you are squeezing them, runs off with the juice and leaves you with just the rinds, which leaves you confused and means you now have to take out the compost bin because it was already overflowing. ANYWAY, none of that...

Years pass by, things change, but the shame is constant

Hello everyone. Yes, here I go again, sheepishly squirming my way back onto this blog after another long period of doing other things. Let’s just forego all the apologetic excuses and dive right in. For the last few months I’ve been off working an actual Full Time Job. This is the first Full Time Job I have had since 2015 when I left my old role of buying underwear for a large American man. This is also my first ever professional post as a proper actual front-end web developer. But most importantly this is my first ever proper job in...

Rica-Nica-mazing

Guys guys guys! Sorry for yet another long absence, but I have an excuse this time! I’ve been on holiday in Costa Rica and Nicaragua! And then of course the question was how to write about it in my blog, because how can I not write about going to freakin’ Central America? Except how can one write about an amazing holiday without sounding like a total arse? Also, how to write about a holiday without sounding like some two-bit travel blogger – especially since travel is not the theme of this blog (not that this blog has much more of...

The Berlin Senate: just as crap as that Star Wars one

“So what’s going on with that bike referendum thing now Rose?” I hear you ask. Good question, helpful ice-breaker person. Here’s the deal. We had our initial petition over the summer; this petition was to show the government that there is widespread public interest in the issue, meaning that if we were to get over 20,000 signatures (and we got about 105,000) the Senate would have to approve our application to have ANOTHER petition, which would then allow us to have a referendum about the city’s bike infrastructure. Please accept my apologies for the boringness of that sentence. Anyway, the...

A plea for a compassionate new highway code

As you may already know, I am on the campaign team for the Volksentscheid Fahrrad, a campaign to have a public referendum about massive improvements to our cycle infrastructure here in Berlin. We had a few manic months of signature collecting and media junket whoring, but at the moment we’re on a kind of autumn hiatus, waiting to see what the new city government will do about us and Berlin’s streets. Nonetheless, biking is always one of the big things on my mind. Half the time I am gleeful about just how much fun it is, especially since I discovered...

Atrocial Media

One of the sad things about freelancing is that you always have to curry favour. You never know which of your clients might recommend you to their mate, dad or boyfriend, if you stay on their good side. Which usually means that I’m reluctant to write about my clients – even the craziest ones – out of paranoia that they will read this and be offended. And this is a tragedy, because there are so many excellent stories I could tell you, friends. But last week I had a project so deliciously funny that I cannot stand to keep it...

Dear America…

Dear America, As you know, in my home country (the UK) we recently had a vote. And it went drastically wrong, making our country a chaotic laughing-stock and drop-kicking our economy into the trashcan. Well, now you’re in the same position as we were. You’re standing in front of a very scary precipice, my friends, and the scariest thing of all is that you might not get the choice of whether to jump off; you are likely to be pushed. Pushed by a horde of people who fail to see the precipice in the first place. So let me share...

15 fun summer activities for grey and rainy days

July is turning out to be a bit of a cruddy one this year. The sky looks permanently like a huge blanket of grey felt has been spread over it, and the rain fluctuates between ‘gentle drizzle’ and ‘downpour so intense that you’d be drier submerged in the sea’. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a lame summer! Here are my top tips for making the most of your 2016 summer months even when skies are dreary!

Neither great, nor united

Once again, I am in an airport, waiting for a flight back to Berlin. Usually I am excited, calmed, relieved to be going back. But this time I am embarrassed. I have to go back to wonderful Germany and become another unwilling representative of what my home country has done over the last week and a bit. I have to join the ranks of British expats living in Berlin, palms superglued to their faces as they try to digest the constantly spiralling idiocy that is taking place. What happened as a result of the referendum was a calamity. Hearing the...