flats

How to furnish your flat for the price of a cup of tea (ok, maybe two cups. And a croissant)

Is there a human being alive on the plant who doesn’t have an Ikea LACK coffee table? My colleagues and friends have been joking a lot recently that all I seem to be doing these days is dragging about heavy furniture. They find this hilarious because I am five feet tall with the athletic build of a baby chipmunk, and it is true, in the last few weeks thanks to a simultaneous office move and house move I have been spending a great deal of my time hoicking massive great desks, beds etc around the city. All those facts aside,...

The magic of Berlin’s old ladies

Probably the work of another Berlin Old Lady. She didn’t want the poor little thing catching cold. Apologies, first of all, for taking so long to write another post. This last week has been rather a whirlwind as I have been negotiating a rather complicated and interesting job offer, the results of which I will reveal here as soon as I know what the HECK is going on. In my Verzweiflung, writing a new entry kept slipping my mind, and the time I had put aside to do so on Friday was engulfed instead by my attempt to make miniature...

How to hack your Zwischenmiete

Now if only there was a way to hack the extreme temperature fluctuations between ‘molten lava’ and ‘ice-water’. For the unemployed graduate looking to drift around a German city for an aimless while, the right ‘Zwischenmiete’ is a crucial tool in your belt. ‘Zwischenmiete’ essentially means ‘between-rent’, which is what happens when a person in Berlin pops off to another country or a work thing in another city or something and rents their flat – plus furnishings and all the trimmings – to a happy-go-lucky travellin’ type. It’s a perfect arrangement. Internet, washing machine, mattress and everything come included in...

Welcome to number 10

I promise, very few blog pictures will be as dull as this one. Every story needs a setting. You, the reader (and I’m going to assume there’s only one of you out there), need to be able to imagine the place where the plot plays out, where your tortured writer sits hunched over her great work with a glass of absinthe and definitely not a Tunnocks marshmallow teacake but something much more bohemian. I thought I would use this first reunion post to set the scene and give you the ‘Monica’s apartment’ locale for the next few months’ worth of...

Driftin’

Flat#1, Residence#3, Home#5. I’m moving again. Not here in Berlin, of course; the very sight of WG Gesucht moves me to hysterical panic attacks. The horror….the horror…… No, I’m moving in the UK. One month after I return, one month from today, I and my family will be leaving our current house and moving to another modern little number in the suburbs where my parents will “grow” old together (you can see that I know they don’t read this) and where I will spend a good deal of the rest of my life. Life has never been so schizophrenic –...

Honey, I’m…home?

No, it’s not tidy. Feast your eyes on real, gritty Berlin life. At least, I bloody hope this mean I’m home. Over the last few months I have been in seven different domiciles, both in the UK and in Germany – let’s break it down: 1. My UK home. Where I grew up and spent the largest part of my conscious existence. A beautiful old huge house with cavernous, airy, freezing-cold rooms and an ever-changing variety of problems to be repaired at great expense. 2. The hostel in which I stayed when I started my time here. I haven’t really had...

O hi Internet, so good to see you again

Flat number 3, bed number 4, cat number 2.  Since I last posted life took another sudden lunge into intense difficultness; I finally moved out of my old flat, which was unpleasant in more than just the ‘moving a whole life’s worth of stuff halfway across Berlin’ kind of way; I moved into my new flat and discovered that the place I had sorted to use as my base while I search for something more permanent does not have the internet, the lack of which honestly feels like a loss equivalent to suddenly not having any fingers; I found a...

Coffee no. 6,142,561

Desperation, n : sitting in Landsberger Allee Netto reading Das Glasperlenspiel Sit down to begin writing a blog post about coffee; decide to make a pot of coffee before starting in earnest; put kettle on; watch caf├ętiere slip off kitchen counter and explode into a million skin-ripping smithereens; spend half an hour sweeping and hoovering, before eventually settling for a mediocre cup of Redbush. Well, at least my dumb bad luck has a sense of irony. Anyway, what I was planning to write this evening was to do with the fact that life at the moment revolves around coffee. Not...

Besichtigainandagainandagainandagain…

Yes, so I may have mentioned this briefly at length in my last post, but it is hard to find a place to live in Berlin. Let me give you an idea of the process: 1) Wake up. Immediately put kettle on. 2) Whilst the kettle is boiling for the strengthening cup of what the Germans think Earl Grey tastes like, immediately turn on laptop and open the internet. 3) Go to WG-Gesucht.de and spend the following hour and a half writing approximately twenty application emails to various room offerers, drinking your body weight in tea in an attempt to...