{Lately on Instagram}

On Monday evening, one of my best friends, of over a decade, flew in from France for an eagerly awaited visit.  It's normally I, who is abusing her hospitality, at her home out near Limoges, so it was an entirely new experience for me to be the one doing the hosting for a change, but I can honestly say, that this past week has genuinely been the best time I've had in a long while and definitely here in Berlin.  We laughed 'til we cried, ate our weight in cake and watched a plethora of films.  It was so lovely, it really was.

The only issue being that, since accompanying her to the airport and waving her goodbye, it's like a dullness has washed over my view of the city and I feel a weight of melancholia that I can't currently seem to shift.  It's as though she shone a light over my life and highlighted all the dirt that I'd been hiding - or rather avoiding.  It's so frustrating to know what you want, yet be entirely clueless as to how to get it.  It's thankfully no longer a case of indecisiveness, however, it's now unfortunately a complete case of discombobulation!

In truth though, reaching these crossroads in life seem to be inevitable and although we may occasionally find ourselves caught between paths, a little lacking in direction, we do always find our way in the end.

So, to keep ourselves positive, let's look back at a week of...florals at the Botanischer Garten (Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8), which is quite possibly, one of my favourite places in Berlin; ginormous vegan salami and cheese burgers over at Lily Burger (Urbanstraße 70), made all the more cumbersome by the additional side serving of curly fries (which happen to be the best I've ever had); lust inducing window shopping down in Mitte, followed by a marshmallow laden hazelnut hot chocolate and a slice of insanely delicious warm chocolate fudge brownie, served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, over at Chaostherie (Lychener Straße 4); yummy fat burritos at Berlin Burrito (Kastanienallee 59); chilly walks around Treptower Park; densely iced cupcakes round at Cupcake Berlin (Krossener Straße 12); working our way through the plethora of food on offer at Markthalle Neun's Street Food Thursday (Eisenbahnstraße 42-43); taste testing the new chocolatey caramel creations by OhLaLa (Mainzerstraße 18); stocking up on edible snacks at Veganz (Warschauer Straße 33) and picking up fresh water baked bagels, topped with creamy hummus schmear to take back to the apartment, to consume in bed, dressed in our pjs, heating on high, whilst we watched copious films.

It was certainly a food laden, indulgent week and I couldn't have asked for better, I'm only sad that it's over!  Thank you Kate, please come back soon!

If you enjoy what you read, please feel free to share it with others.

{lately on instagram}

So, there I was, mindlessly trawling through my Facebook homepage this afternoon and I suddenly stumbled across a friend's pictures of India and I thought, 'why am I not in India!?'  Then I really thought to myself, 'seriously, why aren't I in India!?  Or Bali?  Or anywhere else in the world for that matter!?'

Now, I don't want to start sounding schizophrenic, so please, bear with me here, but whilst on the one hand I do love living in Berlin - the lifestyle it has to offer, the general vibe of the place itself - I equally must admit to having a roaming heart that wishes to see and explore the world.  In fact, in all truth, it has been a lifelong struggle of mine, finding the balance between my nesting habits and my need to take flight.

However, living entirely out of a suitcase, for well over a year, without anywhere to call home was...well, both incredibly freeing but equally, in truth, very difficult at times and now that I've finally found a place I really like and that makes me feel at home, I want to be able to build a solid base for myself here.  Somewhere stable, that's rooted and comforting, that allows me to still be able to pack up that suitcase and flit off with abandon, but with the knowledge that I actually have somewhere to come back to, when I'm ready to return.

I think that's definitely been the balance that's been missing in my life, these past few years and I think 2015 just feels like the right time to address that.  So yes, I want you to know that I still love living here in Berlin and am desperately impatient in my desire to get my name cemented onto a lease as soon as is possible, but equally, I totally admit to having itchy feet and wanting nothing more, than to jump onto the nearest flight in search of some great adventure, in some far flung, yet to be explored territory!  However, for now, I guess I simply need to learn to calm myself and try to find a middle ground and just do what I can, with what I have, where I am.

If you enjoy what you read, please feel free to share it with others.

{Lately on Instagram}

Do you ever have those moments, whereby you have something you so desperately want to say, words that have been spinning crazily around your head for days, weeks, months even, but you just can't seem to vocalise them?  They sit clogged in your throat, unable to escape, causing a perpetual cough, which acts as a constant reminder that you aren't saying what needs to be said.

I had so many words, so many important words, that continually circulated around the crevices of my mind for months and months and months and in fairness, a few did thankfully manage to escape at times, however, unfortunately, having perfected their extradition in my mind, during lengthy conversations with myself, the reality of their execution often ended up being far from perfect.

In fact, after eventually building up the courage to release the remains of those very heartfelt words from the fearful, awkward grip, that had been keeping them captive for such an excruciatingly long period of time, they finally tumbled out, in fast succession, one after the other, in a chaotic jumble that was painfully less than fluent, often at times inaudible through the waves of tremendous, heart aching, salty tears and ultimately failed to be entirely cohesive at all.  An inarticulate disaster that made me wish I'd brought cue cards.

Despite the pitiful display, including a tearful train journey home at 1am, whereby I neither knew nor cared, that half my mascara was decorating my cheeks, I did at least gain some much needed clarity in the midst of what turned into a very public verbal meltdown.  In all truth, there had been certain things I'd been somewhat afraid to ask over time, simply because, in part, I already knew the answers, but, as painful as it was to come face-to-face with some pretty stark and harsh realities, I have to admit that I've found some sort of odd comfort in it all.

I mean, I can't live my life in the grey of someone else's indecision and equally, I have to acknowledge that there is nothing to be gained from sitting on the sidelines, never fully being present in the ever passing moments, secretly clinging on to the hopeful expectations, that continually formulate in the darkness of my mind.  Expectations of which, I know won't amount to anything other than disappointment.

So, I guess the lesson here really, is that those words that silently eat away at you in the late hours of the night, that cling to your tonsils and spark moments of desperate, soul aching hysteria, they simply need to be expressed.  Regularly and with as much ease and grace as one can afford them.  Otherwise, they gradually build into something unrecognisable and inedible and you end up choking on them, perhaps rather dramatically, in the street one night.

At the end of the day, the things we struggle with to the greatest degree, usually turn out to be the most important issues we need to confront and deal with and whilst the thought of the possible outcome, or even just the clearing process itself, can at times be so difficult, it ends up holding us back, in most cases, once we overcome those hurdles, facing those fears can actually end up being exactly what sets us free.  Even when it does end in the seemingly worst outcome or through the most awkwardly painful delivery.

If you enjoy what you read, please feel free to share it with others.