So I find myself in Göttingen* on the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). 3rd October is a national holiday, the 29th anniversary of German reunification. I didn’t realise this when I planned the trip: my knowledge of the historical unification of Germany in 1871 is probably more systematic than my grasp of reunification, experienced … More Celebrating German reunification in Göttingen
When I say I’m learning Estonian, people (even Estonians) often ask why. I have a number of answers at the ready, depending on who’s asking and whether I think they really want to know. My shortest response is: why not? If they are looking at me as though I’m mad, I might add that I’ve … More Why Estonian?
I’ve just returned home from a two-week course in Estonian at the University of Tartu. During my stay I celebrated the beauty of the town in a photo-blog, and ideas for further blogs (such as “Why Estonian?”) are gestating. But I have an immediate urge to capture my impressions of starting to learn Estonian, as … More A new kind of wine: my first taste of Estonian
Haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been too busy. And now, a week into my intensive Estonian course in Tartu, my head’s too full of Estonian declensions to write a proper blog. So I thought I’d share some photos from my Saturday morning walk around Tartu’s university park and “Toomemägi” (cathedral hill). I hadn’t … More Ilus Tartu: beautiful Tartu
I spent Easter in Bremen, a stately Hanseatic city on the River Weser. It is stately in another sense too: it is also the smallest of Germany’s 16 federal states/Länder, and one of only three city-states, along with Hamburg and Berlin. Brahms The idea of the trip occurred to me in November, as I was performing Brahms’ … More Bremen, Brahms, and the art of bricks
6 years ago, in October 2011, Ellie Knott took me to Transylvania. We had been travelling to Europe together for years: from Disneyland Paris, through the red-light districts of Lyons, Cologne and Berlin (“mother, don’t stand on the street corner”), to cocktail bars in Madrid, Krakow and Aix (where “Madame et Mademoiselle” became “Mesdames” around … More Where the rooves have eyes: 2 days in Sibiu