The end (… of 2018)

Well, well, well …. haven’t I been naughty not to write for such a long time. Life has been tough the last month and time was a limited resource. A lot has happened though that I like to share with you.

The last weekend in November I visited the VIECC, the Vienna Comic Convention. It’s a pretty big convention for geeks and nerds and cosplayers and it was a lot of fun to look at the great costumes everyone was wearing. As well I got autographs from Walter Bishop (alias John Noble) and the 7th doctor (alias Sylvester McCoy). Both are great actors as well as super-cool people – the first really took his time while autographic chatting with everyone and the later is so funny I had a stomach ache from laughing.

Sadly, two days after I started to struggle with the inflammation of a tendon just below the right knee that left me in pain for a whole week. It was impossible to sit for long periods and craft and keeping up my running training was not an option at all.

As soon as I was better, I went on vacation to the hot spring in Tyrolia. It’s a tradition by now that I am always looking forward to. Lots of warm water, nice crisp air, great food and relaxing time just for ourselves. I spent some time tatting but most of the time I was just playing some handheld games or reading.

After that I only had one more week at home before heading off to Berlin for some Christmas vacation. As neither my husband nor I have lots of family visit responsibilities, we usually are spending Christmas all around the world. It’s fun to see how other countries celebrate – and Berlin especially is a city I have fallen in love with before. This meant one week of lots of walking around the city that added up to more than 75 km on my sports watch :).

And last but not least hardly back home again, we went to visit a friend of mine with her hubby and two kids for Years End. It’s also a tradition by now as we hardly meet during the year and therefore established this fixed date each year. It was fun again but now I am happy to stay home again and have some time to think about the new year and what I want to achieve.

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Vacation apologies and new spirit

I want to apologize to my readers for not posting the last couple of weeks. I actually wanted to set up everything, so that during my vacation I would be able to release new blog posts while traveling to the other side of the world (literally).But then spirits were low and I just could not make myself craft anything – too much heat and too much stress added up to me actually sitting after work not doing anything at all. Even my hubby realized that something was terribly wrong as I only do not craft when I am feeling really really bad….

But vacation gave me the long needed break and the refocus on what I love. Travelling with my hubby and seeing beautiful places is definitely on top of this list. We spent three totally cool weeks in New Zealand traveling slowly around the north island. It was great not to be too rushed, so that we could take in beautiful scenery and a bunch of totally amazing people. I definitely fell in love with Kiwis who are so friendly and open-minded – even the staff at the airport (security and bio diversity) are laughing, friendly and having a good time. Below are just a bunch of impressions – I still have to sort out 2000 pics from my hubby and myself. I will write a little bit more over the next weeks and will pep up my posts with some stories from our trip.

Of course I could not come back from New Zealand without at least a little bit of something to craft. I was stupid enough to plan Napier on a Sunday so that I could not shop at the only yarn store I could convince my hubby to plan into our trip. But I found a nice little shop in Auckland that sold beautiful New Zealand-ish bookmarks and fat quarters. However I was not able to put the whole store into my luggage, but I know I will be coming back anyway, so next time I’ll just plan accordingly.

This Saturday I could also convince my hubby to visit the local baking and crafting show – which actually was very disappointing. I always envy people from other countries like US, UK or even Germany because there craft shows are big and beautiful and totally devastating on your budget. Here it was just terribly small and hardly anything worth looking at – until my hubby pointed out the nice little display of Wolloase multicoloured yarn bobbels. He even got quite into a frenzy pointing out one bobbel he liked after another. He definitely is a keeper ;). So we ended up with three bobbels and a hand full of beading stuff and this wife went home pretty happy.

With spirit high again I have now huge plans for the next months: one of this bobbels will become a Grinda Shawl, I will participate in the Havana CAL and I still need to finish my hubbies blanket before it gets really cold. As well I start thinking about Christmas presents – not sure what those will be this year. And a friend had a baby shortly before my vacation and I am thinking of whipping up a baby blanket for her too. So look forward to a lot of new projects on this blog soon.

Flower doily and vacation planning

img_0767This week was not very creative: I am currently spending my time finalizing my vacation planning. We will be traveling to New Zealand soon and I am already pretty excited about it. The route is planned fully and now I just need to make sure that we have somewhere to sleep. And of course ask my friend Google where to find good yarn stores on the North island….

In the little time left I started a flowery doily. I have not crocheted with thread for quite some time now and it was weird working with the small crochet hook again. The thread also cuts much more into my finger, the one I use for an even tension. I just finished before it drew blood. Sadly it is still on the blocking board, so please don’t be mad at me for the bad picture. It will be a nice addition to my round dinner table, so as soon as it is try I will shoot a better one.

Bucket List #2: Visit Filitheyo Island

20170903_100914In my last post I have been half way to Maldives already, so it was only a short jump from Dubai to Malé. We found the lounge, where we were supposed to get our tickets for the water taxi, easily thanks to the good description from the local agency Maldives Exclusive we had booked our holidays wih this time. Actually it’s really not easy to get lost at Velana International Airport as the support there is really good. By bus we were brought to the waiting area for the water taxi and only after a short wait we were ready to fly. It takes 40 minutes by plane and 15 more minutes by boat to Filitheyo – but that time flies by quickly as you watch turquoise water passing by underneath.

20170910_164247The first you see when approaching Filitheyo Island are the water bungalows – bungalows build over the sea with a special entry to the water. No sand and beach though so we actually are not a fan of those – you just won’t get that special Robinson feeling there – and I don’t think  that they are worth the extra money.

20170903_112108As soon as we stepped from the boat we took of our shoes – it’s a barefoot island after all. We were seated and brought a nice mocktail and some fresh coconut to get into the tropcial spirit. After a short information session – we were returners after all – we were brought to our bungalow. We were so happy as we actually really got the one we had last time as we had requested.
IMG_0452Honestly – it’s the best one right in front of the best part of the house reef. And most people pick water bungalows or bungalows closer to the bar areas – so it’s much more secluded. We had no neighbors during the whole stay and we also never had to share the beach area.

We settled right in – jumped into our bathing stuff and settled down on the beach beneath the trees (not palm trees as those tend to drop coconuts and old branches – and you really don’t want to get hit by those). We were very tired after the flight, so we mostly slept and actually went for a swim the next day for the first time. The house reef was just as beautiful as we remembered and we were hard pressed not to stay too long each time as the sun is pretty intense. Never swim without a shirt! We tried to shoot underwater pictures for the first time, so hopefully I am able to show you some fishes soon.

IMG_0443Every day when it was nice and sunny (almost every day :)), we went to the sunset bar. It’s one of two bars on the island and actually the one we prefer. It’s situated next to 20170910_164823the pool – you could even order your cocktail from inside the pool itself. However we preferred to stay dry and just enjoyed the sun and the nice view while sipping a cocktail. Best of all – there was a happy hour every day from 3 to 5pm and as the sun starts to settle at around 5, it’s almost perfect.

 

Filitheyo Island is simply paradise.

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Visit Filitheyo Island – double check ✅

Bucket list #1: Flying Business class with Emirates in an A380

The last three weeks I have been a little bit quiet as I have been on vacation without internet access. Sorry for not replying to any comments – I will get to them soon. But I have gathered a lot of impressions during that time that I want to share with you over the next blog postings.

20170902_131829My hubby and I really love to fly with Emirates Airlines. For several reasons: not only is the staff overly friendly even in Economy class, the space there is also bigger than on some other airlines and food is always delicious. You get a lot of soft drinks without ever needing to ask (or beg as I needed once during another airline’s flight). Dubai airport is also nice to pass your time during transfer with a lot of sitting areas and nice shops to look at. So this year, heading for Maldives, it comes to no surprise that we picked Emirates again – especially as the flight from Vienna to Dubai was on an A380!

20170902_135728Then it happened – we got an email that we were eligible for an upgrade to Business class for a certain, reasonable amount of money. My hubby was already all ears – he had read before about the Business class in an Emirates A380. So after quite some thought – and various checks that this email had not been a fraud – he upgraded us. I was dubious at first – is it really worth the money? We had been upgraded to Business class for free once on another flight with a different airline and it was okay but not spectacular. I just didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Just let me tell you one thing: put this experience on your bucket list and you will never regret it!

20170902_145601At the airport you are singled out in order to get a priority boarding. We actually boarded together with part of the crew.  Because of that you can make yourself very, very, very (add 100 more “very” here) comfortable on the top floor of the plane. Remember this foot space that never seems to be big enough in Economy? Definitely no worries here – I am a small person but even my tall hubby had enough room to stretch in here. The seat can be moved to the front or the back in order to adjust to your size and can be made totally flat if you want to sleep. Or halfway down if you want to watch your movie in a really comfy position. The screen makes you feel like in your own personal cinema. Remember these controls that look like a TV remote? Here you have an Ipad to use for controls if you are too lazy to use the touch screen. Or to watch those cameras that show you where you are while watching the movie on the big screen.

20170902_164106You are not even settled down yet and a stewardess steps up and offers you soft drinks, wine or even champagne – Moët champagne – to celebrate in style. Those nuts you get in Economy for a first snack – nope those are not fancy enough to suit the luxury used clientel. Here you get them on a plate and they are slightly warm. No peanuts here – pistachios, almonds and – oh yummy – cashews!

20170902_151830Then the menue is handed out – even though Economy is always really delicious, Business class can still top that. You get a menue with a lot more options and you even get a wine card to select which high end wine you want to take with your meal. To be honest in Business class I threw my rule of not drinking alcohol during flights quickly overboard …

The meal itself is like dining in a fine restaurant – it’s just up in 30000 feet. You even get a table cloth! How crazy it that!

And finally you have to make one last trip – to the back of the plane where the bar resides. There you can get a cocktail or mocktail and – in case you are still hungry which I don’t know if that ever can happen – grab a snack.

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Flying Business class on an A380 of Emirates – check ✅