Whether you consider it art work or vandalism, there is no denying that street art is hot right now. Last year, Sotheby’s held an auction of Banksy pieces, selling them for up to £500k – something made illegally, with an innate transience, created in a public space, sold for half a million. It’s unbelievable (and some think, unethical), but whatever your opinion, it’s a fact that street art has evolved into a specific aesthetic and art form with its own super stars, known outside of their own circle and scene.
GERMAN SAYINGS 2
I heard this the other day and I thought it was hilarious. I think the term exists in English, but I’ve never heard it used in everyday speech – usually it’s referred to in specific political discourse.
WEEKEND IN ST IVES, CORNWALL
The English seaside gets a bad rep. And it’s true, you can’t guarantee the weather, but there’s something special about Cornwall that means that doesn’t really matter. It’s raining for a week? Grab your wellies or wetsuit and get stuck in anyway. Sun shining? Then the area really comes to life with surfers, kayaking, coastal walks and cream teas.
St Ives is a pretty seaside village on the northern coast towards the end of the peninsula. It’s one of the most popular holiday spots for a lot of Brits (and, weirdly, also a lot of Germans, Austrians and Swiss. Apparently a famous romance novelist sets a lot of stories here) but the atmosphere manages to remain laid-back, creative and authentically Cornish. Everyone from artists to surfers, gourmet travellers to action-adventurers rubs shoulders at ice cream parlours along the pretty harbour or in the water.
(Download the guide as a PDF here)
HOW IMPORTANT IS ACCENT WHEN LEARNING A LANGUAGE?
How important is your accent when you learn a new language? Obviously you want to be understood, but how essential is it to actually sound like a French-, German-, Italian-speaker? It’s been preying on my mind lately as I try to start using more and more German.
There are languages where it seems essential, such as Chinese where an inflection can change a meaning – but in European languages, it is heading further and further down my to-do list (right under doing my German verb drills).
Continue reading HOW IMPORTANT IS ACCENT WHEN LEARNING A LANGUAGE?
SWIMMING IN THE RHINE
It’s been hot this summer. Like, really hot. The kind of hot that you hope for on holiday, but which just makes everyday city life unbearable. Luckily, Basel has the solution (and this time it’s not ice cream).
As the mercury rises, Baselers sink. Into the cool waters of the Rhine. Sunny summer days see the river filled with bright, laughing dots as people gently float downstream.
GERMAN SAYINGS 1
Sometimes people say something and I just don’t understand. I technically know what the words mean, but they don’t make any sense.
POSTCARD FROM… CORNWALL, UK
Salt water, sunshine and fresh seafood. White sand beneath your feet and blue water stretching beyond the horizon. Caribbean turquoise hues in the south of England; kayaking across the blue next to fishing boats, seals and surfers. A laid-back, slower way of living, local food found on the seashore, sweet, juicy lobster brought in that day. The English seaside gets a bad rep, but when it works, it really works.
HIKING AND SCOOTING IN WASSERFALLEN
How do you go hiking when you don’t really like hiking? I have become a little more outdoorsy since coming to Switzerland, but I’m not really a Gortex-clad, hiking-wunderkind just yet. (Or maybe not ever. Probably not ever). I’m still mostly bribed by cheese, and very definitely open to cheating.
Wasserfallen is perfect for hiking-lite because you get to go up in the cable car and come down on giant scooters. That’s right, scooters! For grown-ups!
WEEKEND IN BASEL
I have been visiting / living in Basel for a while now, and although there is still a lot left undiscovered, I have definitely found a few favourite places. The list is far from exhaustive, but it’s tried and tested. So, without further ado, here are my ideas for what to see, eat and do in this border city…
(also available as a downloadable PDF here)
THE BEST ICE CREAM IN BASEL
As the temperature gauge tickles the mid-thirties there’s only one thing to do in the city: ice cream. The summer has been hot and languid this year, heat bouncing off the buildings and stifling the breeze. Sure, there’s the Rhine to jump into and float along, but it’s not exactly an office-friendly quick fix to the sweltering conditions. So, ice cream.