Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

A great thank you: One Lovely Blog Award

A couple of days ago, I woke up to find that Allison Wright had nominated me for my first blog award, the One Lovely Blog Award. It came as a total surprise and I must say, I am honoured. I only started writing this blog seriously 3 weeks ago, when I arrived in Germany. Since then, I have been touched by the response from my readers. Allison has inspired me in my language learning. Having read her blog and spoken to her about my worries and fears, she has encouraged me to finally make the decision to become a translator. I am determined to improve my language to a level where I am completely comfortable and to spend yet another (very expensive) year in education to become qualified. Without her kind words, encouragement and clear talent, I might have seen this year and the frustrations around a language barrier as the end of a long road. Instead, it feels like the start of a journey of endless discovery. She clearly loves and enjoys her job and I am jealous of the freedom and joy it brings her. Translation can be mundane and boring. The fact is that no matter how hard you try, translating an instruction manual or a work contract is not going to be interesting. But the satisfaction of being able to command a language will be something that will always bring a smile of achievement to my face. I do look forward to translating my first novel though ;).

There are a number of rules for accepting this award. First I am to reveal 7 things about myself that you might not know:

1) I always have my toe nails painted. They are almost always painted red.

2) I find utter joy in the feeling of the cold biting my cheeks in the morning when I wearing my big fur coat. Faux fur of course.

3) My cat is misunderstood. He is lovely I promise.

4) The first thing I do when I get in is light my candles. I have a thing about smells.

5) Ingatestone is my home. Not Cardiff, not Erfurt, not Kent. I hate living out of a suitcase.

6) I love Doctor Who. I will watch the same episode over and over again. Even in the same day. It makes me sad, in a good way. “Sad is like happy for deep people.”

7) I don’t drink. Occasionally I will have a glass of wine with dinner. Just the one, mind. The Germans find this impossible to understand. Apparently it makes me not British.

There you go then, 7 things you might or might not have known before. The second part to me accepting this award is to nominate some other bloggers for this same award. I am supposed to choose up to 15. I shall unfortunately choose far less than that, but these are all thoroughly worth a read.

1) Iaspector – The first blog I followed here on WordPress! A talented writer in much the same position as me, currently embarking on her year abroad in France. She seems to have already moved around quite a lot and is a talented girl. Definitely worth a read!

2) Messyla – Beautiful pictures and a wonderfully creative mind. A very attractive blog full of delights that I wish my house was full of!

3) Cupcakes and Croissants – This is another year abroad blog (yes, I know) but another very very good one. I started my year abroad rather late in comparison to lots of other people and it was great to read about such excitement before I left! A very honest blog, she is not afraid to write about the more difficult things which come with being away for a year.

4) German WOTD – A word of the day, usually from the German news. This is a great blog and introduces me to the news stories I might find interesting AND new and unusual vocab. What more could a language student want?

5) Little Songs – As someone with no teaching experience who has just been thrust into a classroom and told to ‘go with the flow’ it is lovely to read a blog which is also so honest about difficulties with teaching. After a hard and scary first few days at school, I found this blog and found comfort in it. She is currently student teaching in Luxembourg and writes beautifully.

6) For the love of bookshops – I, for one, love bookshops. I love how cosy they feel and how they evoke excitement around reading. Finding a beautiful independent bookshop feels like finding some hidden, secret society where everyone just eats cake and drinks tea and travels to new worlds and into new lives just by sitting in an armchair and getting comfortable (with a good book of course!). It would seem that Erin feels the same and despite it being a pretty new follow, I had to mention her blog here. I am excited to see how her blog progresses and hope she gets to open her bookshop one day :).

The other blog I would love to mention is The Middlest Sister. This blog is hilarious, poignant and so true. It seems to allow paper to come to life and I have no idea how someone is able to create such detail from just sheets of card. The only reason I have not officially nominated her is because her blog is far too beautiful for her to accept the award in the ways specified. Either way, I always look forward to reading her blog.

Finally, I would like to thank Allison for a wonderful blog and for reading mine! I am touched to have been recognised in this way when my blog and writing skill is still so much in it’s infancy. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to post in German ;).



  1. Thank you! How kind of you to say 😀

  2. Gosh, thank you so much!

  3. Dear Emma,
    I am so thrilled and overjoyed by your love for my blog and my items. It is people like you, with such enthusiasm and kindness, that make blog writing and small business owning worthwhile! I love your blog. I love your writing style.. I could scroll through Euroland all day.

    Thank you again and I hope you will return soon. Much love and kind regards,

  4. Ha! The “freedom and joy” of translation is still flowing at 23:15 – with some way to go.
    Those are very kind words. Believe me, the latest Blaupunkt car radio manual circa 1991 was riveting stuff! It was for a private client in the days when cutting and pasting involved scissors and glue. I had to layout the text and leave blank spaces where I stuck the diagrams and photocopies of pictures. Photocopied the lot back-to-back and made a little book – A5 format, to fit in the glove compartment of a car. I found some bits of coloured cardboard and used the plastic curly binder machine at work to bind it. The translation agency was so pleased with the “professional job” (ha! ha! – very funny when I think of it now) I had done that they sent me a huge bouquet of flowers (which cost about 5 times as much as they paid me for the translation). From that day on, Whenever anyone (not just translation clients) said I had done a good job, I would reply, “Well, don’t send me flowers; bring me chocolates.” I really am glad things are not quite so primitive now. 🙂
    Where is Ingatestone?
    Keep your head down, nose the grindstone, and all that. Bis zum nächsten Mal!

    • haha, i must say that I love a bit of craft so all those cutting and pasting elements of that job would have probably increased my enjoyment of that job exponentially! :D. Ingatestone is in Essex, just to the east of London. It is a little village about 20 minutes from London by train and 10 minutes from Chelmsford (the county town) by car. I have only moved house once and it was about half a mile up the road, still within the village :). I never realised it before, as I have done so much travelling, but I really am a home girl at heart.

      I am trying! You may be pleased to know that I have started reading my first book. Thought I would start small with a collection of short stories :).

      • Short stories are a good start. They give you a sense of achievement – and therefore encouragement.

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