Herzlich willkommen!

This is the personal webpage of Andie Gilmour.

I am a seasoned IT professional who together with my partner and cats upped sticks from the UK in 2008 and moved to live just north of Berlin.

Why did we make such a momentous move? Surely we must have been crazy? As the traditional song goes: Du Bist Verrückt, mein Kind, du musst nach Berlin, wo die Verrückten sind!

Well yes, we were crazy - crazy about Berlin. There is no city like it, and Land Brandenburg around it is also a beautiful thing.

On this page I have incorporated the most recent posts from my blog, which has chronicalled our move to Berlin and our lives and discoveries since. I hope you read it and can share with us our love for this crazy place.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the Best of das Blog newsletter and get a periodic digest of the best monthly posts sent direct to your email box!

 

Mit freundliche Grüße!

Andie Gilmour

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1. A Fox at the Berliner Botanischer Garten

Berlin has plenty of green spaces within its boundaries, but Nature never fails to surprise me when I suddenly come across a wild animal in the heart of the city.

Today we spotted a fox in the Berlin Botanical Garden, and watched entranced as it stalked its prey, did a three-foot leap into the air, and pounced on something that was quickly gobbled down. Amazingly, I had my camera in my hand and managed to catch the fox immediately before she pounced:


Posted on 16 January 2015 | 9:00 am

2. Frohes neues Jahr 2015!



Ich wünsche allen meinen Lesern ein frohes und gesundes 2015!



Posted on 1 January 2015 | 7:18 am

3. Basdorfer-Wald Winter-Schneelandschaft

The first serious fall of snow has hit us, and I don't think we will be going anywhere on the bikes:

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

So, we head over the snowy lines of the Heidekrautbahn into the forest that surrounds our village of Basdorf.
photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

We discover a Winter-wonderland straight out of a Brothers Grimm illustration for Hansel and Gretal.
photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

Though the woodland is silent except for the tap-tap-tapping of a wood-pecker, our imagination populates the stands of fir-trees with wolves stalking us.
photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

There are avenues of virgin snow, just waiting for a sleigh to come ploughing down them:
photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

Back home the garden gets snowier ...
photos in the woods around Basdorf, Germany, in Winter 2014 by Andie Gilmour

And snowier! ....

Time to head inside and light up the wood-stove.

Posted on 30 December 2014 | 3:41 am

4. Winter Birds - Wintervögel

Here are a few snaps of blue-tits (Blaumeisen) and great tits (Kohlmeisen) on our garden feeder today. It has been the first heavy snow-fall of the year, and they looked as if they really needed the food.

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

I'm not forgetting the ground-feeders either. Here's a juvenile black-bird (Amsel) finishing off a pile of porridge oats:

Amsel / blackbird feeding in Winter, photo by Andie Gilmour

We went for a walk in the woods and I also spotted a greater spotted woodpecker (Größere Buntspecht) high up in the trees. Even at a distance the bright red belly was very noticeable.

photos of Winter garden birds  by Andie Gilmour

Posted on 29 December 2014 | 7:29 am

5. Have Yourselves a Curry Little Christmas!

Are you fed up with the same old Christmas dinner of turkey, roast-potatoes, and (bleurgh!) brussel sprouts year after year? Does your idea of Christmas spices only extend as far as ginger, cinnamon, star anise, and nutmeg? Should a Winter Warmer be more than just a glass of Glühwein, and instead bring on an actual sweat? That's what we were thinking when we decided to have a very untraditional Indian curry feast for Christmas dinner - an Anti-Christmas Dinner as it were.

We invited a couple of American friends over and spent most of Christmas day working our way through four courses of spicy, home-made, Indian goodies. First course was papadums with raita and a selection of pickles and chutneys, washed down with a cold glass of Sekt:


After that we had American-made salad to cool us off, together with mushroom and broccoli pakoras straight out of the karahi.

Then onto the main course, which consisted of a selection from a bowl of a mild and creamy pumpkin, chickpea and coconut curry, and a bowl of fiery aubergine, tomato and mushroom curry. Of course heaps of basmati rice and home-made naan bread, plus a rather cheeky Californian red wine, were on hand:


Finally we had a Nigella Lawson gluten-free clementine cake with orange jelly cubes and home-made chocolate and orange ice-cream drizzled with a fruit compote. No photos of that, as we were all too busy demolishing it! Delicious! (though maybe not particularly Indian).

The feast was a great success and we were full to bursting. No room even for cheese and biscuits and a glass of mango lassi that we had planned.

Next Christmas we might get the tajine out and have a Moroccan-themed feast. Do you want to join us?

Posted on 25 December 2014 | 3:55 am

6. The Naples Metro

Berlin has its fair share of interesting underground stations, and I was very pleased to find that Naples has some too!

Here are a few photos to give you a flavour:

Down the escalator to Linea 1 at Museo:

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

The University Metro station:
photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

The Dante Metro Station:
photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour

The moving walkway (or treadmill, as our host translated it) between Museo (Linea 1) and Cavour (Linea 2) Metro stations:
photo of Napoli Metro Station  by Andie Gilmour



NB: If you are confused why these are being posted on a blog about Berlin & Germany, it is because we went on a short vacation to Southern Italy and England for my Beloveds significant birthday. Normal service will be resumed gleich.

Posted on 3 December 2014 | 5:53 am