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The new year started with a bang for me – actually several and very loud ones at that. My friends took me to the Grosser Bunkerberg (Large Air Raid Shelter Hill), one of the highest points in Berlin, to look at the fireworks. Sadly it was too foggy to see much but the sound was incredible, loud banging and explosions going off for a good hour or so, the occasional rocket that made it high enough to break through the fog and smoke to illuminate the sky in an array of colours. We stood and listened and sipped bubbly. As the cold crept up our legs we decided it was time to make our way home and clambered down the hill in the fog to be welcomed to the streets of Berlin with loud bangs all around us.

Now, after a few wonderful days in Berlin filled with flea markets, a fantastic play in the Deutsches Theater and lots of time spent with good friends over cups of tea and glasses of wine, I am in Hamburg. I am watching the snow fall outside and enjoying a few hours of quite before my cute niece and nephew demand playtime again. And while I watch the snow paint the world white I think I may indulge in a hot bath, the perfect contrast to the cold day outdoors.

However first I will finish my cup of tea and write  a few lines – after all this lovely break away from normality will be over soon and I need to get quite a lot done before my course starts up again. But for now I am truly enjoying my start into 2016 and only hope that the year will keep all that it seems to be promising.

birdhouse snowgrass