If We Were Having Coffee… On December 12

Hello my lovelies!

I’m so glad to see you could join me for today’s Weekend Coffee Share! How are you?

If we were having coffee today, we’d probably meet up in the old suburb of Gräfrath, where the 31st Gräfrath Christmas Market is currently underway. It’s a lovely place, all cobble stone lanes, slate-walled and roofed buildings with white windowframes and green shutters, an old fountain in the centre of the old market square and overlooked by on old convent church.

We could have our coffee at the Christmas Market, though they also offer Glühwein (mulled wine) in all sorts of varieties, including apple mulled wine, eggnog or hot chocolate. Of course, all these drinks also come in alcoholic form with extra shots of rum or amaretto.

Careful, though, because I’ve just been round the Christmas Market once with my mum, had a chocolate with rum (aka Lumumba) and really burned my hand. I tried to get through a gap, a guy elbowed me in the gut, I stumbled into a lady and managed to spill some of my freshly poured hot chocolate all over my hand, with no cold water nearby to cool it down. I can confirm the stuff is piping hot, and my thumb is still red and sore. Luckily one of the ladies at the drinks stall had a first aid kit including a burn cream on hand and gave me some.

Other than that, this market is pretty nice. There’s loads of homemade stuff for sale, from jewellery to jams and organic soaps. In my effort to slowly but surely change my lifestyle towards more healthy options, I’ve just bought some organic almond oil soap and aloe vera lipbalm, and some homemade pumpkin gelée they named “Thanksgiving”.

If we were having coffee today, we’d probably listen to the choir on the cloister stairs (currently , surprisingly, singing I See Fire by Ed Sheeran – The Hobbit soundtrack is perfect for Christmas!), get drinks or food (ranging from the traditional, German Krakauer or Currywurst to pizza and crêpes) and talk for a while.

I’d tell you how gutted I am that my lovely home away from home – Carlisle – was once again devastated by floods. I studied in Carlisle for 3 years and love the city to bits. While I was there, we had several floods, though the highest I personally witnessed was in 2009 and the river Eden had burst its banks making our commute to university through Rickerby Park impassible (well, we got through with really wet feet on our way home but had to take the long way the next morning). Back then, our flat was right on the outer edge of the flood alert area – this time, judging by pictures, the entire ground floor is knee-deep in water. November to January are always flood months, and it’s so sad to see that the newly installed flood defences didn’t hold. This is one of their worst floods yet, owing to the fact that there are three rivers (Eden, Caldew and Petteril) converging in the city.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that business for my Etsy shop LifeInNotes is slowly picking up! All week I’ve been working on custom orders (it takes a long time to print them), but I finally got a professional look to the finished product, with a clear bag around my notebooks and a business card with shop name and web address and a bilingual stamp saying it’s an item made with love.

This would lead to us talking about planners. What do you use? I absolutely love my Midori Traveler’s Notebook, and making inserts for it. I made myself a 2016 calendar (the Chunky One for sale in my shop) and I’m planning on using it was loads of washi tapes and stamps. I’m new to stamping, and still waiting for most of my ordered stamps by SimonSaysStamp, Studio L2e and AtelierDreams – still looking for someone to sell individual stamps from Sweet Stamp Shop as I do not need a whole set from there. I’ve been using planners for years, since I was about 13 I’d say, mainly to track school work and my travels. I never really thought about stamping in them, although I have decorated them with picture of my favourite bands and actors/movies before. Now that I am a part of a planner Stamping community on Facebook and see how others use their planners and all the colours they use in them, I can’t wait to get mine all set up properly. Do you use anything other than ink from your pen in your planner?

Oh, and for all you lovely writers out there, I found this video. We could all be professional musicians – I’m sure most of us know how to handle this instrument blindfolded.

That’s my application to join the Bergische Symphoniker in the mail, then.

Anyway, I think it’s time we leave the Christmas Market behind. The handful of shops around the market fountain is quickly exhausted. I’d invite you back to mine, but in exchange for coffee you’d have to help me bake. For the first time ever, I woke up thinking I’d like to bake chewy soft cookies (white choc Macadamia, and Nutella) though I’m better at cooking than baking. If you don’t want to stay and see me possibly burn a few cookies to a crisp, I’m sure the other Weekend Coffee Sharers would love to see you!

Thank you for having coffee with me today.
Same time, next week?

Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann
Having a cuppa at Alex in Solingen, Germany. Photo: Cornelia Kaufmann

5 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee… On December 12”

  1. The market sounds lovely, though definitely crowded. I’m sure I’d only last a little while before having to get out of the hustle and bustle, but a bit of it can be invigorating, especially when there’s such fun stuff to see.

    I don’t really use an extensive planner, but I do have a simple daily/monthly calendar for keeping track of things. I probably should use a more complex system, all things considered, but I forget about the planner so often that I feel bad about spending on a fancy schmancy planner that I might still not use. Alas! I think there are so many cool ones out there.


  2. I’ve never really used planners, but I live and die by my Outlook/Google calendar.

    Honestly, I’ve always wished I’d be one of those people who documented her life and adventures in cool travelers’ notebooks. It seemed so Ernest Hemingway. Too bad it’s not my thing.

    I loved the video. I love the sound of old typewriters.


  3. I’ll have a Glühwein! How I love a good German Christmas Market. For a time, there were rumors that a local town would have an outdoor Christmas Market, but it has not come to pass. I need to begin traveling again. I haven’t been to Europe in three years. So sorry you were elbowed by the rude man and burned your thumb. Hopefully it’s feeling better now. I loved the video of La máquina de escribir! I already have my instrument, but unfortunately it is a few years older than the one played by the fellow in the video and lacks a bell, so I guess I’d better hold onto my own application to join the symphony orchestra until some other time.


  4. Several people I know who live in Europe keep talking about these Christmas markets, and I must say it’s a shame we don’t have something quite like that here, at least not to my knowledge, here in the U.S. Sorry about your hand, but your taste is impeccable — chocolate and rum is the best combination!


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