A Beginners’ Guide to the 69th Berlinale. Yes! The Berlin International Film Festival 2019 is finally here!

Mr. Jones at the Berlinale – the Berlin International Film Festival – Competition 2019 by Agnieszka Holland starring James Norton
© Robert Palka Film Produkcja

OMG!

Go!

Go!!

Go!!!

I’ve told you before and I’ll probably tell you a million times over, living in Berlin is awfully fabulous!

I mean, there’s just so much to do!

At Sputnik Kino for Die rbb Reporter in Berlin!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner / Kay S. Abaño [www.kayabano.com]
Victoria smiling for Die rbb Reporter in Berlin!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner / Kay S. Abaño [www.kayabano.com]

Only a few weeks ago I was telling you all about how I could afford to travel all over Europe, rush through Bruges in Belgium, get scammed in Berlin, be utterly bored by Romania, proud as punch to be invited for the Royal Reception of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, asked to explore Sweden, Latvia and Estonia on a press trip, and got completely lost and trapped in India!

With family in tow!

And just the other week, I was in the German newspaper – Der Tagesspiegel – (Berlin-Brexit Stories #2 on 15th January 2019 – 17:56), and I’m going to be on TV again next month!

It’s going to be in connection with Brexit and British Expats in Berlin / Germany.

And just like last time, a TV crew contacted me, and asked if they could follow me about for, you know, a typical day in the life of a travel, expat, lifestyle British blogger!

Recording was at the British Shorts Film Festival that took place at the Sputnik Kino in Berlin.

The programme will be shown on – Die rbb Reporter | rbb – Briten in Berlin und Brandenburg – Deutscher Pass statt Brexit-Chaos or Brits in Berlin and Brandenburg – German passport instead of Brexit-Chaos on 20.02.19 at 21:00.

UPDATE: Due to a power failure in Köpenick, the rbb Brexit reportage has been postponed to: 05.03.19 at 14:15!

Save the Date!

I’ll write more about it later on in the month!

Yay!

Robert Pattinson at the Berlinale – Damsel – What a sexy gorgeous bloke!
© Gerhard Kassner / Berlinale

And now, ladies and gents, the red carpet has been rolled out yet again, and Berlin is about to hobnob with the best of the best. I mean, if it’s good enough for Bill Murray, Helen Mirren and Robert Pattinson. It’s surely good enough for you!

And why forsooth?

Because?

Because the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, is in town!

Now for those of you interested in getting a piece of the action it’s really quite easy.

WHAT IS THE BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / BERLINALE?

The new 69th Berlinale 2019 Film Programme!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2019

Well, the Berlinale is simply, the world’s largest public film festival which provides an audience of interested film-goers, a city full of excitement, a diverse cultural scene, fascinating new films, up and coming artists, and an opportunity to see, talk to, and take close-up pictures, of international stars in the movie world!

The public programme of the Berlinale shows about 400 films per year of mostly international or European premieres of every genre, length and format!

Freak Show by Trudie Styler – Generation
©Maven Pictures

Formats such as:

  • Epic international cinema (Competition)
  • Independent art house (Panorama)
  • Films for a younger audience or indeed, anyone young at heart (Generation)
  • New discoveries and promising talent from the German film scene (Perspektive Deutsches Kino)
  • Avant-garde, experimental cinematography (Forum / Forum Expanded)
  • International film history consisting of cinematographic rediscoveries, high-quality film prints, digital screening formats, film aesthetics, film technology, and historical black and white documentary filming. For 2019, the focus is on the presepctive of female filmmakers (Retrospective)
  • Film classics and digitally restored film classics and rediscovered films  (Berlinale Classics)
  • Cult films curated by the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen (the German Cinematheque – Museum for Film and Television) and that pay tribute to the lifetime achievement of great and inspirational film stars or personalities (Homage)
  • Films about food (Culinary Cinema)
  • Art house cinemas within Berlin (Berlinale Goes Kiez)
  • Cinematic story-telling of Indigenous people around the world (NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema)
  • New and extraordinary productions via the honouring of the glamorous, the extraordinary, and influential cinema personalities (Berlinale Special)
  • An exclusive first look at exciting new series productions from around the world (Berlinale Series)
  • And brilliant art house cinema short pieces (Berlinale Shorts)

The Berlin International Film Festival is a source of inspiration in the global film community, encouraging the influx of film programmes, workshops, panel discussions, joint projects, and other creative outlets and networking possibilities via:

Berlinale Talent – 12 fantastic festival films you should really watch with meeeee!
© Berlinale
  • The European Film Market (EFM) an international marketplace for the new film year, and a platform for innovation and change
  • The Berlinale Co-Production Market a forum for international networking and matching projects, producers, and money institutions for film production
  • The Berlinale Talents which introduces high-profile professionals to 250 promising young international film makers
  • The World Cinema Fund (WCF) which provides financial support to boost cultural diversity in German and European cinemas as well as film projects in countries with weak film infrastructure
  • And the Berlinale Residency programme which offers international directors, financial support and funding to live in Berlin for a few months, and to start their next film project

Yeah baby!

Victoria & Wes Anderson. And a lady who accidentally photo-bombed us! –
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018

And with more than:

  • 332,403 sold tickets
  • 18,080 professional visitors
  • 130 countries
  • 3,688 journalists
  • Art
  • Glamour
  • Parties
  • Networking
  • The Business of Film-Making

 

I’m actually in the video above. This was the first “star” Press Conference at the Berlinale, and I’m standing right behind the journalist who asked Bryan Cranston that super interesting question!

You simply can’t go wrong!

That’s right.

From the 7th of February to the 17th February, 2019, Berlin will be packed solid, with members of the film industry.

My heart swells and is almost fit to bursting, when I know that Berlin is competing with the likes of other film festivals, in Cannes, and Sundance.

Alright, not in the same category, but still.

In my opinion, a festival to be proud of!

With more than four hundred (400) films, fifteen (15) categories sections, and more than half a million cinema visits, the Berlinale is not only an independent film festival with a difference, but also a film festival that ordinary people can actually visit.

Ordinary punters at the Berlinale. You know. People like YOU!
© Peter Kreibich – Berlinale Goes Kiez

Yes, that means YOU!

A world international festival can sometimes be daunting, so I’m going to try and make it as easy as possible, so that you too can participate.

If you want to!

Read my beginners’ guide and find out how!

A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO THE 69TH BERLINALE. YES! THE BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019 IS FINALLY HERE!

George Clooney at the Berlinale. So cool. So relaxed. So sexy. So …
©Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
  • BE PREPARED: The Berlinale always takes place in February so get yourself on the mailing list of the Berlinale, so that you know when the official Berlinale programme is published.
  • USE THE INTERNET: There is a Berlinale homepage in both English and German. On the homepage is a Programme Section which also has a most valuable item called the Berlinale programme or Programmsuche. Use this item to filter and search for films so that you have an idea of what you might want to see BEFORE the film festival begins.
Search for a programme at the Berlinale
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018
  • GET THE PROGRAMME: If you’re not entirely sure what each film is about, you can either download the pdf format or if you’re in Berlin (and why wouldn’t you be!), you can pretty much find the programme brochures / publications in every cinema forum in the city, as well as the Potsdamer Platz Shopping Arcade (Arkaden), every Berlinale Box Office, many theatre box offices, and in pubs, bars, cafés, and restaurants everywhere!

It’s free of charge. Just help yourself!

  • USE TECHNOLOGY: Not only can you use the Berlinale programme for your personal searches but you can also get into the 21st century and download the Apps (for Android and iOS) which links into the programme so that you can mark your favourite film or event at home, or on the move, and still remain up-to-date across multiple devices. The app also provides Berlinale information about Press Conferences and Photo Calls, festival venues, festival events and an overview of festival video broadcasts, the Opening and Closing Gala, as well as all the fun on the Red Carpet!

Relax & check my social media feed about the Berlinale, on Twitter & Facebook!

  • USE SOCIAL MEDIA: The Berlinale is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube – with the hashtag #Berlinale or #Berlinale2019. You can also follow my Twitter titbits and little quips here! Not only that, but around the Potsdamer Platz Arcade, WiFi is available for 2 hours per day per person, and there are other WiFi hotspots scattered around in various venues. For free!
  • MAKE A LIST: Once you have a rough idea of what you want to see, go ahead and make a list. Don’t forget to put the date, the name of the film in it’s original language and in English or German, the section category, the country of origin, the venue, and the time of screening.

Then make a second list with different films. Just in case.

And a third one too!

Look at the packed crowd for the World Premiere of The Bookshop, at Friedrichstadt-Palast. Aim to arrive early!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018
  • CHECK THE FILM TIME: People get really excited when punters finally get the film of their dream and then discover very soon after, that they can’t actually watch it, ‘cos they’re still at a previous showing!

Just because the film states a starting time of 20:00 doesn’t actually mean that it’s going to start at 20:00! Films start late, discussions over lap. Deal with it!

I find that putting films three (3) hours apart generally leaves more than enough room to manoeuvre. So, if for example, a film starts at 09:30, the next film I book is at 12:30 and not anything less! Most films tend to last between 80 and 100 minutes but you want to give yourself time for overlaps, and also for getting from A to B. Berlin’s public transport system is fantastic but you still have to wade your way through the crowds to get out of the venue itself, and then go downstairs to your next train station, not to talk of wading yourself through more crowds, at the next film venue!

If you plan well, you can even use the Berlinale shuttle bus departing every hour which can be used by each and every Berlinale festival visitor travelling between Potsdamer Platz (Linkstraße, close to the entrance of U2) and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (main entrance), and is absolutely free of charge!

  • LEAVE EARLY: Doors generally open 10 – 15 minutes before the film starts, so make sure you’re in the queue at least 20 minutes before the movie begins. If it’s a popular film, give yourself 30 minutes, as there is no allocated seating. First come, first served n’ all that!

No seat is a dud in my opinion, but if you have preferred seating, or want to get comfy with the new plush seats available in some cinema venues, then get there early.

Get your Berlinale film tickets in person!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018

This means that you’re going to have to gird your loins, get all your mates together and be smart and efficient. Each individual can only buy 2 tickets per film, except for Generation (children / youth films) which you can buy, 5 tickets at a time, and Culinary Cinema film screenings at 19:30, and you can buy as many as you like!

You can of course, cross your fingers and buy on the day if tickets are available at the box office of the cinemas themselves. Ticket counters open daily from 10:00 to 20:00, with people forming a queue from as early as 08:00!

Oh, and don’t forget.

For Same-Day tickets, only hard cash is accepted!

If you don't feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets at the Berlinale instead!
If you don’t feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets at the Berlinale instead!
  • BUYING TICKETS ONLINE: If you don’t feel up to being with the hoi polloi, not a problem, use your fingers and go online instead!

On the programme page is an online ticket icon. If you click on it, you’ll be directed to the online ticket shop but be warned, the other buyers are keen film-goers and pros. at this game. You’ll need firm fingers to keep clicking and refreshing, in order to get those tickets. Or better still, allocate yourself an army of friends to help you.

You know how concert tickets sell out in 10 minutes? Yep! They use the same method. Friends! Mates! Neighbours!

Everyone you know!

Grab a few friends to help you buy your Berlinale ticket!
Grab a few friends to help you buy your Berlinale ticket!

If you click on the Online Tickets icon, you will automatically be forwarded to the website of the Berlinale ticketing partner – Eventim. You’ll have to create an Eventim account. There is no processing fee, so what you see is what you pay!

You can also use a major credit card and the tickets will be delivered to you by either Email, on your mobile phone, or you can simply pick the tickets up at the Online Ticket Pick-up Counter in the Potsdamer Platz Arcade shopping centre, by showing your printed confirmation and some sort of ID.

There’s also an exclusive ticket counter for punters with MasterCard!

Berlinale ticket prices are very reasonable!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018

If you register by telephone for Generation tickets, groups of at least 6 people or more, can buy their tickets at a cost of just €3.50 each!

Oh, and you need to be at least 18 years old to see any of the films (except for Generation screenings).

Roll up! Roll up! Queue up & come & get your ticket!
© Peter Kreibich – Berlinale Goes Kiez
  • NO TICKET: If you still haven’t got the ticket you want, then go ahead and get any other film ticket instead!

The whole point of a film festival are the intriguing films that are made available. Every film has passed muster, and outside of your own personal preference, none of the films are duds.

Go on live a little!

If you’re still unsure, then go to the venue of your choice and either hold out a sign that you’re looking for an extra ticket, or look for individuals who might want to sell theirs. Don’t deal with touts!

If the individual looks nice enough and has 1 or 2 tickets rather than 20, and is willing to sell it at market price, or even cheaper, then go for it!

  • WATCH YOUR THROAT: After watching quite a few films, the throat does tend to take a bit of a beating as the rooms can get a bit dry, so arm yourself with water and cough drops. Take a scarf too, in case the air-con is at full blast!
A film industry and press-only conference – Isle of Dogs – Berlinale!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018
A film industry and press-only conference – Isle of Dogs – Berlinale!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018
  • PRESS: If you’re a press person, you should have been through the accreditation process and looking forward to picking up your badge and Berlinale gift bag!

Last year, a dedicated Press Screening Guide was made available. And was a godsend!

It’s proving to be the same in 2019!

The press screening guide has information about press screenings, and other events that are available to accredited journalists and media representatives.

And I used the Press Screening Guide to the full!

Nevertheless, even press people have to organise themselves, as film tickets are only made available one (1) day prior, and so I found myself checking into the Grand Hyatt Berlin on a daily basis!

At 08:00 in the morning.

Eeek!

After a hard day at the Berlinale, surely I deserve a glass of champagne! –
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018

On the other hand, free water, free coffee (Ouch!) free WiFi, a press room, comfy seats, and a quick means of getting all the press stuff and press tickets that you need, are provided.

Everyone is always so helpful and kind because I’m now a pro!

I usually manage to get 99% of the film tickets that I want. However, on the very last film festival day, I sometimes end up buying tickets from my own pocket at the cinema box office, as press tickets are sometimes in limited supply, especially if I really, really, really want to watch something!

All in all, I pretty much get every film ticket that I want.

Thank you Berlinale Press Team!

Vai – NATIVe 2019 at the Berlinale – The Berlin International Film Festival
© New Zealand Film Commission
  • BE OPEN TO A NEW EXPERIENCE: I love going to film festivals and one of the main reasons is that in many cases, the films that you get to see at such events will never be shown at regular cinemas, or ever at all!

I mean, I hardly doubt that a weird film about a businessman who’s so burnt out, that he spends 14 days eating apples in a monastery in Burma, a mother and daughter who spend all day screaming at each other in Beijing, a black and white film about illegitimate foster children in 1920’s Germany, or an old couple who also happen to be traditional reindeer hunters, living all alone in the North Pole, is going to be shown at a local cinema near you!

I really don’t think so!

In my case, I aim for weird Asian films, obscure East European films, Anglo-American films with controversial topics, German films with a twist, and films over issues that I would never usually go for, ‘cos they’re just not shown at your local flick!

Kislota | Acid by Alexander Gorchilin – Panorama 2019 – Berlinale – The Berlin International Film Festival
© Studio SLON / Kislota
  • STAY FOR Q&A: The beauty of an international film festival or any film festival at all, is that everyone tends to be there.

You get stars such as Christian Bale (Batman / American Psycho), Martin Freeman (Sherlock Holmes), Diane Kruger, Catherine Deneuve, Bill Nighy, James Norton, Stellan Skarsgård (Pirates of the Caribbean / Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ), Casey Affleck, Jonah Hill, Jamie Bell (King Kong), Tilda Swinton, Juliette Binoche, Trudie Styler (wife of Sting), Moritz Bleibtreu, Peter Sarsgaard (husband of Maggie Gyllenhaal), Die Toten Hosen, Peter Lindbergh.

And directors such as Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Idris Elba (Luther), Rupert Everett (The Importance of Being Earnest), Steven Soderbergh (the Ocean’s Trilogy), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), as well as other other directors, producers, and actors.

In fact, everyone!

Helena Bonham Carter sat behind me at the Berlinale,and I hadn’t even noticed, until she got up to go to the front of the stage!
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

A few years ago, Helena Bonham Carter sat behind me and I hadn’t even noticed, until she got up to go to the front of the stage!

Actors, directors and producers tend to go out to the front and apart from staring at them really closely, you can ask them questions about their films or their thoughts surrounding that film. And being that this is Berlin, everyone’s really chilled and not freaking out, or going crazy!

Not inside the cinema theatre in any case.

The gorgeous Idris Elba at the Berlinale – the Berlin International Film Festival – Director – Yardie 2018. You can just about see my pink phone cover!
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
And here’s the very same photo I took of Idris Elba – Director of Yardie – Zoo Palast – Berlinale!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Berlin – Feb 2018

If there’s a hottie on the red carpet like George Clooney, Robert Pattinson, Idris Elba, or Natalie Dormer, all that flies out of the window, and people start screaming!

I mean, it sometimes goes insane.

Natalie Dormer was here to promote Picnic at Hanging Rock, & all I could think of was Game of Thrones!
© Thomas Lobenwein – Berlinale Series

The actors are always calm, professional and charming (especially George, Robert, Idris, & Natalie. We’re on first name basis now of course!) but the audience just lose themselves with star-lust, over-whelmingness, or the fact that film premier tickets can sell out surprisingly quickly, and not be found for love or money.

If you didn’t know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody way up there, chances were, you wouldn’t get a look in!

The atmosphere once you get indoors, really is comforting and quite frankly, it’s nice.

Helen Mirren at the Berlinale. Because anyone who matters is here!
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

And all for the price of a cinema ticket.

Less in some cases!

  • MAKE FRIENDS: Chat to the person next to you.

Find your friends and partners and go for a well deserved late night drink!

We’re so chilled in Berlin. Bring your beer in at the Kino Casablanca. And make friends!
Berlinale Goes Kiez -© Peter Kreibich
  • TAKE ACTION: Now that you know what to do, go ahead and get yourself a film ticket, and do it all over again the next day!

See you at the Berlinale!

A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO THE 69TH BERLINALE. YES! THE BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019 IS FINALLY HERE!

Joaquin Phoenix at the Berlinale – The Berlin International Film Festival – Competition – Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot 2018
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

This article is not sponsored and even though I receive press tickets, all opinions and the brilliant festival films that I choose, are my very, very own!

It’s February!

I’m going to be on German TV again!

I went to Norway. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my How To Visit India posts in February / March!

I’ll be at the 69th Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival taking place between 07.02.19 – 17.02.19, everyone who is anyone will be in Berlin!

Will you?

Save the Date!

February is delightfully rushed!

Catch me if you can!

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

Watch this space!

Please note that there are two affiliate link companies connected to this post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Let’s get ready for the Berlinale!

Thanks a million!

A Beginners’ Guide to the 69th Berlinale. Yes! The Berlin International Film Festival 2019 is finally here!

Have you ever been to a film festival? What actor would you like to see on the Red Carpet? Are you excited? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

Happy New Year everyone.

It’s officially 2019!!!!!

My goodness!

2018 was a very good year!

But first, let’s take a walk down memory lane of all the countries that I went to last year, and what I did. According to my statistics, over 120,000 people read my blog in some form or other, last year.

120,000 people!!

I don’t know how I managed that as in most cases I only managed to write one (1) or two (2) articles per month!

And why pray?

Because I started a new job!

And the job itself includes quite a bit of travelling too.

However, it’s really exciting, and I like it very much!

To think I only started this blog a little over five (5) years ago. Isn’t that marvellous?

I would just like to thank some very important people – YOU!

Thank you so much for reading, making comment, and sticking with me. I love you all!

So let’s do this.

Here we go!

THE 8 COUNTRIES THAT I WENT TO LAST YEAR WERE:

  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Sweden
  • Romania
  • Germany
  • India

BELGIUM:

Have you ever been to Bruges. In Belgium!

I love travelling with our son, and even though he’s 16 now (gulp), it won’t be long until he’ll want to be travelling with his friends.

In Northern European countries that age tends to be between 16 and 17 years old, as young people are more independent, and their parents liberal, tolerant, and open-minded.

In that wise, every January, The Tall Young Gentleman and I, spend some quality time together either visiting some dubious destination, or skiing!

This time around, I decided to take him to Bruges.

In Belgium.

But did I tell you that I flew there.

Via a budget airline.

And not just any airline mind you.

But Ryanair!

Gulp!

Ryanair – A no-frills budget airline. Is it worth the plunge?

Belgium has had trouble with terrorism in the last few years, as have many other European countries, but it’s a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy, very high standards of living, friendly locals, interesting food, and is relatively safe and peaceful!

Having said that, Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had great influence on European art and culture, with architecture and paintings being especially astounding, and historically relevant.

Mussels served with a huge bowl of frites, chips or fries!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Bruges – Jan 2018

One of those places is Bruges.

We had a lovely time!

Here’s what I wrote:

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Staroměstská – Old Town – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018

I love going to the Czech Republic.

Especially Prague!

After all, once upon a time, I used to live there!

Not only that, but I went to the Czech Republic this year, not just once, but twice!

Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec – Ossuary – Kutná Hora

I went to a little place called Kutná Hora!

Kutná Hora otherwise known as Hory Kutné or Kuttenberg is a city in Bohemia and is famous for it’s silver mines and the Sedlec Abbey – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, – otherwise known as the Church of Bones!

Last year, there was so much going on last year that I forgot to write about ’em. Oops!

I did push out photos and videos on Facebook & Twitter.

If you don’t want to miss out, follow me on Twitter here!

In front of Charles Bridge – Karlův Most – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018

Here’s what I wrote previously…

Explore Hansa with me!
5 enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia!

Last summer was extremely busy.

And why?

I went on a media trip to Sweden, Estonia AND Latvia!

Quite frankly, they really need no introduction because I have written extensively about them before, but if you’re here for the very first time or simply need a reminder, here are the articles I wrote previously.

Phew!

ESTONIA:

Explore your taste buds & create an inspiring gastronomical experience on the HANSA Culinary Trip!

Here’s what I wrote:

LATVIA:

Explore HANSA at Pils krodziņš Pils Ķēķis in Valmiera – Latvia!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Latvia – August 2018

Here’s what I wrote:

SWEDEN:

Explore HANSA with me on the island of Visby in Gotland for Medieval Week in Sweden!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Sweden – August 2018

Here’s what I wrote:

WHY DID VICTORIA GO TO SWEDEN, ESTONIA AND LATVIA?

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

Well, you all know how I love going to the ITB Berlin – the international tourism trade fair, otherwise known as the Internationale Tourismus-Börse!

And for those of you who don’t know, the ITB Berlin represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

It’s one of the highlights of my year, and one of the places that I tend to meet contacts and plan where I’m going to travel to during that year, or the following one.

In fact, my first media trip ever, was sent to me by the virtue that I was chatting to a media person from Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency!

My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

I didn’t know that at the time, but she was so impressed, that she sent me a FAM Trip invitation to Nord-Pas de Calais.

I thought I was going to Normandy!

Haw! Haw!

I was the only press / blogger person there.

And well as the only British person too!

I had a fantastic time!

Reindeer in Finland.

A year after, I met another contact who invited me to use their sailing cruises. I didn’t have the time to sail extensively, but I did use the services of TALLINK SLJA LINE to cross from Estonia to Finland.

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

A year later, that very same person invited me to fly to Sweden and do a couple more cruises. I still wasn’t able to go since the timing wasn’t right, but she introduced me to a contact from Visit Stockholm instead, and before you knew it, both The Tall Young Gentleman and I were in Stockholm for the very first time!

Is it any wonder that this year, someone else reached out and invited me to a very interesting event, so interesting in fact, that how could I refuse?

The event in question was called Explore Hansa!

Explore HANSA

WHAT IS EXPLORE HANSA?

Explore Hansa is a partner project consisting of nine (9) small and enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden (Visby), Estonia (Pernau and Viljandi) and Latvia (Cēsis, Koknese, Kuldīga, Limbaži, Straupe and Valmiera), but due to a lack of time, we were only able to visit five (5)!

I went on the THE CULINARY TRIP route that went through Viljandi (Estonia) – Valmiera (Latvia) – Cēsis (Latvia) – Koknese (Latvia) and Visby (Sweden), to explore one’s taste buds of seasonal local produce and create an inspiring gastronomical experience

Aha!

You can guess which one I chose!

What an event!

Exciting stuff!

Yeah!

ROMANIA:

I went to Romania. It didn’t wow me!

I bet you weren’t expecting this!

I won’t apologise for it!

When coming to The British Berliner, you expect a clear description of the places that I travel to, and my thoughts.

And that is exactly what I gave you!

I said it didn’t tickle my fancy!

I stated that I simply wasn’t overwhelmed.

Or fascinated.

And sad to say.

I wasn’t even impressed.

I’m yet to find when it ever became a crime to like everywhere.

You just can’t!

So, what happened?

Romania – A blend of European history, with distinct reminders of a socialist past!

Here’s what I wrote:

GERMANY:

How I got scammed in Berlin!

This blog.

My blog.

The British Berliner

Has been in existence for over five (5) years.

My first ever blog post was in late October 2013, and what a post!

I’m still getting comments and hate mail about it, and why is that so?

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Well, check it out for yourself and tell me what you think.

In fact, why not make your own comment. And the title of said piece – Germany is Boring! 

Oops!

If only people would actually read things…

Ah well!

Berlin – very British – rbb

The fact is, I’ve been living in Germany for over 16 years. Yes, 16 years!

Gulp!

Who would have thought that not only would I be living in this wonderful city – Berlin, but I would be married to a German bloke to boot!

If anyone had told me this years ago, I would have laughed in their face!

The Music Producer at Piccadilly Gardens – The Northern Quarter – Manchester

And even though I’m British, and I’ve been living here as an expat for years, it never gets old. In fact, I still feel as if I’ve only just got here!

We’re not leaving!

I’m a very proud British person.

There is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the dismal politics, I love both England – my original birth country, and Germany – my adoptive new country, and I don’t see why I should have to choose, as I have spent a lot of my life and money, in both.

In fact, I’ve written about both how to be British and how to be a German.

And, I’m not alone!

Should I be British or European? Can’t I be both!

However, after the very disappointing result of the Brexit Referendum in 2016, many of my fellow British citizens began to wonder whether the discussions and talks would lead to a better understanding of British / European relations, or a hardline stance.

Indeed, I even told a reporter of the Bloomberg newspaper that the only way you would get me out of this country, would be kicking and screaming!

But the writing on the wall was crystal clear, that British – European relations was not going to get better anytime soon, but effectively worse.

So at the end of 2016, I changed my mind, and decided to apply for dual-nationality.

Basically, I want to be both British and German, and to effectively have the best of both worlds!

And while the UK is still in the EU, I certainly can!

The Tall Young Gentleman and the Boy Scouts of America – Troop 46 – Berlin. Having German, British, American & French dual citizenships / double nationalities, works just fine!
At least, I got a tiny Naturalisation/ Einbürgerungs pledge ceremony & was full of smiles by the time I got outside the Bezirksamt Pankow von Berlin – Pankow Town Hall!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – Berlin – The British Berliner

Yes!

It happened!

OMG!

So there you have it.

I’m a real British – German now!

Here are the following posts I wrote about Germany:

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!
I bet you wouldn’t mind calling this sexy hot German guy!

GERMAN CULTURE:

BERLIN CULTURE:

The British Berliner is 5 years old. Hurrah! Let’s jump up and down and scream!

BERLIN:

Oh yeaaaah! Berlin baby! I’ve been living here as an expat for 16 years. I know Berlin that’s why I am The British Berliner! So without further delay, here are the lovely posts that I wrote in 2018 just for you:

INDIA:

When the airline lost my luggage on the flight to India – Incredible India!

I went to India!

I’ve been to India before.

And I thought I was prepared.

Haw! Haw!

But I wasn’t ‘cos we were tested before we even landed, when the airline lost our luggage!

Perhaps India has changed!

And for those of you who are over 30 (ahem!).

This blog and the next couple of months weeks, is for you.

India isn’t easy, but if you want to go there.

You can!

If you’re really nervous, I offer a consultancy, and can help you organise or advice you on many parts of your trip to India!

For more info, click here!

Here’s what I wrote:

EXCITING NEWS! I’ve been invited to the Royal Wedding Reception of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle! AND. I’ve got a new job!

Here are the posts that I wrote about Britain, being a British expat, and the United Kingdom as a whole, or where I was featured for 2018:

I didn’t do too badly, me thinks!

OTHER STUFF!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I’m going to be on TV again!

It’s going to be in connection with Brexit and British Expats in Berlin / Germany.

And recording will be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place at the Sputnik Kino in Berlin from 17.01.19 – 23.01.19. I’ll be there all evening , so if you’re in town, come by and have your say.

The programme will be shown on – Die rbb Reporter | rbb on 20.02.19 at 21:00

 

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
The British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done, so I’ll leave with you with some of my most inspiring motivational posts!

The British Berliner is 5 years old. Hurrah! Let’s jump up and down and scream!
And while we’re at it – 7 other common travel scams to avoid!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.
TBEX @travellingcolognian.com
How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

If you would like to do what I do or travel the way I do, you can click on any of the items on the side bar!

For how to start your own blog, click here, how to protect your family and possessions when you travel, click here, how to book hotels, hostels and apartments with reservations free of charge, click here.

If you need inspiration as to where to travel, click here. If you want to see my TV / media appearances, newspaper articles, and awards, click here.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to send me an Email in either English or German, right here.

For more in-depth information, or for detailed help on a journey or region in Europe, the UK, or Germany in either English or German, please click here.

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

In short, I had a blast in 2018, and there’s many more exciting things about to start for me in 2019!

I love the life of the roving journalist and blogger about town.

I have a family and I have a life. Most importantly, I’ve already found my home-base – Berlin – and I’m extremely happy with where I am and who I am.

27 fantastic posts!

Thank you so much for your support everyone. 2018 was a great year. Here’s to the next.

Bottoms up!

I'm not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them!

I have so much to say, so I will be sharing some of my travel destinations for 2019 with you very soon.

It”s a New Year. Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

If you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes!

Here’s a simple guide I wrote, about how to start a blog!

WordPress.com

Not only that, if you start a new blog in 2019 starting today, there’s an exclusive sale for 20% off WordPress.com!

For the 20% discount, use the coupon code. Click here!

  • Dates: Monday, January 14th – Monday, January 20th
  • Coupon Code: DISCOUNT20
  • Can be used for: WordPress.com, WooCommerce.com & Jetpack

If you’re still having problems or would prefer a step-by-step live guide, I offer a personal consultancy which can be done in either English or German!

Speaking of languages, have you seen my language tab at the top of the page?

Now you can switch my post to any language you desire!

Nifty!

HOW I WENT TO 8 EXCITING COUNTRIES, WENT TO INDIA, LOST MY LUGGAGE & GOT TRAPPED AND CONFUSED IN DELHI IN 2018!

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

This article is not sponsored, and the enchanting countries that I visited in 2018, were all my very own!

I’m going to be on German TV again!

I went to Norway. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my How To Visit India posts later in the month!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 17th – 23rd January. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 15th – 18th January.

I’ll be at the 69th Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival taking place between 7th – 17th January, 2019. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in January, then where the hell are you?

January is going to be splendid!

See you soon!

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

Watch this space!

Please note that there are four affiliate link companies connected to this post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Let’s get ready for 2019!

Thanks a million!

How I went to 8 exciting countries, went to India, lost my luggage & got trapped and confused in Delhi!

Where did you travel to last year? Are there any particular posts that you enjoyed? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

It’s never too late.

And I do so love winter!

It’s that great time of year.

Christmas & the New Year!

I love the crispness of the air, the early evenings, the freshness of the cold, and the darkness  when the lights come out.

I love it so, because December is my most favourite month ever, and also the month of my birth!

It was my birthday almost two weeks ago.

So what did I do?

Well, instead of having a huge birthday party, I decided to treat my family to an all-expenses-paid-entirely-by-me weekend away, to Prague!

Yay!

It was my birthday a few weeks ago – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018
My birthday cake at Boris’ Apartments Prague Castle – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018
Staroměstská – Old Town – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner -Czech Republic – December 2018

The Czech Republic is one of my favourite countries.

Indeed, before I came to live in Germany as a British Expat, once upon a time, I lived in Prague!

On Charles Bridge – Karlův Most – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018
In front of Charles Bridge – Karlův Most – Happy Birthday to me! Victoria in Prague
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Czech Republic – December 2018

Don’t I look happy?

I even managed to do some of my Christmas Shopping!

Speaking of Xmas Shopping.

Aaaaah!

The horror of Christmas shopping – Get me out of here!

You might not be excited about winter or the horror of Christmas shopping, but you are still liable to the festive season.

At least in Europe you are!

However of late, Christmas has been high-jacked by activities contrary to what this season is all about. Everywhere you look there’s some disaster or another, and afterwards, merriment galore, then huge bills!

Yikes!

Let’s figure out a way to make Christmas time as pain-free as possible!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

So let’s make a deal.

Instead of wasting a huge amount of money on things you either don’t need, or probably already have, making the issue of #firstworldproblems completely and utterly true.

Let’s figure out a way to make Christmas time as pain-free as possible.

So come with me as I feature 10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing if you’re broke, and don’t have a penny to your name. And 10 gifts that do, for those who have the dosh, and really want to spend it!

Please note that there are three affiliate link companies connected to this Christmas / New Year gift post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

Here we go!

1.  MAKE A PHOTOGRAPHY ALBUM

Photographs don't cost a single thing!
Photographs don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

In todays’ world, pretty much everyone and his mother has a mobile phone. In many cases, a smart phone too.

It doesn’t take a genius to take a photograph or two of yourself, your friends, and family, or even your hobby using stuff like postcards, ticket stubs, old T-shirts, money, etc, making your photography more than just a bunch of photos, but a scrapbook of your life. And theirs!

Then all you have to do is upload the photographs, edit as appropriate, then send off to your loved ones by Email.

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
The INSTAX Mini 90 Neo Classic Retro Camera!

If you’re looking for something different, why not get a retro camera for instant photographs with your friends and family. ‘Remember when this was a thing?

I recommend this fabulous INSTAX Mini 90 Neo Classic camera – because it’s a blend of stylish quality with a retro camera design that looks good, feels great, has a full range of camera functions, and performs beautifully!

It also comes in classic black!

And get this.

It’s under £120.00 / €120.00 / $120.00!

How fun is that!

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera!

If you want one:

  • Buy your loved ones a fun retro camera via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this fun retro camera via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this fun retro camera via Amazon.de hier!

2.  MAKE MUSIC

A personalised mixed tape doesn't cost a single thing!
A personalised mixed tape doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Ha! Ha! Not a measuring tape.

I mean tape cassette!?

Tape?!&%!!

When was the last time that you actually saw a good ‘ol cassette player?

Like never!

Nevertheless, the sentiment remains the same. Why not make a customised mixed playlist from your huge collection on iTunes or Spotify, and make a CD! You can even sing on it….!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
What a really cool RockJam Full Size Electric Guitar Superkit!

On the other hand, if you’ve ever wanted to be in your own rock band, and make your own style of music, now you can!

I recommend this really cool RockJam Full Size Electric Guitar Superkit. It even comes with it’s own amp, strings, tuner, strap, case and cable, as well as an association of colours – black, red, brown, and sunburst!

Perfect for the aspiring beginner!

And get this.

It’s under $120.00 / £120.00 / €100.00!

Move over Eric Clapton!

Move over Eric Clapton!

If you want one:

  • Buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon.de hier!

3.  MAKE YOUR OWN COOKBOOK

Making your very own cook and recipe book, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I’m not the best of cooks.

Even though I love eating wonderful food, and I have a whole bookshelf of cookery books.

I SIMPLY CAN’T COOK!

But if you can, why not make your very own cook and recipe book for your friends and family?

Add personalised notes and extra information about why you chose that particular recipe, ‘cos who doesn’t like something delicious. Or even the secret to making a good cup of tea!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

Croatian food is most delicious!

If you fear that you might kill people, leave it to the experts, and buy your loved ones a cookery book instead, so that they can make it like mummy used to.

Properly!

If the pressure is far too much, why not try out some fun cook books, to remind you of your obsession in 2018 instead…

It does. It’s Christmas!!
The Walking Bread!

From the creators of Baking Bad comes the ghoulishly funny spoof cookbook The Walking Bread, inspired by the hit television series that viewers have been hungrily devouring for the past eight years.

Fans of the show will be dying to get their hands, on this new pun-tastic, post-apocalyptic book!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
Game of Scones – All Men Must Die!

And of course, if you’re as obsessed with Game of Thrones as I am, you simply must get Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine!

Inspired by the hit television series, this Game of Thrones baking book is the struggle for the Iron Scone where chaos reigns throughout the Seven Kingdoms!

Kings, queens, knights, and honest men, battle it out as they play the Game of Scones while Jammy Lannister, by right of birth, blood and dough, lays claim to the Iron Scone of Westeros!

Join him as he fights his way through the kitchen, via desserts such as Unsullied Soldiers (without nuts), Brienne of Tart, Jaime and Cersei’s Family Mess, and Tyrion’s Shortbread!

 

I highly recommend both books, and the Blu-Ray / DVD!

And get this.

Each book is under £10.00 / €10.00 / $10.00!

So what are you waiting for?

If you want one:

  • Buy your loved ones The Walking Bread here. And the Game of Scones via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this hilarious cookbook The Walking Bread here. And the Game of Scones via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this hilarious cookbook The Walking Bread: (Englisch) hier. And the Game of Scones: Das witzige Backbuch zur Kultserie via Amazon.de hier!

4.  GO ON A WALKING TOUR

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending, in Taiwan! 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending, in Taiwan
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

You’re broke and you can’t afford to travel the world.

Not to worry. Let the world travel to you!

Join a walking tour in a major city near you. Completely and utterly free (except for the tips of course.)

We said save money, not steal it!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

On the other hand, you’ve got holiday time due to you, or you want to surprise a loved one, then don’t be shy take the next train, or flight, and book a hotel to anywhere in the world.

Go on. You deserve it!

  • If you’re in Britain, book a hotel room via Booking.com. here!
  • If you’re in the US, book a hotel room via Booking.com. here!
  • Wenn Sie in Deutschland sind, sie können ein Hotelzimmer über Booking.com auf Deutsch, hier buchen!

5.  GROW YOUR OWN FOOD

Pickles, in many cases, don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

We all eat far too much!

Using the fruit and vegetables from your garden, your terrace, or even your window sill, can give you pickles and jams galore!

Food should be a delight, but most people eat far too much!

Instead of throwing out your excess fruit, make jam and give them to your friends and family.

Instead of throwing out your excess vegetables, make chutney and give them to your neighbours.

And if you’re worried about the effects of dry summers and warms winters, then by all means, go ahead and make your own pickles!

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
One of the apples from our garden!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

We have a plum-tree, an apple tree, a blackberry tree, and hundreds of home-grown vegetables.

We even have our own wormery and compost box!

Fresh produce doesn’t do itself justice, bearing in mind that there are no added chemicals.

In fact, no added anything at all!

Just put in a little sunshine, a bit of water, some basic pruning from time-to-time, a couple of old teabags, crushed eggshells, and dried coffee granules, and you’ve got yourself a vegetable patch, and freshness to last you through the winter!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet

I’m a very bad cook, but I do actually know how to grow my own food!

Yes, I do!

And in this day and age of chemicals, fertilisers, horse-meat, and who knows  what in our food, isn’t it about time that you get yourself a garden book and learn how to find fruit and vegetables that is simply all around us?

So why not buy your loved ones inspiring books that show you how to choose good food. Use good food. And eat good food, while at the same time encouraging a degree of self-sufficiency.

How to Grow: A Guide for Gardeners Who Can’t Garden Yet is not only a useful book, but a jolly good read!

This is a gardening book for people who want to learn how to grow things, but haven’t got a clue where to start!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
Hippie Lane: The Cookbook

And for the vegans out there.

How about a book that is extremely attractive to vegans who are not only serious about wholesome food, but also people who might like to try out a few recipes too! Check out Hippie Lane: The Cookbook!

Yes, you too can go meat free. For a day or two with Hippie Lane: The Cookbook!

I utterly recommend both books!

And get this. Each book is under $25.00 / £15.00 / €20.00!

So what are you waiting for?

If you want one:

  • Buy your loved ones How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet here. And Hippie Lane: The Cookbook via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this inspiring How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet here. And Hippie Lane: The Cookbook via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this inspiring How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet (Englisch) hier. And Hippie Lane: The Cookbook (Englisch) via Amazon.de hier!

6.  MAKE A HOME-MADE MOVIE

A home-made film doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you have a smart phone, a camera, or a selfie stick, you can start making your very own-home movie, starring YOU.

 

 

Produced by you, and directed and scripted, completely and utterly by you.

Boy, but what a thrill!

I’m not going to show you any of my own home-movies. I’m not mad you know!

But if you want to see some of my professional ones, click here!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
If you’re serious, register at the Met Film School!

If you’re serious about movies and films, and want to take making a movie to the next level, why not go to film festivals for inspiration, pile on the pressure by joining a how-to-make-a-film workshop hosted by the University of Bedfordshire (UK), where you have to make an independent film project in just 48 hours!

And not only that, you get to show your film via Open Screenings and free entrance to the public at the British Shorts Film Festival, or enrol at a film school nearby.

I’m constantly being asked to make some sort of film production, made and produced by myself.

Er. Nope!

I love watching films. I love being in films, but I’m not skilled enough to actually make the film!

And nor do I want to.

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I love being in front of the camera, rather than behind it!

Last year, I was asked by the BBC to take part in a creative art make-your-own-digital-film project, but I turned it down!

The BBC!

I know!!

However, they were kind of enough to invite me for a BBC4 London radio show instead.

I readily accepted!

Having said that, I love learning stuff which is why I’m always at one workshop or another, and there’s nothing wrong with adding to the skills that one already has. So I might book one of the MET practical filmmaking world-renowned weekend courses after all.

And certainly, if you’re serious about this stuff, you should do the same, or get one of your grannies to pay for it!

7.  READ A BOOK

Reading a book doesn't cost a single thing!
Reading a book doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you’re clever, getting a book for free is as easy as getting a slice of bread!

All you had to do is search for a classic book online, or go to the free openlibrary.org or your local library, and the book is yours!

Certainly the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB), yearly library membership cost between just €5.00 – €10.00 a year, and includes being able to borrow DVDs, Videos, Music CDs, Booklets, Audio books, Art related items, and up to 60 books at a time!

On top of that, you have access to every other public library in the city.

All pretty much free of charge.

Gosh!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
Gifts for Children & Millennials – The next generation Kindle Fire HD 8!

Why waste time?

Buy your loved ones a kindle, and they can have a book for life!

Kindles are on special offer right now, and they’re much cheaper than an iPad!

I have Kindle on my iPad, and Kindle on my Samsung Galaxy 8+ phone, and a few years ago we bought The Tall Young Gentleman a Kindle Fire Tablet, and he’s still using it!

For children, teenagers and Millennials, Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, is your man! It also comes in canary yellow, marine blue, and punch red!

And get this. It’s under $50.00/ £80.00 / €90.00!

I really don’t think you can get cheaper than this, with all the extra features!

If you want one:

  • Buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon.de hier!
It does. It’s Christmas!!
The All-New Kindle Paperwhite – Now waterproof!

If you’re a dedicated reader, then the All-New Kindle Paperwhite is probably more useful!

If you want one:

  • Buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon.de hier!

Whatever.

Buy a Kindle!

8.  CHARITABLE GIFTS THAT YOU CAN SEE!

Donating an old toy, doesn't cost a single thing!
Donating an old toy, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I personally like to donate clothes, books and toys.

I’ve also donated my time by teaching for free, or offering some other service.

At one point, I was a Charitable Director of a Woman’s Shelter in London, and a civilian sergeant in the Engineering Unit of the Territorial Army!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
Most people are charitable and want to help others, but are we really helping others?

Most people by their very nature are charitable and want to help others, but sometimes there’s a nagging feeling if you’re really doing what you can?

Is your money going to the people who need it most, or some administrative office in Switzerland?

Some organizations offer more tangible ways to do this.

I’ve donated to UNESCO for children and natural disasters. I’ve also given money to start-up organisations in Berlin, as I like to support up and coming talent in various ways!

I was first introduced to a company called Kiva.org via my previous company who made a donation of $25 on my behalf, promising to double whatever I donated myself.

Kiva is a non-profit organisation that allows people to lend money via the internet to low-income entrepreneurs, to alleviate poverty.

It does. It’s Christmas!!
I prefer to lend money to women on low-incomes in developing countries, who are setting up local businesses to get themselves & their families out of poverty.

I donated another $25 and got to choose who I would give this loan to.

I chose the female owner of a small corner shop in South America.

She paid me $2.00 every month and paid back the loan.

But not to worry, I didn’t keep the money!

I’ve donated to countries in Samoa and Columbia.

And Tajikistan!

I know!

I didn’t know where Tajikistan was either!

But that’s beside the point!

Once the loan is repaid, the money is put back into your account where you can donate it or loan it out again!

Well-known charities like Oxfam, allow you to donate a specific animal – a goat or llama – or other basic items needed by the village.  You can also “adopt” endangered animals through animal conservation organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Whichever you look at it, at least it’s a tangible effort to help others, less fortunate than ourselves, in a more sustainable way.

9.  FAMILY HISTORY 

Researching your family history doesn't cost a single thing!
Researching your family history doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Research your family history  and ask your grandparents about your ancestry, your roots, and your family history.

You can also go to the local library, local burial grounds, church, place of worship, the town hall or failing that, go online and do some digging via Ancestry.com!

You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Via an old newspaper article, I found out that my dad was the first engineer and person of colour, in his Northern England unit!

He’s in his 70’s now, so you can imagine what an achievement that was at the time!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!
Hire an expert historian who will dig up your genealogical tree!

You can hire an expert historian who will do the digging for you and make your genealogical tree, or you can get your family tested for DNA.

After all how do you think I know that I’m descended from royalty. I always tell people that I’m related to the other Queen Victoria.

I’m not. It’s different royalty.

But I might be!

Should I be British or European? Can’t I be both!

Failing that why not come to Europe and find out.

Many of you are descended from people in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia.

Don’t you think it’s time you took a plane and found out!

If you need any help, click here!

10.  WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK or START YOUR OWN BLOG

How to write & publish a book! I prefer paper or hard back!
How to write & publish a book!
I prefer paper or hard back!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Get yourself a glass of wine, grab some plain  white paper or your laptop, and get writing!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon

Buy the book of someone else.

An ordinary person.

Just like you.

And represented by the London publishing house – Austin Macauley Publishers.

Someone like my very own brother, who wrote a children’s book called THE BEEHIVE.

In just three (3) months!

If you want a copy of the book just in time for Xmas or the New Year…

  • Buy your loved ones The Bee Hive, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones The Bee Hive, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones The Bee Hive. It’s only available in English so buy via Amazon.uk here oder Amazon.de hier!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

If you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes!

Here’s a simple guide I wrote, about how to start a blog!

WordPress.com

Not only that, if you start a new blog before the year runs out and 2019 begins, there’s an exclusive sale for 20% off WordPress.com!

For the 20% discount, use the coupon code. Click here!

  • Dates: Monday, December 17th – Monday, December 31st
  • Coupon Code: HOLIDAYS20
  • Can be used for: WordPress.com, WooCommerce.com & Jetpack

If you’re still having problems or would prefer a step-by-step live guide, I offer a personal consultancy which can be done in either English or German!

Speaking of languages, have you seen my language tab at the top of the page?

Now you can switch my post to any language you desire!

Nifty!

Me just walking down the road. Thrown into the spotlight LOL!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

So what are you waiting for, Xmas & the New Year is just around the corner.

Get to work!

And good luck!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

This article isn’t sponsored and all opinions and amazing gifts, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I’ll tell you all about it next year!

If you’re not in Berlin in winter, you’re not going to have any sausages!

Yay!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

Watch this space!

Please note that there are five affiliate link companies connected to this Christmas / New Year gift post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Let’s get ready for Christmas & New Year!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2018/2019!!

Which of these gifts do you like? Would you buy them for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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