Sunday, 22 December 2013

Leaving Germany and coming home for Christmas.

My last couple of weeks in Germany were fab, filled with festive food, friends and even a spot of family – yes, Miss Hosie junior (that would be my sister, not daughter) came to visit for a few days of German Christmas fun.

Oh, how excited I was as I travelled to Nuremberg to meet Holly at the airport! Grinning from ear to ear (aided by the fact that I was listening to Busted), I just could not sit still on the train, and definitely got some odd looks. As I waited at the arrival gate, I can totally see what Hugh Grant was on about in Love Actually – all those reunions are emotional! I could barely hold it together as I waited! What a pansy, I know.

Finally reunited after nearly 14 weeks apart, the sister and I made our way into Nuremberg. Holly said to me, ‘The thing is, it doesn’t really feel like we’ve been separated for that long,’ and I thought she was going to say something like, ‘Because we just get on so well when we’re together,’ but she was actually going for, ‘Because of Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook and everything.’ Hmph. Less sentimental but very true.

Gorgeous view over Nuremberg as the sun set.
Nuremberg Castle
Holly and I at the Christkindlesmarkt
I showed Holly the city, the castle and of course, the Christmas market. We also met up with some of my lovely language assistant friends, Charlotte (y’all must definitely know Charlotte by now!), Ross Anne and Joe for one final Glühwein fix. Waffles, Lebkuchen, Wurst and crêpes may also have been involved, but I know you’re not judging us, right?

Rosse Anne, Joe, Charlotte and me
Nutella waffle. That is all.
After saying goodbye to my friends for A WHOLE TWO AND A HALF WEEKS(!), Holly and I made our way back to Bayreuth, where we spent my final couple of days in Germany Christmas shopping, Christmas eating and Christmas film watching (oh yeah, and packing and cleaning and teaching a few classes.)

I hope Holly liked her flying visit to Germany, because I think it’s always lovely to show your family and friends your new life. I’d booked us in for a traditional Bavarian lunch at the best restaurant in town, along with my two wonderful housemates and the British Bayreuth babes, Emily and Emma, and it’s safe to say the Schnitzel certainly went down well with the sister. How could it not!?

Schnitz FTW
However, as Holly doesn’t speak German, we spoke to my German housemates auf Englisch, which I must say, I found very odd. Hopefully I impressed Holly with my German abilities, as I'm not going to lie to you, I really feel like my German has improved. HOORAH!

Normal-sized sausage for Holly

Stupidly large sausage for me
After a final evening of German market fun (involving a HALF METRE of sausage!), my housemates and I exchanged presents (they’re such sweeties) and said our goodbyes.

Ya gotta love walking round with a bag full of presents!
With an overweight (natch) suitcase full of presents for my family and friends, Holly and I excitedly flew back to Britain together.

And now I’m home. Of course, it feels like I’ve never been away. Coming back home at the end of a uni term is always lovely, but coming back to your home country from abroad feels extra special. Sure, my puppy has grown horrendously since I left her fourteen weeks ago, but baked beans are still baked beans and the Aga is still as cosifying as I remember.

Here’s how I shall be spending my precious two and a half weeks at home for Christmas:

  1. Taking the time to pamper myself with my snazzy Clinique toiletries.
  2. Walking the dogs through the countryside with my mum.
  3. Being licked to death by the puppy. A lot.
  4. Giant towels!
  5. Snuggling into my childhood bed with a stupid amount of cushions, pillows (rectangular, YES) and teddies, under two duvets.
  6. Baking with my mum and sister, and dancing round the kitchen to Christmas tunes as we go.
  7. Trying to calm down my parents as they inevitably get angry at not being able to put the tree up straight/untangle the lights/find the goddam sellotape
  8. Wrapping everyone’s presents because a) they hate doing it, b) my brother is rubbish at wrapping, and c) I am a Christmas elf who loves wrapping presents.
  9. Eating a Quality Street/clementine every time I walk past the dishes dotted round the house.
  10. Excitedly unwrapping the same Christmas decorations we use every year, and proceeding to turn most of the house into a classy countryside Christmas home, and then the ‘family room’ (as it has always been called) into a colourful, sparkly, OTT Rachel-ified Christmas explosion.
  11. Begging my dad to get a fire going EVERY DAY!
  12. Opening fourteen weeks’ worth of post as well as every Christmas card addressed to 'the Hosie family'.
  13. Spending hours reading the paper with a cup of tea at the kitchen table every morning.
  14. Attempting to try as many of the Costa/Starbucks/Caffe Nero/Pret Christmas lattes as is humanly possible in two weeks.
  15. Living in my Christmas jumpers and wearing sparkly eyeliner every day.
  16. Frantically trying to fit in seeing as many of my friends as I can.
  17. Drinking even more squash than I used to (who knew that was possible) to make sure I get my fix before heading back abroad.
  18. Eating copious bowls of Mama Hosie’s legendary, winter-warming homemade country vegetable soup.
  19. Trying to persuade my family to play Trivial Pursuit/Charades/Christmas quizzes with me.
  20. Filling up the Sky+ Planner with Christmas films and festive TV specials, then getting stressed when I can’t find the time to watch it all.
  21. Accompanying my sister on a trip into town supposedly to help with her Christmas shopping, but ending up dragging her into New Look (where I proceeded to buy a shirt – a very pretty rip-off of that heart-print Burberry one everyone from Harry Styles to Victoria Beckham has been seen in – and skirt for myself) and then standing in the corner of Waterstones reading One Direction’s This Is Us, and thus being no help whatsoever. Oops.
  22. Answering the question, ‘How’s it all going in Germany!?’ a million times, but delighting in my response every time.
  23. Trying to convince my parents that we do still need stockings, Advent calendars and generally everything to be the same as our childhood Christmases.


  1. Looks like a lovely way to spend Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Rachel, it really is! Hope you had a merry Christmas too. X

    2. Oh wow! Both of your Christmas' look amazing - can't wait to hear about your New Year's!

    3. Thanks Emma! Hope you have a great NYE :)


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