Doing life right, at home and away

Tag: leipzig

Of spring tymes & spring vybes

Spring has been taking giant leaps in the last weeks. It’s as if every morning a new flower, a new tree is in full blossom. That’s also the reason there’s been a bit quieter blog moment.

I’ve taken Musti out to the forest for longer and longer walks, breathing in the scents of the new life.

In my neighbourhood, the beautiful, nearby river gets a makeover with the spring: the bleak water is no longer so bleak with all trees along it getting all dressed up in leaves and blossoming flowers. Somehow even the colour of the light is different, there’s a clarity and brightness everywhere you go. With each blooming branch, the smaller canals have a slightly jungle-like feeling as the long, rope-like branches reach out to the water. The river and the canals start to smell like sea, even though there’s salty water nowhere to be found.  

People and cities in Finland tend to come to life in a very different way in spring. I’ve lived many springs in France and in Germany, however it doesn’t compare to the Finns.

Germans probably to get their Frülingsgefühle but it’s not quite as crazy as it gets in Finland. In France, I hardly noticed the difference in people’s mindset.

Read More

Of wild garlic and spring foraging

Ah, the spring, the greenery, the herbs, the foraging. 

Starting from some time in March, until May and even beginning of June, Leipzig is filled with the distinct aroma of wild garlic. (Maybe you call it ramsonsbuckrams, broad-leaved garlicwood garlicbear leek or bear’s garlic, or just Bärlauch, if you’re German…)

It is perhaps the easiest and the most versatile herb to forage and, perhaps most importantly, it grows in heaps throughout Central Europe. 

Kind of a chive, the name in many languages comes from the brown bear’s liking to it and the bear’s habit to dig up the ground to eat the bulbs. Brown bears have great taste.

How to find it and identify it?

Wild garlic is so common at least in Central Europe and the UK, you’ll unlikely struggle to find it. 

Go to the nearest (semi) deciduous forest. Smell the air. The dead giveaway of wild garlic is the scent. You’ll smell it miles before you see it – as mentioned previously, the whole city of Leipzig smells of wild garlic for weeks. 


Wild garlic tends to grow in low, bushy foliage, with quite long, thin stems and long, gently tapering leaves. The individual little “bushes” have each long and thin stems in the middle with one single flower bud growing on each stem.


However, the strong smell is such a clear way of identification that if ever in doubt, just rub a leaf between your fingers to break it and trust your nose – it will smell like a strong chive/spring onion and distinctly garlicky. There is no way to mistake wild garlic for anything else if your sense of smell has not been compromised!

Read More

Of having yourself a very merry Christmas time

I love Christmas – and yes, what a wonderful time it is. I’m not in my core this positive, optimistic person but, during Christmas, for a brief moment, I become one.


Our house was full for the whole holidays – of both people and joy, but also Christmas music, singing, chatter, several languages, laughter and animals running around in circles, like crazy.

I don’t get to see my family all that often and, of course, the same goes for W. We’ve been alternating holidays every year: last year, in the UK with his family and, this year, my family came to Leipzig.


Our Christmas menu was faithful to the Finnish traditions. I had prepared the pickled herrings almost a week earlier and my family brought the gravlax with them from Finland. Heaps of waxy potatoes were boiled. Spirits were bright CLEAR. (That’s the tradition – vodkas or equivalent with the fish starters.)

Read More

Of autumn dusk in Plagwitz (and football)

Back in June, I remember literally asking my friends what a “Juventus” was. Now, weirdly enough, I go to a football match every now and then. I have a small team pin on my coat. It’s slow but sure development. Funny, hah?

W says he finds it strange. In all honesty, I feel that way too. But, as my football-introducing-friend J says, “you don’t pick a team, a team picks you”.

For most of my life, I have had absolutely zero connection to any sport. I have actually never even understood the appeal. Like, what’s the actual point? But the more I’m involved and the more I go to the games – the more I understand, slowly. (I’m still too empathetic though – I always hope everyone gets at least one goal! It must be so sad for them, if they have none…J has told me that this is a completely wrong approach to the whole issue at hand, hah!)

So BSG Chemie Leipzig played against Reichenbacher FC. 4:0. Well done, Chemie.

Sara, your Practicalities blogger

This is me, saying hello!

The home games are in played at Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark, in Northwest-Leipzig, in the neighbourhood of Leutzsch. I tend to go home through Plagwitz, in all calm and serenity on the train, get a beer to-go from the Plagwitz train station and walk back home along the canal. It’s one of my favourite walks through Leipzig.

Plagwitz is an old industrial neighbourhood in the west of Leipzig. It still has something of that vibe to it – even after all the gentrification and development. Though from seeing some pictures, the “old Plagwitz” of less than thirty years ago seems like a completely different world.

Read More

Of secret missions being completed

My secret mission is complete. It has kept be so unbelievably busy, I haven’t had time for hobbies or blogging or really anything else. You can also look at some photos from my secret mission. 

Double height glass winter garden

So, more Chinese food and more local beers, in Leipzig.

This one here, is “industry beer”. I like the label with a hard-working man in his overalls, chucking one down. We were crossing Die Nonne and felt like we needed some liquid encouragement.

Read More

loft apartments in leipzig

Of the first of many

I spent a week in Leipzig, on a secret mission.

Right now I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of it, so I’ll be just sharing too many photos, like a photo diary. I hope the pictures and impressions are worth the 1000 words they often are claimed to be. If it’s true, these pictures should be worth 74,000 words. That would be a lot of writing.

I have a funny tendency or a habit to visit places during the winter.

It means that all my travel photos are generally with grey skies and naked trees and muddy grass. People shivering with big scarves. Mushy, muddy, dark waters.

Even sunny days have this grim feel to them – with the blinding bright, almost violent sunshine, exposing every crack and trash on the streets and the tall skeletons of trees.

It lacks the softness of spring and summer – the warmth, the tenderness.

Some of the beauty of Leipzig and everything I saw probably won’t translate through the pictures, but I hope some of it will.

What an astonishing city it is.

Of techno parties and local beers

The title says it all. Some unexpected Finnish techno in Leipzig and a few new friends? Musti has a dog sitter and I’m ready to stay up past midnight.

Trying out a few local beers, too. Both recommended!

Don’t wait up!

local leipzig beers


Leipzig forest in the evening

Of autumn (and my favourite poem)

Autumn has arrived. I think it might be my favourite season. We took a long walk with Musti through a very foggy forest to the pet shop.

Sorry it’s only in Finnish, but below is a favourite poem for my favourite season. One day I will try to translate it (with some help from W). How do you translate “the chest of the reeds” or “rain playing on the lake” anyway?

Kaksi vanhaa, vanhaa varista
nuokkuu hiljaa pellon aidalla.
Ruskea on rinta kaisliston,
taivas harmaa. Sataa. Syksy on.

”Kurkikin jo lähti”, veljelleen
toinen virkkaa niinkuin itsekseen.
Pitkä hiljaisuus. Jo toinenkin
”niin maar; lähti”, sanoo takaisin.

Sitten vanhukset taas vaikenee.
Järven pintaan sade soittelee.
Sukii siivenselkää toisen pää.
Toinen joskus silmää siristää.

Höyhenihin niskat kyyristyy
Sataa. Hiljaista on. Hämärtyy
yli pellon mustan kynnöksen.
Tuntuu riihen tuoksu etäinen.

Kaksi märkää, vanhaa varista
nuokkuu aatoksissaan aidalla.
”Täytyy tästä…”, toinen havahtuu,
lentoon verkkaisesti valmistuu.
”Käyhän taaskin tarinoimassa.
Oli oikein hauska tavata.”

Lauri Pohjanpää

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén