My Berlinale 2018 experience: part II

I’m the kind of person who likes to be prepared and who likes to know how things are going to happen (as far as that is reasonably possible). So going to Berlinale was a bit of a challenge for me because I had no way of knowing how everything is going to work out, what am I supposed to do (besides trying to watch as many movies as possible), and whether I will manage to spend 8 days in Berlin and still enjoy it. Prior my departure I did my homework and hoped for the best. Looking back now, I have to admit that the whole trip came together as a surprisingly good adventure. And it wasn’t just that I got to watch a lot of good movies (check out part I), but it was the festival atmosphere throughout the city that made the experience pretty special.


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My Berlinale 2018 experience: part I

Some people may know, but most people don’t know that I got the unique opportunity to attend Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival this year. I’m not from the film industry, I’m just a normal person who won the European Film Challenge and ended up in Berlin with a festival accreditation and all the advantages and challenges that come with it. It was an experience that I never knew I would get, and it was completely different from what I had imagined. So, I have decided to write not one, but two blog post about my highlights – the first one about the movies and the second one about how it is to experience such a festival for the first time. Let’s start with the movies!


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My European Film Challenge: Winter 2017/2018

Another season, another 10 great European movies – that’s all it took for me to win a chance to go to Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival. I know that the festival will be amazing (and I promise to write a short overview of my highlights afterward), but winner or not – the best thing about this challenge is the additional motivation to watch good movies from different European countries. I think everyone should do it, and I hope the challenge will include new participating countries with each season! In this post, I just want to briefly reflect on my 10 winning movies, so read on if you’re interested.


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Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

Since I started this blog, I have been following other book-loving bloggers that actually write posts about books. With some envy, I have noticed that many of them participate in different challenges, readathons, and whatnot. It looked like fun! So this year, I’ll try out my own strength at reading challenges. I have chosen ‘Back to the Classics Challenge 2018’ organized by Continue reading “Back to the Classics Challenge 2018”

My year in books: 2017

Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes, but I think 2017 was the first year I got a little bit more invested in the process. I missed only one book club meeting (not because I wanted, but because I had to go to Germany and defend my Ph.D. thesis), I surpassed my normal annual read book count, and I also wrote a review on Goodreads for each book I read.  In total, I read 29 books in 2017 staying faithful to the ‘1 book behind schedule’ announcement on Goodreads Reading Challenge all through the year. It came up to 9447 pages which is not bad at all. 13 of the books I read in 2017 were in Latvian (my mother tongue) including both translations and original literature from Latvian authors (the latter only included 3 books, but still…). As I normally read in English (unless it is original literature in Latvian), I feel that my book club buddies have exerted serious influence on me regarding my language preferences (they keep on encouraging me to read more in Latvian and here is the result for the last year).  I won’t review each book because I have already done it on Goodreads, but I’ll reflect on some of the highlights of my 2017 in books!


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The Berry Season Madness

I love summer, and it’s not only because the weather is nice (it really isn’t this year) or there’s less work (there really isn’t this year). It’s also because it’s the fresh produce season which makes a big difference to anyone who loves cooking or baking with things grown locally. So when I heard that my friends are offering fresh blackcurrants and redcurrants, I signed up to take some off their hands. Little did I know that I will end up with a kitchen loaded with berries and only a couple of free evenings a week later. As I’m not a person to shy away from a challenge, I got creative! Continue reading “The Berry Season Madness”

My Fudge Up Story #1

It’s been a long time since I have written anything on my blog, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. In fact, I have been searching for the ‘right’ direction of this blog since I started it last year. I like posting the occasional cake recipe, review or story, but I felt I needed some ‘anchor,’ something that would be my thing. And I think I have finally found it. Inspired by FuckUp Nights movement, I have decided to start writing ‘My Fudge Up Stories’ about all the entertaining failures of my life (and believe me, there are quite a few of those). And no, it won’t be anything work-related or something, it’s just about me being human and screwing up sometimes. I also plan to write at least one fudge up story per month, and maybe develop some kind of writing habit around it (at least, I will try my best). So without further ado (oh yes, I have always wanted to use this expression), it’s time for my first ever Fudge Up story! Continue reading “My Fudge Up Story #1”