Leamington Spa

Royal Leamington Spa is a small spa town located in the midlands, and for a place that only has around 50,000 inhabitants, it sure does well with having a lively town centre. The high street, called The Parade, is littered with shops and pubs, and the side streets that connect to this road contain even more restaurants and cafes.

I moved to the area in September 2014 so I wouldn’t say I’m highly familiar with it, but the vibe I get from the town and from the people is very positive.

Here are some photos I took from today:

Royal Leamington Spa




Cafe 2

Royal Pump Rooms

The Parade

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Winter Walk

It’s Friday, so I hauled myself out of the office early enough to catch the remaining sunshine. Drove off the main road and into rural Kenilworth for a short walk, and here are three shots I took that I really like.



Gear: Fujifilm X100T, Adobe Lightroom

First week done


My first full week in Germany is over and there has been a lot to take in.

The short story of it all is that it’s been a pretty sweet experience so far!

I arrived on Friday morning carrying two heavy luggages and a marginal knowledge of the German language. With luck and persistent resistance, I managed to come away with not speaking German for three days until the Monday when I had to commute to work for the first time.

My ability to mess simple things up was in full force on that first commute when a thirty minute journey took me an hour and a quarter. No big deal as it was only my first day.

Other than that, it’s actually been a smooth and slick experience (almost worryingly!). My apartment was handed over to me on time – with no problems except for the internet – and I’ve managed to drive around the city without causing any damage to the environment or a human being. I will post separately the quirks of driving in German roads from a British point of view (SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t the same).

I’m pretty lucky to move to a city that I’m not completely alien to.  I’ve been to Stuttgart a couple of times before already, and the friends I’ve made through working for a German company has given me great links to people living in and around the area. For example, I’ve already managed to play tennis (for the first time on clay!) and badminton with a friend I met during my internship with Bosch two years ago. And those connections do not stop there (see photo below from a few days ago).


The less dashing young man in the photo is Tom and hats off to him for having already gone through the process of being a Deutschland newbie – I’m now utilising his experience, including tackling German right-hand traffic, anti-clockwise roundabouts, and fixing convertible roofs. Cheers buddy.


The location of the apartment is brilliant, the parking isn’t.  Since the neighbourhood is basically a choke full of flats, it’s no wonder the ratio of parking space to users is very low. Couple that with the fact that it is free parking along the street, then you’re guaranteed to struggle to find space. Having said that, the most I’ve spent looking for space is 10 minutes, which I’ve been told is pretty good. Also, the 3-minute walk to the main plaza is good enough to overcome this con, with the city centre being a 3-minute ‘u-bahn‘ journey.

Normally I would moan about having to take public transport to work but it’s been great so far, and if I time it well I can get to my desk at the office from my door in thirty minutes. It is also reasonably cheap – I’m paying around 76 euros for an unlimited monthly pass that covers the first two central zones in the city. It wasn’t easy to get this pass though, having required to give a passport photo (which cost 17 freaking euros!!) and queueing up for one hour at the main station.

So overall there are a lot of things to like about the country in the nine days that I’ve been here. There is an infinite amount more to explore and the aim is to fit as much as possible within the time frame of six months. This includes visits to Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Freiburg, Vienna, Christmas markets, Europa Park, skiing, and plenty more, including the next big event:



It’s August already and I have yet to get any sort of confirmation for accommodation in Germany.

The deal is that my company is supposed to find me one from a list of apartments they have in Stuttgart. If there isn’t one available in that company-exclusive list, then I get a choice of opting for private housing. This isn’t ideal: I basically have to write the contract in my name and sort out everything myself, including paying for deposit, monthly rent payments, utilities, etc.

I’d rather take the former option – much less hassle.

It also complicates my preparation slightly as I don’t know if I should bring some of my own furniture from England or leave it.  If I am in the same situation in two weeks then it will truly be a case of panic mode! Let’s hope I get something soon.


Car Boot Sale, England


Spending this heat-filled weekend weather with the family at the east coast of England and stumbled across a car boot sale during a drive. Of course, we didn’t pass the chance on adding more to the endless amount of stuff we have at home.
This post is relevant as I made some (self-proclaimed) splendid purchases which will be taken to my new temporary home in Deutschland, as shown below.
If it is of interest, the four items:
  1. 50p book called ‘Star of the Sea’ about Irish immigrants travelling to New York to escape Ireland’s famine, among other things. Rave reviews it seems, so might be worth a read.
  2. Authentic watercolour painting of Norfolk Broads, painted and signed by a man from the local area. Cost and Value? Certainly seems a lot more than the £1.50 I managed to haggle.
  3. 3 snazzy coasters for just £1.
  4. A new tube of tennis balls for a pound!

All in all, I’d say a pretty good haul. And with still £1 left from my fiver, I treat myself to a nice cone of ice cream on this lovely summer’s day.