About that heat…

The duck and I agree that this summer has been too hot. I haven’t (yet) felt so hot that I feared waking up a perfectly baked cookie (nothing has come close to the comparatively cute but intense 2019 heat wave in Germany and that oven of a bedroom I still have waking nightmares about). Uncomfortable it’s been, nonetheless. While the duck spends most days swimming in the bathtub among tubs of ice cream in bright floaties, I have spent those hot weeks trying to avoid the heat as much as possible and going through loads of sunscreen.

As the duck has been happily splashing around, I’ve made yet another list of realizations (fueled by the joys of living in a house with no AC and weeks-long average outside temperatures well above 30ºC/86ºF):

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(Stop it now!)
It’s summer. Unlike last year, when the duck and I mistook August for September, this year’s heat ensures we don’t. So far, we haven’t been on any fun beach adventures (except last month, in our imagination, when we wished we were on an island). So, we revisited our beach post from last year and remembered that our favorite vermin of the sky wasn’t nearly featured enough in our photographs. How highly untypical, considering I love constantly following them around with our camera friend! Today, we shall change that with this photographic selection featuring some of the duck and my favorite encounters with my favorite audacious spirit animal:

The duck still chuckles at the memory of me being personally welcomed (I’ll leave it at that) by a representative of the seagull clan. We had been observing the beach from the railing around a supermarket parking lot with a new acquaintance who promised me that my encounter signified luck. I reminded myself of that when I threw my jacket into the washing machine for a premature wash. Nonetheless, I remember last year’s beach memories, including those with our feathered rat friends, fondly 😆
P.S.: There is a song from the mid-2010s that has consolidated the duck and my seagull obsession. More on that some other time.


An evening at the beach

Even though the duck and I sometimes forget about it (we actually spent the whole of August thinking it was September), the calendar reminds us that it is still summer. What a splendid opportunity to share some of our most recent beach photos:2021beachtrip 1 Continue reading

Our first fan

The duck and I bought our first fan two summers ago when we felt that we really couldn’t go on without one. Let me clarify: I’m writing about an electric floor fan – we would never buy an admirer (we’re way too stingy for that), and I don’t remember when I bought my first hand fan. Until that summer, we had always been lucky to live in places with surprisingly well-stocked basements or storage rooms. So that there was always a fan somewhere if we needed one. But that time, we searched in vain.
Houses with built-in air conditioning are rare in Germany; even though it can get hot in summer, days with temperatures above 28°C/82°F are few and far between. However, there are such things as heat waves, like the one in 2019 that brought temperatures above 40°C/104°F – three days in a row. Imagine going through that without an AC unit or even a simple floor fan that can redirect any little breeze that may find its way into the room straight to you (though fans are a terrible AC replacement. But that’s not the point here)! Pair that with a weirdly insulated bedroom that’s comfortably warm in winter and unbearably so in summer, and you get the immersive experience of being a butter cookie in the oven – waiting for your edges to turn golden. This is why, that summer, the duck and I  threw all our reservations overboard and invested in an affordable floor fan. We usually avoid buying bulky items because it’s a hassle to deal with them when we have to move, but if the alternative is possibly waking up baked to a crisp one day, the decision is easy.fan duckNow, two years later, the duck and I have to yet regret this investment; we’ve already used our first fan this year (I even tried to clean it for the first time last week in hopes of ridding it of that dusty smell it must have acquired standing around unused for so long), and the duck has found a new hobby in latching on to the vent grille and instructing me to increase the ventilation speed step by step (so weird).
Still, I wouldn’t mind living with proper air conditioning again (sorry, environment!). That’s why the duck and my next move will hopefully be to a place that is so warm that air conditioning is a fixture, or so cold that we can just burn all our summer clothes and bows for a toasty fire (if there is no toasty toilet seat around).
Actually, the more I think about it, moderate temperatures all year round might be the most comfortable and environmentally friendly option… we’ll see.

What’s summer like in your area? Do you have air conditioning?



Last year, when we were sad that we couldn’t travel as much as we used to (which wasn’t a lot, but still more than now), the duck and I shared a few photos we took in Ravensburg, the town of puzzles and board games. After saying goodbye to our friend Jl we walked around, snapped a few photos, and then made our way to the bus stop, where we waited for a bus that never came. Instead, about an hour later, a replacement bus showed up because the one the duck and I were meant to get on had broken down on the way. Finally, we were on our way to Munich, the city of the Oktoberfest. There, we would meet our magical friend B, who also happens to be the duck’s first friend beside me. B gave us a little tour around the city, indicated photo ops (we’d done quite a few joint photo/video collection sessions in the past, back when the duck was a new member of our now-trio), and showed me a campus of the university she was studying at. Of course, the duck and I had forgotten most of what she told us about the places we saw because, as always, food was on our minds, and we had a lot of catching up to do. But we still have the photos we took:

It’s always nice to have visual memory triggers, don’t you think? Oh, how we miss hanging out and eating more snacks than we ever thought would fit in our tummies! We can’t wait to catch up with B and lots of snacks again, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Do you also like to use photographs as memory cues? What’s the most enormous amount of snacks you ever ate in one sitting?

Snacks: Vacation Ritter Sport

It’s late summer! Well, it definitely felt like it just a few days ago. I even saw the duck rummage through our tiny collection of sunglasses in search of something that goes with a light summer bow!
This past summer sure was weird. In many ways. But it also was a lot of fun to go on vacation in our imagination (so cheap and comfy). In order to get some more of that vacation feel, we decided to add a few more senses to the mix and finally tested this year’s summer edition of Ritter Sport chocolates, called ‘Fernweh’, which roughly translates to ‘wanderlust’. Fernweh duckThe duck sure was happy to finally get to pose with the miniature box of summer edition chocolates. See, the first time we saw them at the local grocery store – as a big bag of mini bars (ha!) – it was still cold out. We looked at the packaging and thought that we might skip them because the pastel colors and the pictures of coconuts and mangoes made us think that all bars would be fruity and sport white chocolate. We are peculiar about chocolate and fruity chocolate is a thing we hardly ever like (though that’s mostly with darker varieties). Therefore we never had the urge to buy these vacation themed chocolates whenever we passed them at the store. Instead we fell in love with peanut butter Schogetten. But then summer came and we decided that once it was a bit colder (meaning: we wouldn’t have to worry about the chocolate melting away) we might actually give them a shot. So, we went out to buy a pack and it only took us four visits to different stores to get a hold of them (we even found a box of winter edition Ritter Sport during our search)! After our strange history with these chocolates, the duck and I couldn’t wait to try them and write another super subjective snack review: Continue reading


Or: Japan’s Second Name in Summer (but, wait, it’s still spring!).
When I experienced my first summer in Japan a few years back it was hard to miss the humidity that everyone had warned me about; though not the most comfortable experience, surprisingly, I deemed it more or less bearable.
Because of that, when the duck and I started our first joint Japan adventure last year, I was not too worried about the relatively high humidity, especially because of the luxury of having our very own AC unit in our room. However, a few weeks in we had to learn that this infamous humidity does not only affect how you feel; everything you own is also subjected to the deadly dampness. ‘Deadly?’, the lucky ones among you who get to experience rather dry summers might ask. Yes, deadly. To our own shock and sadness, the duck and I had to soon realize that especially our textiles and electrical appliances had a way tougher time than we did (such wimps!). Because of that, after having learned the hard way, the duck and I started to make use of some of Japan’s most successful anti-humidity weapons: dehumidifiers (which we weren’t even fully aware existed beyond the little silica gel packets that we always threw away and didn’t eat).

Dry duck
Now that the weather is getting warmer and increasingly humid again, this is the perfect time to share with you the duck and my approach to fighting the humidity in our bedroom (which, I feel, is still not half as informed as the average Japanese’s): Continue reading