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English books

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1.jig

TKMaxx  in Jahnplatz is a useful place to find English cooking and craftbooks. You have to pop in regularly as their stock is always changing but I have found several good books there. For example Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver all at a discounted price too. They currently have several copies of one of my favourite cooks books – Apples for Jam for only 7 euros. In the kids toy section they have English story, activity and sticker books too.

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Bielefeld Markets

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Starting this Thursday April 2nd will be a new weekly evening market at Klosterplatz from 16:00 to 20:00 with local produce, bread, flowers and a beer garden. Should be a nice place to meet after work once the weather warms up.

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Other markets in Bielefeld:

Kesselbrink – Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays 7:00 – 13:00

Alte Markt  – Flowers and fruit Wednesdays and Saturdays 9:00 – 14.00. Friday 9:00 – 14:00 flowers only.

Siegfriedplatz – Wednesday and Fridays 7:00 – 13:00

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Goldzwerg – kids store

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I recently visited another new shop in the Siegfriedplatz neighourhood – Goldzwerg (relocated from Hamburg) which sells  the cutest kids clothes and toys. Well worth a browse.

Stapenhorststraße 44, 33615 Bielefeld

Dienstag bis Freitag 09.30 bis 16.00 Uhr

Samstag 10.00-14.00 Uhr

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Upcoming September Events

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Just a quick note to let you know about a few upcoming events that I look forward to every year.

Event number one is this weekend is the Schildesche Stadtfest with one of my favorite fleamarkets of the year and Carnival with rides and games. The festival runs from Friday until Sunday and includes shows and concerts as well. The weather looks pretty good, so it should be fun. Just take the Line 1 to the end at Schildesche and follow the people going down the street. You will not be able to miss it.

Event number two is a special day sponsored by Bielefeld and Hereford called ohne auto mobil. On September 29 (Sunday), the entire 10 kms between Bielefeld and Hereford will be closed off from 10am to 6pm to autos for bicyclers, rollerbladers, walkers, etc. The last time they had this event was a few years ago and I can really recommend it. The length is not hilly and there are plenty of stops along the way for bathroom breaks and water. At the end in Hereford is a festival. Last time we biked to Hereford, had some lunch and then biked home, but of course if you have smaller kids, you can take the train home from Hereford. More information can be found here:

http://www.bielefeld.de/ftp/dokumente/ohne_auto_mobil_2013.pdf

Autumn is in the air, but we can still have fun outside!! See you there!

More second hand shopping

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Two tips for second hand shops from PollyEster

A new Oxfam has opened in Obernstrasse (Altstadt). They shut early on Tuesday, as they are still short of volunteers and have a small selection of English books as well. There are mainly clothes and shoes, but some little things and cds/dvds as well.

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For a bigger selection of English books (and other languages) check out the used book store on the corner of Stapenhorststrasse and Melanchtonstrasse (opposite Burger / Oetker Park).

 

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Thanks PollyEster!

 

Bio-land Hofladen

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Eleni gave me a recommendation for a good bio farm shop at the last welcome center International spouses and partners coffee morning.

Der Köckerhof – Babenhauser Straße 3033619 Bielefeld

Di. bis Fr.: 9 – 19 Uhr
Samstag: 9 – 14 Uhr

They have also turned a circus wagon into cafe

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Berlin comes to Siegfriedplatz

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I enjoy visiting independent shops and was excited to hear PollyEster has spotted a new shop  Nikkes.Berlin with nice things made from recycled materials on Stapenhorststraße 90 (opposite Oetker park and near the second hand book shop). You can read more about their move from Berlin here 

PollyEster also told me the owners of the sewing cafe Traut & Muse   came from Berlin too. They have lots of great classes and also rent sewing machines by the hour so you can work on your own projects and they have everything there for sale that you might need too.

 

Buying or selling second hand

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I may be the only person not to know about ebay’s local ads – Kleinanzeigen . But on the off chance someone doesn’t know about them they are a great idea – free to post, and all local – pick up only so you can view before buying. When you post an ad it also produces a flyer for you to stick up on the supermarket notice board etc which is very useful. So a good resource for selling items when moving on from Bielefeld or for buying if you have just arrived.  Thanks Catherine for the tip!

How to get your own table at the monthly Siegfriedplatz flea market

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On the last Saturday of every month, the always-popular Siegfriedplatz hosts their own flea market.  This time of year many of us are going through transitions, whether they be moving (as I am) or simply doing some thorough spring cleaning.  If you want to participate in the Siegfriedplatz flea market, you will need to engage in some German preplanning a month ahead, but the process is streamlined so even the non-German speakers should not have a problem.  Here’s what you need to do:

1. Address a return envelope with a stamp and your home address.  Do not seal the envelope.

2. You have the option to either pay 15 euros, or to bring a cake + 5 euros.  On the back of your envelope, write either “Geld” (15 euros), or “Kuchen” (cake + 5 euros).

3. Put your envelope in the letterbox at the entrance door to the Siegfriedplatz.  You MUST do this on the 1st of the month in which you want to participate, between 08:00 and 20:00 (don’t take your chances doing it outside of these times- we all know about German punctuality).  For example, you must submit your envelope this Wednesday, May 1st, in order to participate in the flohmarkt on May 25th.

If you do everything correctly you will receive your envelope in the mail with an invitation for the flohmarkt, and all the information you need to know.  If anyone has one of these invitations that they can post and translate, that would be great!

One more thing- I’ve noticed at flea markets here that people rarely put prices on their items, and you must ask the seller how much things cost.  If you have trouble communicating in German, consider just putting a price sticker on everything.

Happy spring cleaning!

Special thanks to Dagmar Linnhof for explaining this whole process to me. More

Shops of Note #3 Die Schrottwichtel

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Spring is upon us, a time for renewal after the long dark winter. All around us evidence of emerging life: Flowers in blooms, trees in bud.

The perfect time, then, for that Spring clean: Out with the old, get rid of the junk.  Or is it?

After a visit to Upcycle shop “die Schrottwichtel”, in Neustädter Strasse I am beginning to change my mind.

Speaking to one of the co-founders, Katja Reincke, I am inspired by her passion for turning junk into treasure.  She specialises in metal, sourcing her material in recycling centres and scrap-yards. She transforms ordinary household objects and scrap metal into ornaments and figurative sculptures.

She delights in showing me around the shop: Bags and belts, which at first don’t seem unusual until a closer look reveals they are crafted from such diverse materials as bicycle tyres, children’s armbands, vinyl records and my favourite, a hardback book.

Katja tells me that the aim of the shop is not to turn over a profit, but to convince people not to throw away so much stuff and to see the potential in the things we assign to the scrapheap.  The only rule in the shop is that 60-80% of the objects created must originate from junk.

An old suitcase lid lined with a map becomes a display-shelf, old children’s books are turned into envelopes and boxes. Once discarded clothes are transformed into attractive jackets and skirts using an overlock technique.

By the way, ‘Schrott’ means junk or scrap and ‘Wichtel” means ‘pixie or imp’ in German.  You could almost imagine pixies to be at work when you see the ingenious ideas at play.

So before you think of throwing something away, Katja suggests it is worth popping by the shop to see if it can be upcycled. Either one of the 6 strong group can find a use for it or you can also take part in one of the upcycle courses on offer.  Non-German speakers are also welcome.

You can check out their website at www.dieschrottwichtel.de and the shop is open 10.00 – 18.00 Thursday and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 – 16:00. Tel 0521 9886284 Neustadter Strasse 7, Nr tramstop Landgericht.

You can also visit it at the Bielefeld museum night on Saturday 27.04.13 until 23:00.

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Two members of Die Schrottwichtel, Katja Reincke and Britta Willecke

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