letter thirty to gioia: of tales and tunes

my dearest

i agree, märlväntskaländer is truly one of the best things we’ve come up with so far. although this is „only“ our second year of doing it, it has already become one of my favorite things about advent. imagine if we’re still doing this in ten years…and twenty…and fifty (and i’m sure sophia’s great-great-grandchildren would enjoy it, too, so maybe even a bit longer than that. plus, by then we’ll be so old we won’t remember which fairy tales we’ve already read.) i hope you’ll someday have an enormous house with a room used exclusively for storytelling. with lots of cushions and blankets and a fireplace and a bar just for hot chocolate. can you please make that happen? thank you.

unsurprisingly, i don’t have much to tell you as we’ve been speaking daily (well, almost daily anyway), although i’m convinced if it were the other way ’round you’d still be able to tell me a lot of things i haven’t yet heard. the things you experience, gioia…i’m afraid i don’t have anything that compares to that. so instead i thought i could tell you about the things that i’m reading, watching and listening to at the moment, because why the hell not.


_to be honest, i’m not doing a lot of watching these days. there was never time in the past few weeks and now that i’ve sort of broken the habit of watching things more often than i actually want to anyway there haven’t been a lot of occasions i’ve actually wanted to watch something. that being said, i did feel the need to watch both ‚the holiday‘ and ‚love actually‘ sometime during advent. and last weekend when i was in basel and spent the day with louanne, sophia and tanika, we decided to do just that after brunching and taking a leisurely walk along the rhine. can you believe ‚love actually‘ is from 2003? that’s 13 years ago. and that’s more than half my life. (i’m still struggling to accept it.)

_on wednesday, daniela and i went to the movies and watched ‚l’odysée‘, which i enjoyed immensely. there are beautiful people, lots of cute animals and breathtaking landscapes. it’s both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally engaging and i’d definitely recommend watching it at some point.


_lots of oldies these days. not just literal oldies thanks to the advent playlist magnus is making me (yup, he’s the best.), but also things i haven’t listened to in a while or have been listening to consistently over the years. so, the playlist. it’s made up with music from the 60s and 70s (because i once complained i didn’t know enough music from that time) and it’s been great discovering new (to me) things alongside some classics.

_i recently rediscovered the band spector and have been listening to them a lot whenever i cycle home. also, editors. i will forever be bummed about that concert being cancelled, but that won’t stop me from listening to them over and over again.

_the national, because they’re still favorites, will probably never cease to be and their songs nearly always fit.

_yesterday while gift wrapping, i decided to listen in on that podcast you recommended, ‚my dad wrote a porno‘ (don’t judge me, i’d been listening to christmas songs the whole day). fun times. not so much because of the actual porno, but definitely because of the podcasters (is there an actual word for those people?), who are hilarious.

_and now the most important listen of this month: the adventsbänkli. each day, i save it for the evening, when i’m already under the covers and ready for bed. just like our märlväntskaländer it has become an advent favorite.


_as you know, magnus and i are well on our way to finish the harry potter series. we’re about in the middle of the seventh book and just like nine years ago, i find myself wanting to continue reading and simultaneously wanting to stall the inevitable ending of the reading cycle and the book itself. the struggle is real. apart from enjoying reading harry potter in general, it’s been really interesting rereading this specific book because there’s a lot of grindelwald in it, something i have been looking forward to after watching ’fantastic beasts’.

_another harry potter themed one coming straight up; i haven’t been able to finish the third (at least my third) book from the pottermore series – somehow i got stuck in the chapter about dolores umbridge. i’m definitely going to finish that before the year ends (in less than two weeks, mind.), though. i’ve been loving getting more information on some of the things in the magical world, although i can’t help but wish it were much, much more.

_it’s definitely more „flipping through the pages“ than reading, but i thought it deserves a mention anyway. while in hamburg, i treated myself and bought a slanted magazine, the portugal issue. it’s filled with graphic loveliness and perfect for coffee or tea breaks, inspiration demanding moments or nostalgia (lots of azulejos, i tell you).

_last but not least, there’s ‚a christmas carol‘. it is funny, i agree. and especially now, in the second stave, also somewhat tragic. and just like you, i find it’s helping me get into the christmassy mood.

and that’s it for today, my love.




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