Countries where I lived

UK (a)
UK (b)


My Blog

Country #1 - Germany

Up to June 1992
Sylke in Germany
I grew up in what I consider Northern Germany, in Hanover. Mostly I led a very ordinary German life, but certain things happened that probably had a big influence on my life as it is today. First of all, my parents travelled a lot; I got to see a big part of Europe in the first 20 years of my life. We used to go places two or even three times a year and my dad was very much into trying local foods and drinks and getting to know the locals if possible. In addition, as a teenager I was able to go on a couple of exchange programmes and ended up staying in the UK (Folkestone and Bristol) for several weeks at a time, which was both daunting and exciting at the age of 13 to 15.

After finishing school I decided to study English and German linguistics in Hanover as I didn't really dare to do anything else more exciting and English seemed to be just my thing. In 1989 one of my lecturers told me that I really had to improve my knowledge of the UK and also my fluency in the language. He suggested I should apply at universities in the UK as a visiting student for 6 months. I was successful in finding a place at Reading University and off I went. [UK (1)]

When I came back, exam time was coming closer quickly and things changed a lot. First of all, I got aquainted to PCs - simply because I was too lazy to type my 100 page paper for my final examination by ordinary type-writer. Knowing that my constant typing errors would force me to type everything at least ten times, the obvious solution was to buy a PC, with the help of a friend.

So, there I was with my first PC (a 286 with a horrible black and white screen) and about to work on my university paper - or was I?

I estimated that I spent at least half of the time assigned to that paper on getting to know my PC's operating system (MS DOS something) inside out, maybe even more. I enjoyed writing little useless programs in GWBasic and playing around with macros. My sister (who I then shared a flat with) complained that I spent too much time in front of the PC; she was probably right.

Eventually, after finishing my studies, I made the decision to go to London and live there for a while - maybe three months. After all it didn't really matter whether I was unemployed in Germany or the UK! Although it meant that I had to live far away from my then boy-friend, at least in England I would be able to improve my active language skills!

That was in the summer of 1992 and I really didn't expect what would happen to me after I made that decision.

Country #2 - the UK (2)