Hello! I’m Vanessa!

I’m a Londoner who is now proud to call herself a Scouser (although I’m still working on my eyebrows…). Let me tell you more:

Even I get confused when I talk about my background. I was brought up in England, but I spent most of my education at the German School in London, so people say I am bilingual. Then I jumped ship and studied Japanese at university and lived over there in various countryside areas for 5 years – both continuing with my studies and working hard in international relations. After that I worked in Japanese TV news for a couple of years in London and met the LEATHER part of this blog. Jason and I went to Berlin for a fun weekend and when we realised how cheap it was, we literally decided to jump ship and live in the capital of Germany for a few years. Here we started our own business (www.wao-services.com) and by working part-time we realised how crazy our life in London used to be. Everything is overpriced, stressful and busy. Although I LOVE London, I don’t want to work crazy hours for someone else ever again. It was time to leave the country with the best Gummibears (they are much softer and tastier in Germany) and move back to England to work on our dream.

We mostly blog about food (as this is my favourite thing in the world), but we dapple into posts about our lives, travels, board games… it’s such a long list, I will just ask you to have a look yourself! I would like to say thank you for reading, do keep in touch and I hope the website helps you in some way, whether it is just stalking us to see how many Bratwursts one person can eat or whether you ended up here randomly and need to get some board gaming advice…

Welcome to our story…



My name is Jason and I am the ‘Leather’ part of Leather & Abel. Whilst I can’t claim to have any family links to Germany, I fell in love with the country after visiting Germany for the first time in 2012 and seeing how life was like in both Berlin and a tiny village outside of Hannover.

One of my main interests are Languages – I’ve studied French and Spanish at school, got a degree in Japanese at university and worked in Japan for some years. I never thought I would make a jump from Japanese to German but it’s amazing where life, and pure gut-feeling, can take you sometimes.

My hobbies are not exclusive to learning Languages however, I’m a big fan of food and cooking, music/dancing (especially swing and 50’s rock’n’roll era) and games, both the video and board variety.

I hope to share with you through this blog updates of my efforts to learn German, stories of my acclimatisation to life in a new country and the many new adventures and experiences I go through when living in what The Simpsons has eternally branded in my mind as ‘The Land of Chocolate’.


  1. Good luck you two….er not that you will need it….will miss you both xxxx

  2. What a couple of cuties! Looking forward to reading more about all your fun times ahead!!

  3. Hello Mr & Mrs Leather & Abel,
    no, let me do that again,
    Hallo, Frau und Herr Abel und Leder :),
    First of all, let me say that I am so happy to see that you are daring the step to move over into the best city of Europe (my city! :) ) and possibly of the world!
    And what a lovely introduction to your upcoming new life in my wonderful hometown Berlin you have written! I really hope and wish that Berlin and the rest of my Berliners will treat you well and that the three months will soon evolve into three years, three decades and more! 😉
    Stay in touch and let me know if you need any guidance on local issues, whether linguistically, (nutri-)culturally or else.
    Ich wünsche euch zweien viel Spass und Erfolg für den Neustart in Berlin,

    • Hallo Frau Erler,
      We are always willing to hear all about delicious food in Berlin – hehe!
      Looking forward to having you visit – freue mich riesig,
      Vanessa xx

  4. Hi Vanessa and Jason,

    I don’t remember where I found your blog. I had bookmarked it, meaning to come back and comment, so here I am. While I haven’t been to Germany (yet), I have learned a lot about it. VW opened a plant here 3 years ago, and I got to teach English to some Germans. Many were from Hanover and Wolfsburg. You guys have such interesting lives! I cannot imagine learning Japanese and now switching to German. I speak English and Chinese, and have a hard time trying to learn Spanish. My goal is to move to Spain or other Spanish speaking country to learn the language.

    I look forward to reading more of your exciting life in Berlin!

    • Dear Eileen,
      My plan is actually to move to South America and learn Spanish next – hehe! Hopefully we shall meet there one day! Jason already speaks Spanish and I did a year of it at university, but I’m sure I have forgotten it all…
      I shall keep an eye on your blog too! So many beach photos – you are making me jealous!

  5. Just came across your blog. You’re obviously still in Germany. How long have you been there and how long will you stay? Where will you live next?

    • We have been here since August and who knows how long we will stay for? We just moved into the loveliest of apartments and I never plan to move again. Haha. But I do want to live in Spain and South America so… I’m sure we will be on the move again in the future! Thanks for stopping by Carol :)

  6. Hi Vanessa, really nice to see you both tonight! Have a safe journey, good luck to your business! Take care,
    from Tommy,

  7. Many thanks for your comment on Martin Karaffa’s Bavaria. Looking forward to following your blog—and your adventures. The curious mix of Japanese, German and English is familiar at my house, too!

  8. How can I get in touch with you to tell you about our free German film screenings in Berlin and our film analysis class? :)

    • Dear Donald,
      Thank you for your message.
      Our email address is leatherandabel [at] gmail [dot] com
      Or you are welcome to put the details here :)

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