Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Better to have loved and lost...?

It is better to have loved and lost, than have never loved before.

I disagree, if one is talking about a love of the internet!

Our PC broke stopped working over the weekend. The reason? Erm, it overheated because it was invaded by fluff. Nothing to do with my housekeeping skills, I am sure…

Now, I am not even so worried about our PC breaking, for we will find a way to fix it. I am bereft because the consequence is that I now have no internet access from home. I am making do by borrowing access to the internet from other people and entrusting Simon to check my emails. Not having the internet makes me nervous and panicky. I have withdrawal symptoms as it is so useful to me, for so many reasons.

Anyway, the upshot is that blog posts are likely to be less frequent until we get our PC fixed.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Pilates: ‘The attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally performing our many daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.’ (Joseph Pilates)

Pilates: ‘Laying on the floor, straining to hold one's body in a series of unnatural positions, trying to remember to breathe and wishing the hands on the gym room’s clock would start to move round more quickly.’ (Victoria Harris)

I have started doing pilates once a week. I am going with friends and we are taking our babies as there is a crèche. I face three major challenges:

• The most exercise my body is used to is reaching down to the bottom drawer of the freezer to get out the ice cream. Hence I am woefully under-equipped in the muscle tone department.
• I do not understand my teacher as she, of course, speaks in German. Now, she may be a very good teacher, but I wouldn’t have a clue. I just copy the moves and hope that she doesn’t catch on that I am not following the more philosophical aspects of the art.
• Even before pregnancy I doubt people thought I was of ‘sound mind’.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

A taste of autumn

toadstoolI say a taste, but I wouldn't recommend you eat this type of mushroom.

We visited friends Claudia and Robert in Eindhoven yesterday. The four of us pottered about filling time with gossip, eating, drinking, window-shopping and a walk in the park. Simon spied this incredibly fairytale toadstool while we were on our walk. Doesn't it just herald the autumn to you?


Rhod shows us how it's doneToday was marathon day in Cologne. We went along as our mate Rhod was running in it and we wanted to help his good woman, Anna, cheer him along. Here's Rhod looking impressively lively considering he had been running for two hours by this point!

Rhod and Anna used to live a five minute walk from us in Essex. Rhod now works in Cologne during the week, so Anna comes out to visit sometimes - it's a fantastic chance to catch up.

Here is a picture of us, having done nothing whatsoever. We take things at a slower pace.We take it easy

Incidentally, this photo was taken shortly before I decided I needed a second lunch - watching all those athletes working so hard made me hungry. I had already eaten scrambled egg on toast at midday, before watching the runners, but after seeing Rhod reach his two hour point we headed home (April needed her bed), making a stop at McDonald's...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Tag der Einheit

Today, 3 October, is ‘Tag der Einheit’ (literally, ‘day of oneness’). It is a public holiday to celebrate the reunification of Germany and has been in place since 1990.

It probably seems pretty weird to UK readers that there is a public holiday midweek. But that’s what it is like here. There is no such thing as a Monday 'Bank Holiday'. Holidays here happen to celebrate anniversaries of events, religious or secular, and therefore the day of the week on which they take place can shift.

There are lots of public holidays compared to the UK. Technically, not being employed at the moment, I don’t benefit so much from this. Except to say that it is nice when Simon has a day off and can be at home.

All public holidays in Germany, apart from Tag de Einheit, are set by the federal states. This means you can get the situation where our area (North Rhine-Westphalia) celebrates All Saints Day on 1 November (Yay, less than a month until the next holiday!) but it isn't celebrated in Berlin. There are 11 public holidays per year in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is pretty good. Bavaria has the most of any state, though, with an exciting score of 13 days. In England there are only 8 per year. I think the Germans have the right idea myself. A little bit of extra time to chill...