Sunday, 18 April 2010


In Germany it is quite normal for a rented apartment to come without a kitchen and in that case it is the tenant's responsibility to fit one on arrival and then remove it on leaving. We have no need of a kitchen where we are going so we managed to find a willing buyer who came to pick it up today.

In a strange twist the buyer for the kitchen works for the European Aviation Safety Agency which has just moved to Cologne. Given the current ban on flying over Europe due to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland, I cannot help wondering how busy he is right now.

One of Simon's English colleagues and friends is currently stranded in Cologne due to the volcano. As he was at a loose end he helped us to deconstruct our kitchen yesterday. In return we're going to squeeze him into our car tomorrow and drop him at Lille, where he can catch the Eurostar. Our small car will be rammed with three crumpled adults and two little people. Goodness knows what the pressure build up is going to be like inside and how long before one of us explodes.

Last night we popped round our neighbours' place for a drink. We'd just arrived and started on the prosecco when we heard fireworks so we watched the impressive display from their large balcony. A perfect and unplanned moment.

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