Monthly Archives: April 2016

Concerts and Anniversaries

The grim weather finally made way for some sunshine yesterday. I cycled to work on dry trails in relatively warm temperatures. I left work a little early to watch my younger daughter, Emma, play her accordeon at a little concert here in Schönaich. She did very well (no, really – no mistakes). Afterwards the weather was still warm and as we’d had a good week at work I picked up some beers at the petrol station so that Ariane and I could enjoy a cold one in the garden before the sun disappeared. Lovely. Continue reading

Identity Parade

When I moved to Germany back in 1991 I didn’t really speak any German. I was working straight away and I was vaguely aware that there were various forms to fill out but I had somebody to help me so it didn’t seem too bad. One of the first things I must have done is go to the local town hall / council office to register as a resident. You have to do this within two weeks of moving to a new place in Germany. Continue reading

Hail & Sleet

In earlier posts I have written that Germans tend to be more sensitive to the weather than, say, Yorkshiremen. They wrap up warmer and whinge a bit more when the weather is bad. They attribute all sorts of ailments to a being out in the cold or the wet for a bit too long. They keep their houses at a comfortable 21 degrees all year round and the doors and windows fit so there are no draughts. I worried that I was becoming a bit soft too.

Continue reading

Winter is back


Me, this morning (impressive one-handed photo while riding over cobblestones by Ariane)

Snow fell last night. I tried to talk Ariane into not cycling into work, but she was having nothing of it so we wrapped up warm, gritted our teeth and rode into the snow. There wasn’t any wind and the sun was shining so in the end it was a very pleasant and refreshing run into work. I hadn’t expected to need the gloves and hat again this year. This isn’t supposed to happen with May just around the corner – or is it? Continue reading


I was up early as usual, but no need to walk to the bakery this Sunday. We have plenty of bread in and we have borrowed a waffle iron for a couple of days – and the kids were very clear about their breakfast wishes. The sun was shining, which was not expected, so I was quite sorry to miss my early-morning walk but made myself busy mixing waffle batter. Continue reading

Rain and Repairs

Saturday. The kids both had friends staying over last night, so that meant a late and copious breakfast after my morning walk to the bakery. Rain had set in for the weekend but at least the hayfever has disappeared. After breakfast, it was time to get some work done – first recycling and then a few odd jobs around the house which could be put off no longer. Continue reading


Yesterday I woke up with hayfever and wished that it would stop. The fairy godmother must have been listening because my wish came true. I have only the mildest discomfort today – no sneezing and only faintly itchy eyes. I found out that hayfever symptoms recede when it rains for two days non-stop. Continue reading


I must be going soft. Spring keeps deciding to tease us with a couple of promising days and then a blast of cold grey rain. I even heard on the radio yesterday that it may snow in higher regions. Yesterday I deliberately dawdled in the morning so it would be too late for me to cycle to work. It was raining again and Ariane doesn’t work on Fridays so only will-power was going to get me on that bike. But it didn’t. Continue reading