Left bed

December 2020 Things

Nov 30 2020

Tomorrow takes us into the last month of the year. Stronger measures are being introduced against the spread of the coronavirus. Some people here demonstrate on the street without masks or other protection. They say the rules and controls are against their basic human rights. I wonder if they would say the same if they got the virus?

Looking at my diary I see less activity than normal this month. Concerts and meetings have been cancelled and those remaining are on Zoom. This Friday will be a sad day. I am attending Gerald’s funeral in the local graveyard. He suffered a lot towards the end of his life but remained a clever and intelligent person. You will be missed, Gerald!

Who has a birthday in December?  Michael Nixdorf starts with his 56th birthday on the 5th. We used to work together in Marzahn but that was many years ago. Stefan Block hits 60 on the 7th. Stefan was the head of my Photoshop Group before becoming directer of the project. Evie will be 12 on the 18th. Turning into a young lady. Julie Bolton in Yorkshire will be 46 on the 20th. She shares the day with Thomas in Berlin who will be all of 60. Also in Berlin, Bro1 will be 20 on the 24th. What a Christmas Present he must have been! Moving to the 28th we find Neil Dickinson will be 74 and celebrating at home near Brighton. He shares the day with Stefan Schöneberg who will be 37 and sure to celebrate with his lady at their house north of Berlin. Finally, we go all the way to Sydney in Australia to wish Ian Maxwell a happy 61st on the 30th. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!

Learning

Nov 29 2020

The doorbell rang early yesterday afternoon. It was another visit from The Boyz. First thing was hand washing then off to my local supermarket to buy food and drinks they would need later. I know them well enough by now that I will later hear the words, ‘Opa, I’m hungry – is there anything to eat?’ They are able to cook for themselves so I just let them get on with it. Yesterday it was fish in batter with a light salad.  They came to practice English.

Bro1 told me that he had French in his college as well as English and German. He said he had given a report in French which was well received by the teacher and fellow students. He said he needed more speaking practice in English. His brother nodded his head in agreement. Having said that, Bro1 said he had to do some written English homework so I put him into a seperate room and started talking to Bro2.

I noted that his confidence to speak English is growing and that he only had a problem with a few words. These were ‘nevertheless’ and the difference between ‘if’ and ‘when’. It took some time to understand the difference but he managed to use them correctly. By then it was time to eat. They enjoyed the fish! More language practice then it was time to pack the bags and head for home. This visit was different from their last one in that they were pushing themslves harder to learn English. I told them to relax but  they just smiled at me and said, ‘Later!’

A Visit

Nov 23 2020

The telephone rang and a familiar voice said, “Hello Opa, how are you?” Yes, it was Bro2 from The Boyz. He said we had not met in weeks and could they visit on Saturday. I told them it was no problem and asked if they had any college homework to do and needed help. He said not but Bro1 had and needed help. They arrived a little early and it was nice to see them again. They looked well and I noted Bro2 now had a beard, yes joined up under the chin. Bro1 has had a full beard for some time and it suits him.

We went to my local supermarket for them to buy food and drink. They chose cola and beer with no alcohol to drink and small chicken breasts to cook for late lunch. Bro2 wanted to practice his English and during the visit he only spoke English! I put him in front of the TV to watch/listen to BBC News reports then turned my attention to Bro1. His homework included writing pro-contra-neutral comments to various topics. He had written positive and negative ones at home but did not know how to write neutral ones.

I switched on the laptop for him to work with and withing a few minutes had found information about structures for setting out different forms of argument. We discussed this for some time and he said he could now write something. I told him to do that while I went to Bro2 and discussed what he was seeing/hearing in the BBC programmes. And so the afternoon went by with only a break for lunch prepared by Bro2. By early evening Bro1 said he had written his texts and sent them off to his college. Big smiles all round as they relaxed and felt they had acheived something in both text analysis and using English. They left with happy faces and I was happy that I had been able to help them.

Oh No!

Nov 18 2020

Most of Germany is in shock today. Perhaps you already know. I watched the German national football team play the Spanish team yesterday evening and could not believe what I saw. By half time it was Spain 3 and Germany 0. It got worse. At the end of the game it was Spain 6 and Germany 0. I have never seen a German team play so badly. Lot of speculation about sacking the manager and most of the German players. Let’s see what happens.  On the other hand, congratulations to the Spanish team and how well they played. Perhaps they should stay in Germany and teach the German players how to play football!

Ko-Gang

Nov 16 2020

I spent last Saturday afternoon with my Kowalke-Gang. Three of them live in the same block so it is not difficult to meet up. This time Martina was the host and prepared a delicious lunch of chicken breast, rice, potatoes and redcabbage. There was red and white wine on offer. I sipped white wine with the chicken. This was followed by a pudding and then lots more chat until the clock showed it was time for ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ which went down with more talking. Earlier I had received a package from Ian in Sydney. I guessed it was to show sympathy for my accident. When Johanna saw it she thought it would contain wines from Australia. She asked me to bring it to the Ko-Gang lunch so opening  it could be shared with others. I did just that. I got behind my camera and here you can see the result. Big surprise was that it was not wine but a bottle of Irish Whiskey. Fortunately we had enough wine so didn’t open it. Ian wrote ‘Gute Besserung! and ‘Schöne Grüße’ which was very nice of him. ‘Schöne Grüße’ to you Ian and thanks for my present. I’m sure Johanna and I will sip it with a cup of tea as the days lengthen and it gets colder.

On returning home that evening I put on my TV. I am a fan of the national football team and enjoyed their game. They won 3:1 against Ukraine but I thought the Ukraine team played very well, particularly in the first half of the game. And so ended a very pleasant day. Next day was a lazy one for me. Mainly reading.

Before-After

Nov 11 2020

I think we all experience what ‘before and after’ means when we are very young. It can be negative or positive. My memories of ‘after’ are mostly positive such as playing the piano, painting and drawing. At Primary School I had two good teachers in both subjects. How can I ever forget Mr. Skull who introduced me to Kathleen Ferrier, Gustav Mahler and Wagner. He was a brilliant pianist and knew my mother very well. She played piano and accordian.

I was taken back to ‘Before and After’ yesterday when the gardeners arrived to give us the early winter clean up. The first thing they always do is have breakfast at the table and seats in the garden. Then they start clean up time as they get different equipment into operation. Yesterday was cleaning up rather than cutting the grass. I took a couple of photos of the garden ‘Before and After’ the clean up. I like the clear contrast of the two.

I also got a nice e-mail from Holger and Gabi who live near Bremen. Holger is a ‘hobby writer’ and added a little story to his e-mail. It is called ‘God jul’. He likes to play with language including ‘platt deutsch’. He said his story is set in an IKEA furniture department and is about a couple in the middle of the pre-Christmas shopping choas. Sounds interesting. Gabi said I looked better without any face hair. Must remember to shave it off before I go there next Spring! Thanks to both of you.

Two Pressis

Nov 08 2020

We now have the results of the vote for a new USA President. Or do we? I hear that Herr Trump has not accepted defeat. He can legally remain in office until late January 2021 but will he then pack his bag? Interesting times. Perhaps he and Herr Biden will share The White House but how will they be able to share The Oval Office. Perhaps paint a line through the middle. Lets see how it all turns out.

I’ve been busy this weekend with electronic things. My laptop is ‘playing up’. I’ve just changed the battery and now it has started. When I start with the main connection it stops. Now I have discovered I can start it with the battery and then add the main connection. I’ve also been looking for ‘camera things’. I found all of the legs and connectors and was able to built them. Yes I have two sets of legs but I have not opened them for a long time.

I’ve also been looking  for mobile phone cables. I can’t find some of them so I have to share and I’m charging them at the moment. You may remember I got a smartphone from Imre for my last birthday. I have dediced to learn how to use it but I can’t find the charging cable. Thorsten is visiting tomorrow to teach me how to use it. Never too old to learn!

Guess What

Nov 05 2020

Guess what I did yesterday afternoon? The short answer is nothing but that’s not completely true – its a ‘Trumpism’! I turned on my TV at 2.00 pm – which is something I almost never do. I tuned into BBC World Service News to see what was happing in the USA election. The BBC had a team of five reporters in different locations and they were all women. The presentation was very good and I watched it for longer than I planned. I’ve just read The Guardian internet page and it reports that Joe Biden appears to have a short lead. Let’s wait and see.

Meanwhile, Germany announced a 4 week Lockdown starting Tuesday. The UK has one starting today. It seems that most EU countries have Lockdowns now. I went to my bank yesterday but was very careful about contact and now wear rubber gloves when I am out and then throw them away when I get home plus lots of handwashing. I also spend more time at home either on the computer or reading books. I’ve read a number including German grammar books. Surprising how much I have forgotten.

Pity that it is not summer for I could then sit in the garden, read my books and get a tan! Even so, the weather is good at the moment as you can see from the photo of my garden. As I write we have cloudless blue sky and sunshine, but only 10°C. Now back to my book!

Started Here

Nov 02 2020

It all started here two weeks ago. Two hours after this photo was taken I was lying on the platform for a tram to the S-Bahn station at Rahnsdorf. It is a village to the east of Berlin. In the photo you can see me with most of the Muggelsee Gang. One is behind the camera and two others had appointments so could not join us for a reunion. I have posted about them before and am very pleased that we keep in touch after so many years.

We met in a training centre on the north side of lake Muggelsee in 1993. Wow…so many years ago! They were improving their English and in a few cases learning it from ‘scratch’. They previously worked in the GDR and most spoke Russian. I left the centre after a few months but we still kept in touch with each other. All subsequently got good jobs, two married each other and had twin daughters who are very musical. We usually meet for cycle rides, picnics, concerts and in restaurants.

Harald decided to host a meeting and we met at his home. Lots of talking, snacks and different wines. Very nice and then the evening set in. We went our different ways. Harald wanted a walk so came with me to the tram platform. There I stepped on a large stone which tilted to the left and threw me to the ground. Fortunately Harald was there to help me and shortly after I entered the tram, then the S-Bahn with blood pouring from a head wound.. Five different people offered to help on the way which was very nice of them. The rest you can read in other posts and see the photos. I’m pleased to say that I am making steady progress.

November 2020 Things

Oct 31 2020

Looking at my diary for November I can see many of my routine things but nothing special. The big news here is that Berlin is going into a 4 week ‘Lockdown’ from Monday. This is the first time here and reflects the increase in corona 19 in the last couple of weeks I noted that my local supermarket had sold out of toilet and other household paper and now there is a warning that only one roll per customer will be allowed.  The locals call this ‘Hampster Shopping’.

The other local big news is that the new airport is being opened today. What a scandal and joke. It is billions of euro over budget and about 9 years too late! Local people say it should have been given to a Chinese building company who would have done it in less that two years and on budget.  Perhaps you will read about it in your local news – or see it on your local TV. We are heading into a nice weather weekend so I am sure lots of locals will set off on walks before the rains return. Enjoy your weekend.

Who has a birthday in November? 

Daniel starts us off with his 24th on the 2nd of November. Jeff over in Amsterdam will be 65 on the 19th, Sarah Cooper over in London will celebrate her 60th on the 22nd. Back in Berlin, we find Stephen Seitz will be 63 on the 29th and so ends our birthday month. Happy Birthday no matter where you are!

Quiche and Things

Oct 29 2020

It’s been a busy week since my last post. Last Friday I  didn’t go to Kerstin’s Keep Fit Gang. I think you know why. Instead I went shopping with Johanna and at a very slow pace. I couldn’t bend my left leg but managed to drag it along. We went to our local market and there I bought some fresh eggs from a farmer. Very nice and I always buy from his stall. On Saturday morning Daniel visited. He decided I needed help to clean the flat and  then we went shopping for food at my local supermarket. He said he would come once a week to do any housework or shopping that needed  to be done. How can you say no to such a kind offer! I then met my Ko-Gang at Johanna’s for a late lunch.

I mentioned that I like Quiche so she offered to make one. Here you can see the result.
We drank white wine with it and chatted the afternoon away. This photo was taken then to show progress in healing. I spent Sunday alone with my book and computer and dozed off twice as the evenings got darker. On Monday, Thorsten did some work on my computer although he was not in Berlin. The things you can do from a distance with a computer these days! He’s going to show me when we meet next Monday at my place.

On Tuesday I met my Oldie Gangs and on Wednesday went to a hospital. I’ve been having treatment there for skin problems for over a year. This time the Doc was pleased to note some progress but she still gave me more cream for my face. I have to make another appointment next January for a check-up. In the afternoon I met Johanna and we decided it was time to reduce my Gin ‘n Tonic store. We only managed two glasses but at least we made an attempt! Tomorrow I am going to Kerstin’s Oldie Keep Fit Gang. I shall see how much I can do compared to pre-accident time. In the afternoon Daniel is arriving to sort out my place and tidy it up before we write a shopping list.

Special Thoughts

Today is a special day for me. My mother died on Sunday 29th October 1967 in Keighley General Hospital at 6 pm. I had visited her and left the hospital half an hour earlier. She was only 48 and it happened 53 years ago today. I have spent the day thinking about her and how our relationship changed over the years after I moved away. She wrote letters to me about her life and I promised I would never reveal the content to the family. I destroyed the letters after her funeral but I still remember what she wrote. I wonder how my life would have been different had she lived.

Jeans

Oct 21 2020

In the last post I told you that I also hit my knees and they bled a lot into my jeans.  I washed them.  They are now as clean as when I bought them and there is no trace of blood. Tomorrow I shall wash all the bed linen for  there are blood marks all over. I damaged both knees in the fall and they are still wrapped in bandages. I also damaged the muscles and tendons at the back of my neck. Don’t ask me how that all happened.

I went to my doctor’s on Monday morning. He is used to seeing many things but even he stared at the wounds. He gave me a paper to take to my local hospital and said I had to go without delay. I read a key word on his prescription and translated it to mean bruises in English. He wanted me to have a full check up and see if the fall had bruised my brain. I went into the emergency entrance and within 10 minutes I was told to wait for 2 doctors.  Both were women and they clearly knew what questions to ask.

All this took time and I got hungry. In fact I was there for over 5 hours. The next building had a canteen so I told reception where I was going. They agreed. Nice big place and I enjoyed the food on offer. I returned to be told to wait for another doctor. I eventually got a 6 page report about my health which I shall take to my doc tomorrow. I’ve had problems to sleep mainly due to pains in my neck. I now sleep sitting up supported by pillows. I can’t lie flat – perhaps it is only a question of time. Meanwhile, you take care when you go for a walk and keep away from large wobbly stones!

Ouch

Oct 18 2020

Yesterday started well and ended not so well. I slept late and slowly got into the day. A thicker jumper for it is getting cooler here. For example: today is rainy and only 10°C. And so with warmer clothes I set off for Schöneiche. It is a small town to the east of Berlin and just inside Land Brandenburg. Take an S-Bahn in the direction of Erkner. Two stops before then get out at station Rahnsdorf. Very nice area with lots of greenery.

I then walked across the road and took Strassenbahn 87 for one stop. I got out and started walking north. I took a few wrong turns but local people were friendly and put me back in the right direction. I finally arrived at Harald’s home. He was entertaining the Muggle-See Gang. I have talked about them before and posted photos and reports about day trips with them on my blog. We celebrated being a Gang for 27 years. They arrived with lots of home-made cakes and nice liquids then we settled down to catch up on news.

It was finally time to say goodbye and we planned our next meeting for the beginning of January. Harald decided to walk to the Strassenbahn station with me. As the Bahn was about to arrive, it happened! I fell onto the pavement and hit it with my left side. Here you can see the damage on the photo. My left leg was also damaged and bled a lot. I got into the Bahn with a collection of tissues to soak up the blood. On my way home a number of people asked me if they could do anything to help. Nice of  them! I finally got home and went to bed. This morning I noticed blood on the sheets and pillow cases. I’ll wash them tomorrow before I go to my Doctor’s.

 

Learning

Oct 13 2020

I’m still learning how to write my blog using this new platform. I tried to add photos on Monday but I could not upload them from my laptop. I use my laptop for nearly all additions to the blog. I hoped that Thorsten would turn up on Monday to show me what I was not doing right. Unfortunately, he didn’t arrive which I take to mean he had to do something else in his job. Perhaps next Monday. Meanwhile, I think I shall just have to experiment myself.

The weather here is very mixed. Today the sun is shining and we have a grey-blue sky. Yesterday was cloudy and cool. I notice the trees in the garden are shedding more leaves and others are turning brown. Classic signs that autumn is on the march. Given the expansion of Corona-19 in the UK, I have decided not to try to fly there. Even so it is difficult to find a place on the coast here. Either booked out or closed because of the virus. Now to nicer things.

I had visitors on Sunday. Yes, The Boyz rang the bell and came in. It was great to see them and they looked so well. It is a number of weeks since we last met. They now speak to me in English. Both need that language for their future careers and both now study in colleges where they also have to use English part of the time. They made tea and started to munch on cakes and snacks as they got my video player to work. The wanted to relax and watch a video so I told them to do just that. You can see the video they selected in the photo. Great to see them looking so well and I’m looking forward to our next meeting.

October 2020 Things

Oct 09 2020

I shall now try to post the usual monthly review. Let’s start with the beginning of the month. It began with the usual meetings and routine such as Friday morning training with Kerstin and my seniors. I could not go there this morning because of a strike by the local transport company. I need a tram to get to the building for training. On the 3rd I had a wonderful lunch with my Kowalke Gang. Lots of sipping wine and chat with the meal. We are repeating it tomorrow. Looking forward to that. I met Thorsten on Monday morning to learn more about computers. Next Wednesday I am going to a concert with Jutta and I have a couple of on-line meetings planned for the next few weeks. In two weeks I am meeting my Muggelsee Gang at Harald’s ‘palace’ to the east of Berlin and at the end of the month I am going to a hospital for a check on my skin problems.

Who has a birthday in October? 

My nephew Andrew starts the month with his 43rd on the 5th October. Nephew Warren will be 44 on the 12th and back in Berlin Bro2 will be 18 on the 13th. Back to the UK and my sister Frances will be 74 on the 14th. Jumping to Berlin we find that Falk from my Mug Gang has a birthday on the 15th. Marita will be 70 on the 21st. Back to the UK again for Dianne B’s birthday on the 27th followed on day later by ‘Sis’ who will be all of 11 on that day. Tanja over in London ends the month with her birthday on the 31st.  Happy Birthday to each no matter where you live!

Other memories:

October has other memories such as the 11th October. My father’s funeral took place on that day. Tessa would have had a birthday had she lived and Hermann died on that day three years ago. Going to the 29th October it was the day on which my mother died. I had just left the hospital when it happened. She was only 48 and it happened 53 years ago. I have often wondered how my life would have been if she had lived and got old with me.

Test-1

Oct 05 2020

This is a TEST of the new provider and format. Thorsten added all my data to his provider and came this morning to install it.  Again, I’m sure to make mistakes but at least it is the start.

Success! But I note that I need to learn how to use all the facilities on a page. More later.

Books

Sep 17 2020

Blogspot has changed the way I can write a post. Sure to make mistakes but here goes!
Due to coronavirus I am spending more time at home and reading more. I’ve just started the books you can see here. The one by Axel Hacke I got from Holger, who is a member of a writing club near to Bremen, where he lives. Hacke wrote short stories about his daily life for a newspaper and this is a collection of his stories. He includes jokes and comments on the things that happen each day.

The book is called ‘The best out of my life: My daily life as a man’.

I don’t know where I got the other book from but it is very interesting. It is called’ Discover and Understand – 2 – History book for high school students in Lower Saxony. I like how history is presented then the students are asked questions to check comprehension. It also has lots of coloured pictures. It begins with the King of Britain and Parliament in 1600 and ends with European imperialism leading to the First World War. Certainly a big choice of things to read as I hide from a virus. Stay healthy!

Warm

Sep 15 2020

It’s warm here. I think we are having the last of summer but the forecast id for it to end from Thursday. When you go out you see people wearing summer clothes again and looking very happy to do so.

I went to the open air concert with my Kowalke Gang on Sunday. A Beethoven programme and very well played. Sitting in the sun also helped to make it special. I’ve got some visitors later in the week so I am looking forward to seeing them. I have finished reading the book about The East India Company. The things I learnt! Stay healthy.

Garden

Sep 12 2020

Another week with the usual events. Nothing special to report. What Trump and Johnson have been doing during the week you can pick up on your local TV news, you don’t need me to tell you. The German government has decided to take some of the orphaned children off a Greek island and provide them with a home in Germany. Some on the right are angry about this, but I have a problem to understand them. We are talking about children – that’s all!

The big event of the week was yesterday afternoon in my garden. Three of my Kowalke Gang arrived with cakes, coffee and a bottle of sekt. Really nice to see them relaxing in the garden again. We are having good weather at the moment, for example: it was 24°C when they arrived. Nice and warm. Here is another photo of them enjoying the garden. I hope we can repeat it before the snow and ice arrive! We are meeting tomorrow for an open-air concert of Beethoven’s music. Looking forward to that. The number of people allowed into the arena has been reduced, but no surprise about that.

Another

Sep 06 2020

Another week has gone by and I have nothing new to report. The same meetings and activities as before. The main event was a telephone call from Bro2. He wanted to know how I was and about my health, and he did all this in English. Making progress! The weather is changing into autumn and its getting cooler. It is the opposite in Australia where the sun is starting to shine. Have a good week.

September 2020 Things

Aug 30 2020

Looking at my diary for September I see all the regular things BUT I note some concerts. We are slowly getting back into normal life and events but I shall still have to wear a mask.

Perhaps you saw in your local TV that there was a big demonstration in Berlin against having to wear a face covering. I heard that 30,000 people protested on the streets in the centre. I am really surprised at the numbers of people protesting. Now to next month.

Who has a birthday in September?
Lynne B. over in Castleford will celebrate her 73rd with Alan on the 1st of September. I wish I could be there. On the 6th we find three nice ladies sharing the day – Charlotte will be 29, Nevand will be 16 and Arancha will celebrate her 36th with Jan and daughters over in Den Haag. Back in Berlin, Andrea will be 35 on the 8th, Gabi over in Bremen will be 54 on the 11th. David Klawohn of the SPD Jusos will be 20 on the 12th. I sometime help him with English. Over in Cambridge, nephew Stephan will be 50 on the 22nd, back in Berlin Robert Gast will be 42 on the 23rd, Sylvana will be 60 and back to Cambridge again we find Lew G. will celebrate his birthday with my sister on the 27th. Back in Berlin we note that Sylke will be 49 on the 29th. The month ends with the birthday of my nephew Jefferson who will be 47 on the 29th.
Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!

Other Memories
Birgit’s funeral took place on the 15th September 2004. Is it really 16 years ago? My wonderful cousin Jean died on the 16th. Moving to the 30th, we find that Birgit would be 68. My father died on that day in 2004  aged 94.

Two

I’ve had a ‘normal’ week of nothing unusual. My spare time I spend on the balcony reading the book about the East India Company. It really is a true work of academic research and writing. For example: I am in the 1700s and reading about the continual wars between different Mughal, Marathi, Afghani kings and rulers etc. I did not know there was such continual wars and bloodshed.

My week had two special events. The first was on Tuesday when I went to Rahnsdorf to join in the celebrations for Angelika’s birthday. I have talked about her before so she is no stranger. She is now retired. She was a viola player in an orchestra in Berlin for many years. Most of her guests were musicians who I had met before. I really like the family house – it also has a swimming bath in the garden. See the photo. It is near to Muggelsee  in the east of Berlin and one of my favourite areas.

The second special event was a visit from Dr. Peter on Friday afternoon. He is a lecturer in economics at Potsdam university. He is also part of Jan’s old school gang which I am happy to say still meets each year. Peter was visiting his mother here in Berlin and helping her with all the paperwork following the death of his father. It was great to relax with him and hear all his news. He only speaks English with me, but that is not a problem for he studied at a university in  the USA some years ago. He looks very fit for he told me he goes to the gym regularly for training. Keep it up Peter!

Lappy

Aug 23 2020

You may remember that some months ago I asked readers to let me know if they had an old laptop in the cellar they had forgotten about. I got a quick response from Thorsten who works for our housing association. He is also a computer teacher, choir leader and organist. Makes you wonder what multi-talent means!

He prepared one given by an association member and this was given to Bro1. I posted photos of him holding out his hands and then opening his eyes to find a laptop in his hands, Nice photos and a very useful present for he now uses it each day in his studies at college. Interesting that a lot of information and homework is now posted on-line.

Yesterday it was time for Bro2 to give a big smile. They arrived as planned to do homework. Bro2 has realised he needs to improve his English and not only grammar. They don’t speak in his English classes so he now wants to do that with me. After they had settled in, I told Bro2 to go onto the balcony and close his eyes while holding out his hands.

Bro1 smiled for he knew what was about to happen. Bro2 went onto the balcony and held out his hands. I dropped a laptop into them. He opened his eyes then gave a large smile. I told him it was for him. He smiled again. He then come over and gave me a big hug as he said thank you. Thanks also go to Thorsten for he found this one in a cellar as well.

Nice Surprise

Aug 19 2020

I got a nice surprise yesterday. I was about to jump under the shower when the doorbell rang. I pressed my speaker button and asked who it was. The answer was from a delivery man. He said, “A packet for you.” I pressed the button to allow access to the building and he gave me a packet and was gone in less than two minutes.

I stared at the packet and saw my name and address but no information about who had sent it. I opened it and saw a book, but still no information about the sender. It is a history of the East India Company in India. Then something in my brain went ‘bong’ and I realised it was from Ian who at the moment is living in Sydney.

How did I know it was him? Because we have links to India going back many years and it is the kind of topic he would find interesting and want to share with others. The author is a well known writer about Indian history.  He starts with details of the main players and I noted they were all men! He then gives a detailed introduction listing what the book is about – and what it is not about.

I noted that he was very critical of the EIC  and how it was able to take over a country with then over 200 million people. He is also critical about some of the main players such a Robert Clive, and he lists those who looted India and sent treasures to their houses in England. They are now museums and the public can see what they took out of India. Can’t wait to settle down for a longer read. Many thanks to you Ian.

Slowly

Aug 14 2020

The wound in my right leg is slowly getting better. The key word here is ‘slowly’. The wound has dry skin hanging over it and if I move the skin it starts bleeding again. I’ve decided to just put new bandages on
each morning and leave it to nature and time for the wound to heal.

We’ve had mixed weather this week, mainly hot and humid. Even so, most people on public transport wear a mask and observe distance rules. I’ve been hearing of changes in coronavirus cases in many countries and changes in travel rules. I can’t imagine being 2 weeks in quarantine. No thanks! I still don’t know when I may be able to fly to the UK to see family and friends. Perhaps in winter.

I welcomed the Kowalke Gang to my garden yesterday evening. They brought the food and drinks and I provided the seats and table. Not a bad deal! Lots of talking as supper was consumed and the evening cooled. We started with a glass of Sekt, as you can see in this photo. We toasted Colin. He is Johanna’s cousin and had to stay in Sydney in Australia due to coronavirus rules. At least he kept busy renovating his house. See you next summer Colin. Prost!

Tagaus

Aug 09 2020

I had a nice day out on Thursday. Johanna and Putte came to my place for a cuppa coffee before we left for the local S-Bahn. We all wore face masks which is now a requirement in public transport here. It is the same in shops. Most people just accept that and wear a mask with no discussion.

We headed to the east of Berlin and got out at Rahnsdorf. A short walk to the Tram station and waited a few minutes for a tram that is old. No idea exactly how old but I guess from the 1920s. Here you can see a photo of me standing next to the tram. A really relaxing ride through woods and green fields until we reached the last station at Waltersdorf. There are two lakes and  lots of woods and a popular restaurant there. 

We got there just after it opened and noted it quickly filled with people over 65! They clearly had the same idea as we did. No surprise that I selected fish for lunch and it was really nice to enjoy it with a sunny view over one of the lakes. From there we set off on a walk to take away the calories. We walked down the side of the second lake with little breaks to enjoy the view. We ended our walk at Erkner where I have been many times. We had a coffee break before taking the S-Bahn back to Berlin.

Of course I did not know I was going to have an accident with my right leg next day. I told you about that in my last post. The wound is slowly healing with the help of cream and bandages. It is just a matter of time before I am galloping around on both legs!

Another

Aug 07 2020

I had another accident this morning. I set off for ‘ Kerstin’s Keep Fit Class for Seniors’ as usual on a Friday morning. I had to go on a bus for the tram is suspended until the end of the year due to road works. As I approached the bus it started to leave, then it stopped so I ran to get on it. The doors opened and I stepped in. Ouchhhhh…..I hit my right leg on the metal bottom  of the entrance.

I could feel the pain but found a seat and then looked at my leg. Blood was pouring into my sock. A women said she would take me to a local chemist’s for treatment. She did just that and there an assistant cleaned the wound and put a bandage on it. I was told to go home and put my leg up and relax for the rest of the day. The people were very nice.

I set off for home then decided to have a haircut. There is a new(ish) salon near my S-Bahn so I went in. Only had to wait a few minutes and then a young man got into action on my head. I told him I wanted a ‘summer short cut’. He nodded, smiled and got to work with his shears. He did a good job and I left feeling better with what could be called a ‘crew cut’.

I got home and relaxed on my balcony by reading a book. I felt very sleepy and have done for the rest of the day. I think it must be a reaction to the accident. The wound is near to where I had my bicycle accident wound. Why do I have such accidents ?

August 2020 Things

Aug 03 2020

From a hot, sunny Saturday we moved into cooler days. This morning there is a grey sky, no sun and only 17°C on my balcony.It rained yesterday and I expect more later in the day. Looking at my diary for August I can see nothing special. I wanted to be in the UK to visit family and friends but the flight was cancelled. Now there are more coronavirus outbreaks in England so I don’t know when it will be safe to travel. The big event this week is my visit to a local hospital on Wednesday at noon. Nothing special, just a check on my skin problems. There are Zoom meetings during the month, so I am getting used to using that platform.

Who has a birthday in August? Shirley over in Florida starts us off with her 81st on the 1st August! Back in Berlin, Christian Dix was 26 on that day and his brother Jerome will be 25 on the 8th. Near to Berlin, Beatrix Dames will celebrate her 46th on the 6th August. Martina from my Kowalke Gang will be 72 on the 19th. Nicole will be 75 on the 21st and musician Angelika will be 68 on the 25th. On the 26th my sister Pauline will celebrate her 76th with family in Cambridge. Over in Jüterbog, Dieter will have a party for his 76th birthday on the 27th. My wonderful Jan will be 37 on the 28th. Sure to be a special day in Den Haag with two beautiful daughters to share the day with as well as his charming wife. Happy Birthday no matter where you are 🙂

Other Things in August. On the 9th Peter and Andre will celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary in Altlandsberg. I hope to be there as I was when they married. On the 23rd, Andrea and Marco will celebrate 5 years of marriage. On the 27th I shall be placing flowers on a grave to mark 16 years since the untimely death of Birgit. On the 29th, I shall be in touch with a family in Brighton to remember Glen who took his life one year ago.

Oranienburg

Aug 02 2020

I went to Oranienburg with Imre yesterday. Where is it? Get your map out.Put your finger on the centre of Berlin and move it slowly to the north then to the west and you will find it. Imre said he had been there before in the GDR with his family, but I could not remember ever visiting the town. A very nice area in the State of Brandenburg.
The big attraction now is Schloss Oranienburg. It is also known for the museum which shows pictures of the Royal Family over generations, and the paintings and textile wall coverings. It is the oldest baroque palace complex in Brandenburg. It was built from 1651 for Electress Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau, the first wife of the ‘Great Elector’ Frederick William. She came from The Netherlands from an area called Oranien and so brought the connection to Netherlands to the Schloss and name of the town.
We went there on the S-Bahn which provides a regular service. We then walked towards the Schloss. We found a Greek restaurant so Imre decided it was time for lunch and I had to go to the toilet! He ordered a large fresh salad and fruit juice. Here you can see a photo of him enjoying lunch. We then resumed our walk and arrived at the Schloss.
We got tickets to see the museum section. Very interesting, and worth a visit. We then went to the Schloss Restaurant. I was hungry so I ordered a fish dish for lunch. Imre stared at it and I wondered if he would attack it with his fork. He didn’t because I gave him the salad and he munched on that as I finished lunch.  Some lazy local walks, then back to the station and the journey back to Berlin. A really nice day and I would like to go there again to see more of the town and learn about its history.  

Hottest

Jul 31 2020

Today is said to be the hottest day of the year so far. I have also heard that Brexitland is enjoying the same. I settled into the sun on my balcony this morning and continued to read my book. Yesterday I went to Aldi and bought 3 Learn German books.

They are written for children at 4th, 5th and 6th level. Ideal for me to go back to school, at home, and learn more about the language. The problem is learning alone. You need to be with other people to learn a language and that is not easy given the coronavirus limitations on contact.

I also got 2 English books at level 5. These are for some German people I know who want to improve their English for travel and holiday. Again, no plans at the moment because of coronavirus but they decided to improve their English for the future when they can travel. Now that is what I call positive thinking.

I’m waiting for a telephone call from Imre. He called me on Wednesday for a chat and then said he wanted to go to a town north of Berlin on Saturday. He said he would call with details of train times. So far, nothing. I wonder what kind of restaurant we shall have lunch in, and if I shall have to defend my plate from his fork. Watch this space for details 🙂