Left bed

Funeral 14 July 2023 12.00pm

May 31 2023

The funeral will take place
on 14 July 2023
at 12 pm
on the central cemetery in Berlin Friedrichsfelde.

Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde
Gudrunstraße 20
10365 Berlin

Everyone is welcome to say good bye.

Die Beisetzung findet
am 14.07.2023
um 12.00 Uhr
auf dem Zentralfriedhof in Berlin Friedrichsfelde statt.

Gemäß Johns Wunsch wird es keine Kapelle geben,
die Beisetzung findet auf der grünen Wiese statt.
Alle sind eingeladen um sich an diesem Tag zu verabschieden.

End of the blog

May 28 2023

John passed away on 23 May 2023 in Berlin.
Therefore this blog will end.

For more information feel free to contact trautmann_jan(at)hotmail.com.

Johanna, Andrea, Mathias & Jan


Mar 07 2023

I recently had a number of falls mainly at home. Johanna brought in the service that looks after people and a short time ago a nice professional lady came to look at my flat and get in formation about my falls. They are talking about getting a ‘Roll-Stool’ and someone to clean-lookafter the flat. This will all take a couple of weeks but it looks like that is where I am heading.

As you know I was recently in hospital (again) and could not answer the telephone messages you sent. My möbile phone does not work at the moment. Hope to solve that problem soon – perhaps with the aid of Thorsten! Meanwhile please continue to send messages – always nice to get them.




Feb 26 2023

This is a test. Something not right with y WordPress

A fall. I had another fall this afternoon, at 3.30…

At Last!

Feb 25 2023

At last I have settled in front of a computer and will try to write something. First, my health. It could be better. Every morning  I have a visitor from a health association to bring tablets and make sure I take them. I’m now down to 4. I’m also having eye-sight problems & all stemming from my collapse. This Wednesday and Thursday I have to go to hospital for a check up. Not looking forward to that!

I had a nice call from Colin from his very nice home overlooking a harbour and where he keeps his boat. We hope he makes it to Berlin this summer. He said he would like to but it depended on a certain war. Johanna has been busy in my flat and in shopping for me. She has visitors at the moment so won`t see her until tomorrow.

Many thanks to all who posted or called me. Much appreciated – John

February 2023 Things

Feb 22 2023

Sorry for the delay since 11 February. I`m also having trouble with the programe. I’II see if Thorsten can help me. This is a TEST


Feb 11 2023

I decided to continue writing my blog yesterday. It was after a talk with Johanna that went back to my childhood and shows little changes now, More of that later but most comments have questions why? and asked me to continue writing it.

End or not

Jan 13 2023

It is 2 weeks since I updated this blog. As time moved on I began to think about closing it. I shall make a decision in the next 2 then post it on my blog.

One of the reasons is my deteriorating health. More falls at home  and Johanna thinks I should get ready to move into a home for ‘Seniors’. Imre came to visit yesterday. It was nice to see him again and he looked fit and had lost some weight Staying in the Philippines with his lady is good for him. He plans to move there next Spring. I had a fall when I was standing next to him He was shocked and looked after me for the rest of  the afternoon.

All for now.

January 2023 Things

Dec 30 2022

I had a nice, quiet relaxing Christmas. I spent Christmas Day at Johanna’s. She cooked a meal for us. I got 17 really nice cards which surprised me because I had earlier posted that I would not send out cards but give the money to children who needed food and clothes. Even so, thanks to all who did for they make me smile each time I look at them. I shall spend New Years Day at Johanna’s starting with a late breakfast then we are going to watch a concert. My next hospital appointment is on the 31st of January 2023, then there are others later. In mid-January I start my meetings with the two small groups of ladies who are working to improve their English. I’m looking forward to that for they are two interesting groups. We are having mixed weather here from very cold to 17 degrees today but that won’t last long!

Who has a birthday in January? Emma will be 5 years old on the 10th, Hannelore D. over in the south of France will be 80 on the 13th. Back in Berlin, Harald P. will be 58 on the 21st, on the 24th, back in Berlin, Dr Peter Schmidt will be 39. Over in New Zealand, Paul Bateson will be 38 on the 27th. Over in England, my niece Scarlet will be 15 on the 29th. Back in Berlin Frau Fox will be 83 on the 31st and so ends our birthday month. Cheers to each and all and Happy Birthday to each.

Big Game

Dec 18 2022

Well,  the `Big Game´ starts this evening. I wonder how many million people will be watching it. After the game I shall try to activate Skype so I can talk to my nephew. He is my brother’s son and now shares their family house with him. Skype is just another program I have to learn. I also need to learn how to use a Smartphone. Mine is connected to Aldi-Talk so I have also to learn that.

Nothing special to report about last week. I went to a couple of Christmas parties which I enjoyed, and I was also given presents which I shall open on Christmas Day. I think I told you that I am not sending out anymore cards. Instead I shall use the money to buy presents for children who come from very poor families and who need food and clothes. I`m sure you understand. We are having a real cold period here. For example, it snowed – again- last night and the snow has not moved during the day. Can’t wait for the sun to shine! Keep warm.

More Football

Dec 10 2022

Since my last post, I have watched football on TV nearly every evening. I’m getting hooked on it, but then they are the WM games. Remember to put your TV on this evening for England is playing France. It starts at 7.00pm UK time and that is 8.oo pm in Germany. The French team won the last WM title so the English team are facing a hard task. Now shall I have a glass of white wine or red wine if England wins?

Nothing very special happened last week. Winter is really here with minus temperatures during the day and night. I am heating my home more and today I got a note that my electricity bill is now double what it was in Aug/Sept. Either freeze or pay – I take the latter option. I’ve decided not to send out lots of Christmas cards – problems with post etc. Instead I shall send cards to couples with babies and enclose some cash so they can buy the babies a present. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

UPDATE I’m sure you know the result of the football match by now. Yes, France 2 and England 1. Some men on the news said they played well and it was just unfortunate that the player at the end of the game failed to score a penalty. I enjoyed watching it. More please!


Dec 04 2022

It’s two weeks since I last posted to my blog. I’ve had my usual meetings plus a number of hospital-doctor meetings and I have more in December and January. Thank goodness Johanna was with me for she used to work at the hospital I go to and she understands medical German. She always explains it after every meeting. I want to change my health insurance so we went to my local branch last Thursday only to be told it is not possible! There are complications for the Ministry in London pays my health insurance company direct.

Have you been watching football? I have. I tune into a match each evening and I really like it no matter which team is playing. I shall watch this evenings match although I don’t know which teams are playing. It does n`t matter for they are all good. I recently got a messages from Colin and from Alan and Lynne when they returned to the UK. Many thanks  for thinking about me. It’s cold and we still have some snow. I can’t see many people walking along the streets. Enjoy the rest of your day.

UPDATE : I watched the match last night and was surprised by the English team. They played against Senegal in Kater and won 3:0. At the start of the game I thought Senegal would win but I was happy with the result. England are playing again on Saturday. I shall be watching – perhaps you will too!


Nov 20 2022

It was snowing again a short time ago. It also snowed in the last two nights. The temperature has dropped to minus in the last couple of days. I’ve had some nice messages since my last post when I said I had been in hospital. We now have a sky of white clouds against a nice blue sky. Hope it stays like that for the next couple of days. One doctor said I needed to do some gentle movement, but not in a snow-storm! I have little to report about next week. Same meetings as usual, which are nice to attend, so time to close down and report as things happen.

FUSSBALL – I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the FIFA World Football cup started a couple of days ago. I watched England win and yesterday I was disappointed to see Australia lose. I’m sure Colin felt the same. I’ve just watched Germany lose 1:2 against Japan. There are many more games to enjoy.

FRIDAY: I hope you turn your TV on this evening to watch a very special football match. At 8.00 pm German time, you can watch England play the USA. I shall be glued to my TV. I have no idea what the result could be.


Nov 10 2022

I’m back home. I was allowed out of hospital at 12 noon on Monday 7th November. Was I glad to arrive home. I am still having leg and body swollen water problems but I hope this will disappear over time. My last day at the hospital was terrible. I had a double room and spent nearly every day alone, then the worst day. A large man was moved into my room and spent most of the time snoring – day or night! In addition, a women was moved into a room at the end of the ward and spent all evening and night shouting, ‘HELP!!!!’ I don’t know how I managed to sleep but I did!

Next day I met Johanna and we went to my local bank to sort out gas payments.Then I met a ‘Gang’ at my AWO followed by another one on Wednesday and today I have been to my ‘Physiotherapeutin’. Tomorrow we are going to my family doctor to give him some papers from the hospital and discover what they have to say. Last night I watched a really good football match on TV. Bayern beat Bremen 6:1. I wonder if there is another such game on TV this evening? Keep healthy.

November 2022 Things

Oct 30 2022

The sun is shining, there are a few clouds and it is cool – but there is no rain. The BBC is broadcasting some special programs to celebrate 100 years since it started. Interesting to listen to some of the early programs. Johanna is coming later for a cup of tea and she is bringing some apple cake to go with it.  Yummi ! Daniel is visiting on Tuesday morning. Always nice to see him and catch up on his uni studies. On Wednesday I have to be in a  hospital for 5 days – as I told you in my last post.

Who has a birthday in November? Daniel starts us off with his 26th birthday on the 2nd of November. Over in the Netherlands, Jeff will be celebrating his 67th on the 18th with lots of family and friends. Over in London, Sarah Cooper will be sipping a glass of Sekt on the 22nd to celebrate her 62nd birthday. Here in Berlin, Stephen Seitz will raise a glass on the 29th to celebrate his 65th. Well done Stephen, you made it! And so ends the birthday month. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!


Oct 24 2022

I have to go to hospital tomorrow for 5 days! I was there today for about 4 hours when a number of doctors read the documents from my family doctor. They did a number of other tests before they agreed that I could go home and pack some clothes for a longer stay. They seem to be concerned at the swelling of water in my stomach and legs. They said they wanted to do a series of tests and that took time. I’m not looking forward to 5 days in a hospital. I had the experience a number of years ago and didn’t like it. Stay healthy.

UPDATE I’m back home. I left on time and got to the hospital on time but I went into the wrong building and wandered around asking for help. Finally a nice young lady was able to help and took me to the correct building which was next door to where I was. She asked a few other nurses if they had seen the doctor looking for me. They said ‘Yes, he’s in  there’, so finally we met again. He told me there were no  vacant beds but that he had booked me in for next Wednesday = 2nd November and I should come to the hospital at 08.30. I replied, “WOT” in a loud voice and he just smiled. And so I picked up my bag with extra clothes in and made my way back home. Now I have to cancel other meetings for 5 days next week. Stay healthy!


Oct 23 2022

Last week was much the same as the week before. It started with a quiet Monday then more activity on Tuesday including a SPD 60+ meeting which was well attended. Our Deputy Mayor was the guest speaker so that may have increased attendance. On Thursday, Johanna came to visit and help me with some complicated letters. Friday started with my second Physio meeting, followed by a visit to my Doctor. He checked my legs and stomach which is filling with water and gave me a prescription to give to a local hospital. I shall do that tomorrow morning. After that, I went to my bank and shortly after getting home, the doorbell rang.

It was Thorsten. Really nice to see him again and catch up on his news. I wanted to update my computer and laptop to Windows 11. Thorsten checked the machines and said my desktop could update but it would slow it and advised against. He then checked my laptop, which is older, and said it could not download the update. We then had another glass of ‘Red-Medicine’ as we talked about me learning how to use a smartphone for our next meeting. On Friday afternoon Johanna came to check my health and have a chat. This weekend has seen blue sky, more leaves turning gold and falling to the ground. Pity it is not warmer! Have a nice Sunday.


Oct 16 2022

It gets cooler as each week goes by, but we now have blue sky and sunshine. The trees are turning brown and they are shedding their leaves. Last week was as most but with one exception. That was my visit to the Physiotherapist on Thursday afternoon. I had a new doctor who was very pleasant and explained why he was moving my legs in the way he did. I have another five appointments and hope he is my doctor for each one. He said I could also walk more and keep my legs warm in the evening when I watch TV. Later this afternoon I shall walk to my local Italian restaurant to meet Uli and others in the Mug-Gang. At the moment they are on a bicycle ride and we have agreed to meet there at 5.00pm. Looking forward to that and hearing all their news. Next week is again nothing special except for a SPD60+ meeting in the afternoon and a discussion with our deputy mayor followed by `Kaffee und Kuchen´I hope they have some apple cake!


Oct 09 2022

Out of my window I can see again only blue sky – no clouds and no wind, but it is cool at 10°C. I have reduced heating to my living room and only put it on after 5:00pm. I now wear thick winter coats to keep warm. Fortunately warm water is still running in the bathroom. Nothing special happened last week and from my diary it looks like next week will be the same except that on Friday I start my treatment at a physiotherapist’ practice. My legs tell me they need treatment! Have a nice Sunday.

October 2022 Things

Oct 02 2022

We are clearly moving into autumn weather. It`s colder but we still need more rain. On Friday I met Heike and we went to Birgit`s grave. She would have been 70 on that day. We took flowers and were joined by her son, Robert. We sat and chatted for some time and that was nice. In a couple of hours I shall join my Ko-Gang and go to the Philharmonie to enjoy a concert. A nice way to enjoy the start of the month!

Who has a birthday in October? My nephew Andrew starts us off with his 45th and is sure to celebrate with his family in Silsden. Another nephew called Warren will celebrate his 46th birthday on the 12th with his big brother and family. His mother, my sister Frances will be 76 on the 14th. Back in Berlin, Falk will celebrate his birthday on the 15th. Also in Berlin, little Benedict will be 1 year old on the 18th – what a little treasure he is! My neighbour Marita will be 72 on the 21st and we are sure to have a glass of sekt to celebrate. Back to Keighley on the 27th to see Dianne Bolton celebrating her 76th. Moving down to London we find Tanja Bridge celebrating her 58th on the 31st and so ends the birthday month. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!


Sep 25 2022

I miss the sun! It is clearly moving into autumn here with cool days not much rain – which is not good for the time of year. Last Tuesday I visited a local museum with some of my SPD AG60 plus gang. It was an interesting display about a football team that was founded in 1911 and continued to play during the GDR time. On Wednesday afternoon I went to a concert at my AWO house. It was a mixture of live music of different kinds. People quickly stood up and started to dance. On Friday I got appointments for Physiotherapy and Orthopädia appointments in October and November. My back and legs are slowly getting better but they are not right and I have more problems with my left leg when I walk. Yesterday I did housework and shopping. I bought some bio-carrots. I really like them! I’ve had a quiet day but I wish I could sit in the garden, in the sun, and read a book.


Sep 19 2022

Since my last post most things have been okay. I notice the weather is moving into cooler as we nudge into autumn, We are having more rain as well but then we need even more of that. Since my last post I have watched Labour International meetings covering a number of topics – and all on Zoom! Johanna has visited a number of times – mainly to help me with paperwork. We had a nice ‘Ko-Gang’ meeting on the 15th at Martina’s where we also enjoyed some Kurbis soup. I joined in an ELTABB meeting last Friday when we had to vote for two new board members. Last Sunday there was a LI General Committee meeting – again via Zoom and today Martina came to help me with some letters. She was standing in for Johanna who is on holiday all week. Tomorrow afternoon I am meeting some SPD Seniors to visit a local museum and on Wednesday I’m going to enjoy a concert in a local hall – classical music of course! Hope you have a happy time

September 2022 Things

Sep 08 2022

We are moving into grey skies, thunder and its much cooler. I miss my sunshine, sitting in it and reading a book. I’m late with this post so let’s see what I missed. Last Thursday I met the Ko-Gang in my garden and had a really nice time just chatting, eating cakes they had brought and sipping some nice Sekt. On Saturday and Sunday I spent time in the garden and online to attend two LI meetings. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I met my Oldie English groups for more English lessons. It was nice to see them again and listen to them talking about holidays and travel – but only in English of course! I have a lazy next couple of days so it is a pity I can’t sit in the sun!

Who has a birthday in September? Lynne started the month with her 75th on the 1st. She and Alan are now in Australia visiting their sons and grandchildren. Have a great time Lynne. Back in England, Charlotte was 30 on the 6th, a day she shared with Nevand, who was 18. Arancha also celebrated her 38th birthday on the 6th. Back in Berlin, Andrea celebrated her 37th on the 8th. Over in Bremen, Gabi will celebrate her 56th on the 11th. Over to Cambridge and we find my nephew Stephan hitting 52 on the 22nd, followed by Robert Gast in Berlin who will be 44 on the 23rd. Staying in Berlin we find Sylvana hitting 62 on the 25th. Back to Cambridge to find my sister’s husband, Lew celebrating on the 27th. My nephew Jefferson will celebrate his 49th with his family  on the 29th and so ends the birthday month of September 2022.

Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!


Aug 30 2022

Since my last post the weather has been dry but cooler. I had a really nice meeting with the Ko-Gang on Sunday. The day before I went to Angelika’s birthday party. Wow, but is that an event. At lease 25 people there, they bring bottles of Sekt and prepare food at home and with lots of talking. Many are retired musicians – like Angelika. On Monday, Johanna dropped in to help with some paperwork. Big thanks to her. Today I bought new travel tickets then two bulbs for my kitchen lights. I also had my monthly feet manicure. I can recommend that. This evening there is a SPD Sommerfest which I shall go to.  Tomorrow the main event is a SPD boat trip for seniors. I shall be on that for sure. Moving to Friday, the big event is a meeting of the Ko-Gang in my garden – complete with bottles of Sekt. More of that later!


Aug 26 2022

It is raining – and very hard, but like many parts of the globe we need lots of rain. I had planned to meet my Ko-Gang for an open air classical concert at a local hospital concert hall but the weather has put a stop to that. More thunder and rain as I type these words, Before the rain arrived, Johanna came to work on some texts. She is very quick and direct in her use of language. Tomorrow, I am going to Angelika’s birthday party at the family home near to Mugglesee., which is Berlin´s largest lake. I’m sure the lake will be smiling to get more water today! On Sunday, I am meeting my KO-Gang for `Brunch´ at Martina’s. Should be a nice relaxing time.


Aug 20 2022

The weather has changed in the last couple of days. From 34° to 20°C, cloudy and grey. I like the sun and heat – it is summer and not winter! I also made a couple of attempts to book a flight to the UK via my travel company. I had to cancel as the flights were cancelled. I think I’ll try in September.

I’ve had three visits to Drs since my last post. Two to my own Dr and one to a specialist to check my heart and veins. He found nothing wrong so I have to give my Doc a note from him, which I shall do on Monday morning. Johanna was with me on my Doc visits for she certainly knows more than I do – she was a nurse many years ago!

I also switched on Zoom to watch a number of Labour International meetings and discussions such as ‘Action for Lifelong Health and Social Care’. Very interesting and it is good that members have the chance to say what they think. I’m going to a concert next week. First in a number of months. Its classic concert with mixed composers – and yes I am going with my Ko-Gang!

I’ve also been invited to the local SPD Summer Festival on the 30th August. Looking forward to that and meeting lots of members again. I have a quiet weekend in front of me which I am looking forward to – all I need is more sun! Have a quiet, happy weekend!

Rain – It’s raining and the temperature is dropping. That has given me the chance to do the weekly washing and hide on the balcony. There is a lot of sport on TV this afternoon and evening including a football match between 2 German teams, I shall watch that. Stay dry.


Aug 08 2022

It’s been very hot here. Really nice when you think of the cold weather in winter. We have a problem with water supply – not enough of it. Last Friday the Ko-Gang met at Johanna’s for a nice lazy breakfast then on Tuesday I met her to go to a specialist shop. There I had my toe-nails cut and toes cleaned. Since my accident I can’t do this alone! On Wednesday, Thorsten arrived to work on some TV and camera problems. It was nice to see him again and sip a drop of Red Medicine. Hope to have more soon! I notice there has been more football on TV recently and not just the English Women’s championship. For example, I watched a match between two German teams yesterday evening.

Who has a birthday in August? Shirley in Florida started with her 83rd on the 1st August – sorry for being late Shirley! She was followed by Beatrix Dames on the 6th in Berlin. Peter and Andre celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary on the 9th, Martina Müller will be 74 on the 19th (She`s part of my Ko-Gang) Andrea and Marco celebrate 7 years of marriage on the 23rd – plus two little treasures – Angelika in Berlin will be 70 on the 25th, followed by my sister Pauline who will be 78 on the 26th in Cambridge. Dieter in Jüterbog will be 78 on the 27th, and my wonderful Jan ends the birthday month – again with two treasures on the 28th who will be 39,  Happy Birthday no matter where you are!


Jul 26 2022

Just over a week since my last post. We’ve had some really hot weather which is breaking up now. On Friday 15th July I went to a ceremony to mark the opening of an office for a new SPD officer. Nice atmosphere, sekt and snacks. On Sunday 17th Imre visited and we went to a local Slovakian restaurant. He only had a large green salad then we came back to my place to relax in the sun.

Last Wednesday, Martina dropped in to help me understand a long and complex letter from a civil servant’s office. Why can’t they just write in simple language! Last Friday I went shopping in the afternoon and came home with my rucksack and two full shopping . I climbed the stairs until I reached the one before my door. There I slipped and fell heavily onto the final step. Not again!

Fortunately my neighbour heard this and climbed the steps to help me to get to my feet. Then she noticed blood running from just over my right eye and from my right hand. She was very concerned and later called the ambulance service. Two male nurses arrived with her and gave me a check-up. They put a big bandage on my hand and some elastoplatz on my head. I’m still making a recovery including stiff legs

On Sunday Johanna visited to tell me all about her recent holiday. We also drank a glass of sekt to celebrate a special day. Yes, it was 10 years since I got German citizenship. I’m still more than happy about that. It was a really nice ceremony There is a photo of me looking more than happy on the left column of my Blog.

Tomorrow is the last meeting with my Oldies to help them with English. We are meeting again on the 6th September. Some of them have made real progress and now say they want more speaking and listening activities. I would like to fly to the UK to visit my family and friends. Things are not good at the moment regarding flights. Perhaps it will get better over the next couple of weeks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Some of you my have noticed that there are less photos with my posts. Problems with both my cameras. Help Thorsten, I’m sure you will be able to make them function properly!


Jul 15 2022

Last week was much the same as the one before. Mainly meetings online via Zoom. My legs continue to swell after my accident that led to check-ups in a hospital, but since then they have begun to swell up the leg. I am still waiting for permission from my Health Insurance to join a training group for ‘seniors’. I got a letter from them but they only asked me to be patient for a decision.

I want to visit the UK in August but again all I hear is flight cancellations, train and bus strikes and that carona virus is spreading again. What to do? At least I can smile on Sunday. Imre is arriving late morning and wants to go to a restaurant with me. His favourite  is closed on a Sunday but we have a very good Italian restaurant not far away. I am sure he will order a large plate of pasta – as he has done before!

Good News

Jul 07 2022

The good news is that Boris Johnson has resigned as British Prime Minister. He’s staying in office until the Conservative Party finds a successor which may take until early September. Why so long? I wonder what kind of job he will then do. Watch this space!

July 2022 Things

Jul 03 2022

Who has a birthday in July? Laura over in Yorkshire was 24 on the 1st of July and Jutta here in Berlin was 72. She gave a nice breakfast to which 8 people were invited – including me! Back to Silsden on the 8th to find Krystle OD celebrating becoming 37  and so ending the birthday month. Happy Birthday to each and all!

Today is a special one for Jan and Arancha. It is their 7th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to both and the two little wonders who share their house now!

Since my last post nothing special has happened and looking at my diary it looks much the same for the next month. I have now got my passports but am worried about flying to England in August. Seems there will be more strikes and cancellations and not only in the UK. I’ll have to see if there are other ways to get there.


Jun 19 2022

Since my last post I’ve done a number of things and been surprised by late birthday presents. Two Fridays ago I went to a Reha Centre to register my documents so I could send to my Medical Insurance Company and hope they reply next week. I then joined a LI meeting via Zoom before watching a football match on TV.

Sunday was a lazy day with walks around the garden when not reading a book on my balcony.  On Tuesday and Wednesday I helped some ‘Oldies’ with some English problems – same as usual – and went shopping. The weather was changeable and not as hot as in the last couple of days = 34°C

On Wednesday, one of the ‘Oldies’ took me into town to find a special whiskey shop. I had just got a note that Ian had sent me a voucher to use in that shop in exchange for whiskey. What a nice surprise! I decided it would have to be from Ireland and brands that I didn`t know. It did not take long to find a couple of bottles  and here is a photo of what I got. BIG thanks to you Ian!

Today would be my Mother and Father’s birthday. Yes, they had the same birthday. Mother would be 104 and Father would be 110. Happy Birthday!


Jun 11 2022

The last 11 days have been more of the same. Lots of reading, helping some Oldies with English, walking in the garden and having meals with Johanna or Martina and Jutta. Also some visits from Thorsten to help with laptop-smartphone problems but I was invited to his very nice flat last Sunday. We relaxed on his balcony and sipped some nice ‘Red Medicine’ while we chatted about many things.

Before my visit I had taken part in Labour International online meetings via Zoom and watched a football match on TV. It was Germany -vs- Italy and it was a good match. Last Monday we met at Martina’s to sip a range of mainly white German wines. Mmmm….very nice! On Thursday I went to my Drs. I am having leg problems = swelling and pain in bones. The Dr. said I had to do more movement/walking and register with a local practice which offers ‘Reha’ = organised movements, plus I got tablets against pain.

Yesterday I went to my local SPD event called Jahresempfang 2022. It was held in a restaurant with a very large garden in an area with weekend cottages. There were lots of members there and we were all met with a glass of sekt. It was nice to relax in the sunny garden, sip sekt and chat to people I knew but had not seen for a long time because of Carona. This afternoon I am joining another LI meeting and this evening I shall be relaxing again as I watch Germany play Hungary at football.

Yesterday I took a couple of photos I wanted to post with this text but I could not transfer them to my laptop. Another problem —- HELP Thorsten!


June 2022 Things

May 31 2022

I had a quiet weekend and start to the week. The nicest thing was a visit by Jan on Saturday. He arrived with his mother and enjoyed a cup of tea as we caught up on news. He had been on a ‘School Class’ meeting with all the old friends from his school time. I think it is good that they still meet and enjoy a few days together


– including enjoying a few beers! His mother then took him to the airport and off he went to join his family in Den Haag.

This evening I shall be tuning into a Labour International meeting via Zoom. The topic is ‘Taxation and Economic Inequality’. There are some guest speakers as well as members expressing their opinions. There are 7 more online meetings in June before the summer break. Looking forward to learning more from guest speakers and active members on a wide range of topics.

Who has a birthday in June ? In West Yorkshire, Nicholas Bolton starts us off on the 2nd – he has recently been ill so take care of your health and enjoy the day with your family. And he is the only one on my list of ‘birthdayers’ for June. Happy Birthday Nicholas!   


May 27 2022

I bought a new kind of travel ticket last Wednesday. Berlin has five main forms of transport. 1) The S-Bahn – this travels overground. 2) The U-Bahn – this travels underground. 3) Regional trains. 4) Trams – mainly in what is the eastern part of the city. 5) Buses. You could buy different tickets to travel on the system and at different prices. Now there is going to be a change. I think it is an experiment to see how the public responds. So far it seems they are very positive. From the 1st June you can travel with a €9.00 ticket which is valid for a month. For me it means I save €18.00 per month. Wow! The project is advertised to last 3 months. I hope it is extended – and I think I am not the only one!

I’ve had a mainly quiet week with more time at home due to cold windy weather in the last two days. More reading and meeting Oldies to help them with English for their holidays. Thursday was a public holiday called Christi Himmelfahrt for the religious and Father’s Day for others. All the shops and many restaurants were closed making it a very quiet day. This morning I went shopping and noticed the price of food is rising again. I have a nice visitor tomorrow morning. Yes, Jan is saying hello before he leaves for the airport and joining his family. He has been here for a few days to attend a ‘Boys Reunion’ That means meeting all ‘The Boys’ from his school for a once a year meeting. Most are now married with children – like he is. Looking forward to seeing him tomorrow morning.

Another Week

May 22 2022

Another week and a few days have gone by. The period started with a haircut the day after I left hospital. I went to my usual hairdresser to find a new young man waiting to shorten my locks! He came from Vietnam so we had a good chat about life there compared to Germany. He gave me a short haircut, as I requested, and I shall ask for him again. On Sunday there was a Muggelsee Gang Meeting at a restaurant called Woltersdorf Schlüsse in a village called —– yes, you guessed right —— Woltersdorf. There was an open picnic area so the Gang spread their food onto cloths and enjoyed the sunshine and view onto the lake. Very nice.

On Monday I met Thorsten who helped me again with how to use a Smartphone. It’s amazing how much he knows about phones, laptops and computers. On Tuesday and Wednesday I met my small groups of seniors to help them with English. The rest of the week was quiet with meetings with Johanna and Martina to help me with some letters and paperwork.

Yesterday I went onto a Zoom meeting organised by Labour International. The topic was health care and social welfare. Interesting discussion. The weather changed over the last couple of days. Rain and storms and cooler. Looking forward to more sun.


May 12 2022

I recently came back from my local hospital. The story begins with yesterday evening. I live in a flat owned by a housing cooperative called the EVM and it has a group of elected people called Vertrater = representative. I am one. There was a Versammlung (assembly) yesterday evening for the first time in 2 years – we had always met via Zoom. It was held in a big restaurant on the opposite side of the city. Rene, who is also a representative, picked me up in his car and we set off on the journey for an hour. Lots of talking and there were snacks and drinks to order. I only ordered two glasses of white wine. Then it was time to go.

I got home about 11.00pm and went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. Then I turned to my left and slipped hitting my head, arm, leg on the floor and side of the bath. I lay on my back and could not move! I couldn’t get to my phones to call for help. After trying to crawl to the phones I gave up and slept on the floor. I woke at 6.30 and tried to move. No success but I kept on trying and finally found I could move on my hands on the floor. I made it to my telephones and called the ambulance service. Two nice ambulance men got into my room and helped me dress and then go into the ambulance. I was taken to my local hospital and the lengthy process of checking my medical history and health condition began. It ended with nothing new broken and being allowed home. What a day. I don’t want another like it!!


May 10 2022

Big thanks to all who sent me birthday cards, e-mails and telephone messages. Here you can see some of the cards. There was a very special present from Andrea and Marco that took me back many years. They sent a CD called Be Thou My Vision containing sacred music by John Rutter with the Cambridge Singers. The words are in English and really opened my eyes.

When I was 9/10 I sang in the local Church of England choir and in my school choir. I am not sure if we sang music by John Rutter but if not then by similar musicians and of course I was a boy soprano. My school music teacher was called Mr Skull and he introduced us to the voice of Kathleen Ferrier who I still adore! He also introduced us to Gustaf Mahler and Wagner. He knew my mother and that she played 2 musical instruments. The were also members of the local Labour Party!

Last week I had the same routine and meetings as the week before except that I went to a ‘Burgeramt’ in Adlershof (part of south east Berlin) with Johanna. I need a new passport and Personelausweis. we did all the paperwork and I have to go there again on the 20th June to pick up the new documents. I’mstill waiting for a response from the London passport office. Now 7 weeks and I have not heard a word from them. I had a couple of quiet days then set off on Sunday for a birthday lunch with Johanna, Jutta and Martina. Very nice but I drank too much. Johanna brought me home later.

I went with Imre to a local restaurant on Monday and yes, he ate half of my food – as usual! Later Thorsten arrived to do some work on my laptop and he and Imre got to know each other. In a short time I shall go across the road to have a glass of sekt with Marita. A late birthday sip!

May 2022 Things

Apr 30 2022

I’ve had a nice, quiet week. I am still reading the book about Edmund Burke and it is interesting to note how little I knew about his life and impact on politics that is still relevant in the UK. Last Monday I joined an SPD Lichtenberg meeting via WebEx. This was new to me for I have only used Zoom. On Wednesday I went to a Labour Party branch meeting in person! It was held in the Braugasthaus at Mehringdamm 80. Put the address in your diary and go  there on your next visit to Berlin.

On Thursday morning I met Johanna and we went to a very large store selling different kinds of bicycles. We were looking at the electro-bikes. I tested one and noted how heavy it was. We got it’s weight from an assistant and then I realized I could not carry such a bike up and down the steps to my cellar. I’ll have to find a new home where I can just move from the road into a cellar!

Yesterday evening I went to the monthly eltabb Stammtisch held in a beer garden at Karl-Marx-Allee 93. Very nice and I can recommend you add it to your places to visit on your next trip to Berlin. In 45 minutes I shall be joining a Labour International Zoom meeting. The topic is ‘What do unions want from Lab


our? The guest speaker is Sarah Woolley who is the head of the Bakers’ Union. Finally I picked up some interesting information on the radio about the BBC. It broadcasts in 42 languages reaching 468 million people worldwide each week. I didn’t know that!!

Who has a birthday in May? Max starts the month with his 39th on the 2nd, over in Hungary Marcel will celebrate his 28th on the 6th May. Someone called John who lives in Berlin will be 79 on the 8th May. I wonder if I shall get an invitation for a glass of wine! Over in Silsden Isaiah will celebrate his 14th birthday with my father and my brother. Over in Turkey, Trish will be 70 on the 13th. back in Berlin, Heike Dix will celebrate her big day with her family on the 16th. Back to Silsden and my cousin Barbara who will be 77 on the 20th. She’s wonderful and I’m looking forward to seeing her as soon as possible. Over to Bremen and we find Holger celebrating his 58th with his family on the 31st. I’m sure they will grill for they have a nice big garden. Happy Birthday to one and all no matter where you are!