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February things

January was a strange mixed month for me. I wonder what February will bring.  It is starting with freezing temperatures.

It’s okay for you in Australia and New Zealand with up to  40°C to worry about keeping cool, but here there are temperatures in eastern Europe of -37°C and this weekend in Berlin we have been told to expect up to – 18°C. Brrrrh….stay in and put the heating higher! I have even taken my warm ski jacket out of the cellar to wear even though there is no snow.

February will include the normal things but the future of my Photoshop Gang is not certain. Cuts in public spending are looming. I’ll know better after this Friday’s session. A problem about membership of my old fitness club and a payment demand will run through this month. I now have a lawyer on this so we’ll see what happens.

I have to renew my passport this month, so I am organising all the necessary paperwork. I am reviewing the range of my insurance policies. I am sure I do not need so many and am taking advice about making changes. I have also registered with an ‘Ehrenamtliche Arbeit’ (voluntary work) office in the north east of the city.  It was my German teachers idea 🙂

So far I have been contacted by an organisation running projects for seniors, children and youths. They want me to teach a group of seniors English and help a couple of students from poor homes. They need help with English for their school leaving examination, but their parents can’t pay for private teachers. I am meeting them Wednesday of next week. Watch this space for more details!

I went to the docs again this morning for a check about my blood pressure. It is still running a little too high so he told me to take two tablets a day instead of one. I have to see him in two weeks for more checks. When I got home from the Doc’s, I had a visitor. It was Stefan. He is part of the Jan, Peter etc gang who went to school together, still meet up and keep in touch. Really nice to see him and catch up with his news. Thanks for the visit, Stefan!

Who has a birthday this month? As I write these words, Sven is celebrating his 36th with his wife and children in Berlin, my oldest and best friend Alan will celebrate his 69th on the 3rd – have a great day Alan and Lynne! Jens will be 42 on the 5th, my ‘Boss’ at the institute will be 64 on the 18th,  Eleonora hits 53 on the 22nd followed by Adrian in London who will be 52 on the 25th. The month closes with Frau Reimer celebrating her 86th with a family party in Rostock, Ralf enjoying his 47th in Berlin and Peter celebrating his 32nd with family in Australia. What a nice international bunch!  Have a wonderful day each and all!!

I shall now add my ‘new’ monthly report picture plus another. It was taken by Silke yesterday as we returned to Berlin. We wanted to take the sunset then saw the frozen water in one corner of a field. Ideal for reflection. Here is the result – and that is how ‘my’ city looked like yesterday evening.