Left bed

March 2021 Things

Feb 28 2021

As we move into another month the weather here is changing. We have more sun and the days are slowly getting longer. More please! I note I have 8 meetings with different groups in March and all via Zoom. Like many people here I am waiting for a letter telling me when and where to go for an anti-corona jab.

From TV and radio programmes and news I can hear more and more criticisms about how giving people the vaccine has so far been organised, and many are tired of the ‘lockdown’. Hopefully it will be better in March.

Who has a birthday in March? Colin in Australia starts us off with his big day on the 19th. Back in Berlin, Dr G. Porsch will celebrate on the 22nd followed by Dr. B.Wittek on the 28th. Johanna ends the month with her birthday on the 31st March. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!

Muriel

Feb 23 2021

Muriel died last week. She is my brother’s wife. She was ill for many years but her condition deteriated during last year. She has a son called Andrew and I recently talked to him over Skype which means I am starting to learn how to use it. Andrew has moved into my brother’s house in Silsden to look after him. My brother has taken Muriel’s death very badly, and so needs someone to be with him.

Andrew’s wife is also helping out with cooking, shopping and cleaning.  I’m grateful to both of them. The funeral is on Thursday but only a limited number of people are allowed to attend – due to corona controls. I shall talk to Andrew on Saturday evening over Skype to hear how the funeral went and the latest news about my brother.

Back in Berlin, not much has changed in my daily life. Still spending most of the day indoors but at least I can walk around the garden now that the snow has gone and temperatures are rising. I’m still waiting for a letter about going for an anti-corona vaccine. Yesterday the Berlin government anounced that people of my age will be getting such a letter soon. Not sure how long ‘soon’ is but I hope it will be soon! Finally, here are some flowers I know Muriel would have liked.

Another week

Feb 15 2021

Another week has rolled by. Nothing special to report. It was a week of lowering temperatures and then heavy snow. That kept many people indoors in addition to avoiding contact and corona risk. It is still cold, the snow is still on the ground but the forecast is for it to get warmer as this week rolls on.  Last week I went to an optician for a check. As a result I have to see an eye doctor at the end of March. I took part in 3 workshops/meetings online via Zoom. That’s it. I hope you had a good week and remain healthy.

Again

Feb 08 2021

It’s snowing again. The north of Germany is covered by snow storms and it is cold. On my balcony it is -9°C and it is forecast to get down to -13°C over the next few days. Looks like the weather this week will be dominated by snow and minus temperatures. On the radio, I heard that it is very similar in the UK and The Netherlands has had a very heavy storm. Other parts of north Europe are also suffering. Perfect weather for down-hill skiing but due to coronavirus that is now almost impossible.

I had a nice meeting with some of my Ko Gang on Saturday for a very tasty lunch with smooth dry white wine. Plus lots of talking. It is surprising how many topics we can cover. Sunday afternoon I tuned into an International Labour Party meeting via Zoom. I enjoyed seeing people from many counties giving their opinions about some interesting topics. Tomorrow evening there is the Berlin Labour Party AGM, again via Zoom. Should be interesting.

UPDATE: Tuesday – it is still snowing and -9°C outside. The forecast for tomorrow is even more snow and -13°C.

Birthday

Feb 04 2021

Imre was 66 yesterday and he invited me to visit. I readily accepted. He said come at 1pm so we can have lunch together. He even said he had bought a bottle of white dry wine for me to sip as we ate. He doesn’t drink any kind of alcoholic liquid – just fruit juice. I arrived on time and we greeted each other with the new antil-Covid elbow touching that has taken over from handshakes.

I sat at his kitchen table as he continued to cook the meal and talk. He was always a good talker and this time he told me all about his recent visit to Bayern (Bavaria). Then one of his phones rang and another friend called to wish him a happy birthday. He chatted on the phone with many people that afternoon and in Hungarian, German and English. He just switches between the languages depending on where the caller comes from and with no problem. I mentioned this to him and he just laughed and said he did it automatically.

The food was then ready. He had cooked slices of chicken breast in a tomato and vegetable sauce served on rice. Very tasty and went well with the wine he had bought. He is a good cook and enjoyed the food, so-much-so that he had 3 plate before he was full. Here is pic of him devouring plate No.3 ! More talking before the bell rang. It was his son who dropped in after work to wish his Papa all the best for his birthday. They both get on well together and he enjoyed relaxing at Imre’s home and joining in the talk – and with a beer! Yes, unlike his Papa he enjoys a beer or two. It was nice to chat with him and catch up on his news. Then they posed for a photo which you can see here.

And so the afternoon wore on and it was time to leave. I thanked Imre for letting me share his big day – and his cooking. I arrived home in the rain and settled down to watch a football match in the champions league on TV. I enjoyed the game which completed a memorable day for me. Hope you had a nice day too.

Snow & Visit

It’s snowing – again. Light snowstorms and minus temperatures dominate the weather here and since last week. Last Thursday there was a heavy snowfall which stayed on the ground for nearly a week. See the photo taken in my garden the day after. It stopped me from doing my usual walk around the garden to get a little exercise and a change from sitting at home all day.

The Berlin government advices people to stay at home as much as possible in order to avoid contact with other people and the risk of getting the Corona virus. It seems that the virus in now changing into other varieties. This means that scientists have to make changes to the anti-viruses developed so far. I’m sure this is the situation in the country where you live. There is a shortage of vaccine here so I have no idea when I shall get a letter telling me to go to a vaccine-centre for a jab. Watch this space!

I had visitors last Sunday. Yes, the Boyz rang the bell and gave me a surprise as I opened the door. Both had very short hair and Bro2 had shaved off his beard and moustache. I was only expecting Bro2 but it was nice to see the big brother as well. He did some homework as I started an English lesson with Bro2. This time it was reading from a text I had prepared. The focus was on new vocabulary and pronunciation. English is not phonetic so making the right sound is important for effective communication.

Later I heard the ‘magic words’ : ‘Opa I am hungry’. No surprise there! I had bought some pizzas and so they added grated cheese and put them in the oven. Lots of happy munching as they cleared their plates and followed up with a pudding. Then they wanted to relax by watching a DVD and that is how they completed their visit. Here is a photo of both with short hair.

February 2021 Things

Jan 29 2021

We close January with the biggest news stories about changes in the coronavirus and problems of producing enough ant-virus injections. This seems to be particularly the case here in Germany. I am sure your local news service reports this regularly so I won’t bore you with details. This weekend I am meeting a nice lady and then having a tasty lunch on Saturday. On Sunday Bro2 is coming to my place in the afternoon. He wants to learn more English. I have already got a page ready for him to read. I am working on pronunciation. Not easy for English is not phonetic.

Next Tuesday I am going to Imre’s home for lunch. Sure to be lots of talking and it is also his birthday. This year a very quiet one due to coronavirus rules about how many people can meet. Next week I have a SPD meeting via Zoom and next weekend a Labour Party meeting also over Zoom. A week later is the Berlin Labour Party AGM via Zoom and on Saturday 13th I shall be at the ELTABB AGM also via Zoom. I am still living under quarantine with no contact meetings and falling asleep while reading a number of books.

Who has a birthday in February? Imre starts the month with his 66th on the 3rd. He shares this day with my oldest and dearest friend – yes, its Alan in Casland who will be 78. I wish I could be there! Back in Berlin, Jens W. will be 51 on the 4th. My old boss and nice friend Dr. Inge Pardon will be 73 on the 18th. Eleonora T. will be 62 on the 22nd and over in London, Adrian Bridge will be 61 on the 25th. Peter Bateson in Australia ends the birthday month with his 41st on the 28th of February. HAPPY BIRTHDAY no matter where you are and stay healthy!

Nothing new

Jan 25 2021

Nothing new to report since my last post. The lockdown we have here is making a lot of people stay at home. I only go out to my local supermarket which is all of a 3 minute walk away! When not raining or snowing, I walk around the garden. I am sitting a lot more than I used to. I need movement to keep my legs happy. The nice thing so far this week will be on Wednesday. Johanna invited me for lunch but we are not allowed to meet others. Keep smiling.

Trump-less

Jan 20 2021

Special day today. Trump is leaving the White House and Biden is moving in. Time to celebrate. Adrian beat me to it. Here is a photo of him with a nice bottle of Gin. I shall join him with a G&T later this afternoon when I turn my TV on and see Trump getting into Airforce One and flying to his golf course in Florida. I still wonder how 70 million Americans could have voted for him in the recent election. That is nearly half of all who voted. I hope he is not able to stand again for election in 4 years. Another dose of Trump ….. ohhhhh nooo!

What have I been doing since my last post? Actually not a lot. In Germany we are in a tight lockdown and the government said yesterday it will extend to mid February. Just put BBC Radio on and heard that he is about to leave the White House for the plane. Later I shall switch to BBC World Service on my TV to catch up on the news. Back to my week – again nothing special to report. Johanna came over last Saturday to help me with paperwork. Later Bro2 arrived to relax and practice more English. It was nice to see him again and catch up on family news.

On Sunday I was invited to lunch and it was very tasty. Monday and Tuesday was spent at home with limited walks around the garden because of snow storms. Today I went to my bank and then did some shopping at Aldi. I like that shop.  Nothing planned for the rest of the week except for two meetings at the weekend but using the Zoom platform. Hope you are coping with changes due to the coronavirus. I’m still waiting for a vaccination appointment. Alan sent me a note to say he is having the injection today. Hope all goes well. Have a nice rest of the week.

Words

Jan 14 2021

Uli is an active member of the Muggelsee Gang and he sent me the following words taken from the newspaper called Tagesspiegel. He also wrote a short message – which I translate for you as: “Put this word in your collection of crazy German words.” The newspaper report was about a discussion/decision in the Berlin Senate. Here goes –

Fussgaengeranforderungslichtzeichenanlage – plant. There are 6 words if you include the word ‘plant’ which here means something is planned. What does it mean? I put the words into an online translator and got the following. Fussgaenger – pedestrians; anforderungs – requirement or request or demand or specification: licht – set of lights or traffic lights: anlage – system or installation: and all pushed together to make a new word. The German language is full of such creations particularly bureaucratic and legal German.

I then put it into another translator and got the following: pedestrian-requirement-light-sign-planned. Now you know. Thanks Uli!

Nothing New

Jan 10 2021

Hello Blog readers. I have nothing new to share with you. The same daily routine based on isolation and avoiding the risk of catching the coronavirus. It is now changing into different varieties some of which transfer quicker than the original. I am sure you know all about that from your local news reports.

The other international news is about Trump, the storming of the Capitol and speculation about his future. I was not surprised at this development for I told friends four years ago that he was mentally unstable. Other events are about adjusting to life after Brexit for both UK residents and those who live in the EU. I recently got a letter from the UK Embassy in Berlin with lots of useful advice. I’ll know of any changes that affect me by the end of this month. Stay healthy.

Concert

Jan 01 2021

I’m sitting next to my TV screen and listening/watching a concert. It is the traditional New Year’s Day one featuring the Vienna Philharmonia playing in their very nice concert hall. I was in this building twice. The first time to watch a Mozart opera and the second to see a mainly Beethoven concert. I really enjoyed both. There is no audience because of the coronavirus risk but we are sometimes taken into the gardens and palaces of the ex-Kaisers to watch dancers swirling around. The musicians are also clearly enjoying playing their instruments. As usual there is a lot of Johann Strauss music in addition to Liszt. The concert is relayed around the world- in 90 different countries – and is now a traditional part of starting a new year.

I saw in the New Year by falling asleep inspite of the bangs outside and whoooosh of rockets before exploding overhead. I also slept late and feel better for that. They are now playing The Blue Danube Walz by Johann Strauss Junior. Very famous piece of music and it means the concert is drawing to a close. I met my Ko-Gang yesterday evening and they said they would be watching the concert. We had a very tasty ‘end of year’ meal with wine and interesting conversation. Here is a photo of the dining table taken just before the food arrived. Hope you are enjoying the start of a new year and can relax for the rest of the day.

January 2021 Things

Dec 30 2020

I hope you had a happy and relaxing Christmas with family and friends. I did not meet as many people as normal nor travel in and around Berlin. All due to the Corona virus. It is still increasing here and many events over the New Year have been cancelled. The Boyz came to visit on Monday afternoon and practice their English. They cooked a meal then nodded off after. I left them alone to doze and when the woke they started practicing English as if there had not been a break. Always nice to see them. I’m meeting some of my Ko-Gang tomorrow for a New Year Eve Supper. Looking forward to that.

Who has a birthday in January 2021?

Hannelore in the south of France, near Nice, will be 78 on the 13th, Harald P. – one of my MuggGang – will be 56 on the 21st and Dr. Peter Schmidt will celebrate his 37th in Potsdam on the 24th.Paul B. over in New Zealand will be 36 on the 27th. My great neice Scarlett over in Yorkshire will be 13 on the 29th and Frau Fox here in Berlin ends the birthday month with her 80th on the 31st. Happy Birthday to each and Happy New Year to all my blog readers no matter where you live.

Merry Christmas

Dec 25 2020

Merry Christmas to all my readers. I hope you have enjoyed the day with family and friends, or are still enjoying it. As usual my day started with opening Christmas cards. It always makes me feel happy to read the texts and messages. This year I got 28 cards. You can see them in this photo.

I then got ready and went off to spend some time with Imre. He had cooked a large pan of vegetables, particularly cabbage leaves with a variety of meat. He also said he should lose some weight – but after Christmas! Here you can see him checking the pan of food and what I selected on my plate. Very tasty.

He does not drink but had bought me a bottle of Hungarian red wine. Very tasty and I still have some left for tomorrow.

We then settled into his living room and I listened to him talking about his plans now he is a pernsioner. And so the clock ticked the time away and it was time to leave. I have had a very pleasant relaxed day and hope you have too.

AWO

Dec 20 2020

AWO is short for Arbeiterwohlfahrt which means Workers‘ Welfare Association. I am a member and yesterday got their magazine covering activities during the year. On the front page was this picture of a little boy with his teddy bear. I have to smile every time I see it and so I decided to share with you so you could also smile

The AWO has strong historical and current links to the SPD. It was founded by Marie Juchacz (1879-1956) on 13. December 1919. She was an SPD activist, fighter for womens rights, promoting the welfare of the working class and advancing their social rights. It now employs 230,000 people, has 74,000 voluntary helpers and 318,000 members. It helps disabled people, children in nursery schools, psychiatric clinics and advice centers for migrants and refugees among other things.

It was founded after the end of WW1 which left many women to look after their families alone and work in factories to get the money to feed their children. It was banned in 1933 when Hitler came to power. It was created again in Hannover in 1946 but only in what became West Germany. It remained banned in the Soviet occupied zone and later in the DDR. With the fall of the wall it opened in Feb. 1990 after 57 years of being banned. Its HQ is now in Berlin.

Oldie Presents

Dec 18 2020

Another week almost over with no big changes to normal life. Germany went into ‘lockdown’ from Wednesday. Wearing a mask when you go onto the street is now mandatory. M any shops have had to close. Two nice  things happened during the week. On Tuesday the doorbell rang and someone from the local SPD stood in front of my door. He said he was visiting all the constituency ‘oldie’ members to give each a present. With that he handed me a large calender and a bag. He didn’t come into the flat and left when I had the presents. What a nice surprise that was.

In my post was a letter from some women in the local council social services for seniors department. They asked me to go to a community centre on Wednesday. They said I had been selected to receive a gift because of my age and periodic contact to their department. They said they were pleased to give me a bag with presents inside. It was covered so I could not see what was there. I then went to my bank and to Aldi before returning home. There, I opened the bag and was surprised to see a lot of cakes, chocolates, biscuits. You can see them in one of the photos.

We ‘Oldies’ who received such a bag can ‘pig out’ on the high sugar contents over Christmas – or share them with friends and family. I didn’t know that such gifts were given away to Oldies for Christmas. Perhaps I’ll get more for Christmas 2021!

 

Wurst

Dec 13 2020

I’ve had a quiet week. Nothing special and my only contact with people is when I go shopping, to the bank or post office. All wear face masks and keep a distance to others. More shops have security at the entrance and limit the number of people who can enter. The government announced yesterday much stronger measures from Wednesday until mid-January.  The number of infections and deaths per day is rising – as it is in the UK.

The other news dominating TV and radio is Brexit negotiations. Lots of ups and downs and speculation if an agreement can be reached. Reports today indicate a little softening of positions. Meanwhile the street parties and markets are closing and so the number of people buying wurst will decrease. Wurst means sausage and of course they are very popular here. Many people people buy them from market stalls when they go shopping and just wander through the streets munching on a wurst. Here is what they look like. A very populat wurst comes from the state of Thuringa. That is the only one I eat! All for now. Stay happy and healthy.

Reading

Dec 06 2020

I heard that people in the UK and in Germany are reading more as they stay at home to avoid coronavirus contact risks. I also heard that cases of the virus and deaths are still rising. My weekly routine has changed since summer. I no longer have contact to my ladies for the buildings have been closed until at least the start of next year – maybe until next Easter. My gym has been closed so no more meetings with Kerstin and the Friday Gang. I spend more time at home reading.

Here you can see a pile of books and magazines that make up my ‘To Read’ list. It is a mixture of novels and language books. Every night I settle into bed and open the book called ‘1001 Pitfalls in German’ which is well written and with clear explanations. I first read the book years ago and now I’m learning from it again. There is an interesting chapter about verbs and tenses. Even so, there is no clear explanation as to why German people do not use the simple past tense or when the stopped using it. I have asked many Germans why this is and I just get ‘I don’t know’ as an answer.

They use the simple present or the present perfect tense all the time. The book includes such sentences: ‘The German present tense is used in time expressions for actions that began in the past and continue into the present.’ ‘It is very often necessary to translate a German present perfect by using an English past.’ ‘The present perfect is the usual past tense in conversation’. I don’t need to give more examples. Instead, your will find that German grammer allows long words to be created, for example by sticking 5 or 6 words together and creating a word with 80 or more letters. A lot of these words appear in legal and business German. Have fun if you are now learning German and you will find a dictionary still useful.

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!