Left bed

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!

Sun

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.

Okay

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!

Dry

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!

Rain

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.

Change

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.

Hot

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!

Accident

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!

Same

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.

Presents

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!

Same

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!   

Ticket

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.

Hospital

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!!

Thanks

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!

Nearly

Apr 24 2022

Nearly another week has gone by since my last post. It was a relaxing period in which I started reading another book. It is’ Edmund Burke: The visionary who invented modern politics’, written by Jesse Norman who is a MP. There is a quote by Boris Johnson on the front page as follows – ‘Jesse Norman has brought back Burke in triumph –  and not before time’. Thanks Boris – now you can go back to sorting out your problems! The weather is slowly looking more like Spring so I have been on longer walks in the last few days.

Last Wednesday, Thorsten arrived to help me with some lap-top problems and to practice a bit more on my LG Smartphone. He will be coming tomorrow to continue his good work. Last Thursday, Johanna dropped in for a cup of tea and a glass of ‘medicine’. I joined her. Yesterday I joined a Labour International meeting via Zoom. The topic was ‘Wealth, Power and Taxation’ led by John Trickett MP. He spoke very well and clearly and it was interesting to hear how he presented the topic. If you are interested then Google his name and read what he has to say While you are on the internet type in, ‘Irish Rebellion of 1798’ I got this information from the Edmund Burke book. The things I still have to learn – and not just about a Smartphone. Enjoy your Sunday.

Last week

Apr 19 2022

This time it is 9 days since I last posted. Hope you all enjoyed your Easter holiday. My week started on Tuesday at 3.00pm when I went to the Abacus Hotel opposite Tierpark (Z00) which is 3 stops on a tram from where I live. The reason was to attend the AGM of my local SPD branch. Very interesting and I noted some voices not happy with decisions made by SPD members of the central government, mainly a huge amount in taxes to finance a large increase in military expenditure. I’m sure you must have heard about this on your local news. After that, I went to Martina’s for supper. I joined Jutta and Dorothea who comes from the south of Poland. She was visiting a conference in Berlin and stayed a Martina’s. I have met her before and am always impressed with her ability to speak German and English. Amazing talent!

I relaxed with my books on Wednesday and Thursday, did some shopping and cleaned the flat. The big day was on Friday. It started with Easter Friday Breakfast at Jutta’s with other members of The Gang. I then got home at 1.00pm just in time for Eleonora to pick me up. We drove to her daughter’s home to enjoy the rest of the day talking, sipping Hungarian wine and playing with their two sons. The youngest is 6 months old and a real treasure. I really love him and being able to hold him. Papa cooked while I cuddled my little treasure. His parents don’t want any photos of the boys on the internet, which I accept and respect. What a nice day that was. Yesterday I went to Eleonor’s home. She had invited me for lunch and more chats. Her Spanish teacher was also there, name of Wolf and he also spoke really good English. A really relaxed and interesting afternoon.

Another week

Apr 10 2022

Another week has gone by since my last post – actually 10 days but a week sounds better 🙂 March ended with a nice breakfast at Johanna’s then 2 Zoom meetings on Saturday. Sunday was a lazy day with a gentle walk to keep me moving. Thorsten came on Monday and helped me with a laptop problem and how to use my ‘new’ Smartphone.

On Wednesday and Thursday there were more Zoom meetings. Next Tuesday is an SPD annual meeting in a nice hotel near to Tierpark. I have an invitation. The big day is next Friday – yes Easter Friday. I have been invited to breakfast at Jutta’s with the rest of the gang. Then rush back home where Eleonora will pick me up. We’ve been invited to Andrea’s home and I’m looking forward to cuddling their new little treasure.

I’ve started reading some more books. One is a German grammar book and the others are A Nietzsche Reader selected and translated by R.J. Hollingdale, and Kant by S.Körner. I recently found the last two books. I read them in my first year at university, but that is a long time ago and I have forgotten the contents. The weather is slowly moving into Spring and I can’t wait until the sun starts to shine and I can read on my balcony. Have a happy relaxing Sunday.

April 2022 Things

Mar 30 2022

After that, it was back to the computer for the Labour International AGM via Zoom. Again interesting and I noticed how many members had strong feelings about a number of subjects. Last Monday I went to the BVG office at Lichtenberg to buy my monthly travel pass. Then I called my lawyer’s secretary and we made an appointment to get advice from my lawyer on Thursday afternoon. My lawyer is ill at the moment hence the delays. On Tuesday I met my AWO gang then went to the Telecom shop.

My phones stopped working on Monday and I am lost without them. They said I had to come again and bring all the phone parts for them to check. I did that this morning and was told that one of them didn’t work but no explanation. Back to Tuesday evening when I joined a LI Open Branch Meeting via Zoom for a discussion about Ukraine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I shall go to Johanna’s for her birthday breakfast and share a few hours with some other nice ladies.

Who has a birthday in April? Uli starts the week with his 75th birthday on the 6th. Petra will share her big day with Uli on the 8th. Over in Australia, Daniel Bateson will be 44 on the 9th. On the 11th, Dennis in California will celebrate his 67th with his wife and sons. Back in Germany the famous writer Neil Deane will celebrate his 65th on the 13th. Back to England and Matthew Bolton will hit 24 on the 14th. Staying in England, we find  that my great-nephew Henri Lynch will be 12 on the 18th. Back to Berlin and my old business partner Mathias Gellrich will be 58 on the 19th. On the 22nd, Peter Legarth will be 59 on the 22nd. Birgit Fedor ends the month with her 58th birthday on the 24th. Happy Birthday to each and all of you no matter where you are!

Nice week

Mar 21 2022

It is 8 days since my last post and I have to say that I have had a nice week. It started on Monday with meeting Jörge for a smartphone session. I really have a lot to learn. I am still amazed when I walk along a street and 7/8 year olds walk along tapping their smartphones – and not always look where they are going! On Tuesday I met the usual groups of ‘oldies’ at the AWO and on Wednesday welcomed two new people to another AWO group who want to improve their English. In the afternoon I posted my old passport, two new photographs and an application form for a new passport to the passport office in London. We can no longer apply for a new one at the UK Embassy in Berlin. I also asked for payment details for I don’t have an international credit/debit card. Let’s see what happens.

I relaxed on Wednesday mainly by reading a book. On Thursday evening I joined a Zoom group for what we call a Virtuellen Vertretersammlung = an AGM of a housing cooperative called the EVM. I live in one of their flats and am an elected member of the central committee. A very interesting evening but I prefer to attend such a meeting in person rather than via a computer. I had a lazy day on Friday with some walks and more reading. On Sunday afternoon I joined a zoom meeting to attend the Labour International March General Committee meeting. 74 members from different countries were present and there were some interesting discussions in the Motions section.

After that, Thorsten arrived to correct some problems on my laptop. Nice to see him again and we had a good chat as we sipped a glass of ‘Red Medicine’ At the next meeting we are going to look at the layout of this blog for I have problems to move photos higher in the blog reports. The weather has also been slowly improving as we move into Spring. Can’t wait to sit on the balcony in the sunshine.

A Concert

Mar 13 2022

I went to Berliner Philharmonie yesterday evening. I went with Johanna, her grandson and four nice ladies. The concert was almost sold out and I noticed that most of the audience were sixty or more! The concert was called ‘Südamerikanische Nacht’  which I am sure you can understand even if you don’t speak German. The star of the show was a lady called Lily Dahab who was born in Buenos Aires in Argentina. She later moved to Spain and then to Berlin. She is not only good looking but has a ‘one-in-a-million’ voice. I was surprised that I had not heard about her before, particularly with such a wonderful voice.

She can not only move up and down the musical scales but moves between full volume and almost whispered singing. She introduced her songs in Spanish, English and German and moved between traditional South American songs to jazz and swing music from the 1950’s. Her husband plays the piano to accompany her and there are another four musicians who support her and appear to be part of her regular backers. Absolutely wonderful and if you get the chance to visit one of her concerts then do so immediately. You will enjoy her musical range and talent.

The evening before I went to my local AWO for a book reading session. I went with Johanna and three other nice ladies.  The stars were the authors Ellen Händler and Ute Mitsching-Viertel. They are now retired and mainly write about women and how their lives changed with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Later they wrote a book based on interviews with men as a contrast to changes affecting women. Really interesting to listen to their presentation and readings from their books. At the end, many women in the audience made comments about how their lives had changed. A very informative evening.

Women

Mar 08 2022

Today is International Women’s Day. It is a public holiday in Germany and there will be lots of demonstrations demanding more protection for women and to reduce the pay gap between men and women. We can also note language here for we write ‘women’ but we say ‘wimmen/wimmin’. I hear many people on the radio who use the singular when they should have used the plural. We are having nice weather at the moment. Clear blue skies, but still cool, so that will also bring more women onto the streets

The centre of Berlin will be full today of people on demonstration,  and around the Hauptbahnhof for that is where refugees from Ukraine arrive. Most are women and children. Charities organise the collection and distribution of clothes, food, medicine etc – as they do in other countries. Good work! Some people also offer rooms in their homes as well as food and clothes. My local AWO has just announced they are also to organise such collections and have appealed for donations and gifts.

You my remember in an earlier post I said that I had lunch at Imre’s home. He cooked Hungarian Gulash served with potatoes. He likes to cook – and to eat, as I mentioned before. Now I have a photo to share with you of Imre enjoying his plate of food. He later ate another full plate! I enjoyed my visit and look forward to the next.

March 2022 Things

Feb 27 2022

I’ve had a good week including putting my smartphone onto an internet connection via Aldi Talk. Now I have to learn how to use the machine. I had a couple of meetings with people at AWO then Johanna visited on Wednesday afternoon and we had Kaffee und Kuchen. On Thursday I met a small group of seniors and we went on a nice walk in Treptower Park. The last couple of days have been quiet and I have done a lot more reading. I got a call from Imre and he invited me to his home on Monday for lunch. I asked him what he was going to cook and he said, “It’s a surprise!” Nice to get such calls.

 

Who has a birthday next month? Colin in Australia starts us off with his birthday on the 19th. Back in Berlin, Dr. Günter Porsch will celebrate his big day on the 22nd. Over in Bernau, Dr. Bernd Wittek will celebrate with his family on the 28th. Back in Berlin, Johanna will celebrate her birthday with family and friends on the 31st. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are.

Wind

Feb 17 2022

It’s really windy here. We had rain and growing wind during the night. Now the rain has stopped but the wind has increased. On the radio I heard that it is really bad in the UK with more high winds tomorrow. I decided to stay at home and catch up on paperwork and reading. This evening there will be a football match on TV so I am looking forward to that. I recently heard a BBC Radio 4 interview with a Prof of Languages from the US. Very interesting and he talked about how English has changed and still is.

New English. Let me share some of this ‘modern English’ with you. Again all heard on BBC Radio 4 mainly from interviews with politicians and business people. Here goes: to make a vote / real time intelligence / beginning part of the year / switch out a president / to continue on / it is hugely modern / to ride out an outbreak /it’s tricky to see / history breaking cover / to be in lock step / it’s vital to grow the numbers / a window remains / we are upskilling.

Knodel

Feb 13 2022

I’ve had a good week. It’s still cold but the sun is shining more and there have been more blue skies. I’ve also had some nice meetings. It started on Monday when I went to an AWO centre to meet a man who is offering to teach seniors how to use a smartphone. Jutta recently gave me her old one because she had bought a new one. I’m meeting him tomorrow then go to Aldi to look at the Aldi-Talk offers. Back at the AWO he will help me to install the chip and register my purchase. I went on Zoom on Tuesday evening for the online Labour Berlin AGM. Problem of getting enough members online to run the meeting.

 

 

I met Johanna on Thursday afternoon for Kaffee und Kuchen and a nice chat. On Friday Dr. Peter  arrived for Kaffee und Kuchen. We had apple cake and caught up on news. Nice to see him again and he looked well. On Saturday I went online to attend a Zoom meeting. This time it was the ELTABB AGM. There are some very talented people active in this teacher’s association. I founded it with Krystie many years ago and am now the first Hon. Member!

I also got some interesting internet links from Ian, including a photograph. He lives in Singapur with his wife and they decided to go out for a meal. He was surprised to see a local restaurant offering Knödel with Hungarian Gulash and so ordered it. He said it was very tasty and shows how international Singapur is. Must try some the next time I go there!