Left bed

More Normal

Jan 18 2022

No big changes since my last post. Still spending more time at home, mainly reading and going for a walk in the garden. Last Monday and Tuesday I had to stay and home and let people in to read my water meter and wait for them to turn the water on again. I had a couple of meetings via Zoom and on Thursday I visited a father and son I got to know in the ‘keep-fit-for-seniors’ Friday course. The father has been in hospital with leg problems. It was nice to see them again and catch up on news. On Sunday I was invited to lunch by Martina. Two other ‘Ko-Gang’ ladies were there and I enjoyed NOT being on my own! This week I only have one appointment tomorrow. A very quiet week. I want the weather to get warmer so I can go on longer walks and take public transport to nice places and villages around Berlin.

Normal

Jan 09 2022

I’ve had a quiet week which I can describe as ‘normal’ for this time of year. Nothing new or special to report. The main talking points were the weather and the anti-corona marches and demonstrations by those who will not wear a mask or have a vaccine. I’m waiting to be told where to go and when for my No.4. Perhaps in Spring.

I went for a walk with Johanna and we crossed a bridge over the railway lines and S-Bahn lines. Here is a photo of an approaching S-Bahn. It had just left my local station called Karlshorst. We walked further and saw a large construction site. Johanna said 5,000 flats were being built there. It is one of a number of such sites in Berlin. There is a growing shortages of flats and at prices people can afford. Back to walking and we saw a couple of play areas for children with lots of trees, lawns and gardens. Our walk ended at the main road and taking a tram to my local stop.

Next week I have some on-line meetings via Zoom and then to meet a couple on Wednesday morning who need help with a text in English. They have a problem to understand how the English speakers use the simple past tense. The German language has it but few German speakers use it. They use the present perfect tense. I am not the only person to wonder why they have thrown a tense out of the window! Have a relaxing rest of the day.

 

January 2022 Things

Jan 02 2022

Start of a new week, month and year. My wish is for the coronavirus to disappear. I’m tired of wearing a mask when I go out and having to get a negative test document before I can enter many places – such as the Philharmonie. The concert was really good with 4 musicians from Bratislava as the stars playing a mixture of music.

I was invited for lunch by Imre yesterday. Very tasty and this time he only ate 2 plates full but they were piled up with food! Lots of talking, then later he showed me a computer programme offering 100 languages to learn. We turned on Spanish and relaxed by repeating the basic words and getting the pronunciation right. Nothing special in my diary for this month – more of the usual meetings and events.

Who has a birthday in January? Emma starts the month with her 4th birthday on the 10th. She’ll be celebrating with her family in Den Haag. Hannelore Dost in the south of France will be 79 on the 13th. Back in Berlin, Harald Porsch will be 57 on th 21st – he’s a member of my Mugg-Gang. Over in Potsdam, Dr. Peter Schmidt will be 38 on the 24th followed by Paul Bateson over in New Zealand  who will be 37 on the 27th and in England Scarlett O’D will 14 on the 29th. Back in Berlin Frau Fox will celebrate her 82nd birthday on the 31st of January and so ends our birthday month. Happy Birthday to all and each no matter where you are! 

Test and New Year

Dec 30 2021

I’ve just returned from having a Corona virus test. The result was negative. Pleased about that. I met Johanna at the test centre and her result was also negative. We needed the tests to get into the Berlin Philharmonie Hall for a concert tomorrow afternoon. It starts at 3.00pm and will be full of the traditional music played in concerts at the end of the year. I shall be there with 3 ladies from the Ko Gang. After, we are going to Martina’s home to enjoy supper together and sip a glass or two.

Yesterday evening Eleonora picked me up and drove to a church in the western area of the city. We met Andrea and her husband and their two little boys. We were invited to the Christening of the latest. His name is Benedict and he is wonderful. I was allowed to hold him and give him a cuddle. That really made my day. Looking forward to cuddling him again in the New Year.

That takes me to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year with good health as we enter another period of fighting the Corona virus. Have a great time with your family and friends and stay healthy in the New Year 🙂 

Boxing Day

Dec 26 2021

I woke late this morning, pulled the curtains back and was surprised to see clear blue sky and sunshine, No clouds but it was -10 °c on my balcony then. It is now -4° and all the snow in the garden has gone. Yesterday I started the day as usual with a light breakfast. I then opened my mail. Really nice to read all the messages and best wishes on the Christmas cards. I got 31 and you can see them in this photo. Many thanks to all who sent them.

I then got ready to travel to Imre’s home. It took nearly one hour yesterday because of reduced transport services. I rang the bell and was soon in his flat. He greeted me warmly and said how grateful he was that I had chosen to spend Christmas afternoon with him. He had already cooked a very large pan of food. You can see how large in this photo. He had bought me a bottle of chenin blanc so I started the meal with a glass and then came the food

He had cooked pieces of goose with lots of vegetables. He drank orange juice because he does not drink alcohol. This time he only ate two plates of food. My single smaller plate was enough. It was very tasty and he talked about cooking such food when he lived in Hungary.

We then moved into another room and there I saw his new large Apple desktop computer. He had also bought a book full of information about how to use such a computer. He opened the computer and showed me some of the things it could do. I was impressed and spent some time on it. Many years ago I had an Apple computer but this one had many new functions and programmes. For me the drawback is the cost. Such a computer is not cheap. After more talking I put on my coat and left for home. A very interesting time with an entertaining person.

Merry Christmas

Dec 24 2021

I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and stay healthy as you celebrate. The high point of last weekend was on Saturday when I was invited to lunch by Jan and his mother. Really nice to see him again and listening to him talk about being a father to two wonderful little girls. I had two physiotherapy appointments last week. I have just returned from having a long, lazy Christmas breakfast given by Jutta. Two other nice ladies were there and it was interesting listening to them talking about how they had celebrated Christmas when they were children.

Tomorrow I am going to Imre’s for what he calls ‘a Hungarian Christmas dinner’. Sounds interesting! He is a good cook and he likes to eat when he is with people. I wonder how much he will eat this time! On Boxing day I shall have ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ at the home of father Horst and son Thomas and their little dog. I got to know Horst in the Keep Fit sessions for older people some years ago. I think they just want another pair of ears to talk to = me!

Modern English: I shall close with a list of words/phrases I heard on BBC Radio 4. All came from interviews with politicians. a cleaner outcome / nett zero/ to step up to the plate / to increase up / a nailed on project / super destressed / a package of support / to hold the water line / a catch up fund / very profoundly significant / train people up.

PS: It’s snowing again. Here you can see the snow in part of my garden.

 

Quiet again

Dec 18 2021

Since my last post I have had a quiet time with nothing special to report. Three meetings/concert were cancelled due to Corona virus threat. The new one is spreading very quickly here – as it is in the UK and other EU countries. Jan is visiting me tomorrow afternoon which I am really looking forward to. He is in Berlin for a couple of days before returning home and then taking his family to Spain for Christmas. Also tomorrow afternoon I shall turn on Skype to talk to Andrew, who as some of you know is my nephew. I need to improve my ability to use Skype. Next week looks to also be quiet as we slip into the pre-Christmas period. Enjoy your weekend.

Snow

Dec 09 2021

It’s just started to snow again. It first snowed nearly a week ago then again last night. It was snowing earlier when I walked to my physiotherapy appointment. There was a break over lunchtime and then again the snow is turning everything white. I took these photos last week but the recent snow storms are much longer and heavier. It is also much colder with minus degrees at night and 2 or 3°C during the day.

Nothing special has happened since my last post. I spend more time alone because of the spread of the latest corona virus. Many people who have had two vaccinations have a code on their smartphone and show it whenever the want to enter many buildings. Mine is all on paper for an obvious reason!

Last Friday the ELTABB monthly meeting planned to take place in a Christmas Market was cancelled – for health/safety reasons. The SPD Lichtenberg Christmas meeting for elderly members, planned for next Tuesday in a local hotel, has also been cancelled, for the same reason. I am booked to go to a concert next Wednesday evening in Berlin Cathedral. I wonder if that will take place. I have no appointments this weekend so I shall find something to do when I am not reading. It all depends on the weather.  Perhaps I’ll just get on a train and go somewhere. Let’s see!

Concert

Dec 02 2021

I went to the Berliner Philharmonie last Sunday afternoon. I went with Johanna and two other nice ladies. The concert started at 4.00pm and about 80% of the seats were taken by an audience most of which were older than 65. The cold but dry weather with sunshine perhaps played a part in bringing so many to the concert hall. Everyone was controlled at each entrance and had to show evidence that they had had anti-corona injections and passed an infection test. This is becoming part of normal life here now.

The Sinfonie Orchester Berlin played, and was directed by Radek Baboräk who also played the horn. He comes from the Czech Republic from a musical family and started playing the horn as a schoolboy. Later he moved to Germany and began to make a name as a skilled musician. There were 4 pieces of music to listen to and it started wit Jean Sibelius, Finlandia Op. 26. Then we heard Mozart’s Konzert für Horn and Orchester Nr. 4. Es.Dur KV495 followed by Peter Tschaikowsky: Romeo und Julia, Fantasie Ouvertür nach Shakespeare. Then it was time for a break and the concert ended with Tschaikowsky’s Symphonie Nr. 4 f-Moll Op. 36. Lots of clapping to show that the audience had enjoyed the concert then into the early evening and off home. A really nice way to spend an afternoon.

December 2021 Things

Nov 27 2021

I’ve been busy since Thursday showing Tony and Rita around parts of Berlin. They live in London and I met Tony many years ago when I went to university. He is now a lecturer at London University. I last saw them about five years ago when we went to Ian and Birgit’s chalet in Austria to enjoy a week of skiing. Tony had been to Berlin before but not Rita. They both settled very quickly into life here and even visited a friend from the US who lives in the west of the town with his family. On Thursday I met them at their hotel on Fischerinsel in the centre. We explored the area taking in the town hall and many other interesting buildings, statues and historical sights. We ended the day at my place for supper and agreed on a plan for next day.

We met and took the S-Bahn to Potsdam. Here we visited all the main sights in the old centre of the town including a number of palaces. They later met their friend and went back with him to have a festive evening with his family. Today I took them to Müggelsee to Berlin’s largest lake. They really liked it and now have a list of other places to visit on their visit to Berlin planned for next Spring.

Who has a birthday in December? Stephen Block starts us off with his 61st on the 7th in Berlin. Over in the UK, Evie will be 13 on the 18th. Over in Yorkshire, Julie Bolton will be 47 on the 29th and shares the day with Thomas from Berlin who will be 61.  Also in Berlin, Broz-1 will be 21 on the 24th. On the 28th, near to Brighton, Neil Dickinson will be 75 and shares the day with Stefan Schöneberg who will celebrate his 38th with his new wife! Ian Maxwell over in Australia will be 62 on the 30th and ends this month of birthdays. Have a great day no matter where you are!

Normal

Nov 23 2021

I’ve had a normal week since my last post. Nothing of particular interest to report. You know I had a corona test nearly three months ago. I was near to the same test centre late morning and decided to go in. It only took about 20 minutes and I was pleased to receive a statement saying I tested negative — hooray! People are being urged to take more and regular tests. There has been a steep rise in the number of reported corona cases. The same is happening in the UK. On Thursday I’m meeting a couple from London at their hotel in the centre. They are here until Sunday so I shall help them to discover the many faces of Berlin. Looking forward to that.

Quiet

Nov 14 2021

It’s been a relatively quiet week since I last posted. I have only gone out for fixed appointments or for shopping. Why? Because the number of covid cases has climbed to a record high. The same happened in the UK. Given the high number of people with injections against covid here, I really cannot understand why there was such an increase. I had a couple of visitors and enjoyed sipping a glass of something nice with them and catching up on news.

I went to the orthopädie clinic on Monday only to discover me health insurance card was no longer valid – although the date on the card said it was valid! I received a temporary card yesterday so I am going back to the clinic tomorrow. I also needed to replace another card at my local government office only to be told it was no longer possible in person. I had to send my documents by post. Still waiting for them to be returned to me. The big event for me today is to watch Germany play against Armenia at football, starting at 6.00pm local time. Guess which team I want to win! Enjoy your Sunday evening. Result: German team won 4:1

Bonfire

Nov 05 2021

It is the 5th November which means it is Bonfire Day in the UK. Lots of fireworks with the fires in the evening and toffees, grilled food and of course, all washed down with a beer, or two! The origin was a few hundred years ago when a man called Guy Fawkes and friends put gunpowder into the cellars under the Houses of Parliament to blow up the King and members of parliament. They were arrested by guards before they could light the gunpowder. They were later executed. Now it is a festival in the UK. Have fun and enjoy your sausages grilled in the bonfires!

November 2021 Things

Oct 30 2021

I recently listened to a BBC Radio 4 late evening news broadcast. The interviewer was a woman and she talked to two women. I was surprised to hear so much ‘modern’ English in their exchanges. Here are some of the things I heard –

wiggle room / an up tick / a backlog of issues / leveling up / an uplift / down the line / to partner up / to be best pleased / a step change / a pension dashboard.  I really wonder where the English language is going when I hear such things.

Who has a birthday in November? Daniel in Berlin starts us off with his 25th on the 2nd November. Jeff over in The Netherlands will be 66 on the 19th. Sarah in London will be 61 on the 22nd  followed by Stephen (Seitz) in Berlin who will be 64 on the 29th and so ends this birthday month. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are!    

Shock

Oct 29 2021

I watched  M’Gladbach play FC Bayern for a place in the German Cup last Tuesday evening. I was not the only one to get a SHOCK.  Gladbach scored a goal within the first 2 minutes. My mouth dropped open as I struggled to believe what I had seen. They then scored another 2 in the first half and added 4 and 5 in the second half. The Bayern team seemed to be on another planet. I have rarely seen them play so bad. The TV commentators were of the same opinion – in additional to a lot of viewers.

Today is a special day for me. My mother died on Sunday 29th October 1967 in Keighley General Hospital at 6.00 pm. She was 48 and I was 24. All of 54 years. I wonder how my life would have been had she lived. I was the last person to see her. I lived in Nottingham then and had visited the family home on Saturday and also visited my mother in hospital before my Sunday visit. I remember holding her hands as we talked and she tried to smile to hide any pain. I hugged her and gave her a big kiss then moved to the door. There I turned and saw her smiling at me as she tried to hold back tears. I always have that vision in my head when I think about that visit. I can see her tearful smile as I write these words. My biggest regret is that we were not able to get older together.

Visitors

Oct 24 2021

I had three very nice visitors on Friday afternoon. Yes, it was ‘The Boyz’ and Sis. Here is a photo of them and you can see they are clearly growing up. Bro2 was 19 a week ago and is still growing. He is now the tallest in the family. I sent them to my local supermarket to buy what they wanted to eat for a late lunch. They did just that and then we settled into sipping alcohol-free beer while Sis enjoyed some healthy orange juice. We caught up on each others news before I heard the expected words. “Opa, I’m hungry”. 

The Boyz went into the kitchen while Sis started to draw at my desk in the living room. She has a talent for shape and colours and just relaxed as she drew an ‘abstract’ image of what I guess is an ice cream-lollypop with lots of colours and internal shapes. Then it was time to eat. They enjoyed the food and cleared all the plates.

Later we relaxed and talked about many things including school-college and The Boyz plans after their studies. And so the day moved into early evening and it got darker. They said their goodbyes and headed home with a box of chocolates I had bought for them to share with their parents. I really enjoyed seeing them again.

The weather here is clearly moving into autumn and the trees are shedding leaves. Here is a photo of the main tree opposite my balcony. You can clearly see the change in colour and now it only has half the leaves you can see in this photo. At least we are enjoying cool days but with lots of sunshine and blue skies – without rain!

Brahms Requiem

Oct 18 2021

Yesterday afternoon I met 5 nice ladies and we went to the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. Johanna had organized it all and thanks to her for that. It was an afternoon concert starting at 4.00pm and well attended, but I noticed most were 65+ just like us! The music was played by the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra and the chorus was from the Philharmony. I have heard this music many times on the radio but this was the first time I had been to a live performance. The singers and players were excellent and deserved the lasting applause at the end. I went on the internet to get more details about Brahms and this work so here is a selection of what I found.

A German Requiem, to Words of the Holy ScripturesOp. 45 (German: Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift) by Johannes Brahms, is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, a soprano and a baritone soloist, composed between 1865 and 1868. It comprises seven movements, making this work Brahms’s longest composition. A German Requiem is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin RequiemA German Requiem, as its title states, is a Requiem in the German language.

Brahms’s mother died in February 1865, a loss that caused him much grief and may well have inspired Ein deutsches Requiem. Brahms’s lingering feelings over Robert Schumann‘s death in July 1856 may also have been a motivation, though his reticence about such matters makes this uncertain.

His original conception was for a work of six movements; according to their eventual places in the final version, these were movements I–IV and VI–VII. By the end of April 1865, Brahms had completed the first, second, and fourth movements. The second movement used some previously abandoned musical material written in 1854, the year of Schumann’s mental collapse and attempted suicide, and of Brahms’s move to Düsseldorf to assist Clara Schumann and her young children.[1]

Brahms assembled the libretto himself. In contrast to the traditional Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, which employs a standardized text in Latin, the text is derived from the German Luther Bible. In 1866 Brahms made an arrangement for piano solo of the six-movement version of the Requiem, which he revealed to Clara Schumann at Christmas of that year.

Books

Oct 14 2021

I had a nice surprise on Monday afternoon. The doorbell rang and I opened the door to see a delivery man holding out a package for me to take. I opened it to find a book inside. It is, ‘Britain’s War : Into battle 1937 – 1941’ written by an academic historian called Daniel Todman. I recently read volume 2 covering the period from 1942 to 1947. I thought only Ian could have sent it and he later confirmed he had.

I like the author’s way of exploring his subject and style of writing.  In the introduction he sets out his approach. Here are a few quotes: “In a way no other book has done, these two volumes join together histories that are usually told separately – strategic, political and economic, military, cultural, and social — as it prepared for war”.

This morning I turned on my WLAN Radio to BBC Radio 4 at 10.00 am Berlin time. Just in time to hear a discussion led by Melvyn Bragg. Hi guests were three academic historians including Norman Davies who wrote two books about the history of Poland. I have posted about book 2 before. The topic today was the history of the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth, which became a Republic from 1569-1795 when it was absorbed into Russia, Germany and Austria and ceased to exist until 1918.

In 1385 there was a personal union of crowns by a constitutional union which lasted for 407 years. The Lithuanian state was founded in the 13th century by a team of warriors. It changed its name and constitution a number of time such as  the Poland-Lithuania Republic 1569 – 1795. Some say it was the largest and strongest state in Eastern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Poles are historically a branch of the Slavs.  I shall enjoy reading more history in Book 1 which will be a nice contrast to reading Todman’s book (above). Have fun with your books as the weather takes us into autumn.

Injection

Oct 13 2021

I had my third vaccine injection against Coronavirus yesterday. It was at a shopping centre on the Frankfurter Allee. I had to join a queue but within 20 minutes I got my jab. My doctor insisted on speaking to me in English. I then discovered he came from a German family which moved to the USA, where he was born, then back to Germany when he was ten. He also said he takes any opportunity to speak English so he doesn’t forget the language.

I had to wait in a room for 15 minutes to make sure I was okay after the injection.  Again, no problems. The reason for the jab was that my second one was just over 6 months ago and given that, and my age, I was advised to have a third jab. The record of my injections is in my ‘Impfbuch’.

Last Sunday I watched an interesting football game on TV. It was Germany -vs- North Macedonia. The play was very even in the first half. In the second half the German manager took off a couple of the new players and put some older and more experienced players into the team. The result was Germany 4 and Macedonia 0. I think that says a lot about the quality of the replacement players – even if older than 20!

Blue Sky

Oct 08 2021

Nothing special has happened since my last post. Another ‘normal’ week but with more meetings and less via Zoom. I’ve had 2 meetings with my Physiotherapists with different treatment. I now havean A4 paper with images and instructions about stretching and moving which I have to do each morning at home. Hope that works.

I met Johanna during the week and she helped me to understand a 4 page letter I got from my bank. Even she is critical of how ‘business and legal’ German is used and says it could all be written in simpler language and shorter. We are going to a meeting with my Mugglesee Gang tomorrow starting at 3.00pm. Looking forward to seeing them again and catching up on news.

The weather here has been really nice. Just look at this photo of a tree opposite to where I live. I really like how the leaves are turning red before falling to the ground. Tomorrow should also be sunny before it gets cooler and rains on Sunday. Guess what I am going to watch on TV this evening. Yes, you are right – a football match. Germany is playing against Rumania. Which team will I be cheering? UPDATE: Germany won 2:1   –  But— The Rumanian team were dominant in the first half and played very well throughout the game 🙂 Final Game: Yesterday evening I watched another football game. It was the UEFA Nations League Finals. Result was Spain 1 – France 2. The French team played well and deserved to emerge the winners – but then part of me would have been happy if the Spanish team had won!

 

Neil

Oct 03 2021

I met Neil Deane yesterday. I have posted about him on my blog before. He is now a lecturer at the University of Duisburg- Essen and currently writing his 4th book. This one is a novel and I look forward to reading it at the end of the year. His 3rd book is called – Liverpool: gateway to heaven and hell. A personal odyssey. Neil was born in Liverpool and grew up there. He moved to Berlin in 1979 and it was during the early 1990’s that I got to know him through membership of the new teacher’s association. Later we lived in different flats in Scharnweber Straße and I got to know more about his experiences in Liverpool. The book really is a ‘must read’ and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the city and growing up there at the time of The Beatles and other bands.

Yesterday we met on the platform at Friedrichstraße and walked across the bridge to his favourite restaurant. Over a very tasty meal we caught up on what we had been doing since our last meeting – also in the same restaurant. He was visiting old friends in Berlin and just enjoying walking along streets that reminded him of his time in Berlin. He’s going to tell me when his new book comes onto the market for I said I would read it and send any comments back to him. It was very nice to see him again and catch up on news. I look forward to our next meeting.

October 2021 Things

Oct 02 2021

We are clearly moving into early autumn in Berlin. Leaves dropping from trees and it gets darker earlier in the evening. On Friday 1st October, Thorsten arrived in the afternoon with a USB Video Camera and installed it as I watched with an open mouth. Amazing the skills some people have. He installed it on my desktop computer in the living room. In the kitchen I have my laptop and recently had problems to connect to Zoom meetings, hence installing the camera on my desktop. He checked that the microphone worked okay and then the job was done. I just need to learn how to use it !! After, we sipped a drop of ‘Red Medicine’ as we talked about changes to equipment in the ever growing ‘computer world’.

Who has a Birthday in October? My nephew Andrew in west Yorkshire will be 44 on the 5th, followed by nephew Warren who will be 45 on the 12th. Back in Berlin ‘Broz2’ will be 19 on the 13th. Back to south-west England to greet my sister Frances who will be 75 on the 14th. Back in Berlin Falk from my ‘Mugglesee-Gang’ has his birthday on the 15th. My neighbour Marita will be 71 on the 21st. Over in west Yorkshire Dianne will be 75 on the 27th. On the 28th, ‘Sis’ will be 12 years old and celebrate with her family in Berlin. Over to London and we find Tanja will be 57 on the 31st and so she ends this birthday month. Happy Birthday to each and all no matter where you are 🙂

Birgit

Birgit would have been 69 yesterday. Sadly she died on Friday 27th August 2004 – 17 years ago – and how

she is missed. She was a remarkable women who liked to be in the company of other people, be it in a party or just for a chat and a drink. I first met her when I came to Berlin and went looking for work. Birgit was the head of a language school teaching English to ex-DDR citizens and she gave me a job. I have happy memories of working in her school and with the students. Later we worked together in another private school in the centre of Berlin. She also moved into a nice flat with a garden in my district so we saw each other more socially then.

Her sister Heike contacted me about meeting and going to the grave together. We did just that. We bought some flowers on the way and I had already bought two small bottles of sekt. On arrival we greeted her as I sang ‘Happy Birthday to you’ and we poured a little sekt onto the top of the grave. We later sat nearby and sipped the rest of the sekt as we talked and remembered happy times with Birgit. Later Heike and I went to a restaurant near my place for lunch and more talking about a person who is sadly missed.

Vote

Sep 26 2021

The word vote can be a noun = a vote, and a verb = to vote. I voted this morning at 11.00. There were more than one voting rooms but it was well organised and I only had to wait 20 minutes before voting. We voters had to wear masks as we shuffled towards the voting rooms/booths. This time we in Berlin had 5 different voting papers and not only for a new central government. I shall watch the news on TV later this evening to see who/which party has collected how many votes. At the moment, the news broadcasters are talking about the CDU and SPD having the same number of votes. Let’s see what the results are later. Here is a photo of some of the adverts I got from different parties.

The weather today was really nice. Lots of blue sky, sunshine and no clouds. Very nice. Last week was as usual except for Friday evening when I had two visitors I hadn’t seen for 2 years. We went to a local restaurant, enjoyed good food and wine plus lots of talking. Next week looks like the same as the last one. Hope the sun keeps shining!

Mixed Week

Sep 17 2021

I’ve had a very mixed week which I enjoyed. The first thing to note is change in the weather – perhaps its the same where you are. We are slowly moving into Autumn witnessed by trees shedding more leaves and it gets darker earlier in the evening. In my last post I said I was going to meet a small group of ‘ELTABBERS’. I went with Johanna and we met the others in Potsdam Platz. After greeting each other we set off on a walk through parks and woods while still talking to each other and catching up on news. We entered one park to discover a number of monuments to composers. Here you can see us standing in front of the one to Beethoven – who just happens to be my favourite! Off again and then we came to a museum on the side of the River Spree and close to the building where the German Prime Minister works. We sat outside the museum restaurant and ordered ‘Kaffe und Kuchen’. There were lots of people there and lots of boats sailing past. Then we walked on and crossed the river. Later we went into a restaurant on the riverside but Johanna and I left and headed to the nearby Main Railway Station. Johanna is looking after a neighbour’s cat so had to leave early. We agreed to meet up again for another walk before the snow arrives and winter sets in.

I had two physio appointments last week and felt much better after each. On Tuesday evening I met other Berlin Labour Party members via a Zoom meeting. I have another two Zoom meetings scheduled for this weekend. I also watched two football matches via TV and enjoyed both. On Tuesday afternoon I started a new English group and another one on Wednesday morning. We are now into September so people are returning from holidays and joining such groups. I know all of them from courses before the onset of Corona cancellations. Nice to see them back again and listen to their adventures during summer – but only in English! Johanna visited this morning and helped me with some paperwork including trying to understand some words of 30 or 40 and more letters! Civil Service German is not so easy to understand even for many Germans. I also had a visit from The Boyz. Ian and Birgit had sent some money for  them and their sister and so I handed it over and made them smile …. and smile! Were they happy! They have just started new schools/colleges and need more books, sports clothes etc. Here you can see them smiling:-)

Quiet week

Sep 11 2021

I’ve had another quiet week since my last post. The week started with some of my KO-Gang meeting in my garden to relax and sip a glass or two of cool Sekt. Lots of talking, jokes and some nice snacks. After they had gone I was able to join a meeting via Zoom.

Next morning I met a small number of people at an AWO centre. They wanted to talk about starting a new English course. We agreed to start one this Wednesday at 11.00am. I put their level at A2 so they are not absolute beginners. I then went to my physio and felt better after the treatment. Later I watched the German football team win a match.

On Thursday I met Andrea and enjoyed pushing the pram around with her little treasure in it. What a nice day that was. A meeting with friends was cancelled on Friday when there was a heavy storm with lots of lightening and thunder.

My meeting with Imre today was also cancelled. This was due to him having to stay in his flat and wait for workmen to arrive to work on his electricity and water systems. Tomorrow I am meeting Johanna and we are going to Potsdam Platz to meet some members of ELTABB for a walk and then a nice meal together.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Grave

Sep 06 2021

Last week went as planned except for Friday. I met Johanna and Martina as planned but we changed our walk. At my request we walked to the ‘Socialist Graveyard’ which is north of where we all live. It is famous for the memorials to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Hundreds of people gather there each January to remember them. In the centre of the graveyard is Birgit`s grave. It was 17 years since her untimely death. I bought 3 roses on the way: 1 from me, 1 from her sister and 1 from her son. I put the flowers on the grave as I told her how much she is still missed. We then walked north through the graveyard for it has a lot of trees and parts of it look like a park. We then took a tram back to our starting point and went into a newly opened Armenian restaurant. I ate fish which was very tasty.

 

On Sunday afternoon I went to the home of the Pardon family. I really enjoy meeting them. There is also a connection to Birgit – she used to teach in a school run by the Pardons! Lots of catching up on news. Inga teaches at a university in St. Petersburg and speaks fluent Russian. Another glass of sekt and a snack and more talk and then it was time to go. I hope we can have another garden party like that before winter arrives.

September 2021 Things

Sep 01 2021

I have another Physio appointment this afternoon at 2:15. Then rush home to greet two old friends who decided it was time we met. I expect lots of talk as they relax with Kaffee und Kuchen. On Friday I’m meeting Johanna and Martina for a ride to Straussee to the east of Berlin. Its one of my favourite areas. We’ll also have lunch there, perhaps at a restaurant overlooking the lake. When I arrive home I shall meet another two old friends who I haven’t seen since the start of the Covid pandemic. They said they will take me to a local restaurant. I accepted their offer. Looks like Friday will be a day of eating for me! I have two Zoom meetings over the weekend and so starts my September.

Who has a birthday in September?    Lynne starts the birthday month with her 74th today over in ‘Casland’ with  Alan. I wish I could be there with them. Arancha will celebrate her 37th with Jan and daughters over in Den Haag on the 6th. She is followed by Andrea here in Berlin who will be 36 on the 8th. I’m travelling to her home next day for the second day of celebrations. Gabi over in Bremen will be 55 on the 11th. Nephew Stephan over in Cambridge will be 51 on the 22nd. Robert Gast here in Berlin will be 43 on the 23rd and Sylvana follows that with her 61st on the 25th. Back to Cambridge where Stephan’s father, Lew, will celebrate another birthday on the 27th. Here in Berlin Sylke will celebrate her 50th birthday on the 28th. My nephew Jefferson will celebrate being 48 on the 29th with his family at their home in the south-west of England. Have a great day no matter where you are!

Little change

Aug 25 2021

Since my last post there has been little change to my routine. The weather is showing signs of moving

into autumn and some trees are shedding leaves. It has turned cooler and we are having more rain. The big event for me was on Sunday when I went to Martina’s birthday meal/party and listened to the adventures of the Ko-Gang who were present.

I had two zoom meetings and noticed problems with my camera on the laptop. I could not get a clear image. The picture of me was split in at least 6 sections. Thorsten will check this out when he comes next Monday. I had my first Physio treatment a few hours ago. I feel much better now and it will be repeated over the next 6 weeks.

I’ve had some interesting telephone calls from friends who I haven’t met for some months due to Corona virus. We plan to meet up soon. Just have to organise that. This week ends with Angelika’s birthday party at the family house near to Mugglesee. Looking forward to that!

Test

Aug 18 2021

Guess what I did this morning. First, I went to my bank, then to a nearby Corona Test Centre

Tests are free so I decided to enter and find out what having a test means. Nice person at the registration and only needed information from my nationality card. That done I was asked to go to the test room. A lady stuck a thin swab into my throat as I said, ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ then up my nose. It only took a couple of minutes.

Then I had to take the tube to the next room which was the test room. I was asked to come back in 15 minutes for the result. I went to Aldi which was nearby and returned after 15 minutes. I was given an A4 document which carried the words I wanted to read. Here you can see for yourself. Yes it is —- negative!! Whippeeee was I happy!