Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Conked out

Clare has solved the mystery surrounding the nuts - they're conkers. Apparently children of the cold climates thread them on strings and try to hit each other's nuts and break them. Or hit your siblings if you are a fiesty redhead scots lass. Tip: soaking conkers in vinegar makes them harder.

Am feeling worn out tonight. I think it is waiting related tiredness. ie waiting for trains, waiting for my next class and mostly waiting for Smithy to get home from work. I try to be productive....but there is only so much blog surfing and discovery health channel watching a girl can do.

We are heading over to the Lakes tomorrow eve for a weekend of frivolity and hiking to celebrate Smithy's birthday. A bunch of fabulous relatives and friends are converging on Gamblesby to help.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Red Stairs

Red House

Green House

Our House

We are on the second floor at the back. You can see that its grey today and the trees are already turning brown. The massive tree outside our house has been raining some kind of nuts for a few weeks. They must be edible as I saw people picking them up the other day. We have decided they are chestnuts (or chesnuts?). Whatever. Its a nice tree.

The red stairs are inside and when we lived on the top floor they were endless.

Happy Birthday David and Happy Wedding Anniversary Kirsty & Phil and Sharon & Kev. The 28th must be an auspicious day.

Monday, September 27, 2004

taxing english lessons

I have a fabulous student who has decided the best way to learn English is to spend an hour of me explaining the latest tax updates to her and then going for lunch. Its great because it involves no preparation and free food. The only downside is the tax updates. And occasionally having to explain that my eating habits are not necessarily “English”. But if you ever need to know anything about employee deductions in the EU let me know. I think she has decided I either need to have babies or get a real job. Last week she told me I would make a good mum because I’m “very nice and peaceful” (it’s my professional persona). This week she said I look good because “my eyes are very open and bright” (it’s the caffeine) and she could help introduce me to someone in the tax section for a chat. I was very touched, but I think an hour of tax updates a week is probably my limit.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Its strange that I was thinking about dogs this morning. Our little bunny rabbit died today. She had something wrong with her blood and had to be put to sleep. I hope there are some nice beaches in doggie heaven. We'll miss you Georgie girl.

Doggie Parking

Kaufhof is a big department store and the entire bottom floor is a upmarket supermarket. Huge deli and alot of international food. I spotted this sign near the checkout and have been trying to get a photo with a hund parked but so far no luck. Frankfurters loooove their doggies and take them everywhere.

Doggie Parking

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


I discovered Oasis in Frankfurt today hidden in a corner of ubiquitous department store Kaufhof. It truly is an oasis of lovely lovely clothes in a fashion desert of scary browns and rabbit fur jackets. Not many ponchos though – well only the ones still being worn from last time around.

It was so calming and reassuring that the whole world isn’t wearing brown (and I’m not just talking about a nice chocolate brown here but really getting dangerously close to the poo end of the range) that I was forced to spend a lot of money, with hardly any encouragement by the lovely sales attendant who told me I looked great and everything fitted perfectly.

Luckily, when I got home I had an email from uni with excellent results for two of my subjects – Yippeee!! – so the whole expedition can be classified as a “reward”. Yay.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Upward Dog, Downward Dog

Clare, Natasha and I went to yoga tonight. It was really good - all in German and pretty much incomprehensible apart from links, rechts and Kopf and I’m pretty sure there was something about breathing there - but our lovely and bendy instructor Timo was really nice and came over to help us when we were looking a bit unco ie quite often. We are committed to going regularly (I think Clare is secretly quite competitive and is also going to Florida soon. Of course I will be sunning myself at Maloolooba in a couple of months so am not entirely unmotivated either).

On another note Robbo finally sent me photos of my god-dog number two today. Apparently she has been showing photos of him to complete strangers on the train so I thought I would try and widen the audience so more people can appreciate Micky and Griffin’s extreme cuteness.

Micky and Griffin

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Its getting chilly here again and the various daggy fleeces that I should never leave the house in but frequently do are coming out again.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology...or satelites...or something... we can get UK sky TV all the way over here in Germany. Not that amongst over 100 channels there is much on at the moment. Apart from endless reruns of Friends, Will and Grace and C Grade reality shows like "Lapdance Island" that can't possibly compare to BB or Idol in quality. Anyway, after idly discussing a visit to a museum we have succumbed to the magnetism of the sofa on this grey chilly Frankfurt Sunday.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Partner in crime..., chick flicks and english teaching. Also partially responsible for several rather large nights out.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Is it true?

Oh my god - I almost forgot - how about Jess and Marty's wedding!!! I can't believe they're still together. I can't believe I'm missing it. And perhaps more to the point I can't believe I'm talking about it in public.


I'm completely addicted to Köstlich crispbread (a bit like Ryvita) and Castello - the exact same soft blue cheese you can get at Coles- despite having a choice of about 2 million cheeses at the local supermarket deli. I would be more adventurous except that I don't know how to ask for anything exotic and when I point they don't always get the right one. So I play it safe and go for the off the shelf cheap stuff.

Is 100g of cheese a day within the Weightwatchers guidelines? I don't eat much else (apart from a chocolate croissant for brekky/lunch depending on the day's teaching schedule).

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Green and lovely at the end of summer....

Im Trutz Frankfurt - street from house to park

...and the park at the end of the street.

Monday, September 13, 2004

CV Aerobics

I am wondering if finishing a total rewrite of my CV is a good enough excuse for not making it to the gym for first star of the week as planned this afternoon? After all it is much more painful to try to walk the fine line between selling yourself and egotism than it is to go for a run on the treadmill and try out new weights programme. Although starting a weights programme can also be quite painful from distant memory.

Faced with my unexciting CV and the intense desire not to be teaching English for too much longer I was very grateful to come across a site giving a fresh perspective and tips with a new approach. At first glance it doesn’t look all that different but now has a much more sophisticated feel (hopefully) and more relevant info and I actually don’t have that nagging sense of embarrassment when submitting it now. If you are interested you can check out the site here. I signed up for the masterclass and I think it was worth it. Okay - see if I get a job first and then I’ll let you know. At least I feel better that I'm no longer an English teacher but a corporate language and communications trainer.

In Germany there is an expression for changing direction. Its roughly translated as jumping in the potatoes, jumping out of the potatoes. I feel like I have been doing a fair bit of potato jumping lately!!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Sunflower Season

A few months ago it was Spargel season in Frankfurt. Spargel is thick white asparagus and everyone went nuts for it. Every restaurant had a special spargel menu and street stalls selling spargel mushroomed all over the city. After that we had a brief but delicious cherry season and a very colourful sunflower season. Unfortunately the spring and summer flowers are now disappearing but I captured this bunch I bought for one euro (cheap as chips!!) to remind me of summer.

sunflower season

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

First time

What started as a seemingly simple exercise has quickly degenerated into a spiral of Stewie-ing (advanced worrying - not for beginners). For a start which site to use. Okay that was easy - blogger is free (although typepad looks cooler). Then finding a name - they're ALL taken. And a scary number of people who have the same ideas. But then there are all the people who have incredibly cool witty names - where can I get a cool name at such short notice? At least its not like the German system for naming kinder where you have to use a standard recognised name and unisex names are not allowed. So no Terry, or Dale here and definitely no Heavenly Tigerlillys either.

Of course there is the issue that a stranger will read it and think I'm a complete weirdo. But what if no-one reads it either!! Or worse - what if all my family and friends read it and don't contact me directly anymore!! (hint hint)

okay enough already.