Tuesday, June 29, 2010

De do do do, de da da da*

Yesterday Ben and I had a conversation about how teachers at high school get really...peeved (was going to use another word also beginning with p and ending with d and with the same number of letters, but I thought I'd be polite - for once) with students who don't use the formal 'Sie'** when addressing them. In primary school the children get away with using the informal and friendly 'du'** probably because they're too young to know better, but come high school the rules change, you have to use Sie with the teachers to show respect.

Anyway, today Ben says a teacher said to him (& I'll give you the English translation so you wont have to bother with 'google translate';

"did you du me?"

Ben quite probably had du'ed the teacher, he's a foreigner afterall and people make mistakes in their mother tongue often enough so in a language that isn't your own it's even easier - the teacher should be glad Ben got the word order right (Germans have a really bad habit of sticking verbs at the end of sentences, so I have a tendency to forget the verb...)

And another thing, while I'm whining about schools and Germans;
it's hot here, it's almost July afterall, we've just had the longest day and everything, it's the middle of summer and it's H.O.T.
Both my children came home yesterday saying they've got 'Hitzeplan'*** while the weather is being so...summery. This means that the primary school has shorter lessons and on 3 out of 5 days Jas will be home at 1130, high school just drop the last lesson (or is it last 2?) resulting in children also being home earlier than planned, but it gets more complicated than that, at high school the temperature in the school is checked daily and only if it's above a certain level in a specified number of classrooms and if 35% of children in 1 class are wearing green striped socks (ok, I made that bit up) then hitzeplan comes into force...bloody good job I don't work eh?

* a really old song by the Police
** Sie & du both mean 'you', Sie is typically used with people you don't know but also in the workplace to show respect/hierarchy, du is used with people you know and also to children whether you know them or not - to a foreigner it's a minefield and scared me off talking to my neighbours in German because I was unsure whether to use du or Sie (this didn't mean I didn't talk to them, 'cos they're dead modern and speak excellent English, way better than our German)
*** hitze = heat, plan = plan

Monday, June 28, 2010

They're going home

- the English football team that is.

In fact they're probably back in Blighty already, scurrying homewards to their mansions before packing their speedos and Ambre Solaire and heading off to the beaches of 5* resorts as far away from the likes of you and me and the journalists and paparazzi of Fleet Street as possible, in the desperate hope that by the time the English premiere league starts another interminable season (in the middle of August, so I wont even get a full month without the damn game) maybe, just maybe the public and the fans will have forgotten the dreadful charade that was the England team in South Africa, having rings run around them...although I doubt it somehow.

We watched the "match" with English friends in the company of an equal number of Germans, it was a lovely afternoon - perfect weather (blisteringly hot) great bbq food and free flowing prosecco, just a shame about the entertainment really. We'd had such high hopes, even the Germans locally, prior to the match had been saying they didn't rate Germany's chances, but I should know by now that Germans tend to be reticent about things like that, preferring to downplay matters as opposed to the cocky, self-sure nature of the Brits, it's only in recent years that they've felt proud to display their country's flag (although they have gone a little overboard now).

Fortunately the late afternoon timing of the match (as opposed to evening) meant that the post match celebrations were over long before bedtime, I can do without trying to get to sleep while 20-30 scooters and flag laden cars honk their way around town.

I am planning to lie low for as long as possible this week, I have food supplies laid in that mean I don't have to go to the supermarket until Wednesday, maybe even Thursday (such forward planning eh? I knew whichever way the match went, being English in Germany this week wouldn't be fun). At least I have that option, I feel sorry for my kids who have had to go to school and face their German friends, Ben says the girls in his class were the meanest - although that doesn't appear to bother him, as in his mind girls don't count (yet - it's only a matter of time) Jas very cannily preempted any snide comments by painting the German flag on her ankle and wearing the German flag to school.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Snaps 20

There's a tiny airport nearby which is home to, among other things, a zeppelin, which on fine days takes people up on tours of the area - Logan hates it, has been known to bark at it, whilst cowering behind my skirts I might add.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A bad night

I slept so badly last night, it needed more than 1 cup of tea to turn me from a zombie into a part way functioning human bean, to be honest it always takes more than 1 cup of tea (usually 2) but today the 1 cup had no effect whatsoever and so I went straight for the coffee, bypassing the 2nd cuppa.

I think my poor sleep was due to several factors;

- the heat
- the world cup/Germans
- yoga
- mice/Hermione Granger

The Heat - we're in full on summer mode here now, having to water the lawn to stop it becoming a mini Sahara, sitting inside in the shade, children demanding ice creams and getting away with it, I'm not complaining (wouldn't dare) but our house is very good at retaining heat (perfect for winter) and so our bedrooms can be rather warm in the height of summer (an issue soon to be remedied, we hope, when we get external roller shutters fitted - hopefully before the summer is completely past)

The world cup - England won their game and went through - big cheers all round and so did Germany - more cheers, in fact lots and lots and lots more cheers and beeping of horns and general driving around causing a ruckus until goodness knows when - at least this time they weren't still partying hard at 8am like after their thorough wupping of the aussies.

Yoga - the new yoga class is very good and it was made especially so because there were just 3 of us (plus teacher) there, the others wanting to watch the footie. This meant we had personal attention, which is good in that our poses were perfect but bad in that the teacher must be related to my previous pilates teacher who clearly had a qualification in torture. Legs were straightend, feet were pushed against, pelvis's nudged and arms encouraged to stretch that little bit further. As I said, it was very good and by the end I felt very long and reasonably relaxed, however my body wasn't as relaxed as my mind and was very twitchy.

Mice & Hermione - I woke up around 4am and really struggled to get back to sleep, when I did I dreamt there was a mouse in my bed, it had a mouse hole right where the mattress met the brick wall (there's actually a wooden bedhead between my mattress and the plaster of my bedroom wall, but this was a dream so anything goes) and then I was chatting to someone (no idea who & I think this must have been a different dream because I wasn't still in bed - that'd be just weird) about how Germans love to wear Burberry - thinking nothing of wearing a whole outfit of beige check, but in the UK that same expensive beige check has become synonymous with chavs, then I discovered the person overhearing my comments was none other than Emma Watson, the face of Burberry, oops.

All in all not a great night's sleep, maybe I'll do better tonight, at least there isn't a German footie game on and I have no yoga planned, that still leaves the heat of summer and whatever my imagination will present me with...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I think I've watched more football in the last 10 days than I ever have in the last 40+ years... I'm even watching the England match in the middle of the afternoon now, on my own (Si is racing homewards from a meeting, desperate to catch the last half).
I never, NEVER sit and watch TV in the afternoon, especially an afternoon such as today, 20 something degrees in the shade - if you can find/manufacture some shade that is! Whenever Si watches sport of some kind in an afternoon I can help but think to myself what a waste of an afternoon that is, to me the afternoon is for the doing of stuff, not for lazing around on the sofa in front of the TV, reading a book, now that's a different matter, your brain is actively engaged when reading, but watching TV is such a passive passtime (I do like that, 'passive passtime')

But this world cup thingummy has ignited my national pride even more than just living as an expat in Germany has, last Friday I raced back from the hairdressers to watch the lunchtime game that wasn't even England but Germany - the main reason I wanted to watch was because one of my favourite Radio 1 DJ's was doing an alternative commentary, kind of along the lines of the things I say when I'm watching a match with Simon - laughing at people's names/hairstyles/shorts, shouting at the ref/goalie etc. - nothing cerebral and nothing even very clever - it did make the match for me though and to make matters even more entertaining Germany lost, and they'd all been so looking forward to drinking themselves to a standstill that afternoon.

And things only got better on the Saturday when I went to my local little supermarket and got served by the lady who'd commented about England's poor performance the week previously (drawing 1:1 with the US, whilst Germany thrashed the Aussies 4:0) it gave me such great joy to greet her with a smile and say "so, Germany?" she tried her best to come back with a comment about the England match (yes, it was boring) but as I pointed out to her, we drew, we didn't LOSE...

It's rather worrying this watching of football though, I'm starting to absorb the rules, and shout at the TV, it's starting to matter to me, which isn't a good thing, it will only end in tears so this evening instead of watching either the Germany game (would quite like them to win, although it would be more amusing if they went out and England continued weiter) or the Aussie game (they're sooooooooooooo on the first plane homewards tomorrow) this evening I'm going to yoga with a French friend and an English friend - we'll probably be the only people there (apart from the instructor that is).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Snapsssssss 19

Normally you only get 1 pic, but this week I thought a montage was required.
The Germans take things seriously, be it life, cake, work or sport...and so the world cup football is deadly earnest as is the support for the home team, cars and buildings are decorated and here's how:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bekloppt* #1

I frequently point out that I think Germans are a little bit bonkers, here are a couple of little examples that have come to my attention so far this week;

- Sunday 8:30pm was Germany's first game in the 1st round of the football world cup and it was a good game, the Aussie upstarts received a thorough thrashing and the Germans were very pleased with themselves, there were scenes on the TV of the huge 'public' screenings with crowds and crowds of supporters decked out in their black, red and gold.
Monday morning and I went for a run, my route took me down through the woods behind Jas's school past the sports grounds and onto the river path. Despite having my earphones in and listening to whatever podcast it was that day, I was aware of noise as I came down the path to the sportplatz, it was only as I got closer and could see through the trees that I saw the cause; there was a group of 10 or so people still party-ing and celebrating the previous night's victory - and that was just the first game, can you imagine how hard the party-ing will be when Germany coast through the first round?
Or if...they win the whole thing?

- I had to make an appointment for Jas to see the surgeon at the hospital prior to getting the metal rod taken out of her arm. So I rang the doc's secretary, got an appointment and then she tells me that I'll need to bring along a referral letter from Jas's GP.
This is a doctor who doesn't even know that Jas has a broken arm, why on earth do I need a letter from him asking for the hospital to take out the metal rod that they put in, it's not as if anyone else can do it for goodness sake, it's a specific piece of surgery, requiring training (I hope) you can't just do it with a roll of stickt back plastic and a pair of scissors (I hope).
I had this 'discussion' with the secretary, telling her how it was quite crazy, which she agreed with (probably in order to get me off the phone) - I have to go along to the GP and get a note referring Jas to the hospital for the surgery.
Madness, what a waste of my time, their time and paperwork.
The bureaucracy here can be mind boggling.

- it appears to be common practice for parents to compile books for their children of their achievements for each year as they grow up, lots of photos of what they've been up to in that 12 month period, lots of comments and maybe little anecdotes. My (English) friend, Rebecca, asked me whether it was something I was doing, maybe just checking to make sure that it wasn't something that is a worldwide phenomenon and that she was depriving her children of their history.
I think she was quite relieved to have me laugh at the idea (seeing as she has 3 children aged 7,6 & 3 which equates to 16 books...that's a lot of work) I think my words were something like
"can you imagine Ben (13) being happy with the prospect of that embarassment?"
It's quite a sweet thing to do, I guess, but not a German tradition I'll be taking on.

*Bekloppt = barmy/cuckoo/loco/loopy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm bored!

My son became a proper teen a month ago and with that has come the full on teen attitude, lots of moody staring, lots of moody stomping, mild agressive tendencies that may be fine when used against another male teen but against me? I don't think so. And then there's the "I'm bored".

Boredness seems to be the default mood for teens, the 'go to' whenever there is nothing happening (that they like). He's slowly driving me nuts with his constant refrain and I'm toying with the idea of fining him for every utterence - the problem with that is that he's such a hoarder of cash (he usually has more in his wallet than I do) that it would be some while before he noticed the impact...

There is something quite amusing about this 'boredness' though, here's a recent telephone conversation between Ben and his friend Juli (full name Julian - pronounced as if spellt with a Y, therefore his nickname sounds like Yulli & not Julie as I'm sooooooooooooo tempted to call him);

Ben: hello
Juli: hello
Ben: what'll we do?
Juli: dunno, what d'you wanna do?
Ben: dunno, what d'you wanna do?
Juli: dunno, what d'you wanna do?
Ben: shall we call Timo? (another male teen)
Juli: 'kay
Ben: you call him.
Juli: you call.

and so on...

Prior to this conversation Ben had been soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bored that he'd tried out the 'vacu-vin' - on his face - unbeknown to us. He asked me what the mark was on his chin, I stared and suggested maybe ink (it was a bit bluey/purpley) adn he should wash his face. He did but the mark remained, I then noticed another, similar mark on his cheek next to his nose and so I asked what he'd done and he confessed.

It took the whole weekend to get a photo of it, 'cos he knew what I'd do with such a photo, so my thanks to Simon for catching Ben unawares!

However, I'm not allowed to publish it here, so if you want to know what a moody teen looka like after he's vacu-vin'd his chin let me know & I'll send you the pic!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Football bonkers?

The world cup has finally started, this means that during the evenings that Simon is actually at home and not in some far flung hotel in some strange country, he'll be incommunicado, hogging the sofa and the remote, demanding that everyone in the house 'be quiet' so that he can concentrate on the 22 or so men running around after a little ball on a pitch thousands of miles away.

It's OK, I guess, although it does go on a little bit too long for my taste (both the individual game and the whole damn tournament) and I guess that no sooner is it over then the football league in England will start up again - well, these multi-million pound football stars have got to do something to earn their inflated salaries.

On Saturday we drove to another town about 40 minutes away (for reasons I wont bother you with) as we were driving along various roads Jas and I started counting flags flying out of people's windows, depending on the area there are either flags or not - Si's reasoning is that the less posh an area the more flags, so our neighbours are probably hating us as we must lower the tone of the neighbourhood dramatically by hanging 2 flags - there aren't many other houses in Kettwig flying any flags - let alone a German and an English one side by side. It's not that they're being unpatriotic, it's just that maybe to Germans the car is king and so they're all decorating their cars instead with flags and natty little wing mirror covers.

Saturday night was the England vs. U.S. match - I managed to 'watch' the whole 90 minutes, mainly because I had the laptop with me and was chatting to friends on Facebook about the game at the same time - nothing serious, clearly, just comments on the U.S. team's footie strip - navy blue with a white diagonal stripe running shoulder to hip - not a proper strip we all agreed, rather reminiscent of a pageant queen's sash or a jockey or as if they'd just won in the gymkhana. The game, as I'm sure you're aware, ended in a draw, thanks to sloppy goalkeeping on the English team. This still means that we get 1 point though, we didn't lose, although that's not how Aussie friends see it, they spent all Sunday morning rubbing our noses in our 'loss' until I logged out of Facebook to get away from the gloating.

The highlight of Sunday night was was the Australia vs. Germany match.
With Germany being ranked 6th and Australia wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down in 20th you had to wonder if it mightn't be a little one sided? The Aussies seem to have had their shirts designed by the same people who did the U.S. ones - is this a sign of countries where football isn't their national sport? They have no idea of what makes a decent football jersey? It proved to be quite an enjoyable match, what with the first goal being scored after 8 minutes and the 2nd some 20 minutes later - both by Germany of course. And then in the 2nd half Australia rather carelessly got a man sent off, this was then followed by goal number 3 (to Germany again) and then within minutes goal number 4...

Simon had an interesting comment re the ranking of Australia. He reckons they're only 20th in the world because the rankings are based on their recent performances and the teams that they play regularly against are naturally those in the southern hemisphere, who are also not very highly ranked. But in the world cup they are having to play against the best in the world - who are just that little bit better.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Snaps 18

Supporting the English football team whilst living in Germany, a tricky thing, a fine balancing act methinks!!
What isn't evident from this pic (due to the natual daylight conditions - position of sun and house) is that Jas is wearing an England football shirt and a German flag/cape.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Klumster

Last night was the grand final of 'Germany's Next Top Model' (GNTM) which is literally the only German TV I watch, so now I'm going to have to find something else that isn't either a dubbed US/UK import or something reminiscent of bad 70's programming - I have it on good authority that 'Perfekte Promi Dinners' should be my new GNTM, it's the German version of 'Come Dine with Me', where 4 people become dining partners over 4 nights as they take it in turns to cook a 3 course dinner in their home - yeah, I know it's not exactly highbrow entertainment, but highbrow German is beyond me and I kind of need to have half a chance of understanding what's going on!

Anyway, back to GNTM.
Heidi Klum is the 'master of ceremonies' and she rules the show with a rod of AISI 4130 (before the invention of search engines I'd have 'written' iron) she has 2 other 'jury' members with her and every season these seem to be new, gossip has it that if their star burns too brightly she refuses to renew their contract - no-one is allowed to outshine the Klumster.

Heidi was born in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany in 1973, and spends so much of her year in California that some describe her as 'the German/American model', consequently it should come as no surprise that a huge percentage of GNTM is filmed in the US - this series they were in Germany (at the very beginning) for 2 weeks, 3 tops then New York (fashion week was on) for 2 weeks, and the rest of the time was pure West coast - lots of beach and desert shoots (I guess the scenery for dramatic photoshoots is way better than here in Germany, especially during the February-May period of filming) this also ensures that Heidi can have her normal family life (she has a squillion kids & a popstar hubbie to keep in line you know) at the same time as fitting in a day or so's filming for the weekly show.
Another sign of Heidi's powerful influence on the show is her insistence that the girls have a decent level of English, afterall this is a search for a 'top' model and a top model must surely work all around the world and therefore be able to understand the demands of all manner of foreign photographers and English is the business language of the world. During the course of the show (3 months or so) the wannabe models regularly work with photographers such as Ian Rankin, Gilles Bensimon & Michel Komte, and so a good knowledge of English is essential, I remember in last year's show 1 girl being told that if her English didn't improve then she would be kicked out. That said, there isn't a huge amount of English in the actual show, which one wouldn't expect seeing as it's a German TV show, but what little there is gets subtitles in German, not dubbed, which is what would normally happen - I feel the presence of Heidi in that decision.

Heidi gets a lot of flack, but that's always the way isn't it? We love to pick on those who are more successful than ourselves, and if they're good to look at too then there's even more reason to have a pop. I have to admit to being somewhat guilty of this myself, in the beginning anyway, but I think I'm kind of over that now, I don't think I'd swap my life for hers, all that pressure to always look perfect, no matter how bad a night's sleep you've had or that you've just given birth or have just come out of the gym, if you're not looking as good as you do in your (possibly/probably airbrushed) semi-naked photos then you're clearly slacking.

So I have to forget all about GNTM for another 9 months and find a replacement, at least until the cattle call goes round for the 2011 open auditions next year anyway and the bitchfest can recommence!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I'm angry and I need to vent my anger and frustration and it's better that I do it here than in front of my children, so if you're currently in a happy place and don't want to have my spleen impacting on your pretty aura you'd maybe better go read something else....

The German school system sucks.

It truly, truly sucks.

The only thing, in my eyes that is keeping it propped up and turning out halfway decently educated people is the fact that parents pay an arm and a leg in 'nachhilfe' (private tuition) and the fact that kids don't leave school till they're 19 (although that maybe goes someway towards making up for the fact that they don't start till they're 6) and the fact that a standard university education is 4 years minimum...

So what's my gripe? I have many, shall I list some of them for you?

- there is no system of supply teachers to stand in for those sick or absent on a course, usually there's a gap in the timetable with no work done (Ben in almost 1 school year has done only half his physics lessons as the teacher broke her leg and couldn't get to school) sometimes the kids are just sent home (yeah, even primary aged children)
- the school will change the timetable, completely, halfway through the year, so you could find yourself unable to do the courses/classes you've already paid for if your child now has no first lesson/finishes school at 11.30
- you are more than likely to find out about a no school day (the teachers want to get together to discuss the upcoming school reports/go on training) just a week before the event

What's wound me up today is a new twist on the timetable/schoolfree thing. Apparently on Thursday the first 2 lessons are some sport thing, I probably knew about it but paid no attention as Jas wont be able to participate as she has a broken arm. Her teacher has told her to stay home, miss the 1st 2 lessons and go in for the 3rd (10am) - he says she has to either participate or stay away. HELLO? It's not like she's choosing to skive it, she has a broken arm for ***** sake, why can't she just watch? But no, let's make her feel even more awkward and left out and make her stay home. Thanks.

I probably wouldn't be taking this quite so badly were it not for the fact that we're currently debating whether to keep Jas back a year as the school are suggesting we do, if we ignore their advice and go against them then I can imagine them using that decision against us in the future, but it's a hard and painful choice...

OK, vent over, I'm still simmering but I've calmed down a tad! Thank you for listening!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Snaps 17

I saw this yesterday, and as the old ad for the British post office used to say, "I thought of you"

I had never realised before that the local department store actually translated its shop sign into English, shame they couldn't get their apostrophe in the right place.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I think I need to start reconsidering my view of stereotypes, or rather, maybe, my steroetyoped view of various peoples.

Over the last 3 years (living here in DE) I've come to view the Germans as argumentative and...pernickety...even anal about some things (snipping edges of lawns with tiny scissors (trust me, I've seen it), bickering with checkout ladies about being overcharged 5 cents for a head of cauliflower, not crossing the road on a red man despite there being not a car to be seen for kilometres - you get the picture?) and I've always held the English up as being polite to the nth degree, nice to your face but will quite probably bitch about you later, certainly wouldn't argue the toss on ANYTHING.

However, as I said, I think I need to reconsider.

Maybe I'm basing my view of the English on me, not a bad starting point, but as a statistical measure, a little, shall we say, lacking, on the sample size?
I remember, many, many lifetimes ago, studying stats (as we liked to call it then) for A level maths and learning that not only can you prove ANYTHING with statistics, but also that, the bigger the sample size the better.

Anyway, an Enlgishwoman has come to my notice, who is almost German in her willingness to step up to the mark and defend her rights. I'm fairly sure that she is English through and through but her determination in the defence of what is or should be rightfully hers is amazing...here's the evidence;

- shown to her hotel room and discovered a huge tree obscuring the 'view' which should have been of the lake and the forest, returned immediately to reception and told them that it wasn't what they'd been promised - relocated to another room.

- bought sandwiches on a long public transport trip, they weren't past their sell by date but weren't fresh, a little crispy maybe and not nice to eat - complained, of course.

- in a hotel bedroom, discovered at daybreak that the curtains were more decorative than functional - complained, the hotel came up later that day and fitted blackout style curtains.

These 3 examples are, I admit a very small sample size, however they all go completely against how I would personally act.

I hate confrontation and go out of my way to avoid arguments, I'd kind of thought that was the English way - maybe it's not...maybe I'm recessive, a throwback...sorry - the rest of the family are watching a Darwin inspired science TV programme at the moment - I think it's seeping through...

So, I think I have to reconsider my whole theory of country stereotypes - maybe all French people don't cook everything with garlic and wear breton striped tops and cycle gaily around Paree, maybe all Germans don't wear lederhosen (leathershorts 'n bib type thingies) swig beer from 2 pint glasses and baggsy all the sunloungers at the pool with their towels, maybe all the Italians aren't mommys' boys who ride vespas and have slicked back hair, maybe the English aren't as polite and restrained as I'd thought...maybe we're becoming a little bit more cosmopolitan a bit more European - better not let the Conservatives know!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Dead Day!

Today's a bank holiday (one of the many in May/June) it's Fronleichnam (corpus christi to the English speaking world) which I like to loosely translate as happy dead day (froh = happy, leichnam = corpse, I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from)

Summer has thoughtfully returned and so today is being spent lounging around declaring it to be to hot to do anything other than drink cold drinks, eat ice cream and consider bbq-ing...except we can't today as we don't have anything to bbq and as it's a bank holiday all the shops are shut.

Can't even do anything useful like mow the lawn or hoover (shudder) seeing as one has to be quiet on a bank holiday, so it's back to sitting in the sun (shade actually, it's too hot in the sun) reading Heat and Grazia that Si so thoughtfully brought back from Heathrow T5 yesterday (after I'd texted him to remind him of my shopping requirements that is) Arduous and noisy tasks like that will just have to wait till the morrow.

Something I do feel the need to share with you before I go back to my comfy seat outside...there's a small, neat apartment block of 6 wohnungs (wohnungen?) about 40-50 metres away from my house (I will wait to be corrected about my judgement of the distance by Simon, as I have no depth perception whatsoever and consequently have no idea how far away things actually are - pouring wine is not something that should be left to me, and as for parallel parking - maybe in a parallel universe) Each of these has a small private balcony and this morning around 11 I watched a guy in red shorts set up his lounger, with a towel (snigger) and then settle himself on said towel but only after removing his shorts.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


As most people who know me well can confirm, I love shoes. I have quite a few (I refuse to name numbers here in public, "my name is Verena and I own xyz pirs of shoes".
No. Simon reads this from time to time and although he probably suspects the truth, I would imagine that ignorance is better than the harsh reality of my shoe fetish) they're in their boxes in big pulley out drawers under the bed (twice over hidden from view) in their boxes stacked (oh yeah) on top of the wardrobe and some are even inside the wardrobe.

The reason I have so many is two-fold, (or maybe three-fold)
1. I don't throw them away until they're dead (I still have the shoes I wore to my wedding 22 years ago, although they've not been worn much & I still have the, oh so cute, little kitten heeled fuschia trimmed with purple mules I wore to SIL's wedding (the best part of my outfit, seeing as I'd only given birth 2 months prior and was still breast feeding))
2. I love shoes.

Unfortunately, over the last couple of years my feet have decided to be 'sensible' and get all hurty if I try to wear anything too high (so my 40th birthday Ginas languish in their box) or if the shoe presses too much over my big toe joint (don't you just hate getting old? Why didn't I appreciate my body more when it was younger and less fickle?) consequently many of my pairs of shoes should go to their maker as they will never be worn again, but a part of me keeps hoping to wear them again...

I currently have a shoe dilemma.

I have a wedding to go to in August (I've mentioned it before so I wont bore you with just how excited I am about it & it's not just because I haven't been to a wedding for aeons) and I want to look my best, it's now possible that I might have to do a reading (gulp) so I really, really want to look my best.

I have the dress (maxi & totally gorgeous, a little Missoni-esque in the fabric pattern) I have the accessories (although I might need a little pochette kind of bag...still thinking about that one, I tend to use Si's pockets if I don't want to carry a bag but he might complain at being laden down with lipstick, camera, confetti, tissues...) and I thought I had the shoes, but now I'm not sure.

I had an idea in my head about what I needed & the little strappy silver beaded ones with ankle ties do tick all my boxes but they don't quite look right. The pewtery/bronze pair that are simpler look better colourwise but are a bit too...simple.

See what I mean?

Good job the wedding's at the end of August eh?