Wednesday, June 27, 2012


As a treat (!) Herr B always takes his leaving children on a school trip and I get the impression that most years it's to the same place, the Kletterwald in Niederrhein about a 45 minute drive from home.

Back in January, or whenever it was first mentioned I foolishly agreed to go along too, probably thinking I could take some of the children in my car,  throw the dog in too and while they climbed through the trees Logan and I could go walkies.


Gosia decided otherwise and so I ended up climbing too (otherwise she'd have put on her sad face (Poles can do very sad faces) and made me feel guilty).

It was, in the typical German manner, organised chaos.

Seriously, it's no wonder they missed out on two world wars, a piss up in a brewery would be impossible to organise here if they were put in charge.

Thing 1, 12 children, assume each car going can take four children, and one could take six (big tank like people carrier) therefore only three parents need to go along.  No.  There was me with two children, R with three, G with one, U with two, then another mom brought four girls and left them so that a different mom could drive over and collect them...and the offer of lifts to the parents had been made.

Thing 2, the letter from the teacher said something about after the climbing we can all picnic together.  Now the way it was phrased (in German, clearly) made me pause sufficiently that I asked R whether she though it meant we were taking a picnic to share out or merely sitting together whilst eating our picnics...we decided on the latter, because otherwise you'd need to decide who was bringing what (12 pots of potato salad anyone?)  It turned out that no-one was quite sure, one parent hacked apart a water melon and opened a huge tub of strawberries for everyone, Herr B had tubs of cucumber (he looked most offended when I refused them*) sliced pepper, small sausages, I had gone with the unhealthy route (do like to enforce the foreigner stereotype whenever possible) of handing out Pringles and Dickmans**.

Thing 3, I think the idea of having several parents along too was that they would accompany small groups of the children around the course, Herr B mentioned something about one adult to three children.  Shame no-one had told the children that before they disappeared into the woods while we adults were still on the training section (it wasn't that we were slow, but rather that we'd let the children go first).

Thing 4, directions to get to the site.  The official carpark for the place is apparently a 20 minute walk through the woods, however there is a cafe and pitch and putt course right next door, with a big carpark, so we were supposed to go there.  Fine.  So it would be obvious to give us the address of the cafe then we could stick that in a satnav*** and drive straight there.  No.  The satnav address was for a street from where you then had to follow typed directions.

The climbing place itself was great fun with different difficulties of climb available.  I have done this before, last year in France, so I knew what to expect and I wasn't far wrong although the main difference was the safety angle.  You would think that the Germans would be the more safety conscious of the two nations wouldn't you?  No.  Where in France at the start of your climb you clipped your safety harness onto the safety line and only unclipped when your feet touched the ground some two hours later, in Germany the children were responsible for clipping and unclipping themselves after every obstacle, a truly terrifying prospect given the absentmindedness of some 10 year olds.  Everytime I heard a scream I tensed waiting for a thud.

Anyway, one day closer to the end of term, there can't be much left that can happen now surely?

Word of the day; klettern - to climb

* possibly my most detested salad item, although it's a close thing what with celery, radishes and beetroot to consider.
** also known as Niggerkisses (can't beat the Germans for being un PC)
*** everyone has one nowadays don't they?

Monday, June 25, 2012

So long, farewell

Auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

That's what the Abschlussfest is all about. Saying goodbye to those the children have spent four years with as they move on to high school. And just as starting a new school is taken seriously here (it is Germany you know) with church services and the whole extended family (including aunts, uncles, god parents and second cousins once removed and maybe the little old lady who lives in a shoe) in attendance, so is the ending of school.

Saturday was Jasmine's goodbye to Schmachtenbergschule and what a long, drawn out, but also fun goodbye it was too.

The planning started months and months ago when the date was agreed and written into everyone's diary (and in the case of Simon (who has missed the last couple of years, the slacker) tattooed on his forehead) then we (year 4 moms) had to think up the entertainment. No German party is complete without planned and carefully scheduled entertainment, they are incapable of spontaneous, unplanned fun, otherwise you will be accused of being disorganised, a fatal flaw in a society wrapped in red tape. Gosia and I bumbled along happily with our disorganised organisation (helped by the fact that neither of us is German!) then we brought on board another two moms, one, R, also not German and U who is proper, proper Deutsch, down to the blonde hair, amazonian height and the intimidating confidence. They brought their ideas to the programe and then U divvied up the responsibilities for everything else (food, beer, soft drinks, table cloths, wine (me), coffee etc) and rang everyone and told them what they had to really can't beat a bossy woman!

Of course the week prior to the do was chaos, trying to get 13 little shits children to bend to your will without giving in to the urge to throttle at least half was tricky, and then there were the parents, as I mentioned last week in "Tick" but hey, it's all behind me now, and you know what? It was fun. I really felt like part of the group, I wasn't on the outside looking in as has happened the last few years, I was there in the middle of it, having a great time.

It was a damn long day though. We got there at 13:30 and spent 2 1/2 hours racing about setting everything up, tables and chairs outside, crockery and cutlery available, beamer, projection screen, skeleton transferred from the top school building to the bottom and so on. Shortly before kickoff (16:00) the other parents started to arrive and proved to be just as frustrating as their children...

- no, there were no cake forks, we'd have to eat the cake with normal sized forks.
- no, there were no more small plates, maybe people would have to eat cake off bigger plates.
- no, we didn't know where the milk or sugar was, that was the responsiblity of a year 3 parent (hopefully still to arrive).
- yes, there was only one jug of coffee* but the rule is the year 3's bring the cake and coffee, the year 4's the salad buffet and bbq and all other drinks. This caused a problem because the year 3 parents have apparently all converted to coffee machines that take pads/capsules etc. and so it was IMPOSSIBLE for them to bring along thermos jugs of coffee. The one poor benighted mother who still used ground coffee had to rush home and make as many jugs of coffee as possible, I can't understand why anyone would have so many jugs suitabe for coffee, unless you run a b&b.
- no, there were no more chairs or tables, this was what was available and this was the available space, it worked fine last year, if there's not enough space for everyone then the kids can go sit on the grass (not the answer I was supposed to give, I was clearly supposed to magic more chairs and tables and space out of thin air)

Once everything got going and people were eating cake (with big forks) and drinking white coffee with sugar all was fine, then we were onto the entertainment, a song for the teacher, a quiz for the children where they all won (although they didn't realise that at the beginning) then another song, from the year 3's to the year 4's, then the trickfilms made by the children with Gosia's help (she spent hours on those films, they were so funny, the girls' ones all detailed with well thought out storylines, the boys with much use of Star Wars lego and explosions) and finally the fashion show where the children paraded out along a red carpeted catwalk dressed to respresent the various themes the class has studied over their two years with Herr B and Herr B hmself had to compere, although he had no idea that he was going to have to do it and had no idea what was coming out from backstage next. The entertainment ended on a high (with no sad piano playing happening, thankfully, it would have totally ruined the mood) and then the men fired up the barbies and we opened the wine.

All in all a great day and thankfully the sun shone and the rain stayed away until Sunday!

* German parties begin with coffee and cake, otherwise the world will stop. Even kids birthday parties follow the same pattern, arrive-cake-entertainment-food. God forbid you try to change the format, I swear the world will cease to spin.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Snaps 119

Yesterday was Jasmine's Abschlussfest at school, this was the finale of the entertainment programme (before we got the wine open) the children presenting their soon to be ex teacher with wall tattoos of his favourite animal along with the school logo "gross und klein - nie allein"*More about this endurance fest later in the week, when I've recovered my energy.

* rough translation, "big and small, never alone".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


We have just over two weeks of this school term and year left and while everything and every child is trying to wind down, we (the parents) are winding up, end of school year means saying goodbye and that needs to acknowledged properly, therefore we have the "Abschlussfest".  This is basically a get together where the year 3's and 4's* recognise the fact that they will never be in the same class again and for the year 4's it's a full on goodbye to the school and their teacher.

We have these every summer and the format is usually the same.  
- Meet up around 4pm for the cake "buffet" and coffee provided by the year 3's.  An hour or so of tedious but essential small talk follows before we have the entertainment.  One year it was a fun sports competition (I seem to recall a lot of water being involved, fortunately it was a hot summer day) last year there was a clever DVD that some parents had put together of the children and also a truly nauseating and almost sycophantic song penned by a couple of over eager moms all about the wonderfulness of the teacher**.  
- After the entertainment we get the bbq fired up and then we sit down to burnt offerings and multiple salads (provided by the year 4 mom's)  
- Then the children will charge about like crazed beings while the adults sit and gossip in their little cliques (aided by beer and wine) until some child persuades Herr B to get his guitar out, the fire bowl is lit and we sing songs until the stars come out/the children fall asleep/the cows come home*** (it'd be more fun if they were songs I knew, but as I wasn't a child here in Germany there's no chance of me knowing any of the words).

It can be...pleasant, will be even better when viewed from Sunday but currently I just have the prospect of it looming and the knowledge that I was foolish enough to volunteer to help...

The entertainment this year is going to consist of a quiz, which will have the kids split into four teams, and has been compiled from questionnaires we gave the children (personal questions about pets/eye colour/favourite sweets/number of languages they can speak****). Then there's a "trickfilm" made by the children (with a huge amount of work from mom G) trickfilm is a name the Germans seem to give to simple animation, made with stop/go filming, most of the kids tried it out during an art week earlier in the year with great results.  This time I think they've been more adventurous and a lot of Lego has been involved!  We also have a fashion show (mom U's scheme) the idea being that the children will dress up to represent the different themes they've studied during the year, we'll have a red carpet for them to walk along and the music from Germany's Next Top Model and the kids will all have to race to get from the end of the catwalk to back stage and get changed (practice tomorrow, joy)  Finally there will be a song (mom R was insistent that as there was a song last year so there should be one least it's the kids singing it and not us!)  I gather the tune is "what shall we do with the drunken sailor" and the lyrics are all about how will they and Herr B cope apart (I think it's funny, although I haven't listened to all the words it has to be said...)

Every aspect of the entertainment has all the kids working together, quite an achievement (if it goes smoothly)  but one mom (who hasn't bothered to get involved, apart from to ring each of us in turn and complain) isn't happy.  Unbeknownst to all of us she's had her daughter practicing for an hour a day (apparently & who am I to call her a liar?) a piece from the film Amelie it's a beautiful piece of music but doesn't quite fit in with anything that has been organised and if she does play it (at some point) how will the other children feel who also play instruments (not to mention the other, equally pushy German parents) if one gets to play for Herr B then shouldn't all have the chance?  This particular mother is a foreigner like me (and believe me, that is the only thing we have in common) and yesterday she managed to catch me on the phone to harangue (I'd been call screening, but this one slipped through)  she went on and on about the Abschlussfest for some time, I had to cut her short in the end as I had to collect a child from school, but throughout the call she kept saying (in German, she says she can speak English but I have yet to hear any) "d'you understand me?"  I've noticed she says that a lot and I had thought that it was because she wasn't sure if my German was good enough to keep up with her (which bugged me just a little) but I've now come to realise that it's a verbal tick.  In the same way that people in English might say "erm" or "you know" or "like", this mother's "verstehst du mich?" is just a tick, it wouldn't be so bad if she didn't expect an answer each and every time it's uttered though!  Maybe next time when she slips though my call screening and I hear "verstehst du mich?" I should say "nein"...although she'd probably take me seriously and offer me German lessons knowing my luck!

* our school has mixed year group classes.
** yes, he is a good teacher and yes the children do love him despite his strictness but it was just a little too saccharin for my stomach.
*** take your pick, I just know that Jas will be the last one there and will still want one more song.
**** I was really surprised to read just how many think they can speak English, given that they usually stare at me like I'm a martian when I talk in English with Jas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Since about Christmas I seem to have spent almost two hours every Thursday up at Jas's school helping with this year's choir/theatre production.

I helped towards the end of last year's production (the Pied Piper) and this year volunteered myself earlier.  This has meant a whole lot more involvement than I'd imagined because the piece this year is an original and Thursday was the the first time it had ever been shown.

The original plan had been (so I believe) to do an African themed play/musical to which there was already a script.  This original plan was hijacked by a couple of professionals from a local theatre.  They had seen the Pied Piper production in 2011 and thought it would be great to get more involved with the actual development of the piece this year.  At the first meeting they suggested the writing of a play about a space ship landing in a school playground.  A daunting challenge, the story line would have to be developed and script would need writing, music and lyrics sourced, costumes and scenery including a space ship would be required.  But with the support of professional theatre people who would come along and work with the children also it could be fun.  In the second meeting involving the school, the 4 willing parents and the theatre a schedule was organised of when we would all get together and what needed to be done by when.

I think the theatre professionals came to one other meeting, or maybe two.  It's certainly not the support I had envisaged when I heard that the theatre wanted to be involved from the get go.  However their lack of commitment has not prevented the school putting on an amazing show.

Thursday was the "premiere", it sold out.  Friday was the performance to the rest of the school, who all seemed to enjoy it, then Sunday was another performance which also sold out and finally on Wednesday is the performance at the theatre (maybe the theatre professionals will make it to that performance).

When the story line was first discussed (way back when there was snow on the ground) I remember thinking to myself that it sounded dreadful.  A space ship lands on a playground and then takes off again with some children on board...wasn't that rather like the Pied Piper with aliens?  I wasn't inspired by the suggested material for the alien costumes either, one mother had sourced some golden bacofoil type stuff, I have really no idea what it's main constituent is, it rips like paper and has to be the crackliest substance known to man.  When it was first produced I voiced the concern that it might be rather noisy offstage when 20+ wriggly eight year olds were clad in it, they went ahead with it anyway.

It has to have been a great learning process for the children as they've been heavily involved with all of the production.  Role playing to decide how best the aliens should move and talk and developing a lot of the scenes through play too, after all, who better to know what a child would do on a space ship in flight than a child?

The person who deserves the utmost respect however is the music teacher Herr B, there are a couple of songs within the production that he wrote himself, one in particular brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it, it is so sad and poignant, these eight children have just witnessed their friends disappearing into the sky and no-one they turn to for help will believe them, it really does raise the hairs on yours arms.

The show also has nine pieces of pre-recorded music and sound effects that have to be played, this delightful job was given to me.  We put the music onto my iphone and plugged it into the mixing desk, that way when the kids jumped on the sprung gym floor we wouldn't have the issue of the CD jumping (it happened) worked perfectly in the dress rehearsal and the rehearsal before that.  The premiere though?  With a hall packed full of parents?  The sound kept cutting out and everyone's eyes turned to me, accusingly.  I could see them all thinking to themselves that I was pressing the wrong button but I wasn't.  Trial and error and two performances showed that it was the mixing desk and specifically the volume slider on that channel, phew, exoneration.

It's been fun to be involved with such a project and I don't know if I'm happy or sad that next year I wont be involved because Jas will be at a new school...although the rest of the team seem to think that they'll call me and make me come along.  I wonder how much effort it is here to change one's number and go ex directory?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Snaps 118

I've been busy this previous week with helping at Jas's school choir production. This photo was taken by my dad at the very end of the premiere, when we four moms who have been working with the teachers since about January were made to take a bow and receive a bouquet of flowers each. An unexpected bonus!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rome with three P's

When I lived in England Al and I would get together regularly for a midweek girlie lunch.  It was easy enough to do because all of our children were in school and school in England keeps sensible hours of 9am till 3.30/4pm.  So a lunchtime meetup was no hassle.

Sometimes our lunch date would be teamed with a spot of shopping but often we would find a nice little pub in the Staffordshire countryside with a good reputation for food and meet there.

Then, over the course of two or so hours, a glass of Pinot Grigio and something to eat we would put the world to rights before heading back into our family lives.

Those lunches are probably the thing I miss most living here in Germany, with the way the school system works it is impossible to be a lady who lunches (unless of course you have children at private school or who are old enough not to want you waiting at home for them) and although frühstücking with my expat friends has fitted into the gap left by the move it's not the same.

So this weekend away in Rome with Al was heaven sent.  Not just one lunch to eat, drink and gossip over, but three lunches and two dinners.  There were two breakfasts too (up on the roof terrace don't you know, fresh fruit, pastries (healthy cereal) and fresh cappuccinos) but breakfast is too early for much chatter, my brain doesn't function unless there's a certain level of caffeine in my blood stream.

Our (almost) three days in Rome were full of P's; prosecco, pizza and pasta.

Prosecco is the perfect lunchtime drink, especially when you're sitting outside at a little table watching the Romans promenade past*, it goes perfectly with pizza too, which when accompanied by a little salad makes the ideal midday meal, although we did do as the Romans do** and had lunch fashionably late (2ish)*** so it was hardly 'midday'. The only problem with prosecco is that it needs to be cool and so ideally needs an ice bucket, but the little round café tables are far too small for two plates, a bowl of salad, a bottle of water, two water glasses, two prosecco glasses, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, bread basket and an ice bucket!

The second P I mentioned would belong to pizza. Naples is supposedly the birthplace of the margerita pizza (possibly the most boring pizza in creation) but we found the pizza in Naples to be soggy, especially in the centre. Roman pizza however is different. Perfectly cooked (to my way of thinking anyway) crisp edges and an unsoggy middle, yum.

The final P is for pasta. I adore pasta, it's so quick and easy and rarely disappoints. One of my favourite pasta dishes is made with a barolo sauce, there's meat and I guess tomatoes are involved too, but the flavours of the dish are so round and full it really does make a delicious dinner.

I must also mention the simple food that is tomato and buffalo mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella and the shop bought stuff are two completely different animals. The one is nice, smooth and uniform all the way through, the other is more fibrous in the centre and oozes slightly and is so delicious just the memory of it is making me salivate.

* the tourists don't promenade, most of them are foot weary and sun sore, with rucksack on their back and guidebook in their hand, obsessed with just getting from one monument to another.

** when in Rome and all that.

*** when you breakfast around 9-10am and plan on dinner for 9pm then lunch has to be late, don't you think? I dread to think how the Germans cope in Rome, they like to eat early in the evening (6-6.30) rather like the Americans, at least there wouldn't be any problems with table reservations, but eating in a mostly empty restaurant isn't fun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Veni vidi vici

As you can tell from Sunday Snaps 117, I was in Rome this weekend. 

I blame Facebook.

It is entirely due to FB that Alison and I spent the best part of three glorious days in Rome. Doing as the Romans do, or at least Roman women aged 40+ with a predisposition for prosecco and shoe shopping.

It all started when FB changed its page layout and suddenly everyone had to have a banner picture.  I put off changing my FB page because although I can embrace change I do hate change for change's sake, but in the end I bit the bullet, which meant I had to find a pic for my banner.

I flicked through the various albums I had on FB (was feeling way too lazy to want to upload anything from somewhere else) and found a golden hued street shot of Rome taken in October 2011 and used that.

My friends were quick to comment on the pic, trying to guess where it was taken, which led to me and Al reminiscing (via FB) about how much we love Rome, we should go for a weekend, one of us suggested.  

And that was it.  Within a few days diaries had been checked, the spouses had been booked (dog walking and childcare duties needed to be taken care of) flights also booked and hotel was sorted.

On arrival at the hotel (on via del Babuino, spitting distance to Piazza del Popolo and a five minute stroll past lots of pretty shops to the Spanish Steps, with an excellent restaurant just around the corner) the charming guy on reception said "oh yes, Mrs Evans, the room..." and my heart sank.  

Had the room been double booked?  Had it proved impossible to change the large double bed into two singles...I needn't have worried.  We'd been upgraded and had the best room in the hotel, with a balcony looking out onto the main street*.

Unpacking was swiftly accomplished and we headed out to find some lunch.

We didn't get far.  Having headed along the street towards the piazza we came across two restaurants just at the edge of the piazza both with tables set outside under awnings.  We toasted our weekend with prosecco and split a pizza and a bowl of salad.

Sitting outside at restaurants and cafés provides the perfect entertainment, people watching.  It's even better when there's two of you, and even more fun when it's fueled by alcohol and you have a near constant stream of tourists parading past.  But eventually the lure of the Roman shops proved too great and we headed off.

Friday afternoon was not a big success on the shopping from, not that we returned to our hotel dejected, by no means.  I think we both viewed Friday as a scouting mission, we examined the contents of every shoe shop we came across very carefully, because Italian shoes are wonderful, the variety (especially when you live in sensible Germany) is awesome and they are also not expensive (unlike in Germany) and as we weren't tailed by men, who don't seem to appreciate the difference between one shoe and another, but were instead with our ideal shopping partners, there was no guilt.  No need to have to soothe a bored male left standing outside yet another boutique, twiddling his thumbs, instead there was just unadulterated glee as the quest for the perfect shoe ran and ran.

We got as far as Piazza Navona** when we had to give in to ice cream (what can I say...other than it was hot) and then wended our way back to our hotel for a little recuperation.  It's hard work, enjoying yourself!

*  which is why we think we got upgraded.  Our theory is that someone objected to the road noise and opted for a smaller room elsewhere in the hotel.  Crazy really, when you stay in a city road noise is to be expected.  
** I love Piazza Navona, although I don't think Al shares my love.  Yes it is a huge tourist trap and the restaurants and gelateria are going to be priced accordingly, but I love the constant action in the place.  There are the "serious" artists selling their wares and the blatant beggars, but there are also the street entertainers and of course the essential "bag men".  There's so much to watch.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's a Washout?

Sunday was the river pageant for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and as we don't get the two extra bank holidays tagged onto the weekend we thought we'd celebrate on the Sunday in our own quiet little way here at home in Germany.

As you can see from Sunday's post, the house was appropriately dressed* and I had taken the precaution of warning all those not familiar with English garden party dress code** that the vast majority of the female guests would be wearing pretty dresses (I didn't bother with the menfolk, although two of the German guests had made more of an effort than the actual Commonwealth representatives - one had rather spiffy red braces on and the other a suit with a pale pink tie) this was not to intimidate them into making more of an effort, but rather that I didn't want them to feel out of place and under dressed.  One friend declared she didn't have any summer frocks (or maybe it was just that she didn't have any garden party appropriate?) and was taken in hand by another friend who decked her out in a perfect dress and added a hat and shoes - I gather the whole trying on of possible outfits was accompanied by the consumption of several bottles of wine, so many in fact that it's amazing the nail varnish was as perfectly applied as it was!  Another friend gleefully went shopping and turned up in a stunning dress covered in summer flowers.  It's amazing that people were so adherent to the dress code given that it was billed as a garden party and therefore it should be in the garden, but it wasn't.  We were housebound.

All week long I had checked the weather forecast for Sunday, checking different sites to find the forecast that most suited, to no avail.  What was possibly a 50% chance of showers at the beginning of the week became in actual fact constant rain.  It did not let up.  Not once.  Of course the guest list had been designed with the aim of being in the garden and the house.  The river pageant would be on the TV and people could watch it or not, flowing through the house.  Therefore I felt able to invite more people than the house might comfortably hold...Looking back it's amazing how many people the house can comfortably accommodate, I guess it helps that the ground floor is fairly open plan, it is also great to have a huge (liveable) cellar that the children could be packed off into*** to watch DVDs or play games.

We were all able to laugh at the weather, after all there's nothing you can do to alter it, commenting that it was perfect British weather for a very British celebration.  

A lot of my friends had asked if they could bring a contribution to the buffet table, and never one to turn down free food I suggested to most people that they bring cake (I asked another friend to make cucumber sandwiches because they are (or at least seem to me) typical English picnic/garden party food, despite the fact that I loathe them) consequently the table was heaving with cake, carrot cake with a rather gay pink and pale blue union jack frosting, a white chocolate cheesecake with a patriotic blueberry and raspberry topping, strawberry cake complete with a stenciled pistachio crown, advocat cake...then of course there were sausage rolls, cheese and pineapple on sticks, sausages on sticks, deviled eggs, chicken wings****.  

To drink we had Pimms, of course.  I have a lovely punch bowl, it holds 4.5 litres.  We emptied it twice, I think I've made quite a few converts to this very English tipple, although we didn't manage to convert quite so many to the joys of twiglets!  Consequently I now have no Pimms, and it's summer (in theory), here's hoping the visitors over next week from the UK think to stop in duty free on their way to the airbridge!  

For my German guests the drink situation was a little...confusing, or maybe disconcerting.  Germans take their cake with coffee, and to be fair the Brits would usually associate cake with tea or coffee.  However, this being a garden party (albeit an inside garden party) and moreover a party, alcohol was on offer, unless they happened to be driving or be under the legal age that is.  There was no mention of hot drinks at all...until a friend crept up to me in the kitchen and whispered to ask whether it was possible to have a cup of coffee to accompany her cake, and then when one smelt the coffee another asked - good job I only asked those locals that I know to be anglophiles eh?  Otherwise I'd have been stood making endless cups of coffee.

I think the afternoon went well, it would have been nice to have had the luxury of the garden as well, but you can't have everything can you?  Maybe next time!

* bunting is fun to put up and OK to take down (although I did have to leave it a day until it stopped raining long enough for the stuff to dry out) but a complete pig to fold up and put away, after all I might need it again so it needs to be salvageable.

** the Germans, who seem, on the whole, to be as incapable (to my eye) of dressing up (and I don't mean in a batman outfit) for a do as they are of having fun spontaneously.

*** 20+ children aged from 2 to 17 make a lot of noise (although not much mess surprisingly, it helps having a mobile and keen hoover called Logan) could really have done without a couple of the boys bringing their toy guns with them though and trying to conduct a running battle.

**** one of my friends was eating a chicken wing and clearly had his hand down a fraction too low, Logan snatched it from his hand and I would imagine swallowed it whole for fear of it being wrenched from his slathering jaws, fortunately Jason didn't lose any fingers, just his pride.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Snaps 116

The house is ready to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, shame the German weather seems determined to rain on the parade!  After over a week of blue skies and sunshine, today it's wet and grey.  Good job I put all the bunting out yesterday when it was still sunny eh?