Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Saturday Update

Good news this week!  Four and a half pounds off.  A new personal best and now at my lightest weight this year!  I feel great.  I think the exercise (riding about on my new bike) has really helped.  Between that, sticking to the plan and staying off the alcohol, I feel much better this week.  I'm still keeping that before picture on my desktop though.  I'm thinking of printing it out and sticking it to my fridge if I get chance this week, just to keep my motivation up and stop the dreaded yoyoing! 

Next weekend we are headed to Nico's town again for his cousins confirmation so I will be weighing in in just six days (hopefully extra reason to keep on track), as well as gaining another experience as I have never been to a confirmation before!

Well this week has been a lot quieter compared to the first week of the holidays.  Of course there was our big bike trip last Sunday and the required day of rest/recovery on Monday.  On Tuesday we headed across town to the bike store to get a helmet for Nico (I will also be investing in one shortly).  Cycling in the city was very different to being in the country last weekend.  Apart from the cars, there are the other cyclists and crazy pedestrians.  I definitely won't be trying it alone for a while.  Ever since I arrived here in July as a foreign driver on the wrong side of the road or car depending on your perspective, I have cursed many a Bremen cyclist for not looking when they cross roads, even if they have right of way but now I am one of them.  This is not because I am a crazy arrogant cyclist with a death wish but simply because when I am on a bike, I suffer with the same affliction as my 87 year old grandmother does when walking...that is, if I look in one direction, the bike tends to follow that direction!  Which can be highly dangerous among all of the hazards I already pointed out.  So yes... no cycling alone in the city until I have had a fair amount of practice.

Since Tuesday, the bike has remained in the cellar until I get a lock and my biking partner back.  For the first time in six months, we are spending some time apart as he is on a hiking trip in the Harz.  Of course, the first night he was away there was a thunderstorm and today when I got up, there's a giant spider on my wall (the first of both in six months) but I am managing even though I miss him like crazy.  Only one more day to wait...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Requiem for the best shoes ever.

I'm sure everyone has at least one pair.  The most comfortable shoes ever.  Before I found mine, I had never been able to wear flipflops (and still can't), walking round any city in any weather left me covered with blisters and after a full day in any pair of shoes I owned, I had to swear them off for at least a week.  My dream pair came from Faith.  I fully expected them to leave my feet the same as all my other Summer shoes but I was soooo pleasantly surprised.  Ever since I bought them I could spend ever day in warm weather in them, whether I was at work, walking for miles on holiday or wearing them for a night out.  For the last five years or so I have worn them for almost six months of the year none stop, pushing my luck until the weather turned too cold for sandals.  Last year, I decided they were really looking worn out and tried to find some more but even though Faith was still open at the time, they didn't have anything like them any more.  As I said, flip flops I have bought since, don't last more than half an hour before they start to hurt, and that's if I'm lucky.  So I have pushed it again this Summer until last Friday...they literally fell apart on the street and I had to hobble back to my flat in one shoe.

So here's a little homage to my favourite shoes and a final photo.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Botanica and 7.5 points!

On Dad's last day we walked into Bremen and then got the tram up to Rhododendron Park and the Botanica Museum.  Dad was surprised and although I have been here eight months now, I was a little surprised too at just how green Bremen actually is.  The Werder Lake at the end of my street, Burgerpark on the edge of town, green space in town itself, where the city wall used to be that can make you feel far away from the city and now a new park, some parts of which make you feel like you're on a whole different continent! 

Botanica is a lot like Tropical World at Roundhay Park in Leeds...but without the meerkats.

Here's Nico in the museum with a flower we built!  The games were brilliant.  I won a pack of refreshers on one quiz!!

Dad and Nico on our journey to the tropics

Orange Tree

Dad as we arrived in the tropical section


Where to go first?

Here are my favourite sandals on their last trip out on the lovely cooling indoor stream.  More on that later.

Relaxing Buddha Lake

Tea Hut

Nico enjoying his complimentary tea

Me and Dad with ours

The gardens are filled with these 'ghosts' who are supposed to ward off bad spirits!

Japanese Gardens

Nico having his hand eaten by Koi Carp in the Japanese Garden
 Okay, although Botanica doesn't have meerkats, I was very impressed with their Easter exhibition.  Except that the newborn chicks were left to fend for themselves and didn't all look like they would make it!!  I have been assured that they did though.

Chick Nursery

Easter Bunnies

Easter Bunny having a time out

The hatchlings
The gardens outside were equally as amazing.  So many different plants and colours.  Here are some giant lillies that I have never seen before.  There was also a huge herb garden and a rose garden.  We could have walked for miles.

After this we headed back into Bremen and had a lovely dinner at the Turkish restaurant.  By the time we got in to the flat we had earned a record breaking 7.5 points on the pedometer!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Last Tuesday we went to Bremerhaven for the day.  I originally went there five years ago with a friend from when I lived in Oldenburg, my brother and his girlfriend.  We visited the ship museum and the emigrant museum as many Germans emigrated across the world from Bremerhaven.  This time we visited the town centre and the zoo!

The Chimps

The Polar Bears


Let's hope I don't meet a real one in the wild!

Arctic Fox - soooo cute!


Seals, Walruses, Sea Lions - it was all a bit lost in translation.

The Lighthouse at the zoo

Cute Penguin Couple

Crowd Pleaser



The Easter Hare!

Feeding Time

Love this - taste of German sarcasm

Horace/Doris' long lost uncle

Feeding time for the sea lions!
 Afterwards, we walked through town...

... and found some new flowers and decorations for my ever growing balcony garden!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dad's Visit

Dad came back to Bremen last week Saturday until Thursday.  On Saturday evening we tried the Sudhaus restaurant in Neustadt for the first time and it was really good.  On the Sunday we had a long walk around the Werder Lake, calling at Cafe Sand in the glorious sunshine.  When we got back we decided to carry on making the most of the weather and took a picnic down to the lakeside where we read our books and played badminton!

On Monday, we took Dad on the usual town tour of Bremen which of course involved the Stadtmusikanten visit.

We started in the cathedral which included all of our first visit to the lead cellars where some mummified bodies are kept which were buried in the cathedral centuries ago.  We also climbed the tower for the first time and here we are at the top.

I thought we had achieved quite a feat with 6 points on the pedometer after walking around Bremen and then to Walle but we achieved much more later in the week.  More on that tomorrow.

Monday, 25 April 2011


As I have been mentioning in my Saturday updates, we have been trying a few new recipes this year in an effort to keep the diet interesting and motivation high.  Here is a selection of what we have been trying.

Chicken and Mango Salad

All Day Breakfast Omelette

Weightwatchers Chocolate Mousse Dessert

Walnut and Rosemary Soda Bread

Blueberry Muffins