Friday, 31 May 2013

May Goals Review

Well it is that time of the month again, I really don't know where this month has gone.

As usual my weightloss goal has been the bottom of my priorities with everything else going on.  I'm planning on refocusing myself on this aspect of my life next month. More about that on Sunday.

The florist and the hairdresser are booked!  I even have some ideas of what I would like my hair to be like on the big day so that is progress!!  Still lots to do for the wedding but we have achieved a lot this month and things are really coming along.  

I completed two craft projects this month with the sewn owl and my knitted scarf.  I was really pleased with both projects.

I completely forgot about my no extra spending rule and went and ordered some games for work as well as more books on 2nd May.  However, I have been good since then, only buying food, birthday presents for other people and wedding things.  I figured, if I wait until 2nd June to buy anything else, I have managed a month!

Overall, really pleased with the month.  Onwards and upwards for June!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


While knitting at the weekend, I must have been sitting funny and I managed to trap a nerve in my back.  I've been in agony and unable to sleep properly since.  I went to see the doctor on Monday and he referred me to a orthopaedist the next day.

The orthopaedist was amazing.  He poked and prodded my back a lot and then he made my whole spine click and the relief was amazing.  He put these crazy support bandages on my back and I have a check up on Friday.  

I can't say the pain is totally gone and it came back with a vengeance in the night but I am back at work today and hopefully will be recovered before the follow up appointment.  

What never ceases to amaze me is how efficient things can run here in Germany.  In England, I would probably have gone through weeks of pain before getting an appointment to see a specialist, never mind a GP appointment, specialist appointment and follow up in the space of five days.  Feeling very lucky too.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Over the weekend I finally got to grips with my new circular knitting needle and this scarf pattern.

Once I got over the problem of knitting with five rolls of wool by inventing this little gem (Pete's new favourite toy of course), it went very fast and I finished it the day I started.

Easy for those relatively new to knitting and there was no need to be as scared of the circular needle as I was!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Project Life Update

This week was all about Dad's visit.  Our trips to Hamburg, Schneverdingen and Bremen feature heavily as well as dinner with Loreto.  I did another collage card for that trip to the Ratskeller in Bremen.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Oliver Twist

I picked this book up when I was stocking up on classics last year.  I really wanted to read more Dickens but they didn't have a huge range.  I wasn't particularly keen to get Oliver as I already knew the story, or so I thought.

This was the first time I have really been so surprised how different the book is to the well known version - through the film and musical.  There are so many more characters and a much more intricate story line.

I finally felt like I understood the characters and story more.  I would recommend the book to anyone who likes the story.  I'm not sure if it was a classic that is much easier to read or if I'm just getting faster after reading so many novels from the same time now.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Saturday Update

This weekend is going to be all about doing nothing.  I'm feeling a little run down at the moment after a very busy month altogether.  

On Monday we had a lovely day with Dad in Bremen.  We had lunch at the Ratskeller which was very typical and traditional Bremen food.  We then got the tram up to Universum and walked back through the park to the centre.  It was nice to be out in the fresh air and show Dad more of Bremen.

Dad left on Tuesday after a nice lunch at the airport.  I headed into town for some supplies for the orders of service and then got some jobs done at home.

We went back to work on Wednesday and on Thursday we took a trip in Walle to the stone age and I think being outdoors so much wasn't so great for me.  Despite the rain, the kids did really well and I'd recommend it to other school groups too.

Yesterday I was home, under the weather so I got things done around here, finished my book and looked at the orders of service with Loreto.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Stone Age Project

On Thursday, we spent a little time outdoors with our class, learning how to start fires, shoot bows and arrows and throw spears.  Year five are completing a project about the stone age in GUP at the moment and each class had a couple of hours this week with an expert in Walle.

Our class received praise for being the best behaved despite the dismal weather and they really loved taking part.  There were a few heart stopping moments where pupils ran across the shooting range or threw firey cotton wool balls around but in the end they all had fun and nobody was injured.  I think some might even sign up for the longer courses in Summer.

It was an interesting experience for us too and while I can't share my pictures of the event here, you can get an idea from the photo above.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Recently been reliving this little gem.  Soooo funny.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Day out in Bremen

With Dad in the Ratskeller
 On Monday we had a nice day out around Bremen.  First we had a lovely lunch in the Ratskeller and then we got the tram up to Universum.  We walked back to the market place through Burgerpark. 
With Nico in the Ratskeller

The drinks

Street art at the Universum

Roland in the park

Baby ducks in the park

Topiary in the park

Park Hotel

Monday, 20 May 2013

Trip to Schneverdingen

In front of the town hall
 Over the weekend, we took Dad to visit Nico's family again and showed him around Schneverdingen so he has his bearings for the big day.
With the heather queen

The heather park

Exploring the water mill near the venue

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Policke Hamburg

As I mentioned, Nico and Dad both got their suits for the wedding from Policke in Hamburg.  It was quite the round trip from Bremen both times we went there but so worth it.  We did try Bremen first but there are only two decent suit shops here and they only sell the suits as a set so if you need a different size trousers to the ones they suggest for the right sized jacket, you're stuffed.

Policke had so many benefits.  First of all, they sell the matching trousers and jackets separate so it's perfect for any size.  Also, they just took one look at Nico and knew what size he needed.  They translated the sizes in the blink of an eye (English and European are different).  

They are extremely helpful and really know their stuff.  The range is incredible; four floors of suits that look like the image above.  Then they have separate premises on the same street where you can buy shirts, cufflinks, ties, shoes...just about anything you could need to go with your suit.  The staff were equally friendly and helpful everywhere and they do alterations if you need them too!  

For all this service, you would expect the prices to be through the roof but they were on a par with, if not better than, those in Bremen.  Highly recommendable. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Saturday Update

What a week!  It started off with more rain.  After that trip to the Turkish in Findorff last Sunday, I got drenched again coming home from work on Monday.  I'm so lucky I didn't come down with something.  We've both been feeling it a little with the weather and hayfever season but we're powering on.

Work was crazy with various union meetings and the big strike causing chaos with the regular timetable and in exam week too.  The English exams were okay although I did find a mistake in there!  Managed to mark most of them already and just waiting on the second marker now.

Dad arrived on Thursday and we had a trip to Hamburg yesterday so both Dad and Nico are now kitted out with suits and shirts for the wedding.  They are going to look very smart.  More on Hamburg later.

Last night we had Loreto over for dinner and barbecued again.  The weather was good for it too although we have had thunder storms the last two nights!  

Today we are heading over to Schneverdingen to stay with Nico's family and show Dad the wedding venues and practice his German with Nico's parents and grandparents!!  Looking forward to it!

Next week is a short one as we have a bank holiday on Monday and Tuesday.  Dad is here until Tuesday so we will be out and about as much as the weather allows.  Then Loreto is coming over next week so we can get cracking on the orders of service...exciting times!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Project Life Update

This week was all about our long weekend of wedding planning in Schenverdingen and eating out at the Turkish on Sunday.

For the first time, I used a collage photo in the top right corner to kind of summarise the planning process and I am really pleased with how it looks so I may do something like that again.

I also love that the card from the restaurant fits in with this weeks orange theme - nice and sunny despite getting drenched in the rain.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Rory's Story Cubes

My friend Loreto recently introduced me to these little gems when she bought me a set of the original dice (the orange box above).  They are brilliant!  We happened to have them on a training day we were at so got lots of ideas and tips on how to use them with classes and I've already started putting them into practice.

Basically, the pupils or students use the images on the dice to give them speaking ideas.  It can get very creative!

I was so impressed with them, I bought us the green (voyages) and blue (actions/verbs) sets.  Can't wait to use them too.  

My pupils always know when I've been on a good training day because I come back with balloons and new games, I hope they enjoy this one too!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


On Sunday, we had dinner with our friends at this lovely little Turkish restaurant in Findorff, Bremen.  We had planned to go to Apanada's at last but they were on holiday.  I also loved that I could make this booking online.  The atmosphere was great and the food was delicious.  I would definitely eat there again.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Bird Watching

It's stork season near us - just look at this beauty we spotted yesterday on our way back from Bremen.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bank Holiday Weekend in Schneverdingen

Here are some photos of us wedding planning in Schneverdingen this weekend.

Planning with Loreto

Loreto and Ed with Luna

With Nico

Our venue

The Lake

The Watermill


St Peter & Paul Church

Sheep Stall Church

Inside the Sheep Stall Church

Walking Pete

Nico's Mum with Pete


The Next Project...

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Saturday Update

Well, we're so late today having been in Schneverdingen carrying out lots and lots of wedding planning in the last few days.  We got back from Nico's fmaily's this evening and tomorrow we'll be out with friends before a full week at work!!  Then my Dad arrives, and,'s going to be a crazy time.

This week was pretty regular at work albeit three days instead of five...  Again, I'm still loving work at the moment so that along with these short weeks is making things go fast...

On Monday I also finished my latest owl project, which I already posted on, and meant completing the first of my monthly goals.  I also ticked off the florist and the hairdressers today so we are well on the way to acheiving all that.

On Thursday we headed up to Nico's family's and got lots of wedding planning under our belt including a meeting with the vicar, booking the florist, visiting the venue and booking the hairdresser.  All in all a busy weekend but I loved, seeing the place again and getting a feel for the big day.  It was also good to meet Loreto and Ed in Schneverdingen and having them see the venue and everything.  I can't wait!!  Lots to do in the next two months,...all very exciting!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Project Life Update

This week's project life was based around the bank holiday, the long sunny weekend and my latest craft project - a rustic, sewn owl.  We spent a lot of time outdoors, in Thedinghausen with Loreto, on the balcony and in the park with Nico.  We barbecued twice.  It was some much needed relaxation before the crazy rest of this month.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Les Miserables

It took two months but I finally finished the doorstop that is Les Miserables.  Trouble is, it's no longer on at the cinema - guess I will have to wait for the DVD.

Actually, this novel reminded me of Anna Karenina.  There is a great story - quiet a saga and it is couched in whole chapters on boring historical episodes.  

The characters are fantastic and during the chapters which focused on them, I was engrossed.  However, the parts in between - how the sewers of Paris were built or the battle of Waterloo - I could have done without. 

I'm glad I read it but I am looking forward to some lighter reading in between.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May Day Fun

This May day (the same as the last one it turns out...), I headed to Thedinghausen for lunch with my lovely friend Loreto and her husband.  Nico was involved in another little project with a friend so I was solo for this one.  I didn't cycle all the way this time but I did cycle to the station and get the train out to Achim.  Ed picked me up in their lovely classic car - an MG - I should have had a head scarf with me.
We had a delicious Spanish lunch followed by a walk in the woods nearby.  It was lovely and we had amazing weather again.  Great start to the month.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Balcony Flowers

When Loreto came for lunch a couple of weeks ago, she brought me these lovely flowers she had found in her quest to help me with the wedding.  Unfortunately, they won't be in season when we get married but I planted them when I got back from London and they are the official start of this year's balcony garden!