Sunday, 30 June 2013

Goal Review

So, it's the end of another month already and it's time to round up those goals.

The order of service is not quite finished - I have been trying hard but Idee is not cooperating in that they are permanently out of stock of the products I need...the inside is done, and I am as far as I can be with the outside at the moment.

Wedding finances are sorted!

I fell a little behind on the mile a day - mainly due to the hot weather at the start of the month.  Once project week started, I started running on a morning and upped my route to 2 miles a day to catch up.  I have averaged one mile a day even if I didn't quite achieve it.  I have certainly run more than I would have, had I not set this goal.

I did indeed get in touch with some old Erasmus friends from Barcelona and heard back from them.  It feels great being in touch with them again.

I completed a new scarf and I am much more satisfied with this one.  I like the mix of colours and the wool was a better, warmer quality too.  Between that and the wedding planning, it's been a crafty month!

A I posted on earlier this month, the balcony is sorted and looking great!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Project Life Update

This was a quiet week and I kind of struggled a little to fill it again.  it was all about catching up on my reading, wedding planning and craft projects.  Yes, I even braved that round knitting needle again!!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Saying Goodbye

On Friday, we cut our project short because we had the year ten leaving assembly.  I was honoured to receive a rose from each of the classes I taught in over the last three years.  The marking of time is one of the great things about our job, no two days are ever the same never mind two years, and working with crazy groups of individuals is always entertaining, if also trying at times.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A special visit

On Friday we continued project week with some graffiti portrait work which the dad of one of our pupils volunteered to come in to school and lead.  It was a great project and the results look fantastic but I think the pupils' favourite bit was when he brought along a former pupil of his who is a rapper in Berlin and he performed live for the class.  He took the time to sign autographs for them all and I am assured that he is now their new favourite singer!!  Here he is in action with his friend:

Monday, 24 June 2013

Serengeti Park

Following on with our animal project, we went to Serengeti Park on Thursday.  We had a great day out.  When we arrived, we took a safari tour in the bus and then we let the kids have free time in the amusement park while we had lunch and a drink to cool down in the 31 degree temperatures.
We arrived back in Bremen to thunderstorms but it was refreshing if nothing else.  We all had a great day out and I would love to go again.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Ytong Project

As part of project week, we took the class out to meet up with the guy who led the stone age project.  This time he showed us how to sculpt from a product called Ytong.  I can't find a translation for the word as it's a brand name but basically it's like a chalky breeze block.  As our project topic is pets, we all made a fish each and some then did extra sculptures.
As a teacher, it was really nice to take a step back and let him lead the group but the best part for me was getting creative for myself.  I find it really relaxing.  You can get Ytong from most DIY shops so I may do some more of this in my own time in future.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Saturday Update

A little late today, I know.  We spent the night in Schneverdingen, taking Pete to Nico's family's house for the summer since we fly to England on Thursday.  

It's been a busy and long week but a fun one too.  We got lots of wedding planning done - we picked our first, second and last dances, our third hymn for the church, asked our friends to read in church (both said yes), Nico got his accessories, we're in the process of choosing ties and we took the suits to the tailors...

At work it was project week which meant, one day of animals in English, some carving work with Ytong - more on that later, one day in German, a day at the safari park and a day doing graffiti portraits with a special performance from a German rapper!!  Mad week but felt very creative and very proud of our kids.  To top the week off, we said goodbye to year ten on Friday - it doesn't seem like two minutes since we said goodbye to the last year ten but there you go.

Caught up with my Spanish friends on Friday which was nice.  After the visit to Schneverdingen, we have had a lovely lunch and now I am here teaching Nico how to tie a tie (there are no school uniforms in Germany - five years of tying mine every day had to come in for something) and swotting up on the Michael Buble lyrics for next week!!  

Shortly we are heading into town to celebrate Nico's colleagues birthday before the last week of term and flying to England next week.  I'd better get a move on!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Pizza Night

On Monday, we had a lovely pizza night.  It's been a while since we had pizza but I love it when we do.  First of all, we get all creative (check out my Greek style feta, tuna and olives on the right and Nico's burn your mouth off peperoni and cheese on the left.)  Also, we got together at a pizza night so it brings back lovely memories.  Finally, it's really filling so I was ready for the rest of the week then!  Don't worry, I've also found ways to burn those calories off...but more on that later.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Check out Nico's new knife rack.  If you weren't scared to break into our flat before, you would be now!!!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


And the countdown is on!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Project Life Update

I love the spread this week.  After the quiet week before, I took lots more photos last week and I'm really pleased with the results.  It's all about home this week, the balcony, the new flowers, all the cooking and baking and home making we did as well as learning what a schnapps number is.  There was very little journaling as the photos really explained themselves.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Brownie Cake

It seems so long ago already but there was so much happening last weekend that I only just got around to posting this.  As well as the macaroons, I baked this chocolate brownie cake last weekend.  It sank a little and doesn't look especially appetizing but it was delicious.  Another gluten free success!

I'm really looking forward to trying some of these out to take with us to parties and family occasions.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Saturday Update

Looong, slow week this week with the wind down to the end of the school year.  This week was the last week of normal lessons and the last lessons I'll have with some of my classes.  I'm sure it will hit me soon but at the moment I'm just so tired.  I closed my eyes yesterday afternoon and woke up almost three hours later, it was crazy.

We received some more RSVPs with just two outstanding now.  We also made the final payment for our license so we're one step closer to having that all sorted on time.  We're planning on making some more decisions and organising some more aspects of the wedding this weekend.  The bridesmaids had their fitting yesterday so I'm looking forward to hearing how that went.

That is about it for this week!  Not very exciting I know, but I'm hoping on getting lots done this weekend (as well as getting some rest) so I can update you next week.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Balcony Love

As per my June goals, I got around to sorting out our back balcony this weekend.  Nico is in charge of the front one which is more practical as he grows veg there and we help birds with the feeders and a birdhouse, as Pete is only allowed on the back balcony.

Anyway, the back one is where we sit in Summer, where Pete is allowed to roam and where we keep the flowery prettier side of things.  This weekend we bought flowers from Rewe and I spent some time planting them.  I was really pleased with the colour it brought to things,  It was lovely to sit out and enjoy the new view.  

I'm looking forward to lots more evenings and days out there.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Project Life Update

Week 10 and this was the most difficult week so far.  After a week of being at home and at the doctor, I hadn't taken many photos and had to find some online and take some pretty random ones to reflect my week but in the end I was happy with the overall effect and it made me take more photos this week.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


It's been a while since I did much in the kitchen.  It's more Nico's realm in there and he keeps me fed with delicious dishes all the time so I get a little lazy.  However, lately we have been watching the Little Paris Kitchen as well as some other cooking programmes, and with everything else going on around here, I began to feel inspired again. 

I browsed through my gluten free cookbook and found some new recipes to try.  Normally when a recipe requires just egg whites or egg yolks rather than whole eggs, I skip over it as I don't like waste and I can't separate eggs anyway but lately Nico has been making Hollandaise sauces and had some egg whites left over so this recipe for coconut macaroons caught my eye.

It was very simple and quick, and needed relatively few ingredients so I made these on Saturday night while we were watching our new favourite series.  Needless to say, they didn't last long.

Monday, 10 June 2013


Last week I learnt a new word - Schnappszahl.  This is the name given to a number were all the figures are the same.  I bought some flowers at the supermarket and the total came to 7.77.  When we got home, we enjoyed a celebratory schnapps!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Project Life Update

This is actually week eight - it has just taken me this long to get around to completing it.  

This spread was about the stone age project at school, planning the order of service, knitting the scarf and the injury it caused me.

Highlights this week were using the new stamp on the left there to note the dates, adding some texture with some leftover wool from the scarf, and including one of my fuchsia flower embellishments.

I love the spread and the colours which will be in deep contrast to the week after which was my week of pain - more on that later.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Saturday Update

Whew, what a week.  It was my first 'normal' full week of work since April this week and I am really feeling it.

The back / shoulder problem is much better, just bothering me on a morning.  I am waiting on a call back from a physio to get going on that.

The weather has been crazy hot this week so despite my good intentions and good start, the running gradually fell off.  I am planning to pick it up and catch up some miles over the weekend when I can run on a morning before it gets too hot, and before I get too tired.  However, I have been keeping things up with all the cycling and running around at work.

Afternoons have been mainly taken up with wedding planning.  I was at the council offices on Monday for my appointment to get the license sorted, only for them to tell me the next (and thankfully final) stage can take up to eight weeks!!  It's out of our hands now so we're just keeping everything crossed.  On Wednesday we had the DJ round and we really like him.  He is experienced and really seems to know what he is doing so it was good to have a few more plans in place.  I managed to rearrange our dress fittings for a week later so that one of my bridesmaids can come with me and I bought my accessories for the day.  The gift list went live yesterday and there were some alterations to make on there before that.  Finally, Nico emailed the venue to confirm the menu and firm up slightly on numbers (we're still waiting on some RSVPs).  So all in all a crazy week but we are some steps closer to walking down the aisle.

At work it has all been about the reports, I managed to finalize and enter all my grades yesterday so that is a relief because next week I have to plan project week (the last week of term) and start on my planning for next year as I won't have much time over the Summer.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone - not surprising given that it was very short - about eight weeks shorter than next year!  We're also getting numbers in for a possible Spain trip next year, which is exciting.

This weekend, I'm hoping to sort out our back balcony and get back into crafting - watching my posture of course - as well as catching up on that running.  Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bird Watching

For a while now, we've been seeing more and more birds appear on our balconies, especially at the front where we still have the feeders from Winter.  Nico finally snapped this woodpecker out there on Wednesday - normally they are long gone before we reach the camera.

Nico's grandad gave us a bird box which we fitted to the front of the flat (out of Pete's reach) and there are bluetits nesting in there already!  We also discovered some nesting in our roof at the back - they are brave considering that's where Pete likes to sit.

In fact, it was a little sad this week when one was brave enough to sneak through the net at the wrong moment and paid the ultimate price.  We didn't realise until it was too late and we found Pete playing with the dead bird in the hall.  He was not impressed to have it taken off him even though Nico praised him for his good work.

Hopefully the rest will take the warning and stay outside the net for the summer.  One in eighteen months isn't too bad I guess...

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Treat time

After a stressful couple of days we treated ourselves last night and cracked open the white wine we bought from the Ratskeller.  It was delicious and we even took the tip from the tour we took there and paired it with the orange crisp chocolate leaves from Hachez.  Delicious and well earned this week.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


It's been a while since I talked about holidays.  (I'm waiting for some photos, hint hint mother.)  Also, it's not really been the time to think about the holidays - when you are sat watching the pouring rain or harsh winds through the window, you don't want to think about hot summer adventures, past or future.

Lately though, things are starting to stir the wanderlust in me again.  The summer is slowly but surely arriving and as my favourite blogger has gone on maternity leave, I've been trawling through her archives for my daily fix and came across this little report on a trip of hers.

It got me to thinking, I love lists...I love holidays... but it' not something I often combine.  For starters, Nico would stop travelling with me pretty quickly if I didn't leave my to do list at home but also, a break is a break for me.  However, there are usually some things at the back of my mind that I know I want the trip to be built around.  For example, when we went to Amsterdam, I knew I couldn't miss the Anne Frank museum or the Van Gogh Gallery.

However, when I look back on that holiday, the memories that shine the brightest are the completely random ones - the amazing meal we had when we ducked down a side street to escape the crowds, playing chess on the tablet and sipping wine at a streetside cafe while the heavens poured down around us, and sitting on the canals to eat cheese and sausage for breakfast. 

I think it's the case that some of the best memories I have from any holiday were unplanned experiences that can never be repeated - seeing bambi footprints in the Harz, coffee in a deserted Trump Tower Starbucks at 6am, discovering a new rioja over tapas on Las Ramblas.

While there are certain things I want to experience on my next holiday, - our honeymoon in Edinburgh - Edinburgh castle, good food, visiting a distillery... I know the best memories will be those I can't even imagine yet and most of all, getting used to married life.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Time Out

While last week was full of doctors appointments and some pretty horrendous pain, it wasn't all bad.  My favourite bit was sitting with my lovely fiance on our balcony one evening with a candle, a book and a drink.  It was lovely and we plan to do it a lot more now that some warmer weather is starting to come our way.

I definitely need more moments like this in my life at the moment!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Saturday Update

Well, it's been a slow week around here full of doctors appointments, hayfever and insomnia.  I managed to trap a nerve while knitting last Sunday and was off work with the pain and tiredness on Monday and Tuesday.  The painkillers help but make me even sleepier.  My GP sent me to a orthopaedist on Tuesday and he worked wonders clicking out my spine and reducing the pain.  

I went back to work on Wednesday and while the pain was reduced, I still felt it.  The wonderful fuchsia tape on my back amused the kids but to be fair, they were very sympathetic and helpful, carrying my bag for me.  

On Thursday, we both had the day off for exam marking so I finally got that finished.  I've also finished one German book - Fleisch ist mein Gemuese, read Animal Farm in one day and gotten well past halfway with another German book - Der Tangospieler.

On Friday it was back to work and back to the orthopaedist who took some x-rays and prescribed me six weeks of physiotherapy.  I had a lovely afternoon having lunch with the ladies and shopping with Loreto for Order of Service materials.  

I've been a little more in touch with home this week, ringing my gran almost every day which has been nice.  I plan to keep that up too.  Wedding plans are coming along.  Today is the deadline for RSVPs and all of mine have met the deadline.  Just a few of the Germans to chase up and we should have our numbers for planning.

I don't know if it was the x-rays or doing so much yesterday but I woke up in agony with my shoulder this morning.  I was planning on starting my running regime but it will be this afternoon at the earliest if I do it, and with yet more painkillers...

Next week, is going to be crazy busy.  I have to pick up the wedding license on Monday, which is the big exam day at school.  On Wednesday, we have the DJ coming round for a meeting and on Friday, I have another English Teachers' Workshop.  I really hope, I can get rested up enough this weekend to survive all that and this last month of the school year.