tger greenhaddock: July 2005

Sunday, July 31, 2005

French finally land in Iraq

Honest!'s true!....French troops have made a triumphant landing in Iraq to assist with the county's rebuilding. If you dont believe me look here

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Winning ways

On the way in through the front door into work today the security guard asked if he could borrow €10 from me. I found it a bit strange, so I decided to lend him €5 instead. He said he would pay me back with interest. I mentioned this to a colleague who informs me that he has been borrowing money off a lot of people lately - apparently he has a gambling habit. Looks like I wont be seeing my €5 in a hurry.

This led me to ponder on the fact that there seems to be a lot of betting shops springing up all over the place, both in Frankfurt and Marburg. Perhaps its a consequence of the faltering economy, but certainly when I first came to Germany I never saw any betting shops, and now there are adverts on TV advertising online betting as a cool and groovy thing to do. Maybe I'm getting old, but I find this wrong. Gambling holds no pleasure for me, but it will for a lot of people, of which a certain percentage will become addicted and their lives will fall apart. But advertising this as a great thing to do is bollox.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Holiday snaps

Back to work today and my train was cancelled so I was late for work......It of course, could be worse. I could be late getting home tonight - UPDATE - The train tonight was an hour late!

As promised here are some holiday pics of our recent vacation to the Greek island of Crete.

Father and daughter at the Hotel

A Roman ruin near Festos

The Haddock Girls

Minoan ruin at Festos

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Run over by a bus

I had another physio session earlier this week to help sort out my Sciatic nerve problems. After the session I felt very relaxed. But after about 4 hours I felt like I had been run over by a bus. Every part of my body was either hurting or aching. I had to lie down. Quite incredible really, just some prodding, poking and stretching really did me in - it was quite worrying really. I had some more physio this morning, I explained the bus situation and was told this was quite normal. So now I am sat here on my PC waiting for the pain to come....oh joy.

Whilst we were away on holiday the garden really came on strong. The cherry tomato's have gone ballistic. Fortunately they are very sweet tasting and the Haddocks like tomato's

I had to harvest a lot of chilli's and I have had a go at pickling them. No idea if this will work out well but its done and I'll leave them for a few months then try them.
Virtually every meal at the moment contains zuchinni. Luckily the yellow variety is quite tasty. I cooked stuffed zuchinni the other evening which was a big hit with the juniorette who christened them 'Zuchinni Boats'

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Unternehmen Merkur

On May 20th 1941 Germany launched Operation Mercury - the airborne invasion of Crete. To this day the invasion continues, although the Luftwaffe appears to have been replaced by Lufthansa. How do I know this? - I have just retuned home after a lovely 2 week holiday on the island and I spoke more Deutsche there than here in Germany.

Our hotel was full of Germans, (myself being the only non-German) - all the Greek staff spoke German - all the shop keepers spoke German - most Taverna menus were in German - it was weird, but we had a teriffic time and met lots of nice people (Germans). What was funny though was when one of the barmen at the hotel found out I was English, he stopped talking German and nearly tore my arm off with his handshake!

The Juniorette and I did a lot of snorkelling. She really enjoyed duck diving to find shells. We spotted a couple of octopus and a couple of cuttlefish, along with a host of other little fishes. I went for a dive, max depth 25m, which was very nice. Saw quite a big octopus and several good sized Grouper.

We split our time between hotel pool and the local beach, and avoided the direct sun during the hottest part of the day. We did a couple of trips to see some very old ruins and a museum. I am not really into this type of thing (Mrs Haddock is though), but I found it quite interesting.

All in all we had a very nice time, and we will be definately visiting the Greek islands again sometime in the future. When I get time I will post piccys, but for now I have to get out into the garden. Everything has grown and there is a lot to do.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wish you were here

Greetings from sunny Agia Pelagia, near Heraklion in Crete. Weather is great, food is superb, we are all having a great time. Snorkelling has been fun, seen some very old ruins and visited a museum. Tomorrow I do some diving.
The Juniorette has made lots of friends and is having the time of her life, apart from a couple of minor mishaps. She fell out of bed one night and bashed her head. She has a cracker of a black eye. The following evening she fell over and smashed her watch.
Life is very relaxed here. We went all inclusive, and to our surprise we found that all the cocktails were inclusive has become more relaxed ......we still have over a week of this hardship!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Public Transport

I was late for work tonight. My train never arrived in Marburg. We were told it was 5 minutes late, then 10 minutes, then 30 minutes and then told that die Bahn had no idea when the train would arrive. It turns out that somebody decided to throw themselves underneath the train a few miles up the track. So I had to drive to Frankfurt instead. I had been looking forward to my normal snooze on the train, and having to drive did annoy me somewhat. But taking into consideration what happened in London today, at least I got to go to work. Some people will not ever be going again.

Tonight is my last night shift, and as of tomorrow I have 20 care free days off work. 2 weeks will be spent in Crete, relaxing in the sun, snorkelling with Juniorette, doing a bit of Scuba-diving, eating too much, and probably drinking too much wine.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Olympics 2012 in London

London has been awarded the Olympic Games in 2012 and we may have the French President Jacques Chirac to thank. He recently slagged off British food whilst reportedly joking with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said that Britain, after Finland, is the country with the worst food.

The Sun Newpaper suggests what it calls President Chirac's "sneering" remarks may turn out to be bad news for the Paris Olympic bid.

The paper's logic is that he also criticised food from Finland - the homeland of two members of the International Olympic Committe

Who would have thought it, the Sun may have actually got a prediction correct. So good news for the UK and one in the eye for the Froggies

Update - I have just spoken to my brother in the UK who has a French student staying with them. He made her watch the BBC TV news when he already knew the result of the Olympic bid (UK 54 votes, France 50 votes). She was somewhat deflated, the UK haddocks somewhat elated. Sometime later she had a phone call from France, my brother told her it was President Chirac on the line, and that he was in tears. I wonder if a teenage French girl understands English humour?........probably not.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Das Blogging

Apparently this week is all about Blogging in a foreign I'll be writing in English as usual. My spelling is terrible in my native tongue; in another it would be ridiculous. I know there are such things as spell checkers, but life's too short for spell checking, and besides I left school a long time ago. Language is about communication not about spelling & grammar. But even so, this blogging in a foreign language malarkey can be seen at Mausi, Inactualfact, Ministry of Propoganda and HeisseScheisse.

Only 5 days to go until vacation time...........the countdown to relaxation has begun. Whilst we are away the chilli's, zucchini, tomato's, bell peppers and aubergines should become ripe. Talk about timing. But at least we have enjoyed the Gooseberries (shown above) and the Blackcurrants that we have picked this week.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Weekend Roundup

Friday - We had various neighbours around in the evening for drinks on the patio. All went well and the general objectives were achieved - everyone got to know each other a bit better, and everyone promised not to invade their immediate neighbour to their east on September 1st. Juniorette and her best friend performed a Caspar Theater (hand puppet show) which was really good. She is definitely forming an English sense of humour.

Saturday - Juniorette played football for the G-Jugend in a local football team tournament. She is playing better all the time, and committed 2 fouls today (her first ever). They were late tackles, which shows she's getting stuck in. I was so proud .......I just need to teach her how to dive, pull shirts and wind up the opposition, and then she will be a real professional.

Sunday - The day of rest, or so it should be. The Haddock family started the day with a little light weeding in the garden, and then proceeded to cycle to the local lake (a round trip of 25km, so I guess it's not that local). We stopped there for a while for milkshakes, icecreams and to watch the water-skiers, before heading back home to laze around for the rest of the day, and to complain of tired legs and sore bums.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Protecting the Crown Jewels

Yesterday I had my lower back and hip X-rayed. All went well and the Doctor couldn't find anything wrong structurally with my hip or back. He did mention that my spine is a bit wonky and this might give me a bit of pain from time to time, which is exactly what it does. So that's another mystery solved. I had four X-rays in all and I had to wear a lead cricket box to protect the crown jewels. I found this quite funny, but the Radiographer didn't seem to share my sense of humour.

Last night we celebrated my structurally sound hip & back with a bit more red wine than was intended. So I was feeling a little under the weather for my first physio session at the Arcus Centre. The whole session was conducted in German, and consisted of some questions, a spine examination and a lot of belly prodding which hurt at times. It is not good to press hard on a hungover abdomen. All this seemed more like Osteopathy rather than Physio. I survived the first session intact, and whether psychological or not, I felt better afterwards. It could have course just been the hangover wearing off!

In the garden the first of the blackcurrants (shown above) and peas have ripened. The tomatos are flourishing and slowly I think we are winning the war against the slugs. The juniorette and I capture them most evenings and then place then in our green wheelie bin, which gets quite hot during the day and 'dries' the little varmints out. The slugs are not so big, and the rate of capture is definately dropping. It's a slow death but I think they deserve it.