tger greenhaddock: December 2005

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Weird Science

Dear reader,

Have you ever had one of those moments when you wake up the morning after the night before, and have a slight nagging in the back of your head that something happened last night, but you can't remember it. Well here's the good news. When you have next over indulge of your favourite tipple, if you concentrate hard enough, those lost memories will come flooding back. The bad news is that remembering is not always such a good idea!

Many years ago whilst working on Ascension Island I did several drinking experiments to benefit mankind in general. One of those proved the above. It took a long time to prove as several hurdles needed to be overcome. The biggest of these was actually forgetting that I had remembered in the first place. This was eventually solved by writing my findings down whilst heavily under the influence. Dechyphering the spider scrawl that I had produced for my sober self was rather difficult. Believe me this took many attempts.

So the general outcome of this is that we probably store all memories somewhere in our brain. It's just that when we are blitzed we store them in a different location. We just dont know how to access them when in a sober state. I believe a simular process happens with dreams. Everybody dreams, but a lot of people never remember them, but it is possible to remember dreams that you have never recalled whilst being awake. You just need to know how to access them.

A few years later after my original research a team at a university in Wales also discovered that lost memory due to drinking wasn't really lost at all. But I knew that anyway. I was just to pissed (drunk) to tell anyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Going Home?

Later tonight we leave Marburg to drive to my home town in England, where I was born and grew up. I left Ilfracombe over 20 years ago and if I am honest I can safely say that I have not missed the place one bit.

But lately I have felt a few pangs for the place. I would definitely never live there again, but I am actually looking forward to seeing the town again. Although I am sure that after a few days of being there the feeling will wear off and I'll be chomping at the bit to get away from the place again.

It'll be good to see the sea again. But too damn cold for fishing or any sort of beach activity. Ilfracombe and North Devon in general can be really beautiful in summer. The rugged coastline and expansive moorland really do catch the eye. But in winter it's all very bleak. Wall to wall greyness, very strong winds and horizontal rain. But then again, it's only a week, and then I will be really going home - back to Marburg :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Back to Blighty

The last couple of days I have not attended work due to a dodgy stomach. I have returned today and it is my last working day before returning to England tomorrow for the festive season. Checking the weather forecast it seems that the drive back to blighty tomorrow night will not be hampered by snow. This is a very good thing. The windscreen wiper has also been repaired.

The Juniorettes football team played in a tournament last Sunday. The team won, and did not have any goals scored against them. She played really well and is becoming quite strong in tackling. She was very proud with the winners medals that the team received.

Today is also the first day of Juniorettes christmas break from school. Even though she really enjoys school, she is ready for this break. Getting up in the morning is becoming really hard for her, and she is getting tired all the time. The holidays will do her good.

If I have time over Xmas I will try and update this blog from the UK. But if not, a Merry Christmas to all of you, and a very happy New Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bloody Vandals

A couple of work mates came up to Marburg on Thursday and we went out on the town. As always when a group of Brits gets together far too much alcohol gets consumed. We got back to base Haddock very late and very wet, as the heavens had opened for our meander home.

Friday was bit of a recovery day for me, but to top it off, some git during the evening broke off one of the windscreen wipers of our car. We phoned the plods and they said they couldn’t do much, except patrol the streets more. I feel safer already (not). The men in green did say that there has been a spate of this type of vandalism lately. So the car now returns to its normal spot on the driveway…….….and if catch the little gits!.......

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dr Haddock Consults

I got my results today from the blood test that I had last week. My blood pressure is a bit high, I have elevated levels of cholesterol, and my thyroid gland seems to be only working a 35 hour week. It all sounds worse than what it is really (So says Dr Haddock and his assistant, Nurse Google). The Doc has upped my thyroid meds which should bring down my cholesterol levels, as well as allowing me to lose weight. Plus I wont feel lethargic anymore. Combine this with my fitness regime in the New Year and I'll be a new Haddock come springtime. Also in January I get to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours. Isn't medicine fun! :)

I've also been infected (tagged) by Viernach with the following Meme

Rules: Post 5 random and weird facts about yourself, then at the end, list the names of 5 people whom you in turn infect. Also, leave a post to these people letting them know they have been infected.

1. If I drink vodka I lose my shoes

2. I was expelled from school, but was later re-instated

3. I have no middle name

4. I swear in my sleep

5. My grandmother and father-in-law are the same age

So I in turn infect Christina, Martin, Belinda, J and Jen

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ticket Tout

Mrs Haddock has been a busy bee of late, arranging tickets online for events that the Haddock Family can attend next year. So far we don't know the outcome of the World Cup lottery ticket fiasco. This we will know in May. But tickets did arrive this week for the Robbie Williams gig in Hockenheim next August, and for the Michael Flatley dance gig in Frankfurt next May.

The Juniorette is very excited about the Robbie Williams show, even though she only knows a few of his songs. But she is not aware about the Michael Flatley Celtic Tiger show in Frankfurt. This will be a surprise present for her. She has been attending creative dance class for a couple of years now, but she wants to change to Irish tap dancing as soon as she is old enough. So this show should blow her mind :)

Mrs Haddock had girlish glee written all over her face when she had the Robbie Williams tickets in her hands. I think she would have quite happily extended the mortgage on the house to acquire the tickets. I must admit though, I'm quite looking to seeing him on stage as well.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The land of Narnia

I have been taking life easy for the last couple of days. The lull before the storm that is Christmas. I am not looking forward to the drive back to England for Xmas. We are allowing 6 hours to get from Marburg to Calais, and probably slightly less for the Dover to North Devon part. Seeing family and friends will be nice, but the travelling part is a pain in the butt. At least on the ferry I have the steak & kidney pie to look forward to.

Yesterday the Haddock Family went to see Narnia (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) at the Marburg Cineplex. It truly was a wondrous film. I read all the Narnia books by CS Lewis several times when I was kid, and I was hoping that Disney wasn’t going to murder it. I wasn’t disappointed. The child actors were very good. The film had a very English feel to it, and in line with the books, the storyline was kept simple. The Juniorette thought the movie was fantastic, perhaps a little sad in places, but a happy end brought a joyous smile to her face at the close.

If you get the chance, see this movie, especially if you read the books as a child.

Update - Mark Wells who plays King Edmund the Just of Narnia, towards the end of the film, is also a blogger. Visit his site and have a look at what he is up to.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A bum deal

My physio appointment for yesterday was cancelled, so I made a visit to the Doctors for a menschen TÜV instead – a sort of human MOT for the over 40’s. The doctor gives you a general lookover, and then checks your lungs, heart and blood. I have my blood checked every 6 months because of my knackered thyroid gland. I don’t like needles, but I am used to that now. The ECG contraption for the heart check was fun, and my lungs still seem to be functioning ok.

He mentioned that perhaps he should check my prostrate gland. This set bells off ringing distantly in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t alarmed. The doctor then explained what the procedure involved. I was now alarmed, and had to politely postpone this check to another date in the future. For as I explained to the Doctor, Mrs Haddock had cooked a rather hot Thai Curry the night before, and poking around in certain places was probably not the safest thing to do.

My Doctor did mention several times that I should do more exercise. He rejected my idea of drinking beer out of bigger and therefore heavier glasses as a sensible form of exercise. He was at least polite enough not to refer to me as Lard Boy or Porky, but did suggest that I join a fitness studio. So this is what I shall be doing in the New Year. But before I visit a gym there is Christmas to contend with, and I am going back to England for the event. I shall feast and drink of England’s finest, - fish & chips, pork pies, pickled eggs etc – all washed down by pints of crap lager.

I’ll then be ready to strut my stuff in the fitness studio, and maybe have that prostrate checked as well.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Der Nikolaus ist da!

The Nikolaus arrived last night bearing presents. He's a sort of Santa Claus/Father Christmas type of chap, who comes on December 6th and give you presents, he comes back on the 24th and gives you more presents. This is very cool if you are a kid (or even a grown up kid). All you have to do is place some boots/shoes outside your door and Nikolaus comes along in the dark of night and fills them with presents (there's a joke in there somewhere).

Nikolaus brought us all chocolate and sweets, but also a family membership for Werder Bremen football club. The juniorette also got a CD and and Mrs Haddock and I some wine. I got to say this about Mr Nikolaus he knows what presents to bring.

Of course depending on who you speak to here in Germany when he returns on the 24th he is known as the Weihnachtsmann (Christmas man) or Christkind (Christ child), but its the same person in my book, and I think he is a little bit sadistic, because children in Germany get to open their presents late afternoon on the 24th December. Then after a couple of hours of playing with their toys they have to go to bed. How torturous is that for a child! - At least with the anglicised Father Christmas the kiddies open their presents on the 25th and get all day to play with them.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ring of Fire

My new organic seed catalogue arrived a few days ago, and I have been leafing through the pages trying to decide on what to plant in the garden this coming spring. So far I've been concentrating on the chilli's & peppers section, and this year I'm going to have a go at growing pumpkins. Selecting the pumpkin variety is proving troublesome - it's a question of a trade off between size and taste. One chilli that has caught my eye is called Ring of Fire. I will have to grow these :)

The Juniorette will be having a section of garden this year, and she has told me already that she wants to grow peas, tomatoes & strawberries. She played in a football tournament yesterday and her team came third. The Juniorette was very proud of herself as she scored another goal. I was unable to attend as I was working, but Mrs Haddock get me updated via text messages.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Talking Bollocks

After finishing night shifts earlier this week I had an appointment with the Willy Doctor. Nothing serious, just a sperm-o-gram to check my fertility. A checkup on my little swimmers so to speak. I first had to fill in a questionnaire and then have a little chat with the Doc. He seemed a really nice chap, he explained really well what was going to happen, and the best bit was he did it in English.

The sample was given last. I was taken to a 'quiet room' to deposit my sample, and to my surprise there was no reading material available. The even bigger surprise was the small petri dish I was given. The doctor commented that it can be quite tricky to get the sample into the dish. Who says Doctors don't have a sense of humour. Anyway without getting into the technicalities the mission was successful.

The other part of the checkup was the Ultra sound. It's the same machine that they use for checking foetuses in the womb. It was quite a funny experience seeing ones Gonads on screen, and the Doc took a couple of screenshots - I wonder if I get to keep a copy? - and no, I'm not going to post them here!

The Doctor gave my testicles a clean bill of health, but what was weird was when he was checking the blood supply to the scrotal region and he turned up the volume on the Ultra sound. I could hear this strange noise, it was almost like a language. It took me a few moments to realise what it was talking bollocks!