tger greenhaddock: May 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

We are the champions!

This afternoon 1.FFC Frankfurt won the Women’s DFB cup final in Berlin against Duisburg. The game was 1-1 after normal time with Frankfurt winning quite convincingly during the penalty shootout. Mrs H and the Juniorette watched the game on TV. I only managed to see part of the game as I had to go to work.

Congratulations to the team on winning the cup and hopefully in the next couple of weeks they will clinch the Bundesliga championship to complete the double.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tom's and Roses

In my recent days off I have spent a lot of time in the garden doing various jobs. Most time was spent preparing the new rose bed. There is an incredible amount of stone in the ground that has to be removed. No wonder the grass never grew so well there. Once the stone is removed I will add peat and compost. This hopefully will be a good mix for the roses. We have ordered the roses and they should arrive in a couple of weeks at our local garden centre.

All my tomato plants are now in the ground (see photo) and are just starting to flower. I also planted out the first of the sweet peppers and cucumbers, with the rest of the plants that aren’t big enough, along with the aubergines remaining in the cold frame for the time being. Today the Juniorette ate the first of her strawberries which are now ripening. Now that really is a sign of summer. I guess it means Wimbledon cannot be that far away.

A few weeks ago Mrs H talked me into ordering a Satellite navigation device for the car. We decided on a new model for Tom Tom and ordered it online from Redcoon. After 2 weeks it hadn’t arrived so we rang Redcoon to find out what was going on, only to be told it wouldn’t be shipped for another 3 weeks. So we cancelled the order and went and bought a different model from a local store. The old fashioned way is more expensive but definitely quicker.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ascension Day

Today it is Ascension Day, the day when Christ allegedly ascended to heaven. In Germany it is known as Christi Himmelfahrt and is a public holiday. It is also the day that Germans celebrate Fathers day, where groups of men go into the woods and drink copious amounts of beer. I am stuck here in work. It’s not so bad really as shift workers here in Germany are paid a tax free allowance, which is quite generous on a public holiday. I also haven’t drunk any alcohol in over 4 months so I won’t be missing the beer either. I’ve not quit drinking, it’s that I just can’t be bothered with it at the moment.

The best place to be celebrating Ascension Day would of course be Ascension Island which is situated just south of the equator in the Atlantic Ocean. It was named after the recorded date of its discovery. I spent 3 years working there in the 1980’s at a Satellite Earth Station which handled the Island’s international telecommunications and NASA circuits for the islands shuttle tracking station. I had good time. I did a lot of scuba diving, played a lot of golf (quite badly), fished as often as I could and drank rather a lot of beer.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as the island was rather small and quite often the small town mentality prevailed. I had my moments on the island, including crashing the company car whilst heavily under the influence, which later ended up with me spending the night in jail after assaulting the Chief of Police. Not something I’m proud of but it happened. Incidentally I learned my lesson and I have not driven a car after drinking since. But at the time on the island it was ok to do so unless you had an accident. Weird I know but that’s how it was. Time I think now for a nice cup of tea!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Going up a class

The Juniorette is still doing very well with her swimming. She attends swimming club on a Friday and does further training on a Monday evening. Her swimming club is divided into 3 groups and she has been in the intermediate group for the last 6 months. She has now been informed that she can join the senior group after the school summer holidays. She is a very happy and proud 8 year old girl.

Last Sunday was Mothers day and the Juniorette had her first outside football tournament of the season. She played very well, had a couple of good shots, but was a bit disappointed not to score. She really wanted to score a goal as a present for Mrs H. The team performed well which bodes well for the rest of the season.

Last week the Nintendo DS Lite arrived for the Juniorette. She has been saving her pocket money and xmas/birthday money for quite a while to buy this and was quite excited waiting for it to turn up from Amazon. We ordered Nintendogs for her which is a game where she has to look after and train a puppy. I was surprised at how much fun this was and how addictive it can be. But fortunately with the amount of activities that the Juniorette participates in, she hasn’t the time for it to become a problem.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

We will rock you!

This last weekend the Haddock family went to visit the Juniorette’s Godparents in Köln. We met up with them at Phantasialand on the Saturday for a day of rollercoasters and fun. The Black Mamba rollercoaster ride was the highlight and the Juniorette was extremely pleased that she just made the height restriction. We of course had to be in the front row. The ride was exhilarating and I felt a bit wobbly on my legs afterwards. Fortunately the Godfather really likes rollercoasters so the Juniorette didn’t have to rely on her wobbly old papa to escort her on every single ride. The weather was good and we had a terrific day out.

On the Sunday we were due to go and see the afternoon viewing of the Queen musical ‘We will rock you’. Luckily Mrs H checked the tickets early in the morning and discovered that we had tickets for the evening show – oops! – We all had a bit of a laugh about this, and then Godmother had the great idea of visiting the Köln Zoo. It’s the best zoo I’ve been to. The animals looked really healthy, had a reasonable amount of space, and I didn’t notice any repeat behavioural problems that many captive animals demonstrate. We had a wonderful time there and got to see the baby elephant which is only a few weeks old.

In the evening we went to the musical. As it was the Sunday evening showing the theatre wasn’t full and we had pretty good seats with a great view. The Juniorette really enjoyed the show. I thought she would as she is a bit of a queen fan, and plays her ‘Best of Queen’ CD quite a lot at home. I found the show very entertaining and really quite funny in places. After the show we said our goodbyes to the Godparents and returned to Marburg, albeit a bit later than planned. Köln is easily my favourite German city and we had a fantastic weekend there with really great friends.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Grey water

Grey water is a generic term for household water that has been used once already (bath water, washing dish water etc) and is then re-used. I mentioned in my last post that we are using grey water from our kitchen to water the garden during this current dry spell. We only use it to water flowers and bushes and not anything that is edible. The grey water we use from the kitchen is from washing dishes and from washing hands. Both the hand soap and the detergent used for washing the dishes is biodegradable and is from the firm Sodasan which manufactures many environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Over the last year we have started to use a lot more environmentally friendly products and have been surprised by how good the results have been. We now use green washing powder and softener and our clothes are still clean and smell fresh. I believe the early generation of green cleaning products were no so effective, but the ones we have tried from Sodasan and Ecover have worked very well indeed. This I believe has helped to effectively reduce our negative footprint on the environment. Water use and conservation doesn’t make the news too often, but now and then there are articles about fish populations changing sex, drinking water quality, algae blooms etc, and one of the contributing factors to this pollution is household waste water. So I guess every little bit helps, even if it is just a drop in the ocean.

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