tger greenhaddock: June 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wind damage

The weather of late in Marburg has been rather wet and on occasion quite windy. But at least it hasn’t been as bad as in the UK were flooding has caused serious damage and some deaths. But it has taken its toll on my garden. The lawn has a serious case of red death this year caused by the wet and humid conditions, and some very windy conditions a few day ago ripped off a truss from one of my Russian Plum Yellow Tomatoes (see photo). These plants are growing really well and are setting staggering amounts of fruit. The trusses on the plants are going to need some serious support soon.

At present the blueberries and blackcurrants are ripe, and we have eaten the first of the Red Onions. The Sweet Peppers are setting fruit, the Aubergines (Eggplant) are in flower, and we should be eating our first home grown cucumbers of the summer within the next couple of days.

It would be good for the weather to become a bit drier for a while as the hedge needs cutting, the grass needs cutting and new flower beds need to be prepared. But at least our water tank is full

Technorati Tags: , ,

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 25, 2007

She shoots! she scores!

The Haddock family have just spent the weekend at a wellness hotel in the Black Forest celebrating the 75th birthday of my mother-in-law. The rest of the family were in attendance and we had a really great time at the Schiffkopf Hotel which is situated just over 1000m above sea level. The views over the Schwarzwald were breathtaking.

We spent a lot of time relaxing, swimming, walking and sweating in the sauna. I even managed a bit of time in the hotel gym, which is good as I haven’t been to the gym in Marburg for a while. The food served at the hotel was outstanding, as was the wine. I was drinking grape juice. We had a wonderful time, but we had to leave after breakfast on the Sunday as the Juniorette had a football tournament to attend. Her team won the tournament and the Juniorette scored the final goal of the last game. I actually remembered the camcorder this time.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tagged and released

I was tagged by Beaman a few days ago for a meme. I’m not really a meme person, but I thought I would give it ago. Beaman added a twist to his meme by asking his readers to pose questions and then he would reply with the answers. I thought about doing the same, but in the end opted for the original version.

Rules: Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people; then visits those people’s sites and comments, letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.

  1. If I drink vodka I lose my shoes. This has happened on several occasions, so I have subsequently stopped drinking vodka.
  2. Many years ago I broke an international trade embargo and bought a boat from South Africa. This was during the years I worked and lived on Ascension Island and I went fishing most weekends, catching mainly Tuna, Wahoo and the occasional Sailfish.
  3. I have dived several times with sharks. I have great respect for these hunters of the ocean. Scuba diving was my greatest passion in life for a lot of years. I had a lot of fun, but I was also in a few dodgy situations that could have cost me my life.
  4. I have been locked out of hotels rooms in the middle of the night a couple of times. Once with underwear, and once without. It’s a long walk to reception to get a spare key when you are stark bollock naked.
  5. My great grandfather was born in Georgia in the USA, and emmigrated to the UK. This was deemed unusual at the time as most people were emigrating the other way.
  6. I was expelled from the 6th Form at school for disruptive behaviour. To the dismay of the Head of the 6th Form I was allowed to continue with my A level education when I promised the Head Master that I would change my attitude and work hard for the remainder of the year. I was of course lying.
  7. I am prepared to kill what I eat. I have over the years slaughtered Sheep, Pigs and shot the occasional rabbit. Nowadays I still eat meat, but not as much as what I used to.
  8. When I was 5 years old, there was a mix up between my mother and a neighbour about who should pick me up from school. When nobody turned up I decided to walk home. A man helped me cross the main road. He didn’t let go of my hand and started to take me on a different route. I realised something was wrong, escaped his grip and ran home like the wind. Later I described him to the Police and he was arrested a couple of months later, but only after sexually assaulting another child.
In the spirit of memes or what ever, I now tag - Island Girl, Surfermom, Rooks Nest, Seedlings in Stone, My Thailand Diary, Fruits of my Mind, CanadianSwiss & Chanceless

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Birds and the Bees

The Haddock house seems to have become a bit of a wildlife reserve of late. We have Mason Bees in the roof (as we did last year) and on the south side of the house we have 2 separate Bumble Bee nests in the ventilation gaps in the outside brickwork. In one of the ventilation gaps on the west side we have a Wasp nest, and on the north side a Hornet nest. So we shouldn’t have any pollination issues in the garden.

Before anyone freaks, the Mason Bees are solitary bees (they don’t swarm) and die off at about this time of year. They are not a problem. Bumble Bees are harmless as I regularly demonstrate with catching them with my hands. Hornets are good natured if you don’t upset them (not actually sure what does upset them though) and they are a protected species in Germany. Wasps will become a problem later in the summer when we dine on the patio, but Mrs H and the Juniorette know to stay calm around annoying Wasps, and then let me deal with them.

A couple of days ago I found a Vole outside our cellar steps, and a few weeks ago a Lizard (see photo) took up residence there for a while. We have a bird problem in our living room. Great Tits keep coming in through one window trying to take a shortcut to the bird feeder located on the patio. Unfortunately they keep on stunning themselves by flying into closed windows once inside the house. Our tomcat then pounces on them and eats them, feathers, bones and all. I guess its nature’s way of weaning out the dumb and unlucky ones – shame though.

We of course still get the half eaten, mangled and injured birds and mice that the cats bring home regularly. But so far this year they haven’t brought back any frogs or toads, and the time will soon come when our girl cat Minnie will start bringing home butterflies.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Too close for comfort

Friday evening I received a call at work from the Juniorette to tell me that a house just down the road from ours was on fire. Mrs H had been in our garden and noticed some smoke and flames coming from the carport of the house. She informed our immediate neighbours who called the fire brigade and then went with them to examine the fire closer. Within minutes the fire was raging and had spread to the main part of the house and another neighbour’s carport. The fire brigade turned up very promptly and got the fire under control. Luckily there was no wind that evening to fan the flames higher and possibly catch light to surrounding houses.

This incident has shocked our little community on the new housing estate. The speed with which the fire spread seems to have surprised everyone, but both carports were also used for storage of wood for wood burning stoves and this would have been very dry with the high temperatures of late. The house itself is not liveable at the moment and the construction company will later this week decide if the house is salvageable or if it will have to be completely rebuilt.

Fortunately nobody was hurt in the fire, and at the present time it is unclear how it started. Initial estimates put the damage at around €250,000. The owners were away at the time but were there the following morning and looked a bit distressed. As a community we all feel very sorry for them. I have been through a fire experience myself many years ago and understand to certain extent what they must be going through.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Last Weekend

We enjoyed our trip to Nürnberg last weekend to watch Germany play San Marino. Germany won 6-0, but it wasn’t the best game I have ever seen. Before the game we went into town and had a little look around. Nürnberg looks a nice town and we would like to re-visit sometime to see the Christmas market. What really struck me was the fact that next to the football stadium was the stadium where the Nazi’s held their rallies back in the 1930’s. For some reason I always assumed it was either destroyed or torn down, so I was a bit shocked and surprised to see it there. It seems to be put to better use nowadays as whilst we were their there was a rock concert going on.

Whilst in the stadium, but before the game started we took the Juniorette to the first aid station to have a tick removed from her shoulder. She also found another on her leg when we got home later that night. We thought this was weird, but then so was the mileage of our trip – 666 km from door to door. But as I have recently discovered the number of the beast is not quite what it seems.

The Silbermond concert at Hessentag was very good, and we managed to find a spot where the Juniorette had a good view, and where we oldies could sit down for a little while. On the way home we used a train where our tickets were not valid. I was too tired to care; besides I pay Deutsche Bahn enough for my season ticket any way. We weren’t the only people in this situation and if the trains had been running correctly (not late!) that this situation wouldn’t have existed in the first place. Nether the less the Juniorette found it quite exciting to be doing something naughty!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 01, 2007

Busy schedule

I’ve had a busy week; unfortunately I am not sure what with. There’s been a far amount of garden work, various minor jobs done around the house and I played football again with the Alter Herren. Doesn’t look much on paper, but it sure used up my time quickly.

Tomorrow we are off to Nürnberg to watch Germany play San Marino in a qualifying game for the European Football Championships. Germany should win quite easily and hopefully we should see a sack full of goals. We intend to get to the city early to have a look around and then meet up with family members Deepblue, Mr Blue and Boyblue before the game.

On Sunday we are going to Hessentag in Butzbach to see Silbermond in concert. Hessentag (it should be called Hessenwoche as it lasts for more than a day), is held at a different town in the state of Hessen every year. The town then hosts various events, activities and concerts for the duration. Aerosmith are playing on the last night of Hessentag and I would really like to go, but unfortunately I have to work. Such is the life of a shift worker. But at least I get to see Silbermond.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Labels: , ,