Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Full up to pussy's bow*

We are on a bit of a savings kick in the vain hope that we will be able to afford our upcoming and very belated honeymoon in Scotland. This means a tightening of monetary policy here at H&R Inc. The convenient, but pricey, Tengelmanns is currently off the list of approved purveyors of goods and the not so convenient, but much cheaper, Aldi has become a preferred supplier.

We are taking this mild inconvenience in our stride, but the cats have obviously grown accustomed to a life of luxury, and turn their spoilt little noses up at anything less than Sheba’s Deluxe Foie Gras with Beluga Caviar in a lightly spiced Gold Leaf sauce™. This means that even Copernicus has been rejecting what he is fed.

Usually, I am a big fat pushover and can’t bear to think of my little darlings starving and cave after one day. I am quite convinced that the cats know this too. You are not alone in your incredulity that a seemingly rational, intelligent woman with a university education can so easily be out manoeuvred by two cats, both of who have been known to prefer drinking out of the toilet.

Not this time.

Maybe it is my inner selfish bitch reasserting herself now that I’ve given up smoking (I really think I’ve become a nastier person since I quit), but this is the only honeymoon I’m ever going to have, so if the cats have to slum it with the rest of us for a little while, then they can bloody well eat what they are bloody well given (OMG - I just channelled my mother, except for the ‘bloody’ – she would have said ‘blasted’).

So the theory is good – when the cats are hungry enough, they will eat. The practicality is somewhat different. I forgot to take into account the veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of Shrews living somewhere nearby and the fact that the cats are pretty decent hunters means that our ‘food bowl stalemate’ will continue for some time. I’ve told them not to snack between meals, but they never listen – Naughty Little Fuckers (sorry Dad, but they are).

*An Australian expression to indicate that one has had more than enough (usually to eat) or of a situation eg. I've had it up to here (the neck) with you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

International Love Story

At some point during today's lesson wedged in between Adjektiven Deklination and Konjunktiv II our teacher asked each of us to tell the stories of how we meet our significant others.

We had it all - high school sweethearts, arranged marriages, love over the internet, star-crossed lovers (thankfully without the deaths) and a surprising (to me) number of cousins who had married - I thought that was the purview of royal families.

Our class is very formal and for many of us German is our only shared language, so getting to know each other is not so easy. These little glimpses into the lives of the people with whom I spend 20 hours per week was a delightful treat.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flowers and Faces

What better way to spend a Friday afternoon than a leisurely wander along the Rhine, admiring the beautiful flowers and works of art at the Landesgartenshau in Bingen with mr and mrs jb.

jb has blogged about the new and improved Bingen river front over at Mainz Daily Photo.

The last time I visited Bingen it was for the start of the bike ride I took with my sister. I can assure you, the new Bingen river front is a big improvement on the old.

I am now thoroughly inspired to create a little garden on my 2m x 5m terrace.

We topped off the evening with a fabulous dinner at Weingut Kruger-Rumpf. mr and mrs jb sure know all the good places to go.

(edited because one of the pictures was causing problems. I'm hoping that deleting it will fix the issue)

Sunday ride - Nackenheim

View Larger Map

total distance - 30.2km
stops for icecream - 1
stops for beer - 1
calories expended < calories ingested (bummer)
detours - 1
total time - 2 hours
route: bretzenheim - bodenheim - nackenheim - mainz - bretzenheim

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life with Cats

Just like this, but squared.

For the rest of the series visit Simon's Cat

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday ride - my god two weeks in a row

View Larger Map

Number of hills - 3
Instances of walking bike uphill - 0
Planned distance - 28 km
Actual distance ridden - 32 km (a number of wrong turns)
Stops for refreshments - 1
Total time taken - 2 hours
Total time staring at map - 15 minutes
Acknowledgment of our existence from other travellers - 4 (a new record)

Aus seinem Herzen keine Mördergrube machen*

Ich habe schließlich erlebt der berüchtigten deutschen Neigung zu brutalen Ehrlichkeit.

Letzte Woche, während einer improvisierte Besuche von meiner Nachbarin, war ich informiert, dass ich einiges Gewicht gewonnen hatte, da ich mit dem Rauchen und dass vielleicht sollte ich nicht so viel essen.

Ich habe ihr drei wörter, "hart aber fair".

What I meant to say was.....

Don't make a murder's hiding place out of your heart*

I have finally been on the receiving end of the infamous German propensity for brutal honesty.

Last week, during one of my neighbour's frequent impromptu visits, I was informed that I had gained some weight since I stopped smoking and that perhaps I shouldn't eat so much.

I have three words for her, "harsh but fair".

* A German saying that means to speak frankly.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Es tut mir Leid

Es tut mir leid. Gestern hatte ich keine Zeit zum bloggen. Ich verspreche, dass etwas mehr schreiben heute, wenn ich zu Hause von der Schule.

What I meant to say...

I'm sorry. Yesterday I didn't have time to blog. I promise to write something more today when I get home from school.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Beichten von einer Ausländerin

Wann bin ich zuerst nach Deutschland gekommen, habe ich so viele lustigen Fehlern gemacht.

Zum beispiel, in meine erste Woche in Deutschland, habe ich degacht:

"Wer war "Herr Einbahn", und was hat er gemacht, dass er so viele strassen nach ihm zu benennen war?"

What I meant to say...

Confessions of a foreigner
When I first came to Germany, I made so many funny blunders.

For example, in my first week in Germany I thought:

"Who was "Herr Einbahn" and what has he done in order for so many streets to be named after him?"

PS. Einbahn = one way

PPS: I still make plenty of funny blunders.