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Endlich Sommer - and time for a new Kaffeeklatsch thread...

(204 Posts)
LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 07:54:30

... for those living in Germany or Austria or anyone who just wants to chat/ask a question about living in or visiting this part of the world - all welcome. smile

Previous thread here

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 08:43:35

It most definately is endlich Sommer here! It was 34° yesterday and they just said it'll go to up to 37° today!

Just delivered the car for the TÜV/AU and an Inspektion (whatever they do for one of those) and it has been quoted at 350€ shock double what I was expecting.

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 09:03:55

Or definitely...

hupa Wed 19-Jun-13 09:54:19

Linzer Thanks for starting a new thread. It´s boiling here today.

admylin I´m always shocked at how much our car bills are, although I did get my brakes repaired last week for 63 Euros which seemed like a bargain, simply because it was still in double figures.

Nutella Thanks for those tips. We´re hiring a motorcaravan for 3 weeks and heading towards northern Spain. We haven´t booked any campsites, so that we can be really flexible about where we stay (or alternatively will we end up sleeping at the side of the road because everywhere is booked up). I´m glad you enjoyed the break, but it´s always great to get back to your own bed.

The dc have got their annual Schwimmfest today and couldn´t have picked a better day for it. I´m meeting them later, so will yet again have to brave showing my bikini body to the rest of the town. At least the threat of this every summer, motivates me to do a bit of exercise.

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 10:12:26

hupa I wish it motivated me! The only exercise I'm getting atm is about five minutes' cycling a day to and from school, which I know isn't enough.

admylin Cars are such an expense, aren't they? 37° has been forecast for parts of Austria today too, although thankfully it's "only" in the low 30s here.

I'm trying to sort out our summer holidays (childcare, etc.) at the moment, but unfortunately the place where I sent the DC last year - which they really enjoyed - is full. Otherwise, there just seem to be expensive tennis and beach volleyball camps (none of which the DC would want to do, even if they were affordable for three DC) or the odd thing that lasts a couple of hours. So it looks like I'll have to take the whole nine weeks off work and say goodbye to my sanity. I was only planning on sending them for the second and third weeks of the holidays anyway, but I'll certainly be in need of a holiday by the end of the third week now!

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 10:26:48

Linzer things get filled up so quickly don't they? Everyone always seems to be a thousand times more organised than me. Yesterday I looked at a website for Hannover summer holidays with all the organised activities for the dc and of course all the good ones are already fully booked right through to the last day of the holidays. No point sining up for that then!
Have you still got a few weeks planned with holidays away?

hupa sounds like a good plan with the flexible holiday. Are you driving down from Germany? Will you be having a go at driving the motorcaravan? Lol at you being brave and showing your bikini body to the town! I am lucky in that my 2 are old enough to go to Freibad with their friends.

If I liked driving that'd be something for me but I hate driving especially on motorways. My dream is to drive to the UK (and fill the car with shopping) but I'd need a driver as it's not going to happen otherwise. Anyone fancy being my driver there and back, preferably over to Hull or even Newcastle?!

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 10:35:53

Hitzefrei at school - dc just turned up 2 hours early! Dd is trying to organise her friends into going to the Freibad later.

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 10:47:14

Just saw your post on FB admylin and was wondering why schools never seem to close in Austria due to adverse weather conditions! DD2 and DS are both out on school trips this morning anyway, and DD1 went to the pool with her class yesterday afternoon.

I signed the DC up for the Ferienbetreuung at the last minute last year without any problems, but word has obviously got around about it! I suppose I can't complain too much as I don't actually have to work, but I'll definitely have to be more organised next year. Although DD1 will be too old for it then... We do have a holiday planned at the end of July and will be going back to the UK for a couple of weeks in August, but I don't think that accounts for even half the summer holidays. This will be the first year I've had all three of them at home for the whole nine weeks, as last year DS was still able to go to KiGa in July (which only closes for three weeks in the summer).

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 11:18:55

Wow, 9 weeks is really long! We 'only' have 6 weeks to fill and that's enough. Dd is ready to go back to school after about 4 weeks and starts packing her bag and getting all her pens and pencils ready!

It's getting really hot here. It said 34°C at 11am. Even though I've kept everything closed it's heading towards ventilator time!

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 14:13:29

I'm always a bit envy when I see parents in the UK complaining about the summer holidays being too long (I know you only have six weeks in Germany too, but I don't hear so many complaints from parents in Germany for some reason!). I heard an expert on the radio saying that the summer holiday here is too long as it takes the children a long time to get back into learning mode again, but I can't see things changing this century any time soon. We could definitely do with holidays being spread out more evenly throughout the year.

We've got all the shutters and blinds closed too, although it's only really the top floor that's getting hot - it usually takes a week or so for the house to warm up, so it's still nice and cool indoors. "Only" 32° here, though.

AntiqueMuppet Wed 19-Jun-13 19:51:55

Thanks for the new thread, Linzer!

Ridiculously hot here too, we've been hiding out indoors this afternoon as it's a tiny bit cooler than outside. Huge storms forecast for tomorrow. I'm off to the theatre tomorrow night, yay!

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 21:09:39

I'm waiting for our bedroom to cool down so that I can go to bed and read! But I have to keep the light off while the window is wide open so that the Mücken don't come in.

Enjoy the theatre, Antique - I haven't been for years. envy (Peppa Pig's Treasure Hunt doesn't count. grin)

admylin Thu 20-Jun-13 10:03:37

Linzer did your bedroom cool down? Ours certainly didn't, not until about 3 or 4 in the morning! I've just put up 2 black-out roller blinds and we'll see if that helps although today it must have been too late and it's boiling in there. Oh well, atleast the sun won't wake me early at the weekend.

Antique is it English or German theatre? Enjoy, whichever it is!

We collected the car from the garage last night and they said the 2 front brakes could do with being changed (although if it passed the TÜV it can't be that bad) and quoted us 270€. Does that not sound alot for just 2 brakes? I might ask around.

cheaspicks Thu 20-Jun-13 11:51:45

Thanks for the new thread, Linzer! The house has finally got too hot for me to do anything productive today, so I'm catching up on some internet surfing (that's my excuse, anyway!) I was doing very well and being quite fleißig this week so far as well...

hupa those holiday plans sound good. We hired a motorhome for a week when dd was little and travelled round the UK visiting friends and had a great time, but it was expensive to hire. Hope you got a better deal than we did!

admylin We did the drive to Rotterdam from Berlin a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't too bad, although it was longer than we usually need. I think we stopped near Hannover for lunch, so it would probably be fairly doable for you (4-5 hrs?) DH does all the driving, though. I offer half-heartedly to take over occasionally, but it doesn't seem to tire him much and I'm happy to sit and read/sleep. Does your DH drive?

linzer I'm another one who never gets things organised early - I assume Austrians are like Germans and sort everything out as soon as they can. That was my New Year's Resolution this year, but sometimes it makes no sense, like buying children's shoes months in advance when you don't know what size their feet will be.

antique what are you going to see? Something in German? I'm not hugely keen on plays - find stage actors too shouty a lot of the time - but it's always nice to go out in the evening and not have to do the bedtime routine stuff.

Hmm, my coffee break seems to have lasted until lunchtime confused. I want to try a recipe for some Middle Eastern filled savoury pastries, but it's one of these recipes that starts with salting aubergines, so I must get started. Will report back if they're good!

AntiqueMuppet Thu 20-Jun-13 12:43:22

Did the Mücken leave you alone last night, Linzer? Hope it was cool enough to sleep. It was sweltering again here last night and DS ended up in our bed too which made it even warmer. It's cooled down a little now after the 'storms' this afternoon, which were really just a bit of rain and wind, but better than nothing.

Hope the blinds make a difference tonight, admylin. I have no idea what a set of brakes should cost so can't help there, sorry!

When are you off on holiday, hupa? Are you looking forward to it? Have a lovely time.

The play is in English. I actually have no idea what we're going to see blush There is an amateur English-language theatre group in our city who put on a new production every few months and a I've been to the last two with two friends. It's just a nice excuse for an evening out and a glass of wine without any of the usual toddler bedtime hassle, like cheas said.

I've had a look and the play is 'Same Time, Next Year' by Bernard Slade. They usually pick pieces that have run on Broadway and have been popular in the States. They are sometimes a bit shouty, though grin

Those Middle Eastern pastries sound good, cheas. I'd be interested to know how they turn out. All my good intentions have gone to pot today and I'm drinking a nice cup of coffee to wash down the half a pack of biscuits I've just snaffled.

LinzerTorte Thu 20-Jun-13 19:50:07

Antique The Mücken stayed away, but so did sleep... it was well after midnight before it was finally cool enough, or rather I was exhausted enough, to get to sleep. On the plus side, I caught up on my podcast listening! Hope you're enjoying the theatre, possibly even as I write. I've just realised I lied in my last post and we went to see Dick Whittington earlier this year, but that doesn't count either as it wasn't a child-free evening out and there was no wine involved. grin

cheas I've often wondered whether salting aubergines makes much difference; I usually do whatever the recipe says and can't say I've noticed that the aubergines are particularly bitter if I don't salt them before cooking. The savoury pastries sound delicious, at any rate. I made a vegan puff pastry pie yesterday (well, vegan apart from the pastry); it turned out quite well, although DS wasn't keen and his friend refused to touch it.

admylin We have blackout blinds too and I kept them closed all day, but it didn't seem to make much difference. I need to find the fan for tonight! No idea about the brakes, I'm afraid, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to get another quote.

It turns out that all three DC will be getting a new teacher next year, as DD1's teacher phoned me last night to say she'd accepted a job at another school, or rather college (she really wanted to speak to DH, but he's away, so I had a long-ish conversation about it with her instead). And DD2's teacher finally told the class today that she'll be leaving at Christmas, so I don't have to be careful about what I say any longer (she wasn't planning on telling them until the autumn, but one of the girls asked her whether she'd be staying with them in the 4. Klasse - I'm sure she must have heard rumours).

outnumberedbymen Thu 20-Jun-13 21:56:45

Hello and thank you for the new thread, although I was hardly on the last one really...
There is no way I can keep up with everything so apologies in advance.

admylin tomorrow I can check the invoice I was given at the garage invoice of 780€ sad and brakes was one of the things that needed doing. We took the car in for its annual service, but - like last year - loads of things needed doing. Definitely time to replace our espace. The plan is to take it on hols with us next month and then look for a new one when we are back.

Far too hot in our house too. Last night I just could not sleep. And when I did sleep I was awoken again by one of the boys...

It's been raining and thundering for the past 2 hours, but still it's unbelievably hot and muggy upstairs. The dog was completely unbothered by his first thunderstorm btw. A nice change to my first dog ( a big, black Great Dane/lab cross) who'd start shaking and try to hide under sofas - and then get stuck- if someone just dared to pop some bubble gun grin

We heard back from our landlord about how much he wants for the house. And it is far more than it is worth. I guess he doesn't know that we've been looking at properties for a while now and know the prices very well - I guess I can't blame him for trying. But I sent him an email back giving him a little list of properties that are for sale or have been sold in the area. Lets see if he'll think it over, but it is at least 50-70k€ more than what it's worth so I don't hold up much hope.

Have fun at the theatre antique and enjoy the wine smile

Our babysitters are giving me a brilliant present for my birthday on Sunday. They are babysitting all three free of charge all day, so that me and dh can go somewhere for the day. I can't wait!!! We will be going to visit friends in Stuttgart. The visit was planned anyway, though with children, but this way we will actually be able to talk to each other grin

Hope everyone is doing ok, dc are all well. I would like to say that I'll be a more frequent visitor to this new thread, but I'd probably be lying. Got so much so sort out at the moment, both for ds1&2 it really feels like a full time job. I have managed to get an appt in Frankfurt for ds1 in 1.5 weeks ( the place where ds2 was diagnosed and I was very impressed with) and I really hope they have some answers for me. Despite being on meds now, for the past 2-3 weeks he has been increasingly difficult, violent with no impulse control. The scratches on my arm for a mega outburst last week have only just healed, and now I have a swollen and painful index finger sad. I don't know of he needs to be on a higher dose, or different meds yet again, or if it just simply something I ill just have to live with... I am expecting Frankfurt to say that they will have to keep him ( and me I guess??) in for a few days for observation, although I have no idea how that will be possible what with ds2&3, and dh working as much as he does.

Anyway, it's turned into another 'me' post, when I just intended to say hello and apologise for being absent blush

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 08:49:07

outnumbered how annoying about the house, hope you manage to get him to go down in price abit. Atleast you would save the moving costs etc. Thanks, if you get time let me know what it said on the invoice about the brakes. I'llhave to get mine out of the car and see which parts he actually quoted us for.
Have a lovely trip at the weekend, how nice of the babysitters!

Antique how was your night out?
Linzer we cook with aubergine alot and although they are edable without salting them, I find they do taste even better the longer they are salted. The best results are if I chop them and put them in salted water with some lemon juice for over an hour then rinse. Hmm, might do aubergine curry tonight!

cheaspicks I'll have to see which is nearer for me, Rotterdam is another option. I checked the crossing for Amsterdam to Newcastle and it was almost 500€ and a long crossing too so would probably need to book a cabin if overnight. Think I've missed any cheap deals to get to the UK as usual. Poor dd is desperate to get to the 'decent shops' as she calls them!

itsMYNutella Fri 21-Jun-13 14:18:02

Hello ladies.
Hupa Bilbao, San Sebastián and ... The place where a pilgrimage ends (compostosomething) are all supposed to be lovely too. I'd personally love to I to Bilbao and see the Guggenheim. I'm not sure if its still there but they had a Hockney exhibition recently that my Mum said was great.
I like the idea of a campervan, perhaps we could have a communal one and share it around the thread (appropriately stocked with DVDs of course) grin
Actually that's what I want to do in January; hire a van (somewhere warm) and have a chilled out driving holiday.

Outnumbered that is a really lovely birthday presentsmile I hope you and DH have a really lovely day!

Sorry I've forgotten what else I was going to write... Oh, Linzer thank you for the new thread! grin

It is lovely today, I don't mind if it stays around 20-25. The other day it was much too warm and DS was rather quiet - we gave him a lukewarm bath before bed that he realllllly enjoyed.

Also, DP and I are having a vegetarian month to make us try new recipes & basically experiment with food. I made 2 delicious curries yesterday. I would be very happy with curry, dahl as similar every day. I wonder how long it will take DP to notice it turning into "Indian curry month" wink

itsMYNutella Fri 21-Jun-13 14:21:14

outnumbered don't ever worry about a "me" post! I'm not sure if there is a better place to vent than on MN!

fussychica Fri 21-Jun-13 19:20:18

DS just gone to Hamburg for the summer on a Leonardo (EU funded) language course and work placement before his year abroad in the French Basque country.
He said it was incredibly hot there yesterday - he had to wear formal clothes for a meeting and was glad to get home for a shower -poor lad..

platanos Fri 21-Jun-13 21:01:15

nutella I second the idea of a thread campervan! Little ones don't really like the heat, do they?

hupa we used to go to northern Spain on holidays when I was small (escaped the heat of central Spain to the north). I have plenty of suggestions of smaller places (and ones where Spaniards go on holiday) so let me know if you want them! It's lovely...the sea can be quite rough though in some parts.

admylin thanks for the aubergine cooking tip, I love dc don't. No idea about brakes, sorry. I am dreading taking our car for its Pickerl. And we still have winter tyres on. The garage that changes and stores our tyres ( a city thing? or an austrian thing?) has ordered two new summer tyres for us but they have not come...they say. But how can tyres take 5 weeks to arrive? We drive a ford fgs and we are not on a remote island.

linzer dd2's teacher is leaving at Christmas of the 4. Klasse? Gasp. Horror. wink I hope you did find something for your dc...even if it is a few hours here and there.

cheaspicks your shoe comment made me laugh. My neighour called me at work about a children's shoe sale, quoting different prizes for different sizes, colours etc. She's crosssed the city twice (in the U-Bahn in the heat) to get her dd shoes for the next 3 years. She is really sweet but I am far too hot and busy to be doing that.

fussychic I do feel sorry for all those men dressed in suits in these temperatures. How long is he in Hamburg for?

outnumbered have a lovely day off. It sounds like you really need and deserve one. I hope the people in Frankfurt can help with ds and that the landlord realises he is overestimating the value of his property.

Ds has been put in the class with the teacher I least wanted. The head told me today she has put him in the 1. klasse but will see and probably swap him to the Vorschulklasse. And none of the children from his kindergarten are in his class - all put into the other 1.Klassse. Meanwhile dd1 is getting increasingly nervous about secondary school. Poor pet. Quite a few of her friends are moving with her though.

Have a good weekend - last swimming session tomorrow, hurrah. Feel free to throw me off MN if I enroll them again in September.

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 21:05:56

fussy it was over 30°C but it has cooled down now thank goodness! Hope your son enjoys his stay.

Nutella good idea to give your ds a cool bath. Did your flat stay cool? Ours didn't! Good that we bought fans last year.
What was on the veggie menu today? We had potato and tomato curry today, one of the few curries that everyone will eat in our house.

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 21:10:41

platanos poor dd, it's all a big change isn't it? Does ds know the situation with 1. klasse/vorschule? Don't you get a say in it or is the decision made by the teacher in the end?

fussychica Sat 22-Jun-13 13:15:01

platanos admylin He is there until mid September. At the moment it's still language lessons and he is trying to sort out a suitable work placement. It's a big adjustment for him even though he has been away at Uni for 2 years - this means being FAR more independent. He is studying MFL but German is only the minor of his 3 languages so it's by far his weakest - hence the reason for going. He isn't finding it easy but he's a confident lad so I'm sure he'll get there in the end but I do worry about/miss him!

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