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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

itsMYNutella Mon 01-Jul-13 09:52:14

doradoo good luck with the house buying! I'm in the process of selling my little place in England and its almost at completion. I only accepted the offer in September confusedshock we are thinking about buying a place here (so that we can make it "ours") but it's a bit of a dream really.

outnumbered fx for your house buying too! Would be really great if you can buy and build the extension you want. Sounds like a fairytale solution compared to the box ticking and hoop jumping my buyer wants.

mrT cool bike! Although I've never owned one I have wanted one and understand the appeal. Happy riding grin

Linzer I haven't heard about the no swimming thing either... And when I had mine done (It was a 13th Birthday gift) I was swimming 3 times a week for a club confused but I was also fastidious about using surgical spirit to keep them clean. Have you asked at the place where you have the appointment?

admylin How are your Texan guests? Have you invested in lots of compeed blister plasters for them?wink
Did you take them to the Schützenfest? - I personally am not keen on it, all those marching Germans in funny hats and jackets seems a little weird to me blush

DS is a half today! He can almost sit... He tends to topple forwards. grin

LinzerTorte Mon 01-Jul-13 10:25:45

Nutella Happy half birthday to your DS! Are you marking the occasion? It's DD2's birthday today, so we're having a party this afternoon - am hoping it will be slightly less stressful this year, but with about a third the number of guests, it has to be!

MrTumbles No worries about the PM - just wanted to check as I know that last time when DD2 kept pestering me, it turned out it was actually her turn to write. Loved the photo of your motoribike btw; I'd be far too terrified to ever ride one, but can imagine it must be very liberating.

admylin Hope you're having a good time with your guests. I really missed being able to walk much when we were in the USA (and when we did in hunting season, I was scared I might get shot!); it's just assumed you'll drive from shop to shop, there were no pavements in the residential area where we lived, etc.

Thanks for all the thoughts on ear piercing. It hadn't even crossed my mind until Friday evening, when I was teasing DD2 about not being able to go swimming for a couple of months afterwards - and then thought I'd better check that it is actually OK for her to go swimming. And found lots of conflicting views on the Internet. She's having it done at the paediatrician's, which isn't open today so I can't check until tomorrow. I've asked a few friends whose DDs have pierced ears and none of them seemed too sure, from which I can only conclude that none of them was specifically told to avoid swimming for six weeks afterwards - but I'll still phone up before we go in.

doradoo Mon 01-Jul-13 16:37:21

We're in Essen - the galmour of the Ruhrgebiet grin

Hopefully things should go smoothly with the house as we've signed contracts - all read aloud by the Notar in front of all parties, and have a moving date fixed - end of Sept - so just a waiting game.

I'm merrily ebaying, Flohmarkt-ing and binning to try and sort as much as possible before we go - only 5k down the road but need to get on top of the clutter we've accumulated in the last 5yrs!

hupa Wed 03-Jul-13 10:20:38

Linzer Happy belated birthday to your dd. I hope the party went welll.

Nutella I love the age from 6 months onwards. It won´t be long before your chasing him around.

admylin I hope you´re having a lovely time with your guests.

End off term madness with 2 Lesenächte, a Wanderung and a Grillfest to fit in before we go away on Saturday. I´ve had to write a timetable for the next couple of days - a sure sign of getting old.

I hope everyone is well and it Looks like summer might actually arrive next week.

AntiqueMuppet Wed 03-Jul-13 19:32:43

Sounds like a busy week, hupa! Have a lovely holiday smile

How is the decluttering going, doradoo?

Happy belated birthday to your DD, Linzer. Has she had her ears pierced? How was it? Did you find out about swimming after the piercing? so many questions!

Aww at the toppling forwards, Nutella. Good luck with selling your place in the UK.

Great news about the bike, MrTumbles! It's also good that you're managing to get out on it a bit while your DH looks after the DC - I imagine that solitary time is even more necessary in the summer holidays!
grin at your spider monkey DS2 and his imaginary Gruffalo/dinosaur.

Are you having a nice time with your guests, admylin?

How has your DS enjoyed his first week, fussy?

Hello cheas and outnumbered!

I think it's time to muddy the waters again so might name change again soon. Although if I plan to do it now it will take me until the end of the year at least to decide on a new name grin

admylin Wed 03-Jul-13 20:31:16

Antique good luck finding a new name! One of the reasons I never bother to change names is that I have no imagination and just can't think of a new one!

hupa you'll all be ready for the holiday after all the action of end of term! Bet you're really looking forward to your trip.

doradoo good luck with the flohmarketing! We also only moved 4km last time we moved and it was just as bad as the 200km move from the time before!e to be moving into a nice new place of your own though!

How did the party go Linzer? Happy birthday to your dd.

Nutella happy half birthday to your ds! I'm also not into those schutzenfest things but we did take our guests for a walk round really late on Monday night when it was quieter. They loved it and took films and photos of all the different food stalls.

MrTumbles wow at your moterbike! Does your dh want to get one too? Dh used to ride one but he says there's no point here as he'd never go out in cold weather!

Our guests flew back today. We tired them out and managed to fit in loads of touristy stuff. Was shocked when we hired a 7 seater to all go on trips together - was very expensive but still cheaper and quicker than going by train for all 6 of us. Would maybe have been cheaper if we had reserved it a while in advance.

Before they came to us they had been to Interlaken in switzerland. I had never heard of the place but they went up the mountains to where it was snowing so they loved that (coming from south Texas where they rarely ever see snow).

LinzerTorte Thu 04-Jul-13 06:18:01


Thanks for the birthday wishes for DD2. Her party went well, although I must confess to breathing a sigh of relief and drinking a glass of Sekt once it was all over. She didn't have her ears pierced yesterday in the end; first of all the receptionist said she should wait a week before going swimming, then when I said we were going on holiday in a fortnight she said she should have it done afterwards, and when I asked how long DD2 needed to wait, she said until after the summer! But I ended up only postponing her appointment until the end of July, as we'll be back in the UK for a good part of August and it will be fairly easy for her to avoid going swimming otherwise.

admylin Interlaken sounds familiar - possibly from the Chalet School books. Sounds like you had a good time with your visitors; I sometimes feel like we should hire a minibus when we have people to stay! When my friend, her DH and their four DC came over last year, we went out for a meal at a Gasthaus a couple of miles away and had to go there in relays.

Antique I sometimes think I should name change as someone could read my entire posting history quite easily. OTOH I wonder whether there's much point, as I only really post on this thread now and am so easily identifiable that anyone in RL would still know who I was even if did name change.

hupa Sounds like a busy few days coming up! I always think the people who go away the day after school breaks up must be so much more organised than me, as I don't even have time to think after packing in the last week. Plus I like to have a few weeks at home to recover and think we appreciate our holiday more after being at home for a few weeks. grin I can definitely see the attraction of going away as soon as school breaks up though, and was quite envious of our neighbours who did so.

doradoo Good luck with the decluttering! After 8 years in our current house, I don't think I could face another move as I dread to think how much we've accumulated since we moved in.

platanos Thu 04-Jul-13 09:12:33

hi all, not keeping up at all....but wanted to say hello smile
hupa- I shall pm you places in northern spain.

platanos Thu 04-Jul-13 09:24:32

aargh, can't get it to do PMs and am at work so short on apologies anyone else who is not at all interested in northern Spain!
hupa places I can remember are mostly along the coast. Big cities include San Sebastian, Santander, Gijon (though not sure how far along you will go). In my opinion all 3 are spectacular!
smaller places: Santoña (nice little town, sea a bit wild) Laredo, Noja (used to be an unofficial nudist beach there, with big signs saying that if you did go naked, the civil guards would arrest you...that was post-Franco Spain in the 1980s. Battles of the old and the new), Ajo (very small place and wild beach-watch the water), Suances, San Vicente de la Barquera. Santillana del Mar is a really wonderful old town inland...I would not miss that one. Anyway, there are some names for you to google! Have a great time, and hope the weather is good. We used to escape the Madrid heat there, but it was warm enough to swim etc.

hupa Fri 05-Jul-13 10:31:58

platanos Thanks so much for finding the time to post those tips - it´s really appreciated.

Linzer I´m glad you survived the Party.
I only wish I was organised. Usually the last week of term is really quiet, but this year it´s been a bit manic and I´ve been awake at 5:00 the last 2 days going through lists of what I still Need to do before we leave tomorrow.

Ds´s class, along with another went for a walk in the woods yesterday and promptly got lost. They were only meant to be away for 2 hours, but finally turned up after 4 hours when a Förster had finally found them and led them back to safety. Even though the teachers had mobile phones with them, they couldn´t explain where they were, other than to say there were lots of trees grin. Apparently some of the girls started crying and ds and his friend decided to start looking for food (berries etc.) in case they had to spend the night there.

Well we´re off on Holiday tomorrow, so I must finish the packing.

platanos Sat 06-Jul-13 10:12:35

hi all, finally found some time to post.

hupa welcome and have a great time!

linzer how is your sanity? I had no idea about ear piercing, all the advice (even the one you got from the receptionist) sounds very confusing but it sounds sensible to err on the side of caution and to postpone.

admylin sounds like you and your guests had a good time. Smiled at the lack of walking. ooh, I just remembered I have some aubergines in the fridge, and time to soak them! yumm...

mrtumbles I have never really been on such a big bike, but I can totally understand why it is such a wonderful thing for you - enjoy the solitude!

doradoo good luck with the decluttering. And the rest of the move.

antique time to muddy waters? are you worried?

nutella wow...six months! he looks very sweet! That sounds like a veeery long time to sell a place. fingers crossed it finally happens.

outnumbered hope your house and extension all work out too. Our five year rent contract runs out next year and dh and I are putting off a discussion about it. But we need to decide what to do, because if we do want to move, we have to start saving now.

I am feeling a bit fed up today. My dds are such hard work at the moment - it is no fun. The dc and I were meant to go and explore a new swimming pool, but due to dreadful behaviour I cancelled it. Shouting, screaming, kicking, hitting...I try to be patient but they went too far. I never imagined I would be verbally abused and hit by my own dc sad. Anyway, we are having a day at home...and they are currently singing their lungs out, and it is raining outside so they may not be damaged for life. Just me then wink. And I get to do some much needed sorting of clothes and papers. And MN smile.

Have a good weekend!

admylin Tue 09-Jul-13 14:18:19

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun and heat. It's lovely at the moment as it kind of cools down slightly at night so it's not too exhausting. Dd has been enjoying the local simming pool and ds has hardly left his room except to eat but I am told that's teenage boys for you hmm

hupa have a great holiday!

platanos hope the fighting has calmed down abit. I remember my 2 having those phases too and you can't do much about it except for not giving treats etc. Now we're at a stage where they live peacefully together but ignore each other and dd shows more or less disgust if she has to interact with her brother. This will also pass I'm sure!

Nothing else new here. What is everyone up to?

fussychica Tue 09-Jul-13 19:11:30

Hi all
DS had a great weekend - went to the beach at Lubeck with his mates and swam in the Baltic.
Started his internship yesterday and was very positive about it all - long may that continue!
The downside has been his computer stopped working so has been without internet/screen entertainment for a few days until it's sorted. More expense!
He's been gone a month now (of 3) - missing him a bit but pleased he's doing something really worthwhile.
Hope you are all enjoying good weather.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 07:05:06

fussy sounds like your ds is having a good time! Great that he likes the work too. We're having perfect weather at the moment too. Hope he gets the computer fixed without too much cost. Are you planning to visit him before the end of his placement?

Dd is asking to go into town to the sales with me (and my purse of course) but I've got a Behörde man coming just after lunch to do a questionnaire thing for statistics. We have to take part in it by law and for 4 years running so this is the 2nd year. Only 1% of the population are questioned. So sales will have to wait until another day. In the meantime...ds has been out of his room for about half an hour (last night) to watch a programme about TÜV in Turkey, otherwise I haven't seen or heard him. Tell me this is normal teenage boy behaviour.

fussychica Wed 10-Jul-13 11:14:22

Sounds pretty normal to me admylin that's why I'm glad he's doing something constructive this year as he is a great one for spending hours playing chess on the computer, X Box etc even though he's nearly 21. Looking at lots of programmes featuring men in their 20//30s it seems to be something they carry on doinghmm.
He decided he wanted his new computer sent to him instead of getting the other one fixed. confused Cost a fair bit to do (his money)- just hope it arrives in one piece!

We probably won't go - unless he suggests it. We are going down to France when he goes at the end of September though as he will need to take more stuff for his year abroad so just a glorified removal van

AntiqueMuppet Wed 10-Jul-13 12:41:23

Sorry to hear your DDs are hard work at the moment, platanos. Are they still at each other's throats?
I have no specific reason for muddying the waters, I just like to name change occasionally. Saying that, I don't really post much on here that I wouldn't tell friends in RL and I think what I do post makes me fairly easily identifiable if you do know me in RL. It's more the idea of all my posts being accessible via a Google search once you know my username that makes me a bit uneasy. I'm sure no one is actually that interested in my posting history grin

The weather really is lovely at the moment, isn't it, admylin. We've been spending most of our mornings at the play park (where we've met some lovely Tagesmütter) these past few weeks and DS' is really enjoying letting his kamikaze tendencies go wild. Actually we've been going there after dinner most evenings too in an attempt to wear him out before bed.
The statistics thing sounds interesting. What sort of things do they ask you about? <nosey>

Glad to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg, fussy. Maybe all the lovely weather, the access to the beach etc will cure him of his computer habit...... grin Whereabouts in France is he off to? I did it the other way round and had a year in Germany and a few months in France on my year abroad, but that was 10 years ago.

A few friends have announced their pregnancies over the past few days and as we're TTC DC2 it has made me really hopeful that it will happen this month, so positive vibes this way please!

LinzerTorte Wed 10-Jul-13 15:44:02

Antique How exciting; sending positive vibes your way! I spent a year in Germany and a few days in France blush - I did spend a couple of months working in France the summer after my first year at university, but had completely lost all my fluency by the time I got to my final year.

fussy Good to hear that your DS is getting on well. I went to Lübeck for a weekend when I lived in Germany (my first weekend away with DH!) and really liked it.

admylin I'm also interested in your statistics questionnaire (that's what I'm working on at the moment, in fact). No idea about teenage boys and I can't imagine DS being a teenager somehow, but they do grow up frighteningly fast - DH's friend just called by with his children and his DS (13) seems so grown up now (much more so than DS's nephew, who's actually slightly older).

platanos Hope things have improved with the DC now; we go through phases like that, and it's no fun. I've only had two DC at home a lot of the time so far since they broke up (DD1 went to stay with my ILs for a few days and one or other of them has often been at a friend's) and have noticed how much easier it is; when there are three of them around, one of them always seems to be winding at least one of the others up.

hupa Hope you're having a great holiday!

The job I was waiting for finally materialised yesterday; the deadline is early August, but it's about half the length of what I was originally expecting so should be just about doable. Fortunately I've also found something for the DC to do in the mornings - a sport & games camp (which I'd ruled out as DS went last year and wasn't happy there so only went for a day, but he agreed to give it another try and loves it). DD1 got back from my ILs yesterday and was at a baking class this morning (she handily made our lunch - pizza and bread rolls - as well as muffins); she'll be at home tomorrow morning, but I've signed all three of them up for a tour of the hospital on Friday so should be able to work for another three hours then. They've all been at a friend's this afternoon - who has a swimming pool, which they've probably spent the entire afternoon in - so I'm off to go and pick them up now.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 17:35:27

Linzer the questionnaire thing is some sort of state (Niedersachsen) Stichprobenerhebung and he asked about who lives in the family, ages, education levels, work situation and income. Also asked if we planned on changing jobs, wanted more or less hours and if we were happy where we lived. That sort of thing.

I found it quite strange that they sent a Beamte who lived really close by and had dc at the same school as ours. I didn't know them or him but he got to know every detail about our income and background. It's confidential of course but still, he now knows who is who and who earns what in our little corner of town! Somehow I think someone from a different Bezirk would have been more suitable for that sort of job.

Antique nice that you've got to know some people at the park. I was just saying to dd that it's a shame she's not a toddler as I could take her to the park to occupy her! Now all she wants is for me to have a magic purse that produces 100€ notes at her whim so she can go shopping!

She's sulking today because we didn't go into town. I'm debating the idea of telling her we aren't going tomorrow or the day after either if she doesn't get her room sorted out. I don't mind mess but she needs to sort out the sticky blueberries spilled on her bedside table and left to go rock hard and waste paper chucked on the floor seeing as she isn't busy with much else.

fussychica Wed 10-Jul-13 18:36:29

Linzer he's off to the French Basque Country at the foot of the Bordeaux region. It's a very beautiful but incredibly rural posting with very poor public transport links so I just hope he doesn't find it too isolated. As you know with British Council you get to give 3 choices one of his was Bordeaux region but you can't specify where.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 18:56:24

fussy he'll love it! That's a lovely region. I used to live south of Bordeaux near Mont de Marsan and then later in Biarritz!

itsMYNutella Thu 11-Jul-13 07:53:23

Hello everyone!

admylin I agree I'd probably like someone from a different area knowing that jobs of information. Mind you the couple of beamters I know here don't do much for their image as a whole. One actually boasts about how little work he does and how much time he spends surfing the Internet...hmm

Linzer glad you managed to get the kids into some summer entertainment! I remember there being a constant shift between falling out with one brother or another and then being peace keeper smile although now I'd say I'm closest to my youngest brother it was nice to see my older brother at my mum's while we were there.

fussy I think it's really great that your DS has an internship in Germany and a year in France. I wish I'd done the same... My mum lives in Basque Country (she always wanted to learn French; and now she sort of has...) like admylin I'd move there in a flash if it was a possibility. Although DP has a terrible problem with French food so he'd probably end up as a big as a house grin and I wouldn't be far behind grin

antique PMA! Fingers crossed for you! I definitely want another but at the moment DS is driving me potty. If you ask me at nap time/ bedtime I'd probably tell you he will be an only child.

DS is sleeping better at night but. taking much longer to settle. He has started rolling over in his bed (it's actually a little small for him, new mattress has been ordered and we will be extending it as soon as it arrives!), then he is tuck on his tummy and he complains.

He also won't go down for daytime naps. I thought he was self settling but he seems completely unable now and we don't really know what to do. He is getting by on two 30 min naps a day most days confused

fussychica Thu 11-Jul-13 14:00:32

admylin Mont de Marsan looks lovely. He will be much closer to Biarritz, just inside the border. He asked for somewhere close to Spain as he is fluent in Spanish but wanted the chance to keep it up while away for the year. 5 miles was rather closer than he expected but the transport looks so poor I can't see him going far!

MultipleMama Thu 11-Jul-13 17:17:18

Hey everyone moving to Germany in January. Can anyone recommend schools in Frankfurt, near city centre? For eldest 2. They're 4 and 2. I've enquired at FIS, anywhere else? Thanks in advance! As I'm at a loss.

admylin Thu 11-Jul-13 18:55:57

Nutella good news that ds is sleeping better at night. Maybe he just needs one nap in the daytime now?
Ds never had 2 naps but dd did and then when she dropped that I really missed the peaceful morning hour with ds who was a toddler but then we all used to have a lovely afternoon nap together right after lunch. The luxury of being a SAHM!

fussy it's a great area and very quick to drive over to San Sebastian. I never drove back then but a friend could drive and we'd all cram into a 2CV! I do remember walking alot and long distances too though!

MultipleMama welcome! I have no idea about Frankfurt but at those ages you'd be searching for a Kindergarten as school doesn't start until age 6 here. There's nothing like reception either so it's play all the way right up to starting school aged 6!
Great that you have so much warning and have time to plan your move. Have you started looking at flats/houses yet?

fussychica Thu 11-Jul-13 20:04:53

admylin itsMYnutella -whole area looks really great - will be exploring when we go down in October. San Sebastian is high on the visit list, never got there when we lived in Spain. Really hoping he gets to know someone who has a car so he can get to all the lovely towns /villages in the area.

His computer arrived today - not heard from him so assume it's working and he's glued to it!

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