12 July 2006


  We're off on our well-deserved holidays tomorrow night. First we'll have a weekend in London and then we'll move on to Lynton on the North coast of Devon. After five days we will pick up a certain boy in Lichfield before driving back to Mülheim where he will stay with us for a bit. Pictures of the holiday will of course be posted. Till then enjoy the summer and your well-deserved holidays. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't have too much of the kind of rain you can see in the picture above.

Before I forget, Martin, all the best for your travels. Come and see us in Germany some time. I am sure you will be missed at Painsley. Shame I didn't see you in Bad Salzig. People have told me why you weren't there... Start a blog and keep us all posted how you are getting on!

Piers, congratulations on your retirement. Painsley is losing a truly learned man with a big heart and no bad bone in his body! I'm sure your diary will be even more packed and people will have to book you weeks in advance. We are expecting you in Mülheim next year!

09 July 2006

World Cup of Hearts

What a brilliant tournament it has been. Perhaps not so much the football itself; the number of goals for example is disappointing and some performances by the referees have been diabolical.

What the tournament has done for Germany however is incredible. All of a sudden it is okay for Germans to fly the German flag and to show that they are proud of their country. Something that is quite natural for people of other nations, but in Germany this has always been eyed suspiciously.

Now what is even better is that even people from different cultural and national backgrounds have been supporting the German team and have shown that they like living in Germany. And with supporters as the ones that you can see in the picture, who would have doubted that the German team would win the World Cup of Hearts?

Thank you for being our guests in Germany and making this World Cup a very special one. You have given us the opportunity to show what being German is really about and it brought out the best in us. Posted by Picasa

06 July 2006

Visiting Painsley in Bad Salzig

I went down to Bad Salzig on the Rhine on Tuesday to meet up with some of my old colleagues from Painsley Catholic College where I worked before my return to Germany. It was really quite emotional to see them again as we had a very special department during my time there.

Working at Painsley definitely wasn't always easy; the pressure was immense and some of the decisions and policies were, in my view, often more concerned with achieving a well-oiled machine rather than having people's best interests in mind. At the time however it has always been a place where everybody worked hard and played hard and the atmosphere among staff was very supportive, "herzlich" and warm. But I have heard that this kind of spirit also forms during army boot camps. So perhaps it was quite natural ;-)

It was also nice to see so many of the kids I taught in Year 7 again. This year group was very special to me as I introduced the KS3 strategy with three teaching groups, which meant a lot of time spent with them. I was surprised how many of them I still knew by name and impressed to see how they have developed in the last two years. The best thing however were their excited faces when they saw me and their telling me that I am being missed at Painsley. It showed me how much I miss teaching young people.

Well enough nostalgia for one post. I'm off to enjoy a glass of the Hock Liz gave me as a thankyou for helping out during the day! Posted by Picasa

02 July 2006

England Game

It's not our fault. Everyone in my family did their best to support the team. Thomas even managed to send them off to the game. Shame he couldn't get any nearer to be able to take a better picture.

The only thing positive is that I'll be able to watch the final now without changing allegiances every ten seconds or so. Posted by Picasa