Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On top of the world

I managed to get a away for a week at the end of August, walking in the mountains in Austria . It rained every day for the first 3 days but the sun finally came out and I had to buy a sun hat. Posted by Picasa

Jemima the architect

At her first birthday party, Jemima had her first lesson in building from her dad Andy - put the big bricks at the bottom! She also showed early signs of musical talent on her musical octopus and percussion set. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

High wire adventure

I went to the Trainer Congress in Fulda last Saturday and was charged up by the motivating presentations and the very interesting people there. The highlight was when 12 of us went to the nearby "Hochseilgarten" after lunch. By the time we had rearranged ourselves in order of height standing in a line on a big log, we already felt closer and proceded to escape from a "melting iceflo" carrying a beaker of "nitro glycerine". The highlight was when we had to ascend 7 meters up in the trees in pairs and traverse a thin suspended beam with nothing to hold onto except our partner who was facing us on a parallel beam. It was an amazing experience of putting your trust (and your life if it wasn't for the safety harnesses) in someone else's hands.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Along the Nidda 2

This one is from a couple of weeks ago. Jane and I went walking along the Nidda from Hoechst upstream from where it joins the Main. I managed to get a shot of the heron before it flew off. We also watched crows who seemed to be "fishing". A few weeks before I had seen a crow with a live fish which surprised me because I thought they mainly ate carrion. Looking in the Internet I found video of another type of crow fishing by thowing bread in the water and and catching the fish when it came to eat the bait! you can see this at:
http://www.orenhasson.com/EN/bait-fishing2nd.htm Posted by Picasa

Along the Nidda 1

May has been pretty wet and it rained very hard on Saturday night. So when I went on my bike on Sunday morning, the Nidda was flowing fast and furious and was at least a meter above it's recent level. I noticed a lot of debris being carried along as I went upstream to Bad Vilbel and was curious to know what would happen when all this stuff (including logs) got to the weir at Heddenheim. So I went back downnsteam and had a look. As the photo shows, all the debris had gone over the weir but was trapped under the waterfall because of the back circulation. Hopefully someone will fish it all out during the next week.
Also sighted: A very large hare stopped on the path ahead. It was as big as a dog and it's ears must have been 30cms long. The swallows were swooping fast and low over the river catching flys. What fantastic aerodynamics! The ducks had to paddle hard against the strong current just to stay in the same place and had to fly home in the end. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 14, 2006

Matt in Germany

Originally uploaded by granddad2005.
Matt arrived today via Ryanair and the sun came out to welcome him so we decided to go across the Rhein by ferry at Bingen rather than on the Autobahn.
He's a good head of hair taller than me now - maybe I'm shrinking!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring is here

March 2006 031
Originally uploaded by granddad2005.
Not quite Australia, but the Sun came out in London and showed it really was the start of Spring.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jemima and her mum

Originally uploaded by andy+lu.
Lovely Jemima with her lovely mum Lu in Australia. Jemima is 5 months old here and growing rapidly, also the hair which had to be cut.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Jemima's great grandma

This is Jemima's great grandma, Gwen who lives in Northamptonshire. Jemima's been busy visting her grandparents, aunt's uncles and cousins in Australia for the last few weeks, and when she's over her jetlag I'll try and organise a visit so the two of them can get to know each other.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Some Like it Hot

Originally uploaded by andy+lu.
It's still rather chilly here in Frankfurt on Valentine's day. Yesterday the sun broke through and I had my lunch outside in the garden, although the ice was still floating on the water butt.
When I arrived in Germany to live at the end of 1991, it was so cold (-12) that I had to go out and buy a warm hat and scarf. I was not used to this in England. The summer of 1992 was fantastically warm and Matthew who was then only 5 then spent a lot of time at the outdoor pool. I learnt later that these were extremes for Frankfurt, but nevertheless on average, the climate is a lot warmer and less rainy than dear old England. I used to think that people were exagerating when they said it always rains in England, but from my visits back there, I know it is pretty much true. You only have to look at the weather chart to see all those clouds coming in from the Atlantic.
I don't think there has been a big change in the weather here since then. We had a very hot Summer in 2003, so much so that Humming Bird Hawk Moths started visiting our gardens to everyone's facination. I found out that they normally live round the Mediterranean but had been driven North by the extreme heat, flying over the Alps to get here. I think we saw the odd one in 2004, but otherwise they have retreated to their homelands.
The other freak weather we had was in 2005 when a tornado which tore down hundreds of trees in our immediate area and ripped off the metal roof of a nearby house. This is not something you expect in Frankfurt!
That's all for now

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jemima's dad

Originally uploaded by andy+lu.
Now this is Jemima's dad, my son Andy. The picture was taken in sunny Brighton last November. Andy became a vegetarian when he was about 6. He asked his mum where meat came from and she told him it was from dead animals, and he never ate meat again as far as I know. Jemima's mum is not vegetarian though and Andy now eats fish as I do. I wonder what Jemima's going to eat when she gets beyond the sucking stage.

Jemima's uncle

Originally uploaded by andy+lu.
Having introduced you to my granddaughter, I'd now like to introduce you to my son. No not Jemima's dad, my younger son Matthew who lives in England and goes to boarding school in Derbyshire.

Matt comes over to Germany at least once a year and he does eat sausages, because unlike his mum, his big brother and his dad, he does eat meat, showing that he has an independent mind, not to mention an independent stomach.

Matt is quite keen on mobile phones (this is actually a slight understatement) and on his last trip over here last Easter, he accidently rang the fire brigade in the middle of the night with my new Sony Ericson phone. I hope he forgives me for mentioning this.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My granddaughter

Originally uploaded by andy+lu.
I couldn't resist posting a picture of Jemima. She is on her first world tour with her mom in Sydney right now. She is thinking of taking a course in English quite soon.

About Frankfurt
Frankfurt sits astride the river Main which flows into the Rhein at nearby Mainz.
It is famous for frankfurters (sausages), but as a pescatarian (fish-eating vegetarian), I don't eat them.

The part of Frankfurt south south of the river, called Sachsenhausen, is famous for it's apple wine (locally called Ebbelwei) and a special sort of cheese called Handkäs which is eaten with chopped onion, vinegar, bread and butter.

Of course Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany and home to the European Central Bank which sets the interest rates for the Euro Zone (but not for my home country, Britain, who, like Graucho Marx, doesn't want to belong to a club that would accept them as a member).

I live in the north of the city in a place called Bonames which was once a quiet village on the river Nidda, but has been swallowed up by the city and is now only a short distance from the A5 Autobahn, one of the busiest roads in Europe. The Nidda has recently been re-naturalised and the paths which run along it's length are popular with walkers and bikers.