Tag: happy days

Sunday Column (202)

The first week back at work after being off for two weeks seems to be always hard. I eased my pain with my new “man chair” which arrived early this week.

20130112-131506.jpg Whilst not the best quality (my wife was right) I am happy with it nevertheless. May it last until we rearrange the living room and get a new couch etc. in a few years time.

Child benefits got cut. We opted out, despite the fact that I believe it isn’t fair. I understand that if one has above a certain earning that benefits are cut, but the way the rule works there are couples having a similar income to myself or higher (!) between them, however they still qualify for the benefits. Not fair I’d say. On top of that travel tickets to London went up b 5% whilst inflation went up b 3%. Means in my profession I just have to sell more to make up for things I suppose. Sell, sell, sell is the motto for 2013. Life is really getting more expensive by the day.

With the cold weather quite a few colleagues have been off sick. I didn’t feel too great during the week and only went running on three mornings. Got a nice massage on Saturday which helped me getting into shape. I am getting fit. I am getting somewhere. Given the awful wet weather it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people are sick and I started feeling under the weather over the weekend. Fingers crossed I can shake it off quickly and go back to my exercise routine mid week.

R himself finally got chickenpox. So C probably gets it soon. I am glad that we finally go through it. About time as often as they have been exposed to chickenpox before πŸ˜‰ Luckily R doesn’t seem to be too bothered, so all good.

Another fish I bought last week disappeared in my fish tank. Probably dead but I am surprised we didn’t find any remains, it was just gone from one day to another. Shame, a nice bulldog pleco. I think we will keep the amount of fish as they are for a while before adding more. Our barbs are growing to a nice size, so that’s a bit worrying πŸ˜‰ Every time we go to SeaLife in Brighton we get reminded that some ex home fish tank fish are in this special tank – and they are big. What I am saying is that some fish just grow above and beyond the size of your home tank. So you better watch it.

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Despite the illnesses, changes and stress at work, I am generally very positive for 2013. My energy is increasing and with every training session I gain more energy, feeling better. I have a good feeling for 2013. The break helped me a lot to focus on family and helped me bonding with the boys. So if I see them at the weekend or sometimes at night I am getting a lot more cuddles. Nice. Particularly this weekend, I managed to cuddle with Colin in my chair and take a nap whilst he watched TV. So that is what I call both symbiosis and productivity LOL.

On Saturday my wife cooked me a really nice meal: lamb. I love when she is spoiling me, and just what I needed after the full on week back. So it is my turn next week and with the slow cooker ordered I think I might try pulled pork or burnt ends….latter might be a bit tricky but we shall see.

Maybe one last note in respect to 2012. I found some closure with people by sending them Emails/ letter to put things from years ago behind me. I hope it answered a few open questions they might have had. They are not apologies but acknowledgements. I read “Chasing Daylight” a few years ago which gave me the inspiration to always have all open ends closed as you never know when you leave this earth and how much time you have when you do. Often people come into your life for a reason. Some never stay, others hang around for a while and some stay forever. There are reasons for that, and for loosing touch. Not sure if Facebook helps in that matter really. But I stopped being friends with everyone and anyone just because I know them. But when you look back to the good old school times, who you were friends with and who you weren’t friends with, and for how long, you realise quickly that you met some people just to help you through a phase, a problem or a period of your life. And you would be the same for other people. Life is fascinating in that respect. I probably could write one post just about that.

Guess that is all for now. A nice weekend with the family. We visited Nymans Gardens which is less than 30 minutes in the car from us, making good use of our National Trust membership already. Now back to the grindstone. Give me until mid February to settle into the running routine and starting a few new projects πŸ˜‰ I keep you posted!

Best wishes,
Volker

Sunday Column (188)

A whole week in London, in the office, at home. Doesn’t happen too often, so I made the most of it. I caught up with some clients, some old friends, the team, industry peers and so on.

A few lunches, too many coffees. Also I managed to see the kids one night, and I managed to see my dentist in Beckenham too. Fingers crossed this was the last visit, a pain to get to, however a good dentist.

I was thinking this week. About the present, about the future. You know how we, my wife and I, made the decision to stay and live in the UK in order to be close to family. And, that we decided not to be too far away in case family becomes older and needs help. But thinking this week what C and R might become one day, I predicted that C will be an engineer, doing a job which he likes and stays in Europe. R on the other hand might be more academic moving to the USA or even Asia. Funny thoughts. No pressure, no idea where this is coming from. Globalisation. We cannot stop it and the world gets smaller each year. 24 hours and you are at the other end of the world.

That is fine isn’t it? Even living close to our parents, we miss out on the “we pop around Sunday for tea” sessions families have that live in close proximity. I never experienced that. We visited my grandparents once or twice a month. They might have stayed with us for a week. Same now for our boys. But I am sure it won’t be the same for our grand kids. Anyway, still a long time away. So these were some thoughts this week.

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Then I got a scare. Not to worry, but as you know I am keen on exploring what to eat to prevent cancer. Lifestyle choices to prevent rather than to cure this disease mankind still hasn’t found a drug for. Now this week I saw a show on TV stating that 1 in 3 will get cancer. That shocked me a bit. Whilst we don’t have a cancer history in my family, there is still a 33% chance of me getting cancer. I used to chain smoke. I enjoy the odd cigar. I love my red wine. Am I at risk? How do I compare to the other 2? If I am ok, will my wife be ok?

There are a few facts I listened to over the last few weeks. One was that there is not enough clean drinking water: more people have access to a mobile phone than fresh/clean drinking water.
Excuse me? I cannot believe that. I easily could provide some clean drinking water from my tap but how can I distribute it? I subscribed to a charity newsletter, as I am determined to take action. I hate to donate Β£20 and just feel better. I need to do something. Same with cancer. I run (when not sick), I try to eat healthy most days, eat my 5 fruit/vegetables a day, balance my stress level and reduce my alcohol intake as much as I can without beating myself up. I still wait for this day to take more actions. WTF? What is it I am actually waiting for?

You know some people waited all their lives to feel better, get healthier or for something to happen. Nothing is ever going to happen. So I will put an action plan together.

A) reduce bad food intake even further and concentrate on the good, high on free radicals diet. Got a book about nutritions that is aimed at professionals. So hopefully I will learn a lot more about our bodies, adjust, refine and master what I drink and eat.

B) read the next Charitywater and Wateraid newsletter and donate or do something for clean drinking water.

Happier days ahead.

20121007-190742.jpg I need to stick to my guns and make a difference, because I can. Those, Albert Einstein said, who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act. True.

I suppose this is enough heavy thinking for a week. There were so many positive things this week too. Starting at work, it was good to spend a week with the team and drill down on some day to day business. We also managed a great team night out. Really feel privileged to work with some very fine people. There were some negatives too but let’s not focus on that one too much. There always will be.

At home C now really loves (!) going to school. He just runs off without saying good bye. My wife is telling me that they have to put their name tag on a tree when they enter the building. I imagine some kind of magnetic board on the wall or so. And he has to have his name tag on the top of the tree. Where else? He wants to be high up. Be the best. He is a winner, see above. So good to see him being so happy and ambitious.

Also when I polished the car today, I asked him to have a look when I filled up the water for the wipers. He knew about the engine and was all fascinated. Later he wanted to see a car race on TV. Boys will be boys I guess.

R is developing a lot. Not only is he copying his brother, he develops his own wee character. Very cute to watch whilst also being a pain in the bum πŸ˜‰ I am loving them both so much. When we got new fish this weekend he was watching, pointing at them. So cute!

This concludes yet another week. Autumn arrived. Colder nights, foggy mornings. I love autumn. Reflective times. Good days.

The next three weeks I will be travelling again. Before I know it it is winter.

Brrr πŸ™‚

Stay well.
Volker

Sunday Column (173)

Now, the first week back after a two week holiday was two-fold. On the one hand one I was busy catching up on things I had missed, on the other hand I was busy with things that needing done. If then one of the top company guys visits, one take on a new/old job, and changes ones routine…it can be a bit hectic. But I managed well I think.

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But it was far from stressful I have to say. I still managed to keep my holiday spirit whilst getting up at 5:30 am to go running. I managed that twice his week. On top of that I managed one night ripping out the pond. It is a shame to do that but makes the garden a lot child friendlier. One needs to decide one way or another. My wife has been busy sorting the weeds too. And blinds went up in the kids room.

We ordered the council to collect rubbish next week. We got a lot of stuff we need to get rid of. Then we received a few quotes so that we can carry out the necessary repairs. We ordered some furniture, made plans for the rooms and hardly stood still sorting bits and pieces in order to settle in further.

The commute works out 90 minutes door to door. Means I am in the office for 9, leaving the house at 20 past seven. On the morning commute I manage a good chunk of reading, my emails and a 10 minute snooze between East Croydon and London Victoria. The tube isn’t too bad in the mornings either. However, in the evenings things are busier on the tube, trains are busier but so far I always managed to get a seat. I write this for instance sitting on a table on the train on Friday. I love having the iPad for my home journeys. I check and finish my emails for work on the Galaxy tab, then use the iPad for reading and everything else. Fantastic. The view from the window are horses, villages and GREEN.

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20120622-181857.jpg You can hear that in the short period of time I started enjoying my life already. I get pictures send from the wife and boys at Brighton beach during the week, we get double yog eggs from local produce and have very friendly neighbours. We arrived. We are settling in. Thing are good. We are happy.

To be honest this sums the week up. Next week I surely will get annoyed at my first standing journey, some neighbours burning trash and people being stupid. For now I don’t care.

We went back to Beckenham on Sunday for a birthday party. It wasn’t odd and we met lots of old friends of which some we will see soon coming our way. I am actually confident they might move down towards us. Like we did when friends moved down here.

Of course it is not all about the place. Coming home at 8 or 9 and not seeing the kids is not great. For now I think the trade off is fine. You can’t have it all but it seems as if I got a lot one can wish for.

If now the weather was more like summer …

Have a good week,
Volker

We moved!

What a week. Packing boxes and arranging for the big move. Deadlines at work, late nights…..

Wow! We made it. Thanks to a good friend we managed to move all our stuff yesterday. 6-11 πŸ™‚ Thanks for your help S.

We moved the kitchen stuff Thursday night – thanks for the patience everyone who helped. Am not the easiest person to be around if tired, exhausted and moving….

Guess that comes into self development of patience.

As far as I can tell all things are good. The washingmachine proved to be most tricky. Not only did I have to take a side board off to connect it to the mains, the connection to the water supply was hidden behind a kitchen construction and the drain was not overly tight. But, so far so good, it is running this morning without leaking. Fingers crossed.

My wife painted a lot already too. Now we are sitting between 100s of boxes and stuff and need to clear out, pack out, organise, paint more, IKEA etc. Just another usual weekend….

I keep you updated.

By the way, nothing beats a fresh ground coffee in your own garden on a sunny Saturday morning.