Tag: House

Sunday Column (159)

This week passed very very quickly. Not only were the kiddies ill last weekend, I also had some stomach issues from Tuesday which made my travel to Milan rather unpleasant. But I spare you any details πŸ˜‰

However, the most amazing and thoughtful moment came when flying over the Swiss Alps. Once flying into Milan, once when flying back out of Milan in the sunset. I always seem to get a bit sentimental. You look down on those huge mountains and realise how small you are as a person. How unimportant you are in the overall “earth eco system”. The view is a treat. It is terrific to see the sunset over the alps, the mountains covered in snow. Potentially areas where no one has ever set a foot before.

And whilst I sit on the plane, thinking how small I am in relation to the mountains and the world, beating myself up for only being human, I think of my family. The huge responsibility I have for my kids. I am the “go to person” for them. The entertainer, the trainer, the coach, the person for comfort. They look up to me. In their little ecosystem I am number two (after my wife) to teach them how to live their life. And I feel big, overwhelmed from so much responsibility that the responsibility I carry at my job seems small.

Perspective is the right word I guess. The angle you look at things will change your perspective. Whether a glass is half full or half empty. Whether the weight you carry is too much or just right. Whether the job you are doing is great or just normal. Whether the house you are buying is the right one or a bottomless pit.

I am not telling you anything new. I am just reflecting on the little things in life I often don’t realise until I think about them. When flying I try to work little and use the time to relax, brainstorm, sleep and make notes about my life. It is “me time”. Time solely to myself, no internet, no disturbance. That is true for flights without turbulence of course πŸ˜‰

When I looked through my notebook on this particular flight I found that the “dream house” I drew on a flight back in March 2011 is very similar to the place we hopefully end up buying. It is just missing the basement. Is that the law of attraction (LOA)? I think so.

That is why I constantly dream the future. I dream hoping that the future I dream of will manifest. It is going to happen. I think that I am at a pivotal point of my life – privately as well as career wise.

Let’s get ready to fly!

Have a fantastic week. I hope you enjoyed mother’s day and the weekend with your family as much as I do/have done.

Best wishes,
Volker

Sunday Column (157)

Some weeks it seems like a chore to write this column but most nights I really enjoy just to relax, have a sip of wine and write down my thoughts.

A fantastically short week lies behind me. I was off on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Now all my 2011 holidays are used up πŸ™

This week was another “non healthy” week: too much drink for which I blame my days off. But also the fraternity meeting on Thursday night. It was the first time in 3 years, 5 years after I recovered the “Wappen” of the Angelsachsen from the old local pub, that I joined a “Stammtisch”/meeting in London. And we had a lot of fun. It was just like meeting relatives/family that you haven’t seen for a while. A nice way to meet new faces, new comers to London and people with similar attitudes. Although I am not as much involved any more it is still fantastic to see that where ever you are, in which ever city you live, you find some people with the same roots. I would go as far and say that the bond is stronger than any other membership clubs I know about.

The main thing this week was time with the kids. Very simple. March will see me travelling quite a lot, so I enjoyed it even more to spend time with the kids in the aquarium in London on Tuesday, then the Hopfarm this weekend. They grow up so quickly and are so enjoyable despite all the hard work πŸ™‚ Sometimes I just cannot get enough when they both try to jump on me, trying to tackle me. At least for the time being I am still the winner. But for how long?

One of the next things I need to tackle are diet, drink and sleep as well as fitness. Have you heard that before? I guess every so often I get fed up of my life style. With me now working less in the UK market I should get a break from too many lunches and with increased travel should drink less. However, I am far from gaining a sleeping or fitness routine. Sleeping gets a lot better and we had a few nights now that Rohan slept through. But Colin is very unsettled and comes to stay in our bed often. Now will that all change with the new house?

The coming week will be critical for the house buy. There are some unresolved issues we need to tackle but we are confident to make progress and push for a completion date before end of April. I don’t think it will all happen before Easter, but it could. We keep you posted.

I met a few interesting people this week. You remember that you “meet people for a reason“? Last week was one of them. I met a few people I hadn’t spoken to for a while. Some new people who I knew through other people that made an impact on me a long time ago. It is weird that those things just happen. You are thinking of someone and “bang” they are there: in your face, in your life for a reason. Then they are gone and a connection to them or they themselves will one day resurface again.

I love life.
I love living.

Have a good week,
Volker

Sunday Column (1)

Hello Readers,

After a long weekend, or should I say I am still in it as I am off work tomorrow, I decided to write a Sunday Column. Just really a personal update, some thoughts and some ideas on life, work and anything I feel speaking/writing about.

Am I well? Yes, I think I am. Have been back to the gym, exaggerating it and feeling rather knackered for a week or so. Also, had two shows over the last 2 weeks which drained a lot of energy out of me. However, being off really helps and the blackberry is off and I haven’t checked my emails.

This weekend we went for a meal. I will write more in detail about it but I am still wondering about the horrendous prices for going out in the UK. With or without wine you hardly get away with less than Β£50, or if you really go for something fancy it easily adds up to Β£100 or more. So mark up prices in the UK are still the norm and sometimes I ask myself why to support it? Probably because I really fancy doing it and I (still) can. Once our little baby boy arrives we won’t be able to go out at all or not as often as we do now. Guess that is where the savings come from when you have a baby and pay for diapers/nappies.

My wife is nesting. She is painting the hall is not resting at all. Hansel, our ginger tom cat, got neutralised on Friday and today he got outside again. Lucky us! The cat litter started to smell already, wonder how we managed with two kittens for almost 5 months! Guess it starts all over again in June.

Living in London is a funny thing. After 5 years there are still things I need to get used to. Public transport is one, the other one is the permanent stress and buzz level. There are always people out there, always noise, always someone in your way. The tube is full, you are annoyed, had a stressful day and only want to get home. But too many people in my way.

Sure I pick up more things about London as we go along. Luckily we live outside London, 5 streets to be exact, and enjoy the quiet suburban live. I keep you updated as we go along, e.g. soon I want to start growing my own veggies and getting rid of the mould outside on the bottom of our outside kitchen wall. There are always things to do around the house.

What else is about London? Career – that really drove me “down” here in the first place. I could, if I wanted to, change my job tomorrow. Whilst it is not the aim of the game, but it allows for flexibility. Also, you can easily sell to people as all companies are down here too. E.g. you mix and match easier in a bigger, metropolitan city – that is true for business as well as private.

On that note maybe, in case you never been to London, don’t move here if you don’t have an accent πŸ™‚ Because everyone seems to have one here and me with my mixture of Scottish, American, allegedly Irish and of course German twang I really don’t stick out too much, do I?

So, maybe that should be all for my first Sunday column. Guess it summarises my thoughts in general a bit and I will make sure to speak about more stuff next week. After a nice massage this afternoon, I will now cook a nice Cajun Garlic Chicken for my wife, with Spinach, Potatoes and Mushrooms. Yummy.

Pictures of the house

Hello,

I promised it for quite some time – pictures of the house. After putting the blinds up, of course still waiting for the curtains, I feel right at home. So nice that is!

Here are a few impressions, you will see everything when you come for a nice BBQ or diner πŸ™‚ That is if you are invited of course!

1) Picture of the spare bedroom when we moved in.

spare bedroom when moving in
spare bedroom when moving in

2) Picture of the spare bedroom now – still waiting for a futon.

spare bedroom after 4 weeks
spare bedroom after 4 weeks

3) Living room with blinds after a weekend of DIY (fixing blinds).

living room with blinds

4) Living room with furniture – at least some of it.

living room / dining room
living room / dining room

5) Drying the Laundry.

drying laundry
drying laundry

The latter reminds me of the Movie Pearl Harbour. Whilst we have Gatwick around the corner, we hope it stays calm like it is.

Ok, that is all for today.

Speak soon,

Volker

busy bee

Hello,

Apologies for being so quiet. Just been busy.

Work during the week and evening commitments but also, this weekend, saw our spare bedroom disappear into about 6 boxes, the windows cleaned and the garden furniture putting in place.

Countdown to moving is 14 days, even less now. Wow. Things speed up once of a sudden.

So been a busy bee. Trying to find some nice wine online, bought half of Majestics on Saturday to get a nice variety of Chilean, Spanish, Portuguese and some Argentinian wines in. Ach well, love my vino.

Saturday also saw me stocking up on my most favourite coffee beans. Brazilian, Columbian and Puerto Rican Coffee…..

Have a great weekend.

Volker

another week – personal recap

Hello,

7 am on a Saturday morning and Ballueder just can’t sleep. I came home last night and instead of going to the gym I had a nice pizza, too much wine and was knocked out on the couch not later than 10 pm I think. Made it to bed around 11 and woke up at 7.

What has happened in my personal life the last few weeks/months? As you know I started my new job in December, just realising that it has been 4 months. The first job I truly enjoy. It not only challenges me, but I also take on responsibilities and work in my most favourite industry.

Then, Jen gave up her job and now started her new one back in London. She loves it so far too and we even go to work together in the mornings. And, she had her first real “Friday night”, e.g. she never was off at weekends before on a regular basis. Welcome to the real world. So that is all good.

What else? I sold my bench, my cooker and about to sell my computer desk. Things must go before we move. We move? Yes, we put in an offer for a house and I hope my current landlady does not read that. Looks like the paperwork should be coming through shortly and we should be able to close the chain this coming week with survey and solicitor work going ahead. We also looked for furniture and discovered that we both have similar taste. Och well, at least I do not mind my wife’s expensive furniture taste ,-) We shall see where we have to compromise. Just mentioning the word IKEA drives her mad. Sorry honey ,-)Β  So moving date will be sometime June/July we hope.

Personal life: as far as there is one. I went back to the gym. Weights during lunch and cardio at the weekend. Is it going well – to be honest not really! I just have too much on and feel too tired. Then again I cannot sleep. I will need to work more on meditation and spiritual practises in order to gain more energy and start using my little spare time more efficiently. E.g. I still need to catch up on a few books I want to integrate in my essay and work with O and M on some ideas for my essay too. Who knows what is going to happen.

Friends – they are there and we had a great Easter. Jenny made a fab roast and I was very impressed. We will be at a wedding in 2 weeks time to catch up with friends from all over the country, so that will be great just to see everyone and go shopping in Glasgow. The latter one is worthwhile the trip, and of course the wedding!

Homepage: yes, we got a new one. www.ballueder.co.uk is now officially registered and does replace ballueder.de

That is about all.

Plans for the weekend: sleeping if I can. Gym of course. Ironing. Fondue and a great CabSav (Β£25), paperwork for the house.