2014 in Focus

Our Thoughts On 2014

It is the Chinese curse again: “may you have an interesting life.” Well, hardly a disaster, but there has been an interesting theme running through this year.

Adrian has been out to Germany as usual to save Sue from a travelling for a few times. We have chosen to fly this year. It is great to drive but even more tiring than flying.  It takes a good 12 hours to Essen, although there is a rest for lunch on the ferry ( I have my own seat now reserved next to the window at the front.) I drank dozens of bottles of Red Bull to give me wings but it didn’t work.  Fortunately someone has already sued them so I will just write to them to claim my €10 compensation and use Flybe instead, or German Wings.

We have taken the opportunity on the two times we have driven to Germany to explore. We have had trips to Dresden and The Black Forest (more green I’d say than black, and seriously lacking in their famous gateau.)

Illness has been a common theme in this year’s holidays. On our trip to Dresden Sue’s eyesight went very strange and she got dizzy. It was not alcohol either. Next month before going to the Black Forest Sue was quite ill, lacking energy, wanting to sleep all the time, like having flu. Sue insisted on going so we ended up finding a doctor in Baiersbron. Adrian had seen this before. It was a tick bite and Lymes disease. The doctor confirmed Sue had Lyme’s disease. We concluded she had been bitten in the forest near Bitterfeld, when we visited Dresden, though it could easily have been in our back garden too. So we had a slow holiday, riding the free trains to give
her chance to recover. Back in Essen, and after she finished her antibiotics for Lyme’s disease, Sue was stung by a wasp at work. No problem eh? Except that the wound was infected and she had to be persuaded to go to the doctor again. Sue takes some convincing to go to the doctor at the best of times, but for a wasp sting? The doctor confirmed that it was really important she visited when she did. If the infection had spread any further she would have been hospitalised because it would have spread to her heart, and
that was really dangerous. I never thought people could die of a wasp sting but apparently that is possible. I never thought people could lose limbs being bitten by spiders in the UK before either , but it is now happening, and not just according to The Daily Mail. A friend had an infection from a spider bite last year, which I was amazed at. I guess that’s globalisation and global warming for you. Well, just to continue the theme, let us move onto our next holiday in Menorca. We were due to go with Sue’s mother, Adrian’s
mother and Dennis. For some reason Adrian decided he was going to fetch Sue’s mother so nothing could go wrong. The next day she had a bad attack of Menier’s disease and we had to get the emergency doctor out. We were glad Adrian fetched her or it would have happened on the bus. She was not fit to fly, or even move. So Adrian went with his mother and Dennis, and Sue stayed at home with her mother. When she had got over the attack Sue booked flights for them both to join us. It was no big deal for Sue to just book flights and travel at the drop of a hat. She does it twice a week, but I can imagine if you are not used to it that you would expect your holiday is over if you don’t make it to the flight you have booked. In the end it all went well and they joined us after a few days. They even blagged their way on the Thompson bus to our resort! We are hoping the theme of illness and holiday is truly all over now, although as I write, Sue has put two disks out crossing the road in Germany two days before coming home for Christmas. Well,
maybe 2015 will see an end to the theme.

Claire passed her driving test last December and has a beautiful car. It has been an eventful year for her too. She is now taking accountancy exams and started a new job in April which she seems to enjoy. I think it is perfect for her and she can’t belief she gets paid when she takes a holiday. Self employment makes you so grateful for things you take for granted when you are employed! She takes her first Accountancy exam on 19th December and we are expecting her to pass. She spends time with Olly in a new flat as well as spending time at home (just like Sue, split between two homes.) I’d like her to be closer to work because she spends over an hour travelling each way. It is a good job she has a comfy car that plays her MP3’s from her memory stick.

Craig continues to make bacteria work hard to help solve the Global Warming problem and is presenting the research so far in front of a massive audience in January. In all my years as a public speaker I’ve never had an audience as big as his first time, except for the 1,000 at Old Trafford, but that was split into several sessions. I’d have started smaller myself, but it will be quite a gathering of eminent scientists in Nottingham. We got season tickets for Meadow Lane this year but expected Notts County to struggle, but we have been surprised. We took my Dad to Meadow Lane for hospitality on his 80th birthday where Colin Slater announced his birthday and how long he
had been watching Notts; then we met a former captain and FA Cup winner, Brian Kilcline. I asked Brian  what its like to have both your teams playing and he said it is difficult favour one over the other. His wife was in no doubt however. I sat next to her in the Directors Box during the game and she was a very vocal Notts County fan! Craig met a few players as well and was speaking to Jack Grealish who now earns £20,000 a week playing for Aston Villa. A great day as Notts won 3-0. It gave us something to talk about.

For those of you who have not visited us in Germany the time is running out. Sue is out there until the end of next year, after that we do not know what is happening. We only had one set of visitors this year, to the Christmas market. We can offer you the Baldenesee, ticks, wasps, boat rides, German food and drink, and trips to picuresque German towns. Admittedly, you can get all those things in Nottingham except the Baldenesee and German towns.

Sue is getting much better at German than I am now, although she doesn’t realise it. We never realised quite how strong the links are between the UK and Germany. Whilst Sue is working in Essen, Thomas (Helga und Klaus’s Kind) is studying in Norwich; and Yvonne, who is from Berlin and did a student placement at the Elders Forum, now has a job in Milton Keynes. The world is shrinking fast.

If you want to know more then give us a call, comment on here, or better still, come and visit us over Christmas, or go to the Elders Forum Pantomime in January.

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