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Thursday, 28 June 2012

20th Wedding Anniversary

A local couple are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. I don't know the couple but as their garden is decorated in all types of porcelain its easy to identify.

I happened to be walking the dog when the "set up" committee arrived en masse. In true German precision, the 20 helpers or so arrived within 1 minute of each other in cars and on bikes to decorate the garden.

Here is an attempt at more garden detail.....

A driveway of plates!

The center piece with delicate tea cups hanging from it. There were also tea cups all around the front porch. The next door neighbor even mowed his font garden in the shape of a love camera did no justice to this, so you will just have to imagine it!

Last year there was a 20th anniversary close to the local school which featured a toilet in the middle of the garden..he he! Shame I did not take a photo. But as its "Wedding Season" there might be some more photo opportunities soon.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Football Flash Mob

We decided to join a Flash Mob today. It was my first. The idea was that if 100 or more people turned up to the local supermarket (REWE), they would donate Euro 500 to the local Ambulance. The catch was that the people needed to also be wearing football shirts/jerseys.

Today the UEFA Euro cups starts, so there are German flags everywhere we look. Cars, houses and pets are wearing the local colours! So I guess that is where the football shirt idea came from. There was also a popcorn stand, a sausage sizzle and tea/coffee and cake with all proceeds to the Ambulance.

We met a few locals - dressed to impress. Love the crazy hat!

I decided to mix it up a bit with an Australian jersey and several German flower necklaces!

M let her Austrian colours show with her Vienna football team shirt. Here she is attempting to put her hair up in the German flower necklace.

Here is a part view of the 290 or so people that turned up. Needless to say the Euro 500 was handed over. Now we are watching Germany play Portugal, their first game of the cup.

Cousin Peter is visiting and received an handmade necklace from M. Here they are watching the match in their outfits!

The craft princess also created an interesting head piece for Ron. There is another 2 weeks of full on football (widow-hood)....I will be ready for the Olympics by then.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Echidna Cake Pops

Last year I completed an ESL (English as a Second Language) course. Since February this year, I have been giving a weekly lesson to 11 students from years 3 and 4.

The course is part of a program at the local junior school where children select a "theme" for 6 months. In the second half of this school year there were great subjects to choose from. They included girls soccer, journey around the world, theatre, and a boys dance group. My topic is Australian Animals.

I have been obsessed with making cake pops for a long time. That is, crumbled cake with icing mixed together to make a sticky mass. I thought to test it out on my class as a pre-Easter activity. I researched cake pops, echidnas and hunted the sweet aisle of the various supermarkets to get the best echidna accessories! All culminating in the following design. If chocolate covered hands, mouths and clothes equate to success -  it was a HUGE success!

Voila.....behold the Echidna Cake Pop.

P.S. they are anatomically correct with tongue length as a ratio to body length and backward facing hind claws!

They had so much fun that a few suggested we bake a Salt Water Crocodile cake - life size of course! This means it could be a 6m long cake. Let just say I am still thinking about it ;-)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A gentlemans agreement about bees!

Having grown up in the city I am now learning daily things about farming life and semi-rural living. Friday evening I learnt about a gentleman's agreement between the local farmers and bee keepers.

The farmers use pesticides and fertilizers to ensure the apples and cherries grow big without getting eaten by bugs, as well as keeping the grass and weeds around them to a minimum. Bees are not very fond of these chemicals when they go hunting for pollen. So the farmers have agreed to only spray their fields when the bees are happily tucked up in bed of an evening. In fact this is often best as the winds usually milder in the evenings, making the spraying more effective.

Which solves the riddle to why many evenings when I go to bed I hear the distant sound of tractors. I also feel happier buying local honey which hopefully has less chemical residue it in.

But have you ever wondered where a bee might go if he stayed out after curfew? Here is the answer....he can shack up with his bug buddies at the local Insect Hotel. Here is the Intercontinental of Estebrugger! They offer a variety of rooms and suites to meet the needs of any passing creepy crawlie in need of a rest!

Also an upmarket offering from the Sheraton group featuring local ceramics and great views from all rooms. Some local gardens have built more modest accommodation for the budget conscience bug! It certainly is a bugs life round here.