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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fairy Floss and Toffee Apples = Estebrugger Markt

The other weekend it was the Estebrugger Markt. Its one of the biggies in the Estebrugge calendar! There is the Schutzenfest (in spring) and the Markt. The whole place gets involved. Then we hunker down for the long winter.

Saturday opens the weekend with a children's flea market. The kids set up their stands to sell pre-loved toys, books, shoes and anything else kiddie related. Of course they have already spent their cash windfall before its even earned. There was also swapping and give aways to friends. Being in the heart of the village our house doubled as the local toilet and refreshment area! A few photos before the rush of the afternoon. There was a pizza and crepe stall and several side show alley games and a mini carousel. I should have charged the kids a small fee to take Goldie for a walk - would have made a killing!

The local shop owned by a Turkish couple made kebabs which were delicious. I tested it twice to make sure.

My girls were temped by the sweet things. Fairy Floss rules!

Given we are living in the land of apples, there were lots of toffee apples being consumed.

This is what it looked like outside our front door. You see those kids working for their money?!?

 The evening kicked off with a local band featuring Marlene's English teacher as the drummer.

The kids danced the first set and had lots of fun.

I tested Silvia's cocktail bar! She is our Tagesmutter (Day care Mum), who is much loved by both my girls. She made a mean Caipirinha ;-)

This is our 3rd Markt weekend and we are closely involved by default. Our neighbour, the fire station, hosts the disco. Its really gets going about midnight and it finishes up about 5-6am in the morning. There is an element of if you can't beat them - join them. But when you have little kids waking up at the normal hour and husband also away, it really hurts when you have a hangover and your mother in law is due to arrive at 9.00am. So there was a certain amount of restraint on my behalf. This is what it looked like outside my front door as I made my way home.

We had outsourced one child and a dog (who we thought might bark all night at people outside the door), and I fell asleep to the doff, doff beat. I was then up bright and early to welcome my in-laws.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pumpkins galore

The days are distinctly shorter. I almost need to put on the lights in the morning. But there are a few good things about this.

Soup, soup and more soup. Ok, we can also mash it and bake it.

Just up the road from us is this stall.

Basically you pick up what you want and pop the money in the mail box. Each pumpkin has a sticker on it describing its type and giving the price.

There are also some hand written notes about the best way to use the pumpkins. For example, baked, in soup, it has a very creamy texture, a nutty flavour and so on. Some even have wacky faces on them.

These ones need a quick trip to the dentist! There is a huge variety of shapes and sizes.

Its only for a few weeks each year, but I am glad they take the time to make this a just a bit more special than most road side stalls.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Australia is BIG

This Friday, I start a new Australian Animal Elective at the local junior school. I have 11 kids in the class and looking forward to see how the dynamics play out. There are a few boisterous ones, so will have to keep them in check...somehow!

I have some materials I can adapt and re-use but in the first week I wanted to give a sense of how big Australia is. I found this map, which is in fact demonstrating why Australia has no Autobahn. Germany is the yellow thumb print like shape with blue lines and dots.

I was pretty blown away by the map as it says it is to scale. I really hope the kids like it.

I know Australia is big having flown across it for hours and hours, many, many times. We also learnt at school that it the biggest island in the would but smallest continent. But I also thought Germany is quite large having driven from top to bottom (Ok that was with my kids in the car, which can make any journey seem long). I also have to admit that I have lived in much smaller European countries where you can stretch your arm out the window and need a passport! So maybe I have lost some perspective being "away" for so long.

Hope you enjoy the sense of perspective.....Australia is BIG.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A week of "Chariots of Fire"

For one young girl it was week of running.

Now start humming the theme song of Chariots of Fire, it will give the post more gravitas! Go on start humming, you will not be able to get the tune out of your head all day.

Monday morning -  ran off to school for the first day of Year 3.

Monday afternoon - family run of "the bridge to bridge" (our local round with the dog), no homework, slept.

Tuesday afternoon - ran to a friends house to play and escape going to baby gym with little sister.

Wednesday morning - Sport Award at school. Each child needed to run a minimum of 15mins non-stop. Our running gal crawled home. She had surprised herself and us by running for 1 hour non-stop and achieving the highest award.

Wednesday afternoon - rested, ate everything available without complaint, slept.

Thursday morning - swimming with school, complained of cold water.

Thursday afternoon - running training with school, ate ice cream, slept.

Friday morning - school, babysat little sister for 20mins (not an easy task).

Friday afternoon - watched Tangled (Rapunzel) film on TV, told us what was going to happen before it did e.g. "the next part of really funny Dad", laughed like a mad woman, slept.

Saturday - Played horses with a friend. This involved making a complicated course in the garden of sticks and obstacles then running and jumping over a horse...vocals included!

Sunday - 2km Run in Buxtehude. Ran as part of the Primary School team, ate ice-cream, bike riding with Goldie, fresh waffle at local church, slept!

"Da di da di dum"......   It was a big week for a young girl.

Here is the school team getting ready for the big race. The sun was shining and it was a super warm day for the run. More than 500 kids ran the race. The historic Buxtehude Museum is the lovely building in the background of both photos. Well done all on a great race.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Museums - our latest find!

Now that school is back, we can resume with our somewhat regular blogging program!

The holidays (I hesitate to call them summer holidays) were action packed. But on a gloomy weekend we headed to Bremerhaven to a musuem. We swapped our dog for another child, so a full car and competitive renditions of Nossa - Ai Se Eu Te Pego. The number one Brazilian hit on the radio at the moment.

Its called the Kilmahaus (Climate house). Bremerhaven is located at longitude 8 degrees east. The musuem takes you on a jouney along this longitudinal line. It completely engages all the senses except taste (but we made up for that later with an ice cream).

Between each country there is a journey to be taken. The first was a walk along railway lines with video images flashing by. It was just like sitting on a train. We then arrived in Switzerland. After milking a cow and watching an avalanche we travelled to Sardinia. We were like ants, with everything giant sized including a can of coke!

It was then onto Niger in the desert and a searing 35+ degrees. Boy it was hot. We were all sweating. Then for hot and wet in Cameroon with the most fantastic tropical fish in several huge aquariums. To move from country to country we walked down a star lit passage or pushed through meters of long clear hose pipe, like fighting a huge jelly fish. Each journey unique and unexpected.

In each country we "visited" locals and learned about thier life in their country through interactive and various multimedia exhibits. The kids were given a passport that they could stamp in each place and also needed to answer some questions. They were running around like crazy and loved the challenge. We also visited Samoa, Antarctica and Alaska. Antarctica is COLD! It was then back to the tidal sea in Germany where the kids got stuck on a grass island until the tide changed. Luckily was about 6 minutes not 6 hours that we needed to wait.

All were rewarded with an ice-cream. There was so much information to absorb and given the heat and cold it was a full body experience.

Beware visitors! Your visit to us might include a day trip to the Klimahaus.