Monday, 31 October 2005

Porto Christo


The closest main town to our hotel was Porto Christo. We caught a local tourist street train to town one day when it was a bit grey. Porto Christo has a really lovely harbour, and some of the boats that were "parked" were incredible! $$$
Spanish is the main language of Mallorca, followed by German, French and then English. We learnt a bit of Spanish to get by...just. We found we spoke more German than English! Phil thinks he spoke more German here, than he normally would in a week in Berlin!

After Dinner in Mallorca


Each night after dinner. We would settle down into the bar area of the hotel. We took a few games with us, and played these while we waited for the kids disco to begin. The boys enjoyed their cocktails (non alcoholic of course). Each night, the staff of the kids clubs held a mini disco for the kids. The songs were Spanish, French, German, Italian and English. The kids had a great time. After the mini disco, there was a show for the adults and the children. One night we had an acrobatic act that kept everyone amazed. It was a great way to end the day, and the boys are getting a bit older to stay up a bit later to watch this sort of stuff!

Sunday, 30 October 2005

How to relax in Mallorca


For the first few days we didn't leave the hotel. The boys were eager to go to the Kids Club each morning for 2 hours. Each day was a different theme, with different activites. They really enjoyed it. They spoke English and German, but mainly German as most of the kids were German. Mallorca to Germans is like Bali to Australians. In the afternoons we either went to the beach, or stayed near the pool. Each day was about 24 degrees, warm, but not enough to get sunburnt! The food for all meals was terrific and very fresh. Each night was a different theme. I think we all enjoyed the seafood night the best!

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Mallorca family holiday


WOW, what a relaxing week! We seemed to miss out on Summer this year, with heading over to Australia, and Phil travelling. So this was our final chance to get a bit of sun before the winter sets in! We had a good flight, and got in late, and it was dark. We had a transfer to our hotel, and it took about 45 minutes. Thank goodness we decided to get a transfer, and not hire a car. The roads are windy and Phil was certain we were just going around in circles.
The hotel was reasonable, all inclusive. The pools were lovely, and we were walking distance to the beach!

Sunday, 23 October 2005

A quick trip to Kiev



Phil had a business meeting in Kiev on Friday:

I flew in on Thursday night and got to the hotel about midnight. Friday was stuck in the office all day, but the business meeting went really well. That night I went out to dinner with the local General Manager and his wife, then out to 'Art club 44': a basement rock venue in central Kiev. The band was great, but I didn't understand a thing they were singing! The music was really good, though! Had a great time.

Saturday morning the weather turned to rain (after being perfect blue skies whilst I was stuck in the office!), but I still did a walking tour of the centre of town with the local GM and his wife. Interesting city - Clean, quite modern, and influenced by Russia from one side and Poland on the other. Very 'Western', too, with all of the big brands, billboards etc. However, once out of Kiev, everything really changes and it is apparently like stepping into another world.

The photo is of me in 'Freedom Square' - this was where the Orange revolution was last year - apparently a great event, peaceful and almost like a permanent street party. We also saw the Sofia Cathedral and the other main sites in the centre of town. Back home on Saturday evening.

Artists in Residence



One of the kids projects at the fest this afternoon was to paint a large canvas to put on a wall in the hospice for the critically ill children. All the kids were invited to paint something on the canvas. Here is Cameron with his giraffe (it has a red hat on), and Alexander with his aeroplane, (the red tail is for Qantas!)

Frankenstein and Tropical Island boy



We had a good time at the Berlin International Women's Club Fest. They were raising money for a children's hospice here in Berlin. There was face painting...as you can see, and lots of international stands. There was an Aussie stand, and we ate vegemite sandwiches, anzac cookies and lamingtons! Ahh..a taste of home! :)
The UK stand had a competition for guessing where Canterbury was on the map...we both failed that one!

Mrs Taft


Finally sewn the last seams for the top of the QuiltSitters Challenge for this year. Now I need to sew the borders and quilt together. Would like to get it finished by this week...but not hopeful. The boys are on half term break (for the week), and we are off on a holiday as well.....so perhaps next week! :) Off to a festival this afternoon run by the Berlin International Women Association..no idea what it will be like, but they have face painting, and you can't beat that!!! :)

Saturday, 22 October 2005

November Lizzie Kate's


The credit card got a bit of a run a few weeks ago in a craft shop in America (gotta love internet shopping!) I have fallen in love with these Lizzie Kate designs. They are quick to stitch, and a nice break from the large projects I am working on at the moment. These are the 2003 and 2004 monthly designs. Once December 2005 is out, I will buy the complete set (to save on postage). Each month I will work on the following months bell pull. I will buy 1 hanger, and some velcro. Stitch the velcro on the back, attach it to the hanger, and change them each month..instead of buying 12 hangers! Nice to be sttiching these in the Northern hemisphere....where it actually is Autumn, and there are heaps of leaves, acorns and chestnuts falling to the ground!
The fabric is long enough for 5 or 6 designs...depending on how big next years designs are!

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

The Blue Man Group

Phil got free tickets to see "The Blue Man Group" Awesome show...I hope this link works!
http://www.blueman.com/videoimages/video/ifeellove_h.shtml
(if it doesn't work, you can click on the heading of this post and it will lead you to the link (I am still working out the things I can do with this blog)
We were thinking about taking the boys to see it previously, but after watching it last night, we both agreed that they were a bit young for it. They would love the music and the colour. There was a lot of social commentary, and all of it in German..The concepts were a bit too much for a 5 and 6 year old!
If it comes to your town....we would recommend the show! Lots of fun!!!! :)

What I am working on?


quilting.....I am working on our quiltsitters challenge for this year....here is a colour picture of the quilt...can't reveal the real thing yet...sorry girls! But it won't be long! A really nice pattern to work with...(name of block is Mrs Taft).
X stitch, still working on a teddy bear alphabet sampler, over 1/2 way there now. I really want to get this finished before the end of the year. Also got some Lizzie Kate designs that I want to start working on. These are quick designs, and I have to prepare the fabric to start stitching on these as well. There is a pattern for each month of the year, and I want to have November's done before the 1st Nov

Monday, 17 October 2005

Wallace and Grommit

or should that be Grimace and Vomit? ! Great movie, lots of fun, and lots of laughs...interesting day though...
Phil had taken the boys out for a bike ride in the morning. Alexander had a fall and hit his head. (He had his helmet on) All was OK, he looked and seemed fine, except for a bit of crying. He came home, had lunch and then we headed out to Potsdamer Platz to see the movie. The cinema there shows all movies in their original language! PHEW! :) The local posters advertise "Wallace and Grommit - auf dem Jagd nach dem Reisen Kanninchen" - so this may be a bit much for our German right now..

Before we left, we checked Alexander out again. He was fine, no pains, headaches or anything apart from the bump on the side of his head. So, off we went!

Alexander wasn't feeling too well on the train, and said he had a little headache. Once we got out of the train station he was sick on a tree. He said he was feeling better and was OK to see the movie. We thought of taking him to the doctors then, but he really sparked up again. Movie was great, except for 2 intervals of Alexander vomiting in the cinema. I took him out the 1st time, and I found an employee to tell him about the mess in the cinema...his reaction "don't worry, swap seats and we will clean it up later"...Alexander said he was OK to see the rest, so we went back in, and changed seats! 5 minutes before the end of the show he did it again.

Phil thought we should take him to the hospital and get him checked out.... Luckily we ran into 2 families from school, both who know a great kids emergency room and speak much better German than us. They got us a taxi, and spoke to the driver about where he needed to take us, and made sure the driver knew exactly where to go. Sonia took Cameron back to her house.

We waited a whole 5 minutes, before we were taken to see the doctor...incredible! :) Luckily the doctor confirmed it was just a very mild concussion. The thing was that even though Alexander felt OK, the stimulus from the movie (sights and sounds) were way too much, and this caused the vomiting. He then said "well, he shouldn't even be reading, playing game boy, play station or watching any TV. That will make him feel nauseous." (Opps, that was a pretty big TV screen!) The doctor said it was unnecessary to admit him, just to take him home and let him rest for 24 hours...any more vomiting or other symptoms to bring him back!
All is well now, back to school on Tuesday, just a nice little graze on the side of his head! Now he knows why we insist on wearing a helmet every time they get on a bike! Lesson number 1 :) Hate to think of what would have happened without it... nice to dint a helmet and not a head!

Friday, 14 October 2005

quilt top finished


This quilt top has proved to be a tricky one, but finally I am happy with the final top. It is a queen size quilt, and follows the Judy Hooworth pattern from Quiltsitters (my Sydney quilt group)a few months ago. For those that know the technique, I didn't have enough red fabric to make 2 quilts...so I needed to incorporate both sets of triangles blocks into the one top. In the centre light diamond, I added 4 red connectors to add an additional diamond, as I thought there was too much light brown fabric in the centre. I am really happy with it! I ran out of red fabric, and went to the quilt shop that I have been buying my fabric from in Berlin.....to find it closed, no sign to say if it had moved or closed down. Previously the walls were painted blue and yellow, and now they were white, and no trace of even a thread on the floor?? I have no idea what happened, and there is no connected phone (hoping that the phone was on a diversion to a new address). So, back to square one with no quilt group! But where one door closes, another one opens. I have found a mum at school who quilts, and wants to get together and sew together! So that is fabulous! Chantal is a new quilter..so I am hoping to corrupt her a bit (well a lot really!) :)

Sunday, 9 October 2005

Oktoberfest in Berlin

ohh.....should have taken my camera last night! We went to a German restaurant beside Schlachtensee (south-west Berlin). Beer was served in 1 litre steins! Boy, were they heavy!!! The kids were served lemonade in 1/2 litre steins! A lot of fun, lots of beer swilling men and women, music played by lederhosen wearing men. After 2 1/2 beers Phil was a bit worse for wear, and so were the other guys we were with. Next year we will get to Munich for Oktoberfest. We are told it is more of a Southern Germany tradition.

Friday, 7 October 2005

Parrot Quilt finished


I got this one finished on Thursday night at the first Book Club meeting I have joined up with. This one I started at Kaye England's seminar last year, and put the final stitches in the binding at the book club. Another one to strike off my UFO list (UnFinished Object) :) I only had a small amount of this parrot fabric (25cm strip), and thought this was a great pattern to show it off!

Sunday, 2 October 2005

Boo


I finished this cross stitch this afternoon. I had every intention of finishing a quilt instead, but the boys have been a bit wild, and it was better to sit with them for an hour and a half and watch a video. This one is a Lizzie Kate design, and a really easy pattern to stitch. It was nice to finish something so quickly after a few late night stitching sessions! I need to look at what else is in the stash to work on next!

Saturday, 1 October 2005

Eis bitte!


Translates to "Ice Cream please".We are fluent in German at our local Ice Cream Shop. The boys can order their own ice creams and drinks by themselves...."Ich mochte ein kugel Schokolade und ein kugel Zitrone in einen becher mit bundestruese bitte" I would like a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of lemon, in a bowl with 100's and 1000's please! The 2 waitresses who usually serve us are really friendly, and very patient with our "basic" German. (although I must be improving, because today she asked me why we hadn't been for awhile ,and I was able to talk about chicken pox) The boys get spolit with extra wafer cones and little flags in their ice creams...we haven't had any Aussie flags in our ice cream yet, they are all EU countries. Our first attempt at ordering ice cream was very poor. In my next German lesson, I asked my tutor to tell me all about ice cream, how to order, all sorts of flavours, bowls, cones, 100's and 1000's etc. (She thinks I am a bit mad) In my first German lesson I asked her to check my sentence for "Could I please have a cappachino". and then "Could I have another one please" Gotta get your priorities right! :)

A long 3 weeks of Chicken Pox over!


Thank goodness, you only get Chicken Pox once in your lifetime. Imagine if you got it like a common cold! Cameron is over the worst, and will be back at school next week. His case was more severe than Alexander's. We have a public holiday here on Monday (Bank Holiday). Phil is currently in Cairo, he will be back on Sunday night! Here he is on his last trip to Cairo (August). Seems to be good shopping in Cairo, he always comes home with really good quality suits, ties etc....He tells me today he bought himself a new pair of shoes! I am sure he has more clothes (and definitely more shoes) than me! When he rang today he was in a fabric store (one of the girls is looking for dress fabrics), but nothing good for patchwork (not that I really need any more...but don't tell Phil). In our "confinement" I have managed to do a bit of fabric shopping via the internet.....gotta love the internet, when you can buy fabric without leaving your home....poor little credit card gets a bit of a wholloping!
Well, I am sick of being at home....the boys and I are off to our local ice cream cafe! YUM YUM!