Friday, 30 June 2006

World Cup Experience #9 Germany vs Argentina

Friday was a lot cooler than earlier in the week, and there seemed to be almost a 'hushed' sense of anticipation over Berlin - This was the big game between Germany and Argentina! In the office, everyone had zero focus on work tasks, and everyone was looking ahead to the big game... what would happen, where were you watching it...

We were off to the stadium again. This time I was lucky enough to get tickets for Nicole, Alan, Sonia and I. We walked to the ground (we had done the 'Japanese style subway experience' once, and that was enough!) and the atmosphere was very different to the previous 2 games that I saw there - it seemed a lot more tense.

Nicole and Sonia had their faces painted with a swirly, girly design and finished off the combo with matching pink world cup T-Shirts. I had a couple of German flags painted on my face (matched the Australian shirt I was wearing nicely!) and spoke to lots of locals about how I was now barracking for Germany now that Australia were out. There was much sympathy for the plight of the Aussies, and agreement that they played with courage and lost with dignity. Certainly the reaction from everyone toward Australians showed that the efforts of the Socceroos has even further enhanced the reputations of Aussies in Europe.

The Stadium was pumping! It was loud and the game was really good - this may have been the best match of the whole tournament, with great skills, good refereeing and a free flowing match. After an early goal by the Argentinians from a great corner, Germany seemed to lift a gear and with 10 minutes left it was level at 1:1! It went right through extra time to penalties - the German crowd was so tense! The German keeper saved 2 and Germany won! The crowd went absolutely wild, and we did too!

There were some ugly incidents between the Argentinians and the Germans after the match (The Argentinians didn't seem to like the idea of losing..), but it all happened so quickly, and everybody was celebrating so hard, that you would scarcely have noticed from the stands. I heard afterwards that they made a big deal about it in the TV coverage.

Afterwards we went back to the hospitality tent and had a meal and a few more drinks. At the end of the night, an embarrassed waitress came and asked Alan and Phil if it was OK for them to have the bread baskets back, which were currently on their heads!

We walked home again, and it had been a fantastic experience. Watching Germany win in Berlin was incredible, and to see so many Germans have true pride in their country and their national team (instead of continuously having to feel somehow ashamed about the past)- I think it may be a really important turning point for Germany for the future.

and more photos...

(having a bit of trouble loading photos on the blog, so have to do them a few at a time!)

Alan and Phil

Sonia and our faces painted....originally wanted the 3 stripes of the German flag. The face painting wouldn't allow it. Her reason....."I don't get many ladies wanting face painting, so I want to do something a bit "girly"." That was Ok with us, as long it was not a full face paint! LOL

The crowd and one of the large screens

The teams before the match

Photos from the Quarter Final

Photos from the game.....

Outside the Olympic Stadium

Lots of these flags around!

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

"I said PUMP IT!" - Black Eyed Peas concert

My birthday present from Phil ,were tickets to see The Black Eyed Peas. They were awesome!

It was at the Adidas Arena (where we watched the Brazil/ Australia game last week). It is only a small stadium, so it wasn't really crowded (also not well advertised, so not a full house! They were great in concert, and Fergie (female singer), has a wild voice!

Lots of Dancing, singing and shouting....and I have lost my voice a bit today! But well worth it. As I write this, I have my CD playing very loud! Looking forward to their new album to come out sometime later this year!

Monday, 26 June 2006

World cup experience #8 Australia Italy 0:1 (and out)

mmm....not more we can say about this that hasn't been said in the media!
We are getting the sympathy vote from people over here.

I bought this cool nibbles tray, in the shape of a soccer ball! On the sides it has the flags and years of all World Cup Winners...sadly we won't be on there next time they make some!

Overall we think for our first appearance for a World Cup in 32 years, we didn't disgrace ourselves...We think they did pretty damn good! Roll On South Africa...World Cup 2010

Saturday, 24 June 2006

World cup experience #7 Germany Sweden 2:0

After Australia's first win, I had purchased 3 tickets to Potsdamer Platz for the round of 16 game - of course at that time no-one could know who it would be. As it turned out, it was Germany vs Sweden! Alan, Gordon and I all left Summerfest and made our way there - our tickets were for an outside table at the Australian restaraunt, including 3 drinks and a meal. The weather was great, the beer went down well, and the food was excellent!

The Atmosphere was unbelievable. The crowd were really excited and the match very pleasing (2 goals and lots of other chances!) Where we were sitting was right in the line of sight of the cameras for the intro/half-time feed for the German TV station covering the game, and I got on TV several times! The crowd went mad and it was really great to see the locals get such enjoyment out of the match.

After the game we were ushered out of Potsdamerplatz (the next game began in a few hours). The crowds outside were amazing - the celebrations in the streets, the people, the cars, was all wonderful to enjoy!

We made our way to the fan - mile and spent the evening enjoying ourselves there. The Mexico Argentina game was on the big screens.

One interesting thing was that as an Aussie wearing an Aussie T-shirt and hat, I was always being stopped by people to share the excitement and joy of Australia's success so far. I had at least 30 different converstaions with people I had never met before about the footy, the Aussies and Australia. I even had to speak on a mobile phone to someone in Brisbane who was a mate of the German I was speaking to.. The things you do!

However, it was really good practice for my German, and it is a wonderful time to be an Aussie in Germany. It is so friendly and wonderful and the whole world cup thing is such a buzz.

The three of us had a super evening.

Summerfest 2006

The annual School Fete.

Lots of work in preparation, but the day was a great success, and the kids had a ball.
As you arrive, you buy tickets to use on all the stalls. The only time we really saw the kids was when they had run out of tickets and wanted to get some more!
There were lots of games for the kids to play, pony rides, mini golf, bouncy castle etc.
The English Book stall was there, ans we spent a small fortune on books.
We had a lot of raffle prizes.
Separately we had themed baskets donated by each year level. (Cameron's basket was Gardening, Alexander's was Stationery).
You buy your tickets for the Summer baskets, and put your tickets into the boxes in front of the basket that you want to win. The Malaysian Embassy donated a basket of goodies, and in it was a large packet of MILO! Our supply of Milo has jsut run out a few weeks ago.

So I bought some tickets, and all my tickets went into the Malaysian Embassy basket.

Alexander and Cameron were on stage to sing "The Homework Song". We also had a Japanese Soccer Entertainment group come as well. They are in Berlin touring, had a free day, and someone at the school asked if they would like to come. After they did their show (think of the Soccer version of the basketball Harlem Globetrotters), they spent the entire afternoon playing soccer with the kids. They were really great!

Bradley, Cameron and Alexander

When it was time to draw the raffles, I had my fingers crossed! The quilt I donated as a raffle prize (see 16th June entry) was won by a German friend and her English husband, so I know the quilt has gone to a good home!


I was New Zealand friend was very envious (you can't get MILO here). Maybe I will make her a Milo when she comes over next!

In the baskets were lots of noodles, soy sauce, chilli sauce, and a gorgeous piece of fabric, that I will be able to cut up and make something with:) as well as the 2 hats the kids a re wearing in the picture below!

Bradley, Alexander, Meghan, Cameron and Hylamway

Friday, 23 June 2006

An interesting trip to Sofia...

We had a series of meetings scheduled in Sofia with our local Bulgarian team. The meetings went very well, but the things that happened on this trip certainly made it one to remember!
Firstly, the plane from Tegel was delayed, so the re-routed me through Munich. I thought this was a good idea, until we were held at our parking spot for 40 minutes due to a massive thunderstorm closing the airport. We then taxied out to the runway... only for another front to sweep in and close the airport for another half an hour. The planes in front of us had to return to their stations to refuel, so we were the first plane out when the storm passed. However, it was a very rough flight out.
We were picked up from the hotel for our meeting the next morning, and we had a really productive morning. For lunch, we were taken to a local cafe. The staff took forever, and when they were asked to hurry up, the meals arrived pretty much straight away.

I had ordered a chicken dish with a spicy sauce. When I fished into the sauce, the first piece of chicken that I pulled out was completely raw... and the second and the third! To speed up, all they had done was put raw chicken onto the plate, then cover it in the sauce I was going to have! I was pleased I hadn't eaten any of it! We refused to pay for anything and the locals ordered me a sandwich from a little deli to eat during the afternoon meeting.

That evening we went to a great local restaraunt - wonderful Bulgarian food. It was interesting that there were many large guys with ear-pieces in, wandering around whilst we were eating. When we asked, we were told that this was the restaraunt owned by one of the biggest mafia guys in Bulgaria! Not sure if I felt too safe if he needed such protection....

Following this, we were dropped back at the hotel where we got changed, and then headed out to Flannigan's to watch the football. (See separate blog entry). Following the match, we went to the casino where we were served free drinks and played blackjack until about 3:45 am, then headed back to the hotel!

Because of the success of the first day, we were finished by lunchtime on the second day. As the local manager knew my colleague like to play golf, we were given her car and sent off to a new golf course just out of town. It was really great - I get so few opportunities on these trips to do some stuff for myself, and this was a great chance. I had not played golf on a course for about 9 years, so I didn't expect too much!

We had a great time - as we teed off, some big thunder clouds rushed over the mountains. Lots of lightning and thunder all around, but the sky stayed clear above us... until we reached the 8th. After teeing off, we looked at the sky, and the lightning getting closer and closer and decided to pick our balls up and head for the clubhouse. Our timing was nearly perfect! It just started raining as we approached the clubhouse - then the skies opened. With less than 20m to go, running flat out, it was as if someone poured buckets of water over us and we were absolutely drenched! We were also trapped in the clubhouse as the massive storm rolled through - so a few beers and a sandwich helped us pass the time.

The storm eventually cleared and we headed back to the office, to get changed into some dry clothes and head home!

A very interesting trip!

World Cup experience #6 Aust:Croatia 2:2

I watched this game in Flannigan's Irish Pub, Sofia, Bulgaria, with a mate from work (see the entry about the trip to Sofia!).

We went to Flannigan's, and they had about 6 TVs and a big screen set up for the football. The sign out the front said that it was the Japan Brazil match - so we pleaded with the bar-tender and he took one of the TVs off-line, and we surfed all the channels to see if we could find the Aussie game. We thought we were out of luck.. then the coverage came on the big screen, and it was not the Japan game, but the Aussie one! We ordered a few more pints and settled in.

It was an exciting game, with some interesting refereeing (the reports after the game in the press were not very complimentary to the ref) and a crazy choice to put the reserve goalkeeper in Goal (he cost us both goals, I reckon).

The Aussies played from behind all night, first 0:1, then 1:2. but finally they scored the equaliser, the whistle went and AUSSIES were through to the next round!! What a fantastic result - anything they do from here is an absolute bonus, and they have played some good footy to make it this far!

After the match, my colleague and I went out to celebrate at the local casino, where we both finished up in front, and got to bed at about 4:00 am!

When I flew home the next afternoon, there were two guys on the plane in the row in front talking about the W0rld Cup. One guy was saying that he watched the match at Flannigan's, and that there was this guy with a beard and a guy in a Yellow Australian shirt going crazy for the full hour and a half.... So I leaned forward and introduced myself! I thought the guy was going to swallow his tongue!!! very funny.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

World Cup experience #5 Germany v Ecuador 3:0 and England v Sweden 2:2

As part of a 'social activity' for a company meeting, we went to the Waldbuhne (an outdoor ampitheatre with a massive screen) to watch the Germany Ecuador game. It was a great performance from the Germans, and the crowd was very happy!

The big screen at the Waldbuhne

The crowds start to roll in

We enjoyed the atmosphere then joined the crush on the S-Bahn to head into town for a Spanish meal. It was hot and humid, and we sat outside and enjoyed the balmy evening, a good meal and a couple of drinks.

We then headed into the Fan Mile, and watched the last 2 goals of the match England v Sweden - the Germans were keen on the outcome, because if England lost, they would play Germany! I think the Germans were happy with a draw, so they now play Sweden in the next round.

The Fan Mile...the screen is right in front of the Brandenburg Gate..can you see the statue of the horses on the top??

We enjoyed the crush of the crowd, which was in great spirits. We had a ride on the big ferris wheel - The operators were 'encouraged' (goaded, I think is a better word) to spin our car as fast as possible by one of our group. I got off feeling decidedly unwell!

Wearing my Australian supporters gear was a great choice because so many people wanted to have a chat, and say how well Australia did, how they are cheering for Australia to make it through and how wonderful Australia and Aussies are! It made the fan mile even more fun!

Home at about 1:00 am.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

World Cup Experience #4 Australia vs Brazil 0:2

After what we had enjoyed at the Brasil/Croatia match, we wanted Alexander and Cameron to share in the experience, but in a more 'controlled' sort of way. The answer to this was to book seats in the Adidas arena, a 10,000 seat mini-stadium set up on the front lawn of the Reichstag (parliament building) to watch the Australia/Brasil game.

I went to the arena to get tickets during the week - they are only 3 Euros each - so I got 12. Interestingly, one of the World Cup sponsors is Mastercard, yet I could only buy tickets with cash! So, with no cash left in the wallet, I had the tickets put aside and went for a walk to the nearest ATM - through the Brandenburg Gate and up on Unter den Linden! Eventually got the tickets so we were all set for Sunday! We had invited the Ramsays, , the McLeish family,(so Meghan,4, could also enjoy it), and some other friends: 'Aussie' Sarah and her French Partner Yann.

Nicole emailed everyone with the following 'rules' of attendance:
"Rules for non Aussies......
1. You MUST cheer for Australia......
2. You cannot wear a Brazil T-shirt (unless your name is Sonia,because each team she has supported so far have lost)
3. If Brazil gets heaps of goals, you must express deep sadness foryour fellow Australian friends.. You may clap at how great the Brazil team are, but your bottom must not leave the seat you are sitting in!" LOL!

It was another hot and humid day - we met Gordon, Michelle and Meghan at PotsdamerPlatz for lunch, then walked over to the 'Fan Meile': about 3 KM of road between the Brandenburg gate and the Angel of Victory Statue (Siegessaeule), which has lots of stalls (beer, food, souvenirs, games..) and lots of big screens. For the big games, they have been closing the fan mile because they have had over 250,000 people go there to watch the matches!

It was not so crowded for us, and we got out faces painted for the match and walked along the fan mile, then over to the Platz der Republik - what used to be the large grassy area in front of the Reichstag. It has now been ashphalted and a 10,000 seat 'temporary' arena (a miniature of the Olympiastadion) has been built there, with lots of small 2 on 2 soccer courts, beer gardens, stalls, etc. Both the fan mile and the Adidas World of Football have very tight security, which is a good thing.

We met Alan, Sonia and Bradley, and Yann and Sarah at the Arena.Our seats were up the back, but we had a good view of the big screen!

We took our seats and watched a great Match! The Aussies did themselves proud, the Brazillians took their chances (and the Aussies didn't)so it finished up 0:2. Australia can still qualify for the next round by getting a draw or better against Croatia.

The kids all had a great time, but it showed us that this was about the right level of introduction - taking them to a match or a crowded fan mile to see a game would not really be that much fun for them. 90 minutes was a bit too long for them.

We walked over to the new Hauptbahnhof (th enew central train station, only opened last month)disappointed (but proud), caught the train home, had quick baths and dinner and then all collapsed into bed!

Photos from Australia/Brazil Adidas Arena

Face painting.. I am not sure the lady was very impressed with having to do 4 Aussie flags in a row. She likes Polish fans the best. One white stripe and one red stripe!

Sarah and Yann

Michelle, Gordan and Meghan

Sonia and Alan

Saturday, 17 June 2006

#5 angel Faith

Number 5 angel complete. A bit slow going this week...with so much football fever, late nights watching games on the German TV (my German is getting better), early mornings, not much stitching done in the evenings!
now...onto Number 6..She is called Happiness.

Friday, 16 June 2006

2 more finishes!

YIPPEE here are the 2 quilts I finished this week.

The green border on this fabric is great, but it was hard to stitch with, I kept going cross eyed! Those little nine patches are 2 1/2 inch squares, with 9 x 3/4" squares...what was I thinking?? I love the quilting on this with the multi coloured thread!

This one is being donated as a raffle prize for school. We have our Summerfest (school fete) next Saturday. I was panicked that I would not get it finished in time, but yesterday I worked really hard on it!

I love the backing of this one, a panel I bought back in Australia. As we are at an International School, I thought this was really appropriate. I quilted "in the ditch" on the front, and then just to add a personal touch, I quilted around the map of Australia! (it probably not easy to see in this picture...but I did it in yellow thread.
Why not, it's my quilt! :)

Thursday, 15 June 2006

A farewell party for 'Schering'??

After a massive week of World Cup, Friday night was the annual Schering summer party. I had thought that I might skip it, and let my voice (and perhaps my liver) recover ready for Sunday. I had to keep in mind that I was to lecture to an MBA course on Monday, and with no voice on Thursday, resting it on Friday might get me over the line (depending, of course, on Sunday's match!). However, a few trusted colleagues said not to miss this party..... and it was well worth the effort.

On arrival, I was handed a drink card - 8 free beers or 4 free spirits drinks! The place was enormous, but by 10:00 it was packed with THOUSANDS of people. Early on there were massive buffets of food, and the Schering employees descended. I had eaten at home with the family before I came out, so I just got to work on the drink card.

Inside it was hot, humid, smokey and loud - but a great time.

In the end the drink cards didn't matter, as I can up with some 'novel' methods of securing free drinks and at one point was topping up our group's drinks with a bottles of Rum and Vodka that I had 'procured'. Lots of dancing, chatting and having a good time.

Interstingly, this will be the last such party we will have under the Schering name - it appears that the company has now been successfully acquired by Bayer, and next year I hope there will be a Bayer-Schering-Pharma event to rival this one!

I snuck away a bit early and was home in bed by 3:00am. I think Saturday will be a rest day!

World Cup Experience #3 Sweden vs Paraguay

My week of 'World cupping' was going strong: Monday the Aussies, Tuesday Brasil/ Croatia, Wednesday a rest day (well, I stayed up and watched the German match versus Poland, and all the cheering and fireworks when they scored was incredible! They closed the fan mile in town - where they have heaps of activities and big screens - because 500,000 people were jammed in there!). Today (Thursday) was Sweden/Paraguay at the Olymiastadion again.

This time, no last minute tickets became available, so I went on my own (well, with lots of work colleagues!). I think after the Brasil match, I was expecting a bit of an anticlimax. How could anything live up to the atmosphere on Tuesday night?

The answer was - THIS!! It was completely different. Theodore Heuss Platz was completely full of Swedish supporters, singing, drinking and having a great time (very well behaved, too!). As I travelled to the ground and made my way to the marquee, it was obvious that there was an incredible number of Swedish supporters (very few Paraguayans), and they were louder and more jovial than their Brasilian counterparts. It seemed more 'fun' - almost as if the Brasil game was some sort of 'religious experience' compared to this 'party'.

The game started frantically, then settled down. At half time I snuck into some super elite lounge and had a few drinks, a feed, and a clean toilet. Headed out again to an interesting second half, with Sweden winning 1:0, although the Paraguayans tried hard and played some interesting attacking footy at times.

I decided that I would forego the public transport and walk home, and even late in the evening there was a sea of happy Blue and Yellow. There will be no need for the Berlin council to water for a month, as the Swedish supporters must have had a wee on every tree in a 5 kilometer radius of the ground.

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

World Cup Experience #2 Brazil vs Croatia

Phil has been waiting for today for a while - he had a ticket lined up for the Brazil/Croatia match and had been eagerly awaiting visiting the Olympiastadion and soaking up a live World cup game.

At 10.30am, Phil rings to say, he has spare tickets for tonights game. "Can we get a babysitter?"

Those that know me, know I like things to be planned and organised. I am not good at "being spontaneous" So for the next 3 hours I spend in front of the computer, and on the telephone trying to find someoneto look after the kids. Everyone has plans...after almost giving up and resigning myself to having to stay home, we work out a deal with Michelle and Gordon to take the kids to their house, and share the babysitting (this is OK with their babysitter) PHEW!

Somehow Phil had 8 tickets... Phil and I, Sonia and Alan, their 2 older boys, Stuart and James, and Michelle and Gordon. We all met at our place. James and Stuart were so excited, Stuart even kissed Phil's bald head! We got ourselves organised and walked up to the U bahn. The train arrives, it is heaving with people....heaps of Croatian and Brazilian supporters. We have to split up and get on different carriages (this is at 6.30pm...the game starts at 9pm!) The train, although cramped (thank goodness it was only 2 stops), is fun. The Brazilian supporters would sing, then the Croatian supporters would sing. Everyone was really festive, and there was a real sense of excitement everywhere. (We were in Sydney for the Olympics...the same sort of buzz)

From the moment we got off the train we were in a sea of people. It was an unbelievable feeling and I think we were all grinning from ear to ear. It was happy, electric and we were all so happy to take this unexpected opportunity to see the World Cup live! (and Brazil too!)

Oh..I forgot to say, they were not just tickets, they were corporate de da! So we went to the marquee and had dinner and drinks. On our chairs was a bag with a cool watch, a money clip, and a cap. We were all like kids at Christmas. The meal was really great, buffet style, and lots of laughter and chatter before we headed into the stadium (and perhaps a few beers for the boys as well).

After dinner, we headed to our seats in the stadium. I have been to the stadium for a tour with my parents when they were here in January (where we walked around in knee deep snow). Tonight was hot and humid, and even hotter inside the stadium. But what an atmosphere. A sea of yellow Brazilian supporters and a sea of red and white checkered Croatian supporters. There really was a buzz about the place!

Anthems were sung and the game began. I will be the first to admit I have no idea of the rules for Soccer,(you must say football in Germany, otherwise no one knows what you are talking about). But it was great to watch live. Brazil kicked a goal in the first half, and the Brazilians went wild. Croatia fought back but couldn't score. I was really hoping that Croatia would kick one goal and even it up...then on the points board, Australia would have more points. But it wasn't to be.

After the match we went back to the marquee, and had some more drinks and something else to eat, and wandered home about 1am.

What an awesome experience, and we all are still stunned we were able to go! My first live game of soccer, and I got to watch the Brazil team! COOL!

scroll down for extra photos....I couldn't fit them all in! :)

Photos from Brazil and Croatia game

Outside the stadium....look I am wearing a Brazil tshirt (Michelle had a spare. Rest of the time, I will wear an Aussie one!)

At dinner in the marquee

left side, stuart, James, Phil and Nicole
right side Gordon. Alan, Sonia and Michelle

National Anthems

from left Stuart, James, Alan, Phil and Gordon

Michelle, Nicole and Sonia

More photos of the match

The crowds coming into the stadium

James and Stuart and a Brazilian friend

Our bag of goodies from the marquee

Celebrations after the match

Monday, 12 June 2006

World Cup Experience #1 Australia vs Japan

As you move around Berlin, everyone is wearing a soccer related outfit, normally Germany or Brasil (my theory is that Brasil are easy to support because they are likely to win). With so many yellow brasil tops about, it is a bit hard to stand out in the Australian gold one. 'Weltmeisterschaft feber' had hit Berlin and everyone is happy and talking soccer.

The World cup was already drawing a lot of 'discussion time' in the office, even pushing the impending takeover of my company off the agenda for a few days.

Monday was hot, and I was excited! I had an invitation to the embassy to watch the Australia Japan match, and I left the office at 2:15 in my Socceroos jersey ready to enjoy the game. I caught the UBahn to the embassy, and after showing my passport, went through to the Bar (yes, the Aussie embassy has one!). The crowd was building (to about 60, Australians and a few invitees including some Japanese) and it was time for a beer - to my (pleasant) surprise the beer was free. A good sign for the afternoon to come.

The game started with the National anthem, then some good play by the Australians only to see no quality finishing, and a dodgy goal to the Japanese. I had a good feeling that we could make it up...

As the game progressed, I was getting mobile phone calls from Nicole, who wanted to watch the game at home but couldn't figure out how to turn on the German TV (a new home cinema system has made it a bit more complex, and this was her first go doing it solo). So when this was resolved, it was back to the big screen...

When the changes were made and the Aussies scored 3 goals in about ten minutes, everyone at the embassy (except the Japanese guests) went mad. Euphoria reigned! When it ended I left with a smile I could not wipe off my face! Whatever else happens in the World Cup, this was sensational! 3 goals in a game against Japan - even if we don't qualify to the next round, the Socceroos sure did something great on the world stage!.

I then headed off to the big screen at Potsdamerplatz to find some other Aussies and celebrate for a while. I took the opportunity to get some tickets to a later round of 16 game (to get into the big screen location). This was the beginning of the world cup experience and it sure ws a good one. I had yelled myself hoarse but it sure was worth it!


Here is how we sent the boys off to school today!
The school is running a charity game. All the countries were posted on the notice board, and you could bid on the country of your choice. The group who offered the highest bid gets to own the country.
One of our teachers was born in Australia, another lived in Adelaide for 4 years, and 2 other teachers and 1 grouped together and "bought" Australia for 35 euros. (the English team sold for 150 euros, and the German team 140! Our friend James bought Iran for 5 euros)
When Australia plays, the boys are allowed to wear something Australian to school. We asked our parents to send over a tshirt, and we have 3 different ones to choose from. Today the boys chose these ones. Phil got some face painting crayons,and this is what we came up with!

Phil is going to the Australian Embassy this afternoon to watch the match against Japan!

It is a lot of fun here at the moment! Lots of flags hanging from peoples homes, we put our Aussie ones up this morning too! :)

A sporting weekend from heaven!

So, it is summertime in Berlin, and the Queens Birthday long weekend in Australia. On Sunday, the Wallabies gave the poms a kicking in the rugby (34-3). This morning, I listened to the live-streamed radio broadcast on Melbourne thumping the 'Pies from the MCG whilst I had my breakfast and got the kids off to school, and this afternoon, I enjoyed FREE BEER and a big screen at the Australian embassy here in Berlin to see a 3:1 win over the Japanesein the soccer! (Blog entry to follow!)

So, bring on the rest of the world cup, the sporting landscape looks pretty fine about now....

Sunday, 11 June 2006

A Flying trip to Turkey

After a full week (finally back in Berlin) it was time to hit the skies again - this time on Friday afternnon as I flew to Turkey. There was an important congress on and I was specifically invited by my Turkish colleagues, so how could I refuse?

It was in Antalya, which is the 'Turkish Riviera', sitting at the bottom of Turkey on the Mediterrainean. Nice and warm, very much like Sicily.

I arrived after midnight, only to find that the planned pick-up service had already gone (plane was 10 minutes late, isn't that enough of an excuse??) After wandering aroud trying to find them for 20 minutes (no, they really were not there!), I tried to get back into the terminal to use the cash machine. No go. The security guards wouldn't let me. After a bit of discussion and arm waving, I finally got in - only to find that the cash machine didn't work!

So, outside, find a taxi, and told it is a flat fare of 50 Euros. However, it was a long way and 50 Euros was probably justified. I finally got to the hotel after 1 am.

Next morning was asleep in morning, then of for a swim in the Med. Following this, I met my colleagues for lunch, then 'baby-sat' the important speaker for the afternoon before the big congress in the evening. It all went well, and I dont think I fell asleep more than twice (!!??)

Sunday was up early, quick breakfast and off the the airport. For a tourist resort, it was huge. and pumped the people through. Glad to be home in the afternoon, and went straight to our friends where Nicole and the boys were, to settle in and have a few beers.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

3 UFO's

I am determined to finish these 3 quilts in the next few weeks.

This one is 1997 I made it originally for the side of a bag to carry my quilting cutting mat. But I didn't like it, so I dismantled it, and it has sat like this for many years. It just needs a backing and binding, and I think it will make a good table runner!

This one is from May 2001.

and lastly...

This one is from 2004.

I can almost see the bottom of the UFO box! YIPPEE!!

Stay tuned on the progress....

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Cameron is ready for the World Cup

We had to go to the doctors today and have the blue cast removed, and a new one put on!
Check this out for a cool cast. The bandage is dipped in water, and then wrapped around, and then the bandage hardens to make a cast! Cameron thinks it is really I should try and find some Aussie Stickers to go on it as well!
He has to wear this cast for 4 weeks.....that is fairly appropriate for the World Cup!

Oh....and here is the handbag I bought myself for the World Cup...I had to get Germany colours...they didn't have any Aussie colours. But it is still cool! :)

Thursday, 1 June 2006

The Runaway Pizza

The last week of school, before we went to Sicily, Cameron's class did a play in assembly. "The Runaway Pizza"
Cameron was one of 8 narrators! I want my kids to be narrators in every play they costume making at all, just a t-shirt and jeans! I love it!!!!!

Waiting to say his lines....

The play was about the runaway pizza, and he escapes from Little Miss Muffet, the 3 bears, lots of other nursery rhyme charactures. Until the pizza gets to the Big Bad Wolf, and he gets eaten!

Xaver the Runaway Pizza...Run Xaver Run!!

Funny, Bradley was the Big Bad Wolf, and he doesn't like to eat pizza!

Anyway, it was a cute little play for Year 1, and Cameron did a great job with his lines!
Cameron is progressing in the theatre..last year he was a rock in the Dumble the Dinosaur play, this year he was a candy cane on the ginderbread house for Hansel and Gretel....and now a speaking part! :)

"a star in the making"