Culture Diary English Food and drink Germany Language and Languages People

Abstand bitte!

I love Germany.  Let me make that abundantly clear.  However, there is one “tradition” here that has annoyed me more and more in the years that I have come to be living in this country.  It is: eavesdropping on private phone calls. This happens almost every time I am sitting in a café, whether that […]

Culture English German Germany Humour Islands Language and Languages Pads brats People Travel

Oh, the English are Best!

So sang Flanders and Swann in The Song of Patriotic Prejudice. I think Schatz agrees – at least when it comes to going on holidays abroad.  Back in September this year, Schatz and I spent a few days’ holiday in a wonderful hotel on Cyprus, nearly 40 years after I had last visited, to see […]

Christianity Culture Education History Language and Languages People Religion Russia Russian Ukrainian USSR/Soviet Union

When You Have To Deal With the Back-Seat Driver (der Co-Trainer)

One of the key duties of church warden is dealing with the back-seat driver, who thinks he knows more than the experts, just because the back-seat driver has watched a few YouTube videos.  Here’s an email I had to send out this month to explain to the back-seat driver, umm, actually, I do know what […]

Culture Education Families History Humour Language and Languages Military Pads brats People Russia The Media The office USSR/Soviet Union Yorkshire

Not Just a Covid Expert

Back in the autumn of 1976 my Dad came back from Thornton Watlass pub in the Yorkshire Dales. “Well, I never knew there were so many experts on Northern Ireland, drinking in The Buck Inn!” That’s what he exclaimed. He had just come back from a six-month tour of duty at the Maze Prison in […]

Christianity Culture Diary German Germany Language and Languages Military People Religion

Be the Good Samaritan

Last Monday evening I went to, and interpreted at, a prayer service at church, where we prayed together with five Ukrainian refugees, living a stone’s throw away from church.  Since then, I have had occasionally damp eyes and lump in my throat while thinking of our new church brothers and sisters in Christ.  I’ve also […]

Culture Diary Families Germany Language and Languages Military People

Pray for them

Two and a bit months ago, our chaplain proposed an evening prayer service for one Monday a month.  I told him I probably would not attend as Monday was my heaviest day and usually early bedtime day. Then Schatz’ mum fell ill, needing hospitalisation and almost daily clinic treatment. Then Ukraine “happened.”  We now have […]

Christianity Comedy Culture Humour Justice Mail Military People Post Postboxes Religion Travel Yorkshire

I’ve found your purse!

It was time for my Sunday afternoon stroll.  Sunday roast consumed, belly settled, I needed fresh air and a good leg-stretch.  At least that was my excuse to avoid hearing yet another of my Dad’s anecdotes about when he was in the army in Germany back in the 1960’s. “Do tell me yet again about […]

Culture Diary Families Justice Mail People Post Prison Writing

For richer, for poorer…

My prison penpal, Charlie, The Ex-MP in the HMP, is out of prison. After spending a year in prison, he was released last Tuesday. Here’s what his mother-in-law had to say about his release and subsequent return to the marital home. Ironically, in the Daily Mail, which was his newspaper in prison. Here’s my […]

Culture Music The office

Turn up the Volume!

KISS: I’ve heard of the band.  I knew that one of their members also works as a financial adviser.  I never knew what songs they had actually written – until last week, when my new colleague told about this one. Long live those painted faces!

Comedy Culture Humour People Yorkshire

The Chuckle Brothers

To me… to you… Men are just boys in long trousers.  It is true.  Me, ever since I was a tweenager.  Even now I’m a big fan of them and their simple/simplistic catchphrase: “To me… to you…” Back in England I used to test if friends or colleagues were fans by handing them a drink […]