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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Comedy Culture DDR Diary Germany Handwriting History Humour Justice Mail People Post Prison Writing

The Land of Stripey Sunshine

Since his sentence started in September 2020, Charlie (aka the Ex-MP in the HMP) has been corresponding with me once a month. After being moved from prison to prison, cell to cell, in the first half of his sentence (one year with remission), he’s now settled into his currently place of residence, HMP Wandsworth. I […]

Culture Diary Education Humour Writing

Private Eye in a Bog Standard Comprehensive School

On my day off earlier this week I was traversing Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, when much to my surprise, I found the bookshop sold Private Eye satirical, humour and investigative journalism magazine magazine, albeit for €5.20, twice the UK price, but worth every cent. Trebles all round! I was not tired and emotional… The latest edition is […]

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When a person meets a stranger on a mode of transportation

The following is a little piece I wrote at my creative writing group session this evening. “What if God was one of us?” sang Joan Osborne, “Just a stranger on a bus, trying to find his way home…” Doubtless He, too, would come, sit down and rattle on to me about His life and times […]

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3am Wikipedia Search

The wee small hours. Emphasis on “wee.” Loo break time. Then back into bed, with Radio 5 Live still playing in the background. I try to get back to sleep again. Where is he now? What happened to her after she was a pop star in the 1970’s? Where did strawberries come from? All the […]

Blogging Comedy Culture Diary English Humour Language and Languages People The office

You want…

Today I have had a pig of a day on the customer service desk, in which I (as the only Brit in the team) have taught my foreign colleagues a new English expression: The moon on a stick. Many thanks to Lee & Herring for this succinct expression. Long live the Moon! And long live […]

Culture Diary Humour Justice People Travel

Public Service Announcement

The other day I was on the Underground travelling on the District line. A man of foreign appearance got off the train, and I noticed that he had left his bag behind. I grabbed the bag and ran after him, caught up with him at the top of the escalator and handed him back his […]