Busy busy busy…

December 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm (Germany)

IMG_7680Merry Christmas!  When I started writing this post it was half past nine on Christmas morning and I was sitting on a train on my way to Gießen.  Over the past four years I have had some strange ones… normality and family in Scarborough, sick as a dog and missing out on the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, snowy mountains and watching random films in Switzerland and this year I woke up in my bed in Darmstadt.  The life of a traveller huh?

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Note the Australia themed Christmas cookies 😀

The past few months have been busy but also a lot of fun and I find myself happier in Europe than I have been in a long while.  The lead up to Christmas is one of my favourite parts of the year in Germany with all the Christmas markets, baking cookies, Glühwein and the cold miserable weather hasn’t been around quite long enough to dampen my mood.  Indoor hockey is going well with our team third on the ladder and playing really well.  It’s a good atmosphere in the twos and we’re having a lot of fun, even scoring goals and winning games for a change.

The new school building was finally opened the first week after the Autumn holidays.  I still find it hard to believe that I am no longer in my dungeon but the new building is much more spacious and it’s great to have the whole school together instead of spread out all over the campus.  You can check out some pictures here.  My room has an Interactive Whiteboard and I have quickly worked out that even though I am the youngest on staff, I also have the most experience with the boards.  Thanks McKinnon!  It’s great always having the board but it does mean re-thinking some concepts and I find my teaching head jumping with possibilities (most of which I do not have time to implement and of course I am so stubborn I do anyway and completely stress myself out).

Happy Birthday Fi!

Happy Birthday Fi!

In December my flatmate celebrated her 30th birthday which was a huge highlight.  She had hired out a really cool venue, had her dad’s ceilidh band play and lots of friends and family were there too.  We attempted lots of Scottish dances and then danced the night away to more modern music.  I was really pleased that the night was a huge success as I know exactly how much effort and heart Fiona put into the night.  She has really set the standard high if I end up having my 30th in Germany in 2014!

DSC_0972 At the end of the night Martin and I said our goodbyes and headed off home only to be met with a winter wonderland when we left the building.  Beautiful you think?  Not when you had arrived by bike.  Now by this time I was very emotional as I had spent the night seeing Fiona surrounded by all her Scottish family and friends (and don’t get me wrong…. I was SO happy for her!) AND Martin insisted we ride the bikes home.  Now as an Australian, the concept of bike and snow does not go together.  It is a concept I had not even comprehended before arriving in Germany and it was a sour reminder of exactly how far I was away from home.  This resulted in a very upset little Katey who cried the whole way home, riding in a zigzag and narrowly missing crashes with parked cars.  Martin was quite worried at some points, which serves him right for making me do it in the first place, but it has turned into his favourite Kate story.  🙂

IMG_7707 DSC_0990We spent a weekend visiting Martin’s sister Silvia and her fiancée Reto in Switzerland early December.  They live in a cute little village not far from Zurich.  Both of them are sport teachers and quite sport obsessed, especially Reto.  I had the feeling we continuously jumped from one sporting activity to the next and he has already decided we are going cross-country skiing next time we visit!  We went skiing twice, unfortunately with very bad visibility and I have decided that I need to purchase some ski boots as I get ridiculous pain when I ski.  We also went for a walk using snow shoes, which was awesome.  We trekked through knee deep snow and beautiful landscape.  Most impressively, Silvia who is nine months pregnant, also came on the snow shoe walk complete with rounding belly.  Absolutely amazing effort.

My last weekend before the Christmas rush included a visit from a friend from Australia.  Sarah and I know each other through teaching German and she is working in Germany as an English language assistant at the moment.  It was quite funny having her stay because she was often amused by things that I now simply take for granted.  The novelty of Germany has clearly worn off quite a bit.  Hopefully we’ll be able to see each other again son in the new year.  🙂

IMG_7799Christmas eve began with two and half hours skyping with family back home.  It was lovely to hear from everybody and I am hoping to have a chat with James after our trip.  The evening I spent with my adopted German family in Darmstadt.  There were presents all round, REAL candles on the Christmas tree and a fantastic meal.  I felt very lucky to be able to share the evening with them.  On Christmas day I travelled to Gießen to spend the day with Martin and his family.  Once again fantastic food, wonderful company and a spoiled little Katey.  On Boxing day for breakfast we were in Marburg visiting Angela and family and we’re off now for Boxing Day celebrations at Rob’s house.

In between we’ve managed to book some hotels, organise a bit of a route and pack for our trip to Sri Lanka and tomorrow we’ll finally be in the aeroplane!  No idea what awaits us, but I am sure it will make for an interesting blog.

xoxo

P.s  More Photos?  Check out https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151339312970589.516550.509745588&type=1&l=31ff800675

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