Thursday, 17 February 2011

The 'merry widow'

Well it can't have escaped your notice that it was Valentine's Day on Monday...... we don't much go in for that kind of thing - in fact here in Germany it's actually difficult to get a card as they're only just cottoning on to the great commercial opportunity it represents.  It's actually quite refreshing not to have the day rammed down one's throat for weeks beforehand!

Anyway, I have a very thoughtful husband......who managed to come home with "The Widow" on Monday night  - much appreciated I must say - although I have had several enquiries as to why my husband was bringing a widow home.... I must say I was somewhat surprised to have to explain quite what was going on in my house on Monday evening - that Madame Clicquot - was paying us a visit!!  Anyway, I popped her down in the cellar and we'll appreciate her later - well chilled!  He tells me that the chap from the couple behind him in the supermarket queue was getting a few pointed comments from his Fraulein indicating that he ought to be buying her something similar.

So here we come then to my first wine posting - as we didn't partake of The Widow on Monday - she wouldn't have gone well with the steak..... this, however went down a treat!

We came across this red on P&O of all places (the overnighter from Hull to Rotterdam) and were impressed at it's round, full fruitiness.  Often a Pinotage can be a bit hit or miss, but this one had been consistently good - mind you, you do pay for it - it retails at about 17euro a bottle here in Deutschland. 

It's a South African (aren't they all?) Stellenbosch region Pinotage, you can find out more about it here: -  I'm yet to try their other wines, but feel a taste of the rose will be required once it's a bit warmer.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

To buy...or not to buy

Well that seems to be the question for us.  Is 2011 the year we venture into international property ownership?

As a closet addict of, I'm no stranger to 'internet house-shopping' - indeed I'm a dab hand at widening search criteria to get just the right thing..... so anyway, scroll forward 3 years from our last property search (for the rented house we're in) and 5 1/2  years from our last purchase - and we're thinking about taking the plunge again.

Househunting in Germany is a little different than in the UK - for starters just setting your criteria is very odd - no 'preferred' number of bedrooms etc, but instead you're searching x-quadratmeter or the total number of rooms - but this in itself is not straightforward.  Your room count does not include kitchens, bathrooms, cellars etc - not are you limited to round the world of German bureaucracy, for a room to be a room it must be bigger than a certain square meterage otherwise it only counts as a half-room! 

Then, there's plot size and 'stadt'-regulated prices per sqm.  It's a minefield for the unsuspecting (foreign) buyer to negotiate.....still will be having plenty of fun dreaming about what my Euro could get me if I could just tweak those specs a little more!

For the time being though - I'll just have to be content with lurking on immoscout and immonet in the hope that my dream house pops up (within my search criteria of course!)

Watch this space for further posts about German Makler (estate agents to you and me - and as a buyer I need to pay them too......), Still it can't get any more embarrassing than George telling today's agent that the house was no good because the swimming pool was too small!

Friday, 11 February 2011

On the Blogging Bandwagon......Eventually

So another one of those "Expat Mums" who thinks she's got something to say joins the blogging world... well only time will tell if the ups and downs of life abroad are worth sharing or not  anyhow - lets geht los!

This is me in a typical pose - glass in hand - so you can safely assume there'll be lots of wine chat on here - and food too! Liebe Essen - that's me - more about the food than the place, but it, too, is surprisingly good for "the Black Country" of Germany.

Due to the wine and food, there'll be a fair bit of me bimbling on about the ups and downs of my diet - on the Weighwatchers at the mo but not very successfully - ho hum!  Still 8kg down on last year hurrah!

Oh and of course, how could I forget - The Kindling - the three terrors who take up most of my time and attention - you'll get to meet them as I progress on my journey and share in the fun of being a slummy mummy overseas!