Monthly Archives: February 2021

Six Wheels in Germany – February 2021 (Month 83)

Hello everyone!

I’m writing this on the last day of February with the windows open and the sun shining in. The dog is basking in a patch of sunlight and Klaus and his daughter Lara are chatting whilst I sort out my photos for this blog. A relaxing Sunday and hopefully the start of spring.

A piece of good news, at least from my side, is that Klaus’s divorce finally took place after regularly being rescheduled. The whole divorce procedure took 3 years after the obligatory 1 year apart so it has dragged on. He is waiting with trepidation for the bill from his solicitor.

We both had the day off work for his divorce and treated ourselves to a celebratory piece of cake afterwards.

Cycling and running this month

Here is where I have been this month – as you can see, only one velomobile ride and and two trike rides (one of which isn’t showing for some unfathomable reason).

I have done much more running than walking, and was very pleased to do my fastest ever 5k run, where I managed the 5k in 39 minutes 30 seconds – my previous fastest was 41 minutes. Due to the snow this month, plus time constraints due to work, I have not been able to do as much running as normal, but I am still happy with what I have achieved. The running, walking, sensible keto food and reduced cake intake has meant I have had to spend money on clothes as my current wardrobe is all a bit big. This could get expensive!

This month I have only ridden my Milan once when taking it to Andreas Beyß in Straelen for some replacement indicators. The post has been very slow so he has not yet been able to complete the job as some replacement indicators he ordered had not arrived. So as I needed a vehicle to get me to work (my time as Work from Home has come to an end) Klaus and I went to Dronten to collect my trike. It had been there since last July when I asked Gerrit Tempelman to give me new batteries and to improve the cabling for the motor. He completed the work in September and I paid for it but due to COVID-19 we didn’t go to collect the trike. But now, five months later, it was really time to collect it.

So Klaus and I set off for Dronten on a sunny Saturday morning in Klaus’s new car (he has changed from an Opel Insignia to a Skoda Oktavia, so a bit smaller) and were able to pick up Alfie and be home in time for lunch. I have done a short test-ride in Alfie and all seems well, he has new brake pads, chain tubes, two batteries (a 13 AH and a 17 AH, so plenty of energy!) and charger, brake and gear sensors for the motor and much tidier cabling.

Tidy cables in a sheath next to the boom

The batteries are no longer mounted on the back of the seat or in my sidepods but on the rack at the back, with a very neat fixing solution. Looks much better and weight over the back wheel on a recumbent trike isn’t a bad thing anyway for traction purposes. My panniers still fit as they affix to the bar a little way down the rack side wings.

Ages ago Klaus bought the more comfortable seat cover and so I inherited his seat cover (Alfie’s old one was very threadbare after 46,000 kilometres) so I fitted this too and he looks much tidier.

I am looking forward to the chance to do some triking with Klaus now the weather has improved somewhat.

A new work environment

Klaus and I have both been working from home quite a lot over the last nine months.

We originally bought one pretty cheap desk thinking we would share it but that didn’t really work out. So I bought a very narrow desk (as there wasn’t much space left in our spare room!) and used that for my Macbook Air laptop, with my 10 year old iMac 27 inch used as a monitor for the Mac laptop. The laptop very rarely leaves the desk.

I got a bit stressed at work this month and so worked from home for three weeks to give me a bit more peace and quiet. And the narrow desk became more of an issue. So we decided it was time to arrange for a proper desk, rather than using two cheap ones.

This was the original situation.

My desk (80 cm wide and 50 cm deep, with pull-out keyboard drawer):

And Klaus’s desk on the right, much larger:

He had the printer under his desk. We print about one sheet of paper every two weeks, which is usually a recipe that I have found for something Keto and tasty. So it wasn’t really needed but we couldn’t completely get rid of it.

As this room is also Lara’s bedroom when she visits, space is rather tight – we used the window sill for my file folders for my tax etc which wasn’t very tidy.

So anyway, we discussed over a few days what were the best options and decided in the end to buy one large kitchen worktop to use as a desktop, to put legs on it and then to buy two under-desk filing cabinets for storage. We also decided to buy another cupboard to keep our files in.

That cupboard came first, and Klaus built it.

As you see, there seems to be something missing! This is where the two drawers should be built but when he unpacked the kit:

The company said they would send us the two replacement drawer bottoms separately so he went ahead and built the rest.

I put up my narrow desk for sale for 10 Euros (it only cost me 50 new) and someone picked it up within a couple of days. We were very profligate with the 10 Euros and treated ourselves to a kebab that evening!

The worktop we ordered was cut to size for us – 220cm wide and 75cm deep (so deeper than a normal desk). We also ordered five legs and a cable tidy. Eventually all the items arrived and we were able to build the desk.

We have now divided up the space equally (so we each get 110cm rather than Klaus having 120cm and me 80!). He also bought himself a new widescreen monitor as he used to have two monitors which actually take up a lot more room and weren’t so well matched.

I also bought a stand to raise my monitor a little and to allow me to have the Mac laptop below it, so if I need to access the laptop it is easy. I bought the monitor raiser from Amazon and couldn’t resist when I saw this description in the autotranslated text:

I can’t think of the last time a furniture supplier was bothered about fatigue of my cleavage.

Anyway, here is the setup after we put it together. We are still waiting for a second set of filing drawers which will replace the box with the Union Jack on it. The printer is on the window sill so we can still use it if necessary.

Of course, I am now working back in the office, probably all the time now, so this extra space isn’t so vital for me but it is still nice to have a tidy desk and to be able to tuck my back chair under the desk when I am not using it.

Sunshine and Snow

This month we had a lot of snow which, whilst not uncommon for Germany, lasted longer than normal. The dog loved it!

After a couple of days it became very dry and cold.

Klaus’s old car needed the Standheizung on for 45 minutes to clear some of the frozen snow on it.

Someone built an ice sculpture out of thick slices of ice.

Someone else had annoyingly knocked the top off it by the time I was able to take a photo.

We often see hares running around but they were definitely not so stealth with this weather!

Poppy loved it but was not happy with having to wear her coat. But we didn’t want her to get cold so she had to be Little Red Riding Hood.

We had the snow for more than a week but then, in two days, the temperature went from minus 7 to plus 14 and suddenly everything was green and the snowdrops were out.

Corona in Germany

Germany has dropped the ball on vaccinations and Klaus and I have no idea when we will be offered one. However, the government did send me two vouchers for 6 masks at a reduced price (2 Euro for 6).

We are not very sure why I got this, as Klaus didn’t – unless it is related to the fact that I am registered as disabled in Germany. Who knows, but I picked up my 12 masks for 4 Euros and have also been able to get some at work when I am there.

Glassfibre Internet

For over a year we have been waiting for glassfibre internet to become available in our little hamlet and they have finally started laying the cables near our house. It’s fun to watch them, and also impressive to see how quickly they can dig up brick driveways, lay the cables and then re-lay the bricks. They drive around with Dutch registered vehicles but most seem to be Eastern European – they are certainly working hard although had to take a break during the snow.

Cakes this month

It was another poor month for cakes, but good month for the diet.

A Keto Peach Käse Sahne Torte I made – it was very tasty!
I celebrated Shrove Tuesday/Pancake day with some real pancakes as a treat. That’s Stevia powder on the top, not sugar though.
My colleague Doro celebrated her birthday and brought in a tray of different bakery goodies for us. I love Quarkbällchen so was very happy to snaffle these!

So a short report for February because nothing much has happened (except for the divorce, which was very important!) We live in hope that we might be able to do a bit more outdoorsy stuff in the summer, if the Corona rates go down, but we will have to see.

Enjoy the springlike weather and bleibt gesund!

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Filed under Cycling in Germany, Millie the Milan GT Carbon, Six Wheels In Germany, Velomobiles