Welcome to spring!
I am starting to write this blog on Monday 29 March as I have a day off work (the last of my Christmas holidays that I was unable to take). The sun is shining, the birds are singing, we have some daffodils on the table in the lounge and Klaus is working at home beside me. So it’s a good day!
Cycling and running this month
Millie spent almost the entire month at Beyß in Straelen having her indicators replaced. When I got her back we realised that the rear light on the Lichtkanone had failed so she went back to Beyß a few days later and he then identified that the LED was no longer working and ordered and fitted a replacement. As I write this she is ready, I just need to go and collect her.
As Millie has not been available I have been riding my trike for commuting.
I used to include Screenshots from my software Ascent which showed how many kilometres I have ridden/run etc. Unfortunately the software seems to have become buggy and no longer synchs with Garmin so I have had to give up with it. Suffice it to say, I am not cycling very much these days but it is winter! I am, however, doing well with my running and go out for 30 minutes three times per week. I may not be fast but I am consistent!
I have been using Alfie and have been unlucky enough to have two flat tyres in one week. The first was fair enough:
This was at work so I replaced the tube and was on my way within five minutes. The next morning the tube had half deflated again so I changed it again but I think it was a valve problem as I couldn’t find any holes when I checked the tube.
As I had actually got round to repairing a tube (and found some vulcanisation glue that wasn’t set solid) I decided to go through the drawer full of tubes than needed repairing. I did 10 in total, here are most of them at the post-repair testing stage!
We had a mini heatwave at the end of March which meant that I was out running without wearing a buff on my head. I found again that my Apple Airpods Pro, which I use to listen to music whilst I run, tended to get loose again – this is because sweat from the ear seems to reduce the seal they have. I have very small ear canals, it’s a problem for the hearing aid when I wear it, and I was rather worried an Airpod might fall out (they have a couple of times in the past) and be run over by a passing car or eaten by the dog. So I decided to buy some Airshokx which are bone-conducting headphones. This means they don’t go into your ear, they are positioned in front of it and the sound is transmitted through the bones in front of your ear.
Sound quality isn’t as good as the airpods but it is perfectly acceptable and it is good to have my ears free – I can hear all other sounds whilst running, and have discovered my shoes are quite noisy on mud left by tractors!
Life in Germany
Coronavirus is taking a turn for the worse here in Germany at the moment with a very slow vaccination campaign so we are expecting some more restrictions to be brought in soon.
So our life continues pretty much as it has for the last year – Klaus working from home two days per week, we only go out to the supermarket or for exercise, and we only really see Lara his daughter. So we live a quiet, retired life but that suits us and we are much luckier than others that our jobs have continued mostly as normal.
One nice thing is that the weather suddenly got rather good and sunny so we have had some lovely evening walks!
On one of the days that I went to Aldi I noticed that they were celebrating British Week! Now most of the British things are items that we don’t eat but it was good to see them. I did buy a bar of Dairy Milk Caramel (which made me feel a bit sick when I ate it!) and also some wine gums and whiskey for Klaus, but otherwise I was able to resist the goodies.
I was amused to see a new brand of cold tea (who wants to drink that stuff anyway???) in our local Edeka. The product name doesn’t work quite so well in the English language.
As one of my chums said, “two full cups please!”
Colleagues moving on
At work this month we have had three colleagues say goodbye. One was a temp, Anna, who had been there for four months, but the other two have been working with us much longer and will be very much missed!
Our Lab/QS colleague Rashmi got a new job that more fits her education (two masters degrees!) and so we said goodbye with some flowers, chocs and a poster with pictures of us all. We have really enjoyed working with Rashmi – me particularly as we spoke together in English, one of her five languages!
And then on the last day of March my other colleague Dorothee, who had been with us for three and a half years, moved on. Doro’s father Uli is one of my cycling chums so I actually knew about her before I knew her, so-to-speak. I’ve really enjoyed working with Doro too and we will miss her.
A new kitchen gadget
Over a year and a half ago when Klaus and I were on our Bodensee cycle tour we stayed with friends Christoph and Anna and I ended up in a long conversation with Anna about Kenwood Chefs. These are food mixers and they are very good and long lasting – my Mum had one for decades. Anyway, Anna had just recently bought one and was singing its praises.
Fast forward to this week and having once again sprayed myself with cream when using the hand mixer, which I use almost every day for various Keto goodies, I decided it was really time to join the real world and get a Kenwood. What was a bit of a bonus was that Penny were selling the entry-level Kmix with a reduction of almost 100 Euro so I snapped one up and it now has pride of place in our kitchen.
I haven’t yet used it in anger as I had to wash all the bits and bobs but tonight I shall probably make a mascarpone mousse and see how it performs. This will also help me in my cake making of course, as I made a Keto Chocolate Cake (pics below) this month and gave my arm such a workout trying to stir the thing that I was rather pooped afterwards!
Cakes this month
Here are a selection of cakes this month. I bought some from Büllhorsthof for Gudula, Frank and Nils when they were here – so most weren’t eaten by us!