Don’t worry Sir, they don’t eat much!”
“Good morning Herr Taxi Driver, to Flughafen Nürnberg please!” These were among my first (and most excitable) words on Saturday morning as I planned to pick up four very special people who had just left British airspace. Indeed, only yesterday I said goodbye to Grace and her family after they had spent an absolutely brilliant weekend visiting me. I’d been looking forward to it for ages and I certainly wasn’t let down, it was without doubt the best weekend in a long time! Furthermore this was also the first occasion that my girlfriend had graced German soil, and fortunately I don’t think that either was left disappointed :). Time flies when you’re having fun, so I’ve been left pining already for the next time that I get to spend some more quality time with my partner in crime!
EMPLOYABILITY. Arguably this is one of the most crucial, daunting, and recurring notions for a student at university, hence nowadays it’s very common to see many students taking on as much work-experience as possible in order to maximise their prospects on the job market. I can’t say that I am any different to the norm, seeing as I’ve just secured for myself a week’s worth of unpaid work-experience at the Birmingham Mail this summer! Anyway, my point is, is that although I’ve only been here for just over a month, that if most employers could see the sheer range of tasks that I’ve been indulging in here then I’d most likely be ’employable’ in most sectors of the job market (I wish :)) Once again this past week has seen us working well outside the realms of gastronomy, and once again (fortunately / unfortunately), we’ve been in that famous boiler room. The next step of the renovation process has been to erect a door that connects the boiler room with the Werkstatt (workshop), therefore most images in this particular blog instalment are related to this!Vodpod videos no longer available.
So, what you can see above is some amateur footage (courtesy of Bernd) of me using a dangerous tool in a practical way for the very first time in my life. Before we could put the door in place, Christian, me, and one of Gasthof Stern’s most regular customers, called Roland, had to cut into the wall, then we would be able to knock it through with one of the biggest hammers that I’ve seen to date. This was proper Männerarbeit (tough men’s work) and so we made sure that the ladies stayed well clear in order for us to make the most of it! Throughout the whole day the air was toxic as there was SO much dust everywhere; the video gives an insight into how much dust that machine actually produced! At one point my face was arguably as black as the night, whereas as you can see from the photos below Christian turned a more orangey colour temporarily (not sure why the variation in colour). After we’d cut through sufficiently we three took it in turns to take swings with the hammer at the wall (we were feeling particularly manly at this point). Finally the wall of Jericho came down and for the next couple of hours we attempted to fit the door in place, although in my opinion this part was pretty boring as I’m not particularly practical ;). It’s surprising how much you can do in a day’s work nevertheless!
In other notable news (and please refrain from underestimating the significance of this!), the hotel finally has a fully functioning wheelbarrow. I myself am noticeably pleased about this, as recently I’ve been labouring away trying to transport wood to and fro using two wheelbarrows (remember the hotel is heated by wood), both of which regrettably have completely flat tyres. Despite it probably doing my muscles some good, it’s been unnecessarily hard work trying to push the wheelbarrows when they’re full, and a number of people have commented on how silly I look when I’m struggling to push them up the hill. For the last three days two brand new tyres have been lying agonisingly close to the wheelbarrows in the warehouse, waiting to be fixed on, but it was today that finally one of them has been put to use! This was courtesy of that man mentioned earlier, Roland, also known to us as JR (not sure why mind you), the man on the left in the picture above is him. Whilst helping me to fix the wheelbarrow, Roland showed me his house, which is a 4 storey giant. He has, quite possibly, the biggest tool room / work shed in the world; literally I’ve never seen so many tools in my life (there were some tools which I didn’t even know existed). This man is so practical, and I mean SO practical, that he’s built for himself his own personal lift / elevator, which takes him to the topmost floor of the house. His reason for this, ‘ist praktisch,’ (it’s practical!). A legend in the making, and made my day fixing that wheelbarrow. Using a wheelbarrow has never felt so good!
Linguistically I’ve made some important leaps this last week. One notable error with my German that I’ve just about eradicated is mixing up the words abholen (to pick up / grab), and überholen (to overtake). I can’t imagine how many times I’ve made the mistake already, but I’m determined not to do it again, because it must sound really stupid when I say; Ich hole schnell meine Jacke über. Meaning to declare that I’m just about to grab my jacket, but instead saying that I’m just going to overtake my jacket; well it’s quite embarrassing thinking back on it! It makes me feel better to know that one of the waitresses Petra has made similar mistakes to me when she attempts to speak English. On one occasion when she was talking about a certain dish on the restaurant’s menu to me (Rumpsteak Zwiebel = Mushroom Rumpsteak), she kept referring to it as “Marsh-mellow rump steak.” I was pretty sure at first that it was a slightly incorrect translation, and later the dictionary confirmed that it definitely was false. So that made me feel a little bit better!
What you can see in the image above is a photo of what seems to be a soldier’s helmet, which we discovered a few days ago when we were working in the barn. To me it looks quite historic, and I’m guessing that soldiers weren’t wearing these during the Second World War (I’m pretty certain that fashion wasn’t that bad in the 40’s), and so if correct then this might be worth a dime if I took it onto “Antiques Roadshow.” Worth a shout?! Let me know if you think so! The same day we also found a newspaper clipping from 1931, which also made me smile (simple things please simple minds). But yes, enough of my rambling for now.
Tomorrow I’ve got a day off, which I’m really looking forward to, especially since my mum, sister, aunty Linda and Uncle Geoff are all visiting me at the moment. This means that we can hopefully make a day trip to Bamberg, and if so then I’ll be taking lots of snaps and including them in my next blog instalment, for you, the lovely readers :). So until then, have a lovely week, and don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do. I leave you with a snap of Grace and me from the weekend :).