Tag Archive for 'Australia'

To buy or not to buy!?

So, back in Germany and getting grounded again.

It was pretty sad to leave Sydney, and I really only realise now in retrospect how sad and depressed I became upon my return. I guess I should have expected it really. Anyway, am once again used to being in Berlin and am definitely enjoying it just as I used to.

Unfortunately I was thrown into work relatively hardcore. I mean, I never really stop working entirely, even when on holiday – if only to reduce the amount of e-mail I have to catch up on when I return. But this time kinda sucked a bit. I returned on Thursday, which I thought was a good plan, 2 days work and then the weekend. And that part of the plan went ok. It was only the next week that things started to get tough.

  • Firstly, I started noticing all the mistakes my team had made in my absence.
  • Secondly, one person on my team went on their planned holiday, whilst another person in my team simultaneously went off sick for the week.

As you can imagine, the workload suddenly became quite large. What with both catching up on work as well as filling in for two people that were away. I mean, my team is only 5 people big, and when two are away for whatever reason simultaneously, resources become very tight. That’s why I usually plan it that two people on my team are never away at the same time. Unfortunately I can’t predict the future, so sickness is something I have to live with. Just unfortunate that I’d only been back here a week before that happened.

So life was immediately pretty bloody stressful.

The really funny thing was when one of my colleagues came back from holiday and said she’d take it easy getting back into work – because that’s what you’re meant to do – and I thought to myself “If only I had that luxury”. What a rude shock reentering the country it was.

Amongst all of this, my CEO would like to migrate my position (Director Technical Support) to a more management focused position as far as I can tell. Which is fine by me, the only thing is that I first need a large enough team with the resources to look after the workload independently without me having to step in too much. At the moment, that just isn’t possible, I don’t have the resources. I am constantly ‘getting my hands dirty’ so to speak.

On another note, I am getting a new work computer to make my life a little easier. A pretty powerful laptop which will give me the flexibility to work anywhere within our building. Lately I have really been needing this. Albeit, I have a laptop and a workstation at work, but the laptop is not powerful enough to do any real work. And the more I am focusing on management and less on the basic job, the more I need to work in silence in order to concentrate where I do not have the constant interruptions that I have had to deal with up till now. Let’s see how that goes. I really like my company, and my job, but get quite sad when I feel so much stress from the job just because of the workload due to certain limitations.

Anyways……I am finally building up the new bike I’ve been talking about forever. It breaks down to something like this:

  • Dartmoor Two6Player Frame – 2100g
  • Spank 777 Bars – 318g
  • Primo Boy Grips – 15g
  • Twenty6 F1.2 Stem – 118g
  • Chris King Headset – 230g
  • Fox 34 831 Forks – 1930g
  • Chris King Hubs – 164g + 411g
  • Titanium Spokes – 270g
  • Dartmoor Raider Rims – 1100g
  • DT Swiss Rim Tape – 20g
  • Michelin C4 AirComp Latex Tubes – 260g
  • Continental Race King Tires -1100g
  • Formula R1 Disc Brakes – 534g
  • Raceface Bottom Bracket – 92g
  • Raceface Next SL Cranks – 400g
  • Raceface Next SL Chainring – 25g
  • Chris King 12 Tooth Sprocket (calculated with hub weight)
  • KMC X9 Super Light Chain – 242g
  • Twenty6 Predator Pedals – 340g
  • Twenty6 Seat Clamp – 18g
  • Nukeproof Warhead V2 Seatpost – 235g
  • Octane One Rocker Saddle – 295g

Coming to a total estimated weight of 10.22kg – I might be able to get it a little lighter due to the fact I can cut down the seatpost, but that is about it really. So around 10kg for the entire ride, which isn’t too bad I guess and which I’m sure my back will appreciate!

Really looking forward to when it’s complete. The 24″ BMX is just getting a little too hard on my body to ride anymore. Sad really, but then again, it has lasted me the last 8 years, so I think it’s perfectly fine going up to a 26″ at this point in time. Here’s hoping it’s a bit more of a comfortable ride. I mean, it should be. Bigger size with a suspension fork, should be quite different. First time I will have ever had disc brakes too! Will post pics when it’s done 🙂

What else has been on the menu?

Well, on top of that is the fact that as you might already know, Ina and I have been trying to purchase an apartment here for the last year or so. Well, we found another one that we really like and have put an offer in. It’s on Schönhauser Allee 27, is a rooftop apartment, is spread over two floors – level 4 and 5, and seems about perfect. Ok, not absolutely perfect, but very nice. The only detractor is that it is only 2 rooms. 1 bedroom and 1 living room. Ideally we wanted to have a 3rd room to work in etc. But it seems that we can’t quite afford that, so this will have to do for now. Anyway, the apartment, as well as the location are freaking perfect, and I really like the fact that it is spread over two floors with a large terrace facing a pretty good direction. The positives far outweigh any negatives! The only rather sad thing is that it means I would be moving out of my current apartment with Thommy and Hans. Since moving here I have really got to know these guys and I think we have all formed a pretty damn good friendship. It will be sad not to see them on a regular basis anymore coming home from work after having moved out, but I guess that’s life – nothing lasts forever. I really hope we stay in touch though and don’t become like all too many friends of my past. We’ll see. Really great guys which I have been lucky enough to get to know.

But that’s about it, those are my travels of the moment. So a lot of exciting stuff going on all over the place, work/home/life. It’s all good. And on top of that it is coming into Spring and everyone is becoming happier and easier to deal with…..yay!! So on that note, here’s a nice drum and bass track to remind us all of sunshine and all things good:

No news is good news right?

So, I guess it has been a while since I last posted.

Was in Australia for nearly 4 weeks. I guess it made me realize that:

a.) I am lucky enough to still have a pretty strong friend circle over that way after all this time

and

b.) Even though it’s expensive, I could totally live there again

Not to mention that it’s a pretty friendly place to be. Now that might seem strange and fake to an outsider, such as someone who grew up in Germany. But the fact of the matter is, that’s just how we are raised. When we smile and ask each other how our day is going, we are being polite and friendly – to not do so is considered strange, and even rude.

It all depends on how you were raised and what you are used to. What it really highlighted to me though is that I would way prefer someone being nice to me, even if it meant they were lying to my face, rather than being brutally honest and rude at the same time. I can live in ignorance, that’s fine. I don’t have to be miserable.

And who said being honest requires you to not be friendly? Don’t forget, even if you make yourself smile, although you might not be happy about anything, your mind will follow and you will feel happier 🙂

Anyway, did we get any of the tasks done that we were hoping to? Well, in a word, no. The aircon is not installed, the bank loan hasn’t been swapped over to another bank, about the only thing we got done was finally putting our stuff into long-term storage. Not sure how long-term that will be though. Between you and me, I’m slowly getting pretty sick of this place. I guess it has lost most of its charm on me by now. Berlin is a great place if you like the nightlife, but once you get over that, you realize that culturally, it is missing out on quite a bit.

At least we skipped winter though, came back here and Winter seems to have vanished, I mean, it’s 20 degrees today – which is madness! Good madness!!

Was meant to get an operation on my knee today, but it has been rescheduled due to some kind of difficulty. Now it will be on the 21st of May, and I will be getting a general anesthetic. Oh the joy. Not really looking forward to that, but then again neither am I looking forward to the operation I’ll have next week to remove one of my remaining wisdom teeth. It is lying sideways under other teeth so I have no freaking idea how they go about extracting a tooth like that. All I can imagine is that it is going to be painful once I awake from the general anesthetic. Really not looking forward to it.

Oh well. Have a great weekend, and catch you on the flipside 😉

 

 

Not much going on!

Well, time is still getting the better of me and I am really starting to wonder why that is.

I guess it could be to do with the fact that I am quite often tired lately, who knows!?

Anyways, last weekend I was in Poland in a beautiful city called Krakow – possibly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen in Europe, I mean, it really blew me away. And to think that not more than 60 or so years ago it was completely stormed by German troops and taken over, with all the Polish people having only 24 hours to collect their belongings (not the furniture or anything though mind!) and get out of there. I mean, Hitler wanted Poland and he was all about the eradication of the Polish – not just the Jewish community (which was quite large there), nor the Gypsies.

Don’t forget, eventually Auschwitz was only to be a train ride away.

So there you go, really nice. Plenty to do there too. Heaps of museums, galleries, cafes, bars etc. It’s really great!

Before that I was visiting a friend in Lincoln, UK for the weekend. He currently has his house on sale (well, not his house, but his father-in-law’s house……long story involving Alzheimer’s – don’t ask), and I wanted to go check out the place before it is gone for good.

Was very nice to catch up. We had a massive bonfire – and I really do mean massive! There was quite a lot of scrap wood to burn, and burn we did. Gotta love the UK style of living sometimes too. I mean, they have a really good pub culture, and I like pubs! It’s a match made in heaven 🙂 Fortunately as well, we had the best weather you could imagine! Beautiful blue, sunny skies. Could not have asked for more.

In all honesty though, I am now 37 years old and I’ve really gotta start looking after myself. I hurt my knee snowboarding last year and I still have some liquid trapped between my kneecap and the layer of skin. I have what seems to be a trapped nerve in my left shoulder which hurts like all hell….seemingly more in the evenings. And to top it all off, I realize I need to change my diet or something (more exercise wouldn’t go astray) because the handles are getting on the largish side. Man. What is it with the metabolism?? With each year older, it becomes more and more difficult to manage weight, and this is coming from someone who has always been told “Oh, you’re so lucky you’re naturally thin!”. Naturally thin – I beg to differ – it’s just I’ve always watched what I eat and have maintained a good level of exercise to ensure things don’t go south. I guess exercise has taken a massive hit over the last year or so.

Unfortunately now I really need to put the brakes on somewhere…..grrrrrrr…..otherwise I fear the future 😉

Also have finalised the dates for going back to Australia, although my parents don’t know yet – sorry – but yeah. I will escape this place in one of its darkest, coldest times of the year and zap into summer. Sounds alright to me!

Organized to go visit Liz before she leaves London too. Ina and I should be over there for the weekend of the 18th. Just need to organize the tickets etc. Always nice to get over to London though. I mean, I find the weather a bit oppressive, but the place and the people are awesome. Such a pleasant change from here sometimes. In saying that, I don’t mean to say that here or Germans are the opposite. I mean, I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t like it, but it can wear you down after a while. There is just such a huge difference in mentalities, and that difference can really wear you out over time. Sometimes I am feeling very worn out and to hang in an English spoken country is so relaxing. I don’t care what anyone thinks, language does to a degree define the people/culture/mentality. This concept is not my own either, it has been studied all over, just have a search in the interwebs – you’ll find a goldmine of information!!

And what can I say about work? It’s certainly keeping me out of trouble. Finally found a new employee and have really high hopes for him. He has some great skills that should fit

But that’s it for now. This is where I am. We are so lucky to be experiencing absolutely beautiful weather lately, so I really can’t complain too much can i? Let’s just see how long it lasts……..

Here’s a track – I just heard it, and it’s not new – but it’s pretty damn nice – I guess I would like to discover a way to fly: