Saturday, 1 November 2008


Just like London wait for ages and then 2 come along almost at the same time.

I have been pondering this week on democracy. How can you do anything else in the lead up to the least democratic election of the most powerful man in the world's so-called leading democracy? CNN has had me ranting at the screen on a number of occasions as they ask everyone around the world whether they want Obama or McCain.

"They can't vote!" I scream at the presenters. "It doesn't matter what they think...."

But then the idea hit me. Wouldn't it be a whole lot more democratic if everyone else WAS allowed to vote. First, in America, the President, who probably still is the most powerful man in the world, despite my wishes to the contrary and the approaching takeover of that position of the Emporer of China, or whatever they have there as top dog, would be chosen by all the people in the world who are impacted by the decision. Brainwave!

But extend the idea further to every other country. There would be no Mugabe and no Adinajab, would have been no Saddam or Hitler or Pol Pot. OK, I know a number of these weren't elected anyway, but a serious number of the very bad leaders would have never had the power to inflict so much misery on the people in their country. Sometimes people need to be saved from themselves by having decisions taken out of their own hands.

I imagine a huge on-line voting facility, a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest but without TW and the annoying songs and block-voting for the Lithuanians. We'd have to limit the candidates to natives of the country being voted for, otherwise Arnie really would end up as US President and Borat as the leader of Kazhakstan...

But imagine it. I think it's brilliant - an instant end to poor leaders across the world. But then I suppose everyone always thinks their own ideas are brilliant...

Living in Germany but not being German means I'd get to vote here. As far as I can see there are no politicians worth voting in. So I think I'd probably vote for Nena. Who can forget her appearance on Top of the Pops singing 99 Red Balloons? What better representative of this fine country?

So who would be British PM if we applied this, do you think? Who would the great people of this world vote in as our leader if we had no say in it ourselves?

Sunday, 26 October 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it...I feel fine!

OK. 3 months is long enough to wait for a new post.
And what a 3 months...
I have stayed in Germany this weekend for the first time in a while - half term travelling arrangements of Mrs Moose and the Mooselets cutting across the weekend. The Frankfurt marathon was today...I didn't run myself but did go to the end of my street to watch everyone run by and cheer on 3 colleagues who were running. Amazing that in a group of 12,000 runners I managed to see all 3 of them!
Thanks to Lyndyloo for passing on my message. Did my ARF get played?

Congratulations to Susan and the new mini-Susan!!!
Glad Mr Jollygit has a new job.
Loved the church announcements...crying from laughing so much!
Hi to everyone else...and come back soon anyone who's missing (I'm a fine one to talk...)

I am starting another (3rd since I got here...are they trying to tell me something?) new job soon, probably start of December now and highly politically sensitive. Always is when the person whose job you are getting doesn't know they are leaving it...oops!

I am looking forward to my next coaching session tomorrow, and to America having their first black president...there will be some serious egg on my face if McCain makes an unlikely comeback, huh?

I am looking forward to my next Personal Training session on Thursday...just signed up last week and did my first session. Already feel a couple of kilos lighter. In fact, I am considering shooting off for a swim when I have posted this.

So the financial markets are falling apart. Mrs M and I have had a difference of opinion on it and I thought I'd throw the topic open to you lot to chip in...
My view is that a global recession is actually only bad for a fairly small proportion of the population...mainly rich bankers...and that it's generally "no big deal". The media make a huge thing out of it because they have nothing else to talk about and it fills a few hours of non stop TV coverage without having to think too much. This makes everyone depressed and think about it more than necessary. Most of us will not lose our jobs. Just about everyone will survive it. We will probably all have to tighten our belts a bit, but for a lot of people in our all too well off world, I believe that's a good thing to have to endure now and again. And let's face it, for some of us mooses of a wider girth, a tightened belt is very definitely a good thing...
Mrs Moose thinks this is a selfish and narrow view. The chances are we will be OK as a family and will be almost totally unaffected. OK my shares a worth a bit less than before but that's paper money that I do not rely on for day to day food and shelter, and most likely will recover in time (and I still have some time before retirement when I might need to cash them in). But a lot of people will be seriously affected, high food and fuel prices will seriously impact people.

So what do you think? Will people really die (or even suffer) from starvation or even just a lack of food? Will people die because they can't afford fuel in the recession (but could have otherwise)? Or am I being extreme and only counting real suffering if it's of the fatal kind?

Friday, 25 July 2008


That's where I've been...on walkabout.
I'm amazed you guys have kept going all this time...but then I did have a quick peek on the CLP blog and am not totally surprised that some need to find some refuge...
Is it me, or did a storm in a teacup suddenly turn into world war 3? I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing for giving some calmer perspective.

Life goes on, madly busy at work and still flying around the place all the time. Am in Germany for the weekend and therefore I have the first time to sit and surf for weeks and months. Am off to Cornwall next week on Wednesday (for the Mrs Moose and Mooselet #2 double bill birthday) and they are all there already - not worth an extra weekend trip to come back for 2 days. Am playing golf tomorrow with a colleague...forecast is 35 degrees so I must just take a hat and some sun cream. Unlike last time when I frazzled myself.

Have had a coaching session at work. Good guy, really challenged me on a real sore point for me.
I am looking forward to working with him some more...

I will probably not be back for a while. After the Cornwall trip I'm back in Germany for a week then we're off on our proper hols for another 2 weeks.
Keep up the good work...I'm very proud of you all! See you in September...

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Cleaning Day

A Bank Holiday in Germany today and I'm sitting at my desk wasting time and trying to put off cleaning the flat and doing my washing for as long as possible. I have to work this afternoon as well, so I guess I'm trying to put that off too.

Mrs Moose and the Mooselets are planned for a short trip over at the weekend as part of Half Term excitement. If only the Post Office would deliver Mooselet #2's passport then everything would be fine...

Hence the cleaning. I did clean once just after I'd moved in. But since then other things seem to always get in the way, and I only ever see the place in the dark when it's so much easier to ignore. Mrs Patel is the answer...I really must engage her services soon. (She is a cleaner, not a provider of any other form of personal services....)

I have a shiny new I-Pod docking station that is currently blaring out Bohemian Rhapsody at me as I type...picture Garth rocking out while driving and you almost get the picture....antlers waving in the air rather than long blond hair.

And for the philosophical question for the day (or given my record at posting, for the next 3 weeks): Why am I so good at defining what I don't want in life but so very poor in defining what I really do want?

Friday, 2 May 2008

Back again...

..via a spot of sunshine and sand on the south coast.

Have been busying myself with a profit forecast. Not an enthralling thing to be doing but at least it meant eating steak while looking at the sea last night. Have fought my way back through Bank Holiday traffic today in time to see the Mooselets and Mrs Moose. Makes up a bit for not actually getting a Bank Holiday. Grman one was on Thursday as they still do the quaint old-fashioned thing and celebrate May Day on May Day. But I was in Poole. On Monday I fly at my normal horrible o'clock in the morning time back to Germany and work, while everyone else gets to watch the rain in the UK. (Sorry!)

Does anyone else feel even just a little bit sorry for Gordon Brown?
It was all going so well for him...a reputation as one of our best Chancellors ever, a nice wife and children to fight those vicious rumours that keep bubbling up, and the pleasure of pretending to be devastated when the PM took a hell of a beating in the local elections.
Now he's got a reputation as one of the worst PMs ever, the rumours keep on coming (well they do here anyway!), and he's the one eating the humble pie.

So the question that remains is this...Who ate all the pies?

My money is on Boris...

Friday, 25 April 2008


As I'm in the country, anyone fancy a picnic party?

Location: Lundy Island
Time: 4 pm, finishing off with a communal skinny dip in the sea and listening to ARF
Jobs: Hazel - enormous sound system
Caroline - food
Me - eating food
Everyone else - wild fun

Hope to see you all there...

Sunday, 20 April 2008


Hooray for Wireless Lans....

Connected now, feels so much better. Currently posting from Steve the Aussie Personal Trainer's flat - he lives upstairs and has a LAN that we are sharing. I hope it works as well from my flat downstairs. He also has a far more comfortable sofa than I do, so following my run this evening along the banks of the Main river, I needed some comfort. He says "G'day" all of you.

Stayed over this weekend to work and ended up getting invited to a dinner party and a barbecue...can't complain. This week sees the end of some of the last few weeks stress. I'm sure there'll be more from different sources to come, but at the moment it's just nice to see the end looming for one major piece of work.

The dinner party was a very nice international affair...2 South Africans, 1 Macedonian, 3 Germans, 1 American, 1 Peruvian, 2 Brits and a half Peruvian/half German baby. And a mad dog called Mackenzie! We ate traditional South African and Peruvian food - what a mixture. All fantastic though, and washed down by some wine from a vineyard that the hostess used to work for and the host's friend runs. Now they are the sort of friends to have!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

...and relax....

Apologies for the long absence. Life suddenly got hectic.
So much has happened, where to start...

I was made interim Finance Director, then I was made permanent Finance Director.
Had a few weekends in Germany.
Company has been taken to court by an egomaniac.
So much work to do I don't know where to start.
Starting to make an impression on people, I think. My team are e-mailing me over the weekend, so they got the strong hints about needing to work the weekend becasue there's so much to do, without me having to actually tell them to work the weekend...always better that way!
If I could just get the month end results completed and presented in somewhat the way I want them and a Profit Forecast done that vaguely resembles what might happen in the rest of the year, all by Tuesday morning, I'll be happy!!!

Seriously though, I already love the industry and the management team are mostly already good friends...makes a huge difference, especially when battling a common enemy in court. (We won by the way...yeehaa!). I'm on an ex-pat contract with the expectation of being out there for 18 to 24 months. But nothing is forever and you never know what the future brings. For the moment I'm challenged way outside my comfort zone - thought my German was quite good until I had to write an Affa Davit in German!!!. In fact, I thought my German was quite good until I had to deal with the German legal system, full stop!
The good thing about the job is that I'm senior enough to have REAL influence, which was lacking at the big the way, did you see the story of the Scouse woman applying for planning permission to have the big boss's house demolished? Crackin' cheese, Gromit!

My biggest challenge at the moment is taking control of my own diary and my own time. When I do it works well. It's a funny feeling to just tell everyone what's changing and then for them all to turn up in my office at the right times!

I'll have to remember not to let the power go to my antlers!!!

I have to do a fitness test on Tuesday that I'm going to fail really badly...that should bring me back down to earth with a moose sized bump. Let me know if you feel any tremors at about 6.30am...

Greetings to everyone...I should be getting an internet connection in my flat very soon. Not that I spend a lot of time there at the moment - I'm either in the office or being wined and dined! And with work the way it is I can't promise to blog again soon, but I will, as ever, do my very best...

Macht's gut!!!

Saturday, 15 March 2008


Elder mooselet's birthday on Sunday. Yes, I know....

Maybe the price I paid for the small misleading statement (I didn't actually write that his birthday was last weekend when requesting, just said it was his birthday at the weekend without being specific which one...) is that the first time I got to even try to Listen Again was this morning, concerned that it would already have been wiped in favour of this Friday's ARF. and of course I was right. Anyone with an MP3 file of the 7th March show, please e-mail it to me!!!!!

Had an interesting lunch with the CEO on Friday discussing possible permanent roles for me in the company. We've agreed to keep running as we are at the moment and keep the dialogue going as to future directions. As long as I'm earning decently and enjoying what I'm doing, I have no current need to know what's coming next and am contented to go with the flow, dipping my oar in the water now and again to slightly influence the direction that flow takes me in.

Inspiration has struck on the book front. I am making some progress again on Book 1. I can truly call it that now because I have an idea for Book 2. It's not a sequel as I don't really have any story threads in Book 1 that justify one, but it is a spin-off in that Book 2 is essentially the story of a character mentioned in one line of Book 1. I am at the mind-mapping chapters and ideas stage at the moment, trying not to get too distracted from completing Book 1 ready for sending to agents, but excited at the thought of being at the very beginning of the creative process again. Starting on Book 2 is also important to persuade an agent/publisher that I've got more than one book in me. Plane journeys are impossible to use for the work left on Book 1 anyway, so using the time with my little notebook and my ideas for Book 2 isn't really distraction...convinced? I'm not sure I am...

Sunday, 9 March 2008

A wing and a prayer...

Thanks for being my spies. I can't believe he played it!!! I didn't even think my post had got through as I thought the PC had hung.

Little secret though...I did cheat just a tiny little bit...not telling how.

Anna - that'd be Halzephron then...enjoy St Ives in the wind and rain!!!

Hoping that the big storm hasn't made it to London by 7 in the morning and I can get airborne and head east faster than it can...batten down the hatches everyone.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Nobody told me there'd be days like these...

Strange days indeed.

I'm not actually much of a John Lennon fan, but sometimes a song just pops into your head and seems to say it all.

I am still in the office at 8pm, waiting for a colleague so that we can drink beer, eat pizza and chat about the future of this company.

The MD was dismissed today. It seems that a number of other people knew it was coming as well as me. I was in the office early this morning to print a load of the legal documents ready for the final act. I hate having secrets like that - it's really hard to treat someone the same when he's your boss and you know the axe is hanging and he can't see it...

But then not as hard as being the one that gets the chop.

My chat with the CEO was good but non-specific about future opportunities. He was generally full of compliments and we agreed that we would get to know each other a bit over the coming weeks and see what transpires. To that end, I'm back in the UK next Friday for lunch, by which time I have to make my mind up if I want to sh1t or get off the pot and throw my hat in the ring for the dead man's shoes.

I will also have decided how many cliches too many were involved in that last sentence...

Most peculiar Mama.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

4 seasons in one day...


Just popped in to find so much going on...

First, congrats to Susan...I did have a whisper of your news from Lyndyloo...

Second, welcome to new joiners over here, Dancerjen and Gingembre. Great to have you here. You probably don't know me but I used to be a CLP blogger too until I couldn't be bothered any more. But that's a whole other story. You may think I can't be bothered here any more but I'm afraid it's just being busy and working in Germany at the moment...too much weekend time spent seeing my kids and washing/ironing ready to return on Monday and weekday time spent....WORKING!!! It's all a bit of a shock to the system.

Third, darn, missed the cake. Although my secretary had birthday cake in the office today, so I joined in belatedly.

My big news this week (so far...could get bigger tomorrow...) is that I have moved into a flat. No more hotel living! I don't know the connectivity status of the flat but I'm hoping to get back online a bit more regularly in the evenings.
The flat's quite small but it's much bigger than a hotel room so I'm not complaining. I'm so looking forward to not having to go out every night for tea, being able to do my washing here instead of lugging dirty washing back home every weekend, and most of all, leaving all my stuff somewhere permanent rather than transporting everything between the office and the hotel every Monday night and Friday morning.
I'm about a minute away from the Mainufer (bank of the river) which has cycle paths and running track for miles in both directions. I have a neighbour from the company who is a fitness freak who I can train with...all I need now is a hip that works without hurting and I'm away! Oh, and I have to buy a bike too. Mrs Moose and the Mooselets can come over for a weekend now too.

Have had snow and bright sunshine today...

Monday, 25 February 2008

3 weeks in...

What can I say that is publishable? Most things here have either changed or are about to change, but I'm sworn to secrecy.

In (almost) the words of someone famous: "I'm going out to Germany...I may be some time."

Still, it's quite nice to be hirin' and firin' again...

Sunday, 10 February 2008

First week report

And so the first week is over.
The highlights and lowlights...
Day 1 - "What have I done? How can I get out of this NOW?"
Day 2 - "Maybe I'm going to like this after all..."
Day 3 - "What do you mean the chairman thinks I'm a superstar?"
Day 4 - "Is it time to go home already? I was having so much fun..."

The other major upside was my first proper Weizenbier for a long time. The major downside was having to wait until Thursday evening for my first proper Weizenbier for a long time (although I did destroy a couple of pils and a few glasses of wine on the other nights...)

Belated HB to DD. And have a good week, everyone!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Auf wiedersehen...

Farewell, farewell,
Auf wiedersehen, adieu.

And ya and ya and ya....

Friday, 1 February 2008

Ich bin ein Frankfurter

Sorry to leave you all hanging.

What a strange week. On Wednesday they told me they'd given the job to someone else and the next day they offered me a different job. Same money, same 3 month deal, same location...just a more interesting role, better suited to me and leading my CV somewhere far more interesting.

I start on Tuesday!

But seriously, which would you rather be, a Hamburger, a Frankfurter or a Berliner?

Translation: Hamburger = minced cow in a sesame seed bun (other types of bun are available), Frankfurter = minced pork in a sausage or Berliner = a doughnut.

Time to use my classic jaw-dropping play on words again, methinks. You see, Frankfurt is in the state of Hessen. And plastic in German is Kunststoff. When you say something is 'plasticky' or artificial the word is 'kunstlich'. So I ask people: Does that mean that something from Hessen is 'hesslich'? 'Haesslich', by the way (which is pronunciated the same as hesslich would be in some parts of Germany and pronunciated 'expresso' in other parts) actually means ugly. The real word for something from Hessen is 'hessisch'...

Laugh? Not if you're hessisch...

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Three quarters...

Well actually I've been all the way there and back today. The MD seems like the sort of guy I can work with and if I can read body language at all then he thought the same about me.

Waiting to hear tired though, was up at 4am and drank WAY too much coffee all day. I had forgotten that they make proper coffee in Germany. I actually started to feel my heart trying to escape frm my chest and my hands were shaking when I drank one in reception waiting to meet the man. OK, it was already my 4th shot, what with a double espresso at 6am at Heathrow and another cup on the plane, but that was decent stuff!!! I shall have to be careful I don't recreate a serious caffeine habit again if I go over!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Half way to Frankfurt

That'll be about Brussels then...

A trip to the old Vaterland on Tuesday for the next round, then I could be off every week from then on for a wee while...

It was fantastic to hear seagulls again today. Worth the hours of train travel alone...

Monday, 21 January 2008

Worms glorious worms

Ready for the phoosh of another can opening???

Felt the need to comment on yesterday...

Totally agree with DD (and others) on the waste issue. My point is why add insult to injury by 'wasting' another £5 mill on someone who doesn't need it and, sorry, doesn't deserve it, and wouldn't even if they'd killed her. Anyone remember why she was in hospital in the first place? Hurt her back while 'cavorting' (with her husband)...say no more. Practice safe sex is what I say!

Susan re agents. The wisdom appears to be 3 agents at once and tell each of them that you are approaching two others. 3 agents spreads the bets a little but only 3 says 'focussed' to them, creates a little competition but is professional rather than 'splatter-gun'. I'm going for 3!!! Then another three...then...

I have given instructions that if I collapse at the gym, I am to be left to die quickly there, rather than be taken to the local hospital to catch something and die slowly. I'd rather drive myself home where the local hospital is at least one of the best in the country.

Oh, and just to let you all know...they do have the internet in least in the big cities!

And for today's can. If you were a famous TV presenter, well known for your serious news approach and incisive questoning, why oh why oh why would you air your 'dirty laundry', especially of the undergarment variety, in public?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Time flies

My, doesn't it...
A whole week including a party and I realised I hadn't even logged on all week.
Excuses, I've got a few. But then it's my blog and I'll be absent if I want to!!!
Glad you all managed to keep things going for me and that you had a rip-roaring party on Friday.Feel free to party at my place any time you feel like it - permission never needed.

Welcome to annieb!!!

So, what's been happening?
A sudden flow of job opportunities is the main thing....London buses. The favourite option at the moment seems to be a 3 month interim job back in Frankfurt, but I have a few interviews to go through first - plus making sure they will pay for trips back every weekend AND all the accommodation out there.

The book is getting there... synopsis written, cover letter to agent half written. Hopefully next week will see everything finished and the first three packages winging their way towards my impending superstardom!!!

So, what's been getting my goat this week. I'll tell you what - Leslie Ash. I'll start by saying that I do feel sorry for her. Not a nice thing to have to go through, NHS clearly to blame, although you could go up the chain of command and see that it's really the fault of the person that left the NHS so horrendously underfunded for the last 10 years by scrimping on their budget. So don't blame the NHS, blame Gordon Brown...
But what really gets me is that she gets such a huge payout from an already underfunded NHS. Does she need the money? OK, maybe she's 'lost' the opportunity to earn that kind of money, but many of the other, 17,000 people was it reported in the BBC that have died from hospital acquired infections?, needed the money too but they're not going to get it, are they.

Ultimately though, the thing that really gets me is that it is my money that she is taking. Mine, yours, every single taxpayer's money. I give that cash in good faith that it will be spent on policemen and teachers and nurses, not feathering the nest of an already rich actress with an already rich ex-footballer husband.

Like most middle-aged blokes, I used to have a thing for Leslie Ash. It's not been her big lips or her disability that have put a stop to it for me. But taking so much of my money is, I'm afraid, unforgiveable.

Monday, 14 January 2008

For Sale

I have a piece of wall with graffiti on it.

Offers in excess of £200,000 only, please.

Monday, 7 January 2008

D-Day Survival?

Another year. Another D-Day. Another one survived.

At least I think so. They called this Monday D-Day because it's the busiest day for all the divorce lawyers with Christmas and New Year stress straws finalling causing camels' backs to break. But then if your other half paid a visit to a divorce lawyer today, you wouldn't find out just yet, would you?

What an unsensitive thing! All these people about to get sprung with divorce papers, quietly and smugly satisfied that they survived another year because nothing happened today. And then wham! Or more likely thud! As the papers hit the mat in tomorrow's, or maybe Wednesday's, post...

Talk about lulling people into a false sense of security...

My real survival today was the decision NOT to go to the doctor with my bad back (done digging in the sand with the mooselets on Sennen beach, just in case any of you were raising any eyebrows in that cruel Roger Moore one-browed way that I can't do). The surgery is full of ill people, and especially at a time like this, you could catch something really nasty. So I've by-passed the quack completely and am going to see an osteopath tomorrow instead. As far as I know, joint and muscle pains aren't communicable...

And then I'm just glad not to be Jeremy Clarkson.

No, not like that. I actually quite like him. Annoying at times, yes, but sometimes he just seems to say what we're all thinking. And for that I salute him. Indeed, there I was, completely with him in the belief that someone having my bank account number and sort code (and nothing else) could only be a good thing as paying in would be the only thing that they could do.

Still, at least I don't have the column in the Sun (just yet...) in which I bared my mistaken belief to the world. As long as it's only 500 quid though, no harm done. He can afford it. And at least the cheeky perpetrator gave the money to charity! Now, if we can just find a diabetic computer hacker, we've narrowed the search down a bit.

One little social comment on the story though. How can it be right that 'Data Protection' offers greater protection to the perpetrator than 'criminal law protection' offers to the victim of such crime?
Answers on a postcard, impaled on a cocktail stick, please.

Let's hope Clarkson's missus wasn't so angry that she paid a visit to her lawyer today.