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This year gone by like a whirlwind and had a couple of interesting surprises in store!

I clearly can remember the idea I had at the end of last year: Between Christmas and New Year I will fix the corner of the ceiling in my living room, where paint is hanging down!

So up I went on a chair and started scrapping only to discover that this little problem in the corner wasn’t the only problem I had! On closer inspection of my ceiling I found cracks in the paint just about everywhere around me.
As I continued walking through the house with my eyes glued to the ceiling the nightmare got bigger and bigger! The paint on the ceiling had cracked everywhere in the whole house!

As a lot of you know already what followed was a 5 months ordeal of scraping my ceiling. Every weekend I was up on a chair scraping – from a couple of hours to 10-12 hour days! The scraping of course wasn’t the only problem I also had to clean up the mess after each scraping session and I also had to move furniture, which in return meant I had to empty them first to be able to move them!

Just before I left for Germany I was finished and got a painter to paint it all white again. Since there were still bits and pieces of paint left from previous repairs my ceiling doesn’t look perfect, but if you don’t look up closely you won’t notice it.

During this time I tried to keep up with my usual activities like Frisbee, movies, catching up with friends etc, but my craft was definitely suffering the most. Hopefully I will never have to scrap my ceiling again!

I felt my holiday in Germany was well deserved and I did have a great time. On the first weekend we had a family reunion from my mum’s side. It was great to catch up with all my aunties, uncles, cousins and their kids – 43 in total! Besides a heavy shower on Saturday night the weather was beautiful and we had a lot of fun with our makeshift photo booth.

Back in my home town we had one day to unpack and pack again and off we went with my mum, my brother-in-law Friedo, his parents and of course Luna (the dog) on a 5 day trip to the Kreidesee, up in the northern part of Germany. We did every day a little tour, but the highlight was the visit of Hamburg and watching the musical “Lion king”.

The remaining week was spent back in my hometown catching up with friends and enjoying time with my mum and family.

Just 5 days after I was back in Australia my friend Vada gave birth to her first child Charlotte. It was rather scary as little Charlotte was 7 weeks early and hence really tiny with just 1.9kg. But lucky mum and baby recovered and after 2 weeks both were allowed to go home. In the meantime Charlotte has grown into a bundle of joy.

Besides visiting them as often as I could I started my next project: Preparing for my 50th Birthday!

I created a special invite, programmed a website to go with it, organised catering, drinks and a photo booth as well as got my guest room ready and transformed my office into a second guestroom, as I was expecting 2 visitors from Germany.

On Friday before my actual birthday, my friend Knut and Darrin invited themselves for dinner to my place – I thought it was a bit odd, but another friend guessed, that I might get a dog. From that moment, I couldn’t imagine anything else. Of course I told Knut that I don’t want a dog and he can take it straight back home, but I just couldn’t work out why they wanted to come on this day!

So, Friday evening came and the anticipation of what is going to happen was growing. At 7:30pm I got a text from Knut, sorry we are running late, will be there by 8pm. I just thought: Typical, Knut is always late!

At 8pm I heard the car coming so I went to the door and Knut was already standing at the door and telling me, that Darrin changed his mind and he brought somebody else instead! And before I could say anything my sister Angelika and her hubby Friedo from Germany stood in front of me! It was certainly a massive surprise and I had not the faintest idea about it!

 

After the initial “shock” settled and I decided that not everything needed to be perfect – I still had some chores planned for the weekend and before my planned visitors arrive – pure happiness took over. We enjoyed the weekend together with trips to the beach to watch the large waves, dinner at Vada and Ben’s place, exploring Fremantle and Birthday dinner.
I also got a special breakfast served on my Birthday.

 

On Monday my first planned visitor Tizz arrived from Germany. We spent the week (evenings) together – Tizz went every day to an English course and I had to work – with planning and test baking Bavarian Brezels while my sister and hubby gone off on a trip to Monkey Mia.

On Friday the second planned visitor from Germany, Waldemar, arrived, just before the big party. On Saturday Tizz and Waldemar helped me prepare the house with decorations and moving furniture. Tizz also did an amazing job with baking 3 cakes and around 50 Bavarian Brezels!

Since the weather forecast was rather bad, everything had to be inside or under cover. Plastic covers were added to the carport and pergola.

Thanks to all the helping hands everything was ready when the first guests arrived. The house soon filled up with 40 guests. The paella was a great success as well as the Brezels and cakes.

As special surprise I had arranged a photo booth and almost everybody gone in there to dress up and get a funny photo taken. The celebrations went on until around 2am in the morning! What a great party!

 

My friend Waldemar went soon after the weekend off to drive up North. He will stay with me some time before he has to fly back.

The following week I took two days off – my sister had even secretly asked my boss some months ago, if I could get some unpaid leave! – so we went for a day trip with my friends Albrecht and Ross into the hills and on the next day to Rottnest. Knut joined us, as he had a day off too. We biked all around the island – I had completely forgotten how beautiful Rottnest is.

 

On the weekend we visited the Caversham Wildlife Park and had a great time viewing all the animals.

But it was also already time to say good bye to my sister and her hubby! But not for long, so it didn’t feel too bad, knowing I will be soon visiting them in Germany.

I spent two more days with Tizz and another visitor Joe, who joined us on Monday. Both flew out on Wednesday to New Zealand for an amazing 6 weeks trip.

After washing mountains of bed sheets and towels I started with my Christmas preparations. I still had to complete an order of 20 Christmas cards for work and other friends also already asked for cards.

With all the action I think my body decided it was too much and just a week later I started to feel sick. I was hoping to be over it after the weekend but it only got worse. I stayed home two days and by Friday I thought, I am almost over. But my body wasn’t thinking that: On Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat again and instead of getting better I went downhill. So another weekend was lost with lying in bed instead of getting ready for Christmas.

I finally recovered, but there wasn’t much time left before my visitor Waldemar returned from his trip through half Australia (no kidding, he drove Perth – Broome – Darwin – Adelaide – Kalgoorlie – Esperance – Albany – Perth in around 5 weeks!)

Besides Waldemar helping me fixing things in the house and on the car (he is quite a handyman) we went out for a couple of nights visiting friends and going to a restaurant. Since the weather has finally warmer we went both days on the weekends for an early morning dip down to the beach. We also went on a trip through the Swan Valley, where we met an Aboriginal man in one of the art galleries. We had a long, very interesting “lesson” on Aboriginal culture.

Waldemar flew out at the end of November, which left me with two more weekends to get ready for Christmas and my trip home to Germany.

In this 2 weeks I wrote quite a lot of Christmas card, but since I haven’t made as many as all the other years, I was running out and hence some of you may have only got a digital Christmas card this year.

I am now looking forward to catching up with family and friends, visiting a couple Christmas markets and celebrating Christmas like I used to do before I moved to Australia.

Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year 2017!

This post is also available in: German

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