Monday, June 30, 2008


Okay, I actually produced something today - something that would take 5, maybe at a push 10 minutes to do normally

DO NOT, underestimate how difficult it is to do a few graphs and a few formulas in Excel when everything is in German! I pretty much had to guess my way around it so about an hour later I finally had done some simple graphs!

All good fun though, it would have been a lot easier by I don't have access to the Internet yet there (which means I can't get on or bebel fish for translations) so it makes life pretty difficult.

Anyway, pretty exhausted this evening, on the verge of finishing the assignment - just a couple of technical glitches just stopping me. Tomorrow it will be finished and sent on!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Assignments suck!

Now, if there is one word of advice, piece of wisdom I can give to you at home. To anyone in the world at any point in time. Do 'it'. Do 'it' now. What ever 'it' is. It could be cleaning the car, calling a friend you haven't seen for a year, putting out the rubbish, relaxing (if you're like me you don't do much of that).

I am now finishing of an assignment that I could have pretty much got done and dusted a year ago. Okay I have got a long list of excellent excuses (they are actually pretty good). But to be honest, over a six month period if I had dropped just one Scrubs episode a week (about 25 mins for the heathens out there who don't watch Scrubs) I would have probably got this assignment done a long time ago.

To support this, I've been in Germany for a week - I've not only nearly finished this assignment, but my guitar playing has improved, my German has improved, my relationships with people have improved (I call them more now I'm 100's of miles away than I did when I was around the corner), I have been out with German folks, seen places and met people. The only tangible difference that I have is the fact I don't have a TV to distract me (I've even done the washing and put most of it away and cleaned!)

I suppose there aren't too many people who on there death bed lie there and say 'I wished I had watched more TV'.

Bit of a ramble today, but I have been house-bound doing this assignment.

But I did forget to buy razors - look:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A little exhausted...

Had a bit of a late night by accident last night, so after a very late morning I hooked up with a guy called Bülent from work. We went for lunch at a Pizza place that he reckons was the McDonalds of the pizza world - it was more like Pizza express (in decor and quality) and tasted as good - but cost a lot less money!

Also had a wonder through Dortmund picked up some bits including a proper skype headset on what turned out to be a very sunny day;

Making some plans for a bit of travelling - I think I'm going to check out some German cities. Not sure where I'm starting yet, but next weekend I'm thinking of going to Köln (Cologne). Also it looks like Berlin is on the cards (its quite a trek though, I think its further than Paris - so Bülent is going with me and we are staying at his folks house). It's also been suggested that Amsterdam is only 250 km away (its closer than Berlin) so I might go there too.

We shall see...

Friday, June 27, 2008

More pictures... this time of the apartment

From those of you who I have already spoken to, first question is 'How is the apartment'. Well its good enough for me! Kitchen is non-existent, but although it is smaller than the place I have at home, it feels bigger anyway (the main room on its own is bigger than any of the rooms I have at home so it feels bigger).


View from the entry of the door:

View from the bedroom door:

View of the bedroom door:

View of the terrace:

Finally, me outside!

I really can't believe I have been here a week already!!!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

In pictures...

The toy aeroplane I flew to Dusseldorf in:

Arrival, RWE Energy Reception (Far right is the entrance where security is - its about as big as this again to the right)

The other small RWE Offices in Dortmund (Okay so it is the tallest building in Dortmund - but who's counting?)

And finally... the office

And this is where they keep the cups and the coffee machine (which is not only free, but has real coffee beans in it!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 3 - Football, cake and knocking on desks

Okay, day 3 at work in Dortmund and all is well. I watched the Germany v Turkey match with a few Germans and a few Turks - very interesting :-)

Very strange leaving thing - you know people bring in cakes when they leave, this guy bought in a cake shop - no kidding there were tables full of proper cake shop cakes - quite amazing.

Finally, another strange thing - instead of clapping people for things e.g. a guy have a speech before he left, and another person got a present for the birth of his baby - they drum on the desks instead. Makes sense in an office I suppose, but very strange.

Okay, another finally - I went to the weekly team meeting, one of their small meeting rooms (okay - its still bigger than conference room 2 at Oldbury, but still one of their small ones). I walk in, there is a fruit platter, coffee, juice and water set out for us. We need to learn from the Germans!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 2

Work is still in the overview stages - I'm not actually sure what they will want me to do, it seems like I will be spending a lot of time being told about what they do, but not actually doing much.

If anyone is interested I know a bit about the European Gas Market now...

Anyway, other than that, I'm still getting to grips with the language. Trying to pick up what I can as quickly as possible but the problem is three fold:

1. Everyone speaks perfect English - so I feel pretty stupid muttering German phrases to them
2. I am learning a load of German Gas Business Jargon which detracts from normal conversation
3. I am knackered in the evenings, I've done about two hours of German learning tonight and I'm on my last legs :-(

I'm sure it will come, I'm probably just being impatient and rushing it. Anyway, I will get around to getting some photos of the flat I'm in on this blog - probably on Thursday evening (I'm going to watch Germany vs Turkey tomorrow night - with a Turk. Could be interesting).

Now a little time for R&R or Erholung as the Germans say (see I am learning a bit).

Monday, June 23, 2008


Pretty tired today, and too tired to figure out why the video I did a few days ago didn't upload properly.

Anyway, I had a good first day at work (that's why I'm tired) and people are nice, lunch is early (11:30?!?), I actually go to lunch at work (mainly because everyone goes together!) and I'm struggling to speak German. Mainly because I need to find someome to speak German, as everyone keeps speaking in English to me - which is great, but I can see myself getting lazy if I'm not pushed.

But all is good (food in the restaurant in Dortmund RWE is fantastic).

And here is the 2nd attempt at uploading the video that it said it had already done on an earlier post;

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Online in Germany!

A hello to everyone from Germany!

I am now piggy backing (with permission of course :-)) on someones interweb connection - so all is good.

This is now my third day in Germany and I have sampled sights and food and stuff. Pictures to follow shortly.

Here is a brief video that I recorded yesterday...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Baby and organised chaos

Well a pleasant suprise today to find out that Liam and Jo had a baby boy. The fact that Liam had to deliver him on the hall carpet on his lonesome probably wasn't in the plan, but either way - well done dude, true hero under pressure :-)

As for the organised chaos, I have everything highly organised, I just can't see any carpet whatsoever. I think so I can go to bed without stressing, I'm going to get everything packed and sorted as much as possible, leaving tomorrow for phone calls, errands and an overdue DMS assignment.

Food at the put with Abi and Jamie (along with some online Mario Cart on the Wii) was a welcome distraction, but I think I'm going to finish as much tonight before bed.

We shall see...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sorting out - well, everything!

I didn't quite realise how much stuff there is to sort out for what is a fairly short business trip! I have slimmed down what I'm taking, but I'm sure I'm going to forget something. To give some confidence I also actually have some clothes in a suit case.

Met up with the Bagnall's today - still no baby, spoke to Mr Taylor, and also, still no baby.

Good luck the expecting Mum's!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Shopping with the bestest girl ever :-)

I have been shopping with Mrs Dainton today (yes another date with my good friend Jamie's wife).

I have bought lots of exciting things, such as Euro's (bloody rip off - 120 for 99 quid! what's happened to the exchange rate?), DVDs (I am currently making excuses for the ones with German subtitles - but Transformers doesn't have any), a present for Jamie's birthday, and other boring stuff all seeming to do with some form of lock.

So now after a pre-lunch snack and then lunch and no coffee (and soon to be cake) I think I am ready to nap, but unfortunatly there are many more things to do - I think few more German words and finishing off my damn DMS assignment finally!


I am messing about making sure I can work everything before I get to Germany, so I thought I would take a picture with the web cam (many people think I'm a geek, but I'm really a laggard! - I am light years away from buying a flat screen TV and my phone is years old!).

I will try adding a video sometime when it's not after midnight and I feel (and look) a little more awake!

I will of course add some decent pictures from a camera at some point, but I have a new toy I have to try out! - it's cool, the cam is in the top of the laptop (Yes, I know, I'm a kid).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A slow day!

Well, a slow day for anything to do with Germany - but did visit the folks and managed to score a jumbo suit case (one less thing for me to purchase!). Also big up to Gramps! (he knows why :-))

Anyway, I have actually done some stuff;

I played guitar and sang on; Frantic, No leaf Clover, Fuel, Hero of the Day, Nothing Else Matters, Through the never, Roam, Master of Puppets and Creeping Death with Dave Wilkes on Drums (the last Jam for a few months).

Also set up Googlemail - awesome if any of you ever think of using it - you can import your Outlook contacts easily and loads of other stuff (including administering this blog!). All of this with the ability to access my own pop mailbox and use my own Email address.

Other than that its UFC 82 is on TV so I think I'm going to sign of this incredibly huge laptop I have purchased (for those of you at work with a HP - it dwarfs it, there is a full size key board with a number pad on the side!! - 17 inch screen!).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Getting ready for Germany

For those of you who may not know, I am off to Germany for a few months to work for RWE Energy. I fly out on the 20th June, and start work on 23rd June.

This has crept up a lot faster than I thought. I have a few days to get all things together, although I am sure that I will be rushing around on Thursday like a madman getting stuff together.