I've just got back from Austria as my below enthusiastic post about brass indicates. Rather fantastic. went to Vienna where it is cold and germanic and whirly.
I so completely badly want to learn to speak German! I bought some CDs by Michel Thomas (who I believe is dead now?) 5 years ago and really intended to go through all 8 disks and learn. I got up to disk 4 once butfor some reason didn't continue. Leave it a few months, come back to it, and you realise you have to start again. These quickie learning devices aren't nearly as good as continual practice of a language at school or living abroad.
So I'm on CD #1 again. I'm learning things like !"come with me, please" and "can I come with you this evening". I've forgotten what else because, to be honest, the last time I heard disk 1 was a week ago and it's all slipping from my mind.
TIP: never try to learn a language in bed at night. It's not quite the same as just flicking on LBC and falling asleep to it. It seems your brain needs to stay alert.
My girlfriend's family is half german. I'm sure there will come a time when it'll become useful. her grandmother was over in the UK last year and there were a few awkward silences when the rest of the family were out of the room leaving me and her. Ormy? Ormie? Not being able to see, I couldnt even just sit there and smile ... visual language is out the window too. So, apart from my personal wish to learn, it also has it's practical purposes. I'll be able to communicate with the in-laws ...
In Vienna we went to the Freud museum, the mozart museumhouse thing ... did a disappointing bus tour ... went to a restaurant that had an old man playing a Hungarian Gypsy instrument (we gave him a 10 euro tip and he played 'if I were a rich man' for us). We went to the Christmas market in front of the town hall ... shopped ... and lots of other stuff.
it was nice that Vienna was cold. London just isn't cold enough in winter any more.
And then all this stuff about the murderer in Ipswich broke! Kristina's little sister lives there; she's just moved there with her boyfriend. nasty to think of someone living in the thick of it ... she's sensible though.
talking about serial killers, though, I live very close to where that nice Denis Neilsen (SP?) bumped off and boiled his victims in the early 80s - known at the time as the Cricklewood Murders. Rather irrelevant now as he's out of harm's way. I don't remember whether he's in a secure hospital or a prison but I do remember him being interviewed on an ITV documentary in the mid 90s ... and it was chilling. He was goading the interviewer, "no it wasn't bloody. Have you never come across a dead body before?" as if he had the upperhand and was better because of it. Horrible. I can't put it into words but it was rather chilling.
So, there ya go, Vienna through to chilling murderers. I wish I hadn't tied the two subjects together like that. My holiday was great ... shame that I never seem to really relax until a day before it's time to go home. Sounds like a cliche but true in my case it seems.
It's the Ouch Christmas Podcast party on Monday. Wahey yip yo. Really looking forward to it.
Thanks to katie fraser for her marvellous Xmas gift to the Ouch team. We scoffed most of them today. mmmm shortbread with orangey chocolatey bits.
Where's my cab it's ten past seven for crissakes.