Monday, March 2, 2009

Hello Heinrich. Wilkommen Aus England.

Say hello to Heinrich, my latest student, who is from Kiel in Germany. He smiles a lot, has very little English and eats everything - except milk, butter, cheese or yogurt - so no dairy then. It's very easy at breakfast, because he just takes a dry weetabix and puts marmalade on it. He likes orange juice and the fresh coffee I make, so no worries there. This evening I cooked a very colourful chicken and vegetable stir-fry with noodles, which he gobbled up in record time. He is here for four weeks to improve his business English (he is a telecommunications engineer) in preparation for a new project he is starting in the Summer. So, despite his limited grasp of the language, I have managed to learn quite a lot already. Izzy had eaten earlier as she comes in from school at 6.15, absolutely starving, and KT opted out of the communal supper this evening, taking hers on a tray into the Sitting Room. I can't say I blame her, because yesterday evening was painful. Trying to prise words from this nervous man (in his fifties and never been to England before) was like trying to get blood out of the proverbial stone. I wasn't much looking forward to this evening either, especially since I had rushed back from Dorking after an afternoon with Grandson, but in fact Heinrich was obviously feeling a bit more relaxed tonight and though the conversation didn't exactly flow, it was a mite easier. I said last night that it is going to be a very long four weeks, but let's hope the thaw continues.

Grandson and I had a lovely walk after school today, in the sun. He spotted a little girl (well, little to me) and said "That's my new girlfriend, Trititty." (?) So we parked the car and followed Trititty who was walking home across the field with her Mum. When we caught up with them, William was delighted and started prancing around with glee. The Mum introduced herself as Andrea and her daughter as Trinity! The riddle solved, though Grandson continued to call her Trititty. They had a new baby boy, whom Andrea was carrying in a papoose on her front, (I didn't catch it, but it was another unusual name) and we learned that there was another little girl at home. Grandson's girlfriend is an older woman - she's in Class 1 and he is in Reception, but she didn't seem to object to his advances. We walked to their house, where they have the builders in, and the children bounced up and down on springy planks and balanced on new brick footings. I didn't envy Andrea her building work, but she seems very upbeat and was coping very well with three children under six, a full set of builders including Portaloo, and a husband who was installing an en-suite shower upstairs. I'm sure it will be perfect when it's finished, but rather her than me.

On my walk with Grandson we saw a very cute house for sale, which looked rather like a gingerbread house, just along the road from Andrea and family. I told Daughter about it, but when she looked it up on the Internet, it was unbelievably expensive - well out of their price range - because of being in a very desirable area close to the Tennis Club which Daughter actually belongs to. Never mind, though I reckon it's worth making a cheeky offer for something you really like. With things as they are, you just never know...


Maggie May said...

Hope you get on well with this student. Must be a bit nerve racking having to sit in stoney silence in your own house though.
Maybe he will open up more as the time goes by.

Grandson has started chasing the girls early then? And an older woman at that LOL

aims said...

That's right - you just absolutely never know. Sometimes things just fall right into your lap - - - tell her to go for it!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Heinrich is just probably very nervous about his English, and I find in my experience it's somewhat part of the German psyche for some (usually above middle aged) folk to be a bit reserved - Pretty much like your archetypal English 'stiff upper lip' sort of thing...

I reckon your family ought to 'chance their arm' with the costly house - As you say, 'shy bairns never get nowt...', and the way prices are falling, if people really want to move, then they have to be realistic about falling house prices... Best of luck with both!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Oh hello to Heinrich. Your pup Ulysse is beautiful, but I suppose that you already know that :)
My husband Prince is from South London and we still have one daughter there and one in Barry, Wales. We love to go for visits now and again.
I think your blog is lovely.
Please drop by to visit me when you can.
Take good care and.........

Steady On
Reggie Girl

auntiegwen said...

I had a friend that used to say shy bairns get no biscuits, I reckon your daughter should put an offer in, what's to lose ? x

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I was on assignment in Germany many years ago. They are an incredibly nice race of people. Very well mannered and polite. There is a cultural predisposition though to resist taking initiative and so you will probably have a lot of work to do whilst you try to get him to relax and open up a bit. It is certainly worth the effort though as you probably won't gind a much nicer guest to have stay in your home. Much better han your little Git experience I would imagine.

Yes, tell your daughter to make that cheeky offer. Faint heart and all that!

Donna said...

He just needs to warm up...he will. And I say tell Daughter to make an offer! You Never know!! Happy day sweetie!hughugs

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Maggie, isn't is just hilarious about Grandson? He isn't the least deterred by the age gap!
Heinrich is opening up a bit, thankfully. M :-)

Hi aims, I've made the same suggestion to her, but she's not biting at the moment. Youth is not as confident as Age in some ways! M xx

Hi "A Woman", you're right about Heinrich, and he is relaxing a bit now. What a relief for us all!
I hope that Daughter will make an offer, but she's hesitant at the moment. If it was me, I'd go for it. M :-)

Hi Reggie Girl and thanks for visiting again, and for your kind comments. I have been over to visit you - your life sounds so fascinating over there. M xx
PS Ulysse was the most elegant French dog you could ever imagine!

Hi Auntie Gwen - I'm with you, I just wish they would go for it.M xx

Hi there MOB, you're so right, Heinrich is beginning to loosen up a bit, and is the nicest person. A great contrast, as you say.
See above for Daughter's position - I just wish she would give it a try. M xx

Hi Donna, he is already beginning to warm up, and he's certainly enjoying his food! As for Daughter, see above, all you bright Bloggers have the same advice, and I wish she would just take it! Hugs, M xxx