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Time keeps rolling on

Well, it’s been almost a month since our second daughter, Helen Philippa, was born, and I only just now have a moment to update my blog. I’d almost forgotten just how babies act like adorable little black holes: sucking up all of your attention, time and energy.

Helen is now different in that regard, but unlike her sister she might have a few differences here and there. Although these things change, I’m fairly certain that Helen will continue to have brown eyes unlike her sister and probably brown or black hair to match (too soon to be sure though). She’s a little angel. A noisy, inconsiderate, messy, all-consuming angel, but still an angel nonetheless.

I’ve just got back from a project meeting in Cyprus, we’re working with a company and a research institute to make some maritime assessment software, but I can’t say too much about it. The meeting was successful and I’m looking forward to continue working on this project.

There’s not too much else going on really, I’m applying for Helen’s British passport in much the same style as I did with Aurelia, I’m low on sleep (but not as much as my darling wife, who’s doing a fantastic job) and time keeps rolling on.

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Anxiety and frustration in the day-to-day lives of British abroad

I’d just like to share this great post from Professor Karen O’Reilly, in which she sums up a selection of British expat perspectives on Brexit (including my own).

Anyone interested in reading more about, or taking part in, the project can do so at: brexitbritsabroad.com

Brexit Brits Abroad

In the few short portraits our Citizens’ Panel members have sent us so far (meet the Brits in Europe) we already begin to see how important Brexit is in the day-to-day lives of British people living abroad.  Michaela and I have only been working on this project for a little over a month and we are shocked and moved by the effects the decision is having on people’s lives. Some of these portraits are quite painful to read or to listen to.

First, these portraits illustrate some of the diversity of British people living abroad, with students represented here as well as retired people, those working self-employed and those running large companies, young single people and families. Despite this diversity, a common theme in the portraits is the confusion and frustration around Brexit and how it will impact on their lives. The vote to leave the EU is described…

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Hamburg

On Saturday Andrea, Aurelia and I visited Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany and, like Bremen, a state in its own right. Germany has a federal system of states, called Bundesländer, and sometimes large and important cities warrant ‘statehood’ in their own right. Hamburg is located on the river Elbe, and is an absolutely huge trading port with a long history of use as such. This city is BIG.

Although it isn’t as big as London, it does remind me of home whenever I visit.  This could be due to the river running through it, the prevalence of fish and chips, or the multicultural mish-mash of languages I heard as I was walking around. We met our good friend, a native German called Dorle, at the aquarium and had a lot of fun poking around the various exhibits explaining habitat, pollution and smuggling of animal products. Most of all we enjoyed gawping at the animals, of course. Aurelia was especially impressed with the crocodiles, we saw three of those, and  a huge, giant seabass who looked exceedingly grumpy.

After that, we jumped on a boat to go and get some lunch…

Well, actually, I really mean it, we had lunch on a boat. Aurelia and Andrea had fish and chips, Dorle had Flammkuchen (a bit like a rustic pizza) and I tried something new. An authentic, North-German dish called Labskaus, which looks like a sea monster but tasted a lot like corned beef hash. Anyway, I loved it and will definitely have it again. Strangely, no one else seemed to want to try some.

Labskaus

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Hello! (first post)

Welcome to my blog! My name is Russell, I am an English native speaker and Business English Trainer based in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.

I have been teaching English and helping companies in Germany since 2011.

During this time I have been fortunate to work with many different companies in many different sectors such as: engineering, automotive, technology, IT, logistics, marketing and many others. Not to mention educational establishments such as Fachhochschule Dortmund, and my largest client and partner: The Academy of English, Oldenburg.

 Oldenburg is a wonderful town with tranquil parks and woods, quaint markets and a lazily-flowing river, the Hunte, running through it. Now, after months of snow and ice and rain, the spring has finally arrived and I look forward to enjoying the local parks, markets and surrounding countryside. But first, I’ll be visiting the city of Hamburg next weekend.