At least one section of the family has made it home. Helen and Chloe had a reasonably long lay over in the early morning in Dubai. They made a bed out of some chairs in the lounge and got a few hours sleep before having to board the flight back to Cape Town (that’s Helen sleeping in there – photo creds to Chloe). That flight was delayed in departing but they got home close to the planned arrival time anyway.
Stephen and Michael started skiing in Switzerland yesterday. Michael has skied for some time but he says he got the hang of it quite quickly again. He said at first he forgot how to turn (which is fairly crucial) but it came back to him. From the pictures it doesn’t seem to be the best of weather but they did manage to first ski at the ski school (at a place called Bodmi) and then went up to Kleine Scheidegg.
Meanwhile, I got to go into our office in Cologne for the day and work (the picture is the view from the office). I always walk to the office from the hotel (I always stay at the same hotel when in Cologne – near the Cathedral). The walk is about 1.5 km to the office and is a nice way to start the day even when it is pretty cold outside. I was staggered yesterday to witness someone cross the road when the traffic light was RED. I don’t know what Germany is coming to. I have never witnessed that before in the 15 years I have been coming to Germany.
At 5:30pm we left for the mountain region and a place called Schmallenberg which is where I will spend the next 2 days on a planning meeting. We do this every year. It is in the middle of nowhere and about a 2 hour drive. The first bit of the drive is on the Autobahn with no speed limit. I always travel with my boss and he has a BMW. Yesterday we got up to 200 km/h on one section. No one passes him – he would take that as an insult. He takes great joy when he passes a Porsche.
We always stay at the same hotel. It is a quite a backwards place but for the first time ever (in the 15 years of coming here), we now have WiFi in the rooms. A major step forward. And to top it off they have installed room safes. Another first. The rooms still remain quite small – as you can see I have a single bed in my room with a very soft mattress and pillow – I may just sleep on the floor tonight. The rooms are also terribly overheated and so at 2pm I woke up bathed in sweat and had to get up and open the window to get some fresh cold mountain air in the room. I left it open the rest of the night and slept better after that.
Now off for the meeting …
P, S & M (because H is back at work today and C is at home probably sleeping in until 1pm)