Archive for July, 2007

Reading seven books in a week

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

A little over a week ago I realized that the last Harry Potter book was going to be released soon. It’s been a while since I read the sixth book, let alone the previous five, so I decided I would use my free time (of which I’ve got quite a bit at the moment because I’m on holiday but André istn’t) to re-read all the Harry Potter books. I started on Saturday last week but didn’t quite make it in time for the last book which was delivered on Saturday morning (8:45 am!), but finished the sixth book Saturday evening and read the final book yesterday.

I quite enjoyed reading the books back to back because whenever previous occurences were referenced they were still fresh in my memory. Every book starts during the summer holidays of one year and ends with the beginning of the next, so they cover a time-span of seven years and reading them one after the other was a different experience from reading them separately over the course of six years (I started reading them in 2000, not when the first one came out).

I won’t post any spoilers here because I know that some people prefer not to read any, but I think that the last book is a good conclusion of the series, tying up a lot of loose ends. I don’t quite agree with some reviews that there are Tolkien-esque monsters in it or that the author has created a fantasy world as complex as Tolkies (have you ever only seen the movies, but not read the books?), but it’s still a lot of fun to enter Rowlings’s world of wizards and muggles.

Going for a walk

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The weather has been quite nice during the past week, so André and I ventured on two walks during the weekend. On Saturday, we encountered a couple of swallowtail butterflies (Schwalbenschwanz), which are supposed to be quite rare in central Europe. It was the first time I’ve seen them, but André saw one in our garden earlier this year.

Schwalbenschwanz

On Sunday I took a photo of the village in which we live. As you can see, it’s very small, only about 50 houses, and it’s surrounded by fields and pastures.

Dorf

As a bonus, here are some wildflowers growing next to a field. The red one is a poppy (Mohnblume), and the blue ones are cornflowers or bluebottles (Kornblumen).

Mohn und Kornblumen

Click the photos for bigger versions.

Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Today was the last day of school. The last month was very hectic because it included not only the usual end-of-the-school-year tests, grades and conferences, but also a week-long school trip to Northern Germany with four teachers (including yours truly) and almost sixty students, and a project week.

A colleague and I offered hiking on the Rheinsteig and managed to get rained on only two of the three days we did actually hike, but it was still fun, and the pupils enjoyed themselves as well. The fourth morning was spent preparing the presentation at school, in the afternoon the usual end-of-year conferences were held which lasted till 9:30 pm this year. On the fifth day we had an open day so parents and other visitors could see the results of the project week.

Exhausted from these two weeks, we somehow managed to have a few days of “normal” lessons this week before the school reports (report cards) were handed out today.

Now I’m looking forward to six weeks without school (well, almost) before the new school year starts on August 27th. If only the weather would be summer-like here in Germany…