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About dstanners

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  • Location NRW
  • Nationality British

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  1. Climate change

    Absolutely! There were some folk in my village (up a mountain) pumping rain water from their cellars, which would have gone straight down the valley to the already flooded villages below (in fairness, at the time they were doing it, there were no warnings or sirens highlighting the plight of the neighbouring villages - that is another issue though). Once the villages were flooded there was nowhere for the affected houses to pump the water.   What beggars belief is that there is an intended development of 50 more houses on the outskirts of our village where the official plan is that in the event of excess water, they will allow rain water, "to drain naturally into the valley". I wonder how happy the villages down the valley will be with that plan now. The reason for the decision was that the developer would find the obligation to pump the water uphill or building a new Wasserspeicher too expensive for his project. Too many councils here are keen to get extra tax payers into their towns/villages, and see selling land to the developers as a win-win, without thinking through the longer-term, infrastructure costs.    
  2. Why are you unhappy today?

    I'm in a fortunate position that I have the time and resources to help, but to be honest, anyone who (like me) witnessed the scale of the damage would feel compelled to do something. What has really given me faith in the world, or at least the future here in Germany has been "the youth" (a term I have mostly and thoughtlessly used in a derogatory manner over the past few years). I have been repeatedly amazed over the last week how many teenagers have been helping out. Each day I've gone down there, our babysitter has asked to jump in the van, stuck on a pair of wellies, grabbed a shovel and really got stuck in. Other teenagers living in houses I've cleared out have then picked up spare shovels and joined in as we've gone from building to building: even though so many of them have been left with nothing themselves. Upon seeing their schools damaged, dozens and dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of these teenagers have gone into town to try to save the buildings. This isn't the the self-absorbed, all-too-easily-offended generation portrayed in the media, but good people, seeing a need and acting out of community spirit. Sure, whenever they've come here there has been a run on electrical sockets and mobile phone chargers (I now know "an influencer"...I think - she has almost a million followers, which sounds impressive to me), but they've used the Insta-Tok et al that I've always derided, for good, to arrange help and support.   
  3. Why are you unhappy today?

    DVI Dorfverschoenerungsverein Iversheim Raifeisenbank Voreifel eG IBAN: DE35 3706 9627 2303 3620 13 Kennwort: "Flutopferhilfe Iversheim" Hopefully my delay in providing this info is understandable. A few of you have kindly asked whether it is possible to help. Fortunately, folk here have been quick to donate food, clothes etc. So much so, that my wife and her friends have been busily sorting out parcels and bundles of donations for weeks. Without meaning to sound ungrateful, that means that the best way to help at the moment is financial, so that the helpers can buy what is needed when it is needed.  My neighbouring village is called Iversheim, and they are using their "Dorfverschoenerungsverein" account for donations.  Thanks for any donations.   Without wishing to make a sad story even worse, I understand that there are villages in Ahrtal where they are still fishing bodies out of garages. Perhaps @Namu you also have similar village accounts for donations?   DVI Dorfverschoenerungsverein Iversheim Raifeisenbank Voreifel eG IBAN: DE35 3706 9627 2303 3620 13 Kennwort: "Flutopferhilfe Iversheim"          
  4. Why are you unhappy today?

    From here in Bad Muenstereifel, I can only say that I'm absolutely with you on this. Today is the first day I haven't been into our neighbouring village to shovel mud out of homes, and throw away other people's possessions (my wife was on food/drink duty instead). It's a surreal situation here: I live less than five hundred meters away from a completely devastated village, but two hundred of those meters are straight up, so my house survived pretty much untouched. Every evening we've got folk here for food, showers, charging phones etc, and I'll stick the barbecue on, hand out a few drinks as everyone sits back enjoying the views over the mountains here and everything looks lovely. Then, everyone gets into my bus for a five minute drive back to what resembles a war zone. Several friends have lost houses, Nightmare stories of having to carry kids across rooves in the middle of the night so they could be evacuated prior to houses collapsing. I was clearing out one beautiful old house when the Statiker turned up and put a blue cross on it (condemned). The owner was just devastated, and had to be taken to hospital. I was about to take the van down to help someone move the remains of their belongings into a new home, but she's just cancelled as she's been told she's too unwell. Too many sad stories. Hard to put into words, or any sort of structure. On the first day I took a photo because it seemed so unreal, but then immediately stopped, precisely because sadly it is all just too real. It's not just possessions, but people's hopes, dreams. Gone.    
  5. Euro 2020 and 2021

    I thought the ref had a really good game yesterday too. Whilst overall it didn't work to England's benefit (a few advantages were allowed, when England would have probably preferred free kicks), I thought he did a great job in keeping the game flowing: never an easy thing...particularly for games involving Italy.    
  6. Euro 2020 and 2021

    Disappointed, but on balance Italy deserved it. Close game though.  I've read a couple of articles critical of Southgate for not putting more attacking players on, but overall, he set up the team the way he wanted for the whole tournament, and there no shame in losing a final to Italy (who had already knocked out Spain and Belgium).  I wonder if there'll be less England bashing now we didn't win?  One thing I'd like to see consigned to England's footballing history from last night's game is the bl00dy stuttering penalty kick run-up. It seems to unsettle the kicker almost as much as the keeper. I'm always surprised more players don't focus on emulating Le Tissier instead (off the top of my head, I can only think of James Beattie who has copied his technique, and had a similar success rate). He always did the same thing, and scored all but one of his roughly 50 penalties.      
  7. Euro 2020 and 2021

    I agree it's annoying, but it is absolutely not unique to England. Even in the other semi-final the Italians boo-ed whenever Spain had the ball. I'm hoping for an England win of course, but I reckon the fans would need a decent set of lungs if they are seriously going to boo all the time Italy has the ball tonight! There has been an awful lot of anti-English sentiment in the media here and even on this site: yes the "En-ger-land" fans are a pain in the ar$e, but they really aren't the majority, and far from the only supporters to make derogatory and offensive chants. Likewise, Sterling "diving" after minimal contact in the penalty area: it has been a good 30 years since the days when British players didn't dive, and I can't think of any international team which doesn't have a good share of players who do exactly the same (or worse)...anyway, just a few more hours. Come on England.    
  8. Euro 2020 and 2021

    I've had the, "you're only through because of a fake-penalty" nonsense from a few folk today. As someone posted earlier, yes, it was a soft penalty (as was Denmark's freekick), but they are given. I thought that there was a bigger penalty shout a few minutes earlier, when Kane's foot was trodden on in the area, and that went as an attacking foul. Swings and roundabouts. Overall, England played pretty well and deserved the win (I can only remember Denmark having one chance in the second half). It has happened often enough over the years that England have played well, and luck has gone against them.  Whilst it felt alien and dangerous at the time (from decades of England watching), it was good to see England passing the ball about to kill off the game, rather than the usual 11 men back and hoof it out panic.  Italy will be favourites for the final, but if England play like they have done in these knock-out games, then it should be a good game, and we have a chance.  COME ON ENGLAND.   
  9. Coronachat - vents, whines, flummoxes & miscellaneous

    That does sound a bit like Tory policy, but you are forgetting Boris doesn't want to fix the problem, he just wants someone to blame.  That's why he's allowing 60,000 to the Wembley final..."it was those Italians wot done it! Thank God we've left the EU" ...or sadly, just ignore the problem altogether and wait for the media to move on to another topic.
  10. Do I need an architect?

    Assuming it is like NRW, then yes, there will be a specific individual at the Bauamt who deals with applications for your specific area/village. If you call up the Bauamt and tell them where you live, they will give you the contact details (and working hours) of the relevant individual.
  11. Coronavirus

    Come on England, Come on England!...oh, hang on, wrong thread. I'm still in Euro 2020 mode, sorry. Still, it's good news that Germany has finally got its act together in terms of getting a large number of people vaccinated. Even I've managed to get my shot (the unpopular, double-Boris was going spare at my GP).  The punters on WDR were saying it's the percentage which really matters (which leaves Germany still a fair way behind the UK), to find out what proportion of the population must be immunised in order to limit the spread, particularly of variants.  Another key development will be watching the relative performance of Israel v. UK in terms of the Delta variant, given that Israel went long on Pfizer, whereas the UK tended towards AZ. No-one, apart from me, seems to have gone for JJ.    
  12. Euro 2020 and 2021

    Fair enough, it's not a pretty sight is it? I find all that "faux-nationalism" a real negative about supporting football. However, a lot of it is either pantomime, or merely for show. A few years ago, I certainly didn't have too much sympathy for the folk who had been singing "No surrender" in various continental bars, who suddenly had to run away when a genuinely nasty bunch of fighting Russians turned up.
  13. Euro 2020 and 2021

    There have been a few comments on this (far more than about the game). I wonder how many other football games people have watched? For example, in the very next game, the Ukrainians really weren't exactly clapping the Swedes politely each time they had the ball...or for that matter watch pretty much any professional football match and see how the away team is treated by the home fans. Whilst common to football, it's not unique to football either: I've been to Fenway Park enough times to know the away side and any away fans get plenty of stick.   Personally, I wouldn't jeer a national anthem (even my own, and we've got the worst of the lot), but that's because I'm not into jeering. That said, to my mind there's nothing inherently sacred about these often awful, largely Victorian-era songs which demands they are treated with some sort of reverence. Anyone claiming to be genuinely offended by having their song about what a wonderful country they have boo-ed by other countries' fans, is probably of too sensitive a disposition to watch sports anyway. 
  14. What's got you flummoxed today?

    Something I first noticed at the end of the Germany v. Latvia warm up, but which became evidence again last night...why have professional football players taken to wearing sports bras under their jerseys? Whenever I exercise, I've never thought, "if only my chest and upper back was a bit warmer". I could understand if a few sumo wrestlers with man breasts were grateful for a bit more support, but football players?
  15. Euro 2020 and 2021

    Anyway...most importantly, England won. I enjoyed being irritatingly patronising to the Germans yesterday evening:  at least you won a game this tournament, at least you managed to stay in the tournament longer than the rest of your group etc, etc...ok, ok at least it kept me amused. It wasn't the ideal way I'd have liked England to have won, as I'm still hoping for my all-out attacking midfield to shred an opponent. However, I guess that approach against Germany would have made England the next Portugal (indeed, the Germans seemed to expect England to play that way, and never really got around to changing tactics when it became clear that wasn't the plan). So, Southgate was proven right with his tactics, and Sterling was excellent too.  Obviously, decades of experience tells me that England can still easily mess up from here, but it's hard to imagine them having a much better chance to reach the final. Ukraine didn't look that good yesterday. Not sure how much strength in depth Denmark have, and Belgium might even struggle this week if De Bruyne and Eden Hazard aren't fit. Italy are probably the form side.