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Everything posted by dstanners

  1. ringing doorbells

    Hahaha, brilliant. If the OP happens to live in a small village in the Eifel, I can only apologies, and let you know that when I caught my son doing this last week I told him and his friends to stop being so bl00dy stupid. On the up side, I think that knock and run was last week's game, and they have now moved on to trying to kill themselves riding over homemade ramps on a skateboard...backwards/arms crossed/blindfolded etc. Equally, if the culprit happens to be one of the millions of other 10 year old boys carrying out the same prank, then I think you can be pretty sure that they will also move on to something more entertaining soon. Oh, getting the police to turn up, will make it much more entertaining. Seriously, don't do that.    
  2. ...oh yes, and at the start of your conversation, ask how much they cost, and when they start charging. For example, I think it is unreasonable for them to charge you for the time you are providing them with the initial details of your claim and considering whether or not to instruct them (it is sadly not uncommon for that time to be included in the first bill if you haven't agreed at the outset).
  3. Ask for recommendations: travel costs are not going to be the most expensive thing about hiring a divorce lawyer. Make a list of the points most pertinent to your situation. They are likely to fall within two main categories: what is the financial value at stake (your respective incomes and assets), what is the personal situation (kids / dependants, plus any relevant relationship issues, a need to get restraining orders etc)? As this is an expat site, the other key point will be for any special knowledge your lawyer may need: languages possibly (if your German isn't great) cross-border issues if you/your spouse have foreign interests (assets, nationalities...perhaps a foreign law may apply).  Once you have those details, you can make the most of any calls with potential lawyers, to ensure you find someone most suitable for you.  Finally, provided you can afford it, once you have a lawyer, let them do the arguing with your soon-to-be-ex for you. 
  4. Why are you unhappy today?

    It's always tough being relegated John. Mind you, you aren't outside of the professional leagues. Almost all teams are professional in the nationwide. My team, the mighty Terras (that's Weymouth, on the off chance you aren't yet familiar with the self-styled sleeping giants of non-league football) will hopefully be waiting to take 6 points off your northern seaside bunch next season. It's been looking like a return to the Southern division for most of the season but two big wins are offering hope of another season in the glory league. The conference is a decent level for Weymouth, but there are always a few surprisingly big side knocking about down there: Notts County for a proper historical giant.  
  5. Legally buying used cars from private seller

    Often for sellers, as soon as they put a car on mobile.de or similar, they start to receive dozens of automated calls from trade dealers/export looking to pick up a quick bargain. Just make sure you call, rather than text and try to arrange a viewing. You mentioned you are after a project car. If there is a particular type, try to see if there is a fan club for that vehicle,  and ask the members if they know of anything that one of them might consider selling.   
  6. Why are you unhappy today?

    Even as a football fan, I'm disappointed by the fact this is front page news. It's big sporting news, no more than that. As for the ESL  itself, the saddest thing about it, is its inevitability. Something of this sort has been talked about for decades. Once the Premiership was established - let's not forget, solely as a way to allow the top clubs to keep more of their revenue, rather than passing it down the league as had previously been the case, something like the ESL seems a logical, if disappointing, next step. Fans have been treated like suckers by clubs and TV stations for years (less so by clubs here in Germany).  The concept will be that if the product is good, the fans will pay. Man Utd and MK Dons have shown that if a club does something to lose old fans, they'll gain new ones.  
  7. Brexit: The fallout

    Yes crazily enough. However, they did not have an overall majority, and the other parties with MPs at the time of the vote all campaigned to remain (including the Ulster Unionists).
  8. Where to hide comfortably

    Obviously, if you've been paid in error and you know it was an error, then you need to repay. That said, do you think it's worth considering keeping the funds safely in an interest bearing account until the company has made arrangements for its return? I suppose with current interest rates, that might be more effort than it's worth.   In an alternative world (one in which you aren't worried about being arrested), start writing a book about how someone managed to cheat their way to fortune: a sort of latter day Count of Montecristo (trying to get his revenge on an evil company which ripped off his mother over a decade ago). The hero of the story would start rather unglamorously by adding a layer of admin/beaurocracy by setting up a company with a bank account in, say, Latvia giving that company the same name or similar name as the company which paid you, and "return" the payment to that bank account. The hero would then have a record that they made a "genuine" attempt to "return" the payment, when the original owner asked for the cash back. Consequently, the owner of the funds might blindly start to chase that Latvian company. In the meantime, that Latvian company might have set up a trust fund in, say Bermuda, which then has legal ownership of the ill-gotten funds. That makes it far harder/more expensive for the true owner to trace, and even then, they do not find the beneficial owner. The beneficiary of that trust fund could be the hero...sitting on a beach in Greece? Hmmm, I think there are probably too many holes in the plot to give up the day job and start a career as a writer...or criminal.     
  9. Why are you happy today?

    My kids were whinging about the lack of an Easter skiing holiday a few days ago. Today the Eifel is covered in snow, and the boys were able to stick their skis on, build some jumps and generally knacker themselves out all morning (it's a lot more tiring having to walk uphill, rather than sit in a ski lift.)
  10. English speaking mediator

    Ok, send me a PM for contact details and/or to discuss, but firstly make sure a mediator is what you are after. I can provide some details as to what a mediator will/won't do, but just for consideration as to whether your case is suitable, here are some points to consider:   The success of mediation is dependent upon the attitude of the participants. Mediation is likely to be successful for you if: you are keen to avoid the costs of a court dispute you wish to bring an end to the conflict you have authority to make decisions on any potential solutions you are prepared to hear the dispute from the other side you are prepared to consider a variety of settlement options Equally, mediation is unlikely to be suitable for you if: you wish to keep a conflict going only an outright victory will be good enough  
  11. Coronavirus

    Below is the conclusion of the MHRA's report. I can understand why it is not front page news, when it could be rephrased: "carry on immunising, benefits still far outweigh risks".    Conclusion The increases in number of ADR reports reflects the increase in vaccine deployment as new vaccination centres have opened across the UK The number and nature of suspected adverse reactions reported so far are not unusual in comparison to other types of routinely used vaccines The overall safety experience with both vaccines is so far as expected from the clinical trials Based on current experience, the expected benefits of both COVID-19 vaccines in preventing COVID-19 and its serious complications far outweigh any known side effects As with all vaccines and medicines, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously monitored
  12. Robot lawnmower

    Perhaps you weren't driving it quickly enough, or don't have enough obstacles in the garden? I'm four years in, and it still puts a grin on my face...perhaps I'm just easily pleased...  
  13. Robot lawnmower

    If you have room for one, get yourself a ride on mower/mini tractor. It may not speed up the gardening: in fact, if you have kids it makes it quite a bit slower as everyone wants a turn, but it makes it more enjoyable. I know a few folk with a robot lawnmower, and the ones who like them most have fairly decent lawns and tidy gardens. The robots don't like big divots or kids' toys/gardening stuff lying around. I was having a drink with a friend when suddenly his wife's gardening gloves were sprayed up over us like confetti. They can deal with good sized gardens these days (the one I mentioned earlier is about 3000m), but you have to dig a trench on the edges of the garden to bury the cable first, so there's a fair bit of initial work if you have a large garden. Oh, and the folk around here seem to charge them using solar too, which makes sense.
  14. Odd news

    I like this bit: "Diese Handsonde dient dazu das Wasser zu informieren " Sounds convincing to me, I dislike ignorant water.
  15. Car scrapping

    You'd probably make most money selling it for spares, but you'd end up spending ages selling the different bits, and may end up being left with an unwieldly chuck of non-moveable metal at the end. Think how much your time is worth.  A quick and easy option is mobile.de's private sale to trade. Chuck the car details in, and local trade buyers will get in touch. Expect to haggle when you get there, given your car has more issues than they might expect (I imagine it'll be going straight to export anyway). https://www.mobile.de/verkaufen/a/fahrzeug/start?i=c2b
  16. ....makes me think of people arguing in the streets, the sound of god awful music and urinating in doorways. I don't miss those days at all.
  17. I lived in Stuttgart for a couple of years in the 90s, and frequently used to spend a few weeks at a time there for work about 10 years ago. As people have said, the areas around Stuttgart are nice, but I actually enjoyed the city itself too (I lived in the City centre). Clearly, it is not Berlin/London/Paris, but that's not comparing apples with apples. We're talking about a larger than average, regional city: so not hugely cosmopolitan and the cultural/nightlife offerings reflect that. There are places you can go for a late drink once you get to know the city, some good places to eat, a decent art gallery (Neuestaatsgalerie) and theatre (the latter two are of some international repute). Their version of Oktoberfest is also entertaining if you like German beer festivals. It is not "edgy", if that's your thing, instead it is clean and wealthy, which has advantages too. It doesn't have the reputation as the friendliest place, although I didn't find it unfriendly. The main point (and I think one of the main reasons people find it unfriendly), is that it is not a very international city, so you need to speak German to get on...ideally with the local dialect. Oh, once you've got the hang of the local dialect though, good luck getting rid of it: it took me about 10 years of living with my Cologne-born wife before my accent changed.     
  18. What are you listening to right now?

    Good luck SP. From what you've posted, it didn't seem you had any alternative. As for the music though...Jesus wept! Still, each to their own, and I guess it depends on how you're feeling at the time. Personally, I managed to get my 1950s tractor up and running ahead of the weekend and have two days to practice opening beer bottles with the front loader, so this is what I'm hearing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc
  19. Coronavirus

    Until recently, that was what I saw as a key justification for the delays here too, and I'm sure it plays a role. However, the US is also federal, and as I understand it the vaccines are being rolled out by the states.  One of the other issues is the very restrictive approach taken in Germany to interpreting GDPR and sharing data (age data and details of professions) which also adds to beaurocracy delays. But again, that only really has an impact on prioritising certain groups, not a general role-out.      
  20. Coronavirus

    This makes interesting reading in respect of the AZ vaccine and the EU. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/19/eu-astrazeneca-vaccine-stance-spain-europe-covid
  21. Coronavirus

    That 2nd dose statistic might (as of today) make Germany seem less bad than the UK (but not the US). But whilst that statistic marginally supports your case (if the rate of vaccination in the UK continues, it will outstrip Germany on that one too) the only one which really matters (are people still getting ill and/or dying) shows Germany is now performing badly.  After shocking early mis-management of the crisis by the UK and US, the US is now vaccinating 2m+ per day, the UK has been regularly vaccinating 5-600k people a day for weeks. In Germany that number is around 200k. That is my concern, and I'd like to see the German government being more pro-active in getting systems set up so that the roll-out can be faster. It isn't all due to a lack of available vaccines.        
  22. Coronavirus

    I think there's a lot of scapegoating being done by EU governments for their own failure to organise or ramp up a roll-out in the manner of countries like the US, UK or Israel. It was inevitable that there would be a rush on vaccines produced given all countries in the world want it. Some countries approved some vaccines faster than the EU (don't forget the AZ vaccine was only approved 6 weeks ago). There may have been some calculated or even blind risk taking in those decision, but nevertheless it happened. If you are a producer of a vaccine, and one client says, "yes, I'll take some now", and another client says, "yes, I'll take some as soon as it is approved", then you'd be mad not to deal with the first client first.   
  23. English Speaking Jobs In Frankfurt

    Posting this as a favour for a UK client of mine. They have a job (possibly 2) in Frankfurt for English speakers, who are entitled to live/work in Germany. Their client is an engineering company with a project to build a data centre in Frankfurt. They are looking for a mechanical project manager (but would consider someone who is a strong site manager and/or project engineer). The pay rate is due to be about GBP 300-350 per day, and I believe the project is anticipated to last about 6-9 months. As I said, I'm only posting this as a favour, so if the above is insufficient or doesn't make much sense, don't blame the messenger.  If it is of interest, send me a message, and I'll put you in touch with my client.
  24. Coronavirus

    They are down to 50 year olds already. Also worth considering that they have already immunised those of all ages with a history of blood clots who might otherwise be a higher risk group than the population at large.  
  25. Call and SMS forwarding from UK SIM to German iPhone

    Get yourself a UK landline number via Skype or similar internet service and whatever cheap UK mobile deal you fancy. Call that UK mobile provider and tell them that they should forward all calls and SMS to your UK landline. Access Skype via your German mobile, and you'll receive your Skype UK landline calls through that for free.  There are probably less convoluted ways, but that should do the job.