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About Keefy

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  • Birthday 06/23/1951

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Male
  • Interests History, Geography, Travel
  1. Do you like living in Germany?

    Why, thank you, kind Sire!
  2. Do you like living in Germany?

    Funny thing is, during my first stay in Germany (1970-71) there were things here that really pissed me off. It was the final couple of years of the "Wirtschaftswunder" - and so many people kept on gabbling on about how much they'd earned, how much overtime money they'd got, what they'd bought, blah, blah,blah. Kind of taboo nowadays, but then....l
  3. Do you like living in Germany?

    I empathize.   A while back, I was talking to a friend (sadly no longer living on this planet) about funeral arrangements. (Yeah, one talks about such shit the older one gets).   I told him I'd want to be cremated, my ashes tipped into an urn, and (here the imagination flies) to have enough cash for a trusted friend to travel the world and pour a little bit of ash at places which had meant something to me as a living being.   He (or she) would have a huge task on their hands. Let's see...Lake Kivu and the Virunga National Park in Congo, where I had a "close encounter" with mountain gorillas. Afterwards, as we returned to our safari truck, millions of tree-crickets began their evening song - felt like the whole forest was singing to me and I to it. F^ing indescribably beautiful.   Then a place on the UK's South-West Coastal Path near Ilfracombe in Devon - foggy day, but suddenly the fog cleared and there were the waves crashing far below, hundreds of seabirds gliding on the wind and I experienced a sense of timelessness, a feeling of belonging...maybe the feeling of "I AM" that religious folks talk about...the feeling passed, but the memory stays with me.   But what of Germany? Please pour a little into the water at Koblenz, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine. And finally Berlin...chuck a bit of ash anywhere where the Wall used to run. Don't forget the wildness of Glen Affric in Scotland either, where the Highland cattle probably thought: "What's this nutter doing up here?"   Anywhere else? Probably. Not places I could realistically live in, either, but many places meant something, even if just for a while. But Berlin - the "Peaceful Revolution" that brought the Wall down and united East and West...still pretty special. In a way, a homecoming too.Perhaps a place where the split parts of myself come together, too.   Well, that was a philosophical rant and a half, but what do you expect at 5:50 in the morning when I can't sleep? Thinks...need a beer!
  4. Do you like living in Germany?

    This is my second attempt at living in Germany.   First attempt was 1970-71, working in Frankfurt (M) for the DSG - German Sleeping and Dining-Car Company (i.e. Mitropa in West Germany). Worked on trains all over Germany, and to Amsterdam, Hoek van Holland, Milan via Brenner, Basel and Klagenfurt.   I had mixed feelings, got homesick and went back to the UK.   Once back in the UK, I got homesick for Germany and used up much holiday time here.   Water (lots of it) went under the bridge, and together with other work, I managed to do travel and tourism assignments in Germany - Rhine and Mosel river-cruises especially.   Returned in 2007, got my guiding qualification for Berlin - made easier by the fact that for a while I was a "Blue Badge" guide for the UK's West Country.   I love this city - so glad the Wall came down, but when I'm travelling around here I'm still aware of where it used to be. Retired now and 70% disabled, but it's better to be disabled here than in the UK...and the Waldfriede Hospital in Zehlendorf has foxes prowling around at night!
  5. Brexit: The fallout

    Sad to say, but I'm now reconciled to Brexit. What the f... else is there? A "People's Vote", i.e. a second referendum is (unfortunately) off the charts, as it requires government money. to finance it. No chance from Bojo and the Tory Nomenklatura.   All I can hope is that what's left of the parliamentary opposition softens Brexit as much as they can...Customs Union, Norway + or whatever, and can make this legally stick.   Don't forget I'm a Brit, not an English Nationalist, but I'm not going to stand in the way of independence for Scotland, northern Ireland or Welsh-speaking Wales.They are entities who must decide their way forward and all the best to them.   In the next couple of days, I hope to clarify my gesetzliche Krankenkasse status, apply for citizenship, and FUCK the (former? UK).
  6. Hmmm, two divorce certificates and some papers about current UK pension amounts (old Age and Professional)...and done!   Kilkenny - many thanks for yours speedy and professional service!   Keefy
  7. Brexit: The fallout

    Just wanted to add something (yeah, OK, my own opinion, Gawd help me ) to this debate. There's a lot of talk in the press about Brexit being an issue of English nationalism, bearing in mind that Scotland, N I and most of Welsh-speaking Wales voted Remain.   As some of you know, I worked until retirement as a tourist guide in Berlin, and before that I was a "Blue Badge" guide for England's West Country, i.e. Salisbury to Land's End, though 90% of my work was in the region of Bristol, Bath, Wells and Cheddar. Believe me, the amount of history I had to learn for these jobs was phenomenal! Just as well I enjoyed it.   Anyway, English Nationalism...or maybe English "Exceptionalism"...where the Hell do they think we come from. Outer space? Just look at a few maps. Why did Bristol develop as a port, along a twisty, muddy river with the second highest tidal range in the world? So that the Anglo-Saxons had a reasonably safe place for their ships as the Bristol Channel was a favourite hang-out for Viking pirates - look at the names of the islands in the approaches - Flat Holm, Steep Holm, Skokholm, Skomer. Blimey, Europeans defending themselves against other Europeans...and the Mint at Bristol produced coins to pay off the Danes and keep them out of Alfred the Great's territory. (the "Danegeld").   Then came the Normans (more Europeans)....but eventually they too adopted the English language as seen in Geoffrey Chaucer's works:. "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote"..and the Normans were great cathedral-builders, too.   What I'm saying is that England is a European country and not some special, privileged entity.It belongs in the European Union as much as anywhere else in Europe. That's why, for me, Brexit is like cutting off a limb.   Lastly, the Anglo-Saxons...ever been to or heard of Angeln, a part of Schleswig-Holstein? Gentle, grassy  rolling hills  fields surrounded by hedges..looks very "English" to me. And we still have an English region called "East Anglia" (as well as counties like Norfolk ("Nordvolk"), Suffolk ("Südvolk"), Sussex ("Süd Sachsen") Essex ("Ost Sachsen") and so on.   OK, rant over.
  8. Brexit: The fallout

    And now, I just can't sleep. Yeah, yeah, I should have said this, I should have said that, done this, done that...but what a fucking JOKE this evening was. His fucking Excellency the Ambassador seems to be a dyed-in-the-wool Brexshitter.   Who's going to benefit from a no-deal Brexit? Only a few ultra-rich motherfuckers who already have offshore accounts and can hide their enormous profits from scrutiny. And who's going to celebrate? Hmmmmmm...Trump and Putin to name but two.   Look at my earlier posts. I happen to love Ireland to bits - I'm old enough to remember what it was like during the "Troubles" and I hope to God that this never, ever happens again. Can never forget visiting the Gallarus Oratory on the Dingle of the earliest Christian monuments in Europe...beyond there are the (uninhabited) Blasket stop, north America. Jesus, the very last bit of Europe, not forgetting the wonderfully scenic Connor Pass nearby from the top of which you can see for miles. This is fucking magic. No Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border shit please. There's also scenic magic in the Antrim Glens in N.I. Let the magic continue undisturbed.   Christ, I was born and lived in a democracy. And now what? A filthy little public-school turd with a sense of entitlement thinks that ignoring parliament and the supreme court is fine, as long as his mates can make a fortune.   Just a fantasy ... but maybe an organisation called "True Brits" is called for - Brits who value their cultural and literary heritage, not to mention their great architects and engineers - John Wood, Brunel, McAdam and so on.   Never mind, only my stream-of-consciousness shit...but never let democracy and the rule of law fade. Amen.
  9. Yeah, memories - saw the Dead a couple of times live in London many years ago. I'll never forget it - Jerry Garcia was never a jump here, jump there "Rockstar"...he'd just pluck his guitar and make beautiful sounds emerge, right across the octival range (Jeez, is that the right word?)...well, OK, an Old Fart's recollections. I think there was an advertising campaign for them...."They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones who do it".   RIP.
  10. Brexit: The fallout

    Just got back from the Brexit Infoabend at the British Embassy in Berlin. I'd hoped to say a few words, but after several attempts to catch the chairperson's eye, I was unsuccessful. No matter. Others had more pressing issues to which they wanted answers, especially about family reunions. Regrettably the Dude representing some Government Brexit implementation group had no clear answers to these urgent (and tragic) questions and kept stressing that he had a fucking plane to catch. What a wanker!   Anyway, I was able to personally thank the Head of the Ausländerbehöde for the quick, calm, efficient and polite way his organisation processed my unlimited permission to stay in Germany, make my acquaintance with Jane Golding, co-chair of British in Europe (bless her and her efforts), and have an (inconclusive) chat with an AOK representative about my ongoing healthcare (although I'm with TK, not AOK).   The evening was polite - although (a) it's clear that Brexit is, to all intents and purposes, destroying many people's lives and (b) those people are rightly angry.
  11. Brexit: The fallout

    Sorry about last non-reply...having problems deleting/amending stuff.   Anyway - will be going to British Embassy in Berlin on Monday evening and will hopefully be given a chance to say my stuff. I'm disgusted with the behaviour of my so-called Government....fucking shits and liars.   What's left...errr....I dunno....EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!!
  12. Brexit: The fallout

    "Boris Johnson has repeated his condemnation of a landmark ruling by Britain’s highest court that his suspension of parliament was unlawful, saying he “profoundly” disagreed with the decision and indicating he could take the same action again". (The Grauniad)   Hello historians out there - is Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London still in working order????
  13. you're talking! If it's done right, the onions are nice and crispy and the meat's not too tough or too fatty, this dish is quite exquisite!   In my experience, the best Rostbraten has been in the south of Germany particularly in Franconia and the Black Forest.
  14. Brexit: The fallout

    I was talking recently to a friend in the UK.   He's involved in politics and (OK) is a Remainer and in 2016 actively campaigned for Remain.   We were talking about a No-Deal scenario. "How long", he asked me, "Would it take for food and medicine shortages to manifest themselves?"   I admitted I had no idea, but thought it would take a couple of days.   "No", he said....with "just-in-time" deliveries from the EU, the problems would appear in four hours.   Just sayin'...