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Dear Stammtisch Friends

I would like to invite you to our next Stammtisch, which will take place on Monday, 23 April at The Broad Chare in Newcastle. It would be great if you could come along and welcome nine Germans who will visit the region from Brandenburg. The Broad Chare is obviously a great venue for the best British food has to offer and they kindly agreed to have a German food option for our Stammtisch group. We will meet at 6.30pm in the bar, with dinner from 7pm onwards. The Broad Chare also has an excellent selection of local and German beers. I need to know who will come along so that we can reserve enough tables in the restaurant – so quick email would be great.

Thanks again to everybody for their food recommendations:

  • Toby discovered that the Lidl in Consett also has an in-store bakery and make there a fine Graubrot, which is apparently fresh and very delicious.
  • Here in Tynemouth, the Deli Around the Corner, now stock Doughwork’s Russian rye bread every Friday and Saturday.
  • Since October 2011, Edinburgh has its very own German restaurant – the Frankfurter Eck, which is run by Joseph and Kristian. I’ll be popping up there soon to try out, but if anybody has been, let us know. On a Sunday, the Frankfurter Eck have a Bavarian Sunday, with all the traditional dishes you’d expect.
  • And a German butcher/chef called Stefan Kölsch works at Donald Russel in Aberdeen, that deliver the finest meat – check out their online catalogue for further information.

German speakers are also in demand and we received a few job advertisements in the last few weeks:

  • The German Consulate General in Edinburgh is looking for a new team member for legal and consular matters in the passport and visa section. Click here for further details.
  • BBA Reman, which is based in Rochester is looking for a country manager based in Hamburg. Click here for the full job specification.
  • Recruitment firm Elliott Browne in Newcastle is also looking for German speaking staff. They’re a leading supplier of Microsoft Dynamic and Microsoft Sharepoint professionals.

I’ve also had two emails recently regarding Au Pairs. Christine Goodwin, who runs the Northumbria School of English in Whitley Bay, has joined forces with Fiona Stöber, a Newcastle born teacher that now lives in Germany, to offer an au pair programme for German au pairs and British families. The scheme will run during a 5-week period in July and August. For further information contact Christine on 0191 2525265 or email english.school@btconnect.com. Click here for full article on the North Tyneside Business Forum website.

Another Stammtisch member is also looking for an au-pair position for a 25-year old German here in the UK. Does anybody in our group have any experience or recommendations that I can pass on? She’s looking for a family with children that she can care for. Thanks!

The German Consulate General in Edinburgh is responsible not only for Scotland, but also German nationals based here in the North East of England. They’ve recently started a Facebook page which gives you an update on what’s happening in their region and Germany.

Some more dates that may be of interest to you:

The University of Newcastle is holding some German research talks on the following topics:

3 May Elizabeth Andersen (SML) Brigitta of Sweden and the Printing Houses of Lübeck

10 May Debbie Pinfold (Bristol) Conceptions of Childhood in the Literature of the GDR

The joint concert of the Northern English Singers and Gelsenkirchen’s Madrigalchor on Saturday, 9 June at 7.30pm at St James’ United Reform Church, Northumberland Road in Newcastle.

Newcastle City Council are currently organising two events as part of the ‘Newcastles of the World’ – these will be attended by 17 people from Neuburg-an-der-Donau. First there is a river boat tour on 24 July (tickets £25/head), which includes welcome drink, buffet and music. Two days later, on Thursday, 26 July a dinner will be held to launch the new ‘International Newcastle’ initiative. They expect around 300 people for dinner and an evening of music, with tickets costing £45 or tables £450. We’re thinking of joining at least one of the events with the Stammtisch and I just wanted to have some feedback from you what you think. Thank you!

Anyway, that’s all from me for today. I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter and look forward to a catch up on 23 April.

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Helau Stammtisch Friends!

As you’ve probably noticed, I have not been able to organise a Stammtisch night for next Monday, but hopefully we will have another one soon.

 

In the meantime, here are some other news about forthcoming visits and initiatives that might interest you.

The first of our region’s town twinning initiatives will be in March, when pupils and staff from Gelsenkirchen and Gladbeck will be in the area as part of Theatre Royal’s InterTWINed 2012, a drama festival for young people aged between 13 and 22 years. From 13 to 16 March, the People’s Theatre in Heaton will host their performances and those of other participating young people from Ireland, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Norway and of course Newcastle. Newcastle City Council is also currently looking for host families for the visiting young people and staff (from 11 to 18 March) – if you want to get involved, let me know as I have more information to send out. For more information on the festival, visit www.intertwined2012.co.uk.

There will be another German delegation to the area at the end of April and we will try and organise a joint event during that visit. And there will be a visit of the Madrigalchor from Gelsenkirchen in June, which is partnered with the Northern English Singers. Both choirs will perform at a joint concert on Saturday, 9 June from 7.30pm at the St James United Reform Church in Newcastle.

The Wear Valley Twinning Association is currently organising a trip to their German partner, the town of Bad Oeynhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia. The trip will take place from 6 to 14 September 2012 and cost is currently around £302 (the more participants, the more the cost will decrease). Included in the price are luxury coach travel, ferry, accommodation at local host families and a number of day tours, incl. one to Hannover and other social activities. If you want to find out more, email Denise Lee at dlee2405@virginmedia.com or call 07808 597 069.

You may be aware of the campaign “Cities Fit For Cycling”, which was launched by The Times. This public campaign and 8-point manifesto is calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists and needs as much support as possible. Click on the link to read more and take action: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/contact/ There are three ways you can take action and support The Times Cities fit for cycling campaign:

1. Pledge your support by signing the campaign’s list and tell your story of Britain’s roads.
2. Spread the word by tweeting your support.
3. Raise the issue of cycle safety with your local MP by emailing them directly. Do this before the 23rd February because this is when there will be a backbench business committee debate about this issue in Westerminster Hall.  http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/mps-to-debate-cycling-saftery-in-cities/
 
On the job front – EURES have passed on another vacancy for a technical writer/translator in Roding, Landkreis Cham in Bavaria. The employer is the Mühlbauer AG and they are looking for somebody with good English, proficient knowledge of German and with an affinity to technical subjects. The tasks involve the creation of customer related manuals or text modules in English and German, to carry out translations and to co-ordinate translation projects with external agencies. Copies of certificates are required. The salary is between €2,000 and €3,000/month. If you want to find out more or want to apply for this position, contact Stefanie Soiber – stefanie.soiber@muehlbauer.de

Through the German business networking platform Xing, I’ve recently come across this portal that helps you find language holidays, on and off-line courses, forums about language learning, jobs with languages and so on: www.langwhich.com.

We have another food recommendation and this time it’s from Heike McFarlane. She wanted to recommend Falko (www.falko.co.uk), a German baker and master pastry chef based up in Edinburgh and Gullane. Heike thinks his bread and cakes are fantastic and there’s no better Christmas Stollen than Falko’s. His 22 staff had to learn German as all of the recipes for his handmade creations were all in German and he also has to important certain ingredients that are not available in Scotland. It’s not even just the Germans, that think Falko knows his breads – apparently the ‘Observer’ also announced in 2007 that Falko is the best baker on the island. Maybe we need to get a Stammtisch order in with the next person travelling north of the border?

And more Brez’n were discovered in the Waitrose in Jesmond. Please keep sending in your ‘German’ food discoveries to share them with our group!

I hope you all have a very enjoyable week and enjoy your pancakes and Krapfen on Tuesday!

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We’re currently trying to firm up a venue for a Carnival Stammtisch on Rosenmontag, 20 February 2012. As soon as this is confirmed, I will let you have more details.

We’re also looking to add a forum to our Stammtisch blog and I wondered if there is any interest in this? Let me know!

I recently received a request for an internship placement from Germany. Unfortunately my company can’t provide this at the moment, but maybe somebody else has an opportunity? The media management student is looking for a 6-month placement starting on 10 September 2012. He has already worked for PR firm Scholz & Friends in Germany and will soon do an internship with Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. His full application can be forwarded to interested organisations.

Another bi-lingual job opportunity has arisen at Alnwick Castle. They are currently looking for tourist guides for the summer months – eg a Stateroom Guide, who shows guests around the castle rooms or Knights Quest Guide, that dresses in costume. English has to be the main language and as a second language, Alnwick Castle is looking for fluent German, but also French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese speakers. I can forward the full details to anybody interested and candidates then need to apply directly with the HR manager at Alnwick Castle.

With the London Olympics approaching fast, our Stammtisch member Tanja Cooper thought it would be great to restore the City Stadium right here in the heart of Newcastle and turn it into an Outdoor VELODROME. She is currently looking at potential funders and sponsors and our question was if there are people in our Stammtisch group that have experience with or an interest in such projects. I can then forward you further information that Tanja has already collated and put you in touch with her directly. Maybe when completed, we can all get our bikes and have a Stammtisch outing at the Velodrome?

If you’re missing your weekly fix of Strictly Come Dancing, I can highly recommend Dansbanx to you. John and Catherine Banks used to dance competitively, they’re qualified dance teachers and offer ballroom and latin dance classes here in the region. You can either join into existing classes or take private lessons, whichever you prefer. If somebody is looking for a partner, just let me know and we try to help.

On the food side, I’ve recently discovered Brez’n in Marks & Spencer in Silverlink and they assured me, they bake them every day. Also Lidl (Hadrian Park, near Tyne Metropolitan College) has now fresh artisan rye bread. Another bread recommendation was that Fenwick’s in Newcastle has some very good Russian rye bread. If anybody else has any ‘German’ food and drink knowledge, please let me know so we can share it with everybody else.

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

In just over six weeks, it will be Christmas again and we have of course planned another Christmas Dinner (Weihnachtsessen). The Mansion House will look after us this year on Monday, 6 December and on the menu will be Christmas goose and dumplings (Weihnachtsgans und Kloesse). The overall cost will be £20 for a three course dinner.

The evening will start at 7pm with a Glühwein reception, followed by dinner at 7.45pm. You will need to book in advance this time directly with the Mansion House (Tel: 0191 281 0863), where you can pay either by debit card or cheque (credit card payment will incur a 2.5% surcharge). Please note that places will be limited, so if you want to join us, let them know asap.

If you can’t wait until December, why not come along to the annual Christmas Bazaar at St James United Reformed Church on Saturday, 27 November from 11am to 2pm, which is organised by the Pfarramt Schottland/Nordostengland. Or if you want to travel a bit further for some Glühwein, Bratwürste or Plätzchen – in Edinburgh they have a fabulous traditional German Christmas Market which starts this year on Thursday, 25 November all the way through to 24 December. Visit www.edinburghschristmas.com for further information. West Brewery in Glasgow also keep it festive with their special Weihnachtsbierwww.westbeer.com.

Last year Newcastle’s Christmas market featured in a recent service reisen clip from Hessen TV (HR), which I received through Stammtisch member Michael Waugh. It’s all about travelling from Amsterdam to Newcastle, with a special focus on our regional capital and Northumberland.

Back in Germany, you may know that they like to use a lot of English in German advertisements. Stern Online recently let you do a test to find out how well Germans actually understand these slogans. If you want to find out how good your ‘Werbe-Englisch’ really is, have a go yourself.

And if you think your English or German skills need to improve, why don’t you check out language learning materials from Spotlight Verlag. Spotlight, Spot On and Business Spotlight provide interesting news and feature articles from English speaking countries, while Deutsch perfekt covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Interesting articles about Spain and Latin America are in Ecos, France is featured in Écoute and for Italian lovers it has to be Adesso. www.spotlight-verlag.de publishes a monthly magazine for each language, accompanying CDs, exercise/grammar booklets and has online resources.

German language skills might just come in handy for those who might think that employment opportunities are better on the continent. Last month Germany’s unemployment figures fell just below 3 million (well, there are also a lot of people retiring….), but future skills shortages seem to become a real issue. So it might soon be again ‘Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’…..

But then again, wouldn’t it be nice to work in the comfort of your own home on a cold, windy day like today with no travel involved at all? Or enjoy more sunny hours in your garden or on the beach in our lovely region? Sensée is the UK’s leading homeworking specialist and last month the company started its first homeworking agent hub here in the North East. They are currently recruiting for inbound customer service for a major UK retailer, offering full-time positions for homebased agents. If you know somebody who might be interested, the website provides further details on current vacancies. All that’s required is a suitable workspace, PC, landline and broadband access.

See you soon at the Christmas Dinner on 6 December.

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If you have vacancies for German staff or are looking for a new permanent or temporary position using your languages, our Stammtisch member Ali Guezel might be a good first point of call. Originally from Austria, Ali moved to the region in 2002, having having previously worked in the hotel and tourism industry. This included a three year stay at a hotel in Guernsey and a 4-year stint onboard two cruise ships, responsible for a team of five representatives and the smooth running of the day-to-day cruise operation and the shore-excursion sales revenue.

On arrival in Newcastle, Ali found work as a telesales cruise specialist for MyTravel in North Shields, before moving on to Convergys/American Express as an account manager. Two years ago Ali and a friend decided to set up a German language recruitment agency (his friend had previously set up French Recruitment), primarily for companies in the UK, looking to recruit professionals with German language skills. Since then, Ali has developed working relationships with some prestigious companies across the United Kingdom and has thousands of German speaking candidates on his books. For further information, visit www.germanrecruitment.co.uk

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