Archive for the ‘Sport & Leisure’ Category

Dear Stammtisch Friends

I would like to invite you to our next Stammtisch on Wednesday, 12 June 2013.

Our evening at the Mansion House in Jesmond will start around 5.30pm with a cold beer on the terrace (yes, there’s also West beer now available in the Mansion House). We will then have dinner in the drawing room and on the menu are 2 Bratwuerste (grilled sausages) with Altbadischem Sauerkraut (white cabbage), Kartoffelbrei (mashed potatoes) and Zwiebelsosse (onion sauce), followed by Apfelstrudel (appel strudel) with ice cream – all for only £10 per person. You pay at the door on the day, but please confirm (or if you have to cancel) with me as the Mansion House will only cater for us on the day.

Being from the sausage capital of the world (Nuremberg) and as they’re on our menu, I thought I’d share some sausage knowledge with you:

One of (or the) most famous sausage restaurants is in Nuremberg and the Bratwursthaeusle and they’ve been making and cooking sausages since 1313.  Germans are so mad about their sausages, they have even dedicated a museum to it. You can visit the Curry Wurst Museum in our capital Berlin. Uli Hoeness is famous as a footballer, being in charge of Bayern Munich and more recently for having trouble with the German equivalent of HMRC. Less known to the outside world, however, is his successful sausage business. Uli’s Wuerste have even been sold at McDonalds and in a ZDF programme, his sausages won the the ‘Knackigste Bratwurst’ award.

So now you’re thinking of ways how to get rid of all these calories. And one of the sports that has gained a following here in the North East since last year’s Olympics is ‘Handball’. Yes, proper handball. Not netball! 🙂 The Newcastle Vikings Handball Club meets at Percy Hedley in Killingworth and is open to newcomers. Their website is great – and you find out all the information you’re after.

And if you still have energy to spare – what about this one: ’24 Hours of Bavaria’. The annual event takes place in Fuessen in 2013 and the walk takes you past famous sights, including the world famous Neuschwanstein. There are various walks, but if you are really hard core, you’ll cover 80km in 24 hours. This year, 24 Hours of Bavaria takes place from 22 to 23 June.

I also have a book recommendation for you from Gunther. ‘Keeping up with the Germans‘ has been described as a witty and incisive look at the lighter-side of Anglo-German relations over the last 100 years. Gunther’s comments were: “Extremely funny… Had me in stichtes and all this I can identify with… A must read!

And online, a Brit in Germany – Adam Fletcher – writes a very funny blog and here are his ’20 Easy Steps to be a German’.

I hope to see many of you in the Mansion House on 12 June & wish you a lovely time until then.

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French national Hélène Beaugy came to the UK as part of an Erasmus exchange during her studies for a BA in Language and Cultural Studies at the University of Dijon.

Following a 10-year career in language teaching, whilst completing an MA in French and Spanish at the University of Northumbria, Hélène decided to take the plunge and launch her own business.

Experience Northumbria draws on Helene’s language skills and hobbies and interests, which include running, cycling, walking, horse riding, classical music and films.

“Every year I had friends visiting the North East and afterwards they would rave about the beauty of the region. As they were here during their holidays, we would do a lot of outdoor activities. We always talked about the potential of doing foreign language tours in the region and this has been on the back burner for a couple of years. Now I’m in a position to offer tours in French, Spanish and English, and in German later.” explains Hélène.

Experience Northumbria specialises in groups of 7 participants or smaller that will visit the area either for a long weekend or for up to a week. Helene will organise the complete itinerary, from transport to accommodation in either hotels, bed & breakfasts, cottages or farms, she’ll arrange restaurants or tea room visits, supervise walks, runs or cycle tours and has partners who will deliver other activities such as horse riding, kite-surfing, golfing etc.

Hélène added: “One of the aims is to show the region’s common history with other European countries. French monks, for example, came to the North East to start abbeys or priories and the Blanchland monks became really powerful. A couple of years ago, I was doing a walk arund my grandmother’s village in Auvergne, where the local council had put new signs to explain the heritage of the village to visitors. It turned out that John of Gaunt, once owner of Dunstanburgh castle, had fought (dare I add unsuccesfully?) at the doors of the village, in a conquest expedition to France during the 100-Year War.”

To find out more about Helene’s tours, visit http://www.experiencenorthumbria.co.uk and we will also arrange a special Stammtisch tour to a historic site in the region later in the year.

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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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As summer approaches, you might fancy a holiday on the continent and in particular Germany. Here are a few tips about travelling, activities and events that you might find useful:

The German Tourism Office released the introductory video Erlebnisland Deutschland to give you a flavour of Germany. And ‘Mit Volldampf durchs Land’ is a two-part programme by SWR, where you go on a journey across Germany by steam trains.

A little bit faster – on normal regional trains – you can explore Germany on a budget as long as you have a bit of time on your hand. Deutsche Bahn is offering a deal for one day trips: for €42 you can travel on all regional trains in 2nd class (RB, IRE, RE and S-Bahn) and take along four other people, who only pay €6/each. The ticket is valid Mondays to Fridays from 9am onwards and on bank holidays from midnight onwards. Click here for further info about the ‘Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket).

And if you’re heading to Berlin and want to save the cents, there is a free service to find a room – here’s a link to ‘Kostenlose Zimmervermittlung Berlin’.

Berlin will, of course, be one of the host cities for the forthcoming Women’s Football World Championships, which takes place in Germany from 26 June to 7 July. The German team will again defend the title, which it holds since 2003 and the English will also aim high, being the European vice-champion. With women’s football continuously increasing in popularity, this year’s event is to break various spectator records. With one month to go, the total number of match tickets now on general sale has increased to 900,000, with 70% already sold.

But if football isn’t your thing, you might want to head to one of the many music festivals that will take place this summer:

Afrika Festival in Würzburg: 2 – 5 June

Rock im Park Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg/Rock am Ring Nürburgring in Eiffel: 3 to 5 June

Bachfest in Leipzig: 10 – 19 June

Summerjam in Cologne: 1 – 3 July

Jazz Open in Stuttgart: 1 – 10 July

Samba Festival in Coburg: 8 – 10 July

Bardentreffen in Nuremberg: 29 to 31 July

For a full list of forthcoming music festivals, click here.

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Tanja Cooper, one of our Stammtisch members would like to ask for your support for her fundraising activities for Cancer Research UK.

In August Tanja will do a parachute jump from an airplane at about 4000 metres, then free fall for about 1 minute, travelling at 200 km/h towards earth. She said: “The parachute hopefully opens and I can enjoy the views of Lake Constance.”

Tanja has lived in the UK since 1998 and in Newcastle for the last five years. Her family still lives in Berlin and Bavaria

She explained the reasons behind her fundraising efforts : “I’m appealing to you today to help me raise money for Cancer Research UK and I’d really appreciate your support. I have decided that it’s time for me to be brave. My Dad has been through a lot in recent years and it wasn’t always possible for me to be there due to the distance we do live apart. He has endured the trauma of cancer twice and fought it successfully.”

If you go to Tanja’s JustGiving page, you can donate by debit or credit card:


JustGiving sends your donation straight to Cancer Research UK and automatically reclaims Gift Aid on all eligible donations, so what you give is worth even more. Thank you!

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I would like to introduce you today to one of our local business owners – Henri Plag from Stuttgart – who is also a member of our Stammtisch group.

Henri is a qualified horse trainer and riding instructor and runs her own riding school in Kirkharle, Northumberland. She combines both natural horsemanship principles with correct German dressage training.

Henri offers lessons on her horses and for owner riders plus various other training workshops and demonstrations.

You can visit her website for further information – Henri Plag – or chat with her at the next Stammtisch.

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