Fitness in the office

The trend toward exercise and wellness continues unabated – and I think it’s highly commendable. The saying “Sitting is the new smoking” fits this trend well – and is leading more and more companies to encourage their staff to do fitness and wellness exercises during working hours. There are numerous instructional videos on LinkedIn and YouTube, and at my company, one colleague took it upon herself to regularly provide us with new exercises “for in between.”

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Oh come all ye faithful…

…to the Christmas market

When it comes to Christmas markets, there is not only the group of fans (“Finally, a Christmas market without Corona restrictions!”) and the group of the uninterested (“What am I supposed to do there? There are only crowds, unhealthy food and presents that nobody needs!”) but also people in the “Yes, but only if…” category. The “yes, but” can come from different directions: “Yes, but only if it’s free.” or “Yes, but only if it’s not too crowded.” (Which in turn amounts to “Yes, but only if it’s not free.”)

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A lifelong companion

The 70s cast long shadows

My colleague PUE has written about lifelong learning at from time to time – I will now follow suit and comment on “lifelong furniture”. It’s about the magnificent exhibit pictured above, which was brought back from the attic to the light of day.

In the first Corona summer (how that sounds…) a major renovation campaign took place at our house with all kinds of measures to make our 60s terraced house fit for the future. Corona rules made some preparations necessary. Routes were marked in the house, etc., in order to allow the 3 – 6 builders who were working in and around the house at the same time and ourselves to take coffee breaks “at a distance” – including pleasant chats over coffee, of course.

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Would you emigrate to Mexico, Beate?

… an email asked me some time ago. The mail came from XING, or more precisely from one of the “business communities” I am registered with. “I don’t think so!” was my first thought, and my second, “Why do you want to know that anyway?” The text informed me of the results of a large survey conducted by XING’s sister platform, InterNations. InterNations asked 12000 expats in 52 countries which country they felt most comfortable in.

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Growing Green Cities

The Floriade 2022

The “Floriade”, the world horticultural exhibition, will take place in Almere in the Dutch province of Flevoland This year. The Netherlands organises the Floriade every 10 years and there are bad reviews each time thanks to massive budget overruns. How high the loss will be this year can probably only be said when the exhibition closes its doors in October. But it already looks like a record. The true numbers of visitors is much lower than those estimated – whereby Corona certainly also plays a role. Several heads have rolled among those politically responsible.

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Read-along Films?

Subtitling versus dubbing

On German television it has been standard for donkey’s years to show foreign films dubbed in German (with the exception of “Dinner for one” on New Year’s Eve, of course). DVDs and streaming services offer the choice of “original with subtitles” – but with films and series on TV international actors and actresses are still “dished up” with German voices.

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Harlequin’s favourites

Dear friends of the Harlequin!

The Harlequin team is now taking leave for the summer holidays. While we are away, all the Harlequins will be sharing their personal favourites with you. Today we start literarily- minded, but depending on your interests, “Harlequin’s favourite” can also be culinary, ornithological (alcoholic? philosophical? … ). Let us surprise you!

We wish you and ourselves a wonderful holiday!

Sunny, summery greetings

Your Harlequin Team

My favourite novel character…

… is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. I devoured the Miss Marple detective novels as a teenager and was thrilled by the English atmosphere. Everything was “so very British”! From Miss Marple I learned that most things in life are not what they seem at first sight. A very useful lesson that will accompany me all my life!

The value of work

A few days ago, I received an email from LinkedIn inviting me to participate in a survey. The title of the mail said: Beate, what do you find valuable about your work? – “Good question!” – I thought to myself. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. Yet this is certainly one of the central questions when it comes to what activities and in what functions someone feels “in the right place” – and in which they do not.

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Eyes wide open when choosing a profession!

Vocational Helpsheet from the Federal Job Center: Civil servant at federal institutions  (senior and executive, non-technical grades) 

Do you still remember the “Vocational Helpsheet”?  These brown and white booklets from the Federal Job Centre were THE source of information on “what I want to be when I grow up” – at least at the time when I was tackling this question. A profession was presented in detail in each booklet and the fact that ultimately there were “only” about 700 titles to choose from makes it clear how challenging the choice was.

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A roll called heathy

A culinary imposter

In the Netherlands, every lunchroom, every bakery that sells filled rolls and every café has “broodje gezond” –  a so-called healthy roll – on the menu. I was initially very impressed, because it is not a matter of course to be offered a healthy alternative competing with less nutritious treats. I don’t want to tangle with all the bread-roll shop owners in the country and immediately commend all those whose “healthy rolls” really are healthy. But in my experience, they are a very small minority.

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