Sunday, 12 February 2012


I don't understand people who say life is a mystery, because what is it they want to know?

There are few things in life in all honesty that really get on my goat, but laziness/lazy people is one of them... 

I was imbued with a strong work ethic; I realise that. Always prepared to do more than less than was expected of me. It’s part of my DNA; hard-wired into me.

I have never understood why people are lazy anyway? Working with a lazy co-worker who consistently does not pull their weight (which may be considerable) must be particularly frustrating. It’s usually the case isn’t it; give them one reason to do something worthwhile and they will give you twenty reasons why they shouldn’t. Thank heavens ergophobia is not contagious!

It strikes me if you have a lazy co-worker in your midst, wouldn’t it be better if they just sodded off – took their pipe of Pringles with them – get back to their comfy sofa in front of Jeremy Kyle  or whatever – and give the job to someone more deserving who believes in a work ethic and can contribute as a member of a team.

If you are a lazy person - and the only two speed changes you possess are either painfully slow or stop - it’s not likely that you have any of the qualities that are going to make this world a better place, in all honesty.

You know it makes sense...

10-12 Green Terrace
Tyne and Wear
Tel: 0191 567 0852

Saturday, 11 February 2012


When I read the match report later that night in the Bild am Sonntag I nearly choked on my pretzel and tipped over my Paulaner!

Bayern (football club) blew some warmth into the icy Munich air on Saturday... 69,000 braved the fierce -12ºC degree chill and flocked to the Allianz Arena etc...
-12ºC! For the hardy Müncheners, this may be nothing out of the ordinary. But believe me, after snapping a poor daschund of a lampenposten earlier, it was off to the stadium to brave the elements and do my best. Unlike Capt. Oates I did not really want to go outside and be gone for some time... But it had to be done! Not sure where the icy Munich air  was coming from by the way – but I know where it was going!

Googie Withers? Mine does when it's this bloody cold...

La Vita – aka Multi Cafe-Bistro on Arnulfstraße is a small cafe bar just north of the München Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). The bar is a very friendly local that seats about 30 around tables and another 10 or so at the bar. The multi part is due to the fact that adjoining the bar area it doubles up as a kebab house where you can take your drink and get a kebab for the trip home.

Post-match it was back to La Vita for my final night in Munich. Happy days...

La Vita – Multi Cafe-Bistro
Arnulfstraße 18
Telefon: (089) 598113

Friday, 10 February 2012


It's true alcohol never solved any problems...but then again, neither did milk!

Olympics legacies? This morning I had a quick wander around the Olympiapark München – a venue I had not visited in over 30 years.

The park is located in the modern skyline near BMW Welt and Museum and the Uptown skyscraper of O2.

The park consists of:-

Olympic sports facilities such as the Olympiastadion and the Olympiahalle (now used for concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs and some sporting events – capacity 15,500) and the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower).

Also in this area is the Olympia Schwimmhalle – and some doughty Müncheners braved  minus 13ºC biting winds this morning to partake of their daily swim. It’s enough to freeze the beckenbauers* off a messing affe and make your eyes water!

During the 1972 Olympics, the Olympic Records in all 29 Olympic swimming events were broken as well as the World Records in 20 events.

The Schwimmhalle is unique for its roof construction which is a lightweight stressed-skin structure. This curved structure bears loads through tension only, not compression. The double curvature in the roof design is what provides support which is further stabilized through pre-tensioned guy wires.
It was at the Schwimmhalle where swimmer Mark Spitz broke the record for most individual gold medals won in a single Olympics with seven gold medals. This record was not surpassed until fellow swimmer Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Should have brought my trunks...

*Franz Beckenbauer (born September 1945 in Munich) was a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser ("The Emperor") because of his elegant style and leadership coupled with his dominance on the football pitch. He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game. Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero.

Twice selected the European Footballer of the Year, he appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three World Cups. He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990. With FC Bayern Munich, he won three consecutive European Cups from 1974-1976 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer is the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides. He went on to become coach and President of FC Bayern. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


Unions-Braü Haihausen
Einsteinstraße 42 • 81675
Telefon: 089-477677

Thursday, 9 February 2012


The last time I tipped up in Munich was over 30 years ago in the back of a Commer van (one previous owner London Borough of Southwark - mobile library) which had been repainted in a rather fetching battleship grey and was now being used in a fledgling haulage business. You couldn’t make it up, could you?

Many years later I’ve returned – determined to add a little more sophistication to my travel experience – including a very comfortable taxi ride from the Augustiner am Platzl to the hotel, after some quality beer and traditional Bavarian food.

Munich taxis are truly über-comfortable – and a journey back to your digs in a Mercedes-Benz E Class E350 CDI BlueTEC Avantgarde Ed 125 5dr Tip Auto, is the business. Heated leather seats, no less!

No problems with the snow-affected one-way only side streets around the Marienplatz either; the car weighs over 2500Kg and is almost 5m long. A real beast! 

Germany is justifiably proud of its car manufacturing history and tradition. BMW has its HQ in Munich and now owns and produces the iconic Mini – still under its British automotive marque. They’re plenty of high-spec Minis in Munich these days – but they are all primarily produced in Germany. What would Alec Issigonis have made of it all?

Augustiner am Platzl -
Orlandostrße 5
Tel + 49 / (0)89/21 11 356


There is a drinking establishment (HBH) directly opposite the  Wirsthaus Ayingers which describes itself as the most famous pub in the world, known for its gemütlichkeit and Bavarian music – complete with a house-oompah band that gets things going with typical Teutonic timing every evening from 7pm...

As it’s so famous I don’t need to mention it by name – but I’m not so convinced by its claim to fame. Unfortunately this area of München did not entirely survive some of the urban re-planning, courtesy of the RAF, nearly 70 years ago – and the pub opposite suffered extensive damage during that time.

Bavarian oompah bands? – give me a Caribbean steel band anytime! The constant sound of a repeated, rhythmic bass line (the oom) on the tuba accompanied by foot stomping, thigh slapping and not forgetting the higher-pitched instruments (they provide the pah in the oom-pah) such as the clarinet, accordion or trombone can really get on your umlauts! A right royal pain in the mönchengladbachs!
Thank heavens I discovered the Wirsthaus Ayingers!

Wirtshaus Ayingers am Platzl
Platzl 1A
Telefon: 0 89/23 703-666