So Saturday was my birthday party - several weeks late so that I could combine it with DrH's, who turns three six tomorrow. Of course, this was one of THE worst things you can do in Germany - you NEVER congratulate anyone before their birthday EVER. I still haven't worked out why not, but its taken very seriously. EXTREMELY seriously. The Germans that came refused to congratulate him.
It was a really interesting mix of people - a colleague of DrH's, my group of "dog" friends, neighbours and of course colleagues from work. All of the dog people spoke only German, while the common language at work is English - although at least half also have good German and a third or so are quite happy in any of Italian, Spanish or French as well. Its one of the great things about working in science, and about working for this organisation in particular - it's internationality. So on Saturday there were Australian, German, English, Scottish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Bulgarian, Venezualan, Russian...and that's only a small sub population of the nationalities I work with.
The party was great fun. Leon Dog Wonder was universally adored and I got lots of flowers and other really cool gifts. Birthdays are great. Aside from that whole getting old thing, of course.