Normality – for a bit & Cologne & Rotterdam Memories

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So I am back in Ireland after my holidays. It was great so things shall return to normal on the blog. Well until the weekend as I’m off on Cub Pack Camp to Fota Scout Campsite in Co. Cork. So dont expect a lot over the next few days as I work the germanisms out of my system!! I found myself better at German this time round so even though I was there for only a week I could understand and speak more german then when i was there for five months!!! Crazy like!!

This morning was the weirdest thing ever though. Me and Elain got on the wrong train to Koln/Bonn Flugaehen. So we had to go back to the Hauptbahnhof. Who was on the platform but one of my friends, Helene, who I wasnt able to meet with due to other things. Why was she there? Cause she missed her train! Faith or what!!

It was seriously great to see everyone again also. Huge thanks to Elaine for putting me up and feeding me! Also to her kids (and cats!) who kept me entertained!! I made some new friends and it was certainly great to see my old friends from Cologne also!

Now for Rotterdam. I was named as one of the quality bloggers in the comnpetition, and I won an iPhone!! It was an amzing time and great to meet the other Th!nkers who had I had been interacting with on comments and stuff.

Th!nk will be continuing but its focus will be changing to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in the Autumn. I think it is a pity because there is a need for a group EU blog in my opinion, without the compertition. Maybe a few of us will get together and set one up? If anyone is interested let me know at Stephen[AT]stephenspillane[DOT]com.

Anyways, back to jobhunting and blogging until Friday!

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Did you know? JFK spoke in Cologne

On friday night in conversations with friends I was asked did I know did JFK speak in Cologne?. I said no, as I didn’t. Well he did and he used the words “Kolle Alaaf” which makes perfect sense compared to his “Ich bin ein Berliner”, I am a Jelly Donut. Here is the Remarks of JFK at the Rathaus in Cologne After Signing the Golden Book on June 23rd, 1963.

Chancellor Adenauer, Lord Mayor, citizens of Cologne:

It is a pleasure and an honor to sign the Golden Book of this ancient city. I bring you greetings from the citizens of America, including the citizens of Cologne, Minn.; Cologne, N.J.; and even Cologne, Tex.

It is most appropriate that I come to this city which is so closely identified with the life and the work of your great Chancellor. It was here for many years, that he first practiced the art of statecraft which has served the West so well. I am told that the Adenauer name continues on active duty here in this city. In my own country it is sometimes said that there are too many Kennedys in American public life. But I am certain that no one has made that complaint here about the Adenauers in the City of Cologne.

It is also appropriate that I come to a city which has long been a window to the outside world. As a citizen of Boston, which takes pride in being the oldest city in the United States, I find it sobering to come to Cologne where the Romans marched when the Bostonians were in skins. Many of my educational roots were planted in Boston, but 4 years before Harvard University was rounded, this was the city of Albertus Magnus, who taught St. Thomas Aquinas. For Cologne is not only an ancient German city, it is also an ancient European city, a city which, since Roman times, has played a special role in preserving Western culture, and Western religion, and Western civilization.

The problems of the Western world are, in many ways, different than they were 2000 years ago, but our obligations as citizens remain the same-to defend our common heritage from those who would divide and destroy it; to develop and enrich that heritage so that it is passed on to those who come after us. Your fellow citizen, Chancellor Adenauer, has fulfilled these obligations as a citizen of the West in full measure. And in keeping with the symbolic mosaic inside this building, he has worked for peace and freedom in this country, in all of Europe, and in all of the world. In this respect, he is true to the saying that the young student in Cologne would go to Paris to learn about life, to Holland to learn to count, and to Great Britain to become a tradesman.

It is in this spirit that I come to Cologne to see the best of the past, and the most promising of the future. May I greet you with the old Rhenish saying, “Koelle Alaaf.”


On Saturday Night I passed the place where he made the above speech. Will take a picture next time I’m in Köln.