No doubt this finds you in the middle of preparations for Christmas. I finally got the last of my overseas cards and parcels posted this week, and although I’ve still got plenty to do, it is a big weight off my mind. For anyone posting items back to the UK for example, please be aware that the postage from Austria is actually cheaper than from Germany! A normal sized letter or card to the rest of Europe costs 70 cents from Bregenz but 75 cents from Lindau! If you’re sending a lot of letters then it may pay to go over the border. I also recently found out that if you want to send a parcel from Germany, you can go to the Deutsche Post website (, calculate the cost of the postage, pay online, then print out the “stamped” documentation for your parcel, and it costs 2€ less for overseas parcels (1€ less for inland packages) than the price at the counter. For the prices for the Austrian postal service see their website:

As already mentioned in the November newsletter, our meeting this month is earlier than usual, due to the festive season. It will be held on Saturday, 17th December (instead of the last Friday evening of the month) and we will be meeting at the Lindauer Hafenweihnacht on Lindau harbour. Our meeting place is at our usual Glühwein “hut”, outside Eiscafé Schreier. For those of you unfamiliar with the layout, Eiscafé Schreier is more or less opposite the Mangturm (the 14th Century lighthouse, on the harbour). I had already posted on our Facebook page that we would be meeting from 6.30pm, but since then, my boss has told me that our work’s Christmas party is going to be on exactly the same evening, and therefore I have decided to bring our get-together forward to 4pm. I intend to be there for at least two hours, after that feel free to carry on without me! I do apologise for chopping and changing the details, but it’s often the way: everything comes along on the same date.

On another festive note, I would like to mention something that has been passed on to me by one of our members, Brigitte Klaes. If anyone has any old Christmas decorations that they no longer want, two shops in Bregenz are collecting them for a good cause this week. You can donate your decorations at “Kröner & Scholz”, Anton-Schneider-Str.8 (in the old town) and “4D Outfitters”, Kornmarktstr. 7 (near the Stadttheater and new art gallery) until December 17th. There will be a sale of all the items on Sunday, 18th December, between 2pm and 6pm, at the “Goldener Hirschen”, Kirchstr. 8, Bregenz, with all proceeds going to the “Netz für Kinder” charity. If anyone fancies having a bit of a clear-out this week, then you know where to go!

For those of you who are not going away for Christmas, and who are planning on cooking up a traditional festive feast, don’t forget that you can still order foodstuffs from “home” from the following online stores:

I also want to mention that I recently noticed the large E-Center supermarket, Heuriedweg, Lindau, has now got McVities Digestive biscuits and chocolate Hob-Nobs in stock! They actually have quite a good selection of ‘foreign’ foods, including quite a few American items (and a particularly yummy Blue Cheese salad dressing…. :o)

For those of you who didn’t see the link that I posted on Facebook, I was recently interviewed by a journalist from the New York Times, for an article he was writing about ex-pat life here in Lindau. The link is here, for those who are interested:

Well, I think that’s all for me for this month (and this year!). It goes without saying, that I wish you all a very happy Christmas, wherever you may be spending it, and a wonderful 2012. Our next meeting in the new year will be on Friday, 27th January.