Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Wednesday 14 February 2024

I Feel Overprotected! "Dressing Instructions" for your tights


We all will have read about "helicopter parents". 

A difficult balance in a world to protect your child - without making it feel helpless. (I was always a supporter of the maxim "Do not support someone by giving him everyday a fish - better give him an angling rod.") 

Nowadays they pamper us, average adults, with suffocating eagerness. Whining they see problems everywhere - today I read that PETA, animal rights activists, in earnest call for forbidding wooden animals on roundabouts - carousel animals would give children wrong impressions how to treat animals. 

Politicians "care" about what you SHOULD eat. Don't get me wrong: I think it is great to eat healthy vegetables - but you should have heard the rage of German citizenry when our Green politicians wanted to establish a "vegetable day" once a week for all of us. (Sugar or unhealthy fast food has a big lobby -  you don't hear much to protect children on that front, though timid attempts are made to implement a sugar tax - so: I am not against protecting children).

And now I found that dressing instructions for tights. 

Honestly: the triplets, now 4 and a half year old, can put on their tights without those instructions, thank you very much. 

What will they try to "teach us" next???  

Monday 12 February 2024

Foto-Exhibition Chameleon by Abe Frajndlich in the Kunstfoyer Munich


This huge photo of the Rolling Stones at the launch of their album "The Bridges of Babylon" 1997, was the very first Wow!-impression when I entered the Kunstfoyer Munich.  

It was a spontaneous decision to go there by train: I needed a splash of "bit city". 

Abe Frajndlich was born in 1946 in Frankfurt/Main Germany in a camp for Displaced Persons. His parents were Jews from Poland - Holocaust-survivors, who met each other in that camp after WWII. Abe's life was full of personal tragedies: his father was murdered, and when he was 10 his mother died after an operation. As a child he moved a lot: from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv and back, followed by Paris and Brazil, and finally to the USA, New York. (All these details from SZ-journalist Christian Mayer). His Photo teacher was Minor White, and he has lots of friends among famous photographers as Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, and many others. 
Wonderful photos of New York, and great portraits of famous people (but of strangers  too). 
Guess who she is? 

You can see photos of Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Cindy Sherman , Charles Bukowski, Yoko Ono. And maybe you know this one of Jack Lemmon. 

"It's all about seeing 
and all the things 
that get in the way 
of that simple act (...)" 
Abe writes in a long sort of poem 
"Site Specific Investigations Of A Glove". 

A very interesting exhibition which you can visit till 1.April - free entrance. 



Sunday 4 February 2024

Answer to Tom Stephenson's post

 nachrichtensprecherin bricht in lachen aus 

I love this one too - Susanne Daubner normally is a pillar of correctness.   (One has to wait a little bit with this link: it is a video, not only the photo!) 

PS: At the moment I have a huge problem with Google: I cannot comment on your blogs, have to find my password for Google (oh...), so I hope I find a way... 


Friday 2 February 2024

Sheep - and change

Here they are again: more than 100 sheep grazing on the huge water meadow. As every year, and not every farmer is delighted at that.  

The profession of shepherd has changed a lot. 

Once the shepherd was a gnarled loner, with a long loden coat and a big slouch hat on his head leaning at his wooden barren-hut gazing at his sheep, his sidekick, the faithful dog running around to keep the sheep together. Trust me: as a child I saw some of these duos.

When I drove my purchases home, the shepherd, quite youngish, leaned at the hood of his car and stared on his cellphone. He didn't look up. His faithful dog seemed to regret that he hadn't a cellphone either - to him the sheep were too -- sheepish -- so why should he care? 

Next morning the sheep had left (an euphemism: they bunked) - "The grass is always greener on the other side" - and show me a  weak electrified fence that can keep a stubborn sheep with an intention. 

A neighbour of mine came and tried to bring them back - another neighbour telephoned. The shepherd slept in his house in another village, and had taken his faithful dog with him. 

And we wonder why so much is heading south?  


Monday 22 January 2024



A few minutes ago I read it in the news: the locomotive drivers of German's Deutsche Bahn will strike again. 

I had already booked a fine Hotel in Bremen for our class reunion on coming Friday and Saturday. 

Really: I am so disappointed! Luckily I could cancel the hotel, my three classmates who had organised dinners and events - all their troubles were for nothing - had cancelled the meeting. Coming by car is no alternative - we have black ice, and I would have to drive over 6 hours.  

If you look at the drawing underneath (I cannot turn it right) you see that Germany is stricken at the moment: the farmers protest with thousands of tractors, and the DB keeps her trains at home - only the management board got, each of them!, a bonus of 300.000 Euro (extra! each of them!)for this year of breakdowns, ill management (only ever 4 out of 10 trains are punctual - or come at all..). 


Thursday 18 January 2024

Starting to Bake My Own Bread


Two days ago the ordered bread machine arrived. For a long time I had been undetermined whether to buy one or not.  

But I live here in so tiny a village that has no shop or bakery, and the only inn has closed. To buy bread I have to drive 3 km - that's not far, and if I want to "schlepp" a rucksack full of potatoes, milk and other goodies up the hill to "my" house - over 9% steep hill upwards - of course I could walk. The little red train stops once an hour - which means waiting in the next little town after buying, and more than 9 % uphill fitness training too. (The reason why I a bought a used car). 

But I try to reduce shopping - and the need of fresh bread sometimes was the only reason I had to go. 

Yesterday I was happy that I could bake my first bread: we were snowed under, AND Bavaria warned explicitly against leaving the house because of black ice (is that really the right word???).  

Here you see my prototype: a spelt loaf, delicious - and I wish you could smell the lovely scent in the kitchen! 

Friday 12 January 2024

Unforgettable Snow


Do you remember those days around 
the turn of the year 1978/1979?

I will never forget them: A storm with wind strength 7 was coming from northeast. 

Husband and I had visited my parents in Bremen for Christmas. Then husband grew very ill with influenza, thus we wanted to go back to Mainz. 

My father, a wise man, said: "If you want to drive, drive now very quickly."  

481 km distance between Bremen and Mainz - I drove our old blue Merc, with highly-feverish husband on the backseat. 

I was very young then and had I got my driver's license in 1976 - megalomaniacal after two years I applied for a contest by Cosmopolitan: a rally through the Sahara - that was my notion of "adventurous". (How come I was not elected?)

Now fate served me the total opposite: 

all the time at that drive home a huge black bank of snowclouds breathed down our neck: the snow came nearer and nearer, and I had to drive very fast. 

We reached Mainz, exhausted but lucky - a few hours later "Land submerged!" - a blanket of snow covered huge parts of Northern Germany which was sunken under snow - and hundreds of cars were stuck in more than a meter high snow drifts.