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

Friday 6 August 2021

How to Spoil Yourself


I love to make presents - of course most are for other people: 

                                                      and some come as threesome. 

And before you needle & pin me on the board-of-shame with a hashtag, I can assure you that toy-boys would get the same toys from me! (I might even add a pinafore!)  

But sometimes, maybe on a grey rainy day, or a day when your heart has tumbled into a thorn bush, then it is time to make a present to yourself. 

Which I did - see the beautiful fat book "Portrait of an Artist. A comprehensive chronicle of David Hochney's life and work" by Taschen. 511 pages! 

It arrived yesterday. Hurray! 

(By the way: on one of our narrow-boat-tours the whole entourage visited the Salts Mills in Saltaire near his hometown Bradford - they host a great part of his oeuvre). 

And it might have been a thick thorn bush, because as dessert I added something else:  

 Very fulfilling: The Complete Mary Poppins by P. L.Travers - 767 pages! 


  1. I have been intending to visit Saltaire for many years but never got round to it, now I definitely will.
    I don't intend flying abroad anymore, my conscience will not allow it, I will explore more places here.

    1. You will love Saltaire, Rosemary - I am sure, so interesting by architecture and intention, and then the Salt Mills -I would like to go there again soon.

      To plan that you will explore the beautiful places in the UK and Scotland is noble - though I see you as a world-wise (no typo!) traveler, and maybe in some time you might go further again?

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  2. I have many claims to fame, one of which is that my wife is a direct descendant of the architect who designed Salts mill and the whole of the town of Saltaire. There is even a street named after him. He also designed Bradford Town Hall.

    1. Wow, Tasker - that is so exciting that I hope I will read on your blog more about it! Such a wealth of insider information - I am looking forward to that.

  3. I will put my inner child on view here. I wish I had the Mary Poppins book. I am going to order it right away.

    1. Maybe you have it now in your hands, Emma: I enjoy it very much, and sometimes I think that children-books are really, really invigorating.
      This complete version is a very thick book - so not so easy to hold if one goes to bed and still wants to read a bit... :-)

  4. Oh, so Taschen books are still being printed?

    1. The Hockney-edition is their 40 years anniversary edition, Tom - Taschen is now 41 years old. Still active :-)

  5. I hope, dear Britta, your thorn bush did no lasting damage? Your spoils look quite a tonic, nonetheless.

    Your triplets' home is certainly going to be very clean once the girls figure how to use their new "toys"! An inspired gift :)

    1. "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
      In a most delightful way" -
      so true what Mary sings in the movie-version :-)

      The brooms etc are thought for the huge terrace - there is a sand box, so there is a slight chance that some of the sand might stay in the box.

      Especially Ada is alarmingly neat - but Igel and Glaia are also fascinated by the vacuum cleaner. Now I hope that they see that a broom is not only used by their Nana Flying through the Sky, but has other more earthly functions too.

  6. Replies
    1. Yep, Joanne - Life still challenges me to learn...
      And I thought I could sit in an Armchair or dreamily water the geraniums :-)

  7. I haven't made any presents myself, but I do make birthday, engagement and congratulation cards for family and friends. Each card has a photo on one side (usually a simple landscape) and a brief printed message on the other. Then I add my personal greetings by hand.

    1. The idea with the card sounds great, Hels - a wonderful way to use one's photos in a creative way!

  8. Taschen books are excellent- abd excellent value too - hence, I have many. The double volume on Soutine is my favourite.

    1. I didn't know that Taschen had published a book on Soutine - will definitely put it on my list. Read that Soutine was influenced (among others) by Pierre Bonnard whom I adore.
      Just to read the list of all the painters around him makes me long to pack my suitcase to head for Berlin to get some culture-infusion - but first we plan to go to Italy, and IF it is Florence I will hop into a whole fountain of youth, I'm sure!

    2. ooh Chaim. What a talented life and sad death!

  9. Books are always a never ending pleasure. Your new purchases are lovely. The sandbox keeps little ones quite entertained, but the sand does travel...everywhere. It's never to early to teach clean-up.

  10. I agree, Susan: and in the case of Ada I try to strengthen her (very) good efforts - and see, that Igel and Glaia begin to copy her :-)
    Yes, sand everywhere - and I can understand that my DiL & son are not too happy when three times ! sand runs out of every crease and pleat - and hair...

  11. We all deserve a treat for ourselves now and again don’t we Britta ? Lovely choice of books. I also love the real story of PL Travers life. XXXX

  12. Dear Jackie, I am so glad to see you here: I hope your arm has healed and you can be as enterprising as ever?
    I am looking forward to the DVD "Saving Mr. Banks", and maybe a biography. But before that a real tome of Mary Poppins books (in one unhandy book) is waiting for me - I started to (re)read and enjoy it! XXXX

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