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

Wednesday 26 October 2022

"Candles for - Germany?"


In a comment on my blog "...sunshine, freedom and a little flower" Pipistrello from "Flying With Hands" asked: 

I was talking to a young German girl from my dancing class, from Cologne. She told me this winter schools and universities will remain online in her area as they expect not to be able to afford to heat the classrooms to the required 17 degrees to keep all the technology running smoothly. Is this likely to be true? 

Part of my answer: "Since September we have an official enactment for public buildings to put temperature down to 18°C degrees when people sit - when they walk: 17 °C (hahahaha). No warm water in public buildings to wash your hands (except in hospitals, schools, or homes for the elderly). "

So, universities keep open, schools too. But today in the news I heard complaints of a local sport club (and they are not the only ones) which cannot pay the enormous sums that are demanded now for energy. 

Same problem for e.g. bakeries, gastronomy - and people with a small income too. 

A lot of work was not done in the last decades - profits were taken, but not much invested - the state of bridges, of railways, roads often is deplorable. 

I do hope that we learn by that - though I am not so optimistic - seeing the news today I wondered if people ever learn. 

PS: To get the whole picture not too gloomy - we still are a very rich country and pay a lot to help others - I will tell you a story of my past, long ago - I have forgotten which year it was, but English people will know. I was on my way to England, and shortly before I heard of a heavy power cut in England. 

One trait of me is that I often believe to quick. So I packed many candles into my suitcase - and my English friends still tease me: "Ah - candles for England!" 


Saturday 22 October 2022

Well...hmm...Changed my mind...I'm just sitting on a fence...

 As you might have seen that I, fickle, changed my mind again and decided to keep the blog about gardens, plants and parks - but now I write it in English. 
I managed to change the header into English and hope you will see that on the blogroll next day (today Google still keeps the German blog title "...und eine kleine Blume muss man haben", but the text is in English), but I was not able to change the blog address - thus you will find "...sunshine, freedom, and a little flower" still under the German link

- but in my humble attempts to write in English. 

The topics remain the same: plants in all varieties, my visits to gardens and parks, quotes about plants in literature or in paintings - and whatever other topics I find flying around like parachutes of dandelion. 

I would enjoy it very much if you come with me - five of you are already there - please bring with you a picnic blanket and a botanist's specimen container, and then we'll pick together some beautiful moments for our herbarium.    


Tuesday 18 October 2022

A defoliated blog - so appropriate for autumn

OK - I come to my senses. 
I admit that my blog "... und eine kleine Blume muss man auch haben" - which I have written in German - with Google sometimes changes into awful English translations  - is damned to wither.  

Here in "You are witty and pretty" I might write awful English too - but what you read here are my own blunders, my faults - and not Google's. 

I am a woman of quick decisions. If at the stock market I am not convinced that a share is worth its money - I sell it (although I can be very stubborn and keep it against all croaks of the fire-bellied toad if I am convinced of their potential). Quick and without (much) remorse. Then I forget about it. 

I will do that with the plant&flowers&garden-blog too - though plants in all forms are what I really love and what I am deeply interested in. I told myself that I can - as I have a hotchpotch blog - add and twine some flowers or news from the world of plants into it. 

Above you see the latest - but not the last - bunch of wild flowers I pick here on my walks in Bavaria - I'm always modest and take only a few, and if a bee sits on it I will not pick it. 
They are offerings from nature, the arrangement is by me. 

Saturday 15 October 2022

The Salted Buddhas

 "3" is a magical age. 

I remember a bit of my own very early youth, and vividly the time when our son was 3, and now the triplets entered it with the first day of September. 

Not being allowed to post photographs of the Three Graces I show you a postcard with a drawing by Cicely Mary Barker - it resembles amazingly a photograph of the unidentical triplet (the other two are monovular).  

What I adore is their imagination, the surprising use of language - and that they do not care a fig what the world thinks of them - they express  their feelings without pretence, laugh a lot, and are so easily bewitched by a situation and make the most of it that there is never a sign of boredom, but lots of energy (oh yes, I would like to have a third of that!).  

Yesterday I went to my little breakfast table in front of the huge window with the view into the valley (I know I sound like Hyacinth Bucket from "Keeping up Appearances" :-). 

It crunched under my slippers

Lots of fine white salt. Each of the triplets had snatched the salt-shaker in an unobserved moment and scattered salt on my breakfast table where I have two little buddhas and a small candle and always a fresh tiny flower. 

They do not like this assembly - sheer jealousy, if you ask me ("Good taste", Son would say). Ha!   

They giggle with laughter when they mention "The salted Buddhas". 

I take a deep calming breath, 4 - 7 - 8, and then I smile :-) 

Saturday 8 October 2022

Rosemary's Butternut Squash Tarte


Thank you, dear Rosemary from the blog "Where Five Valley's Meet"  for your lovely recipe! 

In a comment on your blog I wondered whether I would find here in Bavaria a Butternut Squash - but I could capture one (from only two!) in the Supermarket. 

But I was very surprised that I could get no kale - all other ingredients I had or bought. 

I was also surprised that the Butternut Squash has not many pumpkin seeds in it - and though I use all there is from a Hokkaido, I wasn't sure about the squash and peeled it. 

The result was delicious - or, as the Dutch say: "Lekker!" 

And as foreseen: ONE of the triplets tried and liked it! 

The recipe you'll find here: 

Sunday 2 October 2022

The Donatello Exposition in Berlin

Yesterday I had my first "real" day in Berlin to enjoy culture. 

The days before I had speeded through the city, met a lot of friends, bought some clothes - and though I am used to running around and wore good padded trainers, my back hurt in the evening and I was very tired. 

I had come to Berlin for a week, then got a call from the electric company that they wanted to install a new meter the week after - thus I had to come back three days after returning to Bavaria... 
(I could have stayed in Berlin for the whole time, but in Bavaria I had the chance to meet my friend Anne, who became so ill. One of her daughters had invited me to her birthday, the daughter lives only 50km from my Bavarian second home address, and thus I could come by car, meet my friend - and travel back the next day to Berlin). 

On that day "I paid myself first" - meaning: 

- I went to my hairdresser (who became a friend over the time) 
- and visited the Donatello-exposition: Donatello. Inventor of the Renaissance 
- rewarded myself with a one-year abonnement for Berlin's museums next year 
The Donatello sculptures and paintings were presented in the "Gemäldegalerie" on the Kulturforum, where they're building a connecting plaza.   

The exposition was fine - though it didn't touch my heart very much. 

I loved "Virgin and Child" (ca 1422), which "is one of the very first examples of linear perspective, not only in Donatello's work but in all Western art. The figures emerging from the marble niche seem truly three-dimensional." (text of the museum) 

or this "Virgin and Child" ca 1422 

or this "Virgin and Child" ca 1420 - 23)

Outside I did a few steps and took some photos of the newly renovated Neue Nationalgalerie (building by Mies van der Rohe) , here a dramatic photo in black&white: 

- had a very nice meal at an Indian restaurant near my home 

- bought wristlets (haha, they still exist - these are my first try - winter may become very cold! - and they are so very stylish, artfully created by two sorts of mink - wait, I'll show you a photo: 

- and, after a short (but very necessary rest) I hastened to the Cinema Paris to see a new German movie, "Mittagsruhe" 

Then I bought some groceries and went to bed quite early.