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

Sunday 20 November 2022

A Winter Walk on a Sunday Morning


Yesterday morning the world turned white. The first snow! 

Today I put on a warm hat, a warm coat and gloves, tossed my contempt for damp cold overboard and - though it was only nine o'clock in the morning - went out for a long solitary walk. 

The snow painted everything almost monochrom - but that heightened the few colours under the masses of snow: 

 Everyday objects became spellbound:  

And then I felt as if I was falling under magic spell too and had to find the talismanic phrase. 
The way in front of me vanished into fog! 

The path disappeared in Nowhere Land. 

As in Life, I thought: you do not know where you go. 
There might be some surprises in for you - although you had planned so well, took care of everything - but then Leela, the Hinduism goddess of "divine play", might laugh out loud. 

But in spite of that you have to trust - that's what I learned after a bad turn in my life seven years ago. 
Life is strong. And one can be sure - if one wants to live - life goes on. The way might be leading into the foggy unknown - 

and it might be a long way, and sometimes damned uncomfortable, but at last there comes another bend, and in-between sometimes you might find  a (cold?) seat, rest a while, 

or, if you are very daring (and impatient) you might even climb up a high seat to get an overview: 

I looked back at my past: it seemed to disappear in fog too. And I saw some other directions I could have chosen: 

How would my life have been then? 

I didn't break my head about what could have been for a long time. I am someone who is always attracted to little thing of beauty - and those you find almost everywhere on your way, even in winter: 

When I finally turned and walked back I saw that my "walk in time" eventually will go downhill - there's no use in denying that - 

but I accept that because I know: 
it is my way Home. 


Friday 18 November 2022

"I haven't told my garden yet" - a novel by Pia Pera


I seldom recommend a book, and this one from the late author Pia Pera I haven't finished yet. But I am utterly fascinated - though it is a kind of literature I seldom read - as you might know by now I most often prefer novels with an optimistic ending, something that lifts my mood, and if it makes me laugh: all the better. 

In the introduction to this book Pia Pera quotes a poem by Emily Dickinson - "I haven't told my garden yet" (I will show it in my blog "Happiness of the Day" under  As I do not love the German translation of Emily's poem in that book I dare to give the German readers of my blog a new one. 

Pia writes that the change of perspective towards death in that poem has impressed her. 

"The care about the animated and the unanimated beings, whom we in a certain way have deceived by making them used to our presence. Without warning them of the unavoidable défaillance: that we are here and now raises the expectation that we will always be there - an untenable promise.    I liked the idea that by such a reversal the egoism would be subdued, that when thinking of one's owns death one quasi wants to apologise for the involuntary disappearance. And that instead of worrying about oneself one should ask how it will be for the others, not for us."  

The book of Pia Pera is so full of wisdom - so comforting in face of her nearing death - I really recommend it - at least to all lovers of gardens. 

So - maybe I should have put it on my blog "...sunshine, freedom and a little flower"( - but I think it is much more than a good garden book. 

It starts with the sentence: 

"On one day in June some years ago remarked a man who said he loved me in a reproachful tone that I limped." 

As above it is my translation from the German version - but look at the distance, coldness and the contempt in "a man who said he ...". 

But don't get me wrong: 

it is a book without hate - it is warm and relaxed and relaxing in face of an incurable illness. 

Sunday 13 November 2022

Our lantern procession on St.Martin's Day


The lantern procedure yesterday was lovely! I didn't take many photos as I was occupied "to live fully in the moment" - meaning: chasing after one or the other (or the other!) of the triplets. There were about 50 children, but many more grown-ups. 

Electric light bulbs in the lanterns - that was less "cozy" as in Olden Times, though very calming because in Olden Times wishing didn't always still help and some lanterns got up in flames. 

Yesterday luckily that didn't happen to any of all those masterpieces, very beautiful or bizzare and mostly self handcrafted lanterns - the triplets had funny hedgehogs, we saw owls, sheep, fishes and whatsoever. 

If you stare VERY hard - and use your faith and trust me completely - in the picture above you might make out in the background a person with a Father Christmas cap (why?) and a - well... horse would be boasting - it was a little pony (all ponies are little, dear Britta!) - yeah, true, but this one was a pigmy pony - covered with a red blanket and shining light bulbs. (Here it looks like the theatre figure of a horse or donkey where two persons are clad in one costume).  
But no: this one was "the real thing". 
Though this real thing was very nervous. 

Same as Saint Martin, who was a five year old boy in a red cape wearing a golden helmet - the parson told the story - St. Martin draw his sword - and after three attempts managed to cut the cape into two parts - one he donated to the beggar. 

We all sang loud the lantern procession songs - "I go with my lantern/ and my lantern goes with me. / Above us shine the stars/ and below we are shining." We were accompanied by a real huge Bavarian brass band - and looked up to the stars, and marched a long way to a farm, where they served warm St. Martin's crescent rolls and drinks.  

Saturday 12 November 2022

Mr. Moonlight


I have the feeling that at the moment my moods go up and down a bit - as a cabin in this Ferris wheel. May depend on still interrupted sleep, or the flu vaccination a few days ago, or the change of the season (and return to standard time) - I don't know. 

The standard time feels more "normal" to me. I muse about the efficiency  of the EU: as far as I see everybody of that parliament is convinced that it would be good to stop the nonsense of shifting time in summer and winter - they talk about that often, but do they DO anything about it? At least not this year, or the last year or the years before that. Grrr. 

Maybe I should move to Tilling or Riseholm - where Queen Lucia and Miss Mapp and all the others Tillingites/Riseholites simply ignore the change (to take a train to London - but who wants that? - forces them for a very short time.  "How tarsome", George would say.) All my Lucia-books are in Berlin - I hope I wrote the quote right.

Oh, I adore E.F.Benson!!!  

We still have beautiful sunny weather - though it gets a little underlying chilly note. 

This evening the whole village does a lantern procession - the triplets are looking out for that. For me it is a very fine childhood memory - I still see my huge lantern with the face of Mr. Moon in front of me. 


Wednesday 9 November 2022

A Snippet of my Everyday Life


The day before yesterday the bell of my Bavarian flat rung - I pressed the button - nobody came up - so I went downstairs and saw the stoplights of a white van. 

A deliveryman had dumped a heavy parcel in front of the house - ah! the potting soil I had ordered. I just had my influenza virus vaccination - thus I abstained from carrying that parcel up to the second floor (I happily do weight training again since two months and think I might have been able to carry those 45 litre - but then: my back is a bit touchy - thus I let the parcel where it was). 

Next day the parcel stood in the hall - yesterday I asked the young forest ranger from the flat downstairs whether he had put it inside - no, but could he carry it up for me? "Oh, wonderful!" (I had corrected the Master thesis of his girlfriend, thus now I know a lot now about "The Economic Value of Wood from Little Private Woods") and thought I could accept his offer. 

The forest ranger is the only person the triplets REALLY respect. He drives a huge pick-up, AND a "John Deere" (the girls, though just three years old, can tell you most car make that passes by, and all tractor makes - a valuable foundation for life :-) 

Now I need a fine day to plant the rose Avalanche into a huge container. 

Query: If I tell you about such an everyday event - is that ok - or do you start to yawn? I would know about that! 

Thursday 3 November 2022

"A Year to Live"


On Tuesday, November 1st, in Bavaria we had a feast day - "Allerheiligen" = All Saints' Day". 

In Germany each state can decide whether you have a feast day or have to go to work. When I lived in Mainz, utterly Catholic,  I had 5 more free days on which I had not to work - in the same job, same federal employer, same salary - than in Hamburg, utterly  protestant. 

The Flying Dutchman is perplexed by the fact that Church still has very much influence in Germany - in the Netherlands not even Sunday is a day of rest: on Sunday you can go and shop. Honestly: I am glad that Sunday gives us a pause in many regards. 

Wednesday, November 2nd, Mexico celebrates "Dia de Muertos" - but that hasn't any influence on me. 

These gloomy days might look like an explanation why I ordered a book via Amazon: "A Year to Live" by Stephen Levine

But no - I wasn't morbid or depressed - our October and the begin of November was full of sunshine, high temperatures and beautiful colours. And I am fit and feel fine (better knock on wood!) 

Thus I surprised myself (I am glad I can still do that!) by ordering that  book. 

Surprised - because if you know me you would know that I shun themes concerning death as much as the devil shuns the holy water, as a saying in Germany goes. 

I do not like cemeteries nor funerals.  

So - why interest in that book? And why did I sent it back so quickly? 

Well, it was so different from what I expected - more on the esoteric instead of the philosophic side, too much of the "mindfulness"-direction. 

Yet I do love the title. 

I started to think on my own, without that book. To think that all you have for living is one year - 365 days - that is fascinating. (And maybe quite realistic - knock, knock, knock) What would I do in this year? What is important to me? Who is important to me? How not to waste time with bores, unnecessary chores, pointless anger - but bathing in love, meaning, and beauty, in sunshine? What would I like to clear/heal as long as I still am able?  

And: what will I have to do to leave no chaos behind me? 

In Berlin I have a fantastic little book: 

"Dostadning: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson. 

As you see: I will stay true to myself. My son would say - smiling a bit patronisingy:  "Typical Mama - "How To"-Books till the end!"    :-)