Showing posts from April, 2008

Just as I was going out...

thunder and lightning and torrential rain arrived. So instead of going out to a nice trendy grown-up disco later, I met M. in the pizzeria after work, and we ate two wagon-wheels of delicious red, white and green crispy fat and carbohydrates. No dancing in the dark tonight.

Music, again

And occasionally, I go to see a band.
This was Amp Fiddler at the Ampere.

I was just listening to the radio, and then wrote this in my flickr profile:
My car still has only a cassette player which is a great opportunity to wallow in nostalgia. Also it seems to be the only time I have time to just listen. So - I often listen to my old John Peel cassettes and cassette compilation I made or Mick made or Bridget made or Werner made. And occasionally, while flickring or blogging, I listen to Zündfunk, which is the "young" programme of Bayerischer Rundfunk, but seems to be made mainly by people around fifty, the movers and shakers of the Munich music scene, ex-members of FSK and such like. They have wonderful programmes about the history of trip-hop, hip-hop, Tindersticks, Kraut Rock etc and things like an interview with John Cale, in English. They don't do Madonna, but that's okay, she makes herself heard elsewhere - und das ist gut so.
There is also the late great night …

music, cake and green, green trees

Just listening to Jan Garbarek playing a tune that sounds like Dollar Brand, after listening to Sepp Bierbichler singing Eisler songs and thinking: does music need a sense of humour? maybe it needs a sense of - there are other things in the world, too. Meaning and lightness - no idea what I mean. I suppose I am not keen on pompous.

Ah - pompous! a false friend if ever there was one. Since it doesn't mean "pompös" in German, but something like "pathetisch", another false friend, since pathetisch is not the same as pathetic, which means "armselig".

Everyone is getting so old...Sepp is sixty today.
I am sixty, Herbert is seventy, Ralph is sixty-five, Alexander Kluge is 70, Hanna Schygulla and Julie Christie aren't far off. Fassbinder is dead.
All the "young ones": Ulla is 50, Werner is fifty...Madonna is 50...Udo will be 50... even '68 is forty now.
Mustn't grumble.
Let's have a drink - today.

oh..I feel okay about my neck.

Leaving it all behind...

Bon voyage!
Hilarious shot (not mine - Steve's). Click on it to see it large.

Rosato instead of NATO

On the way to Ruffini, my local Café.

Ruffini special: virtually weightless cheese biscuits
to have, for example, with your Rosato

A divine drink ड्रिंक

We asked this old man yesterday where we could find something to eat in this godforsaken town, and he pointed us to Gaststätte Stiegler where they have "einen Göttertrunk" (a divine drink), called Passauer Löwenbräu Bock - not be confused with Löwenbräu in München, which no real beer lover drinks.
The Göttertrunk was a damn fine accompaniment for the square yard of Schnitzel...
Luisa took this picture of me and Mr.Bock lover.

बेक फ्रॉम थे कोउन्ट्री

Two days seem like a full week when you drive to the furthest corners of Bavaria. We stayed at Michi's where we have our "own" apartment which unfortunately is located above his smithy and heavy clanging starts at 8 a.m.

Country people keep inhuman hours. But so do the schools - people have to be up at six to get their kids ready for school.
And the birds! The racket! and the church bells! every quarter hour they remind you that you are still awake, waiting anxiously for the next tolling. I did sleep in the end, somehow. The country makes our flat in the middle of München feel like a trappist monastery.

Nice beer gardens, though.

On Monday we visited a sleepy little town which seemed to have only one Gasthaus open to eat in. All the solid menfolk seemed to have gathered in the gelateria on Market Square eating icecream sundaes with cream, in the beginning rain.
The opening of Ki's exhibition in the local art lab was visited by us and a whole gang of elegant "Grey …

मी एंड माय मम

My Mum and I, today.
I am wearing very colourful things because, like most mothers, she worries about me (and my sister) wearing too much black - because it's a shame not to show how pretty we really are.

We spent the afternoon together and then I drove back to München, intending to pass by IKEA. Couldn't find it. Felt extremely stupid. I mean, EVERYone finds IKEA.
Decided not to go to IKEA. Also, realized that bringing the car into town is not a great idea. When I had finally found a parking space, the idea of just leaving the car there and not driving to the country tomorrow crossed my mind.
Once you have a parking space here, you just don't want to leave it ever again.
Still, we will go. Tomorrow, we will drive through sparkling,juicy fresh green nature. We will have lunch in a country inn, a walk, and in the evening drink too much bubbly with our friends,Michi and Gretel, in their lovely big old house by the little stream.

An example of Bavarian pub grub - up there with …

लेटर बेक होम विथ फ्लोवेर्स...

It was a flower orgy at the botanical gardens today..such a jumping spring day

निस डे टुडे जुस्त पोप्पिंग आउट फॉर सोम फोतोस

It's sunny outside and before I smash my laptop and kick the washing through the flat, I have now decided to stop working at 3.30 - incidentally like most German workers - especially in the public sector - for whom the weekend begins on Friday lunchtime.
I know this because I used to work on a trade magazine for a hedonistic boss who often came into the office on Friday afternoon, shouting "What are you doing here? Can't you see it's sunny outside?". Sadly, the magazine went bust after barely four years of me working there. Sigh.
I am off to the Botanical Gardens now, on my bike, to take some pictures of the dear tulips.

Looking forward, sitting tight

Another week of super cold days, with some tantalizing sunshine.
I really don't get out much right now, I am dealing with the likes of net weight of ready-to-drink coffee products sold in Germany in 2007 and the development of carton packaging in fruit juices. It has its charms, but I can't wait to throw my bathing-suited body into one of our neighbouring lakes. All my friends seem to be either sick with bad cough or terminally hung-over or working like the clappers keeping their life's work together. Or counting beans, like me.

Or they organize a show of their gorgeous flower paintings, somewhere in deepest Niederbayern, which is where we are going at the weekend.

Bella Italia!

Oh dear - that's what "we Italians" call un pasticcio - a mess!

I don't even dare to look at the Beppe Grillo it even possible that Italians voted to have Berlusconi for President again...with a big majority...
But politicians in Italy never go away, they just rest until they are pulled out of the bottom drawer again. And so, Veltroni will have his second chance.
I suppose we had FJStrauß for so many years (Ja - a Hund war er scho!)

This reminds me - one of my English friends found my use of the word "we" strange. Of course I say we - when I lived in London, I said "we Londoners", now I am "we Bavarians". But that's nothing to do with being nationalistic. I find it impossible to live somewhere without a degree of identification. I can even say "we" in the heat of a football match but I wouldn't start a war if the other side win.

On the other hand, maybe it's a case of Penne all'arrabiata

Green and flowerful, with Mountains

At last, a picture book weekend: after the flea-market at Theresienwiese, cooked dinner and it was great - nothing burnt, everything tasty, lots of wine was drunk and everybody left by 23.14h - we talked about how our social outings start early and finish even earlier these days...but really four hours of gorging guzzling and giggling is enough!
Today with my Mum - walks in apple blossom countryside, with mountains so clear and so snowy you think you can touch them.


Getting sick of being at home.
I want sun - greenness - water - want to see lambs....
Spring is not happening this year.
Today I am doing some more cooking for friends.
I hope they will be entertained by what I am making. yesterday I tried to fry two steaks and they were inedible.
Went to the Big Annual Fleamarket (Theresienwiese) today and got some pretty old china plates. But soon it started raining and the human avalanche poured into the underground, creating a moment of panicky crowding.
So now I am home again.

This was last year:

Nothing going on but "At Home"

Always working at home, the sun is shining outside, I have to screw myself to the chair to keep me from running away, getting on the bike, on the train, just seeing something fresh. I am a little bored.
So, at least I can fantasize about my dream house...

Guten Appetit!

Today I made this year's first asparagus soup, from cheap offcuts of the German white asparagus. Peeled the stems, cut them into chunks, added a bit of vegetarian stock cube and simmered until the asparagus was soft. Then I blended the whole thing. Really good cooks, like my Tante Fränzi, would strain it through a sieve, but I quite like the fibres in the soup. At the end, I beat an egg yolk with some cream and stirred it in. Top with chives and eat. I had some white wine with it, to celebrate having made a good soup.

Bon appetit!

I left London now it is leaving me

London parks so soothing, green.
And the bluebell woods so blue.
And the days can be so grey.
I miss England, today.

Mimsy borogroves...

...from around my home

Mellow Sunday, snow in London

Just saw on the news how the Olympic fire from Beijing was welcomed in London - snow and fire extinguishers!
No snow here - yet, but spring is a long time coming this year. Meanwhile, we cook big dinners, go for freezing walks in the country, sing Bavarian songs and listen to Nick Cave. Work/life balance tips into work at present, but the bank balance is also tipping into overdraught, so I am hoping to get the work over with quickly, before the sun comes..
Some evenings when I go to bed, I am already looking forward to breakfast. My favourite breakfast is coffee with frothed milk, "raw" bread (as opposed to toast, which my English breakfast partner prefers) with walnuts or other nuts or at least lots of seeds and butter (margarine does not hit the spot, and it's natural).
I love jam and marmalade, which quite often now I make myself. I get all this fruit from my mother's old friends who can't pick plums and apples and cherries any more and are grateful if someone saves them from rotting on the tree. I have discovered how dead easy it is to make jam - just boil the fruit up with between 40 and 50% sugar (very yummy apricot jam, for example, or cherry gelée, and my plum jam is fantastic). I have also made elderflower jelly by just soaking the flowers in water for a while and then boiling the flavoured water with sugar.
Anything that is unfussy appeals greatly.
And then, there is cheese, of course, usually Bavarian or …

New Bavarians

Gerstern abend war unsere Jodelgruppe zu einem Hoagarten under dem Thema "Melt" eingeladen, mit internationalen Musikern aus Irland, Russland, Serbien und natürlich Bayern. Die Bayrische Volxsmusi Gruppe "Zwirbeldirn", der Multi-Akkordeonist und Sänger Haglmo mit der diatonischen Ziach, und eine ganze Familie von multi-Instrumentalisten, mit Mutter an der Harfe, Papa an der Gitarre und zwei Buben die so ungefähr alle anderen Instrumente spielten, zum Beispiel eine Art Turbo-Marimba. Wir waren die einzige Singgruppe und kamen sehr gut an, es hat höllischen Spaß gemacht. Meine Angst dass es Dirndlzwang war hat sich als nichtig erwiesen.Es gab die ganze Bandbreite von Dirndl bis t-shirt, ein paar Buben in Lederhosen - aber dagegn kann man ja nichts sagen...
Und die unendlich begabte Maria von den "Zwirbeldirn"
Der wunderbare Siegfried Haglmo an der Ziach Last night my Jodel/singing group was invited to a music event under the "Melt" umbrella, with …

Big Cities

München, Englischer Garten, Monopteros

London, Thames, Gherkin

Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg

I have moved from a very big city to a smaller city. I read in the Guardian, that 35% of Berlin's surface is green spaces, here in München this is probably even more. Every day I enjoy the smallness and the greenness of my city, and the green and blue scope it offers outside its limits. I often feel like I had a lucky escape - not from London, I still love London and found it green and lovely as well as exciting and full of surprises. No - but to be among the privileged who breathe clean air and have rivers and lakes full of clean water.
Okay I could be even luckier and inherit tons of money and never look at market data again..
The Guardian says also, that 63% of New Yorkers belong to ethnic minorities. It's the same absurd logic as calling women a minority. Surely - when a group is more than 50% you can't call it a minority any more?
And more good news from the BBC - they did a survey about …