Sunday, 30 November 2008

Easy pieces


Die Bilder sind von der Fraueninsel, gestern.

Poem by Robert Frost (I like the many I's in it)

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.






Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

The melting blog


As soon as I open a newspaper there is this onslaught of bad stuff - corrupt politicians, greedy money lenders, murderers, small children getting tortured to death, and to top it all - Madonna and Guy - Paris Hilton ..I mean, really, I am not saying I am the only good person on earth but you start looking around and thinking - what does this man get up to at home, is this child being maltreated, is there anyone you can trust any more? Is Andrea Ypsilanti a bad person, has Obama got a chance in hell to change anything? Can I bear to see any more bankers gracefully accepting a "downsized" salary of only EUR 600,000? and then a picture of a grinning child scavenging in a rubbish dump in Peru? Do I want to think about the Russian or the Sicilian Mafia, ever again? I decided to stick my head in the sand. And from now on I will try to make the world a better place by writing only uplifting stuff about what books and food and parties. In English and in German, because I have, after all, become half German again.

Jeden Tag, wenn ich die Zeitung aufschlage, schwappt mir eine solche Welle von Üblem entgegen - korrupte Politiker, gierige Banker, Leute bringen sich gegenseitig um, Kinder werden zu Tode gequält, und dann noch zu allem Überfluss – Madonna und Guy, Paris Hilton.. Ich meine, echt, ich bin auch nicht perfekt aber man fängt an alle Leute anzusehen und zu denken „was macht der zu Hause?“ und „ob dieses Kind wohl geschlagen wird, oder schlimmer...“ – gibt es überhaupt noch „normal“?
Ist Andrea Ypsilanti so übel wie die Zeitungen sie darstellen (natürlich nicht, es gibt wahrlich schlimmeres als politisch zu taktieren). Hat Obama überhaupt irgendeine Chance irgendwas zu ändern? Tu ich mir das an, über Banker zu lesen, die sich herablassen, „nur“ noch 600,000 euro im Jahr zu verdienen, währen in Peru auf den Müllhalden ein Kind was zu essen sucht und von Russland bis Sizilien die Mafia tobt?
Ich setze ab jetzt auf die Strategie „Kopf in den Sand“ und schreibe einfach nur noch über tolle Bücher, leckeres Essen und blaue Berge. Auf Englisch und auf deutsch, weil ich ja schließlich wieder halb deutsch bin.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

How about reading?

I read this letter to my newspaper today about the whole hype: "Save the automobile industry! save 1,000s of jobs" etc. and this guy says "why don't we just drive the cars we have, we all work less, okay, we have less money, but we have more time to read."
It's hard to say things like that, but they need saying, too.

Once upon a time.....
click on the picture if you want to read it!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Abwarten und Tee trinken

This is one of the German sayings I like very much: wait and drink tea -what could be better? Coffee, maybe. Actually, it's a bit English, since tea is the panacea for everything in England.
Unforgettable: when our house in London burned down in 1979, we were standing outside watching, incredulous. Our neighbours were outside with tray full of mugs of tea (lots of sugar in there, dear!) before the fire brigade.
November - time for a cup of tea.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

the little things in life


Today, I read a book by Christa Moog about Katherine Mansfield that I admired, "Aus tausend grünen Spiegeln". I was jealous of the way she was able to intertwine her life as a woman who left her country with that of her subject, who left New Zealand to live in London and Paris and the South of France, like a rolling stone. She just describes where she is, where she "meets" KM, how she sees the things that KM saw, she quotes passages from her stories and then just puts her own story beside them. Is it possible to learn to write like this? It is a sort of fictional but also chronicle style, full of sensuous images of bursting plums and the feel of Paris streets, of the busy kitchen of a London biographer (this must be Claire Tomalin who also wrote a biography of KM), and of the warm sun on rusty farm machinery in Thuringen...It was kind of hard to read but also like watching a film, one of those films that was spawned by "the French Lieutenant's Woman" where the past becomes the present and the present re-lives the past. Just to take so much time over one author, one story, one thing. Engrossing, diverting, inspiring, escapist...annoying!
Here is the beginning of a story.