Thursday, June 06, 2019


Whereas my old flat was situated in a part of Munich which has always been favoured by those of a Bourgeois/Bohème disposition, my domicile is nowadays is in a neighbourhood which I could never have imagined calling home. It is a mere hop, skip and a jump distant from the  Residenz in central Munich the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria.

The chapel is quite splendid but fortunately, there is no pressure to espouse the Catholic faith and inmates are free to furnish and accessorise their allotted space as they see fit. In my case, it means that my Gabriele Mucchi lounge chair has followed me to my little room beneath the eves.

From the top floor window, I have a splendid view of the skyscape beyond the horizon. And I have discovered a fascination for the condensation trails etched in the deep blue of the Bavarian heaven by high-flying aircraft.

It seems that 30 to 40 thousand feet above Munich two airway tracks, one predominantly for eastbound traffic, the other for planes heading west, cross. From my earth-bound vantage point, this can cause very rarely the drawing of a perfect St Andrew's Cross, or for Scots a Saltire, in the sky. The fact that this is a benediction of extremely limited duration makes this a phenomenon which is somehow Scottish indeed.

There is also an ephemeral and evanescent aspect to this celestial display. Only certain combinations of high-altitude and low temperature mean that the contrails will be visible in all their transient glory. (I think I have understood that correctly).

While on the subject of things I can observe from my window, I'd not want to forget the sedate appearance of the Zeppelin NT.  The blimp conducts sightseeing excursions offering a bird's eye view of the city which is doubtless a further improvement on the clever virtuality provided by Google. It so happens that when the Zeppelin approaches the city centre, the change of heading takes place directly above the Vincentinum. Very impressive! 

Friday, May 31, 2019



Let's see now... a while back it was deemed fitting and proper that my presence for seventy-nine years on this distraught wee planet was worthy of celebration in some form or another. That I am for the foreseeable future institutionalised is not to be seen as a problem.

As I review all the photos I'd probably have posted on a day-by-day basis, there are a good few I'd like to share before they are too old to be in any way relevant.

Mickey discovered that the Vincentium has a sort of conservatory that can be reserved for private events. 
For my birthday there were the usual tulips, the Glenkinchie Single Malt and the home-made chocolate flan. All in all, it wasn't that far from the way the occasion would have been observed if I still had my apartment in Schwabing-West.                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


I have now been moved to a single occupancy room on the top floor just under the clock tower. This, of course, suits Auld Da, the misanthrope, very well. However, it must be noted that I also have the distinction of being the only resident under quarantine, having previously been billeted with an old gentleman who, it was determined, carried a seriously infectious intestinal disease. Pictured is Julia, my favourite caregiver, without her face mask.
Visitors, as well as carers, must wear protective garb, which I find quite comical.

'Clostridium Difficile' is the name of my affliction, not that I shall be googling in search of further information

Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Adieu, Karl!

For some reason I prefer the photos of a younger Karl Lagerfeld, from a time when he was still wondering what he could get away with.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


Last weekend the view from the common room at the Vincentinum was very pretty, although I was pleased not to have to deal with the chill wind.

Barely a week later Jessi reports 16 degrees from Berlin. Here in Munich demonstrators hoping to get their message across to the likes of and 40 other defence and foreign ministers from the EU and NATO will not be freezing this year.

Monday, February 11, 2019


Before I was judged incapable of living on my own, before I became just one of about 300 ancients who populate (as 'inmates', in my opinion, rather than the euphemistically preferable alternative that is 'residents') the Vincentinum the frequency of my blog postings was quite respectable, and I took care with the design, subjecting the layout to the strictures of a 16:9 format for the visual content.

In the senior citizens' residence it was not feasible to duplicate the computer hardware/software configuration that had served me so well in the past. Hence... sloppy layout to be expected in future posts.

Sunday, December 23, 2018


In 1846, Søren Kierkegaard, one of the fathers of existentialism, argued that the pursuit of knowledge was distracting people from finding meaning, writing ‘people in our time, because of so much knowledge, have forgotten what it means to exist’. He argued that when presented with unlimited choices, we face a dizzying anxiety. ‘Standing on a cliff, a sense of disorientation and confusion clouds you. Not only are you afraid of falling, you also fear succumbing to the impulse of throwing yourself off. Nothing is holding you back. Dread, anxiety and anguish rise to the surface’.
I noted this and posted it in late January of what proved to a rather taxing year. Medics agree that I qualify for 'assisted living' support, which implies residence in a nursing home or comparable institution offering round-the-clock care. On this score I got lucky - the Valentinum retains a hint of earlier elegance and I am both delighted and astonished that the Bavarian social security system allows for generosity of this kind.

On the other hand, almost ten years in my very pretty Schwabing-West apartment, where visitors were rare, was probably enough.