Friday, April 22, 2016


It's more than just a piece of furniture, more than merely an item occupying space in my tiny Munich flat. And I've never actually regarded the blue armchair as my own property.

It only served its intended purpose for a short year more than a decade ago. When I lived and worked in Augsburg one of the joys was that young Jessi could make the half-hour train trip from Munich for weekend visits. Obviously there had to be somewhere for Jessi to snuggle while we watched Gilmore Girls and Dawson's Creek and our other favourite shows. Since I was anxious to avoid enriching Ikea one more time, I made my purchase in one of Augsburg's premium furniture stores and for a while Auld Da and his daughter were very content.

Then when I spent my seven years in the Sandlands the chair languished unused in storage. On my return in 2010 it again saw the light of day, but in a flat which, while adequate for a lone curmudgeonly pensioner, rarely hosts any visitor. The chair has mainly been used as a repository for discarded garments. 

Then at the end of last year Jessi settled in Berlin-Neukölln. And last weekend when she was briefly with us in Munich there was talk of moving the chair. Her loyal friend Tino waould be coming through town on is way back to Berlin with a van bif enough to carry it. And so it came to pass, Tino's muscle and that of Mickey adequate for the task, although in the lift it was a very tight fit, as the photo indicates!

And now?

I never imagined the blue armchair being so far away.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy Birthday

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring break

It was not only the family dog who was delighted that Jessi could break away from her duties in Berlin to make a flying thirty-six hour visit to us in Munich. It was enough time to catch up on news.

Mine was of the outcome of a medical examination, something I had not undergone since the cursory check when I'd applied for residency in the Sandlands.

The doctor was laconic... if my permbulations were tiresome, walks not longer than half a kilometre and interrupted with pauses to catch my breath, there eas little chance of improvement in what I shall now caall my 'Mphys shuffle'. The medic's somment, delivered in English...

"It's your age and your smoking... live with it!"

I fully intend to do so, buoyed by the fact that the blood tests, the electrocardio and the x-rays gave no gtounds for concern. All of this confirms that nothing stands in the way of an eye operation in early may. And that means, I trust, that afterwards I'll no longer have to enlarge the type of my manusscipts to 24 pt in order to continue my work-in-progress. How very welcome that would be.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Reading matters

Recently I've been buying books in the Kindle 'bargain basement' so I should probably not have expected more than formulaic police procedurals, including a couple of flawed efforts at Scottish noir.

But investing a few pennies more gave me access to some truly admirable storytelling. Susie Steiner's Missing Presumed was a delightful discovery as was Mainlander by Will Smith. 

Following these up with the latest adveventure of Dr Geneviève Lenard and her Strasbourg posse allows me to be an uncomplaing reader for the next little while. 

By coincidence, the day after I fiunished Susie Steiner's novel I heard her on one of the BBC Radio 4 book programmes speaking candidly of impairment to her eyesight. She admitted to being grateful that the Kindle Reader allows for the display of greatly enlarged text when reading. When writing she ups the point-size on her screen in order to have comfortable legibility. How I empathize! I shall soon undergo minor surgery which will I hope remedy a cataract problem which has become troublesome. 

Not that this will make me as good a writer as Ms Steiner but, hey, there are no medical miracles on offer in that respect.

Text composed in a 24pt window!  

Monday, April 04, 2016

When 11 million pages of leaked truths come to light, pity the poor novelist trying to craft about 450 pages telling a story of contemporary intrigue!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Lost for words... and not

The New York City Children’s Choir and the Carnegie Hall audience closing yesterday's tribute concert.

The Guardian notes...
"The final voices were those of the audience, instructed to sing Space Oddity on cue, to an absent hero. Though the lyrics were printed in the program, barely anyone had to glance down for guidance."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring cleaning

The first quarter of 2016 today comes to an end after a winter which was not as harsh as I'd feared. The prospect of finer weather ahead has clearly motivated the owner of All In One to give the outside tables a smart and welcoming setting. 

In previous iterantions this corner café was something of a dump, it's only merit for me being its proximity to the Netto discount supermarket, a place where I could catch my breath and drink an espresso and a very moderately priced beer.

Now not only do the Döner and Felafel and the fresh salads (the latter even meeting with the approval of the notoriously picky Mickey) on offer look very tasty, but our 'village square' has gained a new and attractive hospitality feature. All we now need is leaves on the trees.