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.

Friday, September 28, 2018


It would please me greatly to be able to claim that the photo on the left documents a significant change (for the better) in my status. But no, I'm still a docile inmate of the Vincentinum retirement home and unlikely to be anything else in spite of time's passage.

So why am I 'dressed up' for an outing in this oversized wheelchair? For a visit to a dentist who will make the needed repairs to dentures which just happened to lose a couple of "teeth" during the months I have spent in clinics. After a further visit I hope to by able to speak clearly again, which would do wonders for the old amour propre!

Monday, August 06, 2018


Rewind five years, to 2013, when it seemed like a topping wheeze to be an 'extra' in a television movie directed by an acquaintance. It would be far from onerous, spending the day being pushed around in a wheelchair, looking  feeble.

Of course it was fun, with Jessi togged up as the 'carer' of the obstreperous old man in question.

Now half a decade later I have an appreciation what it means to of be dependent. Medics at various health facilities have spent months trying to decide whether my afflictions are merely those of an ageing gentleman but they appear to have concluded that I should not be living alone by any means.

And so it comes to pass that for the foreseeable future I shall be resident in a retirement home. This sounds more dire than it is; the biggest hassle until now has been the weakness of internet connectivity. Here at the Vincentinum, (established in 1857 as the first institution of it kind in Munich) I may be the only resident of approximately three hundred for whom happiness can be defined as an activated Wlan dongle. I'm immensely grateful to the web-savvy duo of Jessi and Tino for making this possible. 

Monday, April 23, 2018


There is nothing especially rational about it, but when one's offspring show an affinity for the profession exercised by a father there is a real feeling of satisfaction.

So observing as Jessi produces and shoots one video reportage after another, including for her former employer, unu, the manufacturer of electrically powered scooters, makes me a happy Auld Da.

Soon a new client will add a slightly different but very welcome perspective. Readers will be well aware of how very much I valued my years in the Sandlands, and how much I learned from my exposure to the culture of Araby. Soon Jessica will have her very own corner of this culture to portray in video in her work for Tabadul. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


My home-visiting carer is happy about the progress of the treatment of my feet. I look forward to not having to shuffle and to be able to venture beyond the confines of my flat. Okay, this will call for a 'walker', but WTF!