Sunday, July 05, 2015

Time out

It's 39 degrees out there, but fortunately a good bit cooler in my little flat which only gets direct sunlight for about an hour at the end of the afternoon. Okay, it's not quite cool enough to prevent my ancient laptop from overheating and shutting down unpredictably.

But on this Sunday I can live with that. I heard of the victory of the English girls in the football World Cup as soon as I was online this morning. Only third place in the championship, but they beat Germany! This prompted me to think of devoting the afternoon to televised sport. Hardly ever is there such a choice of premium events. The action on the Centre Court in Wimbledon?  The Grand Prix race at Silverstone? The Tour de France? What fun!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Writer's woes

When I found progress on my latest fiction manuscript blocked, I turned back to my autobiographical musings. The advantage of devoting my efforts to this dubious undertaking is that I have no illusion that it can result in any earnings. Whenever the memoir is finished, it will be made available at no cost to anyone interested. Since I cannot claim to have the reproduction rights to many of the illustrations I have embedded, commercialization is precluded.

With my own original writing, the situation is of course entirely different. Nothing stands in the way of commercialization of my six Kindle titles... nothing apart from the fact that my books remain undiscovered by Amazon customers. For the first half of 2015 my royalties amounted to EUR 13.37. How pathetic.

Nevertheless I am now returning to my latest storytelling project. The reason is simple. I very much enjoy the company of my 'novel-inhabiting people'. They are much more interesting than the old git who occupies the 440 pages of the memoir. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

More good news

Jessi was far from confident about the exams and so today's news is very welcome!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Family stuff

The reunion was everything we could have hoped for. It was indeed a good deal more. Dining at an outside table at the end of a very warm day... enjoying light but delicious dishes, in the best company imaginable... was was in complete contrast to the usual evenings with Kindle and my monotonous crackers-and-cheese regime. Instead of turning out the lights at around 10pm, I found myself on a tram on the way home at eleven and bedtime was close to midnight.

Mickey, who went across to London to provide moral support while Jessi closed up her Bethnal Green flat, had enjoyed discovering the charms of the hipster East End. The highlight of the mother-and-daughter weekend, however, was on the Monday evening which they spent with Nicholas and Fabienne and their children... my grandchildren! I'm told that the reconstruction of their house in Crouch End has resulted in a quite spectacular and utterly enviable home. According to Jessi, Barnaby, Harry and Darcy are nothing short of delightful kids. That young Barnaby is studying Mandarin in school leaves his grandfather almost speechless!

By chance on Monday there was further family-related news. My sister Pippa reported that in her inventive and modest way she has been transforming her own living environment, re-painting walls to accentuate a tasteful minimalist style of furnishing and decoration. And my niece, Emmy (on the left), is on schedule to make of me a great-uncle! All quite overwhelming for Auld Da in Munich!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh happy day!

Reason enough for rejoicing, proper summer temperatures in Munich! But of far greater import for me on this final day of the first semester of 2015 is something else. 

Today Jessica comes home, her time in London at an end. And fortunately I am sufficiently solvent to welcome her back with dinner at an outside table at a lovely nearby Italian restaurant. As I post this entry, my hope is that Jessi and her mother, helping with closing down the London flat, have a tranquil flight back to Germany and not too much difficulty with excess baggage

Friday, June 19, 2015


Six months ago, when the WInter Solstice marked the longest night, I guess I was whistling in the dark, avoiding any expression of overweening optimism that things would get better as the days lengthened. I simply posted a clip of Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles.

On Sunday the Summer Solstice, Litha, the midsummer pagan sabbat, comes round again. Looking back over the half-year I can honestly say it was the worst I had experienced since 2001. There was hardly any paid work, overdue bills were piling up and the tax man was making life very complicated. For most of the time I felt cursed, rather than blessed by a sun shining longer and warmer as the days passed. It was only a month ago that fate finally smiled, if one can imagine the Department of Pensions in Germany having anything other than a bureaucratically grim countenance. They had determined that I had been entitled to pension payments since the beginning of 2010 and paid up accordingly. As a result debts have been fully discharged and I can look forward to living without welfare support for a few coming months.

Yes, the days will now be getting shorter again. But I think I can live with that!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Local colour

At no less than 111 locations in our Munich-Schwabing neighbourhood, tomorrow will see the annual proliferation of improvised 'flea market' installations of the pavements and in the internal courtyards of residential buildings. The weather is predicted to be fine, and the event will have 'block party' atmosphere. The Hofflohmärkte are not only an encouraging example of re-cycling (as people clear out their attics and find stuff which others might need even if they themselves do not) but also as a hint that a 'sharing society' is a realistic goal.