21 October 2015 @ 02:12 pm
Good things  
There are also good things in my life wedged between the insane work hours I've given myself.

1. I am an aunt! Little CZ was on the evening of October 8th and she looks like a little monkey with her very flexible arms and legs. I'd forgotten how utterly small newborns are! My sister in law (the Mum), Crocky and SIL 2 are enthralled.

2. In honour of the new family member I'm knitting a variation of the Dreamcatcher Blanket. I've chosen different colours and I'm also doing different patterns than the ones suggested. Since I've been trying to use up rests of my yarn stash I've had a difficult time trying to get the squares the same size. I will have to see if I can get them to their target size (six by six inches) through blocking later.

26 December 2013 @ 01:26 pm
2013 in first sentences of the month  
I'm in Hamburg with my family with some time to myself, so I'm doing the end of year meme, as every year. Here are the first sentences of all first posts of the month (excluding the book meme and wordless posts).

January: Over here, the weather has gotten really cold again, much to the delight of several of my colleagues who suffer from migraines alleviated by the chilly air and much to my dismay, because our car doors keep freezing shut so thoroughly that I can't defrost them enough to get to work on time.

February: Periodically, I browse the internet in search for werewolf books and most of what I find reads like a PSA for why it's a great idea to stay with an abusive partner ("Not his fault that he turns into a werewolf, it's the curse! He's not himself! It's just his violent nature that wants out!") or porn (really lulzy porn).

March: Crocky and I are going to Prague! [We ended up going to Paris.]

April: Spring hasn't quite gotten into the swing of things around here, but Crocky's tissue consumption certainly does mark the transition in seasons.

May: Creepy-crawly of the day: the common wasp, vespula vulgaris.

June: In less than two hours I'm going to be thirty.

July: Tal-y-llyn, where the sleepers lie in Susan Cooper's The Grey King. (Fire on the mountain, shall find the harp of gold; Played to wake the sleepers, Oldest of the old;), This book series may or may not have significantly spurred my love for all things Welsh.

August: I have this unfortunate tendency to pick things that I really don't want to do because I am scared of them and then do them.

September: The weather outside has started matching the feeling I've had in my knees for weeks: it's autumn.

October: Crocky and I went to Amsterdam on Tuesday and came back on Friday.

November: It was Crocky's sister Teddy's birthday party yesterday, or rather, one of them- this was the "queer adult edition".

December: I hope you get to spend some time with your loved ones and will have some time for yourselves, too, to wind down.

Hope you are all doing well, I'll catch up once I'm back home.
Current Location: Germany, Hamburg
Current Mood: okay
03 November 2013 @ 10:09 am
It was Crocky's sister Teddy's birthday party yesterday, or rather, one of them- this was the "queer adult edition". I was reacquainted (do people still use this word?) with Crocky's and Teddy's older bisexual foster sister and Crocky's bisexual godmother. I've often marvelled at the fact that my MIL, who died in 1991, had so many queer friends and foster children, and then wound up having a bisexual daughter, too.

Teddy, my former Russian learning partner, is still at it because she's planning to spend a few months in that country on her world tour. I'm slightly jealous because I could never do the same. I'm worried for Teddy, too. Still, I hope she's going to have a great time touring the globe and will return home safely. She cooked a tasty dish from her Russian cuisine cook book for us.

We spent the time eating, laughing, and trying to fold Fröbel stars. which their foster sister brought. The English Wikipedia has this to say:

"Froebel stars are very common in Germany, although few people know how to make them."

To which I can testify- IRL I don't know many people who can do Fröbel stars. I know that my grandparents could make them and my mother can, too, but I am convinced that in my generation I think that only the incredibly crafty like [ profile] angie_21_237 can do it- and the latter is the head of a kindergarten, so it's probably basically her job to know these things.
I have the shrewd suspicion that you talented flisties are probably experts at paper crafts happily fröbeling away, too.

We did end up with things resembling the stars, though and were quite proud of ourselves.

If you want to have a go yourself or need a refresher on how to make them, here's something that looks a lot like the directions we had:

Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
11 August 2011 @ 02:24 am
Wyk is the town on the North Frisian island Föhr and Crocky and I went there to visit her grandmother for a few days at the beginning of the week. I've been to various of the North Frisian islands on excursions organised by Hamburg nature conservation societies before, but I've only been to Föhr once when I was four, so I don't know this particular island that well. Crocky on the other hand spent half her childhood here because this is where her family on her father's side hail from and where all her family spends time during the year, mostly, of course, during the summer months. 

Since our stay was short, we limited our activities to swimming, mudflat hiking, icecream sampling and spending time with her family. 

Generic beach )
24 December 2010 @ 05:52 pm
Christmas Eve, alone  
Crocky's conducting a church service and I chose to stay home in the warmth, lazy that I am, because her choir is in the middle of nowhere. We'll attend midnight mass and listen to parts of Bach's Christmas oratio together, though. I'm looking forward to that, because we don't get much time together this Christmas, what with work and parental visits.

Current Mood: melancholy
22 December 2010 @ 02:40 pm
Merry Christmas  
Just finished packing for my trip to Hanover today to see Crocky and spend Christmas Eve with her, head to Hamburg on Christmas Day to see my family, then maybe to Hesse to see the in-laws on Boxing Day.

I hope all of you have great holidays and a lovely Christmas!

(Yesterday's lunar eclipse)
Current Mood: busy
03 September 2010 @ 08:35 pm
I enjoy going shopping with my brother  
[ profile] niaseath : "Look at this."
[ profile] mothwing : "Elfen wie Stahl (Elves like steel)? What a title."
[ profile] niaseath : "Sounds as though they'd truly manly heroes.
[ profile] mothwing : "Oh yeah. A duo, fighting crime.
[ profile] niaseath : "Talking exclusively in snappy one-liners."
[ profile] mothwing : "Riding into the sunset."
[ profile] niaseath : "In their low-riders."

Not only did he join The Challenge (Crocky and I are trying to find a book (preferably Fantasy) about a female character without a love plot. No one's won so far), he also picked out the worst Fantasy book in history as a birthday gift for his friend. It's got a fascinating chapter about a hero walking down a hallway. There are a lot of descriptions of this hallway while the hero is walking down the hallway.
07 August 2010 @ 10:26 pm
Smart Dog  

Ever since we read this comic Crocky and I wanted to see how Dax would do on an intelligence test. We both never even knew that there was such a thing as intelligence tests for animals, and I'm still agog. What's the point? o.O I can sort of see it for service dogs, but for pets? Who cares?

Meet Dax, my mother's hunting dog.

He is a Pudelpointer, and we already know that he passed the German character test required to allow him in public without a muzzle or a leash in designated areas with flying colours, so I was not too worried about his performance.

But I was still curious how well he ) would do on the test. )

So he is still the smartest. ♥

My cat probably isn't. Sev. )
Current Mood: tired
08 February 2010 @ 10:29 am
5429 so far.  
Oh, you guys. You deserve celebratory sparkle text:

Thanks to those of you who signed the petition!

Yes, I'm a creepy stalker and spotted some of your names among those who did sign, so a big THANKS for that. On the family front? Well. )
Current Location: Germany, Hanover
Current Mood: cheerful
08 February 2010 @ 01:26 am
I'll shut up about this come the Ides of March  
So, I asked my family to sign this petition I keep harping on about and was told by my father that he doesn't really see the point because only so few people are taking part, so he doesn't see a reason to bother with it. Edit: but he did sign it in the end, yay! Leaves only my brother and my mother who are deterred by ... having to sign up?

That doesn't really sound all that logical to me, especially as a reason to not bother as well if it's something you even moderately care about, but it's true. It is doomed, really - to be seriously considered it needs to gather 50k signatures within a month - it has roughly 5k now, and it needs 45k more until March 3. Plus you need to - gasp- sign up to sign it and people are lazy and don't care whatever the fuck is in our constitution, so both the people who actually would be protected by this law and the majority can't really be bothered.

The third article of our basic law reads as follows:
Article 3: Equality before the law
(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.

(2) Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.

(3) No person shall be favored or disfavored because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavored because of disability.

The changed version looks like this:
Suggested change:
(3) No person shall be favored or disfavored because of sex, sexual identity, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavored because of disability.

According to our government, the term "sexual identity" covers bisexual, lesbian, gay, intersexed, transgendered and transsexual people because all components of the LGBTI acronym are the same to them. For once, this might be a really good thing and generally A Step In The Right Direction, regardless of the weirdness of having all those different things subsumed under the term "sexual identity".

Well, before, back in November, people in our government thought that the other parts of our Basic Law already nicely cover all relevant aspects and voted it down, it's now being brought back to attention by major parties, and there is also this petition. But, well, you need to sign up. D=

People like our more conservative and sillier folks thought back in November that would will mean paedophiles would be protected under the law and there would be a need to change the legislation to include something they refer to as "bisexual marriage", which turns out to be polygamy. No, I'm not making this up, these people really are that dense, and judging from the comment section of the petition, they're not alone.

Now I am not a legal expert, but I am pretty sure that there are ways to define what exactly they mean by "sexual identity". Having to define terms that sound incredibly vague is a bound to be a central feature of a legislation in which the first article of the Basic Law is "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority". What is this "human dignity", exactly? And how can state authority protect it? Maybe I'm being naive here, but I can't help but have faith in our lawmakers to get down a definition that says pretty clearly what they mean by "sexual identity".

As for the petition and this matter in general, it seems that there are three basic possibilities to view this - not to give a damn, to be for it with or without knowledge of the legal implications, or to be against it with or without knowledge of the legal implications. So to my mind, you either don't give a damn and I dislike you, you're on the side of the "bisexual-marriage-is-group-marriage"-people or have a more sane legal reason I'd really like to know about, or your name is on that list already or bloody well should be.

This petition, even if it doesn't lead to momentous changes, at least seems to be pretty good a way of showing on which of the three sides people are in this matter. I signed it because I'm still hoping against all reason that this could go somewhere and because also I want to show my support for this publicly, even if this does turn out to be futile. Sometimes that seems to be all I can do, really.

I'd also be much a happier person if more people I know were not completely failing to give a damn or against it, especially my own family, bloody hell.
Current Music: Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waitng, Wishing
Current Location: Germany, Hanover
Current Mood: annoyed
30 December 2009 @ 06:19 pm
Bridal couple  
As [ profile] angie_21_237 's fiancé pointed out, I got to sign with three names yesterday - Moth Wing in the beginning, Moth Wock under the declaration of me wanting to add my birthname to our family name, and Moth Wing-Wock whenever I sign from  now on.

I still can't believe yesterday's already over - everything happened so quickly. Crocky looked absolutely beautiful in her wedding dress - which she had decided to wear last minute, I felt confident about my looks in my threepiece. Crocky positively glowing next to me, the "ceremony", our yes's, rings, signing my new name, hearing myself be called "Mrs. Wock" for the first time, being pelted with rice. We had a lovely time with my family and friends who are family as far as we are concerned later, too. I wish the reception at our house had lasted much longer, it was so lovely to have so many people I love in one room.

Now I am very tired, very happy, tired, and glad I'm now Mrs Wing-Wock.

We also had the Best Cake Ever, baked by Crocky's sisters, which had little replicas of us in Yummy Dough (although I did not wear shorts or sandals):

Look!! They included a crocodile! And you can see, just under Crocky's dress, that they put a wee Harry Potter-face. The curly red thing in the bottom is a part of the letters of our names. It was a delicious dark chocolate cake covered in white chocolate. Yumm.
Current Mood: tired
30 November 2009 @ 03:06 pm
Changing tastes and ever-fixéd marks  
So, I invited my grandmother to my registration thing the other day. She said that she might find it difficult to visit me in Hanover because she doesn't feel so good and hasn't been feeling that great overall, lately, then rallied and asked what it was that I was inviting her to again. I repeated and explained. She was quiet for a while and then got worried.

"That is something I wanted to talk to you about anyway - do you really think that is such a good idea?
What if your tastes change? What if one starts being interested in younger women at some point? What if it means your education was wasted because you can't get a job, being gay? )

You know one thing I really don't appreciate about my beautiful relationship?

Having to dig through conversations like the one above, looking for the bright side. I am really not the person to be gooey and gushy about my relationship. Maybe we're not going to make it, maybe we won't be together forever, but during that conversation with my grandmother, I was itching to tell her that love is an ever-fixéd mark, damnit, which looks on tempests and is never shaken, that we possess one world, each hath one, and is one, and all that, that there is no doubt that we're going to make it as a couple and that we'll face those problems we do encounter gladly, together, that things will work out and she does not have to be worried.
But I couldn't think of anything that'd be sensible to say, so I just pointed out I disagreed and left hoping she'll just need time.

[ profile] angie_21_237 told me later about a lesbian couple her mother is friends with. I don't know them, but they heard about my misfortune through the grapevine and said to say hello and tell me that they've been together since 1955, and that in their experience, no, tastes don't change.

So, in terms of marks evér-fixed, there is hope after all.
Current Mood: hopeful
24 October 2009 @ 03:55 pm
Dabbling, e-pianos, ships and fairs  
For reasons only known to himself, my father once obtained an electric piano from a customer a couple of years ago. I think he said at the time that [ profile] niaseath might get some use out of it because he can play the guitar and is, after all, The Musical One in the family. Since my brother can't play the piano and the thing has been sitting in Hesse up until last week, that plan was never put into action. Since my father's reorganising his flat he's asked me if we need it and I gladly accepted, and now we have an electric piano!

Crocky can't really use it to practice earnestly because she needs a grand piano for that, but it's good to prepare lessons and play around and for me, because I'm getting lessons, too. I started at the beginning of the week and just now spent a couple of hours with this beginner's version of Scarborough Fair and I Saw Three Ships. It's fun, but my progress on is very slow, as expected. It's a lot more fun to be a complete noob on the piano, though, seeing as the results are never quite as jarring to my ears as the strangled-cat sounds that I'm so good at producing on the trumpet.

So far, I'm not really giving up on the trumpet, but playing the piano is much more fun, so I'm rather pessimistic about the time I'll spend with the instrument in the future, what with the piano looking so inviting and the option to put in earphones and practicing around the clock and everything, which is a definite downside of the trumpet - which I can only practice very quietly and for a very limited amount of time in the afternoons. I wish I could be more optimistic about the likelihood of me losing interest in either or both of the instruments after a while - I'm just not that interested in music, and even though Crocky's enthusiasm is highly infective, I am not sure that I won't be spending my time with other things in future. It's very nice to dabble, though.

The only downside to the piano is that it did not like being left in a car over night and is now its speakers make rather alarming crackling noises occasionally. We had hoped that it'd get better after a while if the piano didn't react well to the moistness in the car and had to dry,  but we're worried. If this keeps persisting we'll have to have someone check it out.
Current Mood: accomplished
13 October 2009 @ 09:48 am
A couple of weeks ago I went on an excursion with a group of hunters from Hamburg to see the wild ponies in Dülmen. We had a really good time, and I was told maybe a hundred times that I, indeed, look like my mother, who organised the tour together with another hunter and had invited me to come along. ♥

The pictures can be found if you click on these links.

Day 1: Merfelder Bruch

Day 2: Environmental centre and carp ponds

Day 3: Dülmen
Current Mood: calm
27 September 2009 @ 03:26 pm
Excursion Day 3: Dülmen  
We took a tour of the city of Dülmen, which, I must say, is not that interesting, seeing as most of the medieval and renaissance buildings were destroyed during the second world war. Around ninety percent of the town was flat after the war, and only two of the older buildings survived.

The city of Dlmen (3) and the lake (4) )
Current Location: Germany, Haltern am See
Current Mood: calm
26 September 2009 @ 03:13 pm
Excursion Day 2: Herbs and Flowers  
On the second day we listened to a talk at the local environmental centre and took a tour of a nature reserve by horse-drawn wagon. A woman that looked and talked like a Biology teacher told us about herbal remedies, dyes, poisons and folklore, in the afternoon, in the nature reserve, a conservationist from a local organisation talked us through local birds living at the Herzog's carp ponds.

Environmental centre and carp ponds (15) )
Current Mood: calm
Current Location: Germany, Dülmen
25 September 2009 @ 02:59 pm
Excursion Day 1: Merfelder Bruch  
We left Hamburg in the early hours of the morning for our excursion to the Merfelder Bruch, home of the last remaining herd of wild ponies in Germany. While other herds did not survive because their feeding grounds became scarce as cultivation increased, the local Herzogs protected a part of the horse's habitat and the herd, which has been living in the area since the thirteenth century.

In contrast to other herds of wild horses these are all female, for there is not enough room to accommodate a herd with both males and females. The colts are caught once a year, some of them are sold and tamed, only two stallions returned and the rest of the colts that are not sold sent to live in a separate area. To prevent inbreeding there have been projects in the past decades to exchange colts with similar herds of wild ponies in Poland.

We heard to rather interesting talks on the horses, the area and projects to support them, and were lucky enough to have the horses really close by, up to five meters from us, feeding and dozing.

Dlmener Wildpferde (15) )
Current Mood: happy
Current Location: Germany, Merfeld
27 December 2008 @ 10:26 pm
Lovely day with my nerdy family  
I had a really lovely day today. My father is kind enough to repair my computer. Its cooler had fried the motherboard and the CPU, and he's setting my PC up with a new motherboard and even better video and sound cards we still have from my brother's old PC. I really appreciate that he is willing to take so much time to set me up with a PC that I'll only  be using when I'm staying with my family. My family will be using it as a data storage PC, too, so it's not for my benefit only, but I'm still extremely grateful that he's willing to do that. My brother and I tried to help, but we couldn't really, so we went and watched this movie:

In the afternoon, my mother and I looked at the algae which grow on the walls of our aquarium. There were myriads of snail's eggs in them and weird little worms we couldn't identify and (uncharacteristically for her) didn't bother to find out about. I have had a silly and over-romanticising affection for labs and microscopes ever since I was about three and I still sometimes envy my family for being able to work with microscopes on a regular basis. I'm the only one who doesn't. My father only occasionally uses them, though, and my mother analyses car accidents involving wildlife for insurances, and she has her lab with microscopes at home.

Greenery with eggs (5) )

Later today, after dark, my brother and I scared the neighbours and passers-by by taking pictures in the dark to test my camera's abilities at night and my brother's tripod - that was awesome. There's light frost on all the plants in our garden, some of which had already started blooming because of the warm winter. Still, with or without flash, it's hard to get things focused in the dark, and my live-view function doesn't really work well with little light - so we had to use torches to make sure that our pictures were focused. I guess our neighbours are used to our crazy.

Random plants and our front lawn (5) )
Current Mood: calm
26 December 2008 @ 09:39 pm
Christmas pics  
Playing around with my camera. <3 I love being able to adjust the depth of field myself again. Doesn't sound like much, but I really missed that on my auto-focusing other camera, as it was one of my main reasons why I loved my Minolta XD7 so much.

My brother and I were going to take pictures of an abandoned playing field today to try out our respective Christmas resents - but couldn't find it until after dark and had to go back. Also (and thanks a bunch, flu) my lungs are still partly blocked and I had something that felt like an asthma attack. Huh. If that doesn't change, I'll have to see a doctor about this. Holiday cheer.

Off to prepare supper with my family.

More pics )

Current Mood: calm
07 December 2008 @ 07:14 pm
"Magnificent Music"  
Blurry because we were not allowed to use flash: the orchestra, and Crocky's choir in the background. I think one of the blurry blobs behind what appears to be a six-stringed forefather of the double bass may be Crocky.

I love my girlfriend's choir. Her singing teacher, who is also a member, asked her to join, and as most of the members are either professional singers or singing students at Crocky's university, all members are all really good singers, and together they are a spectacular choir. I heard them last week when they were performing during service, so I should have anticipated how good they are.

Yesterday, Crocky's sister and I saw their concert "Magnificent Music", and even though I knew they were good, they completely blew me away. They did Bach's cantata "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" and the Magnificat in E flat major, in case anyone is interested (I didn't know either of the pieces). To my delight, they even had period instruments (a positive organ! natural trumpets! Baroque oboes! The mysterious six-stringed double bass-ancestor, probably). I loved the Magnificat, the Fecit potentiam and the Sicut locutus est, especially. I wish I could go into more detail here and do these great pieces and the performance credit, but I lack both the knowledge and the vocabulary to do so in English or German,  I should have taken more music lessons when I was still at school. So, I can't really say more than that the pieces were beautiful, and the choir did great.

The location they chose for this concert made our evening, too - a hall in the beautifully overdone Galeriegebäude. We had spectacular seats in the second row thanks to reduced prices for students. It was a perfect evening.

Current Music: (IMH) Magnificat anima mea
Current Location: Hannover
Current Mood: happy
03 November 2008 @ 12:33 pm
Sometimes, my family scares me. In a good way.  
All of my family are photo obsessed, so this probably should not have surprised me, but it's still odd to look at pictures my wee little eighteen-year-old brother [ profile] niaseath made and be amazed how gorgeous some of them are.

Here are some of his holiday snap shots. 

Denmark and Hamburg (15, large) )

I am insanely proud of him. His pictures make me want to take a leaf from his book and explore Hannover at night with tripod and my own SLR camera.
Current Music: Dowland - Time Stands Still
Current Location: Hannover
Current Mood: proud
16 September 2008 @ 01:33 pm
Apparently, I'm pregnant.

Or Crocky is. Or my brother is. Or his secret girlfriend is. Take your pick.

My mother just forwarded an e-mail she had received from a second-degree cousin who was told by her daughter that she was told by another second-degree cousin that my mother is going to be a grandma. Much humorous mind-racking ensued, and that none of us has been in contact with the source of this information just made this all the more mysterious.

Maybe they know things I don't know?
Tags: ,
Current Mood: amused
21 August 2008 @ 03:08 pm
Special snowflakes  
Ever since Crocky's gone and I can't watch the series we usually watch together I need to fill my breaks with other fun things. So, in completely unrelated news, the cinematic game trailer of Wrath of the Lich King is out.

High res version on the main page here.

Even though cinematic game trailers don't really reveal anything about the games I love watching them. Basic nitpicking... )

Also - what is it with main villains? I know that they tend to favour the same designers, but I don't get what makes them all want to glue cutlery to their helmet as soon as they reach the evil arch villain status:

So, even though it's probably not worth the money, I am going to buy that game. Playing with my brother [ profile] niaseath, and actually exploring things together with him instead of him yawning through quests with me and predicting what will happen next, or having him talk me through instances is bound to be fun - even though I always slow him down.

Anyway. Mental processes. Translation.

EDIT: Can someone out there explain to me why the UK English version comes with freaking subtitles, while the US American version does not?! It's the same thing, the only difference being the rating systems and the subtitles. Looks like someone's trying to make a point there.
Current Mood: bored
11 November 2007 @ 11:40 am
My little brother's got a Journal, too, now, called [profile] niaseath.

Current Mood: cheerful
Current Location: On Julian's PC because mine doesn't have internet
18 January 2007 @ 03:45 pm
My brother and every other school student in Hamburg got home from school early because of the storm, which our meteorologists called Kyrill. University students are expendable, so our courses do take place, they're probably hoping for some vacant places for new students after the hurricane . At school, one of the teachers, a teacher with the driest humour, came in and said that he wanted to make a trip to the Sachsenwald today - which is a forest in the South-east of Hamburg. Apparently, he doesn't really like his 8th a lot. A lot of teachers fretted because of changed schedules and threatened art projects and the children happily went home in the rain, whooping as their umbrellas were bent to disproportionate shapes, glad to have some unexpected time off.

Last time there was this kind of storm in Hamburg, back in 2002, our basement was flooded and we spent hours bucketing water out of it. 

One of the tall, tall douglas firs in front of our house came crashing down upon our roof and bent the one standing next to it, and we had to have the auxiliary fire brigade come round to our house to cut down the tree and examine the damage to our roof, which was easily mended, thankfully, but pretty pricy all the same.

*peers at churning skies* 

Current Location: My Room
Current Mood: worried
Current Music: Storm
04 December 2006 @ 09:56 pm
I found Jesus!  
Rejoice with me! Now our Christmas festivities will no longer feel as though there was something missing. My family and I have been looking for him quite a while now, and finally, this year, there will be no strange substitutes any more! He was in a basket on the upstairs corridor all along, buried among old wrapping paper that had piled up in it for a reason.

Don't worry, I am talking about the wooden figurine from our nativity set. I know these things are dangerously kitschy, but they are part of my Christmasses like the tree, like the annual fights, like wobbling cassettes with carols because none of us can sing, like the smell of pine and the fight about who is going to try and untangle the fairy lights this year, who tangled them last year, whose fault everything is, etc.

Edit: Take that, you Christians with your leaflets on campus who assume that everybody around you must be a heathen fiend.
Now, when they go, "Have you found Jesus?" I can always go, "Oh, yeah, he was in the basket in the corridor all along, but thanks for asking!"

The little wooden baby Jesus belongs to my grandmother and has been part of Christmas for longer than I can remember. It was a magical and special treat to be allowed to help her setting it up, and especially to place the holy family in the stable - although I have to admit that I was much more preoccupied with the donkey and the oxen as a child than with, say, Joseph.

After me and my mother had moved to another house with my father (who had been living in Hannover prior to that for job reasons), my mother and I made our own, with ceramic, self-painted figurines. Oh, I can remember painting those sheep! They are easy, and easy enough for a six- or seven-years-old. Our five shepherds had a flock of five apologetic, forlorn sheep in the beginning, but by and by, the flock grew to a couple of dozen. The same happened to the multitude of the heavenly host, which was, at first, actually only one host, and because we did not have anything for him to stand on, he had to stand on the roof of the stable. He's got lots of company, now. I loved painting the angels. Due to my expert taste in colours, most of them do not only have silver wings, but also are wearing bright, pink or green garments.
The one my grandmother has is not colourful, it's made from wood, and my grandfather built the little stable himself. My grandmother always has the three magi advancing a little every day, and only has them reach the manger on Epiphany. I remember checking in on them every day, to see how they were getting on, how far they still had to go until they would reach the stable.

Sometimes I think that the Christmasses at my grandparent's were the only times, with the possible exception of last year, when Christmas actually felt right, and not just like one, big awful family gathering that everyone wants to be over as soon as possible.
In Crocky's fairy-tale family, the house is full of people who love each other so much it actually becomes visible in their eyes, especially at Christmas, people are actually happy it's Christmas, happy to see each other, not faintly worried, and there is always, always music - half-played piano tunes, or carols, violins from rooms upstairs, brass instruments...
In my family, there are always fights at Christmas, fights and wounds and tempers and tantrums and tears, and I am always glad when Christmas is finally, finally over. The atmosphere is always tense and uncomfortable, and everyone draws back a little more into their shell, ready for the attacks the others might want to levy on them, because emotions are running high.

The holy family in their stable is actually quite lucky, I faintly remember thinking once, because the stable does not have any doors, and there are lots of people looking in on them, and people always behave better when there are strangers around.
Current Location: My Room
Current Mood: thoughtful
16 October 2006 @ 03:17 pm
Finally, excitement (and Stine IV)  
Note to brother: composting should not be attempted indoors.
This boy's room is beyond being a complete mess, it's a health hazard. Seriously.

Well, but so is mine at the moment, because there's something wrong with the wall between the bathroom and mine, it's apparently too moist. We've had the problem a few years ago and thought it was the wallpaper rather than the wall. The problem quite apparently persists and now there's icky stinky white mould on my wall. Mould? Mildew? Aspergillus niger and flavus, anyway. Why exactly is everything around me - decomposing? Why my room? Can't the mould appear in the bathroom, where it would be so much easier to clean away - and would not eat my wallpaper, most importantly? Best of all - it's  behind huge shelf full of books, and I do not particularly look forward to having to take everything out, examine the offending fungus, put the shelf back and put everything back in. 

Incidentally, when googling for the right expression for my organic wall decoration, I found this:

Leviticus 14: "If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean. It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place."

Guys? I hope I can count on your help here - please bring a cart.

I really don't understand my grandfather. When advising people on building bathrooms, he always, always told them to put a waterproof foil between the tiles and the wall in a bathroom and so they did, always - everywhere but in his own house. 
Two possible things could be wrong with the wall - either the water is seeping through the seams and tiles only have to be re-grouted, or, worse, the riser's broken. Which would mean that we'd have to have someone open the entire bloody wall. Great. Sorry, Crocky, but we're never going to buy a house. And if we do, we'll do some serious planning beforehand. My parents just had to pay a huge bill for the new windows we needed, now this wall-problem - and no end in sight.

As for Stine - *snorfles* I just received a reply to the - "I can't log in!"-mail I sent on the 8th, which I already wrote them about, telling them that now I can and thanks a lot for their time. The problem was, it tourned out, that they activated the accounts one after another, and some of those were only activated on Friday or later, mine being one of them. Enrolment started on Monday last week. A nice woman told me that now I "should be able to log in and I ought to get back to them if the problem persisted". Yeah, I'll do that. 

Ok. Off to collect the Latin results.
Tags: ,
Current Mood: cynical
Current Location: My Room, soon to be torn down.
Current Music: Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
24 September 2006 @ 12:37 pm
Simple Delights  

Ah, there is nothing like the shininesss and the smell of a cleaned window. 
There is nothing like the freshness of a cleaned bathroom, either. 
There is nothing like the content look on the dogs face you have just walked. 
There is nothing like a folded pile of clothes, neat and orderly.
There is nothing like a couple of hoovered floors. 
There is nothing like a raked garden path. 
There is nothing like bringing in the hay my mother and my brother made themselves for the guinea pigs, helping my dear family out of a tight spot there because they surprisingly both did not find the time and it was going to rain.
There is also nothing like a cleaned kitchen, and if you had to clean it in it's entirety three times during the last two days, the more joyous experience for you to see it gleam. 
I do assume there is also nothing like sorting out the laundry, probably to do with fresh smell of the all the clean garments. 
There is nothing like rolling up an dozen pairs of socks, I daresay.

The garden still looks like a complete wilderness because my family has kindly left it for me to either not care about it at all, like they do, or to work in it  these past three years, so now it is an endless source of those simple joys to me. The kitchen is now my domain and I get to bear the responsibility of keeping it clean, they kindly entrusted me with that. Although, my grandma does the washing up, my brother will sweep the floor when I bug him long enough. As for the rest of the house... Also my domain entirely, I can proudly an.

Thanks, family. 

My emotions brim over at the richess of simple delights with which they do provide me every day and I cannot help but feeling immense gratitude for them showing me the traditional role of a good woman, to me, who has only ever known that of a modern woman who believes in sharing the household duties  - all this helps me to prepare for the role of a good wife, who demurely and obediently scrubs and cleans, takes the blame, keeps things in order, unseen and unremarked upon - except when mistakes are made. Then, they do not hesitate but kindly point them out to me so I can improve my ways in the future. 

Thank you, thank you. 

Und drinnen waltet
Die züchtige Hausfrau,
Die Mutter der Kinder,
Und herrschet weise
Im häuslichen Kreise,
Und lehret die Mädchen
Und wehret den Knaben,
Und reget ohn Ende
Die fleißigen Hände,
Und mehrt den Gewinn
Mit ordnendem Sinn.
Und füllet mit Schätzen die duftenden Laden,
Und dreht um die schnurrende Spindel den Faden,
Und sammelt im reinlich geglätteten Schrein
Die schimmernde Wolle, den schneeigten Lein,
Und füget zum Guten den Glanz und den Schimmer,
Und ruhet nimmer.

Current Music: My cat purring
Current Mood: grateful
Current Location: My Room
29 June 2005 @ 07:38 pm
Fleas and Elephants  
There is a herd of young elephants over my head.
Incessantly, they stomp through our hall, climbing our staircaises and roaming our kitchen in search of food, once in a while a younger male trumpets his discomfort.
They roam the basement and seem to be knocking against every wall on their way up and down our stairs.

And the cause of all the noise?
My brother, organising a LAN party.
And today we were told in pedagogics that due to the new media, many children were no longer taking part in social activities, always sitting around at home, alone, glued to the screen, no longer doing physical excercise.

Anyone who fears that is cordially invited to come round to see my ickle brother and his friends coming together from the entire neighbourhood, carrying computers around - and I am not talking about laptops here-, driving my grandmother out of the living room, stomping up and down the stairs carrying monitors... No worries. They are not sitting at home alone in a darkened room. And they do excercise. Those things are heavy, after all.

They are all together in our living room at the moment, each with his computer, enjoying cable jackstraws. (Julian: "Alright, I need the socket, so I'm gonna pull something out. Hey, what's this? Is this your cable? No? He-ey! Guys! Is this anyone's cable? Hello? Ok, fine..." - Flo: "Noooooo!!! What happened? NOOO!! My monitor just broke down!")

Flo told me that now that I am going to be a teacher he does not want to be seen in public with me any longer. He is so cute. When I got to know him he *was* a Flo, a flea. A small, cute, very precocious eight-year-old. Now he is a fourteen-year old, leering monster and a foot taller than me and any of his classmates. Luv'im.
All of them.
Current Location: The Basement
Current Mood: cheerful
04 January 2005 @ 02:33 am
Back in everyday life,  

... back home after an absolutely great time with... well, with my second family, I guess. I hate farewells, and this time, it was an especially hard one. Not only because I will not see Crocky for ages now, but also because I had to leave her wonderful family. Honestly, those guys seem to have sprung from the pages of an especially sunny fairy tale. Christmas '04 was one of the most wonderful Christmasses I ever had, let alone New Years Eve '04.

In our family, Christmas is always a very stressful affair and everybody is glad when those days are finally over - bracing themselves for the next shock, New Year's Eve. I have always hated that day, because it is always rather depressing, with lots of forced conversation going on and stale leftover cookies from Christmas, my parents at one another's throats and everybody in a very bad mood. Exactly that is the reason why I have not been at home at New Year's Eve for years - and still, it was often sad, anyway, because it is just... The day when yet another year is over. This year it was just... cozy, warm and very pleasant, with a lot of great people around.

It is unbelievable that such a family should exist, and I am very happy that I know them. Each of them is so loveable, talented, intelligent, charming and witty in their very own way - one has to love them. This has not been the first time I visited them, and it will hopefully not be the last, but I noticed that the farewells are getting harder and harder each time. I wish I could see more of them - especially of Crocky, of course. Ah, I guess that's what the internet is for. Damn having to work and the university!

Coming back from the realm of fairy tales into the real world is hard. The uni has kicked in again with reports and papers, my friends are back as well and two of them are in a constant bad mood bordering on depression again, I hope they'll get better as soon as possible, the end of semester being nigh with all it's exams and papers. I wish I could do more for them then just listen to them.
In spite of all the things I ought to be doing I'll try and see the friends I haven't seen for half a year this week, one who is now living in London and another one who is now living in Switzerland who are both here until the end of the week. I am so looking forward to seeing them again!

And then... 3 tiring papers, one exam, a month of work experience in the holidays, fighting for an examiner in Psychology, making another schedule for next semester, signing up for and preparing courses, fearing the outcome of papers, in the summer semester either taking up pedagogics if my month at school has been successful, preparing my year abroad, trying to get at least some financial support from somewhere. It looks really bad so far, because I am not catholic, not in a political party, not in a worker's union, not someone who worked first and studies after that, not receiving supplementary benefit - and therefore not eligible for most kinds of support available for what I want to do. I don't want a student loan and bursaries or grants are not available for years abroad as it seems. Well, even if there were, I don't think I'm good enough.

I hope the new year will be full of happiness for everyone out there!

Tags: ,
Current Music: Bedshaped - Keane
Current Mood: sleepy
17 April 2004 @ 09:37 pm

YES! I have finally found a sport which is promising: fencing!

I had nearly given up, after rather fruitless efforts with volleyball, judo, gymnastics, dancing, ballet, horse riding, occasional jogging, cycling, badminton and more, this is FUN! Alright, perhaps I shouldn't be too enthusiastic after the first lesson, but... ah well. I am exceptionally good at being hit. But on the whole, it's less difficult than I thought so far. Love it.
Well, perhaps except for the people who see it as an opportunity - since the mating season is on... Those really are annoying. Especially if you are being paired with with someone who only has eyes for Vivian (ex-ballet dancer, slender, dark-eyed, etc. etc.- you get the picture) for practicing and look like the slim version of an ancient fertility goddess yourself - hence could as well be not there at all. I nearly hit him over the head with my foam foil-thing.

But on the whole, it's fun. And a family tradition, really. My grandmother has won prizes when she was young, my mother has done it for six years as well and loved it... They were really enthusiastic about me starting. To a quite worrying extent, really. My grandmother even tried to show me some stances. With her artificial hip joint...!

Current Mood: happy
Current Music: Nginesi Ponono - Jazzters and Brothers
12 April 2004 @ 11:26 am

"I think computers have poisoned people."
Quoted from: my grandma.

The woman who can call her friends and talk to them for hours about how lovely the weather has been last summer. The woman who does not like leaving the house since she had the stroke one year ago, even though the doctors consider it to be safe. The woman whose late husband has been rather fond of computers himself and joyfully started making it break down whenever possible. ("Now what is that? Ss...system... ah, whatever. Looks as though it's only taking up unnecessary space. Delete!") The woman who has never been to any other country safe for Austria and Denmark because the war interfered with her student exchange to Essex.

That statement was rather unusual - normally, she and her friends have fun comparing their various ailments ("Alright, you may have some trouble with your heart, but my kidneys are not what they used to be, either!") and discuss the weather and last week's TV program. I wondered why she had been so up against computers today and then I noticed.

My father is here over Easter, so every little computer problem has to be fixed now - and there are rather many computer problems to be fixed with my computer. All those little sudden spasms, for example. Therefore, at lunch, every word uttered was more or less concerned with computers.
I don't really know why that statements worries me somewhat, but I think from her perspective, it must be true. It  probably seems a strange invasion which happened over the last ten years, a virus infection of the technical sort. It has taken decades until nearly every household had a TV set - and only a decade until virtually everyone had a computer, even less until virtually everyone had internet access.

A lot of old people seem to be rather frightened because of this development. Due to granddad's hobby, she is not that easily impressed by modern technology, but a lot of her friends seem to be a bit frightened.

Current Music: A willow warbler in front of my window.
Current Mood: thirsty