Montag, November 27, 2006

Santa and Crowd!

November 27/06

To straigthen things out for my "across the ocean" friends, we have an abundance of Xmas ghosts (?) milling around. First there is....NIKOLAUS

Celebration in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland

In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot, called Nikolaus-Stiefel, outside the front door on the night of December 5 to December 6. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good. If they were not, they will have charcoal in their boots instead. Sometimes a disguised Nikolaus also visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they "have been good" (sometimes ostensibly checking a book for their record), handing out presents on a per-behaviour basis. This has become more lenient in recent decades.
But for many children, Nikolaus also elicited fear, as he was often accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, who would threaten to beat, or sometimes actually eat the children for misbehaviour. Knecht Rupert furthermore was equipped with goatlegs. In Switzerland, where he is called Schmutzli, he would threaten to put bad children in a sack and take them back to the Black Forest. In other accounts he would throw the sack into the river, drowning the naughty children within. These traditions were implemented more rigidly in Catholic countries such as Austria. In highly Catholic regions, the local priest was informed by the parents about their children's behaviour and would then personally visit the homes in the traditional Christian garment and threaten to beat them with a rod. In parts of Austria, Krampusse, who local tradition says are Nikolaus's helpers (in reality, typically children of poor families), roamed the streets during the festival. They wore masks and dragged chains behind them, even occasionally hurling them towards children in their way. These Krampusläufe (Krampus runs) still exist, although perhaps less violent than in the past. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Mikuláš is often also accompanied by an angel who acts as a counterweight to the ominous Knecht Ruprecht (čert). In Slovenia Saint Nikolaus (Miklavž) is accompanied by an angel and a devil (parkelj) corresponding Austrian Krampuss. In Luxembourg "Kleeschen" is accompanied by the "Houseker" a frightening helper wearing a brown monk's habit. In Croatia Nikolaus (Sveti Nikola) who visits on Saint Nicholas day (Nikolinje) brings gifts to children commending them for their good behaviour over the past year and exhorting them to continue in the same manner in the year to come. If they fail to do so they will receive a visit from Krampus who traditionally leaves a rod, an instrument their parents will use to discipline them.

Pretty frightening, that guy and entournage. Could traumatisize your kid for a lifetime (in fact,younger daughter claims, he did) and then we have a softer version...
THE Christkind ,
which presents itself mainly in catholic ,i.e. southern German areas. Cute little angel with wings, flying around, depositing the gifts on Christmas eve.

And last but not least there is the good old WEIHNACHTSMANN, that's the guy, who most resembles the American Santa, but he does not slide down the chimney and has no sled either,just little helpers,like angels and dwarfs. He also appears on Christmas eve and with some families Christmas day morning. -Often a relative or the man of the house himself acts as the Weihnachtsmann, knocking at the door and handing out the presents.
Problem with that guy is, he is crowding the city beginning early December,and every halfways smart kid from latest the age of 4 starts wondering why there are so many of them. First doubts about his excitance are planted.

Now,hopefully, Landfrau has put some light into the confusion,and remember...
only 27 DAYS TILL X-MAS!!!

Sonntag, November 26, 2006


November 26/06 1:46 p.m.

Must have been an uninteresting week, no entries, seems my life boils down to home chores,the necessity of shopping and long dog walks. Oh,yes, the pine tree is down, ugh, for me "gewöhnungsbedürftig", which means that I have get used to it. No other choice anyway. We keeled over backweards,when we got the invoice from our gardener, there is still a fir-tree left, which everyone keeps predicting,that it will be blown down by the next storm,unprotected as it is now without the pine. Well, this job will have to go to the wind, then insurance will have to pay and we do not fill the pockets of robber-gardener.
- "Had to" get up at 8:00 a.m. this morning, breakfast visitors,brother - in-law (Paris) with wife and sister-in-law, dog and me only had a short run,managed to have everything ready at 10:00 a.m.,diligent little Landfrau! , but now they have left and I am thinking about, what to do with the remaining Sunday,paint for the change again for a bit (bought some new canvas last week) hang around the compi (should not!!),read my very good book, over which I fall asleep in bed every night, or stick my i-pod into my ears and run with the dog,which I think I will end up with, weather is turning nasty again, love nasty weather.

And folks, remember X-MAS IS A'COMING!!! (28 days left!)

Sonntag, November 19, 2006

News about God!

November 19/06 3:37 p.m.
Neues von Gott --> - found at "Die Welt"de Nov.19/06
Laut „P.M“-Magazin liegt die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass es Gott gibt, bei 62 Prozent
(according to P.M. Magazine the possibility,that God excists,lies at 62%)

Kein gar nicht mal so schlechter Wert für Gott. Seine Existenz ist somit bedeutend sicherer, als dass Madonna Britney Spears heiratet, jemand das Web 2.0 kennt oder die große Koalition gut findet. Nur die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Deutsche Winterreifen aufziehen, ist größer. Na, da arbeiten wir noch dran. Ansonsten: Chapeau, Gott.

free translation:

Not such a bad value for God. His excistence is herewith by far more real, as that Madonna marries Britney Spears, someone knows the web 2.0 or thinks approving of the Great Koalition. Only the p0ssibility,that Germans put winter tires on their cars, is bigger. Well, we shall work at that. Otherwise: Chapeau ,God!

Samstag, November 18, 2006


November 18/06 2:54 p.m.

Believe it or not, these 2 oldies have been daring an outing in one of Düsseldorf's very fashionable discos, located in the Media Harbour. - How come? - well ,a promotion event presenting the new MINI (we are registered as Mini-owners, my beloved car!).Only there were so many other Mini-owners milling around, that you only spied people, no disco! Anyway, Landfrau has been able to grab a couple of drinks and some food and managed to push her way through the crowds (had my companion safely parked in a seat),even got a glimpse of the new car - keen! - But we did not outlast the gathering till 2:00 a.m., countryside, peaceful and quiet has been streching out its arms for us. So much for our "nitelife".

And above two pics of the "without people" disco.

Donnerstag, November 16, 2006

Spring in November

November 16/06 5:02 p.m.

Everyone is talking about the weather today, so I must join in! A very comfortable 19°C has been measured around here. There have been even warmer places in Germany. Doggie and Landfrau enjoy long walks, we are really picking up! -
The garden is a mess, next week we are going to have our big pine tree taken down, the needles are getting ahead of me, can't cope anymore, there is more to live,than keeping the garden clean! But I know,I shall miss it, so will the squirrels.Well, bygones are bygones, such is life.

Montag, November 13, 2006

Buffalo Roundup - Düsseldorf Style

November 13/06

Buffalo roundup ?? - Now really, thats what kind of reminded me of, in regard to crowds,gathering to watch an event.
Airbus A 380 test landed at Düsseldorf Airport, arriving from Toulouse at 11.00 a.m. yesterday morning. 100.000 people milling around at the airport, all the roads and highways in the vicinity plugged, and thousends of smarties (like us) watching from the dike. We had privileged seats, so to say, as we live right across the airport. So we watched the landing live on the computer screen and the take off at 3:00 p.m. outside. Apparently Landfrau seems to need an addional goodie lately at events, this time the dog lost me (not me the dog!). Took him along and he did not take notice - had to sniff around - that I went right to the banks of the river,where no trees obstructed the view,anyways, he just started running like the devil, to catch up on me, no yelling or whisteling could stop him, he was gone. Did not worry too much, since he knows his way around, and I certainly did not want to miss the plane on account of dog hunting. But when I arrived at home, no dog, and no man of the house including bike. - So,just to be on the safe side, I took my bike to go (drive) looking, no dog, no man of the house. -
To make a long story short, when I arrived home after an hours search ,there they were, both of them. Turned out, the dog found his master, but was not quite able to transfer, that he had lost me. A time consuming thing, fortunately with a happy ending. - The A 380 must have been back in Toulouse at that time.

Samstag, November 11, 2006

|Art by Simon Christen|

Art by Simon Christen - Cute birds!

Touch it,it's a link!

November Blues

November 11/06 2:20 p.m.

Now we have it, real nice rainy (contradiction?), hazy, grey,our November weather. Thinking about fitting things to do, to get me out of this November blues, where I only keep thinking of losses, regrets and hurt feelings. Walking the dog this morning did not help - and I forgot to take my i-pod along - stupid.
So now, I will
heat up my sauna
switch on my sunbench
and mix myself a bucket full of margarithas (eh, little joke)

and then it will be Carribian - feeling in my basement.
Oh,yeah, music of course, but have not made my choice yet, definitely not Bach!

Freitag, November 10, 2006

About 6 more weeks left....

November 10/06 7:20 p.m.

Nature this year is not so eager to show signs of upcoming winter. My friends, the wild geese, are still populating their favourite river bay and the only "real" turning of leaves is the one in our backyard-garden. Doggie is still sniffing his little nose off after bitches in heat, but alas, listen all of you with a sweet tooth, X-mas -sweets are to be had in abundance,and Landfrau buys them all the time and there must be someone eating them! Probably Santa,to fatten himself up for his chores.
Slowly but surely X-mas panic is setting in , Santas helper has no idea whatsoever in regard to presents to buy , food to cook and so on. Isn't there that cute little song "I hate Christmas?"

Donnerstag, November 09, 2006

Mittwoch, November 08, 2006

Down with Baby-Bush!

The Republicans' defeat in the House of Representatives is a disaster for George W. Bush. His political heirs now must distance themselves from him as he spends the next two years trying to define his legacy.

I firmly believe that history will portray Bush as not only the worst and most dangerous president of the United States but one of the most dangerous opponents of peace in the world.

So, get going ..HILLARY!!!

Samstag, November 04, 2006

The Goose IS cooked!

November 04/06 8:02 p.m.
.....and it will be "slaughtered" tomorrow nite! - With dumplings, chestnuts (glazed) red cabagge and homemade applesauce. -
Does Landfrau deserve a medal?

Freitag, November 03, 2006

The Goose is(not yet) cooked!

November 03/06 10:08 p.m.

Friends,friends, are you ever lucky, no politics yet!
No, I'm going to talk about my upcoming slavery of frying (not a stork,but) a goose. To me it seems almost as big. Have to pick it up tomorrow morning at our farmer, have seen the herd walking about all summer long and fortunately do not know, which one was supposed to be ours. Its our traditional family dinner for Martinstag,The day is celebrated in the evening of November 11 in Flanders, parts of the Netherlands and the Catholic areas of Germany . Children go by the doors with paper lanterns and candles, and sing songs about St. Martin and about their lantern in return for a treat, very similar to the American tradition of Halloween.Only they are not dressed in costumes ,but they sing nasty songs,when they dont get anything,you see, a united world. Often, a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession.
In recent years, the lantern processions have become widespread even in Protestant areas of Germany , despite the fact that most Protestant churches do not recognize saints as a distinct class of believers from the laity.
The food traditionally eaten on the day is goose. According to legend, Martin was reluctant to become bishop, which is why he hid in a stable filled with geese. The noise made by the geese betrayed his location to the people who were looking for him.
Late punishment,now they are eaten! In our little village almost all the houses are decorated with lanterns and St.Martin rides in front of all the kids and the music,singing songs about St.Martin and afterwards coming to the homes for treats.

So, our "feast" will be Sunday nite, the correct date of Martin's Day is November 11th,only it is always a problem with the marching music, it is so much in demand,since every little part of town has its own St.Martin's parade, the biggest one of course beeing in Düsseldorf, but I would not say it was the nicest one, too big.
Last year I had that big lump on my head, my horse had knocked me against the wall of his box, this year its lumpless cooking, which at least is something,no?

Mittwoch, November 01, 2006

My first Love!

November 01/06 7:20 p.m.

Landfrau does not have so many amusing things to talk about now-a-days, so let's venture again into the past a bit. My first love ( actually not the "very first one", him I lost at the age of 5, when fate separeted us, he moved away) I really have been smitten with. He has been definitely a little womanizer,dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin ,well, kind of grown up lost "kiddie"(see above!) love, and I had been so proud, he choose me as "his girl", it lasted for about 3 dates, then he showed me the cold shoulder, up to now I do not know why, probably the next cutie to be conquered. I really sobbed my little eyes out and what made it even harder,my mother showed no sympathy whatsoever,laughing and telling everyone about my desaster. -
Now my brother has been meeting the guy occasionally and he still is inquiring about me and if I still had that beautiful "golden" hair, my brother says, I do, I think touches of grey are definetely showing. Told my brother, he should tell him - that he broke my heart! -
Still, a soft touch for "dark boys" has been left over from that time of beeing sweet fifteen! (hope, man of my life will forgive me,hihihi).

And,next post friends, it will be politics again, I warn you!!!