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Corinna and the Family

27 Aug

Corinna, my niece, is the daughter of Klaudia and my brother Peter Uwe. She is the one who introduced me to WordPress. And this is how I came up with the blog name Aunty Uta.

Corinna has a son named Carlos Emilio. It was his birthday the other day and I forgot it. I am really becoming very forgetful! Corinna’s partner and the father of Carlos is Walter. Carlos has an older half-brother who lives with his mother but comes regularly for visits. The two brothers get on very well together.

So this is a bit more history. For an outsider all these names and connections may be rather confusing. I too seem to get to that stage now, where it is somewhat difficult to keep up with all the names. This is why it is good for me to write everything down. This way everything may stick a bit better in my memory. Also some of my descendants could in future perhaps be interested in all this, that is, if, what I write down is going to be preserved somehow for posterity!!

Maybe I am going to publish my posts about marriages and divorces and separations and partnerships in my “pages” one day to keep them all together. That way someone who is interested in my family can look it up all at once. I find it interesting to contemplate about different living arrangements that people have. Looking at my extended family there are various examples of different ways of living together. What about single persons? Well, there are not many in my family that I can think of. But there are some. I can also think of one single parent with one child. Most divorced people in my family seem to have ended in some kind of new relationship, either a new marriage or just a partnership.

I think I did not mention one brother of my father who as a widower married a widow. Other widowed relatives stayed on their own after their spouse passed away. And so it goes. All my relatives, who were older than I, seem to have passed away now. I cannot think of any that are still alive. That means I am well and truly the oldest in my family!! :-)

In Peter’s family I can think of several people older than him who are still alive: For instance his two sisters, also cousins Margot and Renate. I had three older cousins on my father’s side: All are dead. However there are a number of younger cousins that are still alive. I really would like to see all of them one more time.

On my mother’s side there were only three cousins all together, all older than I. Come to think of it, one of the cousins, Wolfgang, the son of my mother’s brother, may still be alive. He is eight years my senior. So I am probably not the oldest after all!! :-)

Wolfgang’s twin sister, Renate, died in October 2012. At the time we happened to be in Berlin for a visit. Renate died in Munich. We travelled from Berlin to Munich for Renate’s funeral. Soon after I wrote a blog about this.

She is my Friend

26 Aug

I am referring here to my ex-sister-in-law. I say “ex” since her marriage to one of my brothers ended in divorce. The word ‘divorce’ did come up a lot in my last two blogs already as you may have noticed.

I am happy to state that Klaudia, my ex-sister-in-law, is my friend. Never mind that she is not married to my brother any more. Klaudia is a beautiful, outgoing, fun loving person with a soft heart in a brusque exterior. My brother Peter Uwe always respected her, I think. Not so my mother. It seemed to me, there was a bit of friction between my mother and Klaudia.

When Peter Uwe met ‘the other woman’, he had been married to Klaudia for a number of years and their daughter was already an adult. The other woman was Astrid. Astrid left her husband to be with Peter. Her two well brought up sons were totally accepted by Peter Uwe. Astrid and her ex shared the boys. As far as I can tell, there was no friction. Astrid’s ex seemed to totally accept Astrid’s new relationship. And the boys were quite happy with all the arrangements.

With Klaudia, this was a different matter. Klaudia kept contact with the family. When Peter and I, as well as our daughter Caroline, were visiting in 1994. She often came over to see us. It was all right if Peter Uwe was there, especially when their grown up daughter Corinna was present too. In the beginning my dementia suffering mother was mostly part of our family group too. Klaudia did not like Astrid being around. It so happened that on weekdays Astrid was not always present. Her employment kept her away. But even when Astrid was around, Klaudia would try to make “eine gute Miene zum bösen Spiel”, meaning she tried to hide her resentment.

I want to get to it now how our own children fared. Daughter Monika separated from her husband when the twins were still quite young. A few years later she got a divorce from Ron, her husband. Many years later it turned out that Ron’s second wife did not like it, that Monika, still carried her ex-husband’s name. In the end Monika gave in and thought it was better for her to go back to her maiden name. She did not mind to become a Hannemann again. Daughter Gaby never married. Daughter Caroline has had a partner for a number of years who happens to be divorced with two children. Having never married Caroline still is a Hannemann. And son Martin is another Hannemann. Two of Martin’s children carry also the Hannemann name.

Monika’s twin sons carry the name of their father and Monika’s three girls carry also their father’s name which is Adami. The girls grandmother, Frieda Adami, died last week. We all went to her funeral yesterday. Friedel has had a very tough life. We used to know her well. She was always a very friendly woman. She had three sons. Only two were at the funeral yesterday. Her husband had been severely injured as a passenger in a horrific car accident. He lived for 25 years as an invalid at home with Frieda looking after him. The sons were still kids when the accident happened.

Martin married Elizabeth. They have had a difficult separation for many years. During the time of separation Martin had a lovely daughter with a single woman. Lauren, the daughter, is sixteen now. Martin always stayed friends with Lauren’s mother and cared for Lauren in any way he could.

Monika is a devoted mother and now grandmother. She has no more contact with the girls’ father. Monika, her daughters, as well as Mark and his daughter all live together in Mark’s house. We like Mark very much.

The heading of this post is that Klaudia is my friend. I am very happy to call her my friend. And she is a very good friend of Peter’s too.

By the way, my other brother, Bodo, never married. Once he nearly married a woman who had already two children. I think my mother had objections to him marrying this woman. Bodo ended up with huge problems. Alcohol became his downfall. Both my brothers had been teachers. Peter Uwe is in his seventies now and long retired. He and Astrid own a bit of property north of Berlin renting out four very nice units in a secluded little village. Bodo had to retire quite early, but still gets a good pension. His life as an alcoholic took many bad turns. He is well into his seventies now. Some time ago he had the good fortune to be accepted in a home where he is well looked after. He is not allowed to look after his own money any more and gets only a small amount of pocket money each day which he spends on liquor and cigarettes.

Children of divorced Marriages

25 Aug

If the parents separate amiably the children usually learn to cope with the separation. Some children may on the outside cope all right, even if there is constant struggle between the parents. Children can probably cope all right if they happen to be totally in agreement with the parent they live with.

I do not want to make this too theoretical. So I just start with a bit of my own experience. I fall into the category of the child who is constantly torn between the parents. To my mind this is a pretty bad state to be in. I think I can say that my parents’ relationship was very much a love/hate relationship. The way I see it, it was not the right kind of love that led my parents to each other. Their outlooks and aspirations in life were extremely different. There were separations due to conditions under the Hitler regime and to the disaster of World War Two. After the war they just could not live together any more, that is my mother refused to live with my father. I constantly heard her saying bad things about him. Her hate was unrelenting. She showed not one iota of compassion towards him. My two younger brothers and I lived with my mother. There was no question that we could have lived with my father at the time.

My parents got divorced when I was sixteen on the request of my mother for she wanted to marry someone else. It turned out, the man, who wanted to marry Mum, was not the right man for her. She decided she would rather not marry him. Instead she made an enormous effort to get some secure employment and become independent.

When I was in my twenties, Dad married a second time. This time a widow who luckily was just the right person for him. Sadly they had only a short life together. Dad died of cancer aged 62.

My parents had been in enormously strenuous circumstances after the end of WW II. Till the end of the 1950s they both struggled enormously to make ends meet. Dad died in 1966, Mum died in 1994 aged 83.

Mum had two sisters and a brother. One of the sisters, who never had any children, divorced her first husband and had a very good marriage with her second husband. This was ‘meine’ Tante Ilse. She played a big part in my life. She was a very motherly woman.

Dad was one of six in the family. All his siblings married and had children. None ever got divorced. One of Dad’s nephews lost his wife after she had given birth to a little girl who was then raised by the second wife as though it was her own. The nephew also had a son with the second wife.

Mum’s other sister had only one child. This was my cousin Sigrid. Sigrid was four years my senior. She was a great person: Outgoing, fun loving, very musical. I adored her. She was such good company. She married a dentist. The dentist divorced Sigrid in a very amiable way. I think their two children were grown up already at the time. Walter, the dentist, then married his receptionist and had a child with her. Sigrid remained good friends with Walter and his new wife.

When I met Peter, my future husband, it turned out, his parents were divorced too. Maybe this is another story along with the divorce of one of our daughters.

My Thoughts on Divorce

24 Aug

Helen Mirren played Elizabeth II in the movie THE QUEEN. We watched this movie last night on TV. This movie made me think about the issue of divorce in our society. I contemplated what leads to divorce, and how it effects our lives, for example in my own family but also in families like the British Royal family. Often one can see the signs that lead to divorce, but sometimes a divorce can come more or less totally unexpected.

First I want to say how well I think Helen Mirren portrayed the queen. We already saw several movies with Helen Mirren as British queens.

Wikipedia says apart from Elizabeth II Helen Mirren portrayed these queens:
“The first was a queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in The Madness of King George (1994), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; the second was a queen regnant, Elizabeth I, in the 2005 miniseries Elizabeth I. She also played a policewoman, under cover as the Queen, in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu.”

THE QUEEN is a 2006 British drama film that depicts the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died on 31 August 1997. I remember, how shocked we all were about her death. After her divorce from Prince Charles the media had kept haunting her unceasingly. I ask myself, did the public expect her to live like a nun after her divorce? Probably not. However the interest in Diana’s private life was kept alive by a very intrusive media. She was an extremely good looking, very kind woman. The public just loved her. The excessive media attention led to disaster. In the end not only Britain but the whole world was grieving her death.

I recall an interview with Diana as she opened up about her marriage. She said it was like there were three people in the marriage. She came across as being very honest and heartbroken about it. I think she felt as though she did not have a husband any more. She had fulfilled her duty to give the throne two heirs. Now Prince Charles felt free to follow his muse. Diana was too young and fun loving for him. She played no big part in his life. He probably had married her more or less only because she was young and good looking and likely to give him some children. But it turned out he had no real connection to her. She wanted some affection in her marriage. She did not get it the way she felt she needed it. How very tragic! Divorce followed after a long struggle. The rest is history, as the saying goes.

There were quite a few divorces in my immediate family:
First my favourite aunt was divorced, then my parents were divorced, my husband’s parents were also divorced, my favourite cousin was divorced, also one of my daughters did get a divorce (in her twenties!), one of my brothers got a divorce. And so it goes. It seems there were plenty of divorces within my immediate family. Have divorces increased during the past fifty or a hundred years? Probably. Is divorce always a disaster? And who benefits from a divorce?

These are very general questions. I would say more often than not one partner wants a divorce to be able to marry someone else. The partner who is left behind may initially feel quite deserted but in time adjust to the new conditions and possibly be able to find solace in being free again. Sometimes divorce may be due to difficult economic circumstances . . . .

Does a deteriorating love life necessarily lead to divorce? Yes and no. After a man has been married for a number of years, he may wonder what it might be like with somebody else. He may feel that some new exciting love affair would be quite a challenge. What man can resist if an attractive woman indicates to him that she could be willing? The man tumbles into a new relationship. The new woman is hopeful the man is going to leave his wife and marry her. So he needs to get a divorce. Then he can marry the new woman. As simple as this.

In the ‘old’ days some women would refuse to grant the husband a divorce. Then maybe the husband would just live apart from his wife with the other woman. Sooner or later the other woman might find another man who could marry her. Then perhaps the first wife would end up with her husband living at home again. Or not, if she found it impossible to forgive him. Or found someone else herself in the meantime!

If a woman falls in love with a man who is married already, is it morally right if this woman accepts the advances of a married man. They both might feel they are made for each other. It may turn out then that the first woman is left behind. The new woman might be married herself and end up asking for a divorce if she wants to stay with the new man.

So far I have never mentioned children of divorced marriages. If there are any young children involved this can complicate matters quite a lot. I’ll write about my thoughts on this some other time.

Sussex Inlet in August 2014

21 Aug

We spent last weekend at Sussex Inlet as you may have seen from my previous posts. There are some more pictures from that weekend that I still want to publish. We had a barbecue on Friday night as well as Saturday. On Sunday we had to leave for home soon after lunch.

Nighttime at Sussex Inlet

Nighttime at Sussex Inlet

It did get very dark at Sussex Inlet. Our Units were quite some distance away from the barbecue area. I found it a little bit difficult to walk along the dimly lit grass. I was always grateful when someone helped me to find my way.

Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.

Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.

Monika and two of her daughters enjoyed doing the barbecue. There were different salads, as for instance potato salad as well as rocket salad and bread rolls.


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This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.

This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, soon after our arrival, we already did have a barbecue with all the family. On Sunday Matthew and Caroline cooked lunch for us. Sunday was a rainy day. This is why it would not have been such a good idea to carry all the supplies for lunch to the barbecue area. It was decided to have lunch on our verandah. Our family had rented four units. They were all next to each other. From every unit a table was carried to our verandah. And everyone carried their own plate, drinks and cutlery from their unit to the tables on our verandah. We had been sixteen people. But Mark had to leave early. Soon after it turned out that four of the young people could not stay for lunch either. In the end we were ‘only’ eleven people, including two year old Lucas’.






Beautiful Lasagne

Beautiful Lasagne

Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!

Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!

My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

On Saturday Lucas met up with a wombat.

On Saturday Lucas met up with a wallaby.

On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.

On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.



Watching the kangaroos

Watching the kangaroos

With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.

With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.

A friendly visitor

A friendly visitor


Saturday night was card game night in one of the units. Expecting Ebony and Lucas needed a rest and went to bed early. Eight people were playing cards, always four at a time. The rest were just watching.











After the card games we asked everyone over to our unit for some drinks of sparkling wine. We had a few bottles of this and Caroline poured the sparkling wine into these blue wine glasses. We were able to use the glasses from all the different units. I mentioned that I was looking forward to my approaching birthday. I actually sang a song about my approaching birthday which may have impressed a few people!! Ha,ha. Anyhow, I was in a cheerful mood.

Here is the song (the German version);

Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.
Man hat mich lieb
und schenkt mir viel,
zum Essen, Trinken und zum Spiel.
Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.



The following day, Sunday, after lunch all the units had to be cleaned before we could leave. Some people were still cleaning while others were waiting outside. Here I am with the group of people who were waiting.



Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.

Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.



We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.

We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.

More Photos from our Holiday Weekend

20 Aug


This is one of the photos we took on Saturday morning when we walked to the Lone Pine. Our “camp” was of course some distance away. Where we stayed there are modern units now, but we still call it camp. The site belongs to the RAIL TRAM AND BUS UNION. When Peter was a member it was just a railworkers union. Since 1985 we have often been staying at this holiday park. All our family have treasured memories about this place. It is situated in a National Park that belongs to the Capital Territory. After a 13 km dirt track we reach the “camp” which is right at the Sussex Inlet. If you want to reach civilisation you have to go by boat from the inlet to St Georges Basin or drive back along the dirt track until you reach some sealed roads.

We noticed that quite a bit has changed about this place over the years. For instance when we came to the inlet after our walk along Bherwerre Beach we could see a lot of devastation along the site of the inlet. They must have had big storms there. There was no space to walk on left near the water. We were tired after the long walk and me, old great grandma, needed some help to get through there. Nobody thought of taking pictures of this devastation along the water. Here is one picture that Caroline took of Matthew, Peter and me after we had made it through and were close to where our camp units were.


Caroline soon produced some lovely lunch for us with some quiche.


Caroline and Matthew had brought along lots and lots of food and stayed in our unit with us. They did keep us beautifully fed. All in all it was a great holiday for us. Friday night and Saturday night the whole family gathered for barbecues. There was an excellent place provided for this.


This is what Caroline got ready for breakfast on Saturday morning.


The salads are rock salad and pickled cabbage. To this a fried egg was added. We probably had some toast and butter too, as well as a good cup of coffee!


Caroline had brought bags of rock salad along. Delicious!

Caroline had brought bags of rocket salad along. Delicious!

I think I did not take many pictures after our arrival on Friday. But here are a few more pictures from Saturday morning:





This holiday park is right next to ours.

This holiday park is right next to ours.














Bherwerre Beach

19 Aug





It was a good idea to take the shoes off.

It was a good idea to take the shoes off.


Everyone is having a rest.

Everyone is having a rest.



I think the beach picture up to here were taken with Peter’s camera, whereas the following pictures were taken with another camera.



















The Inlet

The Inlet



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