Diary

Last week on that ‘Sunny Sunday in Sydney’ we met Angie and Roy. Yesterday they arrived in Cairns and sent us from there a photo of the two of them in front of ULURU. It’s a beautiful photo. Makes me want very much to see ULURU. Peter and I so far never yet made it to the centre of Australia. We should really go there one day.

In Cairns Angie and Roy are going on a Snorkeling Cruise. I admire them for their fitness. They’re retired in their sixties and still fit enough to go snorkeling! Peter wrote them to watch out that they wont be left behind somewhere on the Great Barrier Reef.

After six days with sunshine and no rain we are back now to some more precipitation. It’s still warm enough. Seems to me our climate becomes more and more subtropical. Our bushes and trees around the house grow spectacularly. Peter took the other day some pictures of the vegetation around our house. Doesn’t this look very lush?

On the first picture you can see the ‘jungle’ behind our fence!

Childhood Memories

The boys told me that Tomscik never shared his supper with you children,’ said Dad. It was June 1953. I was on a one week leave from FLEUROP and had used this, my very first vacation, to visit Dad in Düsseldorf.
‘Don’t worry, Dad,’ was my response. ‘We never wanted Herr Burghoff to act as our Dad. I thought it was perfectly all right that he bought ‘Abendbrot’ only for himself and Mum. At the time he was still studying and didn’t have much money. Maybe it would have been different had he already been employed in the Public Service.’
‘And what is this, that he wants to marry Mum?’ asked Dad. – ‘Well, it’s true, he wanted to marry her. You know, that as a Catholic he was not allowed to marry a divorced woman. That’s why they asked the Pope for special permission. It took a while, but they did get it in the end.’
‘Yea, by declaring the marriage invalid and my children bastards,’ screamed Dad.
‘I know, they established that she married under pressure of her mother and sister Ilse. They claim, she didn’t really know what she was getting into when she married you.’
Dad looked extremely upset. ‘That’s absolute nonsense!’ he shouted.
I felt very sorry for Dad. ‘Anyway, Dad, it seems Mum’s not going to marry him after all. Tante Ilse says so.’
‘And why would that be? What could possibly be a reason for not marrying him now?’
‘The reason? According to Tante Ilse there are several reasons. You know Herr Burghoff is now employed here in a town in the Rheinland. That is Mum would have to move away from Berlin, if she wanted to live with him. And you know what Mum’s like: She just does not want to leave Berlin!’ Dad nodded. He knew all about this: Mum had always refused to leave Berlin to live with him.
‘ And Tante Ilse told me something else. She said when Mum went to his new place for a visit, she noticed him praying a lot. At least twice a day he would fall on his knees praying in front of a statue. It was kind of acceptable for Mum to go with him to Sunday Mass in Berlin. But apparently she can’t stand all this praying at home. Tante Ilse thinks it was just too much for her to see him do this. Indeed, it must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back!’

A Sunny Sunday in Sydney

We arrived at 10,30 am at Martin Place station to meet Angie and Roy at 11 am. We walked along Macquarie Street to their hotel and Peter took some pictures along the way. When we arrived at the hotel they offered us refreshments straightaway. And we soon got into talking amiably.

Later on we had Japanese lunch with them at the Opera House. The sky had cleared for the day. In beautiful sunshine we walked up to the Opera House. Peter took some pictures. When my lunch arrived Peter took a picture of that too. I had ordered a vegetarian roll. It looked beautiful with the avocado on top and cut up in small pieces. Somehow I managed to eat all this with chopsticks! I spiced every piece with soy sauce, horseradish and ginger. Delicious! The others had ordered something with fish. They all commented that my dish looked much more colourful.

After lunch we walked through the Botanical Gardens and Peter took some more pictures. By 2 pm we were back in Macquarie Street where Angie and Roy were staying at the InterContinental.They had tickets for a concert for later in the afternoon at the Opera House. So it worked out well that they could have a little rest before going out again. Peter and I wanted to catch our train back home from Martin Place. We had had a lovely day with two people we had never met before. But some of Angie’s family are known to us. They all were emailed some photos of yesterday’s meeting. One of Angie’s sisters, who lives in England, already emailed back saying she and her husband were planning to travel to Melbourne next year to see their two sons there and meet other family members. It’s such a small world! Peter worked out that a lot of the descendents of his paternal grandparents already live in Australia.

Angie and Roy travel today, Monday, to South Australia and to the Barossa Valley. They stay in Australia for two weeks only. During this time they also plan to fly to Alice Springs (to see ULURU), as well as to Cairns and from there back home to America. I think in Sydney they had had only three days.

On the Way to Australia 1959

ON BOARD SS STRAITHAIRD

The SS STRAITHAIRD had come from Southampton via Cuxhaven to go to Port Melbourne, Australia. The voyage took five weeks. The service on board the P & O Liner was excellent. At mealtimes we had a table-steward to look after eight people at our table.
Our steward was Irish and always quick on the move. He assumed, everyone would be eating all three courses for every meal. That meant, he usually had the dessert already waiting on his serving table before everyone had finished their second course.
One day two people refused to have dessert. Our steward looked pleadingly at me and Peter, for he knew us to be good eaters: We always emptied our plates!
“Please, would you like a second dessert? See, I am not supposed to take it back to the kitchen,” he said. My husband and I gladly accepted a second dessert. It was delicious! Since our steward could not help being a bit rash with the ordering, quite a few more second desserts came our way during the following weeks. We did not mind this at all. Actually we were rather glad to help out!

Memories from 1974

The other day I came across some notes I made about some conversations in our
family towards the end of summer of 1974 when Gaby was sixteen, Monika fifteen, Martin close to fourteen, Peter close to thirty-nine and I also thirty-nine.

ONE AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY 1974

Gaby, my daughter, sits close to the open door in her wheelchair. Peter, her father, helps her to sort out her record-club order.

I take notes of the following conversation. I am outside close to the open door and I am stretched out on the lawn under a large umbrella.

Gaby: I should’ve written on that form ‘please hurry’. Gee, I’m glad I’m going to get that record at last. Will you put all this away now, please?

Peter: Wie, das willste auch aufheben? Das ist doch nur Reklame, Menschenskind!
What, you’re going to keep that too? These are only adds, for heaven’s sake!

Gaby: I keep everything from the record-club.

Peter: So, wo kommt das hin? So, where does this go?

Gaby: Right at the back of the folder. It’s nice paper, isn’t it?

Peter: Nee.

Gaby: That’s the second record I’ve ordered. Are they going to send me a receipt?

Peter: No, das ist covered. The balance is going to show it. Kommt das hier rin?

Gaby: No, it goes into the blue folder.

Son Martin comes up the ramp. He carries his school-case., greets me with ‘Hi, Mum’, enters the house. A little later daughter Monika follows, also with school- case and saying ‘Hi, Mum!’ I say ‘Hi, Martin! Hi, Monika!’ As Martin enters the
house, Peter and Gaby are still deep in conversation.

Peter: Martin, was sagt man denn, wenn man hier hereinkommt? — Good-day!
What do you say when you come in here? — Good-day!

Martin: You were talking.

Monika says ‘Hi’ as she enters. And Peter says: ‘Hallo, Monika!’

A bit later Peter and Martin talk with Gaby about her school-certificate.

Martin: That bit of scrap-paper, is that all you’ve got?

Peter: Mehr braucht se doch nicht. Das ist das certificate.
She doesn’t need anything else. This is the certificate.

Martin: Actually you shouldn’t have passed since you didn’t work right through
the year.

Peter: Hat se gut gearbeitet, hat se auch bestanden.
Oh, she worked well, that’s how she passed.

Martin: But she didn’t arbeite gut. She didn’t work well.

Peter: Nun lass man gut sein. Sie hat schon gut gearbeitet.
Now leave her alone. She did work quite well.

A bit later

Monika: Gee, it’s hot! Pat and Donna are coming in a minute. They want a lift over to
Warilla Grove. Who’s going to take us to Warilla Grove? It’s late already, you
know?

(calling from outside)
Uta: Papa’s going to take you!

Monika: Better hurry up!

Gaby: Papa, don’t forget to mail my record-order! The letter-box gets emptied soon!

Peter: Wann musst Du auf der Arbeit sein, Monika?
When do you have to be at work, Monika?

Monika: We have to leave within the next five or ten minutes.

Peter: Ich fahre erst tanken. I go to get some petrol first.

Peter leaves in a hurry.

Pat and Donna come up the ramp. Monika greets them and goes inside with them.

I hear a terrible noise from the neighbours’ backyard: One of their sons goes on his mini-bike round and round in the backyard.

A bit later Wayne comes up the ramp. He carries a beach-towel.

Uta: Hi, Wayne! Do you want to go to the pool with Martin?

Waine: Yeah.

Uta: Best thing you can do in this weather!

Waine: Yeah.

Wayne enters the house. Peter returns from getting petrol. Soon after he leaves with Monika, Pat and Donna in the car. (At Warilla Grove Monika is going to get some training at the Woolworths cash register.)

Martin and Wayne leave for the pool. The mini-bike has stopped making
noise. I enter the house.

Gaby: Heh, Mama, you have to buy some food today, don’t you?

Uta: That’s right.

Gaby: When are you going?

Uta: Later.

Gaby: Better go before five thirty.

Uta: Yes, I’ll do that.

Gaby: How much money have you got?

Uta: I don’t know.

(A bit later.)

Gaby: Mama, can you move my left foot? (I do it.)
Can I go on the Pfanne when Papa gets back?

Uta: Yes, sure.

(She means when Peter gets back, she wants him to lie her on her bed, so that I can put her on her bed-pan.)

Gaby: Can I have a Vitamin C tablet?

I give her one. There’s some more noise from the mini-bike. Peter
returns.

Peter: I just remembered, I forgot to post your letter.

Gaby: God, how could you forget! — Can you post the letter, Mama? You have to go now because the letter-box gets emptied soon.

Peter: Mensch, ist mir warm! My goodness, I feel so hot and sweatty!

Uta: Willst Du nicht zum Pool gehen? Martin ist mit Wayne zum Pool
gegangen. Wouldn’t you like to go to the swimming pool? Martin did go
to the pool with Waine.

Peter: Ich bin schon ewig nicht am Pool gewesen. It’s been ages since I went
to the pool.

Uta: Ein bisschen Schwimmen würde Dir gut tun. A bit of swimming would be
good for you!

Apparently Gaby wants her letter posted before she goes to the toilet.
I get ready to post the letter and do some shopping. The mini-bike makes
an awful lot of noise again.

——–

From Berlin to the Baltic Sea

Berlin is surrounded by the land of Brandenburg. In 2010 we travelled from Berlin through Brandenburg in a northerly direction. Where Brandenburg ends Mecklenburg-Vorpommern starts. The ‘border’ was marked by some signs near the road. We took some pictures of these signs.

Rheinsberg-Kleinzerlang is in Brandenburg. We took a picture of its marina.
With todays pictures is also included a postcard from the Baltic Sea resort Warnemunde as well as a picture from Warnemunde which we took ourselves.

I mentioned in another blog that we stayed in 2010 at my brother’s place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The picture of the lake is my favourite. This lake is just a few steps away from my brother’s property!