This is where we soon will be going again. Probably we’re going to stay with my brother Peter and his wife Astrid from the 8th November to the 16th November. It might actually be a bit cold already in November. Sometimes they even have snow in November!


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!

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Remembering June 2010

This is getting serious now, namely our departure for Berlin. Just now I looked at all the photos we took in June 2010 while we were over there. There’s very good public transport in Berlin. We traveled by suburban train, bus, underground or tram.

A Berlin underground-train

and this is a Berlin tram

You can also travel by boat. Berlin has many, many water-ways.
On the right is a suburban train, on the left an inter-city train (Regional-Bahn)
Wall-Decoration at an underground train-station
Waiting for the underground, usually between two and three minutes!
Entrance to an underground station
Peter at Brandenburg Gate
Concert Hall at Gendarmen Markt
Peter at Gendarmen-Markt
Uta at Gendarmen-Markt
Still the Gendarmen-Markt
A sign for an a Italian Coffee Shop
Here we had some very good coffee.
Sculptures to remember the children who had to escape Berlin during WW II
Peter on balcony of holiday flat
Humboldt’s Home, may be open for visitors on a Monday

In 2010 we stayed in Berlin for about one month, and for one week we stayed at my brother’s place ca. 100 km north of Berlin. On our next trip we’re going to stay in Berlin for two months and also for one week at my brother’s place which is in a very secluded little hamlet surrounded by wonderful waterways and wooded areas. I hope I’ll be able to walk a lot. Peter is planning on doing some running.

Looking at photos from Berlin from 2010 brings back memories. I wonder how many pictures we’ll be able to shoot on our next trip! In about 15 days there may be some postings from Berlin. So stay tuned for this!

Memories from 1974 (reblogged)

The ramp leads up to our kitchen door. Gaby in her wheelchair at age 16 1/2. From left to right: Her Papa, Brother, Mama and Sister.

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.


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

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


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

(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

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 sweaty!

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.

The Fourteenth Day


I publish here at the top a link to Berlioz. He wrote about ‘the Fourteenth Day’, meaning the day when Peter or I or both of us went on our three hour trip to Merrylands to help our daughter Gaby with her shopping. Occasionally we would travel by car, which cut our traveling time by half.

Gaby moved to Merrylands West in 1989. Before this she had stayed for a number of years in Ferguson Lodge in Lidcombe where we would also visit her quite regularly. When Gaby contracted P0lio in 1961, she was admitted to Wollongong Hospital and soon after to Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, Sydney, where she stayed for six and a half years. In the beginning one of us or the whole family, which included two small children, would visit Gaby in PHH twice a week. When Gaby was ten and a half, we were able to take her home to our two bedroom cottage. To give us a break and for regular check-ups Gaby was admitted to PHH every so often without any cost to us. The Hospital Contribution Fund always paid for every hospital stay. There was also a school attached to the hospital for children who had to stay in hospital long term.

When Gaby had just turned seventeen, a very helpful social worker saw to it that we should get some relief from looking after Gaby. Actually Gaby stayed then in our area for another four and a half years until a place was found for her in Ferguson Lodge.

Looking back now over the years we really have been traveling to Sydney quite a lot in connection with Gaby. In the past we often traveled by car.  But now that we are pensioners we can travel to Sydney and back on the train for $ 2,50. This is not comparable to what it costs to travel this distance by car! It just takes a lot longer to travel from the Illawarra to the Western Suburbs of Sydney by train because all trains go to the center of Sydney before it’s possible to travel out West. By car the route across is half the distance!

Occasionally Gaby had been able to travel by taxi to our place or her sister’s place. Gaby was always keen to stay in touch with family.
Last year Gaby had been at her sister’s for Christmas celebrations and before this for a 50th birthday party bash. This coming week is another birthday party bash at the same place, this time a 21st birthday party. Sadly Gaby won’t make to this one. Had she still been alive she wouldn’t have missed it for anything!


Baby Lucas is here

Lucas, born in the early hours of Wednesday, 18th July 2012.

This is Lucas, one week old
The parents of Lucas on the day of his birth in Wollongong Hospital
Great Grandma Uta with Lucas
Great Grandparents, Uta and Peter with Baby Lucas
Three aunts of Lucas stayed with him for hours in the hospital room.
Ebony, the Mum, likes the attention her baby son is getting
Happy faces all around
Great-Aunt Caroline with the baby
Grandma Monika and the three Aunties had been staying already for about an hour with the proud parents and the Baby when Caroline, Peter and I arrived. They stayed for another hour or so after we left!
A week later we saw Ebony at her home. Caroline holds Lucas with Ebony looking on.
Caroline took this picture

Diary of a Bereavement

Following Gaby’s passing on Sunday, 15th July 2012, there was a viewing on Monday, 23rd July, for family and friends. We were able to take photos at the viewing.

The funeral service took place on Tuesday, 24th July, 12,30 pm, at


The officiating celebrant was Michael Bourke. Michael lives in our area and came to visit us on Saturday, 21st July, to discuss with us the order of service.

Bernie, our funeral director in Sydney, organized the viewing at the funeral parlor. Daughter Caroline and Matthew had made first contacts with Bernie. Caroline took time off work that week, Matthew went back to work and also filled in for Caroline a bit. Son Martin took time off work too. He arrived from Melbourne in a hired car late on Wednesday, 18th July.

Martin drove daughters Caroline and Monika as well as Peter and myself to the funeral directors in Sydney on Thursday, 19th July, to make arrangements for the funeral. (Monika had taken time off work too.) Peter had that same day an appointment with an officer at Merrylands police station. After the consultation with Bernie for all the funeral arrangements we were on our way to Merrylands. The traffic turned out to be extremely slow moving because of an incident. So we were late getting to Merrylands. The police were very understanding. The interview with the police took about two hours. They wanted to know a lot about Gaby’s life.

By the way, on the day of Gaby’s departure Caroline and Matthew had driven us first to Merrylands West to Gaby’s house where we had a chance to talk to all the distressed carers including David. Later in the day Matthew drove us to Glebe. He had arranged that we could view Gaby’s body there at the morgue. The visit was very good for us. It gave us a chance to say properly good-bye to Gaby. A very understanding woman greeted us very respectfully. She made arrangements with Caroline to talk to her on the phone on our behalf whenever we had any questions. Caroline stayed with us at our place and was constantly doing all the necessary phone-calls for us. It was such a relief for us that she could do this. She was great in handling all the calls.

On Sunday, the 15th, when we were at Gaby’s house for an hour or so, we took some of Gaby’s photo albums along and also her computer, her digital camera and her mobile phone. The following day the police asked Peter to bring all these electronic items of Gaby’s to the next police station. At present these items are still in the hands of the police for further checking and investigation.

Early on Wednesday morning, 18th July, Ryan and Ebony had a baby boy. They called him Lucas. Ryan is one of Monika’s twins. So Monika is now a grandma. And Peter and I are great grandparents again! Our son Martin has already two grandchildren. So the family is growing. Caroline drove Peter and me to Wollongong hospital to see the new born baby boy. He was surrounded by his Mum and Dad and a number of aunties. We were all allowed to hold him. The baby was most of the time asleep and didn’t mind at all being passed from one to the other. It was a very joyous experience for all of us.

The shirt on Gaby’s coffin is signed by all the ‘Eels’, the Parramatta Rugby players.
Peter and I with all our children on the day of the viewing

Uta and David

Peter and Uta with some of the carers

Martin at the viewing

Bernie at the funeral directors’ office

Bernie gave us ample time for the viewing. It started at 3 PM and we were allowed to stay there till 6 PM. People could help themselves to cups of tea. There were also some chocolates on offer.

I took a photo of the chocolates because they reminded Monika of some chocolates Gaby used to have when they were children

From 11,30 on people arrived at Rookwood Memorial Gardens on the day of the funeral service. The Pall Bearers were our son Martin, Monika’s partner Mark, Monika’s twins, Troy and Ryan, Carolines’s partner Matthew and Gaby’s friend Steve. Welcome by Michael Bourke, Celebrant: Tributes by Peter, Soloist Elice Craig, and a choir of carers and friends singing Amazing Grace. Next a Photographic tribute with images of Gaby: Her life, her family, her friends.
Prayers: One Hail Mary. Verse: Michael Bourke and Committal.

The South Chapel of Roodwood Gardens Crematorium

Four of the Pall Bearers
Caroline and Michael Bourke
Steve had brought Dave to the service. Dave decided he didn’t want to go inside. He preferred to stay in the car.

After the service the celebrations of Gaby’s life were to continue at Parramatta Leagues Club. We stayed there for a while for drinks and to talk to people. Some nice pizza was available too.

Entrance to Parramatta Leagues Club
Miriam with an ‘Eels’ Shawl. Miriam used to be Gaby’s cook.
Still want to include this picture of Gaby’s coffin inside the South Chapel
Monika looked after ‘Honey’ and took her inside the chapel for the service.
This is when the funeral car arrived at the Crematorium

Caroline, with some input from Matthew, did a tremendous amount of work in assembling the photos for the photographic tribute. She also organized the printing of the cards for the funeral service. Caroline stayed with Peter and me from the 15th of July until the day of the funeral. Martin stayed with us for one whole week too, and for part of the time Matthew stayed also with us. Recently Caroline stayed with us once more for a few days to sort out things and to give us some support. We’ve been driving with Caroline to some beautiful places here in our area. A lot of these places remind us of Gaby, of course. In our home we constantly find things that remind us of Gaby. Gaby had been a very demanding person, but also very loving and caring. She made sure that we’ll never forget her.