This is a pass-port photo of Maria.

This Polish girl was “zwangsverpflichtet” in the year 1941 when she was in her early twenties. During the summer of 1941 we spent our holidays in Zokolniki quite some distance outside of Litzmannstadt (Lodz). Mum wanted to have a maid. I think this is when Maria was sent to us. Mum liked her straight away because she was very efficient and able to do all the housework to Mum’s satisfaction.

In August of 1941 we moved back to Berlin. Mum wanted Maria to come with us. Later on she once told me she didn’t really want to leave Poland but she had to go with us to Germany: She wasn’t given a choice, meaning she was “zwangsverpflichtet”!

Maria was very intelligent. Very quickly she picked up quite a bit of German. And she was always keen to learn more! In 1944 when I received my Poesy Album, I asked Maria to write something in it. This is the verse she chose:

‘Sei deiner Eltern Freude,
Beglücke sie durch Fleiss,
Dann erntest du im Alter
Dafür den schönsten Preis.’

The meaning of this is something like this:

‘Be the joy of your parents,
Make them happy by being diligent,
Then you’ll be greatly rewarded in your old age.’

And she stuck one of her pass-port photos into my album. After nearly seventy years I still happen to have it!

Needlework – Handarbeit

I mentioned recently that as a child I didn’t like ‘girly’ things. And in a post that followed I said that in 1944 I was taught some knitting and mending at school. That year I also liked to do  needlework in the presence of Aunty Ilse. I was nine years old then,  going on ten. Come to think of it this must have been about the only year when I did learn a bit about needlework. Any other year I totally shied away from doing anything like sewing or knitting or embroidering. I just wasn’t interested. It is a fact that never again during all my school years was I required to do such work again.

Mum would always sew a lot of things for us children. When she was at her sewing machine she was not to be interrupted. She wanted to be able to concentrate on her work. She would sit all day at her sewing machine until the garment at hand was finished to her satisfaction.

The winter 1943/44 was rather severe especially in the open countryside. We lived there because of air-raid attacks over Berlin. Mum had sewn us warm winter coats and hats to match. In the following picture you can see what we wore to keep out the cold.

2-06-2009 5;00;32 PM

I and my two year old brother with Eva T and  her father looking on.
I and my two year old brother with Eva T in the middle and her father looking on.

Mum did sew the coat I’m wearing, also my little brother’s outfit. Mum also knitted the hats and gloves.

My Education in 1944

The village school in Lichtenow had only one teacher. That was Herr Grosskreuz. His wife, Frau Grosskreuz, came to the school on Wednesday afternoons to teach the girls needlework. Under her guidance I learned to knit socks with five needles. I also learned how to mend socks. Mending socks was called ‘stopfen’. I was taught, how to fill in a hole with a beautiful woven pattern. I probably could still do this kind of work today, only these days one hardly ever finds any holes in socks: It shows how the quality of socks changed over the years!

Every day, including Saturdays, school finished at lunch-time. The only afternoon session for girls was Wednesdays. I did not mind having to go back to school after lunch on that day. I often arrived early in Lichtenow for the afternoon class, stopping at the teacher’s house on the way, where I was always welcomed. I loved to play with daughters Christa and Gerlinde. Christa was the same age as I and had skipped year three together with me. Gerlinde was two years younger. There was another three year old daughter, who was called ‘Püppi’. Püppi and baby-son Hartmut were very sweet. I enjoyed very much visiting the teachers’ family.

The Grosskreuz-family lived in a modern one family home, which stood on a large block of land away from the village. In the village itself were ancient, small farmhouses with huge sloping straw-roofs. People said, the father of Frau Grosskreuz, who was the mayor in a neighbouring small town, had seen to it that the Grosskreuz family could live in style in a modern home.

Why was Herr Grosskreuz not called up to join the army? It seemed to me that he was probably past forty. And besides, he had a slightly crooked leg. It was good, that we were able to have a man-teacher in Lichtenow, so that he could look after all the boys and girls, aged from six to fourteen, which meant that eight different school-years were given lessons in the one class-room!

Later on when I attended school in Herzfelde, I found out that the whole school was run by women. Presumably all male teachers had been called up to fight in the war, the same as had been the case in my school in Berlin.

Aunty Ilse often invited me to sit with her in her cosy living-room, which had extremely comfortable seats upholstered in an expensive velvety red material. Aunty kept an eye on my attempts at knitting and darning of socks. This is how I received a great deal of practice and encouragement. (When I was still very young, Aunty always praised me for doing little pieces of cross-stitch embroidering for her birthday. I felt very proud then that I could give her something I had made.)

When Aunty Ilse started doing office work for Werner M, she sometimes let me help with checking additions of huge columns of numbers. From then on I always found additions easy to do. Aunty must have thought that I was good at checking additions because she asked me again and again to do it with her. I willingly obliged. I loved to do things together with her for I felt very peaceful in her presence.

Mum and Grandma (Omi) and later on also Uncle Peter pointed out that Ilse was a bit of a scatter brain. Once Uncle Peter remarked, that he did not know, how his wife ever was able to get a driver’s license. To me Aunty Ilse seemed rather calm as compared to my nervous and highly strung mother. Mum’s nervousness constantly upset me, even though I usually tried not to show it. As far as I know, I always tried very hard, not to lose control of myself —

Mum had a large roll of hair across her forehead and two more rolls parallel behind it on top of her head. She made me wear one huge roll of hair right on top of my head, which would constantly slip unto my forehead and annoyed me a great deal. One of the first verses, when I started learning English, was:

‘There was a little girl,

who had a little curl,

right in the middle of her forehead.

When it was good,

she was very, very good.

But when it was bad,

she was horrid.’

I imagined, I was very much like this girl!

On my tenth birthday I was finally allowed to discard the nasty roll. It made me feel really grown- up. Best of all was, that I never again had to wear this terrible roll!

Here I am with Eva T in the Zoo Gardens of Berlin in 1942
Here I am with Eva T in the Zoo Gardens of Berlin in 1942
21st September 1944, my guests on my tenth birthday.
21st September 1944, my guests on my tenth birthday.

I, the birthday girl, at the front, the following three girls are my school-friends from Herzfelde, the next girl is Christa Grosskreuz, then follow Eva T and Gerlinde Grosskreuz, and last but not least my six year old brother Bodo.

Eva had a ‘Poesy-Album’. I thought it was a great idea to get family and friends to write a little verse in such a book and possibly add a photo as well. Mrs T found out that I would very much like to have a ‘Poesy-Album’. She said: ‘I believe I still have a spare album amongst my things in Berlin. I’ll ask my mother to look for it. When she finds it, I’ll give it to you.’

Eventually I was given Mrs T’s album. I regarded it as a very special gift. After sixty-five years it is still in my possession. Looking through it, I find that my father wrote something in it for me on the 16th of April 1944. This shows me that he must have been with us on leave at the time. What he wrote, makes a lot of sense. In his writing he points out that in the long run true luck comes only to the efficient person. Therefore he urges me, to be diligent and ambitious. However I should at all times hang unto my peace of mind!

I look at that page which he seems to have written the way it came into his head. One word is crossed out, another word misses several letters. I wonder, whether he made mistakes because it is a first draft or whether he was upset about something when he wrote it . . . .

I like the passport-photo that he stuck next to his writing. This photo was probably taken before he joined the army, well before he turned forty. Oh, my father was still very healthy and good looking then!


The following I posted once before. So it may sound familiar to you.

Mum doted on me. I was her first born child. I am sure I got a lot of attention during the first years of my life, and not just from Mum, but also from her sister who had no children of her own. Later on I realised that my mother would very much have loved to have a daughter in her image. What a disappointment it must have been for her that I was in a lot of ways the exact opposite of her! I did not like to be a girl. Oh, I wished so much to have been a boy. Girlish things just did not interest me one bit!

On the ninth of June 1938, when I was not quite four yet, I was very excited about the arrival of a baby brother.  A year and two months after the birth of the baby Mum left us children in the care of our live-in home-help. Why did Mum leave? I remember a call from Mum’s sister who was holidaying in Westerland on the Island of Sylt. I imagine Aunty would have said something like this:

‘Please join me, I am so lonely on that island here, I don’t like to have to spend all the time with that pretentious mother-in-law. She watches me like a hawk! Please, please, come, spend some time with me. It would be so good to have you around here! We can have such a lovely time together. And listen, I’m going to pay for your airfare. You can stay in my room with me. Mother-in-law is in the connecting room.’

Mum promised her sister, she’d fly to Westerland the same day. She was quite excited about this. In her excitement she forgot to ring Dad’s office to let him know about her plans. Or did she deliberately not ring him because she sensed that he would have objections to her leaving us children in the care of our home-help! I remember when Dad came home he was furious when he found out that Mum had taken off to join her sister and left us children in the care of our eighteen year old home-help! I believe Mum stayed in Westerland for a whole week. When she returned, she talked excitedly about how she had been spending time with her sister in Westerland.  Come night-time they waited till Auntie’s mother-in-law was fast asleep, pretending they were going to sleep too. However as soon as they thought the old lady was fast asleep, they escaped through their bedroom window and went dancing. I remember seeing pictures of them that were taken on the dance-floor. They had already acquired a nice brown tan from having spent time on the beach. I remember looking at the photos and seeing how very brown their faces looked in sharp contrast to their white dresses. Two young marine officers, smartly dressed in their uniforms, could be seen with them. Later I found out, that one of the officers was Helmut Lorenz who five years later became Aunty’s second husband after her divorce from the first one. And the other officer was no other than Max Tomscick, who after the war became Mum’s friend and whom she would call ‘Bambie’.  If I’m right that this holidaying on the isle of Sylt took place during the first half of August 1939 this would mean that just a few weeks later, on the first of September, Germany was at war and the above mentioned young navy pilots would immediately have been on call for they were officers in the German Navy.

I cannot recall that having to stay without Mum for a week did cause us any hardship. So the young home-help must have coped quite adequately.  When Baby Brother was nearly a year old he had developed an allergy to cow’s milk. He was not allowed to drink milk then. However when he was a bit older, he could drink milk again.

Mum’s third child, also a boy, was born during the war in 1941. We had a twenty year old Polish maid at the time, who soon cared for the new baby as though he was her own. She became his ‘Dada’. She was the main contact person for the first three years of his life. This second brother became a very happy and contented child, whereas the first brother was always highly sensitive and suffering from asthma through most of his childhood. Dad, when he was around, would pay a lot of attention to us children. But I suspect, this very sensitive brother did not always get sufficient attention. However when he had one of his awful asthma attacks Mum would always be very concerned and tirelessly look after him. Later on in life he failed to establish a long lasting relationship with a woman. The photo shows Mum with us three children in 1948.Charlotte mit ihren drei Kindern 1948

Our Polish maid, Maria, with  the three of us, Summer 1944
Our Polish maid, Maria, with the three of us, Summer 1944
This is a pass-port photo of Maria.
This is a pass-port photo of Maria.

Childhood Memories

I have now two pages about my childhood. One is just “Uta’s Early Childhood”, the other one is “Uta’s Early Childhood, Part II”. In the Part II I inserted today some pictures about my sixth birthday in 1940 plus one picture from summer of 1942. All these pictures were taken during the war, World War II that is, when we lived in Berlin, Germany.

Did we suffer during the first years of war? I don’t think so. Except that my father had moved away from Berlin. He became the manager in grandfather’s furniture factory in Lodz, Poland, which since the German occupation in 1939 was called Litzmannstadt. My father had grown up in Lodz. His family had lived in Lodz since the early 1800s, when this part of Poland belonged to Russia.

My father had studied in Leipzig, Germany. In 1930 he had married my mother in Leipzig. During the early years of their marriage they had for the most part lived in Berlin. Sometime during the early war years my father had some disagreements with some Nazi people he worked with in Berlin. I think he didn’t voice his disagreements publicly. Had he done so, he may have ended up in a concentration camp!

In the end he was allowed to remove himself from Berlin. As I said he became then the manager in grandfather’s factory. My mother typically chose to stay with us children in Berlin. We only went for some visits to “Litzmannstadt”.

A Catholic Marriage?

This post I published already in March 2012 I copied it here because I think it shows a bit more what my parents were like.

Max Tomscik had changed his name to Max Burghoff, I think you call it by deeds. Herr Burghoff had been Mum’s friend for several years when the following conversation between Dad and myself took place. For some reason Dad insisted on using the original name. We children always called him “Herr Burghoff”. We thought it was right and proper to do this. We had absolutely no problem with it.

‘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!’

Tags: Dad, divorce, family, Mum

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Childhood Memories

6 Responses to “Childhood Memories”

March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm Edit #
I had a good laugh about: 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…. Your mom must have been quite fascinating!


March 18, 2012 at 7:15 am Edit #

We think that Charlotte, my mother, was ‘the woman who jumped up for Jesse Owens’.

She was quite fascinating indeed. Unfortunately my father wasn’t the right man for either.


March 18, 2012 at 2:15 am Edit #
It’s quite apparent they had very different values and beliefs. It would have been a disastrous marriage if it did go through. At least it was avoided in time.


March 18, 2012 at 7:30 am Edit #
Mary-Ann, please see what I replied to the comment of Eliz.

You may be interested to read the story about ‘the woman who jumped up for Jesse Owens’. Peter, my husband, wrote this story. I think it’s very believable and shows what Charlotte was like. After she decided not to marry her ‘Bambi’ (Tomscik alias Burghoff), she established herself in a council job and through very hard work till she turned 65 made the best out of her life and her retirement.

I agree with you that people with very different values and beliefs should not marry.


March 20, 2012 at 7:47 am Edit #
Thank God your mum caught him praying at home in time!


March 20, 2012 at 9:41 am Edit #
Your comment, Munira, makes me think. Maybe there was some truth in their claim that they had only a ‘Tischgemeinschaft’, which means they had meals together but weren’t sleeping together!



I copied the following from a post I published on 10th September 2011!

‘Your father has always been a selfish person. He doesn’t send any money for you but I bet he sits down for breakfast with a soft boiled egg in front of him. He knows how to look after himself and doesn’t care whether his children have anything to eat.’

The voice of my mother still rings in my ears. When years later I talked to my father about his so called selfishness, he justified himself with a lot of words and by producing the Post Office receipts which proved that he had constantly sent money for us children. True, he never could send much, however Mum’s claim that he didn’t send any money at all was totally wrong, according to Dad. He made sure that I looked at all the relevant slips. It seemed very important to him that I should believe him.

I felt sorry for Dad and I felt sorry for Mum. I used to feel that I could not take sides for either of them: I was totally torn between them. My loyalty belonged to both in equal proportions, that means, I could never decide on who’s side I should be. Mum of course accused me constantly of siding with my father and rejecting her. She probably did not feel supported by me. She just could not stand it when I tried to defend Dad.

Dad was the opposite. No matter how much he complained about Mum and let it be known how frustated he was about Mum’s behaviour, he was never angry with me when I tried to defend Mum. He always listened patiently to what I had to say. On the contrary, he liked it when I pointed out how much Mum meant to me and the boys.

‘You are right, Uta,’ he would say, ‘it is very important for you and the boys that you have a good relationship with your Mum. After all she is your Mum. I certainly would not like you rejecting her. In her own way she loves all three of you. You should never forget this.’ Then he would continue to complain about it that Mum was not willing to leave Berlin and live together with him and us children as one family. He also had some gripes about Aunty Ilse. According to him it was she who had wrecked their marriage.

I loved Aunty Ilse. For me it was very hard to listen to Dad’s accusations about her. Dad claimed in a very angry voice that Ilse had lived a ‘Lotter-Leben’ (bad life) when she was younger. He said that she had now a very good marriage. He was of the opinion that marrying HL was the best thing that could have happened to her. Dad regarded HL as being of very good character. I could only agree. In my experience, this Uncle spoke of Dad always in a respectful way too, that is, I never heard him say anything bad about him. Come to think of it, neither did Aunty Ilse. The way I saw it, only Mum would talk about Dad in a very nasty kind of way. It shows that to her mind he must have been a great disappointment to her. Even as a child I tried to see both sides. This was mind boggling for me. A lot of the issues were about what normally only grown-ups would be concerned about. On the other hand – even though I had no way of being able to tell what for instance the sexual difficulties may have been – I none the less felt those vibes which told me, my parents had those very strong love/hate feelings towards each other. I also sensed Mum’s absolute disgust about the way Dad’s life had turned out to be. Yes, I can imagine what immense disappointment this was for her!

Some time after Dad had managed to set himself up in a secure position again he talked to me about how it would be best for all of us if he remarried Mum. I told him that I could not imagine this happening. And sure enough, when he asked Mum to live with him again, she refused.

In 1959 Peter and I migrated to Australia with our two baby-girls. The following year Dad married G. Peter and I were under the impression that the new wife was right for Dad in every way, I am sure, Dad had a very good marriage with G. They had only a short time together: At age sixty-two Dad died of prostate cancer. After having stayed in hospital for a while Dad pleaded with G to take him home. She did this and nursed him for the last six months of his life. It so happened, that G received Dad’s pension after he died. This upset my Mum and my brothers immensely! They thought, G had no right to receive all the benefits. They told me that the first wife should get more consideration for having had a much longer marriage as well as children. I felt awful when my family talked badly about G. I know that she had always been very welcoming, kind and supportive towards my brothers.

G is ninety-two now. Over the distance I still have some occasional contact with her. I am never going to forget, how, during the last years of his life, she gave Dad so much of herself. When I received her letter six months before he died, telling me about the seriousness of Dad’s illness, I cried and cried.



15 Responses to “Childhood Memories”

September 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm Edit #
Whoa…it must have been difficult to write down these memories Aunty Uta. I can imagine how torn you must have felt between your mother and father. I don’t think parents register the extent of the effect on their children of the bitternesses and resentments that they harbour against each other, especially a sensitive child, like I’m pretty sure you must have been.
I can relate to this post, though my parents didn’t break their marriage….mainly due to the fact that they had four daughters to raise. My mother blamed my father for the choices he made in his business, and they have struggled through hard times together, though I can imagine he must have been difficult to live with. I often think they were never really meant for each other…
When I watch them together, even now, when they are both in their 70′s, they seem to now care for each other more than they used too, I do think they would have been happier if there had been no financial stresses, but their sometimes completely unreasonable arguments make me realise how very different they are in the way they think.
Your story is so heart-breaking, but I’m glad you wrote it, and that I came over to your blog and read it.


September 18, 2011 at 7:50 am Edit #
Thank you so much for your response, dear Munira. Your response reminds me of my own marriage, which lasted already for 55 years, even though we seem to misunderstand each other quite often and then argue a lot about nothing. However one subject we never argue about is money since we both have the same attitude about money and how to spend it.I mean we really agree on a lot of things. It is more the little day to day things how everything should be done where our ideas often clash! But I think as I get so much older now, I’ve probably become a bit more tolerant. When he shouts at me because he’s upset about something I try not to be too sensitive about it. I tell myself he doesn’t really want to be mean to me. He’s just letting off steam. It never takes him very long to be his old loving self again!


September 18, 2011 at 9:33 am Edit #
Aunty Uta, that was a cracker of an account of the relationship of your parents. One can even feel the vitriol that was pouring out of them. For a child to stand between the clashing forces of the two parents is pure torture. It is like standing on a battlefield with bullets flying around ones head.

I always wished I had known you earlier and could have taken you by your hand and lead you to a safer place. In fact we did this by going to Australia, far away from the real battlefields of Europe and the battlefields of our families. Sometimes a clean break is necessary. Love you so much.


September 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm Edit #
Thank you very much for your support, dear Berlioz. Love you too.


the island traveler
September 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm Edit #
Thanks for sharing. I know its not easy talk about stuff like this. I’m glad your mum devoted herself to your dad on his last days…I wish you the best. A touching post.


September 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm Edit #
I reckon Munira guessed it right, I must have been a sensitive child. It is interesting to observe how marriage break-ups effect children in different ways. I always say I had three mothers: My birth-mother, my aunt, who was my mother’s sister and throughout her life treated me very much as though I was her own daughter (maybe because she never had a child of her own), and the third mother was my father’s second wife, whom I knew only through correspondence and photos. Later on, many years after my father’s death, I did get to know her personally on a few visits to Germany. It was so good to be able to talk to her about my father!
Some children grow up not knowing anything about their father. I for one feel blessed that I knew my parents, who both loved me, each in their own way. And I was also very much loved by many people in the large extended family. It is of course very sad, that my parents could not live a happy life together. Yes, it saddened me, but I think it also matured me in my early teenage years. I always had a feeling wanting to understand the different characters. Maybe this brought on a longing in me to write about my feelings and the way I saw different people.


September 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm Edit #
Sometimes, two people can love each other but they are so different, or they have evolved into such different people from their original selves, that they are no longer compatible. It appears that your parents’ parting was not amicable. You mother probably equates the amount of money your father sends to support you to how much he cares for all your welfare. Your father believes that what he sent was all he could scrape up. It sounds like your mother was bitter over the separation but your father was able to move forward with his life.

Events like these can be very de-stabilizing for children, who are so vulnerable. It’s always a blessing that children have support systems around them to keep them grounded and reassure them that they are loved, no matter what, and that they are in no way responsible for what has happened.

You seem to have come out if it quite well. There must be a lot of strength inside you and good sense to see beyond your mother’s bitterness or the failure of their marriage as not your doing nor your responsibility to fix.

I can only hope your children have inherited some of your strength.


September 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm Edit #
The way I see it, it was really my father who was bitter about the separation. My mother did not want to move to where my father was. My father was quite bitter about this. He was fighting sickness and not being able to get a proper job in the postwar years.

I reckon my teenage years weren’t as good as they could have been, but I’m not bitter about this Everything turned out all right for me in the end. I was the first born one and used to be a good student. Everyone always thought I’d make it to university. However this did not eventuate. To be honest, I really was not unhappy about this, not at all. I was overjoyed when among dozens of applicants I landed a job in an office at the age of 18. I did office work for five years. In the meantime I had married an started a family. When I was approaching 25 we moved to Australia under a migration program. We had two children under two and soon followed a third one! We did not have much money, but we were doing all right. I just turned 77 and celebrate this year 55 years of marriage!

Thank you very much for your very thoughtful comments. I appreciate your visit. It means a lot to me. Thank you!


September 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm Edit #
Dear Mol, I was just thinking one of my next blogs should be about our first born daughter who became a quadriplegic because of polio, when she was only four years old. She’s 52 now and going strong. Her strength is really to be admired.
And our last born one I had at the age of 44, so she’s soon going to be 33 and doing very well. We are proud of all our children. But all their lifes are very different from ours. We love them all and I am sure they all love us each in their own way.


September 26, 2011 at 8:24 am Edit #
That would be wonderful. You can immortalize their lives and your thoughts on them through the years in your blog. It would be a wonderful gift. I would love to “meet them and get acquainted” through your blog.


September 26, 2011 at 9:50 am Edit #
Thank you for your reply, dear Mol. It makes me want to keep on blogging.I just have to work out, what can be made public and what should remain private. It starts with their names. Should I use their proper names?

I also have a problem with media connections. My husband is used to handling mobiles (cell phones), facebook friends etc. I refuse to acquire a mobile phone for myself because I have a problem with eyesight and coordination. Besides I feel I just don’t want to keep in touch per mobile. Often it seems to be used a bit too much. However I must admit a few times strangers helped me out with their mobile when I needed to make a call!

I rely on my husband to keep me up to date about information about our children and grandchilden, which he gets from facebook.

Myself, I’m used to keep in touch with people via Email. Blogging is fairly new to me and often I still can’t find my way around all the different venues.

I would like to have M-A O-L as a friend but I’m confused about how to do it. Can’t I just email her without anybody else participating? It was very kind of you to help her out with your mobile. I hope I’m not imposing on you too much.


October 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm Edit #
Hi auntyuta just dropping by for a quick thank you for visiting my sites. I appreciate it. I will get back to read this story later. Have a great day!


October 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm Edit #
Hi aRVee! Thanks for stopping by. Take care and have a great day too!


Bindu John
January 19, 2012 at 2:28 am Edit #
I couldn’t stop reading till I reached the last word. You have presented your experiences in a very composed way.
What I realize is husband-wife relationships are ubiquitous and do not change much from generation to generation. And I too could relate to your experiences. Parents often forget children are watching them and are affected by what is going on in between them. Another point is that children are just, and not all biased – they should not be forced to take sides, because both the parents are equally important for them.
Captivating post, Aunty Uta! Thanks for sharing.


January 19, 2012 at 7:32 am Edit #
Hi Bindu, I thank you for your comments. You’re right, similar problems in husband-wife relationships you can probably find throughout the ages. It is interesting to hear that you could relate to it.


A beautiful Day

It was great to see Baby Lucas on Mothers Day!

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We saw ten family members, including Baby Lucas, for lunch on Mothers Day. Baby Lucas got all the attention. He is a little darling. Everyone loves him so much. He was surrounded by three aunties, one great-aunt, one uncle, one grandma, one great-grandma (that’s me!), one great grandpa, and of course his proud parents.

We went to our favourite Thai/Chinese Restaurant. The place was packed full for Mothers Day. However daughter Monika had booked a large table for us ahead of time. All of us were very comfortably sitting around a large round table. For Lucas a Baby chair was provided. He sat in his chair only to have a drink and a banana. I was surprised how well he was able to eat the banana out of his hand!

We all had plenty to eat for lunch. I always love rice and vegetables with a spicy Thai sauce and Chinese tea. As entree we all had some spring-rolls. For afternoon coffee and cake the family came to our place. I liked all this very much. My daughters gave me some beautiful gifts for my skin and for smelling nice! My son rang me from Melbourne later on in the evening. For afternoon coffee one son-in-law did bring along his mother as well as the mother of his deceased wife. The conversation around the table was quite animated. The other son-in-law arrived a bit later from Sydney after he had seen his mother. Ebony, the mother of Lucas, went after lunch with Baby Lucas to see her mother and therefore did not come to our place for coffee.

Everyone loved the cheese-cake that Peter had baked for Mothers Day. It was great to see so many family members in the one day. I feel blessed that Mothers Day had been made so special for me. And I greatly enjoyed seeing daughter Monika surrounded by all her five children plus Lucas, her first and so far only grandchild.

Daughter Caroline stayed with Matthew overnight at our place. We are always very happy when they can make the time to stay overnight. Caroline spoiled us by cooking an excellent supper and breakfast in the morning. After breakfast Peter took them to the train-station. They apologized that they couldn’t stay a bit longer but they have a busy week ahead of them.

I greatly enjoyed the breakfast that Caroline cooked for us.
I greatly enjoyed the breakfast that Caroline cooked for us.

Diary Update


This picture was taken by me five weeks ago as we had just returned from buying the Saturday paper. Today is Saturday again which means paper buying day! I love it when both Peter and I can walk together to the Newsagent’s shop which is close by at little shopping center.

Last Wednesday we saw a French film with English subtitles. The film is called AMOUR. We had seen this film once before a few months ago. It was shown in Berlin with no subtitles but in German. As I remember it the synchronisation from French into German had been done very well which was a relief. Usually I prefer to see a film in the original just with subtitles. So now we had the chance to listen to it in French. Both Peter and I agreed that it was great to see the film a second time.

This French film shows a couple in Paris in their eighties. Both are retired music teachers. They have a daughter who is also a musician and travels a lot with her English husband. She comes to see her parents in Paris only occasionally. The mother has a severe stroke, is hospitalised. Some time later she’s supposed to go into a hospice. She needs constant care. She begs her husband to take her home to care for her there. And this is what he does! He takes on to care for his wife who is very disabled. The film shows how the husband who is very elderly himself, takes on the task to look after his wife. It gets more difficult for him as her health deteriorates more and more. Despite some outside help this poor man is at breaking point in the end. Out of love for his wife he perseveres. The daughter urges him to give the ailing mother into a hospice. But the father doesn’t give up. He says he promised his wife to look after her at home. This is a very slow moving wonderfully acted film. Both Peter and I liked it a lot.

The husband is played by JEAN-LOUIS TRINTIGNANT, the wife by EMMANUELLE RIVA, the daughter by ISABELLE HUPPERT.

So this was our Wednesday adventure. While we were watching the movie, our car did get a big service. Luckily apart from the service nothing else needed to be done to get the car re-registered. On Thursday, while I was at my exercise class, Peter fixed up insurance and registration for the car. Last Monday he had to fork out a lot of money for the dentist in Sydney. It was a very expensive week for Peter but he’s glad everything is behind him now. From now on we can relax and enjoy Mothers’ Day and Peter’s birthday.

On Monday, when Peter had his dental appointment, I went with Peter to Sydney to keep him company. Unfortunately we weren’t able to see David for his birthday as we had promised. I wrote him a card saying we’d see him as soon as possible.

Yesterday, Friday, we had a good time in the afternoon. We played Scrabble and Rummy at my place. Next week we are going to play at Irene’s place again. Peter had afternoon coffee with us. Marion who had an operation recently, is doing fine. Erika is overseas for the time being. So only three of us played instead of four. The ladies were very impressed that Peter had baked some apple turnovers for afternoon coffee. Isn’t he a dear! For Mothers’ Day he wants to bake a cheese cake.

P.S. Peter just pointed out to me that in English it’s called ‘dubbing’, when a new soundtrack is added to a film. In German it is called ‘synchronisation’. This film with French actors was actually a French/German co-production.
And there is something else I can add here: From 4 June – 20 July 2013 the SYDNEYTHEATRE.COM.AU is going to show a play called “THE MAIDS”. The housemaids are played by Cate Blanchett and French screen star ISABELLE HUPPERT. It says the housemaids fantasise about killing their mistress! You may recognise that ISABELLE HUPPERT is the actress who plays the daughter in the movie AMOUR.
Our daughter sees theater productions on a regular basis. Maybe we should ask her whether she would be interested in seeing ‘The Maids’ with us. Oh, what a bombshell!