Uta’s Diary

We are close to the end of August 2014. A lot has happened the past few weeks. The best thing that happened was our family reunion at Sussex Inlet. It was only for a weekend, but it was a great success. I already published several blogs about this beautiful weekend.

The weeks after, right up to today, we had much, much rain. There was hardly any sunshine. When the sun came out a bit, it felt rather warm. But the rest of the time we had to cope with rather cold temperatures. From 1st of September on we are supposed to have spring. I hope it is going to be much sunnier and warmer then. Yes, I am looking forward to September.

It is only about three more weeks till my 80th birthday. This is really a milestone, isn’t it? Maybe it is about time for me to learn to slow down at all times. I find it is so much better for my health if I do everything slowly. This includes the way I eat my food. I usually take a lot of care these days to chew my food slowly. And this includes very soft food too! I feel it is very good for me when I take the time to do this.

On Sunday, September 7th, it is Fathers’ Day in Australia. We expect some family visit on that day. Of course, we are looking forward to this. We are also looking forward to some addition to the family.

Last Monday we went to a funeral. Our granddaughters’ paternal grandmother had died after a long sickness. May she rest in peace. We knew her quite well. She always was a very friendly and very brave woman.

I am still thinking back a lot to that day when we had this lovely walk first through the bush and then along Bherwerre Beach. We were very lucky with the weather on that Saturday morning for we did have quite a bit of sunshine. The following morning some very wet kangaroos appeared at our camp. It was raining!

Here again some pictures from our holiday weekend in August.

On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.
On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.

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Little Lucas, soon you are going to have a little brother or sister!
Little Lucas, soon you are going to have a little brother or sister!

How Putin Just Saved Europe, and Other Geopolitical Tales

Reblogged this on auntyuta.

Satu Insan - Malaysia

Capitalist Exploits

By: Chris Tell

Picture this scenario. A brother and sister squabbling with one another. Something’s gone wrong, they’re blaming each other, fighting, and generally at each other’s throats. Along comes the boy from next door who pokes fun at one of them and starts pestering them. Brother and sister rapidly put aside their differences, join forces and deal with the boy from next door.

The saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” has played itself out many times throughout  history and, while geo-political relationships may not be as close as siblings, the forming of alliances and the repercussions from having joint enemies can be profound.

During the second World War Stalin realized that he needed the Allies to defeat a Nazi invasion, and in turn the Allies realized that the Soviets were necessary for the war effort. In any other scenario the Allies would have been…

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Fear of flying? Take it from a Malaysian Aviator

I think this blog is a good way to make people aware how safe travelling really is.

Satu Insan - Malaysia

Borneo Post

Aviator lends balm to the fear of flying

WITH a MAS Boeing 777 disappearing in thin air on March 8 and another 777 of the same airlines hit by a missile over Ukraine’s air space on July 17, the muted fear of flying which air travelers silently nurture in their hearts seems to have grown more intense.

aviator The cover of ‘Life in the Skies’ showing a smiling and confident Capt Lim who assures that flying is safe. — Photos from askcaptainlim.com

In the wake of these two air disasters happening within a four-month interval, frequent flyers have loads of questions:

Is it safe to fly anymore? How could a plane from Kuala Lumpur heading north-east to Beijing suddenly turn around south-west and be deemed lost in the unchartered waters of the southern depths of the Indian Ocean?

If MH17 flew the approved route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur…

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WHEN WOWI DAYS ARE OVER

Seems to me that this is auch gut so. WOWI must have done something right. I like this blog, notmsparker, it says so much about Berlin. I want to reblog it. I think Berlin is a very interesting city. And it is good to get to know a bit about WOWI.
Berlioz and I were visiting Berlin in 2012, as you know. And we were very disappointed that the new airport had not been opened yet. Hopefully all is well by 2016. But who knows? The delays seem to be unending.

KREUZBERGED: BERLIN COMPANION

Klaus Wowereit (image through Leo-Beck-Zentrum) Klaus Wowereit (image through Leo-Beck-Zentrum)

He won the post, came out as gay before the gutter press did the outing for him, turned the city into an undisputable Hub of Coolness and spent 13 years at Berlin´s helm. However, two days ago, on August 26th, Klaus Wowereit, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, announced his resignation.

The reactions to his stepping-down range from gentle melancholy, through mild relief to full-blown glee: in the 13 years of his rule “Wowi” went from being the hippest and the most popular guy in town to a symbol of the city´s biggest failure. The new BER airport in Berlin-Schönefeld meant to replace the current melange of the smaller, former East-West airports failed to take off: the planned opening in 2011 did not happen and it is rather doubtful that the next deadline of 2016 can, indeed, be kept. And so instead of allowing the…

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28 August 1957 – 2012

28 August 2014
Gaby would be 57 today.

This is what Peter wrote today on Gaby’s Facebook page:

Hi Gaby, we are all thinking of you today. If you were around we would be shopping with you today, as it is your shopping and your birthday.  We would say, “Happy Birthday, Darling” and wish you a long life. But it is not to be.

You were one of the few people in the world who looked at life on Earth and decided, “If that is what life dishes out to us, I deal with it!”

Life dealt you a bad hand of cards but you knew how to play and you won many tricks where we would have thrown our cards on the table. 
I know, it is the right thing to say, “RIP”, but this is not who you are and I would say you are giving the angels a hard time and they are loving it.

Lots of Love from Mama and Papa xoxoxo Black heart (cards)Black heart (cards)Black heart (cards)

AuntyUta

Today would be the 55th anniversary of our daughter Gaby’s birthday.

My husband, Peter, wrote a little piece on his block .

I feel Peter wrote a beautiful piece about Gaby.

Please, check it out!

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Corinna and the Family

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

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

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

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

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’.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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