28th August 1962, Gaby is five years old
Gaby is five years old
Monika and Martin see Gaby on her birthday.
Monika and Martin see Gaby on her birthday.
Gaby's birthday in 1963. She loves her musical bear.
Gaby’s birthday in 1963.
She loves her musical bear.
Monika and Martin want to see Gaby on her birthday.
Monika and Martin want to see Gaby on her birthday, 28th August 1963



Sister Harford organised a birthday party for Gaby outside the ward in the built-in veranda,
Sister Harford organised a birthday party for Gaby outside the ward within the built-in veranda,
Martin and Monika are having fun.
Martin and Monika are having fun.



Peter with Martin and Monika on the train to Sydney to go for a visit at Prince-Henry-Hospital.
Peter with Martin and Monika on the train to Sydney to go for a visit at Prince-Henry-Hospital.
The veranda at the hospital is full of Christmas decorations.
The veranda at the hospital is full of Christmas decorations. 1962


It is amazing that we all have winter coats on in the midst of summer in Australia. It must have been a very cold morning. The next pictures show it did get quite a bit warmer eventually.



This picture is taken in Belmore Park near Central Station.
This picture is taken in Belmore Park near Central Station.

On that day we had something to eat either before or after visiting Gaby at Prince-Henry-Hospital.

Another picture taken in Belmore Park.
Some pictures at the bubbler in Belmore Park.


This picture, also in Belmore Park. with Peter Martin and Monika in January 1973.
This picture, also in Belmore Park. with Peter, Martin and Monika. January 1973.
The bubbler in Belmore Park is still popular in December 1987 with Caroline and grandsons Troy and Ryan.
The bubbler in Belmore Park was still popular in December 1987. Caroline and grandsons Troy and Ryan


Faith in Spring – Frühlingsglaube




German Verse by Ludwig Uhland

In the original German with a
line-by-line prose translation in English

Frühlingsglaube Faith in Spring
von Ludwig Uhland Prose translation by Hyde Flippo

Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht, The gentle winds are awakened,
Sie säuseln und wehen
Tag und Nacht,
They murmur and waft
day and night,
Sie schaffen an allen Enden. They create in every corner.
O frischer Duft, o neuer Klang! Oh fresh scent, oh new sound!
Nun, armes Herze, sei nicht bang! Now, poor dear [heart], fear not!
Nun muss sich alles, alles wenden. Now everything, everything must change.
Die Welt wird schöner
mit jedem Tag,
The world becomes more beautiful
with each day,
Man weiß nicht,
was noch werden mag,
One does not know
what may yet happen,
Das Blühen will nicht enden. The blooming doesn’t want to end.
Es blüht das fernste, tiefste Tal: The farthest, deepest valley blooms:
Nun, armes Herz, vergiss der Qual! Now, poor dear [heart], forget the pain!
Nun muss sich alles, alles wenden. Now everything, everything must change.

Send a greeting card with
lines from this Uhland poem.

I used to know this poem by heart. And I am still pretty familiar with it. Some of the verses come back to me whenever I experience a most beautiful early spring day. Just recently we had such a day with very “gentle winds”  that  “murmur and waft”.  Maybe I would say gentle breezes instead of winds. The poem speaks about these feelings of hope that are awakened in spring. On a beautiful springlike day, such as we had the other day, one feels immensely uplifted.

Today is the 28th of August 2015. Our daughter Gabriele died in 2012. She would have been 58 today.



Monarch Cafe,144.9795341,3a,75y,335.86h,84.72t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sTQ6DtMc2Ga5fLnHPyzglTQ!2e0!3e2!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x16310decdadc11d!6m1!1e1



On Monday, the 17th of August, 2015, we were still in Melbourne.

After Peter and I  had seen the movie “Last Cab to Darwin” in the KINO in Melbourne, it was our plan to get to the Monarch Cafe. We knew that TRAM 96 would take us there to ST KILDA.

Somewhere in the city we got unto the 96 tram. We soon found out it was not going to St Kilda but to Brunswick. This meant we had to get off the tram and catch a tram into the other direction. The trams come along every six or seven minutes. So we were soon on our way towards ST KILDA. There are several stops within ST KILDA. We were not sure where to get off. Somehow the Canterbury Road stop looked to us like the right stop. Wasn’t that the corner where Acland Street was with the Monash Cafe just around the corner. we thought. It turned out we were wrong. There was no Acland Street. It took us quite a while and a lot of walking before we found Acland Street and the way to our chosen cafe. When we finally made it, we had some yummy cake and coffee. Next time we know we have to get off at Belford Street, just one stop before the terminal.

In April 2013 we were in Melbourne. Martin and his daughter Lauren went with us to ST KILDA.
In April 2013 we were in Melbourne. Martin and his daughter Lauren went with us to ST KILDA.


In April 2013 Peter and I went with Lauren and Martin to the MONARCH CAFE.
In April 2013 Peter and I went with Lauren and Martin to the MONARCH CAFE.
This is a picture from inside the Monarch Cafe.
This is a picture from inside the Monarch Cafe.
We love their cakes and coffee!
We love their cakes and coffee!

Privatization and the Theft of the Commons

Well worth watching and a great film review by Dr Stuart Bramhall

The Most Revolutionary Act


by Aris Chatzistefanou andKaterina Kitidi

Film Review

Catastroika is a Greek documentary on neoliberalism, with a specific focus on the privatization of publicly owned resources. Although it makes no mention of historian Richard Linebaugh, its depiction of the neoliberal privatization movement provides an elegant illustration of the ongoing theft of the Commons (see Stop Thief: the Theft of the Commons).

After a brief overview of the University of Chicago economists (championed by Milton Friedman) who first put neoliberal theory into practice during the Pinochet dictatorship, the documentary tracks the wholesale privatization of Russia’s state owned industries after the 1993 coup by Boris Yeltsin, in which he illegally ordered dissolution of the Russian parliament (see The Rise of Putin and the Fall of the Oligarchs).

The fire sale of state assets to oligarchs and western bankers would virtually destroy the Russian economy, throwing millions of people into…

View original post 325 more words

My Brain – my Master or an imperfect Tool?

I love this post and want to reblog it!

Berlioz1935's Blog

Spring is in the air - an Australian Wattle in full bloom Spring is in the air – an Australian Wattle in full bloom

Sometimes I wonder whether my brain is in charge or I am.

I have come to the conclusion that there is  a difference. My brain is a bit of a bully. It likes to tell me what to do and how to do it. And this independently from my wishes.

It starts already in the morning. While I definitely want  to sleep another wink, my brain has no compunction giving  me signals to get up. The first signal arrives via the bladder of course. I try to ignore this signal by calling on the god of dreams, Morpheus. But he has gone to where the night has gone to and can’t hear my prayers anymore. I have to get up.

All day, my brain is urging me on, even when my body can’t go on anymore. We…

View original post 607 more words

How much does Offshore Processing cost the Australian Taxpayer?

Jenni from UNLOAD AND UNWIND wrote the following in one of her blogs:

“Here is a government that has cut funding to Domestic Violence Support Centers, shelters and assistance packages to an all time low and telling us it was necessary due to a budget emergency left to them by the previous government.  At the same time they increased funding to ‘border protection’ and ‘stopping the boats’ by 129% growing from $118 million to $3.3 billion dollars in 12 months.  On top of this they have increased funding to a variety of law enforcement agencies but only as it applies to terrorism, as well as $670 million for new measures to deal with terrorism.”


I just  found  some report details from last year. I think they make for very interesting reading. I wonder how many people in Australia would know anything about these details and be concerned about it?


Commission of Audit report details

Offshore processing costs Australian taxpayers 10 times more than letting asylum seekers live in the community while their refugee claims are processed, the Commission of Audit’s report reveals.

It costs $400,000 a year to hold an asylum seeker in offshore detention, $239,000 to hold them in detention in Australia, and less than $100,000 for an asylum seeker to live in community detention.  In contrast, it is around $40,000 for an asylum seeker to live in the community on a bridging visa while their claim is processed.

Relative cost per person for 12 months in detention, 2013
Source: Department of Finance, reproduced in Commission of Audit report.

The Commission of Audit’s report shows that in the past four years, the Australian government has increased spending on the detention and processing of asylum seekers who arrive by boat by 129 per cent each year.  Costs have skyrocketed from $118.4 million in 2009–10 to $3.3 billion in 2013–14.

This is the fastest growing government programme.  Projected costs over the forward estimates amount to over $10 billion.

At a time of fiscal constraint, this is an obvious policy area where expenditure could be slashed.  Savings should not come from reducing services to asylum seekers (a solution proposed by the Commission of Audit).  Services – such as healthcare, counselling, and legal assistance – are already limited and inadequate.  Their reduction would only exacerbate the already precarious circumstances of asylum seekers in detention.

Offshore processing and mandatory detention are inhumane and unnecessary policies that violate Australia’s international legal obligations.  They cause and exacerbate psychological harm, mental illness and trauma.  They have led to many instances of self-harm, and as the events of February 2014 on Manus Island show, serious physical injury and even death.

– See more at:


The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW is the world’s first research centre dedicated to the study of international refugee law. It was established in October 2013 through the generosity of Andrew Kaldor AM and Renata Kaldor AO, motivated by their deep concern about Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

Through high-quality research feeding into public policy debate and legislative reform, the Centre brings a principled, human rights-based approach to refugee law and forced migration in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, and globally. It provides an independent space to connect academics, policymakers and NGOs, and creates an important bridge between scholarship and practice. It also provides thought leadership in the community through public engagement and community outreach.

An Article from “The Spiegel” about some willing Helpers in Germany


“The day has only just begun, but the phone in Anja Damerius’ office at the University of Siegen is already ringing off the hook. An elderly woman wants to read books to refugee children: “Yes, of course!” Damerius says into the receiver. “When are you available?” A family from the neighborhood wants to distribute food. “Come over.” Toys? “Please drop them off at the church, our garage is full.”

The masters student from North Rhine-Westphalia had actually planned on spending her semester break relaxing, sleeping in, meeting friends and doing a bit of partying. But instead, she’s been working on the campus from morning to evening, she says.

Damerius, 33, coordinates the program for 50 to 60 refugee children at the University of Siegen. She is one of a dozen volunteers at the university who are working with asylum seekers, known here as “guests.”

The regional government has placed approximately 200 asylum seekers in the university gymnasium. Initially, it was seen as a temporary solution, meant to provide shelter for a few days until space in the reception center opened up again. But by now, refugees have been living on the campus for almost a month — and nobody at the university is seriously expecting that the asylum seekers will be housed anywhere else by the time the semester starts in mid-October, despite official promises to the contrary. In fact, 17 additional refugees arrived just last week.

But hardly anyone in Siegen is complaining. The student union is organizing meals through the cafeteria; a student initiative has launched daily language courses, and almost 90 interpreters have been recruited; and, with the help of students, the city is organizing primary medical care.

Siegen University rector Holger Burckhart, who is also vice-president of the German Rectors’ Conference, says that given their status as public institutions, universities have a responsibility to help. “We are part of social life and can give something back to society here.” According to Burckhart, the students are getting a clearer sense of the scale of the world’s crises.

In the afternoon, two computer science PhD students bring by laptops and tablets from their department. In a makeshift Internet café set up in a red-and-white tent, children use the devices to watch music videos. In a corner, three Syrians are trying to reach their families via Skype and Facebook. When it finally works, one of them wipes the tears from his face.

A Nationwide Movement

The University of Siegen is an example of a popular movement taking place across Germany. From Munich to Berlin, Dresden to Hanau, tens of thousands of people are standing up to help refugees: high school and university students, workers, retirees.

Reports about extreme-right attacks on refugee shelters have been heaping shame upon Germany for months. The Federal Criminal Police Office has counted 199 attacks against refugee housing in the first half of this year — almost three times as many in the first six months of 2014.

The helpers from Siegen and other cities and regions embody a different Germany: solidary, empathetic, happy to lend a hand. The volunteers are less visible and less loud than the agitators and arsonists. But they are efficient, and there are lots of them.

In 2014, researchers at Berlin’s Humboldt University and at Oxford University polled 460 volunteers along with 80 aid organizations that work with refugees. They found that roughly 70 percent more people have been volunteering for projects in recent years. According to the research, over one third of the volunteers invest over five hours per week.

These activists protect asylum seekers from attacks by racists, help them look for apartments or jobs and provide medical treatment. More broadly, they prevent the support system from collapsing by compensating for what the state neglects. They also provide what no state can: friendliness and attention — and sometimes even friendship.

Hanau: Maritime Rescue

It’s a Thursday afternoon in August and Hagen Kopp, a 55-year-old warehouse worker, is sitting in a stuffy room in an office building in Hanau, in the central German state of Hesse. He is wearing an earring in his ear and a T-shirt reading “No person is illegal.” The eight-hour Alarm Phone shift has only just begun.

For two years, Kopp monitored the death of the refugees in the Mediterranean for the Watch the Med project. After 366 people drowned in a shipwreck near the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013, he no longer wanted to simply describe the catastrophe on Europe’s outer borders. He wanted to put a stop to it.

Together with colleagues from Watch the Med, he founded Alarm Phone, an unofficial emergency number, last fall. The activists take emergency calls from refugees on the high seas who have become stranded on their odyssey to Europe. Other helpers are waiting for phone calls alongside Kopp: Noori, from Afghanistan, Newroz, a Kurdish woman and Asefaw, a man from Eritrea. Hundreds of volunteers are now working for the project, not just in Hanau but in different countries in Europe and North Africa.

The activists have spread the Alarm Phone number online and in refugee camps on the Mediterranean. Desperate people are calling almost every day, usually from one of the satellite phones that is located in almost every boat. The helpers ask for coordinates in English or French and ask whether the boat is damaged, whether there are sick people or children on board. They are constantly confronted with questions of life or death.

Just a few weeks ago, a boat carrying 180 refugees was in distress near the Libyan coast. The desperate passengers turned to Alarm Phone, where the employees transcribed the call.

“Are woman or injured people on board?”
“Of course! Yes! Please!”
“Do you have enough to eat or drink?”
“There is no food, no water. Please, help us!”
“Is your motor working?”
“Please help us. Please. Please help us.”

Klopp and the other employees immediately contacted the responsible coast guard and asked the officials to help those in distress. They kept pushing, again and again, to make sure to make sure that a rescue boat was really on its way. “We don’t let things rest until the refugees are safe,” Kopp says.

Berlin: Communal Cooking

Approximately two years ago, when refugees were camping out on Berlin’s Oranienplatz square, a couple of students were busy thinking about how they could help the asylum seekers. They decided on communal eating. Ninon Demuth, a 25-year-old who studied biotechnology at Berlin’s Technical University, points out that such an activity is unpolitical, global and fun. They considered publishing a small book with recipes from around the world, written by refugees. “Our goal was to reach people who had never before encountered the subject of asylum,” Demuth says. In the end, 21 recipes were collected and 3,500 books were sold. Given its success, the students continued — and began organizing communal cooking nights with refugees and locals.

These events now take place twice a month, each featuring a refugee who cooks a menu from his or her home country. Participants pay €45, and the cook receives a small donation. The group also produced a second cookbook, more professional and printed on high-quality paper. It contains 36 recipes and sells for €25. Five thousand of the books have been sold.

One of the recipes, for a stew called dambou, comes from Mouhamed Tanko, a 31-year-old from Niger. On a recent Sunday evening, he demonstrates the preparation of the meal to 15 guests in a show kitchen located in Berlin’s Charlottenburg neighborhood. Fried plantains and thick slices of yam root serve as appetizers.

While peppers, chard, carrots, fennel, onions, tomatoes and black-eyed peas simmer in large pots, the chef shows photos from his homeland. He says he has ten brothers and one sister, but that he is the only one who made it to Europe. In 2011, he came to Italy via boat, then to Berlin in 2013. Mouhamed Tanko also talks about his grandfather, whom he claims is over 100 years old and has never needed glasses because he consumed so much palm oil, which he claims is good for the eyes.

When Mouhamed Tanko finishes his story, the guests applaud. One student has brought her father, there are several couples, and a woman who wanted to come into contact with refugees. The evening lasts long into the night.

Four of the early organizers have now mostly completed their studies and now work full time for the initiative. They finance themselves and their project from grants, donations and the revenues from their work. The amount leftover for the organizers is “far below the legal minimum wage,” claims Rafael Strasser, a 29-year-old industrial engineer. “It is all still very student-y.”

Perhaps. But the project — known as “Über den Tellerrand Kochen,” or “Cooking Beyond the Plate’s Edge” — has become so big that it demands a full-time organizer. There is a soccer team, a group that plants a rooftop garden and a group of established refugees that join students to cook for newcomers in the Berlin neighborhood of Moabit. The new acquaintances regularly meet for parties on a rooftop terrace in the Neukölln district or to grill on Tempelhofer Feld. The go on bicycle or canoe trips together.

These days, over 100 people come to the meetings. Strasser says they are all about understanding and making new friends, but also about practical issues. One of the refugees, for example, found a job through one of the participants in the cooking class and will soon be starting work at a taxi dispatcher. Others have been hired as cooks.

And the initiative is expanding. Together with the Technical University and Cocoon, an organization dedicated to construction projects, the helpers from Über den Tellerrand are building a so-called kitchen hub. During a five-week summer school session, the students and refugees are designing a communal kitchen for a new space in Berlin’s Schöneberg neighborhood in which the meetings of Über den Tellerrand are to take place in the future.

Dresden: Protection from the Right-Wingers

The tents are lined up in rows. Men and women wait in long lines for food to be distributed while kids play in the gravel. The refugee facilities in Dresden-Friedrichstadt look more like a camp in Jordan or Lebanon than a home for asylum seekers in one of the world’s richest countries.

Julius, in his late twenties, a refugee activist from Dresden, walks around the property. The area is cut off from the outside world by a fence and tarps. He explains how the tent city was built in a rush and that, initially, there was hardly any staff to take care of the approximately 800 people in the camp. But the network Dresden Für Alle (Dresden for All) jumped into the gap and, in the space of just two days, assembled about one hundred volunteers and distributed food and clothing to the refugees.

Cars race past the camp on the way to the nearby Autobahn. But some roll by at a snail’s pace and come almost to a standstill in front of the camp entrance. One man takes some photos and keeps driving, only to return 20 minutes later. Julius claims suspicious people like him are right-wingers wanting to cause trouble and provoke the refugees. Together with other activists, Julius collects the license-plate numbers of the spies and organizes night watches to protect the refugees.

Sometimes the helpers themselves become the target of attacks. In late July, Julius sat in front of the tent city on a street corner with friends after a solidarity event. Shortly before he wanted to leave, 50 people in masks marched up to them, some throwing bottles. “We just ran,” says Julius. One member of the group was beaten up, he says, and had to go to the hospital. Nevertheless, Julius returned to the tent city the next day. “We can’t leave the refugees alone with the neo-Nazis,” he says.

Munich: Healing Deep Wounds

Mathias Wendeborn is on vacation, which means he has more time for the refugees. The 56-year-old pediatrician has established an on-call practice in the Bayernkaserne, a former army barracks, together with other doctors. His goal is to put an end to the conditions that last year turned the overfilled reception center into a symbol for government failure. The doctors, who treat the refugees, call themselves Refudocs.

A young Afghan man with a fever is curled up on a stretcher, his face pale. He has caught the chicken pox, but a Refudoc is worried that he may also have contracted meningitis. To be safe, she wants to send him to the hospital.

About 70 physicians are part of Wendeborn’s association, taking turns so that the practice can be opened on every workday. They include retired doctors and one former clinic director, but also plenty of younger medical professionals, like the general practitioner taking care of the boy from Afghanistan.

Wendeborn runs a pediatric clinic near Schloss Nymphenburg, one of Munich’s most affluent neighborhoods, and his normal tasks involve cuddling babies and calming mothers. At the Bayernkaserne, he also has to take care of the usual complaints: coughs, fevers, sore throats. But he and his colleagues frequently see evidence of their patients’ hardships. “Scars, poorly healed gunshot wounds, burns,” Wendeborn says. An asylum seeker recently came to see him with bloody feet, full of blisters and wounds. The man must have travelled hundreds of kilometers without proper shoes.

Wendeborn is proud of what the Refudocs have established. He had suggested his concept to the authorities, he claims, long before the situation escalated. But it wasn’t until the newspapers reported about the misery, distress and chaos in the barracks that the politicians jumped in. Crisis teams met, task forces were established. The Refudocs started their work in November.

Normally, refugees need to get a document from the social welfare office prior to being treated. But the Refudocs, because they receive an hourly honorarium from the government of Upper Bavaria, see their patients immediately. The doctors see themselves as idealists, but they don’t want to take on the medical treatment of thousands of refugees for free. That, Wendeborn argues, would release the state of its responsibility.

Schwabhausen: Promoted Together

In the end, they were in each other’s arms: Coach Franz Gottwald, his protégé Kanteh Buba from Mali and the other players from TSV Schwabhausen. The soccer team managed to make it back into the regional league on a June afternoon, with a 3:1 win over the FC Pontos München. For Kanteh, it was the moment when it became clear that he had arrived in Germany.

Kanteh, 20, and his compatriot Zoumana Fofana, 21, had arrived in Schwabhausen a three-quarter year earlier after an odyssey through Africa and Europe. Schwabhausen is a community of 6,600 in Upper Bavaria and the two are housed in a container on the edge of town, together with over two dozen other refugees. They live there in close quarters and try to find things to do to pass the time.

Kanteh, Fofana and three other asylum seekers decided last fall to wander into town to visit TSV’s training pitch. Some of them had kicked the ball around a bit during their journey to Germany and they knew the rules from TV: offsides, penalty kicks, hand ball, yellow and red cards. They asked Coach Gottwald if they could join practice and he immediately said yes. He badly needed additional players.

A local aid group donated football shoes while the club itself had sufficient warm-ups and uniforms for the newcomers. On the field, the refugees and their teammates communicated in English, German and with gestures. And it worked: The newcomers were faster than most of their opponents. “We practiced dribbling and kicking technique,” Gottwald says. Kanteh scored three goals last season while Fofana plays defense.

The refugees have since become an integral part of the team. The other players have added them to their Whatsapp group and they take them along when they go to parties in the area. “We are friends,” says Kanteh. His team shirt bears but a single word: “Climber.”

By Martin Knobbe, Conny Neumann, Maximilian Popp, Anna Reuß, Barbara Schmid, Timo Steppat and Wolf Wiedmann-Schmidt

Last Cab to Darwin


This is a trailer to a movie we saw last Monday in Melbourne. Last Cab to Darwin is a very well made Australian movie. The cast was excellent and the road pictures were wonderful.

We saw the movie in this cinema:


We had time for coffee and cake before the movie started at 10am or thereabouts.



This is part of the roof above the big hall where we sat and relaxed having our coffee.
This is part of the roof above the big hall where we sat and relaxed having our coffee and cake.





I got the following from here:

Last Cab To Darwin M

Coarse language and mature themes
Rex is a loner, and when he’s told he doesn’t have long to live, he embarks on an epic drive through the Australian outback from Broken Hill to Darwin to die on his own terms; but his journey reveals to him that before you can end your life, you have to live it, and to live it, you’ve got to share it.

RELEASE DATE:06/08/2015



DIRECTOR:Jeremy Sims

CAST:Michael Caton, Ningali Lawford, Jacki Weaver, Emma Hamilton & Mark Coles Smith


Apparently this movie was a stage play before it was made into a movie.  I got the following from Wikipedia:

Last Cab to Darwin is a 2003 Australian drama/comedy stage play written by Reg Cribb and based upon the true story of taxi driver Max Bell who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in the early 1990s. Wikipedia