The Gratitude Bell at Nan Tien Temple



This is where the Gratitude Bell is. There is a great view from up there.
This is where the Gratitude Bell is. There is a great view from up there.


When you chime the bell you are supposed to think with gratitude of your ancestors. I remember when I once walked to the bell in summer, I got very hot. Last Wednesday in the midst of August, I had no problem walking up to the bell. I do love the bell’s sound. It spreads far and wide over the surrounding area.


Our Weekend with Martin, August 2015

Our XPT to Melbourne Aug/ 2015
Our XPT to Melbourne Aug/ 2015

As soon as I took my seat on the train, Peter noticed that I had been given a seat with an emergency button. This made me feel very safe indeed. 🙂 The menu card promised that we could be adequately fed during our long train journey.


In Junee the train had to stop for a while. So Peter had a chance to go off the train and take a few pictures.


In front of Junee Station
In front of Junee Station


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Martin lives in Melbourne near Essendon Station. Martin once took this picture with the rainbow above. He is proud that he could capture this rainbow. He kindly let us have the picture. We did not travel from Essendon Station this time for Martin had hired a car for the weekend and drove us around everywhere.

 Sunday,6th.Aug.2015,Martin drove us to the Woodlands Homestead.
Sunday,6th.Aug.2015,Martin drove us to the Woodlands Homestead.



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Having a rest after a long walk
Having a rest after a long walk
In Aug 2014 we were at Sussex Inlet and saw there a lot of kangaroos.
In Aug 2014 we were at Sussex Inlet and saw there a lot of kangaroos.

But back to the homestead. Refreshments were available there: Great Devonshire Tea and coffee. It was lovely to sit in typical English surroundings.

This is the Entrance to the Homestead.
This is the Entrance to the Homestead.


After we had had our refreshments we went around to have a look at the different rooms in the homestead and Peter took some more pictures:





As we wqere leaving, Peter took some more pictures outside:










This is what I found in The Guardian:


Mass migration is no ‘crisis’: it’s the new normal as the climate changes
by Ellie Mae O’Hagan

What’s the common factor between the tragic deaths of refugees in the Mediterranean and the Arab spring? Food shortages driven by global warming

I’ve been interested in the way the migrant crisis is being debated in politics and the media. It’s that word – crisis – that is particularly striking. It suggests that what we’re seeing in across Europe is an aberration, a temporary disaster to be “solved” by politicians. Even the sight of ramshackle tents in Calais suggests a phenomenon that could be cleared away at any given moment.

In The Concept of the Political, the philosopher Carl Schmitt argued that, when presented with crisis, liberal democracies will put aside constitutional niceties in order to survive. The public consents to its government violating liberal values because crisis is a state of exception, which requires desperate measures.

Perhaps that explains why there has been so little uproar over supposedly civilised societies using terminology like “marauding” and “swarms”, and making policy decisions that result in hundreds of people drowning in the Mediterranean or languishing in detention centres. These things, we think, don’t reflect who we are as people. They are just necessary responses to this current crisis.

There is only one problem with calling this phenomenon of migration a crisis, and that is that it’s not temporary: it’s permanent. Thanks to global climate change, mass migration could be the new normal.

There are lots of estimates as to what we can expect to see in the near future, but the best known (and controversial) figure comes from Professor Norman Myers, who argues that climate change could cause 200 million people to be displaced by 2050.

In fact, it’s already happening. According to the Pentagon, climate change is a “threat multiplier” and does appear to be increasing risk of conflict.

Indeed a new study released in March suggests this is exactly what happened in Syria, after a severe drought in 2006. As the study’s co-author, Professor Richard Seager, explains, “We’re not saying drought caused the [Syrian conflict]. We’re saying that added to all the other stressors, it helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict. And a drought of that severity was made much more likely by the ongoing human-driven drying of that region.”

Syria now has the highest number of refugees in the world. A new government-commissioned report on the looming climate-induced food shortage suggests that “the rise of Isis may owe much to the food crises that spawned the Arab spring”.

In his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond points out that the most environmentally stressed places in the world are the most likely to have conflicts, which then generate refugees. Rapid climate change will environmentally stress lots of developing countries.

One day there could be Italians and Greeks in camps in Calais, as their own countries become even hotter and more arid
But it’s not just conflicts exacerbated by climate that will create refugees: climate change, in and of itself, is likely to cause mass migration. As Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at University College London puts it: “Climate and vegetation zones are shifting, so the Mediterranean will likely keep getting drier this century, with knock-on negative social and economic impacts. That will be tough for Spain, Italy and Greece, where significant numbers of people may move north, and of course, displaced people from elsewhere wouldn’t stay in the Mediterranean, they’d keep travelling north.”

In other words, the Mediterranean countries currently trying to cope with migrants from other parts of the world may eventually have a migrant crisis of their own. One day there could conceivably be Italians and Greeks in camps in Calais, as their own countries become even hotter and more arid.

In a 2014 paper, Migration as Adaptation, Kayly Ober suggests migration is a good way of dealing with the imminent effects of climate change. She argues that the international community’s thoughts should “turn from not only stemming greenhouse gas emissions, but also how to deal with an already altered world”.

The idea of millions of migrants being assisted to move to western Europe might scandalise the Daily Mail, but it shouldn’t – because migration might be a form of adaptation many Britons may also have to consider. According to the Environment Agency, 7,000 British properties may be lost to rising sea levels over the next century. These people too will need to be relocated.

So what do we do about climate migration? The first step is to change our perceptions. We need to process the fact that migration isn’t going to go away or be “solved”. In all likelihood, it will become more common; a new normal.

The second step is obvious – we must all be more active in pushing governments to take more decisive action to reduce global greenhouse emissions, so that more people can remain safely in their homes and communities. For its part, Britain must adhere to international commitments to reduce emissions in line with keeping warming below dangerous levels (in other words 2C above pre-industrial levels) as well as providing adequate funds for adaptation. Britain must also push for a strong equitable global deal in the Paris climate talks in December, seen by many as the “last chance” to avert catastrophic climate change.

And finally, we need to urgently address the current strategies western governments are using to deal with migration, and the almost rabid commentary that often accompanies those strategies. There is a strong case for Britain to take a substantial number of climate refugees: as the first country to industrialise, we need to take historical responsibility for climate change, and should take into account our historical carbon emissions and their effects when responding to mass climate migration.

The migration we are witnessing is not a state of exception: it is the beginning of a new paradigm – and how we choose to respond to it reflects on who we fundamentally are as a society. We must deal with the victims of this permanent crisis in a compassionate way, not just for their humanity but for our own.




On the Way to Melbourne, Friday, 14th August, 2015

At 7 am we boarded the railway coach that took us up Macquarie Pass to Moss Vale. The train from Sydney arrived some time later in Moss Vale and took us all the way to Melbourne where we arrived  a bit before 7 pm’

We arrived in Moss Vale already at 8 am and we had more than one hour to spare before the Sydney train was due. We used the time to book in our luggage and to have some coffee and cake from across the road. On the train later on we were served a good hot lunch. We also had some light beer with our lunch.

But here now are some pictures Peter took at Moss Vale railway station:



View of a wattle tree from Moss Vale station
View of a wattle tree from Moss Vale station
The station has an inner courtyard.
The station has an inner courtyard.




Secret to Happiness

This is from the article with the above link:

“The science is in, and the experts agree: you should spend all of your money on travel. Right now.

I mean, they didn’t say that in so many words, but the inference was definitely there. Any spare cash you’ve got should be going straight into the holiday bank account and made use of as soon as possible. Because that’s the secret to happiness.”

In the above two links you find some interesting writing about how travelling can make you happy and gives you lots of stuff to tell about in coming years!

IT IS WATTLE TIME! (Late Winter in Australia)


The golden flowers are supposed to appear in late winter and spring. So today we saw our first wattles again.

Peter took all these pictures this morning with his mobile phone!


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Peter and I had a beautiful walk up to this spot early this morning. I decided to take a rest here in the sun looking out unto the water.

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These are some of the houses near the street where we had parked our car.
These are some of the houses near the street where we had parked our car.
Where the parking area is there is also this beautiful playground.
Where the parking area is there is also this beautiful playground.

The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use. It is a walled enclave within the city ofAugsburg, Bavaria. It takes it name from the Fugger family and was founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger the Younger (known as “Jakob Fugger the Rich”) as a place where the needy citizens of Augsburg could be housed. By 1523, 52 houses had been built, and in the coming years the area expanded with various streets, small squares and a church. The gates were locked at night, so the Fuggerei was, in its own right, very similar to a small independent medieval town. It is still inhabited today, affording it the status of being the oldest social housing project in the world.

Fugger Fuggerei Herrengasse.jpg



The rent was and is still one Rheinischer Gulden per year (equivalent to 0.88 euros), as well as three daily prayers for the current owners of the Fuggerei — the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Nicene Creed. The conditions to live there remain the same as they were 480 years ago: one must have lived at least two years in Augsburg, be of the Catholic faith and have become indigent without debt. The five gates are still locked every day at 10 PM.

Housing units in the area consist of 45 to 65 square meter (500–700 square foot) apartments, but because each unit has its own street entrance it simulates living in a house. There is no shared accommodation; each family has its own apartment, which includes a kitchen, a parlour, a bedroom and a tiny spare room, altogether totaling about 60 square metres. Ground-floor apartments all have a small garden and garden shed, while upper-floor apartments have an attic. All apartments have modern conveniences such as television and running water. One ground-floor apartment is uninhabited, serving as a museum open to the public. The doorbells have elaborate shapes, each being unique, dating back to before the installation of streetlights when residents could identify their unit by feeling the handle in the dark.


The Fugger family initially established their wealth in weaving and merchandising. Jakob the Rich expanded their interests into silver mining and trading with Venice. Additionally he was a financier and counted the Vatican as a notable client. The family became financial backers of the Habsburg family and he financed the successful election of Charles V as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519.[1]

The Fuggerei was first built between 1514 and 1523 under the supervision of the architect Thomas Krebs, and in 1582 Hans Holl added St. Mark’s Church to the settlement. Expanded further in 1880 and 1938, the Fuggerei today comprises 67 houses with 147 apartments, a well, and an administrative building.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s great-grandfather, the mason Franz Mozart, lived in the Fuggerei between 1681 and 1694, and is commemorated today by a stone plaque.

The Fuggerei was heavily damaged by the bombings of Augsburg during World War II, but has been rebuilt in its original style.


The Fuggerei is supported by a charitable trust established in 1520 which Jakob Fugger funded with an initial deposit of 10,000 guilders.[1 According to the Wall Street Journal the trust has been carefully managed with most of its income coming from forestry holdings, which the Fugger family favored since the 17th century after losing money on higher yielding investments. The annual return on the trust has ranged from an after inflation rate of 0.5% to 2%. Currently the trust is administered by Wolf-Dietrich Graf von Hundt.

As of 2011, the fee for a tour into the Fuggerei is 4.00 euro — over four times the annual rent.

In 1977 Peter and I visited my cousin Renate and her family in Munich. From Munich we did a day trip to visit my uncle Edmund and his wife Flora in Augsburg. Among other things we visited with them the Augsburg Fuggerei. For lunch they invited us to the close by FUGGEREI STUBE.

Neptunbrunnen and Entrance to the Fuggerei
Neptunbrunnen and Entrance to the Fuggerei
A street in the Fuggerei in 1977
A street in the Fuggerei in 1977
Peter on the left, Uncle E behind Uta
Peter on the left, Uncle E behind Uta
A Restaurant near the Fuggerei
A Restaurant near the Fuggerei

Face the World with a peaceful Mind . . .

A Visitor on our Back-Fence

Face the World with a peaceful Mind . . .
The continuation of this verse you can find here:

I published this blog three years ago about a month after the death of our daughter Gabriele.

In response to a comment I wrote:

“These verses helped me to feel more grounded. I could have gone the other way, having been hit with so many disconcerting things during the last few days in connection with the estate of our deceased daughter. So it was wonderful to come across these pics just when I needed them. I decided then on the spur of the moment to share them in my blog. The pics were taken at the beginning of the month when we stopped at the Nan Tien Temple after having picked up our daughter Caroline from a train station. The surroundings of the temple always make us feel good.”

. . . . . .

Monday, 10th of August, 2015

We just booked another trip to Berlin for a family reunion, meaning in ten months we are going to be in Berlin with a lot of family members. We are already very excited about this!

The other day we booked a train-trip to Melbourne and return to Dapto. This means, this coming Friday we are going to take the day- train to Melbourne, where we are going to stay with our son Martin. On Monday we travel back home on the Sydney night-train. We are getting off at Moss Vale. From Moss Vale there is a railway bus that takes us down Macquarie Pass to our home-town, Dapto, where we arrive early on Tuesday morning

We are thinking of visiting the Nan Tien Temple some time after our return from Melbourne. We have not been at the temple for quite some time and are very much looking forward to experiencing again its calm and peaceful surroundings.

. . . .   . .

.Every day we eat a few cherries, usually with yoghurt or ice-cream or custard.


We can pick parsley like this  close by near a lane
This is a gift a neighbour gave me out of her garden.

DIGITAL CAMERAView from our kitchen


The Poetry of Dispossession

The Most Revolutionary Act


Heather Roy (2005)

Film Review

Trudell is a documentary about the life and work of American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, poet and philosopher John Trudell. The film is made up of archival and performance footage, interviews with Trudell, family members and film and rock celebrities who have worked with him, and samples of his poetry.

Stop Thief: the Commons Enclosures and Resistance (see Forgotten History: the Theft of the Commons) has helped me understand the Indian Wars and the continuing oppression of Native Americans in a whole new light. As author Peter Linebaugh describes it, the Indian Wars boil down to a determination by Jefferson and other early US leaders to enclose (ie steal) Indian lands to fence them off as private property. And as Trudell emphasizes in this film, repeated treaty violations all revolve around US efforts to steal yet more Indian land and resources for profit.

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