Our Guest Bedroom

We have three bedrooms in our house. Bedroom 1 is the master bedroom, bedroom 2 the study, and bedroom 3 the guest bedroom. We have had quite a few guests staying in that room over the years,  usually single people, who came to visit us for longer periods and stayed in that room which used to have a single bed and lots of book-shelves in it as well as a built-in wardrobe. For instance, Peter’s sister Ilse, who lives in Berlin (Germany), came to visit us several times for extended periods. Also my ex-sister-in-law Klaudia, who also lives in Berlin, came to visit us once and loved her stay in Australia. Several times Hertha, a friend from Melbourne, stayed with us as well, and we had lovely holidays with her, showing her our beautiful area.

Next year my brother Peter Uwe and Astrid (his second wife) want to visit us here in Australia. So we are now in the process of renovating the guest bedroom! With all this our daughter Caroline and her partner Matthew turned out to be a great help. They have already painted the guest bedroom. On the 10th of February they are going to bring a double bed over from Sydney. That means, they can stay in that guest bedroom for the coming months. On weekends they intend to continue painting all the rooms in our house! At the same time they help us to get rid of unnecessary accumulated stuff!



Recently we found out that the big tree, which can partly be seen on the right of this picture, has to go: It is poisonous!

Ex-US Intelligence Chief on Islamic State’s Rise: ‘We Were Too Dumb’


“Without the Iraq war, Islamic State wouldn’t exist today, former US special forces chief Mike Flynn openly admits. In an interview, he explains IS’ rise to become a professional force and how the Americans allowed its future leader to slip out of their hands.”







A beautiful Day at BERKELOUW’s Book Barn, 22nd January 2016

Today we had another look at Berkelouw’s Book Barn after we had not visited it for many years. It was a very good place to meet up again with G and H.

In one of Berkelouw’s pamphlets it says:


The Book Barn at Berrima is the first of its kind in Australia and responds to the demand of the reading public for inexpensive fine quality secondhand books . . . . ”

After not having visited the Book Barn for a number of years, we were astounded, how the facilities have improved. There is a huge restaurant area as well as a well established winery and a magnificent place for wine tasting!




DSCN0827 (3)


I very much liked the pizza and the salad with flowers for lunch and later on a glass of wine at the cellar door.



The poplars that lead to the book barn look as healthy as ever!


On the way home we had a quick stop at Robertson Pie Shop.


And then we had to drive down MacQuarie Pass in dense fog and rain!


All the way home it rained steadily. Luckily the rain was not as heavy as it had been the day before. Last night we had some flooding in our home. When we arrived home today, there was still a bit of rain but thankfully no more flooding. Also after yesterday’s heat-wave with temperatures well over 35C, it is very much cooler today. Australia Day is coming up next Tuesday. Already today, Friday, a lot of traffic was building up for people going South to have a long holiday weekend.

The 62 Richest People On Earth Now Hold As Much Wealth As The Poorest 3.5 Billion



I was reading this when a pop-up ad appeared for OXFAM that said education is the answer for the world’s poorest people.

Back to my roots.

Been reading Edward Said. Culture and Imperialism. And his brilliant work The Politics of Dispossession.
Back to Paulo Frieri and the Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Educate the ‘educated’, where is the leadership? Hiding in the arm of the neo-liberal tool of the ultra rich and powerful.
“The oppressor elaborates his theory of action without the people, for he stands against them. Nor can the people- as long as they are crushed and oppressed, internalising the image of the oppressor- construct by themseves the theory of their liberating action. Only in the encounter of the people with revolutionary leaders – in their communion, in their praxis- can this theory be built.”

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Sunday Scribbling

I love the pictures of the tea-sets. Congratulations to Linda Cassidy on her publishing success!

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

Yesterday I received an email telling me that Linda Cassidy Lewis’ book Forever  had been selected for publication by Kindle Press.  I had read the opening pages and so nominated the book for publication.  As a thank those of us who nominated Linda’s book are to receive a free copy prior to publication.

Of course I immediately went over to her blog to congratulate her.   And I read her latest post.

And I saw that she too had a tea set, somewhat like mine but I suggest hers is from an earlier time.

teaset2 Linda’s tea set

And what a beautiful tea set it is.

Linda comments in her blog post “Pictured above is the beautiful tea set for one that a sister-in-law sent me during my recovery from surgery last year. This year, I want to make it a habit to sit quietly once a day and…

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1st Thursday in January 2016


Peter arranged for a HOUSEHOLD CLEAN-UP SERVICE by Wollongong Council for Friday, 15th of January 2016. All items for disposal have to be out at the kerbsite by 6 am that day, but not more than 24 hours before. All recyclable items (like TVs, computers and mattresses) to be placed in a separate pile.

There are ten units (villas) in our complex. We had not asked for a clean-up service for quite some time. I expect, a lot of things are going to be thrown out. In our house more and more stuff is being piled up to go out for the clean-up day which is now only one week away.


Epiphany 2016


Here is a quote from the blog of Mushy Cloud with the heading LET THE LIGHT IN:

“Have you ever wondered about the phrase “having an epiphany”? It’s usually where we experience sudden clarity or insight into something we have perhaps been struggling with. Another way to look at it is that light is thrown onto a difficult issue or situation. The magi, or wise men, found the same when they arrived in Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth.”


The following is by Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com


End of Christmas: Twelfth Night, Eve of Epiphany and taking down your tree

“‘ ‘ ‘ Today is that 12th day, Jan. 5. It’s been a tradition since Victorian England to celebrate the end of Christmas on Twelfth Night, taking down the evergreens of Christmas season and lighting a bonfire. . . . . . ‘

Welcome 2016

DSCN0429Early in the morning of December 24th our son Martin had arrived in Moss Vale by train from Melbourne. His connecting railway coach to take him down MacQuarie Pass had not waited because his train was one hour late in Moss Vale. However there was another railway bus a bit later which went through several highland towns to pick up passengers  to Albion Park Rail, Dapto and Wollongong. So Martin arrived in Dapto a bit later than expected. It was good to have Martin here for breakfast. A bit later Caroline and Matthew arrived from Sydney to spend the Christmas days with us.

On Christmas Eve we had also all our local family at our place for our Christmas Eve celebrations. I think we were 16 people in all, our two little darling great-grandsons included. Martin, Caroline and Matthew were with us at our house till Monday, the 28th of December. Martin, Peter and I left early on that Monday morning to travel in our car to Martin’s place in Essendon (Melbourne). Martin and Peter could take turns in driving the car. That meant we had some smooth travelling. After having had Christmas Day on Friday, and after that Saturday and Sunday, the Monday when we left for Melbourne was actually a public holiday, the so called ‘Boxing Day’.

Here I mentioned our stop at YACKANDANDAH on our way to Melbourne:


We had of course other stops too. For instance we stopped near here:


This is the place where grandson Ryan and Ebony stopped with their children on the same day on their way to Adelaide. We knew that they would stop there, but we were not sure what time they would be there. So we did not see them. However Peter received pictures of them on Facebook later on. During their whole trip to Adelaide Ebony sent some lovely pictures of the boys. These pictures told us, that the little ones were enjoying the trip very much.

While we stayed with Martin in Essendon for the last few days of the year, Caroline and Matthew stayed at our house in Dapto. On New Year’s Eve we had a very good dinner at an Indian restaurant near where Martin lives.

Martin, Uta and Peter at an Indian Restaurant on New Year's Eve 2015,
Martin, Uta and Peter at an Indian Restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2015,

On Wednesdy, 30th of December,  we had visited grandson Tristan and Stephanie and their daughters Kia and Jakie:


This visit was last year’s highlight! We also did get to know Stephanie’s brother on that day.

We had planned on resting on Friday, which was New Year’s Day. We thought if we started driving back on Saturday, we would be arriving back home on Sunday. But before year’s end we had decided changed our mind about leaving on Saturday.  We wanted to leave instead already on Friday. We were planning on staying overnight somewhere on the way home.

After Martin had made us again a lovely breakfast and helped us to pack our things in the car, we departed already Friday morning. I must say,  it had been great to stay with Martin for a few days. He always looks after us beautifully. We very much like visiting him. But we knew, he had to go back to work soon. So it was just as well that he had a bit of time without his parents before going back to work.

We had packed a powerful drink for our trip with some caffeine in it. Martin had also packed us some hot coffee in a thermos.  Peter was the sole driver since I do not have a driver’s license any more.  Soon Peter’s homing instinct took over. He did not get tired during the whole trip back home. He decided we did not need to stay overnight somewhere. He wanted to drive straight back home instead. So it happened we arrived home already Friday night and Caroline and Matthew were still at our place. Matthew stood outside when we arrived. He was quite a sight in his comfortable sarong from Bali.  They had prepared dinner  Both Caroline and Matthew were very happy to see us. There was lots to talk about. It looks they are planning to help us quite a bit in the New Year. More about this later.

Our Christmas Tree has not been packed away yet. We usually leave it up till the 6th of January. I always think of the song: Twelve days of Christmas! I found today Pam’s blog about the Epiphany:


She writes:

” . . . . .   For western Christians, Christmas carries on until Epiphany, which is when we remember the arrival of the magi at the nativity.   . . . . .”


I also spent some time with what Gerard Oosterman had written  He is about to publish all his writing in a book and is looking for a title. So far his decision is to call the book: Vignettes. I tried to find out a bit more about it by googling the word ‘vignette’.


Autobiography and Truth
“All autobiographies are lies. I do not mean unconscious, unintentional lies; I mean deliberate lies. No man is bad enough to tell the truth about himself during his lifetime, involving, as it must, the truth about his family and friends and colleagues. And no man is good enough to tell the truth in a document which he suppresses until there is nobody left alive to contradict him.”
(George Bernard Shaw, Sixteen Self Sketches, 1898)

Examples of Vignettes

Here is a bit more about the function of vignettes:


Function of Vignette

We often find vignettes in creative writing, as it provides description to achieve an artistic effect. However, we also see its usage in prose and poetry. Writers use this device to explore a character, and describe the setting of a scene, etc. Vignettes give deeper understanding of texts, as writers densely pack them with imagery and symbolism. Besides, it increases writers’ language proficiency, as they use their language to its fullest by employing imagery to get a certain color and mood. Hence, the nature of vignettes is evocative and put an impact on the senses of readers















december 20 our place We had arrived at our son’s place o