A Copy of ‘Experiences in my Life’

On the 10th October 2018 I wrote this:

“Yesterday there was on Peter’s Facebook a link to this blog. A few people were interested in reading it. I reblogged it here so maybe some more people might want to read it.”

So today, one year later, I looked again at this blog and decided to copy it, hoping that some blogger friends who haven’t seen it yet, might want to have a look at it.

Originally I published it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2017/10/05/experiences-in-my-life/

Here now is the copy of ‘Experiences in my Life’ from the 5th October 2017:

“It has been a while  since I added anything to my childhood memories. If I had another look at it now to see what I have written  some time ago, maybe I would find a few things in there that I do not remember so well anymore now. With time the memories seem to fade somewhat. This is why it is important to write down the things that I do still remember now.

Today I thought about it how blessed I am that I have a number of great-grandchildren. Yes, there are five of them now. Grandson Tristan has two girls, grandson Ryan has two boys, and granddaughter Roxanne has one boy. The two girls are nine and ten years. The boys are five and three years, whereas Roxy’s little Carter is now 10 and 1/2 months. Since all of us do not live very close together,  I cannot see the family on a daily or weekly basis. Even a regular monthly meeting is usually not on the cards for Peter and me.  After all we are both in our eighties. Still, I am very happy that Peter can still drive enabling us to participate in special family celebrations. A few times a year our extended Family does come to visit us. I am always thrilled when a lot of visitors turn up at our place!

Everyone tells  us that it  is great that our family keeps in contact for birthdays, and at Christmas time and Easter. I do appreciate this very much and am very grateful for it. It is very rewarding to see the growing up of  great-grandchildren.  Watching them at their different stages kind of reminds me of my own childhood.

I often ask myself: What was I like at such and such an age? I still do have vivid memories about some events and some family members from the time when I was about three or four. So would my great-grandchildren perhaps remember people and events from the here and now when they are in their eighties?

When I go back to the time when I was about three or four, Cordula often comes to mind who was just eight months younger than I was. We could see each other quite often. Actually, I think she was a bit like a sister to me. When her Mum took Cordula for an outing. I was often allowed to go with them. I have such good memories about these walks! I cannot recall that my Mum ever asked Cordula to come along with us when my Mum took me for  an outing somewhere. I think occasionally Cordula would come to the apartment where I lived to play with me. But usually I would go for visits to  where Cordula lived just two floors further up on the fifth floor.

To me – even as a child – these  five story high Berlin apartment buildings  were just perfect as a  place to live  in. When we moved to a desolate country area because of ever increasing bomb raids on Berlin, I missed Berlin very much.

Last year when we went for  a visit to Berlin, we  stayed in an area where  all the buildings  were five stories high. All of them were beautifully restored and maintained. “Wie im tiefsten Frieden”  – like there was absolute peace. This is what we used to tell us during the war when something seemed to be like it was before the war started. These buildings I  am referring to were last year already well over 100 years  old!”

One month ago, on the 13th September 2019, granddaughter Roxanne had a Baby daughter: Evie Rose. That means little Carter ( nearly 3 now) has a baby sister. He loves her to bits!

Last weekend we stayed in Sydney: Grandson Troy did get married to Antonina. It was again a great family event!

In October 2017 two bloggers made comments to

 “Experiences in my Life”

I copy these comments here together with my answers:

  1. It is always rewarding to have family keep in contact. After marriage one of my brothers and one sister moved to Queensland. Another brother lives in Holland. The distance makes it more difficult but sometimes we phone or even visit.
    The grandsons are now in their teens and start making their own lives.

    1. That’s right, Gerard, distance makes it more difficult. We often talk with Peter’s sister in Berlin via skype, also we do talk via skype with my brother who lives not far from Berlin. To be able to skype for free for any length of time is a marvellous thing. However seeing our siblings in person and being able to give them real hugs is something else altogether. In our modern world because of overseas flights we do have the opportunity to keep some real person to person contact. But no matter how often we take to the air to go for visits in distant lands in the end we have to live most of the time without our far away siblings . On the other hand it may perhaps be possible to tell oneself that overall the spiritual is somewhat more important than the physical?
      How often do very elderly people lead a very lonely life because none of their loved ones lives near by?

I copied what I wrote in October 2013 about Bushfires near Sydney

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

“Premier Barry O’Farrell has today been at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters in Lidcombe.

He has warned residents across the state to brace for the possibility of mass evacuations in coming days amid dire weather forecasts.”

‘‘The state’s in for challenging days ahead,’’ he said

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfires-live-updates-20131020-2vumk.html#ixzz2iEI9AfvF

I just discovered the above new item in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Some areas in NSW experienced the worst bushfires last Thursday when temperatures reached the high thirties (Celsius) with very strong erratic extremely hot winds. 208 houses have been destroyed so far. The entire Blue Mountains Area is still in danger.

So the Premier says ” to brace for the possibility of mass evacuations in coming days amid dire weather forecasts.”

This warning applies to residents across the state of NSW. I think a lot of people tend to think it is not going to effect them unless they live right next to the bush. However to be honest under these dire weather conditions a fire could turn up anywhere within a very short time. So I think the Premier is right to give people a warning like this.  For sure it is much better to be prepared than to be sorry later on.

 

Here now is a message from the Queen:

 

“2:58pm: Her Majesty The Queen has just sent a message on the bushfire situation here. She’s expressed great admiration for the work of fire fighters.

“I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been affected by the devastating bushfires across New South Wales.

“My thoughts are with the many people who have lost their homes or livelihoods in the fires, and I have great admiration for the fire fighters, volunteers and emergency services officers who are working tirelessly to contain the situation.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfires-live-updates-20131020-2vumk.html#ixzz2iEQUOraR

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14 thoughts on “Bushfire Warnings for the Coming Days”

  1. Liebe Ute wünsche dir einen schönen Tag und ich wünsche dir das du vor dem Feuer in Sicherheit bist,ist eine schreckliche Sache, die armen Leute tun mir so Leid ich bette für sie.Ich wünsche dir eine gute Woche und alles Liebe von mir.Lieber Gruß von mir und Freundschaft.Gislinde

    1. Thanks for your concern, Mary-Ann. We are near Wollongong 100 km south of Sydney. We are all right for the time being. The huge fires in the Blue Mountains a bit west of Sydney are still of great concern.

  2. This is a good round-up for me thank you, Aunty Uta, of what’s happening. I see snippets of the news, but only grabs of it. Glad you provided the link.
    I don’t think I’d ever build in a forest.

    Hope youa re well, Aunty Uta! 🙂

    1. Yes. thank you, Noeleen, Peter and I are well. Of course people who build in bush areas, are most at risk. But this does not mean if you build in a suburb or city there is no risk. It is very difficult to keep bushfires under control if there is no moisture in the air and if there are very hot, strong winds. At the moment more than 2000 firefighters try to keep the fires under control!
      All of Sydney is covered in smog from the fires in the Blue Mountains.
      Today we might get a bit of rain, but it won’t be enough rain to extinguish the huge fires to the west of Sydney. These fires might rage on for weeks to come.
      Where we are there are a lot of trees and grass and everything dries out quickly in hot, windy weather. As the Premier says, we prepare for the worst but hope for the best!
      Cheers, Aunty Uta. 🙂

      1. I hope for the best alongside you, Aunty Uta.

        It’s raining in Melbourne right now.

        Every year the same and every year still so much tragedy in it – losing your belongings, photos, “things”. Left with nil. It’s really distresing, Aunty Uta. I’d hate to see that smoke in the hills.

        Take care 🙂

    1. Sheila, these bushfires in the mountains are terrifying. The really hot weather did not last for very long. Now with much cooler weather I guess the firefighting gets a little bit easier. There are still some rather unpredictable winds around, that means the firefighters and emergency workers still have a very tough job.
      Thank you! Cheerio, Uta ox

Teaching Children Empathy over Competition?

Teaching Children Empathy over Competition?

What do you think, is showing empathy more important than being very competitive?

And what is the parent’s role in helping children that become over anxious?

Can a competitive environment cause great anxiety in children?

If you go to the link below, maybe you’ll be able to find some interesting articles about the raising of children.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-25/learning-from-denmark-teaching-children-empathy-over-competition/11524074

 

Diary with some more Pictures from August 2019

https://auntyuta.com/2019/08/30/diary-with-pictures-from-august-2019/

There are quite a few pictures from August that I published already towards the end of August.

I found now a few more pictures from that month. Here they are:

DSCN5607
Some of our discarded stuff ready for collection

 

We try to sort out some DVDs. We have too many and they take up too much room. So it is best to get rid of some . . . However, for instance ‘As it is in HEAVEN is such a great movie I really would like to watch it again!

 

DSCN5686
We like to sit out there for Morning Tea

This is such a great spot in the morning winter sun!

DSCN5697
Peter is having a bit of a rest.

 

Uta’s Diary, 2nd of September 2015

https://auntyuta.com/2015/09/02/utas-diary-2nd-of-september-2015/

A bit over four years ago I published the above post. There are some pictures in it reminding me of Gaby’s birthday and some family visits, when Lucas was 3 and Alexander barely one.

And then I included some pictures of my parents: One of my father with Gaby, when Gaby was just six months old. We lived at the time at my father’s place in Düsseldorf. My father was very fond of the baby and straight away when he came home from his office he would go to pick up Gaby for a while to talk to her.

There is also a picture of my mother with Gaby when Gaby was nearly one year old. We were in Berlin for a visit at the time. The picture was taken at my mum’s balcony. I inserted these two pictures of my parents because I had been thinking how very different from each other my parents had actually been. Reading what I wrote about it some four years ago, did bring back quite a lot of memories for me. These memories are still very strong memories. I find it interesting to reflect on all this and copy here what I wrote in September 2015:

“The older I get the more I seem to reflect on times past. I often felt very much out of place as a young person. Also I tended to be “zurückhaltend”, that is I was usually more the listener and observer and did not show a great deal of affection and emotion. On the other hand, I also remember times when I felt free and communicative and very talkative.

When I think of my parents, the most remarkable memory about them is, how very different they were. Here is a bit of how my father may have influenced me, and then how my mother’s influence was so very different.

My father was the most open minded and tolerant person. He liked to talk to me about a lot of things. He always treated me as though I was trustworthy and mature for my age, able to understand different points of view. Very rarely did I see him being angry with me. He only tended to be somewhat angry when, all of a sudden, I behaved in a very unpredictable way. Despite his open mindedness he was basically a very conservative man. If I showed signs of departing from his view of the world, this would upset him personally. Still, he was loving and forgiving, and eventually he was always able to accept my departure from some of his conservative views.

Now, my mother was in every way the opposite of my father. On the whole she was maybe rather tolerant as far as I was concerned because she loved me. But she made it very clear, that she did not love my father anymore. She showed not the least bit of tolerance towards him, on the contrary, she showed a lot of hatred, for in her opinion he was a “Versager” who did not do anything for his children. She thought it was not up to her to look after him when he had serious health issues. Maybe she thought he was just pretending. Also, she hardly ever talked to me about things that were important to me. She tended to keep very important things from me, for she wanted ‘to protect’ me! At least, this is how I remember it. I knew she loved me very much. Still, I always felt I was not the daughter she imagined I should be. I remember she telling me, I was an “Oppositionsgeist”. So I must have been speaking up about some things that disturbed me a great deal. I felt very bad for opposing her, but I could not help it. Of course, on the outside I tried very hard to go along with what she expected of me, just to keep the peace. Alas, I think I came into inner conflict about it. In short, I often did not feel happy about myself.”

I ask myself now, how come, when I felt very much loved by both parents, I still did not feel very happy in myself a lot of the time? I think I felt torn between my parents . . . .

But ging back to that diary from the 2nd of September 2015 I wrote that we had cake on that Sunday afternoon when we had family visits. One of the cakes was a freshly baked cheesecake. Peter baked it! Here it is still in the oven:

IMG_1034

And I wrote: The following Sunday, which is Fathers’ Day here in Australia, we are all going to meet for lunch at a Thai Restaurant. So, this was four years ago!

Fathers Day in Australia is always on the first Sunday of September.

OUR LUCKY ESCAPE

Today I remembered again how we escaped all these bomb raids during World War Two. and how we escaped the bombing of grandmother’s place in Leipzig in April 1945. Here I wrote about it:

https://auntyuta.com/2011/12/08/our-lucky-escape/

Some of my children know a bit about our lucky escape in 1945. In case they want to find out a bit more about it, I am now trying to write down whatever I do remember.

During the last war years we had stayed away from Berlin, living east of Berlin in a desolate country area. With the Russians fast approaching at the beginning of 1945, my mother decided, we would move to grandmother’s place in Leipzig, rather than go back to Berlin to our apartment which we still rented. We children were never allowed to visit Berlin during the years of the bomb raids.

From the beginning of February 1945 my mother, my two brothers and I stayed in Leipzig with grandmother and cousin Renata. As I remember it, there were frequent bomb raids. We were used to the sound of the sirens and having to stay in the cellar for hours at a time.

After Christmas, schools had not opened any more. We played a lot in the surrounding streets with other children. But we were never allowed to stroll very far. In case of an alarm , we had to be within the vicinity of our cellar. For us children this was just part of every day life. My brothers were three and six years, I was ten years old. The winter was very cold, but we still had enough to eat, were dressed warmly. In the kitchen there was always a fire going in the oven for cooking and for hot water. In the bedrooms we had enormous feather-beds to keep us warm.

There was talking about that this bloody war was soon to end. We sure were looking forward to this! I cannot remember ever having been scared or thinking that anything bad could happen to me. Or to my family. To us children it seemed rather entertaining to be sitting in the air-raid shelter. Many people congregating as soon as the sirens went off, was extremely exciting! We did get to know everyone, who lived in that tall five story building. The adults would talk to us children, asking us questions, just being friendly.

And we would listen to the adults talking to each other. I remember that I always found it interesting to listen to adult conversations. And sometimes all of us would sing a few songs. I loved the singing of songs! When we could hear bombs hitting somewhere in the neighbourhood, it never seemed very close to us. This meant we were all right. Often my three year old brother entertained everyone by singing solo. They were cute little children’s songs. People always encouraged him to sing more songs because they loved his singing.

In April there was another bomb-raid. We had a relaxing time with everybody in the cellar. It was a long lasting alarm, went on for hours. Since it was in the middle of the night, mum wanted us to go to sleep. We were able to stretch out a bit on our makeshift beds. But I don’t think we were able to go to sleep that night. My brother Peter was still singing his songs when several bombs hit us. This time there could be no doubt that the bombs had fallen right on top of us since the noise was absolutely deafening! My six year old brother Bodo started crying. I felt so sorry for him. It was terrible seeing him being so horribly scared. I said to him he needn’t be afraid. Soon everything would be over.

I was right. It did not take long at all. All of a sudden, it was very quiet. Then some people started moving, investigating, whether we could still get out. Our main exit was full of debris. Impossible to get out there. There was a bricked-in escape to the cellar of the next door building. To make use of this escape, quite a few bricks would have to be dislodged. Then someone shouted that the window, that led from the cellar to the footpath in one of the adjoining cellar-rooms, was not blocked. It was easy, to get out through there!

A sigh of relief went through the crowd. My brother Bodo was not scared any more either. My brother Peter had never been scared at all. People said, this was because he had still been too little to understand. Later on, we found, that the building had been hit by up to five bombs. Right to the ground-floor,  everything had been torn away. Miraculously, a lot of the ground-floor was still standing. This was my grandmother’s apartment! My grandmother was able to save some of her furniture together with all our belongings. A lucky escape indeed.

I published the above in December 2011 and here are some comments to this post:

  1. What a harrowing experience! I hope people are not so quick to forget. There are no real winners in war. There are only casualties. European countries are wise to tread carefully not to disentangle their alliances. No one wants to Europe ripped apart by some lunatic or some crazy ideology.

    1. There have been a lot of changes since the end of World War II. Has the world become more peaceful? Do we all work for peace? When we say we want peace on earth, do we really mean it?
      Let’s count our blessings and be thankful for what has been given to us. But let’s not forget that a lot of people still suffer enormous hardship.
      Thanks for visiting, dear Mary-Ann. Your comments show that you care a lot. Have a very beautiful Advent Season. Best wishes, Uta.

    1. I cannot remember ever having been very scared as a child. But writing about it now makes me shake a bit. After more than 66 years I find it hard to believe that we could have been so lucky to escape unhurt!
      Thanks for your comment, dear Munira.

  2. Oh my goodness. What a vivid account. I know what you mean about being fascinated by adult conversation. I was the same way as a young child. Perhaps that is part of the reason that you had a bit of an adult-like perspective on the events at the time and yet saw it through the eyes of a child as an adventure of sorts. But my goodness–to have experienced so very much so very young. I am grateful that you and your family survived.

    1. You’re spot on with your comments, dear Kate! As you say as children we could see it as an adventure of sorts. Mum was always quick too to make the best of a given situation. We lived in one of the cellar-rooms for the first few days after our building had been destroyed. It was spring already. During the day we had lovely sunshine. Mum and Renata acually anjoyed sitting in the sunshine on mats on the big heap of rubble in front of what used to be our house. They were happily remarking that they had a lovely time sitting there! I am not sure what day the Americans arrived in Leipzig, but I am certain it was while we still lived in the cellar. I was close to Mum and Renata when we noticed some planes flying above us in the clear sky. It happened to be the 20th of April. Mum as well as Renata very happily joked that the planes might be on their way to Berlin to give Hitler a birthday present!.

    1. After the end of W W II we were under the delusion that wars could be prevented forever. We were so much longing for a peaceful world! We were dreaming that peace could last forever. My family was lucky that now for more than 65 years we could live in peace. I wished everyone had the chance to live in peace like this.

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A Drop in Living Standards?

I ask myself the same questions again that I asked already a few days ago. Here they are:

“A drop in living standards to sustainable levels? It seems to me, hardly anyone is prepared for a drop in their living standards especially if our leaders do not have the guts to insist on it.
What then is most likely to happen in the near future?
Some more far thinking people tell us, something catastrophic may happen, namely the collapse of our natural support systems. . . . The majority of people so far resist believing all this. especially when the leaders give the impression that it is all right to just continue with our way of living the way it is. So, why change anything when we have such a ‘good life’; isn’t this the attitude of most people?”

I say it again, the majority of people so far resist believing that a drop in living standards to sustainable levels is necessary. I would say, in all war situations people generally did accept a drop in their living standards. They had to, right? My own experience in World War Two and the years after the war (in Germany that is) showed me that people could quite well exist with a huge drop in their living standards. Actually, a lot of people seemed to live a healthier life when food was scarce. This of course does not include people who suffered very ill health because of starvation! One might say, there is a actually a great difference between a scarcity of food for a lot of people and some terrible starving because of severe food shortages. . . . Anyhow, I think, excessive food consumption and wastage of food, the way it is being encouraged in our affluent society,  we should better try to avoid.

I think the excessive climate changes could be kept in better check if we tried very hard to avoid all these excesses of our modern way of life. We should act more and more as though we are in a war situation already!

The problem is, that most people in First World countries do not believe as yet that severe climate change is something we should be prepared for. However, all our knowledge about the climate change crisis should tell all of us that a crisis it is, a crisis as great a we face in a great war. And this crisis demands that our governments and big corporations act accordingly so that people in these crisis zones have a chance to survive.

And here now are a few reflections of mine what for instance life in ‘advanced’ countries such as Germany was like in the 1930s and even during the war between 1939 and 1945, as well as in during the difficult post-war years.

What puzzles me is, that I cannot recall that at any time during those years anyone had to live on the streets. Even during the time of bomb raids the survivors of bomb raids, as far as I know, did not have to live in the open but were accomodated in buildings that could still be lived in. A lot of people had to share accommodation with other people, meaning a four room apartment, apart from the original residents, was then shared with several other needy people.

During the time of World War Two some very severe bombing campaigns occured all over the world with severe loss of life. Ten examples can be seen in the following link.