Under the above definition about “ostrich” I found the following:
“Origin of ostrich
from the erroneous belief that an ostrich buries its head in the sand when in danger
a person who tries to avoid difficult or dangerous situations by refusing to confront them”
So, do I wish to avoid to confront this dangerous situation? If all this nuclear news bothers me continuously, should I not stop to read about it? No, I don’t think so. Is it possible that a lot of people just do not want to be informed truthfully because the truth would upset them too much. Instead they rather believe lies. Believing in what are obviously lies is somehow more soothing to them than being confronted with the truth. Has “believing” in lies some survival value? Maybe. – Maybe Orwell in his story “1984” did see it this way?
However, today I do not want to dwell on this “nuclear business” for too long. Instead, I want to think back on what a wonderful day Mothers’ Day 2018 turned out to be for our family.
As I said in another post, we were expecting our family to turn up at our place in the afternoon for coffee and cake. And so it happened. The guests arrived right on time, among them were three mothers and I was the fourth one.
My two daughters were among the guests. My son had given me a ring from Victoria a bit earlier to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and telling me the news about Benalla and his family and asking me about it how I was going to spend my Mother’s Day.
I did get some lovely flowers from my daughters:
I asked Caroline and Matthew to fill the glasses with a welcome drink.
So there were my daughters with their partners as well as two grand-daughters and two grandsons, two of my great-grandchildren, son-in-law’s mother, grandson’s wife (mother of the two great-grandsons that were present) and the other grandson’s girl-friend. So quite a lot of the family were able to come along for a little Mothers’ Day celebration. Peter and I were very happy about this!
Yesterday, on the first Sunday of September, it was Fathers’ Day in Australia. Our daughter Monika had booked a table for lunch at the German Club. The place was totally booked out. I was told, Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day were the two most busy lunches. Even for Christmas they do not have that many bookings because for Christmas most families like to celebrate at home.
At the German Club there is now a cafe section. After our rich German lunch we placed ourselves in that cafe section for coffee and cake. Mark, Monika’s partner, gave Peter a special bottle of beer. While Peter was hugging this bottle, Monika took this picture of Peter and me.
On the left is Mark’s daughter Tiana, then Monika’s daughter Natasha, Mark’s mother Merl and Mark.
We have been invited for next Sunday afternoon to Mark’s and Monika’s place for coffee and cake. It is going to be Natasha’s 25th birthday and Monika’s whole family will be there. We’re looking forward to that.
Matthew has been visiting our daughter Caroline in Darwin over the weekend. In a few weeks Caroline is going to visit us again. Caroline may be working in Darwin till February of next year. There are affordable flights available between Sydney and Darwin. Caroline and Matthew do make good use of these! I wonder, when we can see our son Martin, who lives in Melbourne. He was with us in Berlin where we had a really good time with him. We have not seen him since we returned from overseas; that was a couple of months ago. How time flies!
Last month Lucas turned four. His birthday was celebrated in the Yacht Club at Lake Illawarra. From the club one has a good view across the lake.
The family birthday party was on a Sunday, the day before the actual birthday. Matthew, Peter and I had earlier on that Sunday picked up Caroline from Sydney Airport where Caroline had been flying in from Darwin via Adelaide.
I thank Ajaytao for these words of wisdom and want to reblog them and write some thoughts about my own life.
Turning 80 this year I can say that I have had a good life. Even now at this advanced stage in my life I can still enjoy life and do not find it too hard to cope with age related aches and pains. Do I wish I could have changed something in my life? Oh yes, I wished I could have changed not having had to grow up in Germany during wartime and the difficult postwar years. Of course these are things we cannot change. But WW II for sure turned me in an antiwar person for the rest of my life.
False advertising, propaganda, and outright lies, these are the things I am very sensitive to. Blame my childhood experiences. I learned early on that you cannot believe everything a leader might tell you. We lived like paupers after the war. I went to school till I was eighteen, but I did not apply myself. I never learned to study hard. Probably I could not see any sense in it. At eighteen I started secretarial work. A few years later came marriage and children and migration to Australia.
Ever since I left school (and during my school years as well!) I had very little money to live on. However I was never desperate for more money. Throughout my life my motto was I have to make do with the little money I have. It turned out that somehow it was always enough. My husband and I are very good savers. We paid off our house with a building society loan. The first few second hand cars we bought on hire purchase. Apart from that we never went into debt. When we travelled overseas we used our own saved up money.
Do I wish I could have changed my past? Sure I would have liked to grow up without the deprivations of war. I would have liked my father to be home all the time. I would have liked my parents to live together after the war. These are things I definitely could not have changed. What could I have changed? Study hard, go to university, end up in a profession I would have loved to work in? Well, it was not to be. I did not have the guts to study hard.
Even though we were rather poor the first few years in Australia, I did not feel poor. I was happy having a family and I enjoyed the easy going Australian lifestyle. How much did I change over the years? Maybe not all that much. I am probably basically still the person I was when I came to Australia aged 25. Some major changes in my education would probably have been possible before I even entered high-school. I was just easy going at school, always got good marks without much effort; except towards the end of my school career at commercial school, which I hated!
I remember as a teenager I spent hours dreaming about a wonderful person who would come along and give me some guidance. I never did get to know such a person, except in my dreams! But I was very happy later on with romance and married life and children. Well, I must say, I am quite happy with the way things turned out to be in my personal life. Still, one thinks sometimes how things could have been somewhat different.
As I probably mentioned in one of my earlier posts the family of my father was a rather large family. My father had five siblings! His younger sister Elisabeth (Liez) was about the same age as my mother. My mother and father had three children, Elisabeth and her husband Alfred had also three children. We children were similar in age. I was born in 1934, our cousin Horst six months later in 1935; my brother Bodo was born in 1938 and our cousin Karin one year later in 1939; my brother Peter Uwe was born in 1941 and our cousin Udo one year later in 1942.
This means Cousin Udo is the one who turned 70 in September 2012. Peter Uwe and his wife Astrid had told me they were going to drive to the Stuttgart area in time to be there for Udo’s birthday celebrations. And they invited me to come along with them. It would give me a chance to meet up with a lot of our grandfather’s descendants, who would all come to celebrate Udo’s birthday. This was the time when our cousin Renate (our mother’s niece) had just had a severe stroke and it looked bad. Renate’s daughter sent me emails and kept me up-to-date about Renate’s condition. I had the feeling, in case that Renate should die, I should aim at going to her funeral rather than travelling with Peter Uwe and Astrid all the way to Stuttgart. Then I did get the news that Renate had died in a hospital in Munich. She was to be cremated in Munich a few days later when there was to be an urn-burial near where she had lived.
I blogged about it how Peter and I travelled by train to Munich. This meant I could not travel with Peter Uwe and Astrid. They were not very happy about this, because they had already booked accommodation for the three of us. Anyhow, what has all this to do with Saturday, the 10th November 2012? Well, at the time we were still staying with Peter Uwe and Astrid att their house in Mecklenburg/Vorpommern. On this Saturday they suggested we could all travel to Stralsund to meet Uwe, our cousin’s son, as well as his family.
Of course Astrid and Peter Uwe had met the whole family at Udo’s birthday party. Uwe has a wife (I forgot her name now) and four lovely children. To have as many as four children is nowadays rather unusual for a German family in Germany. But anyhow we met them all at their family home in Stralsund. I was very impressed what a lovely well organised family they were. We arrived at lunchtime and they invited us for lunch. Astrid had baked an apple-cake and had mentioned on the phone that she would bring it along. On the way to Stralsund we stopped at a super-market to buy a few sweets for the children and flowers for the lady of the house. Some of the children helped to set the table. They had a huge table in a huge living-room area. Their apartment had very high ceilings and I think about five bedrooms. They lived in a building which was maybe one hundred years old but wonderfully restored and looked as good as new.
The apple-cake was served as a desert with coffee. Uwe had an appointment after lunch and had to rush off. But during lunch we had a really good conversation with the whole family. All the children participated in the conversation too, which impressed me very much. The way the conversation went reminded me a bit about my grandfather in Lodz. I found Uwe was as good a talker as Grandfather had been. And he would draw everyone into the conversation as well. I really enjoyed observing this family and how they related to each other. Alas, we could stay with them only for a very short time. We pointed out that we were about to explore Stralsund a little bit. They gave us good advice, where to go and what would be of interest to see.
Stralsund is situated at the Baltic Sea. Peter took some harbour pictures and some pictures of the beautifully restored buildings in the midst of town. I took some pictures too, but they got lost when my computer crashed. Nobody thought of taking any photos of this lovely family we had been visiting. This I regret very much. But my pictures got lost anyway. There are quite a few pictures that Peter took and I am going to publish them in my next blog.
I loved our stay in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. As I said, we stayed at the place of my brother Peter Uwe and his wife Astrid. We had a really good time with them as you can see from all the pictures. A lot of their surroundings and their lifestyle reminded me a bit of our life in Australia. They took us on many outings. We saw quite a few castles in the area. Castles like the ones in Meck Pom for sure you cannot find anywhere in Australia. It shows how there is a totally different historical background. To experience a bit of their history by visiting these castles was quite intriguing. A lot of the castles are lovingly restored and are great tourist attractions.
Wherever we went we were able to get good tasting meals at reasonable prices and with excellent service. Astrid proved to be a wonderful cook too whenever there was a chance to cook something at home. Remember we were on the go a lot. When we had been eating out during the day, Peter Uwe and Astrid served for supper usually some lovely rye bread and a choice of wurst and chesses. Astrid often prepared a salad to go with it.
We had the unit on the second floor right next to our hosts’ unit. For breakfast early in the morning we would go over to their dining room. They usually had breakfast already waiting for us. Peter Uwe always helped his wife with the preparation of breakfast. We had our own well supplied kitchen in our unit. However we never had to use it for cooking. But it was good that we were able to make us coffee or tea.
In the evening we usually stayed with Peter Uwe and Astrid in their unit, just talking about a lot of things, looking at photos or watching a movie. We didn’t spend all that much time in our own unit. But when I felt a bit tired after a long outing during the day I could lie down and rest for a while in this very quiet beautiful bedroom of ours. By the way, the bedroom had a huge wardrobe and ample drawers to put things away. There were more bedrooms above our unit. But of course, we did not need to use them at all. The place was large enough for four to six people, so my brother told us. When Corinna, Peter Uwe’s daughter, visits with her whole family, there’s always enough room. In summer extra guests can be accommodated in a little hut further away from the main-house.
Where the little hut is there’s also a laundry. Under its roof there’s space to dry the washing in the open. On average plenty of sunshine reaches this hut. This is why solar panels were placed on the hut’s roof rather then on the roof of the main-house which doesn’t seem to get quite as much sun. Peter Uwe explained to us that these solar panels save on electricity costs for all three building. Yes, there is a third building, which used to be a barn and which is a huge comfortable dwelling for one family now.
Peter’s Family during the Year after I first met Peter
When I visited Peter’s family they were always very welcoming. They lived in a small apartment on the fifth floor. There was no lift!
Peter’s mother had only one room to herself. The second room in the apartment was occupied by Peter’s older sister, brother-in-law, as well as their baby daughter. In the third room lived Peter’s Great-Aunt .
Peter slept sometimes on the sofa in his mother’s room. Every room in the apartment was used as a bedroom! However during the day, these rooms were made into cosy living-rooms. I do not know, how people managed this kind of comfort under such crowded conditions. Sundays I was often invited for a tasty hot meal at lunchtime. We were usually six people around the table in Mama’s room. Sunday afternoons there was coffee and cake for the family, often including another sister of Peter as well as her husband and baby son. I felt very much at home with Peter’s family. Another family-member was a little dog called Tussy: Every day, after its morning walk, this dog enjoyed a cup of cocoa and a dog biscuit. A very special treat indeed.
Peter’s mother had a small balcony attached to her room. The following picture of Peter and me was taken on this balcony.