Ja, this goes back to some early childhood memories of mine!
Playing with the children that lived in our street:
I spent lots of time playing with all the children in our street, Bozener Straße. One of our games was playing ‘Vater, Mutter, Kind’. It was understood, that the father had to be a boy. Luckily, there were usually a couple of boys, who did not mind acting as the fathers. If the girls outnumbered the boys, it did not matter. They could all be mothers. Each girl was allowed to bring one doll along. This doll then was a Kind, so that each girl would be a mother with one child. And all tghe dolls would be shared with the boys. We would be very proud, to see the boys showing affection to our dolls, that were our children!
I think, a game like this would probably have lasted for only a few minutes! We would quickly have gone to play any of our other games. We could play all these games in our very small street, that was hidden away from any traffic. Not that there was much traffic yet at this point in time. I am talking of the end of the 1930s and early 1940s, and Bozener Str. is pretty much in the Centre of Berlin.
We loved to play ball games, or hide and seek, or singing and dancing games. I only went up to our apartment for meals. Mum would let me know, when it was time to come up for a meal by calling down to me from our balcony. From that balcony she could practically survey the whole of Bozener Straße!
The house, that I grew up, in is still standing. It survived all the bombings during the war. It just had to undergo some renovations in the post-war period.
For sure it is good to have good neighbours. I have about half a dozen extremely friendly neighbours, that are all well past 70. First of all there are two very friendly women who live with their very friendly partners of the opposite sex! And then there are two single widowed women that have been widowed for ages, and both of them have been my very good friends for nearly twenty years! However, we visit each other on average only about once a week.
Myself, having been widowed for close to one year now, I still often feel quite lonely. The other people in the rest of the houses I know only casually: One is a 92 year old woman, and all the others are much younger and out working every day of the week. Ayleen, this 92 year old very friendly woman, has her daughter living just around the corner.
Ayleen and I, we are the only people in the complex who do not have a car, for we don’t drive. I usually get outside help when I need some shopping done or when I have to go somewhere, or I call a taxi.
My two daughters are still full time workers and don’t live very close. However they are there, when I need them. My son, who lives in Victoria, is a lot of the time not available. So, I try to fend as much as possible on my own. Four hours help per week is provided by the government so that I can stay in my own home. Yes, I am lucky, that so far, being already 87, I have managed to stay in my own home and out of hospital. None the less, it is a rather lonely life, especially during lockdowns. And so far I have not been able to use public transport . . . .
When my husband was still alive, we would usually go on a little holiday at least twice a year. I wished I could go on a holiday now. Who wants to come with me? . . . .
Peter and I had often guests staying with us. Who wants to be my guest now for a bit more than a couple of hours or so? . . .
I wanted to reblog it, but unfortunately this did not work. This is what it said:
ZANFERS.COM ISN’T WORKING! OH NO!
“Zanfers” is not available at the domain zanfers.com right now. There’s a problem with the mapping for this domain. If you are the site owner, please log into your WordPress.com account for more information.”
Here is some of what “Zanfers” says in his blog:
“. . . . For example I am an avid gamer. Coming home from work, playing a few hours before sleep was my way of relaxing and I saw nothing wrong with it. Same with binging YouTube or some series. But then again, when it becomes your only way of entertainment or activity, you start to see its flaws. I realized that it lacks any productivity. This was obvious to many even before, but apparently I was one of the slow learners and I needed this pandemic to make me wonder if I am doing the right thing for myself and for the people around me. I started to wonder, if I vanish tomorrow, what will remain after me? What will be my legacy? As for now, it would be nothing but some Facebook messages and my games library. Which was a pretty depressing thought. . . .”
I just reblogged another post WRITTEN BY TENPORATH on how the Coronavirus may have affected us. The title of that post: ‘LESSON LEARNED.’
Today I wanted to write about our overseas travels. So I checked what, I had written about it before. Luckily, I was able to find quite a bit of information under the title ‘Memories from August 2010’. (There is a link at the top of this post!)
Anyone who goes to this post from 2010 is going to find out that even by 2010 we had done already quite a bit of overseas travelling. In the meantime we travelled overseas two more times, namely in 2012 and then in 2016.
Living in Australia and having some family in Germany makes us want to travel overseas as often as possible. So far we had the good fortune of being able to use all this airline travel. On top of it, Airlines do still offer low price airfares!
At least a few people must be aware by now, that air travel is extremely bad for the environment. But how many people do actually try to avoid air travel these days as much as possible?
In 1990 we did do a trip around the world. I wrote about it here:
Our first trip overseas was in 1977. Caroline was born in December 1978. We travelled with Caroline to Berlin in November 1980 and then again in March 1986 when Caroline was seven.
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.
We knew that all three of them had Urn places at the cemetery near Sutherland Station. We had gone to the chapel of that cemetery for Ron’s funeral service. We had talked Gaby into coming with us for the funeral. She reluctantly agreed. She apparently did not want to be reminded of anyone dying. This was in May 1997. Jean was at Ron’s funeral of course. She already lived in a Nursing Home at the time and looked very frail. We thought she would not live much longer. However she lived quite a few more years. We only heard about her death after her funeral in 2002. I think Gaby was able to tell us eventually about Jean having died, for Gaby had contact with people who had contact with Jean. So then we decided to have a look to find their urn places at the cemetery. In the cemetery’s office we were advised about the exact location. It turned out there were memorial stones of all three of them in the rose garden.
These records are at the State Library of NSW. It says in the records amongst other things the following:
“Jean Marion Bates was a granddaughter of Daisy Bates”
“Includes birth and marriage certificates for Lola May Bates, nee Davidson, her daughter Jean Marion Bates, 1916, and a certificate of an entry in Register of Marriages, Arnold Hamilton Bates to Lola May Davidson, 1913. A newscutting announces the marriage of Jean Bates to Frank Loneragan. A letter from Lola May Bates to Ronald Bates, 1966”
I remember Ron telling us that he once went to Adelaide when his grandmother, Daisy, was in her eighties. He tried to talk to her, but he got the impression that she was not quite aware who he really was. He said he felt he could not communicate with her properly. Apparently he left it too late to see her.
Here is something about the Bates family that I must have copied from a newspaper article many years ago. Sorry, I have no idea which newspaper it might have been in:
Peter recently published in his blog some of the drawings that Ron Bates liked to do on little cards:
I found in the meantime quite a few more of these cards that Ron had given to Gaby. We kept all these cards after Gaby’s death. Peter reckons they belong to us now. He says if we publish them we have to say that we copy-rights.
But here I publish one card that Jean and Ron gave us on the 5th of April 1986 at Sydney Airport on the occasion of our departure for a trip to Germany.
The women always bring a plate along. Naturally, never everything gets eaten. Peter took this picture of us after we had already more or less finished with our afternoon snacks. We women love to meet on the last Monday of each month. Two women moved away, but still live not too far away, six of us still live in the complex, as well as some other women who go to work and meet with the neighbours only once a year for our general body cooperative meeting. Last year we also had a lovely Christmas party with all the neighbours here in our complex. We are mostly women in this complex. Only three men, all of them married, live here.
Tomorrow, Thursday, I am going to be at my gentle Exercise Class from about 12,15 pm to 1,30 pm. On Friday our Rummy Cub game and Scrabble is going to be at Irene’s place from 2 pm onwards. One week after another goes very quickly. On Saturday, the 31st of October, our grandson Ryan and Ebony are getting married in Wollongong. We are all invited. And of course, their two little ones, Lucas and Alexander, are going to be there. I am so much looking forward to it!
Last year I turned eighty. What a special birthday it was! Another year is gone. I consider myself to be at an ‘advanced’ age. Still, sometimes I seem to forget about this a little bit. But more about this later. First of all I would like to insert a few pictures that we took yesterday, on Sunday the 20th September. Three of our friends joined us for lunch at the Treasure Court Restaurant of the Dapto Leagues Club:
All in all our lunch lasted for well over three hours. We were sitting and talking over afternoon coffee for quite some time. It was very stimulating, this talk with friends our age. We had so much to talk about! When we left the club, we showed our friends our new second hand car. They were very impressed because it looks like new. I now hope it is going to drive like new for a few years, for this ‘new’ car is already eleven years old!
It did not take us long to make up our mind to buy this car. Two days later (Thursday the 10th) we could already pick it up. In the meantime we already took it to the highlands for a drive. Peter had no problem to drive with it up and down MacQuarie Pass. It has a 2 litre engine compared with our old, 15 year old, car that has only a 1,3 litre engine!
Yesterday we told every one, we would go today to a funeral at Rookwood Cemetery. The funeral is to be in the Catholic section of the cemetery. Susan, Mila’s daughter, rang us the other day that her mother had died. I think she was 89 and had been rather sick for quite some time in a nursing home. We remember Mila well. She used to be our neighbour quite a few years ago. After she moved in with her daughter in Sydney, she sometimes came with a pensioners’ group for visits to the Dapto Leagues Club, where we could meet up with her.
Initially I really thought we would be able to make it to today’s funeral. Alas, Peter and I had a very short night. We both woke up much too early and just could not go back to sleep. We had been thinking of going to Merrylands as well as to Lidcombe to the cemetery. The funeral is to be at 2 pm. Peter pointed out that we could not go back to Susan’s place after the funeral for this would mean we would be getting home far too late.
Anyhow, we decided now, all in all it would be too much of a hassle for us. There are reason, why we should be going to Merrylands one day. But I think we have to do it on a day when we have nothing else planned. I reckon for younger people it is easier to plan to do several things in one day. We are just a bit too old for all this. I feel better when we can do everything at a leisurely pace and don’t have to stress ourselves out too much.
Anyhow, we decided to stay in our local area today to have a quiet, relaxing day – – –
We have some pictures to prove that we were at Bowral in 1982 and also in 1983. In 1982 we were in Bowral with our friends and their daughter Ellen who was a good companion for our daughter Caroline who was four at the time. I remember that in 1982 we were not only at Corbett Gardens in Bowral, but we had also tickets to visit a number of private display garden. We enjoyed very much looking at all the gardens.
For the following pictures it says in our album “Bowral Oct.83” During that visit Caroline was not quite five yet. The Tulip Festival was on again in the Corbett Gardens, the same as every year. Since Caroline is to be seen in the picture with some Dutch girls from the Festival, I think that the Tulip Festival must still have been on, even though it was already October.
The other day I could not copy the pictures to this blog. I have no idea what went wrong that day. Today I tried it again, and it worked immediately! So I publish here once again the whole blog. I guess some bloggers who have already been reading this blog might like to see the pictures that go with it. I did write this blog in 2013.
Before I was three we lived in Taunus Strasse, Berlin- Friedenau. Some time during 1937 we moved to Bozener Strasse in Berlin-Schöneberg. This is where Tante Ilse and Onkel Addi lived as well and also my friend Cordula and her parents. Later on we did get to know Family T. who lived in the house opposite our apartment building.
During my early childhood Bozener Strasse was a very quiet street. There were no cars parked in the street.
Tante Ilse had this narrow but very long balcony with a lot of plants to water. As a two year old I loved to help with watering some of the plants!
Here Mum still has this “Bubikopf” which I believe became fashionable already in the 1920s.
In the next picture, which was taken in Bozener Strasse on 21st September 1947, my brother Peter is nearly six. I stand behind Peter. I turned thirteen on this day. My brother Bodo is on the left. He is nine. Beside him Eva Todtenhausen, who is going on twelve and beside Eva is Cordula who is twelve. Today I found out that Cordula died in July 2011, aged 76. This was very sad news for me. 😦
The above picture is from my birthday in 1940. We stand under the huge chestnut tree. Cordula spent part of the war outside of Berlin. She is not in the 1940 picture.
We took the following picture of Bozener Strasse during our Berlin visit in September 2012. It is still the same chestnut tree. But look at all the cars now!
Our apartment was on the third floor, Tante Ilse lived two floors further up. Mum quite often went up with me to visit Tante Ilse. One of my early memories is that Tante Ilse and Mum were lying under the bright lights of some tanning lamps (Höhensonne). They used some oil on their skin which smelled beautiful and made their skin look shiny. Their skin usually had quite a bit of a tan. They wore some protective dark glasses. Sometimes they made me lie under the lamp for a little while. I liked it when some of this nice smelling oil was rubbed all over my body. I too had to wear these dark glasses. I liked to wear them for a little while. But I was required to lie totally still. Very soon I did get sick of it, not wanting to lie still any more under the hot tanning lamp. I was then always glad when I was allowed to get up again.
I remember thinking that Auntie was a very beautiful looking woman with her very long curly hair. In the three way mirrors of her dressing table I remember watching how Auntie brushed her hair. It was very strong and long chestnut-coloured hair. Auntie usually brushed it slightly back so it stayed behind her ears. She often wore very long blue earrings. Oh, I loved the look of these blue earrings. They looked beautiful hanging down from Auntie’s ears! I think Mum did not wear any earrings, because her ears were covered by her hair. Mum’s brown hair was very fine and much shorter than Auntie’s. My hair was rather fine too. Mum always cut it quite short. I often wished that I could wear my hair longer but Mum would not let me grow it longer.
Both Auntie Ilse and Mum wore identical three big rolls of hair horizontally on top of their heads. The front rolls covered the top of their foreheads, the other two rolls were rolled behind the front roll. They often wore identical clothes, for instance light pink angora wool tops with identical grey suits.
Mum features her three big rolls of hair, I am already allowed to wear my hair long!
Mum often called me ‘MAUSEL’ or ‘Mauselchen’, whereas Auntie liked to call me ‘HERZCHEN’ or ‘LIEBLING’. Dad sometimes said ‘HERZEL’ to me, but he usually called me by my name. Mausel is derived from Maus (mouse), Herzchen means ‘little heart’, Liebling means ‘darling’.
Cordula’s mum once told me, that her name meant ‘heart’ in the Latin language, but not to tell anyone otherwise some children would make fun of the name. I did not want anyone to make fun of Cordula. So I promised myself to keep the meaning of the name to myself.
My brother Bodo was born in June 1938. I think Cordula’s brother Tilwin was born a few months after that. Mum said that Tilwin was an extremely odd name. It turned out he grew up with very bright red hair. The children in the street teased him about his hair. As much as possible Cordula always stood up for her brother. I think for the most part Tilwin avoided playing with other children.
The Lepsius apartment was on the same side as our apartment, just two floors further up. (Auntie Ilse’s apartment was on the other side of the fifth floor). I often went up to the Lepsius apartment all by myself to play with Cordula. They had a ‘roof-garden’ (Dachgarten) above their apartment. It was the size of a big room and had no roof above it. I remember the sun shining right into it. The floor was concrete and along the walls were garden-beds . Cordula was allowed to look after her own little garden-bed.. Once Cordula’s Mum let me have a portion of a little garden-bed too! Cordula’s Mum and Dad were always kind to me. They made me feel welcome and included.
Cordula’s family had food that I had never seen before.. For snacks we children were often given some kind of brown flakes and raisins. Sometimes we were given dates or figs. I loved this food! My Mum thought it was strange to eat something like that. In Mum’s opinion this family was rather odd because they had lived in the Middle East for a while. Cordula’s father was an architect. My Mum called him ‘the Hunger-Architect’ (Hungerleider) since he seemed to get hardly any work in his profession.
Mum must have seen their apartment once for I remember her remarking how sparsely furnished it was. Mum found their choice of furniture quite odd. There were a great number of shelves stacked full with books. These shelves went from floor to ceiling. Herr Lepsius sometimes showed us children books with colourful illustrations. He also told us stories. We loved one story in particular which had a funny ending. We demanded to be told that story again and again. Each time we laughed our heads off and Herr L laughed with us. The story was about a beggar who knocked at the door of an apartment. A ily had two connecting apartments across two buildings; that is, the wall between the buildings had beautiful maid opened the door. Some time later the beggar knocked at another door of an apartment in the neighbouring building. And the same beautiful maid opened the door! We found the astonishment of the beggar very funny! Herr L explained to us, that a wall had been broken through to connect the apartments on that floor. This was actually where the family of Herr L had lived, when he was a boy.
Herr L was old and bald. He was about twenty years older than his wife. Quite a few years later Cordula and I went to the same high-school. We walked there together every morning. One morning I climbed up the stairs to Cordula’s apartment to find out why she had not come down yet to go to school with me. I rang the bell. Frau L opened the door. She was in tears. She did not let me come in but went with me to the top of the stairs. She said: “Our father just died; I haven’t even told Cordula yet.” She looked at me with despair in her face. I did not know what to say. She hugged me and then she disappeared in her apartment.