Wings At Dawn

Now available at a bookstore near you in the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Germany from Dorrance Publshing Company Inc. : The first novel of Marie Balustrade dealing with controversial social issues that span the globe. The stories are not meant for the reader to swoon over and fall in love momentarily for a shallow romance. Marie Balustrade intends for the audience to cry with her, to be enraged, be disgusted, and after turning the last page, to be more vigilant.  All Balustrade´s books are supported by extensive travel and research, in addition to having been a development worker in Asia for over 15 years…

Meeting Molecule Man At Last

After having lived 2.5 years in Berlin, this is the first time I managed to visit Molecule Man with almost perfect weather. The first few visits were always with cloudy skies, rain or fog. Yesterday, finally, the constellation was absolutely perfect with the gorgeous autumn light. The permanent art installation in the middle of the Spree River in East Berlin marks the convergence of the three city zones of Treptow, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Designed by the American sculptor and artist Johnathan Borofsky, the piece is also a symbol of the unification of East and West Berlin. In addition, the location…

Dirt to Ponder Upon

No, I don’t mean political or entertainment dirt on celebrities. The sermon during mass the other day gave me something to think about, and that is what I have indeed been doing for a few days. Take a 50 EUR/ Pound/ Dollar/ Rupees / Bhat / Peso bill, in your hand, what do see? Exactly that, 50 of whatever currency you trade in. If it falls on the floor, does the value change? It may have just acquired more bacteria and some dirt, but no change in the basic vale. Someone comes along before you can pick it up and…

Orange Is Not The New Black!

The title is of course inspired by the hit US TV series Orange Is The New Black based on the life and times of Piper Kerman during her year in prison. I loved the first six seasons, but season 7 has failed to catch my fancy thus far. In any case, today´s blog is not about the show, but more about the colour orange itself. Autumn has definitely arrived in Berlin, as the temperatures confirmed. This morning I definitively packed away all my summer clothes with sadness, and replaced the empty space with my fall and winter wardrobe. Out came…

Is it just me, or is the world going bonkers?

I don’t know about you, dear Reader, but I find it very distressing and disappointing to listen / read the news each morning now. Everywhere you turn or scroll there is chaos, complete and utter chaos. Places that used to hold beautiful memories for me are now shrouded in political unrest or devastated by some calamity. At the risk of sounding like an overused cliche, what is the world coming to? In June of this year Germany launched the e-scooters for rent that can be found all over the city. All you need is the app and a credit card,…

Preparing for Winter

One of the greatest paradigm shifts that I experience each time I move back to Europe is learning to live with four seasons. This is my third time to live in Germany (having moved here in 1993, 2001, and 2017), and each time the seasons change it is as though the greatest revelation is unfolding before my eyes and I rediscover creation all over again. The seasons are so distinct from one another, each with their own character that I have come to appreciate and adjust to. At the core of my bones I will always yearn for sea and…

Those dratted -ber months are back

It’s September again, and that means the so-called -ber months are back (i.e. September, October, November, December). Merry Christmas folks! Yes, that is exactly what you just read, Merry Christmas!!! September 1 marks the beginning of the bizarre concept of Filipino Christmas season and on this day, without fail, all radio stations in the Philippines began the Christmas countdown and the first carols hit the airwaves. I pause for your laughter to subside… I’m still in summer mode here in Berlin, even though the temperatures took a much needed dip Sunday night, and we awoke to a lovely 14C this…