The Zen of Mud Wallowing

There is a saying I grew up with: el hombre propone y Dios dispone (man proposes, the Lord decides) and this seems to be a recurring theme in my life as of late. The weeks following Easter offer several long weekends to either travel or be visited. Since I don’t work on Fridays, this means an extra long weekend for me to write, catch up on some much needed sleep, or on the rare occasion, be hostess to out-of-town visitors. There used to be a time in my life when entertainment at home with lavish five-course dinners was a regular…

The Zen of Flies

Like everything else in life, living by the river has advantages and disadvantages. The gorgeous sunsets and serenity of the water are priceless, and I wouldn’t trade them in for any money in the world. The down side, however, is that you have to live with all the flies, bugs and creatures that come along with the water. The river fowl I adore, looking forward each morning the sound of the ducks and coots in the water, even the occasional chatty swan or goose. The flies, horse flies and bow flies, however, are difficult to accept. Each year I promise…

“Have You Googled It?”

Gather around the virtual fireplace children, and let me tell you a story… Once upon a time, many bites ago, in a long-forgotten analog world, humans used to gather around tables or camp fires and have conversations about life, family, school, work and the burdens of the soul. Families had home-cooked meals together, parties were organised through invitations, soirees required pearls, ties and heels, and the grandparents were not dumped in nursing homes. Lurking in the nearby dark forest of Technology lived the beast called Internet. There was a myriad of magnificent myths and legends that surrounded this monster who…

Make Me Climb Stairs, Will Grumble

That is my mantra of the day, and has been since last week. Ask anyone who has travelled with me at any point in my life and they will confirm that I absolutely detest climbing stairs with a passion. It is not that I am lazy, but I am traumatised from my childhood of having had to climb pyramids and being frightened to death of coming down without anything to hold on to. I can walk 30km a day through any terrain without grumbling, like I did so during the Camino in Spain, but don’t make me climb stairs! In…

To Binge or Not To Binge,

Whether you are a Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Iflix, Maxdome, or whatever movie and TV series streaming platform you choose, you will always stumble on something that is binge-worthy. To each his or her own and regardless of genre or era, there is definitely no walking away empty-handed. On such binge-days, I take the opportunity to catch up on items that the internet is raving about, or sometimes even just the colleagues at work. There may be a generation gap from time to tome, but quality movies with a decent or excellent script are non-negotiable standards. Often I find that…

Bossa Nova To Chase the Blues Away

The fusion of samba and jazz born in the 1960s that became known as the music genre Bossa Nova is something I found very soothing to study to while I was still in college, along with smooth jazz. Later on, once the travel bug bit me, I began associating Bossa Nova with warm, sultry tropical weather and places like Boracay, Koh Samui, Phuket, and even Goa. This particular genre calms me down, and in some inexplicable way, dispels the ghosts of homesickness. So even though I live in Germany, where Bossa Nova is not as popular as in Asia or…

The Necessary Darkness

Here’s a thought: darkness is absolutely necessary in order for the light to shine brightest. Some of you might be saying, well duh, of course you do. The thing is, not everyone thinks this way. We have been conditioned to do everything in broad daylight, and if you undertake anything at night, it should be with as much light as possible. This, I have learned from living in Europe, leads to time pressure. One is under pressure to make the most of daylight, work yourself to death in summer, when the days are long, to prepare for the winter months….