July 8, 2013

In drei Tagen fliege ich nach Berlin.

Komisch ist es. Die letzten Tage, die ich hier verbringe. Ich gehe weg und weiß nicht, wann ich wiederkomme.

Und wenn, ob ich jemals in dieses Haus wiederkomme. Ob das jetzt ein Abschied für immer ist, oder nicht.

Komisch ist es von einem Ort Abschied zu nehmen, der mir so absolut aus dem Hals raushängt und an dessen Schönheit ich mich nach wie vor nicht sattsehen kann.

Komisch ist es, an einen Ort zurückkzukommen, der mir einmal so zum Hals raushing, dass ich nicht sicher bin, ob ich mich dort jemals wieder einleben werde.

Ich freue mich auf alte Freunde und muss neue Freunde zurücklassen.

Ambivalent nennt man das, glaube ich. Eine Antwort gibt es darauf nicht. Eine Lösung auch nicht.

Nur ein: Mal sehen.

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February 15, 2012

Son, 17, had a surprising revelation this morning. He found the cause of his stress and constant exhaustion.  After starting some schoolwork at half past eight last night and sitting through it until half past eleven, he said, school is so much more fun when you do your homework.  It really stressed him out every day, to go to school knowing there is something he should have done and didn’t.

He found out, that it is so much less stress to do your work in time than to not do it and play on the computer instead, which he thinks relaxes him.
Not something he hasn’t been told over and over again. But parents words regarding this matter are like flies on a hot plate.
Precious insights that you can only gain through experience.

Which reminds me of insights I had over and over again.
Insights like: if people don’t ask for advice, shut up. Even when it screams in your face, what they are doing wrong.
And every time it hit me, it hit me deeper, and I thought, now I really got it.
And then came the time, when I really got it. It seldom was the first time.

Dream Life

February 9, 2012

Last night, I gently dozed off, the house was dark, silence, everybody sleeping.
I woke up and went to the bathroom. Tapping naked and barefoot through the house, I went past our guest-room, looked at the big windows, the room slightly lit by the moonlight; it looked so beautiful and I was reminded that I always dreamt about living in a place with big, old, wooden windows which you have to push up to open.

And how perfect this moment was, the summer night, the full moon, the warm wooden floor under my feet. I felt such peace and gratitude, and I realized this is what I always wanted. This is the life of my dreams.

Not because of the windows, of course, they just reminded me. There was nothing special, nothing different, it was more like a waking up to something, that was already there. Always has been. A deeper revelation about the perfection I am already living in.

I realized I can sleep through my dream life and have nightmares about all the things I don’t have and don’t want, and can’t do; I can live in a haze of negativity, or I can wake up and see the truth of the perfection around me and enjoy it and live it. The life of my dreams.


January 31, 2012

I spent the last days taking portraits and self-portraits.
It started with Anton, who needed pictures for an Id-book.
So I  put up my tripod and placed him in front of a white wall.

Anton, age 17

I compared it to the one I took in Berlin, three years ago.  And I regretted that I didn’t do this every year with a neutral background, same angle,  so you can follow the changes.
I actually always wanted to do this with myself as well. But it is never too late and I will continue to do that for the rest of my life. I also took one of Luzie.

Luzie, one week away from her 15th birthday

Then I needed self-portraits for my new novel, which will come out in autumn this year. I don’t like anyone taking pictures of me, because they never turn out the way I like to see me. Or better, they way I want to look like.
The older I get, the harder it is to take a decent picture. I always hope that I look much better, younger and thiner in real life. The truth is, I don’t.

But I decided to have fun and that was my lesson taking these pictures, that I will always have fun whatever I am doing and to find a way to do un-fun things  in a fun-way. Serious attitude-change challenge.

My attitude toward being photographed was making a grumpy face to show my disapproval and hoping it would turn out nicely. Of course it didn’t and I thought of myself as non photogenic which made me  look even grumpier when someone turned a camera on me because I thought: I know, this is going to look bad.

As a writer I always wanted to look deadpan serious in a striking, beautiful way.
For my first novel, I took a picture in a photo booth. I still want to look like this:

But it is not possible. Even if I would dye my hair again. I also found the serious look is not working at all any more. If I don’t laugh or smile in a picture, I look as I am in pain, tired and grumpy. Sigh. So I acted seriously friendly and funny in front of the camera, pretended I was a model and tried to look pleasant and it really worked. These picture turned out much nicer than the deadpan ones.

Another attitude change: I have to try hard to look good on a picture. No more “I don’t care if you take a picture and how I am gonna look” .
I have to go for a different look, making fun of myself and laughing like mad is the only thing that works right now.  You have to work with what you got.
These are the only two pictures I almost like of all the hundreds I took. Note the eye-brow.



Year 49

January 24, 2012

On the fifth of January I turned 49. I know! I could ignore turning 50 someday so far but not anymore. It is coming. And with it the challenge of throwing a 50th birthday-party. Or not.

From the safety of the distance I always told myself, I am going to have a huge party. After my 40th birthday when I compiled a playlist last minute and got so stressed out over it that it spoiled the whole party for me, I decided to learn from this mistake. From now on, I wanted to choose one song a day for my 50th birthday-party playlist. The playlist is still empty.

Turning half a century old made me recapitulate my life. Was I where I wanted to be with 50? Is there anything I should have put in place until then? A frightening thought.

The reason I started bloging again was to share to first 50 of my life. To be somewhat accountable about changes I want to make. And to pass on wisdom and life experiences I have accumulated together with grey hair and wrinkles through all those years.

I don’t feel very different from 39. No, that’s not right. I do feel very different, but I don’t feel any older. At all.

I always went through life with a feeling of frustration or utter excitement. One of the things I want to change are the frustration periods. What I never want to change until I am very very old is the excitement I feel, when I know something new is about to begin. I am excited right now.

This picture was actually taken on my 48th birthday.

Back Again

January 11, 2012

Hello world, I am back. A lot happened the last two years. I joined facebook after I stopped blogging. It felt like coming from blog island to a party where EVERYBODY was. Why did nobody tell me?

Luzie told me years ago, you must join facebook and I said, none of my friends are there, because they are old. And then there they were. Young and old. Almost everybody and even more. I made lots of new friends. Suddenly a hundred people wished me happy birthday. I felt loved and reconected with the world (Germany).

I started to play farmville. Inspired by farmville, I finally started a vegetable garden. I grew tomatoes from seeds. And lots of salads. And herbs. And that was it.

We planned the Sharehouse, we started to build furnitures and sold salads at the market. (about three times).

I became sick and spent 6 nights at the provincial hospital. They released me on Christmas day.

I wrote a new novel and sold it. It will come out in October.

We moved to Hermanus.  (again)

Friends died and became sick and died and divorced.

We experienced the first miracle healings.

I started to knit and crochet.

I turned 49.

We took a family photo for Christmas. We haven’t done this for years. If ever. Only the top one made it.

These are the blurbs. We took about a hundred pictures. I arranged the setting and put up the tripod and Anton’s friend Lorenzo pushed the button.

First test shoot with Lorenzo. He plays the piano since he is six years old and he has the tiniest ears I’ve ever seen. He said, they called him “Shrek” in primary school.

July 9, 2010

I am still only sporadically online. I still have to drive around the corner and sit with my laptop in the car, which I am doing at the moment. It is dark and cold. I am sitting in front of the school hall where the band plays “born to be wild” to the tenmillionst time. I am enjoying it because we are back home and I haven’t heard the band playing for more thn 4 weeks. It feels homely and familiar.

The World Cup was amazing! I didn’t expect it to be. We almost fled to Germany but fortunately it didn’t happen. I wrote a weekly column at the Sunday Frankfurter Allgemeine, which I enjoyed very much, but I said everything I had to say and now you have to go with amazing.

But here are pictures from our trip. We went to Durban and drove Andries Bakkie down via Coffe Bay and the Karoo. We had two season in two days. One day we swam in the warm Indian Ozean, the other day we were snowed in 150km north of Umtata. Was für ein Erlebnis!

We had so much fun on this big swing at the first place we stayed at the coast south of Durban

Rondavels in Transkei

The day before the snow

The best feature of the house in Cape Town