Wednesday, November 30


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
The weirdest thing is that the snow is sitting on autumn coloured leaves at the end of November. It's beautiful but definitely not normal.

nazis raus

nazis raus
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
There are a few places around town where I've seen the same graffiti which suggests there may be a neo-nazi element around as well. But hopefully there will always be more people against nazis and there ridiculous fear.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
The sky was blue and cloudless only 1 day before it snowed. Half an hour from the hotel right near the highway is a huge wind farm, there must be 40 windmills together. It looks incredible. And at speed this was all I could capture in focus.

Tuesday, November 29

Faster than the Speed of Light

I don't know or care what the model of the car is it - a vehicle is just a means of getting from A to B. But what I can tell you is that the seat warmers come in very handy - it's like having an inbuilt hot water bottle for your kidneys and bum. And the GPS system which navigates with a map displayed as well as a lovely woman's voice talking you through is quite addictive. No more arguments about getting directions wrong. And because you travel quite long distances here on the weekend as everyone's family and friends are spread around the entire country, it does make the trip quicker when you can cruise comfortably at 220k.p.h.


At midday I went for a walk near the hotel, to take some more photos of the snow on my way to get some lunch. 2 hours later I’m back in my room starving with hunger. I wouldn’t have bothered getting the hotel to call the police if JD hadn’t made me. I just thought I’d had a bit of bad luck running into a wanker.

I had been taking a shot of the tower when I heard clicking tongue sound. I turned around and through the lattice and leaves I saw a man with his dick in his hand wanking. I didn’t dare give him eye contact, I was scared and I also didn’t want to give him the gratification of seeing my shocked face. I quickly walked away, and turned around after 20-30 seconds to see if he was following me, and he was standing more out in the open still wanking. After a minute I came across 2 women and told them about it and then we looked in the direction where I’d come from and the guy was getting on his bike and riding off. One of the women said she thought she might know who he was. I called JD and he said I should call the police. The hotel thought it was also a good idea because it has happened there before.

I had my camera in hand, it was on, and I didn’t think to take a shot. Pathetic. The police came within 10 minutes and I really couldn’t tell them much. Then they wanted me to talk to detectives, who then took me back to the “scene of the crime”. Because it had snowed, you could see the guys footprints and his bike tracks perfectly. My story was totally corroborated. The footprints were measured and photographed. Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be any of his DNA.The 1st cops even found and spoke to the 2 women I’d talked to but they, weirdly, gave a completely different description of the guy. I then had to drive around to see if we could see him.

I now am unsure if my description is correct, or whether they really did know him and therefore gave a different description. I am amazed by how little I can remember about the man except his jacket. The police were extremely friendly despite being quite frustrated with my lack of detail.

Monday, November 28

Christmas Market

Weihnachten means Christmas in German and last week all around Germany, in all the Altstadts or old town centres, Christmas Markets opened and will stay open until the end of December. They are kind of like fun fairs, but they also have stalls where you can buy cool and kitsch presents, lots of food with yummy confectionary including white fairy floss, as well as hot crepes and sausages. But best of all they serve hot alcoholic drinks. Holding the drink warms your freezing hands, and the rum or sweetened wine warms you in 3.5 seconds from within.

Minus Zwei Grad

On the way home from friends last night the temperature guage was again telling us it was -2 degrees. It had also been that cold the night before when we went to Magdeburg Xmas Market (photos to follow shortly). And this morning it was like a winter wonderland as I pulled back the curtains. I quickly had breakfast & dressed and ran outside to frolick in the snow. It started falling and the flakes were huge and powdery. I couldn't stop smiling. The hotel staff were going about their work, sweeping the snow off the stairs and throwing salt down so it can't get icy and dangerous and were smiling back at me as they watched me snapping away.

Saturday, November 26

Saturday Again

Last night the stars were out and today the sky is blue blue. The pond on our front door has started to freeze over. The ducks have disappeared - I wonder where they go in the winter?


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is the coolest building I've seen so far on this trip. It is almost completed and houses a funky hotel, apartments and some cool businesses.

Friday, November 25


I've just been driving myself crazy. I wanted to change the date stamp to be German time not Sydney time and so it kept saying it was Friday instead of Saturday and I just couldn't understand.....until I then realised it isn't Saturday today. What is wrong with me?


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Obviously in need of major repair.I was interested in seeing the layers of the building, and the way they built with wood and bricks. It costs a small fortune to renovate these types of houses to their original condition and so alot of them just stand around decaying until they can't be saved anymore.

window art

window art
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
In almost every window here you find something. Perhaps it's because they have nice wide window sills here? But it doesn't really explain why you see the strangest things.

bullet holes

bullet holes
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I think these are holes made by bullets. In Berlin there are loads of buildings that look like this and I just can't imagine what else would have created the holes. What do you think?


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This almost does not look real to me.


As I hit send on that last blog, I looked out the window and YES, IT'S SNOWING! It is so pretty!!!! I love it. It just floats around and dances and then darts off. Snow is amazing!

Icing Sugar

Days are becoming very short. It is still pitch black at 7am and again pitch black at 4.40pm The air is still and it really does feel like everything is shutting down, hibernating and going to sleep.

But I see people walking around or riding a bike with open collars, no hat or gloves and lightweight jackets on. I just don’t get how they do it. I only went out for half an hour today and my face was so cold it felt like I’d been at the dentist I had that little feeling.

This morning I had my 2nd sleep in of this trip and at 9.30am I pulled back the curtains to find it had finally SNOWED. Well just a little, and it looked so pretty like someone with a giant sifter had come and sprinkled icing sugar over everything. And then I looked around for the camera only to discover JD had taken it with him to work today so he could video the secret process they've been working on. Of all days for me not to have a camera on hand.

The sun has already melted most of it, so it wasn't real snow, so I hope more of it falls later today. There is definitely an iciness in the air.


A note for my friend CT: I’m unable to email you at the moment. I can’t seem to send anything to a hotmail address. So we can only speak through this blog. Hope you’re well! XXX

And Milva where are you? Haven't you been online lately?

Thursday, November 24

Getting Colder

We'll have a low today of 0 and a high of 2. But still no snow. Had a few vodka's last night and I'm surprised I'm not feeling worse this morning.
We have dinner with JD's colleagues (from Australia) a few times a week. They're a nice bunch of guys and it's cool getting to know them because it helps me understand the company politics and more about how JD feels about work.

2 things about German restaurants Australian restaurants should adopt:

Coat racks - even though we don't all wear huge thick winter jackets, we do wear jackets and scarves and it isn't always pleasant having to hang them over the back of your chair, and worse if room is tight and people are brushing up against your clothes or knocking it off the back onto the floor.

Free Aperitifs - I think when you receive anything gratis you feel better about the place and probably end up spending more. It breeds goodwill and best of all, it kickstarts your appetite perfectly.

Wednesday, November 23


I am really pretty chuffed at how good my German is going - especially how much I understand. Having not used it much since leaving at the end of '99 except when speaking with JD's parents, it has hung in there.

I'n watching loads of tv - lots of talk shows and cooking and lifestyle programmes, and it really does help you speak normal every day German. German phrases and quotations are running around my head continually. And I repeat automatically in my head what is being said. I think this is what kids must do every day when they're still learning their mother tongue.

Recently caught Jamie Oliver and Bill's cooking shows. They dub/synchronise anything here in German - and what was hilarious was they got a guy who even had a lispy way of talking to do Jamie. I hadn't seen Bill's before because I don't get Foxtel, so I was nicely surpised seeing endless shots of Bondi and Palm beach and Cabramatta and Chinatown and the Harbour for an hour - but watching his dishes come out was pure torture - it all looked perfectly divine.

view from my room

view from my room
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
It's really a lovely view from the hotel. In the distance I can see the church in the Altstadt (old city).

enjoying schnitzel

enjoying schnitzel
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This restaurant is across from the hotel and is where I often have lunch.

Pork on my Fork

Wiener Schnitzel is definitely not my favourite food – I rarely eat food like this. But since being here I’ve eaten it 5 times already. I think it has something to do with the fact that the Germans do this sort of food well. I’m really craving fish or other seafood or really spicy food but it never comes the way I’m expecting it. So I know not to order it. Luckily there are a few good restaurants near us, Greek, Croatian and an Indian, and last night I ignored my standard etiquette (eat authentic) and ordered schnitzel at the Greeks, even though I could have ordered endless other things. How embarrassing!


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This little town is on the edge of the Harz Mountains. This shot was taken from the castle (Burg) owned by the local royalty. It was pretty run down and under construction and wasn’t a highlight. But the walk up to the burg was pretty with gorgeous fall colours in the forest.

rolling field almost sunset

This was the beginning of a perfect evening. The colour of the green here in Germany is so intense, especially after coming from drought stricken Australia. Pity we couldn’t capture the deer eating in fields like this but the road was far too busy with one lane only in each direction and so narrow with nowhere to stop.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Walking through crunchy leaves is always fun.

History in the Making

Today Germany elected the first woman ever to be Kanzlerin – Angela Merkel was incredibly humble when she was sworn in and even though she is a conservative and I probably don’t agree with some of her policies, I can’t help but think the world is in safer hands with a woman in charge of one of the most powerful countries in Europe. A strong Europe is good for the world because it means that the US hasn’t got complete control of how “the West” acts with regard to foreign policy. After the hours long ceremony she celebrated with her family and friends and ate potato soup. How earthy is that? I wish her all the luck in the world.

Tuesday, November 22

Guten Morgen!

Hallo! Finally finally finally I’m back on track and have contact with the outside world.

It’s been just over a week since I touched down into Frankfurt & Berlin. I’m happy to report the flight went well and I didn’t feel sick until we hit the highway and JD was flying me back to the hotel in our super extremely sporty BMW hire car. Feeling dehydrated, over tired, jetlagged and travelling at over 200km’s in a car was just too much for me that we needed to make a little stop on the way. My theory about eating lots of little meals so my blood sugar didn’t drop too much seemed to do the trick.

The sun has been mostly shining but it is bloody freezing. It’s been hovering around the 4 degree mark, and dropping well below that at night. It’s the sort of cold that makes my face tingle after about 5 minutes, then my nose starts to run and my eyes water and then my face feels pretty much numb. And if I start taking photos, after a couple of minutes I lose proper functioning of my motor skills and my fingers feel all thick and uncoordinated and basically I can’t do anything with them anymore. Which is pretty bad when you need to find change to buy a train ticket and you can’t even feed the money into the slot. Or your mobile phone rings and you can’t undo the zipper of your bag and then you drop the phone once or twice before turning the ringing off that has been annoying everyone around you for the last 47 seconds.

Thank you to everyone who sent nice wishes after I departed. I’ll be getting around to everyone’s blogs as soon as I can.

Tschüss & bis bald & enjoy some pics below of my first hours back in Germany.

Monday, November 21


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Autumn is still hanging in here. I'm loving that! Usually by the time November ticks over there isn't a leaf to be seen anywhere.

almost sunset near quedlingburg

Old East Germany has the advantage over the West when it comes to bigger longer more open vistas. The population isn't as dense, there are far fewer villages and towns, and I've seen more deer here in a few days than I ever saw in the whole 4 years I lived in Hannover.

moonrise quedlingburg

moonrise quedlingburg
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This town is about 60km's away from where we're staying. We went here the 1st night. It's a gorgeous town, with over 1200 fachwerk houses. It had a really nice feel to it, there were quite a few artists studios, and we had a nice dinner there before returning to the hotel so I could shut my eyes to the world before 7pm.

Thursday, November 10

Last Sydney Sunset for 2005

Originally uploaded by love life live love.

Wednesday, November 9

State of Affairs

Originally uploaded by love life live love.

The new laws the Australian Government passed in a massive hurry last week, which enabled a massive sweep of suspected terrorist and supposed aversion of a terrorist attack, are for me part of a deepening crisis not only Australia but the world is about to endure.

I truly hope what the police are saying is true because right now all of these supposed terrorists and their families are being treated like they're guilty.

Our supposed democracy and right to a fair trial is being eroded away. Being presumed innocent until proven guilty has disappeared if you listen to the media in Australia currently. I find it sickening and I need to stand up and say I don't like what's happening.

Sydney Sky

Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is how blue it is today, although this was taken yesterday afternoon down at Tamarama. This is one of the sculptures from this years' Sculpture By The Sea.

32 degrees

My plan today was to enjoy the sun and beach and heat, and that’s exactly what nature turned on for me/us. Just ask and you shall receive. The breeze down at the beach brought fresh cool air and the water was actually too icy for me – I went in only thigh high and then chickened out. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just dive in anyway. Now I’m home again it’s hard to believe I felt that way.

Saying good bye to friends for a while is making me feel a tad nostalgic and a tad jealous of the parties and summer everyone is going to be having while I’m gone. But not enough to stop me feeling very excited about seeing my man after what will be 2 months apart from him.

I'm Going to Miss.....

....these 2 gorgeous girls so much!!

Tuesday, November 8

Look What I'm Heading To!

My excitement level is rising. I'm already starting to talk to myself in German. This time I"m going to really try to speak German most of the time - and make our friends stop using me for their English practice.

We don't have a huge autumn in Sydney so I find it so amazing to see streets full of yellow and bright red and orange. I particularly love when ivy turns red like in this photo.

Guys sorry no SPT again this week - not only haven't I had the time to think about it, I also haven't had time to shoot anything that might resemble something interesting. Maybe I'll have some inspriration next week.

Saturday, November 5

My Last Saturday in Sydney in 2005

After a week of waking early I thought a sleep-in was in order. Except I woke up way before my alarm.

Had Yum Cha with my oldest girlfriend & sis & bro-in-law. We pigged out massively and it was GOOD!!!

Bought a couple of Xmas pressies for the girls, so I can give them something before I leave. My friend bought something and absentmindedly left her wallet on the counter. We went back to the store less than 15 minutes later when she realised it was gone - and the staff said nothing had been found or handed in. Great. Reported to Lost Property. We traced our steps but she could picture exactly where she'd left it at that shop. So we went back to ask again, and this time my friend went over the top explaining how sad she was, especially because a great photo of her sons was in the wallet. Something felt fishy. 10 minutes later, the shop called saying they'd found it under a pile of clothes in the back. Yeah right. We think their conscience got the better of them. At least this story had a happy ending. but we'll never shop at that store again.

Went for a nice walk around an inner city harbour suburb & then checked out a fantastic renovation on a neighbour's house. We love when people gentrify around us.

Friday, November 4

End of the Week

My last day of work for the year couldn't have been nicer. 2 of the most talented musicians/composers in the country, and who I worked for 10 years ago were there today, and we "reformed the band" so to speak for a couple of hours and had an excellent and overdue catchup.

Had a fantastic encounter with a well established Aussie actress while she was waiting to do some voice over work, who is not only physically stunning but is one of the warmest and open people I've ever met. We instantly clicked - and she just left me feeling really happy.

And now the weekend is here with so much to squeeze in that an early night is in order.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 3

All work and no play.....

....makes dani a dull girl. Yes, nothing to new to report at all. 1 day left of work. 1 week left until I leave for Germany. And an ever growing list of things to complete, people to see, stuff to organise etc before then as well.

I feel bad about not having done anything for this weeks' SPT, but I just haven't had the time or motivation for the little time I've had. I absolutely love Kath's photo this week - she looks stunning.

So here are a few snaps from the past couple of days.