Friday, December 30

I Miss My Broadband Badly

Sitting in front of a computer these days is hellish. When I use my mother-in-law's computer I can't attach photos to blog posts, I'm booted off altogether far too often, and I can't surf flickr without telling it 1000000000 times it's a safe site and I also can only use it when my brother-in-law isn't in the room as it's his bedroom as well.

And even though I'm glad I lugged my laptop here, I'm unable to send email to most people in my address book, receiving/sending is so damn slow it takes 30 mins to upload a 300kb photo. FUN. NOT. IN. THE. LEAST. and I also tie up the phone line because I can't use the ISDN modem because my laptop doesn't talk ISDN.

So what can I tell you? This morning we woke to 5-10cm of snow. It's cold cold, -4 with a breeze feels icy and it really bites into your skin. My sore throat and cough are hanging in there, exhausting me, my voice is ultra husky, I've lost my appetite, but thankfully it isn't the flu so I am happy.

Every little thing really does look so pretty with snow on top. I feel like I'm on a ski holiday, but without the slopes, long queues and sore muscles. But one small part of me is dying for the beach and summer heat that my family and friends at home keep telling me about.

Tuesday, December 27


JD's household hasn't eaten the typical German stodge food for years. Only occasionally does someone get the urge for something hearty and old fashioned. JD himself had wished for an Xmas meal of Roast Turkey, Red Cabbage & Klöster (potatoe dumplings). We had that last night and it was divine!

Xmas Eve, or the real night they celebrate Xmas, we had a meal more suited to my roots - although it was probably quite accidental. We had steamed barramundi filets, rice and salad. This was also divine! With so much rice left over we had it with soy and chilli. Steamed rice is comfort food for me and I can't tell you how happy and close to home and to my Mum and sister I felt(and her chinese side of our family) even though I was 10 hours behind and a whole hemisphere away.

White Christmas

My wish came true, and even though it snowed on Boxing Day, I count this as a White Christmas - my first one ever!

Taking off in the car after breakfast, the clocked turned 12.00pm and the thermometer read 0 degrees. Ten minutes into our walk in the forest it started snowing. Gorgeous fluffy slow flakes weren't falling, it was more like slow icy rain, but after about 30 minutes everything was white and sugar coated. Believe it or not, after having spent roughly 4 winters in Germany, this was also the first time I'd ever been walking in a forest in the snow. It continued to snow the rest of the day, and it eventually turned to the real deal, flakes were falling nice and slowly and the temperature had dropped even further so it was hanging around now and started to freeze.

After an early dinner we had to schlepp snow from the footpath outside the house and sprinkle salt to help it from freezing over, and we went for a short walk through the neighbourhood. It was gorgeous. Walking through fresh real virgin snow, crunching underfoot, and all the Xmas lights and trees and decorations made ordinary suburban streets look like fairyland.

Even with a sore throat, an annoying ticklish cough and snotty nose I went to bed last night feeling very content.

And this morning it is still snowing every now and then, but the sun is also shining - it looks beautiful.

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish each and everyone of you who stop by here now and then all the best for this time of the year, whether you celebrate Xmas or not. It has been so nice getting to know so many of you over this past year, and I hope it continues into the next. I am sorry I am not able to reach most of the blogs I normally visit, so if you are reading and feel I haven't commented for a while it is only because I can't (there are a few reasons to boring to mention).

Much love & peace,


Thursday, December 22

Advent Concert

Last night we went to a concert in one of the old middle age churches in Paderborn. It was the final year concert given by music students. It was organised partly by JD's old guitar teacher who we had a drink with after the concert.

There were a few amazing performances and strangely quite a few of the pieces were sung in English. One being that one made famous by Anthony Callea (Aust. Idol guy), Prayer or something like that, and hearing 2 amazing singers sing it I realised how incredible he alone sings that song. And then there was a terrible version of an already hideous Yentyl song. I wanted to scream. Barbra would not have been impressed at all. But overall there were some songs and pieces of music that made me get goosebumps and teary and sitting in a catholic church that is quite plain and unadorned and very beautiful just before Xmas seemed like the perfect thing to do on a freezing Tuesday night.


Perhaps I'm feeling melancholic today, and therefore seeing ordinary things in a sad way. My uncle J who is the closest of all my Mum's siblings to me, is very ill, and undergoing chemo which is making him sicker than he already was - and with Xmas coming combined with the knowledge that people you love aren't well a kind of blueness is hovering around me.

Whilst waiting at the butcher's for the freshly slaughtered turkey I saw so many sad people. School finishes around 12pm here, and loads of kids were walking home alone or with friends or were being picked up. One boy, alone, was walking rather oddly. On closer inspection I realised he was wearing a pair of black leather brogues that looked huge, and I can only assume from the laboured way of walking he was actually wearing shoes that weren't his - maybe they were his fathers or brothers - which then made me think maybe his family is poor and they share shoes because they were not typical kid shoes. Then another boy was walking way ahead of his mother or grandmother - hard to say but she looked too old to be his mum. And the woman was watching him ahead but she seemed so distant and so removed and was slightly talking to herself and looked a bit confused. Then a group of kids together walked silently, seriously without much interaction. And then another young boy, who walked in a way that only a slightly disabled person can, waved to an old woman waiting in her doorway, and smiled to himself so happily and contentedly. When he passed me I could then see he was also probably slightly mentally disabled as well and I realised he seemed the happiest of all the people I'd just seen.

Tuesday, December 20

Words & No Images - SPT

Guys still can't get images & fonts to work right - it is so annoying. Please go to my flickr homepage if you want to see recent photos.

My SPT images are also there for this week.

Snow is Cool Until It Melts

I've been having trouble again with the internet, blogging and flickr access. I'm using a computer that is set up with AOL as the provider and it's making things extremely difficult.

Right now Blogger is set up in German rather than English and I'm unable to see the normal tools like fonts, links, adding pics etc etc.

So until I work this out, this post was going to show you how excited I was on Saturday morning to see that it had snowed overnight. The whole 3 hour drive north west and then south west was like driving through a winter fairy wonderland - just simply stunning. Because it was so cold, it hovered around 0 to +1, and our hire car didn't come with winter tyres and we were scared about hitting black ice because we'd had a bit of slippage and sliding happening on the highway we really didn't stop that often to take photos but I wanted to show you a couple. Just use your imaginations guys.

And yes Conch, a white Xmas may be just around the corner. And thanks Milva for your sense of humour regarding the hoodie. I think it's going to look great on Jindi or Doll.

Saturday, December 17


For the past 5 weeks I’ve called this place home. It’s been a great time , but I’m happy to be leaving and starting a month’s holiday with JD, and not be living in a hotel anymore and I’m really looking forward to cooking – look out PB because we’ll be raiding your shops next week big time. And I’ll hopefully be able to save some of my clothes that have been shrunk and almost destroyed by the laundry service at the hotel. I’m hoping when they’re wet I can pull on them and bring them back to normal – otherwise I better start getting that 6-pack in shape as all my stuff is now midriff. Nice. Not.

And, Milva, sorry sorry sorry, but I may need to buy you a new hoodie.

There's a tiny smattering of snow outside which I'm about to going an shoot.
Goodbye & Auf Wiedersehen SBK.

Friday, December 16

Love this City

street art 2
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Aah Dresden. I can highly recommend a visit.


bleak elbe
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This was taken a couple of days ago, and is the partner shot for the seagull/elbe shot from a few days before that, except the sun isn't shining here and the river wasn't reflecting beautiful cloud forms and the current looked wild - definitely not a safe place to swim.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I've been having a sherry aperitif for the last few weeks. Whenever I take a sip I feel like the full old nanna, but I have to say, a good sherry is not a bad drop.

Do they know Something We Don't?

ducks are back
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I hope that these guys aren't a sign that winter isn't coming back with a vengeance and that a white Xmas may elude me yet. Yesterday it was 11 degrees. Far too warm for mid December.

Thursday, December 15

Never Leave Home without IT

me & my mütze
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This ski beanie is almost permanently attached to me these days. I find my head, forehead & ears are just so sensitive to the cold even if I'm just walking to the car I need this on. i feel like the biggest dag - and I'm sure the locals think it's weird. They can still be seen wearing open necked shirts, no hat or gloves and so this beanie just sticks out big time. I feel very conspicuous but hey, I'm not going to die for my art.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
JD took this one. Of course I never would have seen this in this way - but he has been in long hard training this past 3 months, and that glass with the huge head on it just speaks to him in ways I'll never understand.

Oh, and that's a shot of the grand old SemperOper.


For years I'd been wanting to go to Dresden and finally last weekend we made it. Driving in it reminded me of how culturally central , wealthy and completely stylish this part of Europe once was with those big old grand buildings dominating the skyline over the Elbe.

There were loads of tourists which was a surprise considering it's winter, and there were not one or two or even three Xmas Markets, I couldn't count how many there must have been.

We did a tour of the SemperOper which is the face of Dresden. A grand old opera house. And walked about the touristy area but it wasn't until we entered the Uni Quarter that things started really getting interesting. Dresden has a very funky arty community happening there, and the walls and shops are adorned with original concepts absolutely everywhere.

We went to one cafe that was a combination of Japanese Zen style meets bohemian - and I had the best Vanilla Soy Milkshake that was to die for.

Mum, this porcelain from Meisen is the present I'd buy for you if only I had the dosh. Check out those prices and almost double them to make $AUD. Ouch.

Wednesday, December 14


fun on ice
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Jindi & Doll, can you imagine breaking the ice by stomping as hard as you can so it breaks off into pieces that look alot like big chunks of glass and then you throw them onto the ice so they shatter into 1000's of pieces? It's so hard to walk on the ice as it's more slippery than mossy rocks at the beach. JD briefly stepped onto the ice and then we heard a big cracking sound so he quickly got off.


walking on water
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
The lake finally froze over enough and the local kids were down to check it out very early and had hours of fun. It has actually now turned back to watery mush, and so I still haven't had the chance myself to check it out. The weather has warmed up to being about 5-6 during the day, and snow doesn't look likely at all for some time. Let's hope the cold snap starts again next Thursday/Friday so we can have a white Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13

End the Death Penalty

Originally uploaded by love life live love.
In honour of Van Tuong Nyugen & Tookie Williams and anyone else murdered or waiting to be murdered by governments around the world.

Save our Souls

dresden wall art 4
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Tookie Williams was murdered approximately 25 minutes ago. May his soul be at rest, and may his death provoke public conscience enough to make his death be the last taken in this way.

SPT: Reflective 2

Dresden was so cool and here are a couple of reflective surface shots of mine. Check out other SPTer's here and here.

Can't wait to have broadband connection again so I can actually check out the numerous newbie SPTer's I've noticed by name - I'm able to do so little surfing because everything takes soooooooooo long to download and upload.

Monday, December 12

Afternoon Glow

the elbe
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Had to go & make an official statement at the police and JD therefore got time off to be with me because I didn't want to say and sign one mre thing without him being my translator. My German is good but not good enough to do stuff like that by myself. The yucky part was when they showed me some head shots of some guys who are on their wanted list for this sort of thing. Revolting and I can't say I spent much time gazing into their eyes. So after that we quickly drove to the river and it was such a beautiful afternoon, and so peaceful there. A few years ago at this very town the river rose so rapidly and so high, it ruined most of the houses, buildings and industry in the area. It has huge floodplains at the sides in many places so it is hard to believe how high the water must have been. Scary.

More about Woman Power

Just in case I didn't make myself clear enough the other day ranting about women, I need to say this about Condaleeza Rice.

I am very happy to see a woman in her position. I am very happy to see a female figure sitting anywhere in international politics. There aren't enough of us even at the local level, so when it comes to national and international politics I can only be hopeful in thinking that she and others like her will be positive role models for young women, giving them the motivation to think about work like this for themselves.

I do not however condone Ms. Rice's politics, I hate the dudes she hangs out with, I hate the lies she and her dudes speak daily, I hate the arrogance and sheer stupidity - and the "can't touch us" & "we're above the law" attitudes they perpertuate. And may I reiterate, I hope Angie Merkel starts kicking ass!

Shame Shame Shame

Thanks Milva for informing me about the the disgusting riots in Sydney this weekend. How appalling! How incidiously destructive! I am ashamed and embarrassed that people I live with have the ability to be so cruel, gutless & hateful. Why are people so terrified of other people with differing cultures and looks and religions? It is so stupid and anyone with any intelligence loves and respects all the differences.

Love one another people. Don't believe the lies being festered by our governments. Listen to your hearts. We are all brothers and sisters.

Saturday, December 10

Morning Frost

morgen frost
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Cold, frosty but nice and sunny. I can feel a great day coming on.

I am Woman

I had to make a final statement at the police this week, and when they noticed that I haven't taken my husband's name they asked him, "so that works in Australia?" Works? Which got us to talking about the whole name changing stuff and patriarchy and so on. Since being here in Germany, apart from when we've been with family and friends, I have been the only woman present. I was finally over men, testosterone and egos mid week this week and needed time out big time. Even though JD's work mates are really nice guys, I am missing being around women. This week one of the guy's partner's arrive so that will be good.

So in honour of WOMAN, and her greatness, I want to mention 4 women this week. Madonna, who just doesn't quit and neither does her body. WOW. And to 2 of the most powerful women in the world right now: Angela Merkel & Condaleeza Rice. Angela is going to give as good as she gets so watch out Connie. And to my gorgeous Mum, with her name Day, Barbara Tag, happening last Sunday, get better quickly and I love you!!!

Friday, December 9


xmas trees
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Yeahhhhh it's the weekend again which means getting to play with JD and discovering some new places. We're going to try to get to Dresden - let's hope the weather stays cool for driving.

This church was destroyed in the war and was only recently rebuilt with lots of help/money from the British. Apparently, even though you won't find this in any history books, this area was bombarded with napalm in the war, dropped by both the US & Brits and so it was completely destroyed by fire - like in Vietnam.

Good weekend and Happy 3rd Advent!!!

Tuesday, December 6

Last Night

xmas markt 8
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
JD's work took us out to dinner last night - fantastic Spanish - yummy tapas. And before that we stopped byt he Xmas Market. I couldn't believe some of the guys with us had one of these first. How disgusting knowing you'd be eating a real meal very soon. The Gluhwein went down well, this time I had it without the shot of rum and so it was much nicer and I didn't feel drunk within seconds.

SPT Reflective 1a

me & JD
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
We'd spent a few hours on this cliff and seen a couple of whales this day. The Royal National park in Sydney is one of my favourite places.

SPT Reflective 1

Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Back on deck for SPT this month.

Monday, December 5

Zweite Advent - 2nd Advent

The Germans really know how to do Christmas well. The cold & darkness suit it far more than the sweltering heat. I love how everyone decorates their houses from the 1st Advent with traditional wooden ornaments, candles everywhere, fairylights, and the houses are all warm and cosy and you want to sit by the fire and eat lots of homemade delicious xmas biscuits, florentines and cakes. Windows are decorated and so are trees outside so when you drive along any residential street it looks festive and happy and inviting. The whole of December is celebrated, especially each Advent or Sunday, and then there is Barbara Day, Nikolaus Day today and more I don’t know the name of yet. The Xmas Markets everywhere give you a place to go that’s interesting for kids and adults alike every day/night of the week and kids are continually make stuff for Christmas. This “gemütlich” atmosphere makes the winter freeze completely bearable.

We took off to see JD’s family on Saturday and were nicely surprised to see that the weather had warmed up to 7 degrees which felt positively warm. And made walking in the forest near sunset gorgeous. I felt so energised from being with all those old trees that I couldn’t sleep much that night. Sunday was very lazy, and it was raining so we didn’t do much at all. Visited friends in Braunschweig on the way back. It was pouring when we left and the drive back wasn’t fun. It was so hard to see and then we saw the temperature (most cars here have thermometers) start to drop which is scary because if it drops to 0 or below in those conditions, it can turn to black ice in an instant. It bottomed at 2 degrees so we were OK, but we were so happy to see the exit for home.

Friday, December 2

Morning TV

I know I know, morning tv anywhere is crap tv, but I need to share this with you.

Sat1 is a commercial network and it's programming is questionable but I've somehow become addicted to watching the morning show. I especially love the Karaoke Segment. Nobodies who want there 15 minutes write in telling them how great they can sing and then they do a 5 minute little story on them and then they sing live. This morning we got to see a very talented Phillipino girl singing a Whitney Houston epic about love. She was flat, her English so bad she sang "a risson do lurve" instead of a reason to love and that wasn't the worst of it. Brilliant, hilarious and completely sad I know.

By the way, who won Survivor? Or isn't it over yet?


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I love the crunchy sound you make walking through icy snow like this. This of course isn't snow-snow and it disappeared after 2 days.

Yeah it's Friday. Tomorrow we're heading to JD's family a couple of hours away. And on the way back we'll see friends.

Have a good weekend everyone!!


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is the beginning of the park right near the hotel. When it snows trucks come and shift the snow from streets and major pathways in every city and town. People are responsible for shifting the snow from their driveways and the front of their houses. Everyone does this because of the huge insurance issues that could occur if someone falls and hurts themselves. Imagine having to shift piles of snow in minus degrees temperatures - eeek.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I took my 1st walk back in the park near the hotel since the wanker incident happened. There were lots of people around today because of the sun. It felt so nice feeling it warming my face. I just stood in one spot for 10 minutes soaking it up, until my feet started aching from the cold.


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
The sun is shining but still it's freezing. Frost is all over everything today.

Went to the Xmas Market for a Gluhwein again last night and then on to a great french restaurant. Every night we're both groaning from pain because our stomachs are being stretched wide open to accommodate all the food we're eating. I need to change my ways or I'm going to be hating stripping off at the beach in a few weeks.

Thursday, December 1


Originally uploaded by love life live love.
These are leaves from the weeping willow that is on one of the banks of the pond. This morning it had another crusty frost level over the top of this. I've never had the pleasure of watching something freeze over in nature so directly before. I'm finding it very cool.