Dienstag, August 12, 2008


I'm feeling soooo rich these days!

After a summer full of fruit (strawberries and cherries, currants and gooseberries) there is a sudden wealth of potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes and apples to be harvested. Spinach and endive are still growing.
I am eating self-grown veggies every day now. All thanks to a few hours of work during weekends this spring.
It is incredibly rewarding and satisfactory to enjoy my own little harvest.

Of course I could have bought all those things in the supermarket around the corner. But bought fruits and vegetables just don't taste like the ones from the garden, and they could never carry the sweet flavour of this very special achievement: I produced something with my own hands' work (and of course the help of earth, sun and rain).

It's a small feast every day. Totally worth the little sweat they cost me!

Samstag, Mai 24, 2008


Just be there
You won’t have to talk
You won’t have to hold me
You won’t have to smile
Just be there
This once.

Just watch me
No need to say you’re proud
No need to support me
No need to lift your thumb
Just watch me
This once.

I know that you’re proud
And you would like to hold me
I know that you can’t.
I understand.
Please be there
This once.

Montag, Mai 12, 2008


Once more, a little bit of Bollywood has found a way into my life.

Amitabh Bachchan is not only an actor, but one of the greatest heroes of Indian cinema - a superstar since the early 1970s. By chance, I stumbled across his blog on its first day. For almost a month now, "Big B" (as his fans call him) has been blogging. Daily! And his blog has countless readers. Hundreds of comments of his ardent fans appear within a few hours of each of his blog entries.

I could not resist posting a few comments, too, although I am not his 'fan ' in the sense of the word. 'Fan' comes from 'fanatic', and I'm too much of a skeptic to be fanatical about anyone. But he writes very interesting - sometimes fascinating - posts. I am surprised at the vulnerability of this superstar, his touchiness whenever some tabloid or magazine writes a critical comment - but then, "Big B" strikes back in a witty, ironical and sometimes cynical way, which reminds me a lot of my late father. So human, tender, and endearing!

Thus, I'd like to recommend the "Big *B*log" as great reading to everyone who's interested.

Hard Work

Today, as most Sundays lately, I have spent in the garden. Digging, planting, weeding, cutting trees, building paths.
When I was young, just out of school, I was a professional landscape gardener for some time. It was my job, my daily routine, and I did it for a living. It was hard work, tiring and monotonous. Maybe that is why I did not enjoy working in the garden for so many years.

But now my mother's garden needed some attention. My mother is wonderfully fit for her age, and she still does a lot of work around the house and garden herself. But that garden is quite big, and during the last decade, weeds, shrubs and trees have taken over much of the spaces that once were a vegetable garden, flower beds and a lawn.

So, some weeks ago I started going there every weekend, and fighting a battle against nettles, ground elder and other weeds that formed a thick, green carpet in the former vegetable patch. Square meter for square meter, I dug it up, pulled at thick mats of nettle roots, carried buckets full of weeds to the compost heap, and planted strawberries, raspberries, and currants in the re-conquered ground.
Then I dug up another patch for potatoes. And in the sunniest part of the vegetable plot, I planted tomatoes and courgettes.

The plants are growing fast now. Of course, this summer there will only be a couple of handfuls of berries, and just enough vegetables for a few meals. But they will be mine - the result of my work, my own harvest. Ever since humans became farmers, they must have felt this same anticipation and satisfaction. And suddenly, I found out about this simple bliss. Just now, I want to forget about my efforts in scriptwriting and filmmaking, and be nothing else than a gardener.

Maybe the hundreds of generations of farmers in my DNA are stronger than just three generations of intellectuals.

Dienstag, Mai 06, 2008

The Greenest Time

My life is not really a happy one, these days. I feel lonely a lot, and I don't have work.

As a free-lance journalist and filmmaker, I often went through phases of overwork, followed by a lull. I was used to a roller-coaster life - like a boat in a storm, then a calm and then another storm. But since a couple of months, there's no storm in sight, and the endless calm begins to fray my nerves.

So, am I going to spiral down into a full-blown depression? Not in springtime! May in Germany is the most beautiful month of the year. All the migrating birds have come back to nest, and they fill the air with song every morning and night. Wild flowers thrive in every meadow, all trees are in bloom, and the forests are so intensely green, it seems almost unnatural - as if someone took a digital photo, and boosted its colour saturation to the limit.

I go out for a walk every day, just to see it all. I watch squirrels, butterflies, birds and bumble-bees, and forget to feel lonely and jobless. Every day I am amazed at the speed of growth in all that greenery, at new flowers and different colours.
It surely beats Prozac!

Mittwoch, April 30, 2008

A Trip and an Ending

It has been a long time since I blogged last.

Jackie, some time back you asked how my trip was. Honestly, it was not a big success, and it may have been my last visit to India. It just wasn't any fun. The friend with whom I went there was sick (because of some rotten food) for about two thirds of our trip, and many of our Indian 'friends' were acting very strangely.

Both my travel companion and I had (or thought we had) about a dozen friends in Mumbai. Only, most of them did not act friendly in any way. It may have been another of those cultural misunderstandings, but to me it is insulting if someone assures you (before you make the trip to another continent) "Great you are coming, lets meet, let me know if you need anything, you can stay with us!" - and when you get to Mumbai, the next you hear is, "I am in Delhi/Goa/Bangkok/Australia today/ this weekend /all week, but let's meet later and catch up! I'll call you when I am back". Then you never hear from them again until your flight home takes off. What kind of friend does that?

And this happened not with one person, but with seven, at least two of whom have lied about their respective business trips - one was seen and reported to us by another friend (thank God one of them remembered her offer and really let us stay with her, otherwise we would have needed to find a hotel room in a hurry), and we actually bumped into the other one when we visited Mehboob Studios in Bandra. There the person (who had SMSed us that he was in Australia) worked at a film shoot. He saw us, pretended to have come back just now, and disappeared again because of some "urgent work" somewhere else. Yeah, sure...

So despite a nice trip to the spectacular sights of Agra and Rajasthan, and some truly sweet encounters with the remaining few friends, India will remain a country of misunderstandings and broken promises for me.

Oh, and last but not least: On my very last afternoon in Mumbai I also bumped into "him". There is fate for you: You travel to a city with 20 million inhabitants, and you accidentally meet the one you try to forget.
Luckily, he had grown a not-very-attractive paunch and beard, and all in all I was too surprised to react emotional in any way. So I smiled, asked him how he was, and if he was happy. But he could or would not say much. Later that night I received an SMS from him, (in fluent English, which means it was written by someone else), calling me "Darling" and asking me to stay and meet him. But I only answered I didn't want him to play games with me again, and wished him a happy life. Even if I had been tempted: The same night my flight left for Frankfurt.

So now I am back in Europe with all my heart. The whole India episode has lasted almost one year, and it is over.
Bollywood is meant for the big screen, not for life. Not for mine, anyway.