Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Other's World: PAINTING ON PORCELAIN

I met Ruth at my Line Dance class. She was always accompanied by her dog Ombra (which is a cutie, by the way!). I've always thought that Ruth was a classy lady - the way she dressed and behaved (she worked in fashion - no wonder!). By chance I found out that she is painting on porcelain and teaching classes. I checked out her website (www.aubijou.ch) and was fascinated. My (ignorant, I must admit) mind thought that nobody is painting on porcelain any longer nowadays! Well, some people still do because Ruth's classes are well attended!
I wanted to know more and visited her in her shop. We talked, I asked my questions, she explained some techniques, I took pictures of details on vases, plates, etc.
I spent a wonderful morning in a (at least up to then) totally unknown world to me.

Let's hear what Ruth has to say (you'll find the English version, as usual, at the bottom). The pictures, by the way, do show motifs that weren't all painted by Ruth...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cold days ... hot beaches

It's cold outside. Freezing cold. Winter is not usually my favorite time of the year but with snow and sunshine it's ... bearable. But like right now with these temperatures and those grey skies? Oh my.
This year I need to organize myself better. Meaning I need to plan some vacation time in December or January. Even a little week would be sufficient to get me through winter safe and sane! In the meantime, looking at some pictures taken of the ocean or the sea helps!

South Carolina, USA

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crappy days

Have you ever had a crappy day? No, I mean a really shitty day? A day where you get up in the morning and can't think of anything else besides ... going back to sleep again? A day where you want to yell at everybody, no, I mean literally everybody and just because they dare to look at you in a way that you don't like, no, meaning don't like AT ALL? A day where when somebody (a client or, worse, your mother!) calls with a request, you want to simply yell: shut up and call back tomorrow or better: don't ever call back again! A day where other people laughs and talks simply get on your nerves and you want to yell at them: could you just shut up (well, maybe I'd leave out the "could you" part and add the not very elegant f-word SMILE).

Oh my.

I had such a day yesterday. I wanted to yell. I wanted to swear. I wanted to argue. I wanted to tell people to shut up.
Especially, I wanted the day to be over.
Yes! As rapidly as possible. Please?? Please!!

I finally did not yell, I did not swear either. I figured that remaining silent would be the best solution (for everybody). I had a short "misunderstanding" with one of my office colleagues but then he started to laugh saying: I can see, today is not your day! Well, the guy GOT THAT ONE RIGHT. (I apologized this morning and he simply smilied at me, saying that such days happen to everybody - what a cutie :-))

I have no idea why I had such a bad day. No obvious reason. None at all. Atypical for me, by the way. I do have moods (oh, I do!!) but rarely have such ... an aggressive one!
Luckily for me I had only one person to apologize to this morning (the mentioned colleague), even though the ladies at my line dance course were wondering why I wasn't my usual chatty self but I can live with that.

I went to bed pretty early. Hoping that, please, pretty please, my mood would improve overnight.

Luckily, it did.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Silence

2013 has been ... uneventful so far. At least for me. Unfortunately, around me there are some bad things happening, like the cancer found in the lungs of my friend's father, my aunt's sister jumping from a bridge and killing herself because she was tired of living (so sad! life should be nice and fun and worth living for but unfortunately not for everybody), another friend's boyfriend being bullied at work, some broken bones and some broken hearts, some broken computers.
What can I say? Strong times. Very strong times.
At least around me.
Within me though ... uneventful.

I have no idea what's going on. It's unusual for me. I don't feel bad or depressed, don't misunderstand me. I go about my usual life (dancing, fitness, meeting friends, writing, reading, etc.) feeling good but as I am more into action then passiveness this feels strange to me. Besides I usually start my year thinking of all the stuff I want to change (in my life, job or whatever) or the trips I want to make. January 2013? Nothing. I just am. Totally strange for me. So totally strange. I don't even do a lot of thinking. Yes! You read correctly! No thinking - at least not as much as I'm known to do.
I am. I simply am.
My French friend would say: Je suis zen.
Unbelievable. I am zen. That must be it. I am content and silent. My head is silent.
Wow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hamburg ... travel companion

My short trip to Hamburg has not only been a wonderful way to end a wonderful year, no, it has been an experiment as well. As you may recall, I traveled with someone I had met thanks to an ad I had placed in a travel magazine. A first for me. I had never traveled with a complete stranger before.
I must admit that a couple of days before our departure ... I got nervous. I was about to go on a trip with someone I had met two times for coffee. Someone, in fact, I didn't know AT ALL. I didn't panic but I felt kind of queasy (mulmig).
I decided not to overthink the situation and to trust my instincts and my self-reliance. Whatever would happen ... would happen.

It went well but at the same time ... it felt strange. Not bad. Just strange. To share so much time with a person you barely know - no, actually a person you don't know at all. You not only share time but also a room. Breakfast. Dinner.
On the other hand, I walked a foreign city NOT by myself, was able to share fascinating things I saw and the decision-making wasn't up to me only. And I had dinner in restaurants in the evening! When I'm traveling alone, I rarely have dinner in restaurants in the evenings. I usually eat lunch and then buy something for me to eat in the hotel room. Even after all my trips, I still feel awkward to enter a restaurant alone. Apparently, I am not alone with this feeling. My "Hamburg" companion, C., admitted that she neither eats in restaurants in the evenings when traveling alone. Funny, must be a women thing.

What I most appreciated though was that she wasn't the "I have to tell you my whole life story" kind of girl. We talked, yes, but not all the time. She was, as I am, comfortable with silence.

All in all it was a good experience. I'd do it again, at least for some short trips. Now, a three-weeks-trip to whatever destination? I am not sure about that. But, who knows? I might change my mind ... as I am known to do SMILE

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hamburg ... street names

One other particular that caught my eye was... the street names. I thought that they didn't sound German. At all. Strange names for streets. I speak and understand German but these street names remained mysterious to me. I kept thinking: Who gave this names? What history is behind this name? What is their meaning? Fascinating... Judge for yourself. Maybe it was just my imagination running wild... but what the hell is "Stubbenhuk"??????




Hamburg ... trash cans

In Hamburg trash cans actually have something to say. It felt like they were talking to me SMILE. This is marketing the way I like it :-)



Hamburg in pictures




Hamburg

I have already been back a couple of days and I still haven't told you about my short trip to Hamburg. What to say? I can't always use adjectives like "amazing" or "beautiful", don't you think? With Hamburg though the word that trotted in my mind during the three days I've visited was ... stately (herrschaftlich). This city has a "je ne sais quoi" that makes it ... proud. Must be the glourious past (harbor cities were rich and famous back in the days - and probably still are - well, maybe only the rich part nowadays :-), maybe it was the wonderful big buildings, maybe it was the busy harbour, maybe it was the elegant parks, the glossy Mercedes in the streets (they don't seem to drive in any other kind of car). I don't know.
This city has class. Northern class. Without gold adornments, palm trees or Southern charm. Classy in its own way.

The inhabitants have adapted well to their city. They were not heartly, but ... they were not unfriendly either, mind you. No, just standoffish. As soon as I started talking to them, the smile came and they were very obliging. On first sight though... one had to earn their smile :-) I don't know Germany well. The few times I have been there was for short visits in the Southern part. I always thought that people were so nice and friendly. Well, up north it's another story. I was glad that a lady (during our long train ride) told us about it. She said: Don't expect them to smile. I was a bit shocked but in the end she was totally right. They smile yes, but not at once. I don't mind this kind of behaviour. I think that it is honest. And I like honesty.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYBODY :-))))

I wish you ... whatever you wish most for yourself!

I have just come back from a few days in Hamburg. Let me get through my things first, my pictures as well and I will then tell you about it.

Let's hope that 2013 is gonna be as strong as 2012!