Friday, February 28, 2014

Mood Swing

Do you ever feel blue without really having a reason to feel so?
Well, I do today.
It's not my favorite mood, I admit. But it happens sometimes. It "overcomes" me (most of the time rather suddenly). I try to accept to feel the way I feel. I learned to accept my mood swings. Had many more of them in my youth and young adulthood then nowadays. It was a continuous struggle back then. Getting older (and that is ONE thing that gets better with age!) I became steadier and stronger inside (I know myself much better nowadays).
It helped when one day I realized that mood swings actually ... come ... and go by again.
Like a wave.
I just have to sit tight and be patient.
Accept the odd day and go on doing what I was supposed to be doing that day. Not more.
Accepting that it won't be a memorable day.
Not taking any significant decision or making any important phone calls.
And NO need to go on talking and talking on what exactly feels strange today (as I don't know EXACTLY anyway!).
It just is.
If in a couple of days the feeling is still with me, I can do all the talking and thinking I want to help me get rid of it.
But right now?
It's just what it is: a mood swing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Website

While reading the Tuesday edition (during my flight back from Berlin) of the International New York Times, I came across an interesting article / interview of Alain de Botton. He is a philosopher and book writer (amongst others). I do love his books and I now found out that he runs an online site called

THE PHILOSOPHER'S MAIL

www.philosophersmail.com

Check it out. It's a wonderful site and a wonderful way to comment on "news" in a totally different way (like the article titled "Paris Hilton reads Epicurus" - wonderful!).
I just love it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Walk

Lake of Zurich (Switzerland, not the one in Wisconsin!) with view of the alps

City of Zurich

I love the geometry of trees

Sycamore tree

a lonely player

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Berlin: Bus 100

One thing has definitively changed since my last visit. There are more tourists. A LOT more tourists actually. I remember taking bus number 100  back then. Bus 100 is a circle line and goes from Alexanderplatz all the way along the most important places of interest like: Unter den Linden, Brandenburgertor, Reichstag, Siegessäule, Bahnhof Zoo. There is a bus 200 as well. Its route changes slightly - you get to see Potsdam as well.
Bus number 100 back then had people on it, obviously, but the bus was never crowded (I tend to remember crowded places!). This time though (and we're speaking February - totally off-season! My last visit had been in September) the bus was always crowded. Totally crowded. Crowd after crowd of (young) students, families, and group after group of friends. I haven't seen one "Berliner" - just tourists!

Accordingly, the bus drivers were a bit, well, let's say, not at their best. Poor guys. Not easy to handle crowds of tourists day after (working) day.
During one ride, for ex., the bus stayed put at one stop more time than usual. Suddenly I hear the driver say over the loud speaker: please stand back from the door. Otherwise, it can't be closed.
I hear the doors closing and we continue our ride.
At the next stop, his voice booms over the loud speaker again. He remains somehow friendly but at the same time his "undertone" clearly implies that "guys, you start to piss me off" when he says: please stand back from the door. This time. And please do so also at the next stop. And the one after as well please. Thank you.

What a classy guy!

Berlin: Shopping

You wonder what happened on Monday when I went shopping in Berlin-Mitte? Well, not much, I must admit. I thoroughly checked every item in the "& other stories" shop, obviously. I didn't buy anything though. Just touching and looking at all the wonderful things made me feel good. Moreover I am not ready yet to buy spring clothes. It's like spring outside, I agree, but clotheswise I am pretty much still in winter mood.

Same applied to any other store I entered. Watching. Yes. Touching. Yes. Buying. No. (My bank account was pretty happy about it SMILE).

Well, there has been one tiny exception. COS store (another kind of subsidiary of H&M). I could have bought at least three items but finally decided to go for a very nice dark blue wool jacket. Very cool. Very classy (at least in my opinion). I can wear it right now, under my coat and with a long-sleeved t-shirt or blouse and will be wearing it in spring as a real jacket with one of my many colored scarfs.

One item. Not even that expensive.
I am pretty much very proud of my behavior.
(There were still some Euros in my purse when I got back! Pretty unusual for me SMILE).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Berlin: Impressions Second Day

Berliner Dom


Brandenburger Tor

The Holocaust Memorial and the American Embassy just behind

the way it used to be ... before 1989 (sorry, I must have been really tired that evening. This is how Berlin looked just after WW2)

Checkpoint Charlie ... not original, rebuilt

what is left of the wall ... only a couple of meters actually

Potsdam reminded my, at least a bit, of Downtown in any American city

St.-Matthäus-Kirche near the Gemäldegalerie


Neue Nationalgalerie ... building by Mies Van Der Rohe

Berlin: Culture and History

I'm tired. No, I am actually more than tired. I'm exhausted. 10 hours of walking around and some serious stop and go in three, no wait, four museums?
How would you feel?
My body hurts. All over. My feet. My legs. My hips (oh, please don't get me started about my hips!). My back. My shoulders.
What's NOT hurting are my arms and my head!
Oh, yes, my head i.e. my brain is really happy. Totally happy.
What a city!
I don't care about hurting feet or hips or back. It was worth it. Totally worth it.
It's just wonderful. I had forgotten how much, actually.
Magnificent.
These Prussians knew how to build a city (most of the buildings have been either rebuilt or renovated after the wall came down in 1989 but you know what I mean!).

So, my day was about walking, culture and history. I walked from Prenzlauer Berg (where I sleep) to the Berliner Dom, the Museumsinsel, the Brandenburger Tor, the Holocaust-Mahnmal, Checkpoint Charlie (visit of first two museums: Black Box and Mauerpanorama). I continued to Potsdamer Platz and later visited the Gemäldegalerie (two hours visit - wonderful) and the Neue Nationalgalerie (shorter visit as the museum was closing).
By then I was totally exhausted and I took the bus back, had dinner in the first restaurant that looked OK (I almost well asleep over my pizza). I have no idea how I managed to walk back home another 15 minutes or so. The stairs to the third floor felt like ... hell!
Let me just say, before I start posting some pictures, that I am glad my friend is not at home. I would have been totally inapt to have a decent conversation SMILE

PS: The details and the funny stuff of my trip will have to wait until I'm back home. I am too tired to get anything else written down...

PSS: I had to change my "current favorite picture" to one I took in Venice (luckily I have them with me on my travel laptop!). After seeing all these wonderful paintings done by Canaletto today, Venice was on my mind :-)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Berlin: Some First Impressions


it was getting dark...

constructions sites all over the place!

Berlin: Arrival II

I hadn't seen S., my friend who kindly let's me sleep on her couch, for at least 10 years. If not more actually. So we had a lot to catch up on. We went to bed late on my arrival night and continued chatting this morning over breakfast at "Café Anna Blume" (wonderful location - wonderful breakfast!).
She decided to accompany me to the "Hamburg Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart" (we're in Berlin, I know, and not in Hamburg but the museum is called this way because it really has been a railway station back in the days when the trains only went from Berlin to Hamburg and back - therefore the name!). A wonderful place, by the way. Especially the video installations by Harun Farocki - Serious Games - wonderful!
I then continued on to the Fotografie-Museum - she decided to go home and get ready for her Saturday night date with her boyfriend.
The Fotografie-Museum wasn't particularly fascinating nor interesting - as it is in fact a homage to Helmut Newton and me not being a big fan of Newton ... well, let's just say I didn't linger on :-)
Enough museums for the day.
More to come tomorrow!

Berlin: Arrival

First things first: I (just) walked along Neue Schönhauserstrasse and Alte Schönhauserstrasse (that are, for instance, the main streets where to do some decent shopping, I found out, if you want to avoid the more mainstream one which is Kurfürstendamm). Let me please particularly stress the fact that I just WALKED along the streets and simply went QUICKLY into just two stores (&Other Stories and COS) but by doing just almost nothing, I could have bought or at last tried on, three items!
Get that!
Three items in just one small little tour.
Oh my.
It's gonna be hard on Monday (I will be doing my shopping on Monday as most of the museums are closed on that day...). I will have to be very much aware of my tight budget!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

To Grow

Just read these words on Pinterest:

I just wanna go on more adventures.
Be around good energy.
Connect with people.
Learn new things.
Grow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Berlin

Counting down the days to my departure for Berlin... My flight is on Friday night ... of this week.

Can't wait!

The first (very nice) surprise, while getting ready to leave, was that my friend moved to Prenzlauer Berg (a nice district of Berlin). It will be cool to discover all the places closely and having breakfast and dinner and drinks "just around the corner"...

The second (very nice) suprise was that there is an & other stories (http://www.stories.com/) shop in Berlin (you remember? I told you about this shop when I went to Milano last November!). This time I'll bring more time!

No worries. I won't be doing shopping only these 3.5 days. I have planned long walks around the city, visits to museums and other points of interest. Last time I didn't take any pictures - it was before my photographing days. I have a lot to catch up on.

As I said: I can't wait.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Meditation

The flu hit me hard. I've been kind of zonked out these last 10 days; hardly being able to manage my everyday life (i.e. and work). On Friday night, after said 10 days, I hesitated about going to my yoga class. I still felt a bit weak (the coughing fits wore me out!) but at the same time I was sure that it would do me good.
I went.
I'm glad I did.
It felt good to be in motion again.

Driving home, in a blissfully happy and relaxed state of mind, I thought of an interesting article I read on FB this week:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/more-mindfulness-less-meditation/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&_r=1

I've been wanting to do more mediation at home but somehow can't seem to find my way. Meditation is hard on me. I know that it would do me good but my mind goes on and on and on and NOT to think it hard for me.
What comes easier to me are breathing exercises. The way it's described in the article:

"Even a few minutes of sitting quietly and following the breath goes a long way. I’ve found it especially effective to breathe in to a count of three and out to a count of six – effectively extending the outbreath and deepening the experience of relaxation. Counting is also an effective object of attention, and therefore enhances concentration."

And he continues:

"I’ve also found that it’s more practical to truly focus and relax for a minute or two several times a day than to meditate for a long period and constantly battle with distraction along the way."

I've had an epiphany.
This is what I am gonna do ... as soon my nose won't be stuffed any longer!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

About Friends and Changing Conversational Topics

I have all kind of friends. Younger ones, older ones, same age ones, smarter ones, some with family, others with none, some are singles, some in a relationship, some are like-minded politically speaking, others totally not, some are funny, or like to cook, others prefer to shop, or totally not, some like to argue, others hate it, some are talkers, others are listeners, most are both.
I love them all.
They enrich my life, my heart and my soul.

Having dinner the other day with what I call my "chick" friends (meant in a kind way - I love it that our main topics turn around girl stuff!), I noticed a change. A change in conversational topics. To help you understand I have to emphasize the fact that they are all younger than me. Much younger actually. At least 10 years younger. If not more, actually. One of the girls, now that I think of it, kept complaining that ... her thirtieth (30!!!!) birthday was coming up.
She got to be kidding me, right?
When I told her that 30 is a wonderful age and added the usual blablabla (when the hell did I become the wise one of the bunch??) ... well, let's just say that it wasn't what she wanted to hear. AT ALL. I remembered what it felt like to turn 30 and I ... just shut up.
OK, let's get back to the subject at hand.
Changing conversational topics.
My "chick" friends and I, like I said, talk about girl stuff: shopping, men, hair, nails, gym, diets, etc.
At least up to most recently. Nowadays when we meet most of them talk about ... having babies (or not). And getting married (or not).
That's definitively new.
While (female) friends my age rather talk about ... divorces (sigh! unfortunately) or how to get pregnant after 40 (both topics, gladly, not being vital to me).

Conversational topics reflect our age.

One fine day, ... we'll be talking about the pros and cons of this or that nursing home, oh my, well, ... let's just say that on that day my 30th birthday will be REALLY far far away SMILE
For the time being though the topics are about shopping and babies and divorces and marriages or whatever we can think of.
The nursing home discussions will come up soon enough :-)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cabin Fever

I've had (and still have) the flu. A big never-ending (at least so it seems) flu. One coughing fit after the other until my belly muscles started to ache. (It feels like stomach and belly training!!).

I don't mind being sick (well, as long as it doesn't happen too often). I have learned that being sick usually has a hidden significance. Like "someone" wants to tell you: now you just stay put and simply take care of yourself.
So far so good.
But... you knew there was a but?
Yes, there is one.
I am starting to have cabin fever. I do love my appartment but right now I am kind of sick and tired of it. I took care of myself. I got the "powering down" part. Now though I can't wait to take up my normal life again - after days of hermit existence!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mirror

I've come across this article on Facebook:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dawn-gluskin/life-lessons_b_4629195.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009&ir=Green

I immediately thought what a wonderful idea it was to list the equivalent of your age in life lessons! I did not agree on all of the 37 points but I stumbled upon number 5:

The world is our mirror. What we love in others is a reflection of what we love about ourselves. What upsets us about others is a strong indication of what we need to look at more closely within ourselves.

Articulated wonderfully well :-) I couldn't agree more!

Our World ... is Sweet