Dear former Pope Benedikt!

I didn’t like you! I didn’t like you at all! I never liked you and I never will! Even though you took the easy way out, living out your life somewhere nicely, quitting your job when every other pope before you at least had the decency to die in his job! The new guy? Slightly better than you were, at least he is trying to be a little more tolerant and modern.

The reason why I never liked you? Well, first of all, you and your views belonged to the Middle Ages, a dark time where all women were considered witches and the popes/bishops/cardinals not only bought their positions but also killed each other off regularly!

You wonder why I’m writing now? Years after dropping out of the Roman Catholic Church in my case and years after your dropping out of your honourable life position? Well, again and again, scandals are following your lambs. Paedophile priests, child abuse, power and money hungry representatives of the Catholic Church are reason enough.

It has always been known that the Church is very good at deceiving and hushing up anything inconvenient – which is exactly what is so infuriating time and again.

You yourself in your former position as Cardinal approved therapy to one of your guys who was suspected of sexually abusing children … and two years later cleared him to return to his duties. Of course, this guy fell back into bad behaviour, but still was allowed to serve as a priest. Your heartfelt solution to the problem? Calling the scandal “a deep shame”, conveniently forgetting to order his resignation, instead urging the sex victims to not turn away from church. (Yeah, good luck with that!) Funny fact? It took you a couple of weeks to come up with an official letter, or, rather, have your writers come up with an excuse, also claiming and denying that the celibacy rule led to the sex scandal? A sincere apology is nothing that will ever come out of the Vatican. Never did. Never will. Well, I’m not surprised!

The thing that struck me most when I first saw you on the television screen were your eyes. I could see a coldness there that made my hair stand up! (Compared to the warmth and kindness I could feel in your predecessor Pope John Paul II and successor Pope Francis!)

Well, the good thing is, you are gone from the scene, making space for a guy who seems to be the most liberal pope so far. Still, big changes are needed … but since the oldest motive surfaces again and again – power and money – it’ll probably never happen.

Greetings from a happily dropped out and former Catholic


How to spend a day in San Francisco

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It’s been a while since I’ve been to San Francisco. Let me rephrase that. “A while” means the 90s. So, a looong time ago. San Francisco was the starting and ending point of a trip through several states in a motorhome with my parents. A big adventure for a teen … but not exactly my preferred way of travelling now in my … later years.

I was fascinated. After all it was my first time in the States, the excitement alone of seeing such a huge city from above, landing at an airport way larger than I have been before, driving into town to our Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel. (How do I still know the name of our hotel after all these years when I can’t even remember the one from my last business trip???) Of course, I had seen every episode of “Hotel” with the Fairmont as main attraction, knew “Full House” and some episodes of “The streets of San Francisco”. Being there for real was an incredible feeling, walking up and down the steep streets, taking the cable car, squeezing through the narrowness of the submarine on the pier, taking a boat trip to the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, listening to the stories from the tour guide … I still think back often and emotions overcome me whenever I look at the pictures of my parents and me when everything was still ok and we all didn’t know what would be ahead of us.

I always regretted, though, that we didn’t have the time to go to Alcatraz. And this would be exactly what I would do if I had a day in San Francisco. Surprised that shopping is not on top of my list for a change? Yeah, me too! What’s so fascinating about Alcatraz that I’d rather visit a prison island instead of hitting the shops?

Maybe it’s – once again – the past. A horrible past. The stories I remember being told on the Golden Gate bridge boat trip. Shark infested waters, icy cold, the desperate tries of some brave, incorrigible prisoners to escape … and no one managed it. Imagining all those criminals having walked where I would walk. Like the legendary Al Capone … seeing the tiny and cold cells with not much comfort – way different to modern prisons nowadays – feeling the hopelessness, desperation and violence of over 1500 prisoners who had spent time there, soaked up by the old white washed walls. Yes, the big draw for me definitely is the past. The 30s and 40s in particular. I don’t think I would be interested in something, anything from the … 70s. But everything from the 18thcentury up to the 1950s and early 60s … I’m all for it. And Alcatraz falls right into my line of interest. So, I hope I will manage to get to the West Coast soon and not only spend a day in SF but also some days in the wine country – which might be another thing you might find weird in me, since my only use for wine is cooking …

The things I do …

Have you ever thought about why you do certain things? (You know, something that’s called self-reflection!) Have you? Like during times when you are unhappy? And I’m not talking about a bad day or an unhappy moment … but this deep sadness, unhappiness about yourself and your life. When you just know you need to get out of it again, but it’s so incredibly hard, because the world seems to keep revolving but without you. You are just stuck. When you ask yourself constantly why in the hell you have to go through all that, you don’t deserve it, cause in principal you are a good person. When everyone around you seems to live the normal life, being in relationships, having children, and you are the only one who always has to take care of everything on your own, missing out on so much and panicking that nothing will ever change. Cause it’s always been that way.

What do you do? What do you do then to find at least some happiness? When the simple things like a hot bath, chocolate or some shopping just don’t work anymore?

I’ve discovered that my obsession with interior decorating and my apartment grows significantly the unhappier I am. I remember the time my father was diagnosed with cancer … my obsession then was decorating everything in the colour purple. I needed purple! Purple throw pillows, purple candles, purple throw, purple towels and bath accessories … plus lots and lots of fake flowers in all kinds of colours. (Tacky, I know!) I was living on 35 sqm then and every free surface was covered in vases and silk flowers. Roses, peonies, orchids, lilies, … (and yes, I still have them stored up, just in case, for absolute emergencies …)

And not long ago it was once again time for a new “get-happy-again” project! (I just hope none of you are professional psychologists … cause I really don’t want to be told that all my problems started in my childhood! They didn’t! I had a wonderful childhood with great parents and a great older sister, who built scarf-and-blanket-houses with me. Sure, we fought too, I was a little spoilt brat, but really, I had a great childhood, so don’t even try pinning this on my childhood!)

Am I babbling again? That happens, me getting distracted sometimes when originally I wanted to tell you about my new project … drum rolls, please … a new kitchen! Let me add in my defence, that when I moved into my apartment, I took over the kitchen from the previous tenants and obviously they had already brought this kitchen with them, when they moved in. Since I basically had to furnish a whole 100 sqm apartment I was glad to not have to invest in a new kitchen at that time, instead remodelled it by painting it black, covering it with blackboard film and changing the handles. At least I could live with that without being totally disgusted by the original colour. So, spontaneously I decided to do some research and in the course of one week I had everything planned and was ready to order. Oh, how I enjoyed sitting in my boxspring bed at night after work, armed with millimetre paper, pencil and ruler, my MacBook to look up the cabinets and appliances, doing a first draft including prices. The planning, the re-planning, the driving to Ikea several times to look at everything in real life, the last stage of planning together with the Ikea personnel … happy times. Happy, happy, times! And then, of course, all the preparations until the kitchen would be delivered: the dismantling of the old kitchen, repainting, buying new kitchen appliances in black (a red toaster, brown coffeemaker and white electric kettle just wouldn’t do in my new white and black cottage style kitchen), living without a kitchen for nearly a month … and then the big day when the new kitchen was put up. It made me happy. Everything about it just made me happy! My apartment is perfect now! Or is it? Until my next crisis and I decide it’s time to finally tackle the bathroom …

What a sham(e)


I know that you are following my blog passionately and therefore you already know that I’m happily unhappily single, trying to find MY MAN quite ingeniously. Online. It’s fascinating as well as depressing and certainly exhausting at times. Conversations, conversations, conversations. Until you either meet and find out it won’t work cause there’s just not enough chemistry, no physical attraction or one of those things or one-sided anyway or you stop before all that because something sounds fishy or you discover characteristics through the way he is writing that you better get rid of him as quickly and nicely as possible.

I do have a few simple rules I follow, because, let’s face it, it can be dangerous trusting the wrong person and in the end, you don’t know who’s on the other side until you have met. So, being suspicious and careful with my private data and too many details about my home and work place have become second nature to me. Meeting in public places with lots of people around for your first date might also be not such a bad idea. (And it’s giving you quite a nice James Bond feeling …)

It’s fascinating the kind of men you meet. Well, probably that’s an understatement. Showing all kinds of good and bad behaviour, characteristics, expectations …

1.)  The ones who don’t write back: I hate that! You are chatting normally – small talk really – and suddenly … no reply anymore. And you have no clue why. This makes me mad as hell, especially since it happened to me quite a few times. One expects more from people, academics, who registered and paid a large sum of money to find a partner. The funny thing? It’s so simple to send someone a rejection with prefabricated phrases like “I’m concentrating on someone else right now”, “I’m looking for someone with more matching points” or “I want someone who lives closer”. Just pick one and push SEND. Dealt with. Done. But receiving nothing is just bad style! Bad, bad style!

2.)  The ones who are mad if you tell them that you are interested in someone else and send you something like “it’s stupid to concentrate on one person already”. Well, what can I say? It’s the gentle way to let a guy down without hurting his feelings because he’s just sooo not your type. Never ever.

3.)  The scammers: yes, they are everywhere. Lying through their teeth, calling you the most beautiful woman on earth, using endearments after a few messages, claiming they are on long-term business trips somewhere, like a construction engineer, coming back in a few months … and I bet the money question will come up sooner or later. One guy I met was really good. He claimed to be in Washington. Washington for me is automatically Washington DC on the East Coast. He told me then he was in Washington State. West Coast. He tripped up by not getting the time difference right! Ha! Another one caught in the act! Sometimes it’s small things, so watch out for discrepancies and things that just don’t make sense!

4.)  The ones just wanting an affair: often to be recognized by the missing pictures in the profile. I seem to have a knack for those ones. They want me, but I don’t quite want them. Been there, done that. The tragic thing? Those guys would be exactly the kind of men who would be suitable. If they weren’t married. And, of course they are. The good ones already seem to be taken. And their wives? Not appreciating at all what they have at home! Come on! Sex once or every other month? And then they are surprised their needy husbands stray from home? How stupid can one be? Or those guys are in the tragic situation that they just can’t afford a divorce …

5.)  The weird ones: oh boy! Yes, those exist too! I had conversations you wouldn’t believe. I mean, I’m open to many things … there are always solutions and compromises … but some stuff is even too weird for tolerant, open-minded me. There are “fantasies” and preferences out there I hadn’t heard before …

6.)  The ones claiming to be single … but aren’t: something like that is bad. Really, really bad. One enjoys the communication, like each other’s looks … and if you’re lucky you’re being told the truth BEFORE anything happens. One guy at least spilled the beans and told me the truth, because I was just too nice a woman to lie to anymore.

7.)  The ones who look different than their pictures: I realize one wants to look its best to attract the other person. But, hell, of course it’s a big disappointment if you are looking forward to meeting the guy from the picture and then he is standing in front of you with beard and twenty kilos heavier. Shallow me? Shallow everyone, I guess!

8.)  The ones who cancel the second date shortly before meeting: oh yes, that happened to me as well. One hour before, to be exact. I was already on the way when he sent me a text message, claiming there was not enough chemistry, wishing me good luck, totally blindsiding me.

9.)  The ones you like, have second dates with … but just don’t like their kisses, smell, certain characteristics. Which just proves that you can’t enforce feelings and chemistry.

There are times where I just want to give up. Cut my losses and deal with the sad truth that there won’t be anyone for me. Other times I still keep hoping …