(As you will realize soon enough, this is an older article as well, which I have dug out from my nearly endless fundus of articles I wrote once upon a time! Since Halloween conveniently falls onto my posting day this year … and will probably more or less not exist in this pandemic … I thought, hell, why not post something to dream of better times … when life will be halfway normal again! So, enjoy this little narrative!)

Today is the day! The day when the craziest people are not crazy anymore! Gothics, punks, vampires, Paris Hilton, the Kardashians – all of them -, Donald Trump … they all will look normal again!

It’s Halloween and I hope you have got your costumes yet! Have you? If not you might be stuck with plush Easter Bunnies or Santa Clauses like I nearly did the previous year. I’ve certainly learned from my past mistakes and started looking for a costume in time. And when I’m talking about “in time” I mean early summer! Yes, early summer, what else! No matter where I was, at home or abroad, wherever I saw a costume or costume rental store I stopped the car – nearly causing accidents in the process, parking where I shouldn’t have, paying too much money for too many parking tickets – and did some looking around! I was in Halloween / Carnival heaven, being amazed ever time again at the endless racks of all kinds of costumes in all kinds of sizes! Superheroes, supervillains, from 18thCentury gowns to psychedelic Austin Powers outfits, Scooby Doo to fat tourist costumes, zombie to princess … whatever you can think of!

Last year I played a vampire victim, so this year I want to look as scary and creepy as possible!

As you can imagine it took me several trips to my now favourite stores to finally being down to two costumes: the ghostly white creepy ghost or the bloody creepy zombie! Tough choice! Especially since I really liked both of them a lot. Was there any way to combine both of them? Can a zombie become a ghost? After all they are both dead! Just with the difference that a zombie is able to walk around with decaying flesh, looking for fresh flesh while a ghost floats through the air and unless it’s a mischievous ghost it doesn’t really hurt anyone.

Alright, I guess I’ve been watching too many horror movies and “Walking with the dead” episodes. But with Halloween coming up one has to be prepared!

I took the regency ghost costume – yes, I admit it, I so like vintage style costumes – and packed up on lots of white makeup, blood and fleshy stick on pieces. Yes, this time I’m gonna look outrageously creepy!

Proudly I stored my new purchase in my closet and guess what? A few days back I received the invitation to this year’s Halloween party at my friend’s place. The theme? Casablanca! Can you believe it? I finally have a totally cool outfit and now I can’t wear it! And will spend the next three days hunting for a glamorous 40s outfit! Good luck with that!

Wish you all a happy Halloween with scarier outfits than I will be wearing! XOXO, MJ



So, you’ve made it! You’ve achieved your ultimate goal and married the rich guy of your dreams. Congratulations! And now you wonder how you can play your part to be accepted into those elitaire circles? Let me give you a few hints:

  1. Have your hair and nails done at least once a week! AT LEAST! If you are too lazy, you can do it every day as well. Combing one’s hair is sooo much work! Or, even better, have your very own personal stylist who comes to your home every day! You won’t even have to step one foot outside. On the other hand, the best gossip can be heard at beauty salons. And you sure wouldn’t want to miss who is betraying whom, who is getting a divorce and especially what SHE is getting out of it. Information on the best divorce lawyers can come in helpful one day!
  2. Get a chauffeur! Especially in the case of old husbands, gorgeous chauffeurs prove to be very useful … Besides, which sane person would be suicidal enough to attempt driving in the city rush hours? A Society Lady just doesn’t do that! Driving herself! Unless she is vacationing low key in the Hamptons, the French Riviera, the North Sea … THEN she is allowed to drive herself.
  3. Choose your wardrobe carefully! Haute Couture, Haute Couture, Haute Couture! Do I need to say more? You wouldn’t want to be caught dead in ready-to-wear designer clothes off the rack. What would be more embarrassing than wearing the same gown than your worst enemy? Apart from that, New York, Paris and Milan twice a year is a MUST! Forget sightseeing, shopping for your new spring/summer fall/winter wardrobe is on the exhausting schedule.
  4. Attend every single party – charity or not – you can think of and have an invitation to. See to be seen is your new mantra! The more parties the better! Be careful which hosts to honour with your presence. Children, animals and medical research are always a good way to show how charitable you are. 
  5. Do not work – except for charities! A Society Lady doesn’t work! She lets others work for her! Charities are another matter, of course! A) You get to meet other Society Ladies for the latest gossip if you haven’t already heard it at your beauty salon. B) You can have fun by choosing the worst menu ever and C) more fun by seating people together you know HATE each other and are always good for a scandal!
  6. Speaking of scandal! The one or other scandal can’t hurt to stay in the news. A little drunken brawl? Illegimate love child? There are no bad news! Even for Society Ladies!
  7. Don’t do housework! Oh my God, the evil word! Housework! One has employees for that! The nanny, the dog walker, the maid, the cook, the housekeeper, the personal shopper, the stylist, the personal trainer … One can’t be bothered with such things like the kids’ education, grocery shopping, those annoying dogs who need to be walked or – heaven forbid – cooking!
  8. Spend the summer in the Hamptons! A cliché, right? It’s either the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard! Nowhere better to show off how “normal” you can be, actually wearing clothes that look cheap but come from Dior’s latest cruise collection. Not to forget the “little” summer house at the beach you call your own. Including slaving employees who of course takes care of your second / third / fourth … property for the rest of the year!

Well, what were you thinking? Of course, being a High Society Lady is HARD work! (And I won’t even mention keeping your rich husband happy and in line …) Enjoy!


I hate this name, I really do. Cause an acquaintance of mine bears the same name and he annoys the hell out of me. But, changing his name after 15 years wouldn’t make much sense. Diego is my “new” cat, who basically moved in with me right away and I love him to pieces. To avoid calling him by his name – T.S. Elliot would NOT be thrilled – I call him “Spatzi”. Much cuter, don’t you think?

I found him on Ebay and the post was so endearing that I just had to call right away. Soon after that I met him and his family for the first time and my decision was made immediately. Diego couldn’t deal with the new family addition, a baby girl, and so he needed a new home where he would be the king of the household once again. I was thrilled, and even though he has a chronic condition, he is lively and sweet … and always hungry. 

In true MJ style, I got him everything a cat could wish for: two scratching posts, a drinking fountain, cute cat bowls, one fluffy sleeping pillow, a cat house, toys, a cat tunnel with crinkly noises, the Ikea Kallax cat house … and lately his own couch in the kitchen. Including pillows in three different colours and throws. 

In true Diego style, he basically ignores the cat house and the cat tunnel. The scratching posts are used quite rarely and the toys … anything that’s not a mouse with a bell inside is of no interest to him. He prefers the sofas, my legs, my bed and any halfway empty shelf he can squeeze onto and into. But that’s cats, right? They have their own mind and basically all they need is an empty cardboard box they can crawl into and hide.

Recently he discovered that going outside onto the balcony is not so bad either … having been a real indoor cat, he didn’t quite know what to do with wind, sun, rain and the smells. Those wonderful smells of people having barbecue somewhere, or flowers, or … at first, he was quite scared, now I barely get him back inside. If he’s not telling me loudly that he is hungry, he complains that the door to the balcony is closed and that I better open it RIGHT NOW. The cat house, which I moved from the kitchen to the balcony, is still non-existent in his cat-eyes. Sometimes he jumps onto the roof … but merely to compliment his chicken and tuna meals with lavender leaves. Mr. Spatzi prefers to lie on one of the balcony chairs or in the shade between the plants on the soft grass carpet.

Right now, he is used to me being home every day all day due to the Corona home office situation, just the one or other hour gone for grocery shopping or my Saturday writing stints at the coffee shop. And I wonder, how he will manage when I have to go back to the office, be gone the most part of the day, when he only has the kitchen and the large foyer to amuse himself. Ah, well, I guess other cats have less space to call their own than 40 sqm …

Despite his age, he is still as youthful and agile and as any other cat. He loves to jump onto anything that’s as high as the windowsill, always looking for other places he could discover. And there’s always lots to discover. Like an open closet door, the clothes bin, the new plant, beneath the couch is a favourite hiding spot as well. It does happen that I look everywhere for him and can’t find him … at least every spot I do know of … and rush calling him around the apartment … just for him to appear out of nowhere. Should have called him Mr Mistoffeles … 

What’s so special about him? Even though he tends to wake me in the middle of the night with mournful meowing – hungry, of course – and carefully touching my arm with his paw or nibbling on my hair, he is just a lovely cat. And incredibly funny at times. Making me laugh and smile every day. And that’s what makes him so special to me! That he makes me feel better … about everything!


I tried not to! Really, I did! I tried not to bother, not to get annoyed and certainly not to write another article about HIM! But I can’t! My fingers are itching whenever I see and listen to another CNN or news report. And it became unbearable with the news of Trump’s positive Covid-19 diagnosis. So happy! I was so happy. Gleefully and maliciously smiling broadly at the wonderful news. Yes! YES YES YES! There is no other person who deserves to contract Corona as much as he does. He is responsible for thousands – hundreds of thousands – of deaths in the US. And I had so hoped he would suffer greatly! Or worse! Why should someone like him be spared when so many have died due to his total failure to lead his country in this pandemic? Refusing to wear a mask, giving stupid advice, downplaying the crisis … he is a murderer, plain and simple. And should be personally held responsible for all those deaths.

So, yes, compared to the – half-hearted at best, I presume – “best” wishes for a speedy recovery by the other world leaders, I don’t wish him a speedy recovery at all. That’s Karma, I told myself! One day everyone gets what he deserves!

Unfortunately, it was not to be … of course, he is the only one to have received the best meds (experimental no less) available, compared to the common man. One would have expected for him to show some humility and change his views. But noooo. He’s just getting worse. Apart from his irresponsible and for his Secret Service agents dangerous (as in infectious) car trip around the Walter Reed hospital he had been flown to, just to wave to his followers before returning to his hospital room … he was back in the White House sooner than expected. His first mission? Demonstratively ripping off his mask, staging his arrival for the cameras and continuing as usual. Quarantine? Not for Trump! Admitting that the virus is deadly? Big chance! Not worse than the flu, telling Americans not to be afraid and not to let the virus dominate their lives (yep, tell that to 210 000 dead people and their grieving loved ones), that he was feeling better than before (say hello to the Steroids he received) and boasting that’s all due to his great physique and youth (yeah, a fat 74-year-old stuffing himself with burgers and fries) … And I wonder! Is this guy for real? And are his followers for real? According to the polls, nearly half of the US population is still planning on voting for him? One just cannot be so stupid to actually think it might be a good idea to have another four years of this horror family (including the Ivanka clan) in the White House. Someone so delusional, erratic, narcissistic, with no empathy, someone who clearly is a mental nut case unfit to be a president (something every halfway intelligent human being has realized by now and just doesn’t dare saying out loud), someone who compares himself to Lincoln and Churchill (those two are certainly turning in their graves), someone who doesn’t even know the concept of right and wrong, someone who is a compulsive liar, someone who blames everyone else for his failures, someone who doesn’t give a shit about the people he is supposed to protect … 

And the absolute low point this past week? Claiming he contracted the virus from Gold Star families, families who lost their loved ones while defending the US, who visited the White House one day after the huge Rose Garden party to celebrate his decision to nominate Amy Coney Barrett (another Pence-like Über-Christian fanatic). Reading this, I was speechless. Absolutely speechless! Disgusted! Do you know what this means? Rather blaming good, common, grieving people than his cronies. Of course, the big super-spreader Rose Garden event was not to blame. Never mind the facts and the huge amount of attendees tested positive shortly afterwards. (Not to mention White House staff … who HE has been endangering for months!)

Well, I did it! Once again, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut … or rather, keep my fingers from flying across the keyboard of my MacBook as I’m sitting here in my favourite café on this Saturday, October 10th, 2020. And even though I normally just post once a week, I will load this one up for tomorrow … cause, if I wait for a week … wanna bet this will already be old news because Trump will have done and said tons of other exasperating things, making me mad as hell? 


I love books. I’m obsessed with books. (Well, no real surprise there!) And sometimes I wish I hadn’t given away so many in the course of my moves from one apartment to the other. (I even lugged a whole bag of paperbacks to London to a second-hand book store in Notting Hill once, by plane, nonetheless!) But it is as it is (darn, I can’t get this stupid Trump quote out of my head and off the screen!) and all I can do is stock up again. 

Thinking back, my love for books started at a very early age. I must have been six or seven years old, not yet at school, when my father brought back the two huge volumes of “Nesthäkchen” by Else Ury. And I was so mad, that I couldn’t read yet. I just couldn’t wait … and it went from there. I read everything I could get my hands on. I even set the alarm half an hour earlier to read before getting up for school, I read past my bedtime beneath my blanket with a flashlight and I read whenever we were going by car. (Whoever needs to see the beautiful landscape of Austria or Italy? My books were so much more thrilling!) And I was always excited when my father brought back books from Germany for me (they were cheaper due to a lower tax). Among my favourites? The “Sissi” novels – about the life of our Austrian Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Josef -, Burg Schreckenstein, Dolly, Trixie Belden, Hanni und Nanni, … and whatever our small library in my small hometown had to offer. I still have some of the books from my youth and have discovered the English versions of Trixie Belden, which I happily read in between my adult British mysteries. Thinking back, I should have kept more books from my youth … but then I would need an even larger apartment and at least I imagine that other kids had some joy in reading mine. 

Anyway, moving into my new apartment, having space again, nothing could hold me back to embrace my love for real books again. As if I hadn’t been Amazon’s best customer anyway during the pandemic, they now had to also deliver tons of books apart from the other stuff. Every delivery is like Christmas and birthday in one, unpacking the boxes, holding the freshly printed books in my hands, the smell of paper, the undamaged spines. New, unread and MINE. (Which doesn’t mean I don’t hit charity shops in England as passionately to bargain hunt for well looked for paperbacks or hardcovers, being as happy with my findings as my new books!)

And I love my library-half of my study, where my paperbacks are displayed in style and – as no man can comprehend – sorted after colour. Just looking at my treasures makes me happy. Because they look really awesome and of course – as I might have mentioned once or twice or … – only the read ones are allowed in there. The unread books have a separate shelf, waiting to join their brothers and sisters as soon as possible.

For keeping track of my collection and those I once had a booklist is essential. Of course, I have one! Were you expecting anything less? (Since I have lists for basically everything!) Which is updated regularly and carried with me in print-out form on my England trips, so that I don’t accidentally buy a book I already have or read. How old-fashioned, I know. But, sometimes paper is still the most practical. Well, the danger of buying a book I have already read is not that huge. With currently 1571 read books on my list (not included my Kindle historical romances), I dare claim that I would recognize most of them. It gets a bit tricky when you have authors who use similar titles for their series and you have missed one of it. But hey, that’s what my booklist is for. (I know, I’m brilliant!)

Can you imagine that I too had a time where I barely read books? Sad, but true. But I’m back. Full force. And I love it! And I’m looking forward to many more terrific books to read to come! By the way, I have just received an email from Ben Schott to tell me his new book “Jeeves and the Leap of Faith” will be out soon. Of course, MOI have already ordered it! As a Wodehouse lover, I can’t wait for Jeeves’ next adventure in homage to the great author! Toodle-oo!


Hello there! Hope I haven’t bored you too much recently with my past and my reminiscing and remembering how lucky I have been to end up with HER as my new owner and driver. It just feels good to finally being able to tell my story.

It’s summer … or rather … end of summer, closer to autumn than summer. But it doesn’t matter, cause we are on vacation! And you will never believe where she took me! Guess! Guess, guess, guess!

Okay, I will tell you! Home! She took me home! Home to England, my birth country. I was so excited and could hardly believe it! I would be going home! I would be driving on the correct side of the street! For the first time in my life! I would drive bumpy country roads and across hills, showing off my skills. 

I was a bit worried at first, because I knew SHE hadn’t driven on the left side before. But I knew she would manage. And luckily her man is an experienced driver in my home country, so everything would be fine.

We left early morning and arrived quite on time for the crossing. Luckily, they decided to go by ferry and not by train. Now THAT would have been boring, don’t you think? Even though I couldn’t see the channel, I could at least feel the movement and it didn’t take us too long to get to the British Isles.

And then, finally, my wheels touched British ground for the first time in years. Everything just felt right. The driving, the salty sea air, the sun shining down on us as we drove west, even the bloody seagulls crapping on my beautiful body. Our final destination? Eastbourne. A small seaside town in the south of England. Quite different to the place I grew up in. But nice. After unloading nearly everything we headed to the hills and my Off-Road Drive was quite useful … especially when parking myself. Boy, how exciting. We just had a tiny wee accident on the way there – losing my right mirror – but it didn’t hurt too much. HE did it, miscalculating the distance to an oncoming car on the narrow hill road. How embarrassing, guess this will be a running joke for years for HIM. I don’t mind. I know SHE will make it good again and I will be as good as new when we’re back home.

I so loved being in my home country, not being alone anymore, with plenty of relatives around to chat. I hadn’t seen so many in many, many years. More being surrounded by German cars than British ones. I loved driving through the hills, seeing the sea touch the sky and the green hills of my home, so much more beautiful than I remember. As much as I love to see new places, and I’m sure SHE will take me to many new destinations like Austria, maybe Italy, Denmark, France, Netherlands, … Britain is my home and will always be. And I hope we’ll be back soon.

(No, Rangey and I were not in England this year! We stayed at home for our vacation, so, as you might have realized – also due to the fact that I went there with my now ex-partner – I wrote this piece a couple of years back! But, Rangey deserves to be heard! Being so happy to be home …)