That’s all I have to say! I’m disgusted! Once again! It just doesn’t seem to stop! And I can’t help keeping my fingers running across the keyboard, as if they had a mind of their own. Because … I just have to write. I have to. Even though I ask myself why I bother. Why I bother reading the news. Again and again. When all they do is make me mad. Hopping mad and angry. 

The vaccination disaster: I could have told you “I told you so”! I TOLD YOU SO! And actually, I already did! When it recently was reported that von der Leyen, the EU commissioner, totally failed in the Covid-19 vaccination issue, I was not surprised. I knew she is incapable. (Not that a woman wouldn’t be capable to be in a top position … but this one? NOPE!) What a failure! They basically had one year to prepare themselves for the case of available vaccines. To plan ahead to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible. To plan ahead and calculate the number of doses necessary. The result? Even though they started the procedures at the end of 2020, it’s pure chaos and hardly any Germans have been vaccinated up to now. The hotlines are incapable of giving out any information, 80-year-olds are supposed to register online – big chance of old people managing something like THAT – and everything is just a big mess. I want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. But I’m not even allowed to register yet. And no one knows when middle aged people will be able to. I already see my Austrian vacation in peril in September with the incredible speed they manage to get on with it. Complete failure. All around! And please, don’t get me started on those stupid conspiracy freaks … and I better not meet one of them personally … or I’d be tempted to shake them senselessly and tell them to just drop Corona dead.

Trump, who else: The second impeachment trial of Trump is the other big issue I could go up the wall about. Even though it was to be expected that once again “the most evil force in the White House we have ever seen” – quote Carl Bernstein on CNN – will be acquitted again, it’s even harder to see this orange-faced devil go free AGAIN. How much proof is needed? To catch him right-handed killing someone with his own hands? Well, he’s too slick for that! He lets others do his work! Fact is, Trump is responsible for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. For months before and after the election Trump did everything in his power with his constant lies to lead up to that day. What makes me so mad is that most GOP senators are still cowardly enough to hold him accountable for his actions. What makes me even madder … exactly those Republicans who supported Trump with his lies, not doing their jobs by protecting the democracy and upholding the constitution, were allowed to vote for or against the impeachment! THEY should themselves be prosecuted and being made accountable for their damaging actions. It’s disgusting! When will someone finally put a stop to the Trump evilness? Of course, he is gloating now, having “won” again, boosting his narcissistic ego, feeling invincible, threatening to run again in 2024. It’s frustrating to see someone like him being able to do whatever he wants without any consequences. And they had the chance to put a stop to him. For once and for all! Bloody GOP cowards! What a disgrace for a once great country! 

The poisoned Putin critic: I’m not sure whether to call nearly dead-as-a-doornail Navalny courageous or plain stupid for returning to Russia. When he clearly knew, what would happen … another farce. So obvious, anything but surprising! Autocrats wherever you look … disgusting as disgusting can be … Not to mention all those countries still in the middle ages, conservative, intolerant, disrespecting women’s and gay people’s rights. 

Would it be better to just NOT read or watch the news anymore? It would definitely be better for my peace of mind … but, well, what would I have to write then anymore apart from my (currently non-existent) travel adventures?



It’s February and winter is finally here. I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened my eyes and everything was covered in snow. If you live in these parts of Germany, in the middle of North-Rhine Westfalia, you know that snow is basically non-existent in winter time. My fellow occupationers already panic with as little as the rare 5 cm of snow we usually have here, with total chaos on the streets – a situation at which we Austrians wouldn’t even reduce our driving speed. And now it’s snowing heavily. And it’s beautiful! The wonderful clean air, the white calmness, … I couldn’t wait to get outside, finally being able to dig out my skiing vacation Gore-Tex boots – very stylish indeed – from the depths of my closet and actually wear them. 

I don’t miss all too much from Austria – well, apart from my family and friends, my ketchup, schnitzel and the culture – but I do miss the snow. I miss skiing. I miss swishing down the mountain, feeling the cold air, the snow spraying everywhere beneath my skis. The crunching sound of the early morning snow and halfway empty slopes, with the sun coming up. The first break at the skiing hut for hot chocolate or tea. The blissful exhaustion after a skiing day and the relief you feel when getting out of your ski boots and into those beautifully ugly Gore-Tex boots. Warm and soft. Looking forward to a well-deserved hot shower or bath. Oh yes, I miss that. And as I crunch my way around the fresh snow here, far away from home, I remember … the luxury of growing up in a small town with the next mountain 15 minutes away and the next lakes even less for skiing and skating. And I remember that we used to sit on benches in front of small huts close to the slopes for rye sourdough bread, Carinthian bacon, cheese, hard boiled eggs and tea in a thermos flask. So simple, so nice. And such a bitter-sweet memory. Just like everything when I think back to my childhood and my parents. 

Incredibly, the snow actually lasted for about two weeks – instead of the usual one or two days max – due to the low temperatures. And I loved every single minute of it. Especially since I didn’t have to drive anywhere because of Corona and being lucky enough to work from home! Even though Rangey sure would have enjoyed an outing in the fresh snow! But knowing my other snow drivers – unskilled, to say the least -, I dispensed with my initial urge and left Rangey and me with our Tyrolean skiing vacation memories. Memories of steep mountain roads, crisp snow … and lots of Schnitzels in my case. Soon, Rangey, soon we’ll go back to Austria … to cruise along the lakes, speed up the mountains and enjoy everything my home country can offer … I can’t wait!


It’s here again: Valentine’s Day. You either hate it or love it. There’s nothing in between. Me? I love to hate it and hate to love it. Does that make sense?

Every year our eyes have to suffer pink and red hearts everywhere, not to mention all those email newsletters we receive with offers for gifts and romantic getaways for our loved ones. As in loving partner.

Does anyone think of all those lonely singles out there, who are confronted by all this romance and love wherever they go, being reminded that THEY won’t receive flowers, chocolates, kitschy cards, even kitschier plush toys … or very classic jewellery or a romantic weekend trip? Of course not! They just have to get through this time, pretend it’s perfectly ok.

Well, my experience with Valentine’s Day is basically non-existent! During my student days, my best buddy not only treated his mother and girlfriend to some flowers but also thought of me and brought me a small bunch of spring flowers for several years, until we lost touch. Which was a lovely gesture. My ex? Well, he conveniently forgot … which once again shows that I’m not missing out on anything being rid of him. My best friends are more caring than he was, we are wishing each other Happy Valentine’s Day. Because, let’s be frank, most of all it’s about showing that you think of each other. 

As usual I have missed out on the typical Valentine Day’s traditions. As kitschy as they are. Even though it’s just another way for commerce to make lots of money with mostly awful things you wouldn’t want anyway. Looking for something to treat myself to – apart from chocolates – I dared start a search for “Valentine Day’s gifts”. Girls, there’s nothing to be jealous about, if you don’t receive a kitschy gift. I didn’t find ANYTHING I could possible want, everything was just crap, plain and simple. Apart from the heart being the main symbol, roses are very popular too. But … do you really want to be gifted with a cheap heart pendent necklace, fake gold decoration rose, a teddy bear made of fake rose petals, a crystal glass 3D heart with engraved names, an ugly pillow that would spoil your classy decoration? Nooo, you don’t! Nevertheless, I know it still can be a bit depressing and frustrating being reminded about your single-dom. Even I, being happy with how it is right now, sometimes get a big maudlin … 

So, how to best survive all those hearts and lovey-dovey displayed everywhere? Being overwhelmed by flashes of red and pink wherever you look? Without starting to have screaming fits and hit heart-shaped balloons whenever you see one? Go with it! Embrace Valentine’s Day! Who says you can’t get a heart shaped box of chocolates – or rather go with the luxurious box of scrumptious Belgian chocolates instead, forgoing the cheap heart shaped box with even cheaper chocolates so that you really have something special to enjoy – and a bunch of your favourite flowers for yourself? (Which are the only sensible gifts anyway, if you don’t want to spend tons of money!) YOU are the one who should love yourself the most! So, don’t be sad! Enjoy your “I love myself” Valentine’s Day with delicious dinner, chocolates, your favourite movie or book and think of those you love and care for!


Living without regular TV is different and I had to get used to it. So, apart from my DVDs – yes, I sometimes still tend to buy DVD series, quite old-fashionedly – I have become a proud member of the Netflix community, becoming hooked on it. Finally, being able to watch everything in English again! (Maybe one day I will also subscribe to Amazon Prime, but for now I’m happy with one streaming service! After all, I have to carefully divide my pandemic free time between my TV and my books!) Some series – and movies – I watched were surprisingly wonderful. However, there were others who were just … awful … or at least close to.

The great ones:

  1. A series of unfortunate events: Having read the books and seen the original movie, the series is a wonderful adaption. Great actors, marvellous set design, wardrobe and make-up, thrilling and funny. And one of my favourite series I was watching while writing my articles. (At least until I was done with the 3 seasons!)
  2. Grand Hotel: a Spanish period series which particularly caught my eyes because it is set at the turn of the 20thcentury. Gorgeous dresses, gorgeous location, gorgeous actors. Thrilling, romantic, binge-worthy! And since it was discontinued on Netflix at the end of December, I basically had to watch the whole series whenever I had a free minute! In Spanish, no less, with English sub-title. (Discovering in the final season that there would have been a German synchronisation available, which I tried for exactly five minutes! I was so used by their Spanish voices by then, that everything else was just too weird!) Funny fact: the villain was called Diego … once again someone I had to associate the name with anything but nice! (My poor cat … has to live with “Spatzi” more often than his given name!)
  3. Hubert & Staller: I guess you won’t know this Bavarian series. Since it’s only available in Germany, discovering it by chance. It’s about two small-town policemen, who constantly stumble upon a dead body – to the great annoyance of their boss, who would just prefer to enjoy a relaxing job. It’s light entertainment, with hilarious main characters. No fast-paced car chases, fighting, blood and gore. Just a nice, good-feel series which I love to watch in between.
  4. Grace and Frankie: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. With those actors, it just HAS to be good. And it was! Incredibly funny, ingenious stories about their relationships and just … sweet! Showing us with humour what getting old means …
  5. Scorpion: about a group of geniuses who help solve all kinds of problems and avoid catastrophes. I didn’t quite like the end of the series, but apart from that, just great! Especially the chemistry between the main characters and their character development in the course of the seasons was nice to watch.
  6. Arrow: Who can resist Stephen Amell? The ultimate Green Arrow? 7 hot seasons on Netflix – can’t wait for the final season – with awesome stories and villains, lots of great choreographed fighs, not to mention a lovely love story … the only annoying character was their daughter Mia in the future episodes, who was portrayed by the same actress from the main character of “Shadow Hunters”. Spin-off episodes with “Flash” made me order the first season on DVD right away …

Of course, there were more series that were quite nice to watch, but not worth mentioning …

On top of my list of worst series which I watched in 2020 are definitely …

  1. The Windsors: spoof? Parody? But a very bad one. Usually I like British humour very much, but this is just “below the belt” and far away from being funny. I mean, I did enjoy the Bush parody “That’s my Bush!” by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and “Saturday Night Live”! Nothing better … but “The Windsors” was just awful. 
  2. Shadow Hunters: very annoying teen series, with the main character girl even more annoying and jumping from one love interest to another while being just … well, a teenage girl. Impulsive and stupid at times.
  3. Space Force: I had so been looking forward to Steve Carell and the great cast in general. Being a huge “The Office” fan I expected an incredibly funny and genius series … not so much so. There were a few funny scenes … but they were indeed few.
  4. Sherlock: the best and the worst at the same time. Starting out brilliantly, with brilliant actors and a brilliant concept to bring Sherlock Holmes into the 21stcentury, it became weirder and weirder with the final seasons. I could hardly wait until I had finally reached the last episode. Over and done!
  5. Iron Fist: Usually I love Superhero series. I totally loved “Arrow”, which I have been watching recently, or “Flash”. But Iron Fist? Boy, I was so annoyed with the main character Danny. Not Super hero material. Weak, hesitant, naïve. Super heroes need to be Super heroes … I did watch “Defenders” after that, introducing other Marvel characters “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage”. With Luke Cage the only one I could actually imagine watching. Jessica Jones is just abrasive and Daredevil annoying.
  6.  The Witcher: I’m still not sure whether it belongs right here or to the above “best” section. I don’t know the game, I just know it’s very popular. So I was curious what the hype was all about. Especially since usually I’m not a big fan of “Middle Age style” movies and series. It was definitely … interesting, but very confusing. Until in the course of several episodes the loose threads were coming together slowly and the story became clearer. I guess I will have to wait for Season 2 for the ultimate decision …

Well, to sum it up, 2020 was obviously and not surprisingly a TV and book year. What 2021 will bring? We’ll have to wait and see!