All Saints’ Day is coming up – where did the year go? – and I am enjoying another vacation week to use up my remaining vacation days apart from Christmas. No, don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’ve spent enough on my Austrian grocery shopping and Borkum luxury holiday and have to save up a little for next year’s vacations.

All Saints’ Day has always been special to me and if I were back in Austria, I would visit the graves of my loved ones. But I’m not, so all there’s left for me is to ask my aunt to put up candles for me as well and light some at home with pictures of my parents,grandparents, aunts and uncles surrounding them.

Thinking back to “the good old days” – my happy childhood – I treasure the memories of the All Saints’Day holiday which we usually spent in Styria. (Where else, that’s where the family graves were in those days and most of our close relatives!)

November usually was already cold and the perfect opportunity to show off one’s new winter clothes and coats. Late morning visits to the cemetery, meeting old acquaintances from my parents one usually only sees on such occasions, eating the first hot chestnuts, lighting candles and putting down autumny pots with heather. Then visiting family and having lunch together. The day after, we usually went into the inner city, strolling around – and one met acquaintances again by chance. And since I grew up in a very small village in Carinthia, Leoben – my later university town – seemed like a very big city to me. And my favourite store? The “City”, a department store, something we didn’t have in my hometown village. Two stories high, with a restaurant on top and in the basement the “Feinkost Bauer”, a deli supermarket. Which I still could enjoy when I started my studies there, before it was turned into a “Woolworth” and is now a huge drugstore of the likes of “Walgreens” where you can buy everything from cosmetics to toys, some groceries, stationary, stockings, cleaning products … Anyway, on our usual schedule was also either coffee or lunch in the “City” restaurant or our favourite butcher “Graller” with the best “Leberkäse” (some kind of meatloaf), served cut into cubes, with a Kaiser roll and mustard. I still see it before my eyes as if it were yesterday – and not 30 years or more ago.

I’ve always liked cemeteries, they never bothered me. Appreciating the peace and quiet, admiring the old graves … I liked and still like to go there (strange ones like in Venice, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, etc as well), having conversations with my dead loved ones in my mind. And I miss not being able to go there as often as I’d like to. Not even on the “important” occasions like their birthdays, their dates of death, Christmas, Easter and of course All Saints’ Day. Which doesn’t mean I don’t think about them often and light candles here in Germany at home. And that’s what basically counts the most, right? Never forgetting, smilingly thinking of the wonderful times we had together, remembering!



A nice title, isn’t it? But beware … it’s not gonna stay nice for long. Writing about politics has become a delicate matter. As if we were making huge steps backwards instead of forwards. Where are we that we are not allowed to express our opinions anymore without fearing being arrested entering certain countries because their crazy dictator is suffering from megalomania and paranoia? Or everything written is considered “fake news”? I’ve been writing about Trump a couple of times and I probably could write about this awful human being every single day, venting my anger about his constant lies and the incredible stupidity of anyone who believes one single word he says. After Biden’s win in 2020 I thought, “Thanks God, it’s over! Trump is over!” Ha, I was wrong, how wrong I was. He is still lying his head off, doing everything in his power to undermine the Republicans and put fear into their minds. How else could one explain anyone still being so stupid as to support this narcissistic excuse of a human being? 

Having read Bob Woodward’s “Fear” and “Rage”(can’t wait for “Peril”, which I will give myself for Christmas) as well as John Bolton’s “The room where it happened” basically in one go put the fear in ME. About how close we all came to new wars and plain and simple disaster all around. As if he hadn’t committed enough crimes. (Still hoping for him choking on one of his burgers on the toilet …) And the sad thing? He seems to get away with everything and anything, with bloody everything. Slick as the slimy eel he is. Might it be tax fraud, sexual misconducts, his crimes towards the American people and constitution, his lies, lies, lies …

But – Trump is far away and there isn’t a single day I couldn’t kick another politician’s butt. And currently it feels like as if I were surrounded by stupidity all around. Starting with the von der Leyen chick (EU commissioner) and her cronies who have decided that by 2035 only electric cars will be allowed to roam the streets. I’ve already vented my thoughts as well as scientific facts on that one in one of my older articles. The gist of it? It’s just plain stupid – again! The resources used and needed to produce an electric car are not far off than their lifetime CO2 production. Of course, those stupid people only see the CO2 produced while driving. I could literally scream!

The new fashion “gendertalk” … boy, one must be really down in the dumps and majorly insecure to even give a shit! And yes, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut (or my fingers from flying across the keyboard) on that topic either. Not to mention my everyday plight with the unvaccinated crazies.

And I wonder! What is the world coming to? Countries stuck in the deep Middle Ages, cursing the Western countries, keeping their women like prisoners, killing them out of “honour”, damning and punishing those who are different, putting religion above all … just imagine a world without those fanatics, without those Hitler type dictators, without the megalomaniacs … wouldn’t that be nice and peaceful?


Or: Why I still use items from my childhood household.

Is it just a matter of frugality? (Huh, me and being frugal? Not really!) No, it’s more a matter of my way of thinking. Why throw away a perfectly good item when it’s not broken? I discovered that I would rather throw out or give away stuff I bought instead of stuff I took with me from my childhood home after the death of my parents. And whenever I use or see one of those items it makes me smile and think of them. “Researching” the idea I had for this post it kind of blew my mind how much I still have and use everyday stuff which I could have replaced by more modern things.

1.) My parents’ cooking pots: Why would I throw out perfectly good pots of excellent quality? Just to get a different set? Oh, and I also still possess and use a small milk pot which was part of their very first set … let’s see … I guess it’s 40+ years old by now … and I will probably have it another 40 years …

2.) Those orange bowls: being in our household as long as I can remember. I would presume they must be around 35+ years by now. And I still use them! And makes me think of our former ochre coloured kitchen (hey, it was the 70s, a perfectly suitable colour in those days …)

3.) Clothes drying rack: not as old, but still at least 15-20 years old. And still as good as new.

4.) My beloved freezer: move No 1 – Carinthia to Styria, move No 2 – Styria to first apartment in Germany, move No 3 – first apartment to the relationship apartment, move No 4 – relationship apartment to my current apartment. And we’re here to stay! It’s still working and I hope it will keep working for a long time to come! Screw the not yet stellar energy efficiency – which HE had to point out constantly! My darling freezer is defrosting itself … so what else is there to say!? (Well, apart from my desire to have a larger freezer … but my freezer has been a faithful companion through all those moves, so I will stay faithful to him until the end …)

5.) Socks: Yep, my father has been dead these past 12 years and I still wear some of his pairs of socks at home. Tacky? Well, I also still have a few other clothing items like two of his beloved flannel button down shirts, which he wore at home in winter … and I too occasionally wear them.

6.) Knives and other kitchen utensils. Too many to count.

7.) Soap supplies from my father’s business trips: oh boy, he was collecting them and once upon a time there were two large boxes filled with hotel soaps. And we were only allowed to use up the multiples. Even though I distributed some of them to my sister and my aunt, the major part stayed with me. I guess I will be washing my hands with hotel soaps for a few years to come yet … which I actually prefer to liquid soap.

8.) Mum’s black anorak and the one or other clothing item: I love it, I just love it. Even though it’s slowly starting to get a bit shabby at the sleeves and hem. But I just can’t part with it. Not yet.

9.) All those nice writing utensils – lots and lots of ballpoints, mechanical pencils and fountain pens. All of very good quality and used by yours truly. Daily.

10.) Fondue set and cheese fondue pot: welcome to the 70s. Do I need to say more? (Besides, I might have already mentioned my treasured sets a few of my posts!)

11.) Tools: thanks to my Dad’s extensive collection I just had to get myself a cordless drill and screwdriver. My sister inherited his set … and for the common repairs and improvements in my apartment I’m perfectly equipped.

12.) My everyday plates: with the lovely herb design – every plate another herb –, which were acquired during the two years my father lived and worked in Dusseldorf / Germany. So, they are back in their home country.

I’m sure I missed a few things, which pop up from time to time. Like … coasters, single dishes, wine glasses, bowls, vases, table linens … they are part of my life and my past. Reminders of my home, my parents and beloved forever.


Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Like a glam vacation in the Caribbean. Or party, party, party on the Spanish Canary Islands. Well, far from it! I’m on a little German North Sea Island … which is occupied by pensioners and families with little kids, especially at this time of year (darn, should have thought of that …). Well, at least I’m splurging myself at a four-starhotel, which is a far more comfortable option than the usual 70s style hotel (think dark wood furniture and plush chairs covered with green-brown velvet flowery fabric, stylishly accompanied with drapes of the same fabric) I usually occupy here on this island. (Which I initially chose because of its location. Just cross the street and I’m on the beach.) My new accommodation is not that awful either in terms of location, with not even five minutes to the beach … but, well, with rain on the horizon at the beginning of October, being at a “nicer” hotel is a luxury I definitely deserve. With a wellness area, pool, massages … to spend the rainy hours when one doesn’t want to walk around, getting drenched unnecessarily.

So, Borkum – the name of my little German island – is anything but a party island. But it’s nice, it’s comfortable and it’s convenient by way of driving distance for a weekend getaway. After my wonderful but quite stressful Austria trip, it’s exactly what I need. The sea, the beach, hopefully good food … and solitude. Just me and myself, enjoying a few quiet days. Yeah, I know, as if I were leading such a busy social life, especially in those Covid times, spending most of my time at home with my cat. But I still enjoy it.

My first afternoon here was filled with having EastFrisian tea time, doing some tea shopping, heading to the beach – of course – and being surprised by a heavy downpour after all. And stupid me, not being prepared … with cap and shawl and umbrella back at the hotel, where they are definitely needed. Sadly, those restaurants I had planned to grace with my Austrianness were already fully booked, so I had to make another choice … and instead of being a clever girl and have fish for dinner (which I just don’t like all that much), I courageously picked the Cordon bleu. (Of course, with special requests: skip the Sauce Hollandaise on the broccoli and serve French fries instead of potato croquettes!) I knew it was a mistake, I knew it, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s like an obsession, my German search for a decent Cordon bleu … well, it was edible (however, the broccoli not) with the meat itself good … but the breadcrumb coating … I have never seen a Cordon bleu fried like this before. 

Day No 2 started with buffet style breakfast at my hotel (nothing special, but ok) before heading outsidefor a one-hour walk along the beach, with the sun peeking out from behind the clouds, resulting in a beautiful sunny morning, which I basically spent on the beach, walking barefoot in the shallow water – and receiving the one or other curious and weird look by other walkers. But, well, the water was not any colder than my favourite little stream in the Carinthian Nockberge mountains, I used to walk along upstream.

East Frisian tea time was on the schedule again, of course. If I can’t have British tea time, this is at least the next best thing. With a piece of East Frisian cake, quite good, but would have preferred it with cream cheese and rum raisins instead of the whipped cream-rum raisin filling. But, well, whipped cream is another German thing. So, of course, after this calorific delight I had to walk it off again, with still ok weather. One just had to be happy that it was not raining. Dinner at the American bar was a way better choice than my Cordon bleu trial and error run, I chose spare ribs and they were just perfect. The perfect finish to a quite perfect day.

Day No 3: oh boy, now it’s here! Constant rain!Courageously I went to the beach after breakfast, equipped with anorak, woollen cap, scarf and my trusty umbrella – I bet, I am the only one walking along the beach with an umbrella. Real German sea vacationers can’t live without rain boots and rain jacket. (Which I don’t possess … there’s no point in having rain boots and a rain jacket for three days a year, is it? Well, maybe for my next England vacation …)

Which is why it didn’t take long for me getting soaked through and through … and my hotel room was calling my name to dry off. And that’s how I basically spent my last day on the island. Moving from my hotel room to a restaurant / café / tea shop, doing some shopping in between plus lots of reading.

All in all, it still was a great short vacation and I’m already looking forward to the next …


Today I’d like to share some of my secret home office lunch recipes with you. (Well, not that secret, mostly just my creative creations!) But, they are definitely cheap and delicious! And – what’s most important – quick and easy. Perfect for your quick home office lunch break or dinner. Your most important technical gadget, however, is the microwave. I love mine and constantly use it to pre-cook potatoes, pasta and rice. With the added advantages that A) by cooking your carbs one day prior they will add less pounds to your home office figure than freshly cooked pasta, rice and potatoes, B) there will be less cooking stress in your half hour lunch break and C) there’s no danger of boiling overon your stove or reducing your food to a mushy mess. 

I’ve already shared my “cheap week” suggestions with you, which, of course are not exactly full of variations. So, here are some more ideas for a more varied week:1) Green Spinach pasta with herb butter and parmesan – or any cheese you like. (Or any pasta you like! Or any butter you like! Chili, garlic, …) Easy peasy! 2) Potatoes with onions and red / green / yellow pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms. Use some olive oil, fry the veggies, add the potatoes, season with salt, pepper, maybe your favourite herbs and sprinkle on some cheese. Voilà! Basically, just add what’s at home. Whether it’s SPAM, chicken, ground meat, tofu, ham … get creative!3) Salad greens with halloumi. Not much cooking involved. But still one of my favourites. For the lazy ones, wash and prepare your salad greens the evening before, just throw in radishes, spring onions, tomatoes, zucchini, … anything you like in your salad. And if you’re also among the lazy salad dressing human beings, use a ready-made dressing to top everything off. I, however, prefer the A) way cheaper and B) healthier option of preparing my own dressing. It’s so easy and quick anyway. Olive oil, salt, sugar, balsamico … for sprucing up I either use cranberry jam for the sweeter version or mustard for the savoury one. And should I want something creamier, one of my favourites is yogurt with cranberry jam (again) and horseradish. Grilling your halloumi in a non-stick pan is done in a few minutes. Sooo … 10 minutes max for your lunch!4) Soup day! On cold days, I especially like the very basic vegetable bouillon best. Sometimes I absolutely crave it. One teaspoon of bouillon granules into cold water, I always add carrots (either from the freezer or fridge) and finish it off with soup noodles and chives. Or sliced pancakes (called “Frittaten” in Austria). Or Tyrolen dumplings. Or whatever else one puts into bouillon. Second course? Either a sandwich or cake. (What else!)5) Finally, it’s Friday! Your working week is nearly done … at least for the lucky office worker ones. Your special treat today? Your home-cooked ready-made meal you have in your freezer (since you have cleverly pre-cooked on your weekends and now have a choice of at least 10 different dishes to choose from). Pop into your microwave and enjoy the fruits of your weekend labours!

Well, the week is over and you have plenty of time to plan ahead for the week to come and cook great meals like meatloaf, soups, stews, roasts, … to fill up your freezer. (I could live on two working weeks alone just by ready-made meals waiting to defrost for my lunch pleasures …) So, happy cooking!