Believe it or not, but I was a mere 10 or 11 years old by the time I knew what I wanted to do after school. And it all started with an essay I had to write – about exactly this topic – and a certain visit on a Sundayafternoon to the refractory plant at which my Dad worked as a Sales engineer. On this special Sunday, he had to inspect damaged bricks which had been returned due to hydration, resulting in the formation of Brucit and volume increase, damaging the brick. My father explained all this to me and I was so fascinated, that I knew … I wanted to follow in his footsteps and do exactly the same he did. No one believed me, least of all my mother – after all, kids at that age tend to change their minds hundreds of times by the time they have their final exams. And some of them even then don’t have a clue what to do with their lives.

Well, I never changed my mind! I enrolled at the same university, the same course of study. And I made it. Even though it took me some time! But I did it! I pulled through, never gave up! And I wish my Dad had survived that long to see me graduating. But he didn’t. At least my Mum did. 

Leaving home at the age of 18 to live by myself in a tiny student apartment was a big change. A new stage of life. I was lucky that my parents could afford my little apartment and I didn’t have to live at a dormitory. And I was also lucky that I had some relatives around, this being the town my parents grew up in. And I not only knew it but also already hadfriends there due to weekends spent there in my last school years. Still, the first day I had to go to university was weird and I felt sick to my stomach … wondering what the day would bring, starting my first university semester, not knowing anyone from my fellow new students. But thankfully, my friend Dieter from dancing school, who had also helped me through 2 years of descriptive geometry at school and was an old hand at my alma mater, took me under his wing. Showing me around, helping me enrol and I was off to a good start …

First lecture – I remember it as if it were yesterday – was mathematics. With a legend of a professor, whose exams were feared. As is common with first semesters on the first days and weeks, the lecture hall was stuffed … which improved greatly by the time Christmas break arrived. With maybe half of the hall filled and no problem at all to find a place. Luckily, I made acquaintances quickly and I felt less awkward wandering the same halls my dad used to.

It was hard, especially the first stage of my study, with the basics. Maths, statistics, physics, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, fluid mechanics, economics, programming and so much more … at times it was hell. And compared to the second part, where we finally got to the interesting stuff, it seemed to take me forever to get through this. Coming THIS close to giving up … but I didn’t! I became an engineer! One of the last ones at the same course of studies of which my father was one of the first ones! And so the circle is complete and ends with me!



I’m so bloody organized even my nail polishes and perfumes are arranged by colour. Oh yes, I know! You don’t have to tell me! I get the “rolling eye” reaction every time! Starting with my colleagues, who are just shaking their heads when I present my various lists. Not to mention my friends who don’t shake their heads quite as much about my lists but my love for having everything and anything in redundancy. My storage closet is stuffed with plastic drawer boxes, labelled of course, with categories like: trash bags, cleaning pads, tissues, freezer bags, kitchen towels … you get the drift. I just love to have my own “shop” to choose from every single day. I won’t even mention the at least 15 different shower gels I have stored to pick the smell I want at this special moment.

Organizing everything – my papers, my cosmetics, my books, my lists, groceries, … – it’s my passion, my obsession, my hobby. Which, frankly, only few people can understand. 

And I constantly get the question “What’s the point?” … especially when it comes to my yearly household shopping account! Displaying how much I spent in every single shop / chain. And then being able to compare the numbers of the previous years. With an extra groceries and drugstore table to see how much I spent on bread, meat, veggies, fruit, toilet paper etcevery single month! The point? To save more the next year? Nope, not really, it’s just for my information and I enjoy the monthly work on my lists and am looking forward to the yearly updating of my other lists every time again! And I’m very old-fashioned in these regards. Using plain old paper and ballpoint-pen instead of Excel lists. 

Preparing my ring binder at the end of the year for the new year to come, chucking the irrelevant receipts and keeping the important ones, putting them into another binder, is my way to finish the year. To have a new and fresh start!

It’s funny, there are constantly articles in magazines (women’s magazines, interior decorating magazines) which give advice on organizing your life, your closets, your kitchens, your … whatever you can think of. And me? I just read the tips, look at the pictures, smile and wish there was anything I could actually use. Cause I’m already doing it or have already organized everything in such a way that nothing could be improved anyway. Darn! And I so like to organize and re-organize … I don’t even have to do the whole decluttering thing. Cause that’s something I do regularly too! Double darn! I guess I’m pretty boring! 

However, this is one of my traits, the love of my life always appreciated very much. And he understood! He just got me! (And I’m not talking about my smart-ass ex!) Not many people do! But he did! Thanks, darling!


Just a few books on this topic from my extensive collection …

Yeah, that’s me, alright! Hopping mad (not such a rare occasion, as it seems). And yes, sadly, it’s the Germans again. And the issue of the Austrian Emperors Elisabeth (Sisi) and Franz Joseph. You might remember my anger about abusing their names and those of the royal Habsburg family for a burger joint. (Not correctly, on top of that! Like having a Franz burger and a Joseph burger, which were two very different emperors and not the one THEY had in mind!) BURGERS! Bloody burgers! Even though they are well-made burgers. It’s still a disgrace and an insolence itself. And once again they are trying to be funny, when they are NOT!

Their latest coup, which is making me hopping mad? Mad, mad, mad? A TV series by German private network RTL showing Sisi masturbating and using dildos. Seriously? I’m not a prude! But it’s just disgusting, they don’t seem to know anything about the 1850s in the life of a 16-year-old aristocratic girl. And they don’t seem to know anything about history and historical facts (obviously). They don’t seem to have read a single book about them or about life in those days. How dare they! How do they fucking dare! I’m so angry I could kick their bloody butts from here to the farthest part of the universe. Use your own fricking emperors for your bloody crappy TV series and don’t always use MINE! (I guess, their measly emperors were just too boring to produce a TV series out of it!)

Their excuse? “In the old movies, an image of women is portrayed which is not up to date nowadays. Women nowadays can’t identify with this image anymore!

Excuse me? Are they fucking kidding me? The girl was born in 1837 and the portrayal of her is not up to date to women nowadays? Are they completely insane? Sure, the 50s movies with Romy Schneider were a bit kitschy, but at least they didn’t totally ignore historical facts and the way lives were lived in those times. And even though Sisi grew up in a less strict environment than Franz Joseph, who was prepared to become the emperor of Austria from childhood on, having to go through a very strict education, filled with studies from early morning until the evening, Sisi still grew up amongst the confines of those times of an aristocratic family. Having read many, many books about the Habsburg family, Elisabeth, Franz Joseph and those close to them … I can’t help feeling being totally disgusted by the German network’s take on this famous and tragic couple.

Sisi was a complex woman, in some ways she was more modern than the time allowed, thrown into a world of the strict rules at the Vienna court which still followed the very strict Spanish court ceremonies. Health issues forced her to seek milder climates, travelling a lot in the years to come, also to escape Vienna, which was not exactly an advantage when it came to her children and her marriage. And even though Franz Joseph had the one or other affair throughout the years – well, let’s be honest, who didn’t have a mistress in those days, not much has changed today either – and after all, Sisi was away many months, he loved her very much. After several tragedies throughout his life, barely ten years after the suicide of his son Rudolph his wife was murdered in Geneva. “You don’t know how much I loved this woman,” were his words when the tragic news reached him. As much as I’ve always admired Elisabeth, I admire the late Emperor Franz Joseph even more. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning to start working, holding audiences for anyone who wished to see him, lunching during work, just taking a couple of hours off in the afternoons to walk in the gardens of Castle Schönbrunn or visit his friend Katharina Schratt – who was a friend of both him and Elisabeth -, returning to work until the evening. Every single day. Vacations? Holidays? Some hunting trips, Bad Ischl in summer, the one or othertrip abroad. But never without his work, which followed him by couriers wherever he went. What a discipline this humble man had, he saw himself as the first servant of his people. Every single politician today could learn and take an example of this great man. I could fill pages just writing about them!Elisabeth and Franz Joseph were not perfect, no one is, but I still admire and respect them. Despite him signing the decree to proclaim war on Serbia after the murders of heir to his throne Franz Ferdinand and his wife in 1914, which started World War I and ended the Austrian monarchy. I’m not all too versed in the political happenings of the time before 1914, just the basics, which I won’t bore you with in this post. And I don’t know whether the war could have been prevented. There was just too much brewing already in the crown countries … Franz Joseph was 84 years old, when he died from pneumonia in 1916, working at his desk until the end …

Oops, guess, I strayed a bit from my original topic, which tends to happen when I talk about the fascinating era of the Austrian monarchy … and me being hopping mad. 

The ridiculous reason for the bloody Germans using the famous Austrian couple as a provocative TV series? They want to jump onto the Netflix“Bridgerton” success train. Once again shows, how stupid they are!

A) The “Bridgerton” characters are from a romance novel. See the difference? THEY ARE / WERE NOT REAL, LIVING PERSONS!

B) Even though the series shows sex scenes, it’s never distasteful. Men had their love affairs and experiences, young unmarried aristocratic women were already outcast when being found alone in the garden with a man at night. Heaven forbid, should a young woman actually give in to a guy and get pregnant. (As being shown in the series, but, again, never distasteful! And of course this happened … humans are only humans, no matter what day and age!)

C) The actors chosen for the regency era would have never existed in the real world. Sorry to say that, but an African American duke wouldn’t have existed in England and wouldn’t have married a “white” woman. Neither would a regent have been African American. Which is why I loved this series so much, apart from the wonderful and colourful wardrobe and set design. And I’m gonna miss the Duke terribly in season 2. What a disappointment!

D) The British just know what they are doing! Plain and simple!

Having vented my anger, once again, and once again because of long-dead people who deserve respect, admiration and not maligning, I hope even non-Austrians can understand my pain and disgust because of this disrespect. (Just imagine some of your great leaders like Washington, Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Churchill or whichever great historical personality is out there, being used and mistreated just for cheap viewer ratings and entertainment in such a stupid way!)

Elisabeth and Franz Joseph are surely turning in their graves … and once again I will have to visit them in the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna the next time I’m there to apologize for the country I’m currently residing in.


As in finally watched 2021, even though the one or other series is way older. And since I don’t have regular TV anymore, Netflix is my current choice, when it comes to watching TV. (Apart from the one or other series on DVD I still have to work through!)

1.) Lupin: French masterpiece with English sub-titles – at least until it was finally synchronized. Having read the one or other Lupin adventure, I was thrilled about the modern TV version. Even though usually it depicted in those times in which it was written. (Just like Sherlock Holmes …) Modern day Lupin, however, is just awesome and I can’t wait for Part 3 to hit the screens.

2.) Bridgerton: THE series to watch in 2021. Awesome set-design, wardrobe, loved the colour schemes and the ingenious idea to not care about race. Very, very sad about the news – just like everyone else, I guess – that the handsome Duke won’t be part of Season 2. Anyone else wishing him to at least become the next James Bond? Compared to Daniel Craig I can totally see in him the original elegant style British gentleman spy!

3.) Swedish Dicks: oh boy, sooo funny! Two Swedish guys in Los Angeles solving the craziest cases. Quirky! Worth watching again and again!

4.) Virgin River: a lovely, feel-good series of a small-town. Big city girl nurse accepts a job at the only MD’s in town to escape heartbreak and finds love again. Wonderful characters (and actors) and even though I’m a city girl, I could very well imagine spending time there to recharge and slow down. Oh, of course, there are obstacles … would be boring otherwise, right?

5.) The Bonfire of Destiny: a French drama miniseries about a real historic event. The tragic fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris in 1897. 126 people died – among them the youngest sister of Austrian empress Elisabeth, Sophie Charlotte von Alencon. The series follows the lives of four women at and after the fire. Brilliant!

6.) The Kominsky Method: Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. Just has to be good! And it is! Unsuccessful actor turned acting teacher …

7.) The cook of Castamar: alright, I admit it, I like historical series. This time: a Spanish one. The year: 1720. A gentlewoman turned poor, working as a cook at a widowed Duke’s castle.

8.) Berlin Station: American-British-German co-production with well-known actors. A spy series at its best. Hope there will be a Season 4 for me to enjoy.

9.) The Alienist: German actor Daniel Brühl as psychologist helping solving crimes in 19thcentury New York. Starring next to Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans and Ted Levine it’s as thrilling as it is chilling.

10.) Velvet: It’s the 50s/60s. Spain. The saga of a young heir to a fashion haute couture empire and a seamstress turning designer. Spanning several seasons, I couldn’t stop watching day-in, day-out whenever I had time …

Of course, there was the one or other series I could have missed out on. But, well, instead of stopping, I fought my way through until the end …

1.) Winx: started out well enough, turned into a series with teens annoying as hell, gullible and stupid at times. With me screaming at the screen: Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Don’t be so stupid and thoughtless! Darn, maybe I should just stop watching teen series!

2.) V Wars: Even though gorgeous former “The Vampire Diaries” hunk Ian Somerhalder stars in this series, it just didn’t do it for me. The story was interesting enough but turned the bad guys into the good ones …

3.) The Crew: Kevin James managing a Nascarcrew. Well, not that funny. I got even bored while not actively watching but just as background noise while writing. Good thing they cancelled after one season.

4.) Country Comfort: Same here! Country singer turning nanny to a widowed guy with four kids, all musical, of course. Nice enough to watch while cooking …

5.) Jupiter’s Legacy: Josh Duhamel as superhero … well, pretty to look at but the whole story was also quite confusing, constantly jumping from present to past … plus his annoying rebel daughter … could have been better.

6.) Glitch: An Australian series about a police officer having to deal with people returning from the dead. (Nope, not a zombie series.) But weird nevertheless. And I absolutely didn’t like the end.

7.) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: silly, silly, silly. Naïve girl Kimmy escaping the sect of evil Jon Hamm, having been in a bunker for many years, being let loose in New York, having to find a place to live, work, etc. Despite well-known actors (Jane Krakowski, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, David Cross, etc) the plots were more annoying than anything else …

8.) Superstore: with America Ferrara and Ben Feldman. A store like Walmart or Target and its employees is the main character. Well, I’m a bit divided with this series. Having watched the first five seasons and waiting for the last one. It started out well enough with America “Amy” Ferrara as the floor manager rising up to management in the course of five seasons. Nice enough, however, some of the other characters just started to annoy me no end. Like religious and naïve Glenn as well as Sandra and Cheyenne (more stupid than just plain naïve). Nevertheless, am looking forward to Season 6.

9.) Suits: even though I watched the first three seasons a few years back before Meghan became the Duchess, I can’t get myself to watch the remaining seasons. The former Meghan Markleand her current behaviour piss me off more than I can tell you. It’s disgusting and I couldn’t bear watching her on TV, even though I liked the series well enough. (Never quite liked her, though, way way before she thought she was important!)

10.) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: weeeellll, I guess, it’s just too weird for me. Reminding me of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, which isn’t surprising, since it’s from the same author. Not quite my thing, not at all.

I guess that’s it for 2021. What 2022 will bring TV wise? I can’t wait! Happy new year!


Oh boy, oh boy oh boy oh boy! Maybe I shouldn’t have started a yearly booklist after all … so THIS is where all my money went this year. To Amazon and my book deliveries. (Always checking out the used book options to save a few bucks and happy like a clam when the condition actually was as described!)

309 books … I can hardly believe it myself. But, well, when one considers that my favourite pastime is reading, enjoying the first few pages after home office work either in my reading chair or in summer outside on the balcony, enjoying the sun, as well as going to bed early to read … well, then it shouldn’t be a surprise my book consumption is huge. HUGE!

You are wondering what I was reading all year? Mysteries, mostly, with some Austrian history books and mysteries thrown in. I won’t bore you with the complete list, just pick out some of the authors Ienjoyed this year.

1.) Ellery Adams: finishing off the series with the last three books. Not all too happy with the ending, but all in all I enjoyed the series very much.

2.) Donald Bain (and Jessica Fletcher): some of his “Murder, she wrote” novels, with still a lot in store to enjoy the coming year. I’ve always liked the TV series with Angela Lansbury and the mystery novels are a perfect continuation of the lovely writer / sleuth character, travelling around the world to solve crimes.

3.) Alan Bradley: introducing awesome 12-year-old Flavia de Luce with a penchant for poisons and murder. Entertaining to the hilt, with some personal tragedies thrown in. I’m not so sure, it’sactually fitting to be a teen book series, but it’s definitely genius.

4.) Emily Brightwell: Ohhh, I just love Victorian housekeeper Mrs Jeffries who helps heremployer Inspector Witherspoon to solve crimes without him knowing. With the assistance of the household staff, which is functioning like a big family, they are just wonderful. And I can’t bear the thought of reaching the last one … thankfully I still have some left to enjoy in 2022.

5.) Carola Dunn: The Honourable Daisy Dalrympleconstantly stumbling on a dead body and handsome DCI Alec Fletcher reluctantly accepting her help in solving the murders. Sometimes he’s a bit annoying trying to stop Daisy from sleuthing while having to admit that she’s quite helpful. But it’s the 20s …

6.) Ashley Gardner: irresistible Captain Lacey, wounded in war, poor, being drawn into interesting cases together with his rich friendLucius Grenville … oh, by the way, it’s the beginning of the 19th century, Regency London. And I just love to slip into different times and places.

7.) Kerry Greenwood: with the intention of finishing all Phryne Fisher books before watching the TV series … I managed to read at least one third this year. Once again, it’s the 20s, Australia, so for once very different to my usual London 20s mysteries. Having seen a few episodes of the TV series – I totally love the actors, the wardrobe, the décor -, I also totally love the books and admire Phryne Fisher no end.

8.) Lilian Jackson Braun: rediscovering Qwilleranund his two Siamese cats. Even though they were written in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I enjoy them no end. Very likable characters and the cats … well, you have to read them yourselves.

9.) Ngaio Marsh: Inspector Alleyn at his best. Having ordered the whole series in a beautiful collection edition before even having read one of her books, I just hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed. And I was not. Even though I’m only at book 7 from 32.

10.) Emily Queen: Mrs Lillywhite investigates. Once again, it’s the 20s in London. A lovely series.

11.) P.B. Ryan: A great series with a great ending. Lovely Nell Sweeney, governess and Dr. William Hewitt, war hero and drug addict. The years cover 1864-1870 in Boston, describing life in those days beautifully. Thrown in the murders, some romance and you get an unputdownableseries.

12.) Robin Stevens: The “A murder most unladylike” mysteries with schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. And even though Daisy is getting annoying at times with her domineering style, the characters evolve throughout the series. Wish there were more adventures, following the girls into womanhood.

13.) Lee Strauss: the Lady Ginger Gold Series playing in the 20s as well as the Rosa Reed series playing in the 50s. (Even though I’ve just started with the Rosa Reed books …) I love the 20s and apart from the crimes being solved by Ginger and Inspector Reed, the description of the wardrobe Ginger is wearing is a delight and I wish I could slip into the 20s, trying on all those gowns and outfits Ginger is wearing.

The rest? Apart from other well-knowns like Frances Brody, Lawrence Block, Kate Parker, … I mostly enjoyed authors like Marie Anders, Felix Dvorak, Erich Kästner, Ephraim Kishon, Edith Kneifl, Bruno Kreisky, Gerhard Loibelsberger, Beate Maly, Georg Markus, Otto Schenk, Gerhard Tötschinger, Hugo Wiener and many more. But, well, those names won’t mean anything to you, since they are mostly Austrian authors. What the next year will bring in terms of literary marvels? More of the above, of course … and I can’t wait to read all those great books waiting in my special bookshelf for unread books. Happy new year!