Sunday, 23 May 2010

ladies and gentlemen:

the formidable southwark concert band
(playing dulwich last week)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

there are many ways to get real about your age. one way is to check on your birthday and find that in all questionaires you are ticking the 48-to-64 group. one way is simply to look into the mirrow on a normal day. but the thing that really drives down the message is when you look at the kids of your friends and find that they are more or less ready to conquer the world. young, bright and adventurous they do all the things at the age of sixteen that you thought you might do later in life, like after retirement...

well, let's not get too upset about this. andy and carmo's beautiful daughter joana (bottom right) and her school mates are just preparing for a fantastic trip to shanghai's expo in a sort of young diplomat's way and will promote their town and meet pupils from a chinese high school to exchange ideas. fluent in english, mandarin and hopefuly german this will truly be an intercultural experience. like we did in the seventies, just that for us it was the village over...

read the whole story here

Monday, 17 May 2010

don't look now

i wonder if i can claim the fame of being the first casualty of the new london overground (east london line) which opened a few days ago. eager to try this fantastic new service from new cross gate to town i quite happily went into work last tuesday telling everybody about our great new connection.

but - as they say where i come from - when the donkey gets too comfortable he walks onto the ice. on the way home i already felt quite familiar with all these sparkling new steps and curves and racing down the stairs to get my train without paying much attention delivered a little reminder: always look where you're going on the tube.

five days later and my ankle is about as black and blue as it gets. blood on the tracks, already!!!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

the perfect ambiente

Posted by PicasaThis incredibly pretty picture of our beautiful aunt arrived a couple of days ago with yet another birthday party we wish we had been able to attend but how she does it, i mean, looking younger every year, is a mystery. Alles Liebe, Marlies, und bleib, wie du bist!!! 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


no, no, guys, don't get me wrong, our spring chick pam is not even half that age. this is more a projection into the very distant future when we hide the booze under the table and have a quick fag while our grand-grand children leave the room for a second.

i once overheard a very similar dialogue in cologne main station in the early hours while waiting for a train to hannover. the waiting room was open only to ticket holders, a motley crew already, but somehow a gang of four old birds had managed to get in. drinking from their schnaps bottles hidden in plastic bags they gave an account of the day. one had been caught shoplifting but was released because of her age and because she claimed forgetfulness, one had told her daughter to be a bit more inventive (for what??) and one had escaped the old folks home her children had put her in. i hid all morning in the broom cabinet before i ran away, she told the others. mutual agreement that this was well worth the trouble. the station police officers came by and teasingly greeted the four like old neighbours while the bottles disappeared, only to surface again two seconds later. i got so engaged with the lively discussion that i almost asked to join the table and even then i could see pam and myself just doing the same one day. let's say in another 51 years.

Happy Birthday, Schneck!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

brockley ward election results

Vicky FOXCROFT - The Labour Party: 2632 Elected
Jimi ADEFIRANYE -  The Labour Party: 2449 Elected
Paul NEWING - The Labour Party: 2105

Darren Paul JOHNSON - The Green Party: 2313 Elected
Romayne PHOENIX - The Green Party: 1676
Dean Maurice WALTON - The Green Party 1707

David MORPURGO - Liberal Democrats: 990
Keith Howard ADDERLEY - Liberal Democrats: 1293
Nancy Mariett SARRE - Liberal Democrats: 995

Toby ABSE - Lewisham For People Not Profit: 403
Patrick John MCGINLEY - Bring Back Democracy-Hamilton For Mayor: 410

Carolyn Rose FREEMAN - The Conservative Party: 713
Ardian PRECI - The Conservative Party: 611
Orde Peter SOLOMONS - The Conservative Party: 563

a small victory for the greens who could save one seat for darren in brockley but lost others in the borough and a big victory for labour who won absolute majority in lewisham with steve bullock again as mayor. 

(all data from

Monday, 3 May 2010

more plants, please

after all these weeks of work in the house (and nothing is yet finished) it was a delight to get out of london for a day to our all-time favourite nursery in sussex, architectural plants in nuthurst.

as a good guess 85% of the plants in our garden come from this innovative and interesting place and if we had the space it certainly would be a lot more.

deac's rule that i must be able to name the location for the plant before i am allowed to buy it has only prevented the most obvious calamities (yes, i too can lie convincingly sometimes) but today i was defeated by a very limited choice from my wish list.

so here's what we got: some horsetail (equisetum hyemale) for a large planter

a yucca gloriosa as a companion for the one we got and as an underplant for our large cordyline australis

and last but not least a very pretty hedera helix 'très coupé' that rike will train into a jungle wall in her room. what i can't believe is that it's so few plants! i remember a time when on the way home from nuthurst all passengers in the car had ferns in their laps and bamboo sticks coming out of their ears including the baby and the driver had to stick his head out of the window in order to see anything. today there was even space in the boot!