20 Mar 2015


1. For the first time this year it was warm and sunny, the ideal weather for a little walk.

My neighbor Dominique and I went to the little park in Waterloo and walked around the pond, watching the ducks and swans. But no little flower was seen yet.

2. I drove along the Waterloo battle field to take pictures of the farms which had gone into history

Most of them were ready for the bicentenary of the battle.

3. The Waterloo city had asked for volunteers to help the huge amount of tourists who will come to celebrate the bicentenary of the battle in June, and to show them around. So I went to the City hall and put my name on the list. There will be enough English speaking people as we have a big English speaking community, but German is more seldom.

4. Nicole had invited Dominique and me for an afternoon chat. We wanted to sit outside on her terrace, as 17° were announced, but finally the temperature decided to disagree with the weatherman and it was far too cold ! So we had a glass together and chatted inside.

5. The Waterloo city organises a "Route of Artists" in October, which means that all artists are asked to expose their works in special rooms or at home. The public is then invited to follow the route and visit the artists. Our group exposes in our usual class, but for publicity purposes we had to paint or draw a very small square which should represent the style of the painter.

This was very difficult for me as I am used to big canvas and I had to paint on carton paper. Finally I managed and painted half of a cat head. 25 participants do the same and then they will be glued on one big canvas ! I am really curious to see the result !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

19 Mar 2015


In 1963 the company I worked for, exposed at the The Nuremberg Toy Fair  (Spielwarenmesse). All the top brands as well as start-ups and large chains, make the Nuremberg Toy Fair the most important meeting place for the toy industry. I was there to translate from German into French. After a long day of work my Boss and another colleague decided to visit this zone. I have no idea if it is still there, but at this time it was in a special area and only men where allowed to drive or walk along the streets, where the girls were standing or sitting behind red velvet curtains.

The problem was me because women were not allowed. So they looked at me hoping I would say "take me to the hotel" but I was far too curious and wanted to come with them. After careful consideration they finally decided to hide me on the back seat of the car. The only thing I had to do was kneeling between the seats so that nobody could see me from outside, but I could look through the window.

No sooner said than done. I climbed in the car and they drove direction red zone. It was located in a very old and a little dirty looking area and suddenly we arrived at a wall which is called Frauentormauer (women wall gate). Here they told me that I had to hide now. Which I did. Peeping through the window I saw a line of houses with red neon signs which praised all kind of propositions and had funny names. I watched the "red zone" ladies, dressed or more undressed in narrow outfits, high healed and with decollt├ętes almost until the bellybutton. All hair colors and hair styles were represented and from skinny minnies to oversized elephants everything was available. Sometimes they discussed with a man and then disappeared behind the door of a house. What an awful profession, I thought, accepting all these man to earn money for living. The fats, balds, hairy, very young to very old, they all were represented.

As we drove very slowly so that we could see the most, suddenly a tall curly haired blond with a red mini dress knocked at the window. My boss opened it and she put her head inside to offer her services and discuss the price. While I had a wonderful view on two pink mountains I listened to the conversation with great attention. I had shrunk myself to the size of a little mouse. I don't remember the price or anything else of the discussion and  they hardly could accept the kind proposition, because I was in the way, but anyway they just wanted to have a look. They were both married, but this fact was sometimes forgotten.

When we had enough of our sightseeing, we drove to the city center and continued to celebrate our business success. This was the first time I have seen a red zone in my life.

Me at the toy fair

Today I realize that I was probably the only 20 year old girl at that time, who had such an experience.

It still exists today, I found this picture on Internet. In Germany prostitution is legal and considered as a free profession just like a dentist or a lawyer. They also have to pay income taxes and have to undergo a regularly a health check up.

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

18 Mar 2015

17 Mar 2015

16 Mar 2015


As I had to go to my friend near Cologne, I did some shopping on Saturday morning. My flu seemed to be gone and I felt well. When I came back, Mr. G. didn't feel well and went to bed. At half past 12 he screamed my name. I found him coming out of the toilet, shivering terribly from top to bottom. I helped him to lay down on the bed, where it got even worse. He couldn't even hold a glass, it was terrible to see. I called the doctor. Told him about this shivering attack and he said I have to take him immediately to the hospital. As he couldn't walk, I called the ambulance. They came immediately, told me to stay home and took him away.

I stood there and watched the ambulance taking him away. Fortunately I belong to the people who don't panic I do everything what is needed as if I was another person. I raked my brain what to do now, do I have to cancel my trip or postpone it on Monday, or cancel completely ? My neighbor who had seen the ambulance called me, she was very worried. I told her what happened and that I didn't dare to leave him but she insisted she and her daughter would take care of him. So I watched some TV waiting for news from the hospital. Suddenly the phone rang and my friend was online. She told me that she has an inflammation at one foot and can't walk at all anymore. That solved my problems ! I told her I would come another time, when her foot is healed and that anyway I didn't really want to go. I canceled my bus ticket and waited for news from the hospital. At 5 pm Mr. G. called me and asked me to pick him up. I told him to stay inside the hospital, because he only had his pajama on and training trousers. Of course when I arrived he was standing on the street and it was very cold, only 6° (42 F) ! I was angry but he told me that he was fed up staying in the hospital and all he wanted was to go home. This was not the first time that he escaped a hospital ! Men !!

Once at home he didn't have anything anymore he ate like a horse, watched a movie and went to bed.
I still don't know what he had neither the doctors. He had passed all kind of tests ! I think he is not normal.

On Sunday then I had the aftermath of all the Saturday's events ! I really felt worn out. It was as if somebody had hit me on my head with a hammer. Mr. G. instead, had put his alarm clock on 5 am to watch the Formular 1 !!

I instead was hanging around recovering and answering the phone, all my friends and neighbors wanted to know how he was !

Now my one week holidays in Germany have to wait until my friend's foot is healed. It will be difficult to find another date where we are both available.