Happy Eleventh Birthday Ella and Louis…there’s a celebratory Schweinsohr in it for you

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Is this really what eleven looks like?

Well aware that this isn’t the best photo I have of Ella and Louis, I’m  bit pressed for time. See, it’s their birthday and I’ve been rattling on about these exquisite hounds via social media and responding to queries about them from people who haven’t been following them for years. Which is hard to believe if you think about it.

Numerous people have told me they started reading my stuff only after getting pulled in by images of those two red dogs.

If I wrote a blogpost about them every time they touched my heart, this would be a blog devoted entirely to the smart one and her less than bright brother. That’s all I’d talk about, and there could even be a number of you who’d prefer that anyway.

Here’s the thing, though: how do you get across just how important these two are to me? How might I adequately express why I get choked up at the thought of anything happening to either one of them? The people who are already nuts about dogs already get it. I could write this for them, and they’d nod their heads and insist this is a perfectly reasonable passion for nonhuman beings.

That’s too easy for the likes of me. Instead, I’d love to find the right words to even win over those who shake their heads and say, ‘Why would anyone devote so much time and attention to such creatures? It’s just a dog, after all.

Just a dog? I know. Why would I want to reach such a person in the first place? Good point. I often say to myself that these two give so much more than they take. Once again, that’s only going to make sense to the already converted. Preaching to the proverbial choir, as it were.

I even want to persuade cat people about these two. I know, I’m mad. Truly off my rocker.

So, Ella’s sitting behind me as I sit at my desk writing about them, and she just gave me a look that said, ‘You see the irony of blathering on about how much you love us, but here we are NOT GOING OUTSIDE, which is all we really want. You do see that, right?

Yes, Ella. I get it. It’s time to go out. Has been for a while.

For those of you who see a photo of Ella and Louis and insist that you want MOAR photos in addition to the one I just shared, today’s for you too. I’ll stumble over to other platforms and do some unrepentant spreading of the canine adoration.

Happy Eleventh Birthday, you two. There’s a celebratory Schweinsohr in it for you.

Avoiding the Dancing Plague while in Strasbourg

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A quick jaunt through Strasbourg on the way home with my mother in tow, and this was one of the nicer shots I got. What a beautiful city that due to its history has all the trappings of a French metropolis while still heavily influenced by its German past.

Oh, and I found something curious on the Wikipedia page, which I thought I’d share here:

‘In July 1518, an incident known as the Dancing Plague of 1518 struck residents of Strasbourg. Around 400 people were afflicted with dancing mania and danced constantly for weeks, most of them eventually dying from heart attack, stroke or exhaustion.

That doesn’t sound very good, does it? We were somehow able to avoid just such a predicament while we were in Strasbourg. Somehow.

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Goethe’s dapper collection of well trimmed bums

 
Have walked by this statue countless times, normally at night, and never paid much attention to who it was. 

Sure enough it’s Goethe. Who?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You know him, right? 

I associate him with Weimar. I’ve written about him elsewhere, and I’m sure I could riff on him here if I put my mind to it. 

But here in Munich? There is a Goethe Platz, but this statue is nowhere near that. And Goethe Straße cuts right through the Bahnhofviertel (train station quarter)…so there are things here named after the guy, but why his statue looking over this little park right off of Sonnenstraße?  
Wonder what the old guy would have thought were he actually looking down upon the park on this unseasonably warm day in Munich. 

There were a few people sleeping rough in the middle of the day. That was less than inspiring. 

One or two suits were taking a break from their nearby office jobs. 

And the most curious thing on display at the feet of Uncle Johann? There was a barber offering free shaves to the homeless. No, I’m not making this up.

I watched him saunter up to a park bench full of ne’er-do-wells and he politely introduced himself as a professional of the hair cutting arts. The disdain that they’d first greeted him with quickly disappeared. 

Without hearing their exact words, one ragamuffin spoke for the whole bench. ‘Let me get this straight,’ his body language communicated. ‘You want to give each of us a shave? Free of charge? Just out of the kindness of your heart?’

That was it. 

No tricks. No bait and switch. 

What only a short time before had been a motley crew was oddly transformed. I imagined Goethe smiling wryly as I walked away from his dapper collection of well trimmed bums. 

On the lookout for just such a thing

 

St. Christopher with the blessing of the Christ child

As long as I’ve lived here, I still regularly turn a corner and see something that I’d not noticed before. For example, this sculpture outside of the Scheidplatz U- Bahn station looked completely new to me when I passed it the other day. Grizzly guy with some sort of little person sitting on his shoulder. Wonder where they’re off to. 

One of the curious aspects of living in a place where so many tourists regularly visit is that it can be rather easy to take the city’s beauty for granted. Someone comes to visit & you think, ‘What on earth am I going to show them?‘ 

Soon enough, you remind yourself that a walk through your daily routine would be interesting for someone who’s not here year round. Something I’ve enjoyed about getting this blog back off the ground is that I can introduce some of you to places you might not otherwise see or experience. 

Perhaps the locals reading can even be reintroduced to a few gems hiding right under our noses. I’m always on the lookout for just such a thing. 

no matter what wanderlust comes upon me

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Ella at Vogelsang above Bayrischzell

The sun has made an appearance after a long winter, and it’s time to go outside.

If you know anything about my dogs Ella and Louis, you know that means we’ll be going up up up. They love to hike in the Alps, and I don’t blame them.

In the last few days, I’ve heard multiple people remark on how fortunate we are to live when and where we do. Although I know not all of you are situated in the Bavarian capital, I can assure you that part of the point of this blog is to give you a glimpse of what it’s like here.

Having recounted it many times, I almost feel it’s unnecessary. However, some of my readers are new, and others haven’t been here for a long while, so here goes:

I lived here as a small child and as far back as I can remember, I desperately wanted to return. There are plenty of other beautiful places here in Germany, but no matter what wanderlust comes upon me, it’s back home in Munich that I find myself.

'A Hund ist er scho...'

‘A Hund ist er scho…’

My French Connection, Paris, Sexy Paris

I’ve got my own love affair with Paris going on. Here’s Michael Owens’ take on how his perspective changed.

Laptops and Lederhosen

Rally for solidarity with the French in Munich. Photo: MunichFOTO, Jeff Ely Rally for solidarity with the French in Munich. Photo: MunichFOTO, Jeff Ely

What a week it’s been. You’ve all read the headlines and stories. To end this week, this crazy week, what happened today in Paris was a fitting finale. The whole world was watching the show of force against religious fascism, terrorism, and any other ism you can and can’t think of.

Some people believe the Parisians are arrogant. They are, absolutely, and rightfully so. You ever been to Paris? It’s an amazing city. I’ve been there twice.

Moulin Rouge 1900. I'm not sure why but there must've been something better about naked boobies in a club like this at that time. Photo: Wikipedia Moulin Rouge 1900. I’m not sure why but there must’ve been something better about naked boobies in a club like this at that time. Photo: Wikipedia

After the first time I was there I hated it. I thought ‘what’s the big deal?’ I saw all the stuff. Crowded museums with too many tourists (I wasn’t a tourist in my mind…

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Adventures in Social media; about.me and Nutty Party Productions

Check it out. Elaine Axten is not only using her social media knowledge, but her firsthand experience with the history of blogging and the most social aspects of Web 2.0 make her a compelling read.

Doesn’t hurt that she name checks me, either.

elaine4queen

When I first fell of the edge of the world with illness it was a long time ago, but it was within the first stirrings of the internet. I’d done a couple of courses for artists, and made some digital art (probably all lost forever, there’s an animation that still exists on video, but not in digital form, so – *waves goobye*) and I’d taught multimedia to adults and teens, so when the crash came one of the things that floated up with me on my life raft was a computer and an internet connection.

I started my social media life just with emails and found a site called Citynoise where I could contribute photographs and a few words. Most of what was then the beginnings of social media was a thing called message boards, which I wasn’t attracted to, being of an Alice in Wonderland turn of mind (Before…

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