Feel like Bill Gates

Betty and Jack are watching the news on TV. Gina Rinehart, a rich Australian mining  tycoon, is being interviewed and pleads for a lower wage structure in the country.

She says: In Africa people earn $ 2 a day and we live in a competitive economic environment – it means, we can’t effort those excessive wage claims of an out of control union any more. Plus, the government thinks the mining industry is an ATM they can extract money from.

Jack becomes upset, grabs the remote from the coffee table in front of him and hits the “Mute” button.

Jack: Outrageous ! I wonder how it feels to be a multi-billionaire, like this woman with the big hat.

Betty(smiles at him):You don’t have to wonder at all. You can have this feeling right now.

Jack: How can that be? I’m an old age pensioner and have only a couple of quids in my bank account.

Betty: You remember Bill Gates on Q and A (Australian panel show) the other night?

Jack: Yes, yes, but I fell a sleep and did not hear much. What was he saying?

Betty: It was quiet interesting, especially when he was talking about the washing-up.

Jack: The washing up? I think “Gatesy” has other things to worry about. They have all modern cons in their home. Wasn’t he earlier saying robots will do all the work for us in the future?

Betty: No, no. He told a questioner that he does the washing-up in the evening before they go to bed. His wife likes it this way.

Jack (chuckles): I bet she likes that! Gives her more time to play with her jewellery, I would say.

Betty: Jack, you have no idea. It turns women on when their partners do housework.

Jack: Are you having a go at me?

Betty: No, Darling! All I’m saying is, you do the dinner dishes now and I’ll get ready for bed and if you don’t take too long we’ll have a nice cuddle (she gives him a wink and a mischievous smile). I promise you, you will feel just like Bill Gates – no billions required.

They get up and walk through different doors..


Nan Tien Temple revisited 2013

Here in the Illawara, not far from Dapto, where we live, there is a beautiful Buddhist Temple. It is on a small hill overlocking the plain towards the escarpment.

Last year I wrote a post for my German block about it. Today I will post something on this blog.

We always like going there as we find it very peaceful there. The people, mostly worshippers, are not the hectic tourists. The pagoda greets the visitor .


From up there one has a beautiful view of Mount Kembla and the escarpment.


We had beautiful sunshine today and therefore many people from Sydney were making the trip down the highway. Some go to the temple proper some relaxing in the well kept gardens and enjoying the little Buddha figures, spread all over the gardens, doing their Tai Chi.


Walking along the path we found a sitting Buddha who looked at us with slight amusement.


We walked slowly up the hill and arrived at he Gratitude Bell. It is to show gratitude to your parents.


On the next picture you can see Uta banging away in gratitude to her parents no doubt.


Still one can enjoy the view from up there and show gratitude to our departed parents. I’m sure they would have enjoyed being there too.


From up there we walked to the temple where so many people had arrived. Inside people worshipped. We were not able to take any pictures there but from this scan of a post card you can see what we were looking at.


Still, outside there are beautiful vistas to enjoy.



Our last impression of the temple and its surrounds was the perfect axis from the pagoda to Mount Kembla. I’m sure our Karma will be positively effected by our visit to the Nan Tien Temple today.


Many more pictures of the temple and its gardens you find here



Lately I have gathered more readers from around the world.

How encouraging!

The followers are as varied as the countries and the cultures they come from. There are travellers and “stay-at-home” mums, professionals and writers. Some declare in all humility, that they are just average people.

I think we all have one thing in common. We are searching for the “Truth”. We are looking far and wide to see a glimmer of the “Truth”. The internet – the eWorld – is the telescope through which we pierce through the fog of ignorance, that surrounds us.

The “Truth”  really is  a big puzzle of enormous, unimaginable size. But we are trying and perhaps by catching a glimmer of tiny shards of reflections, coming off other minds, we might be able to find another piece of the eternal puzzle.

But it is also a requirement to have an open mind. It is the fertile ground in which the “Truth” can and will grow – if ever so slowly. But it will grow out of us, where it always was and is.

We are heading for the Light

We are heading for the Light, it is beckoning !

Thoughts on the 16th of May

On this day, seventy-eight years ago, I was born in Berlin. This was such a long, long time ago!

The apartment building I grew up in

The apartment building I grew up in

So much has happened during that time. That I’m still alive is a wonder. Before I was ten the biggest of wars dominated my life. I would say it has shaped me into the person I am today. I can’t run away from that legacy. Neither do I want to.

First the Poms, then the Yankees tried to bomb shit out of me. Many a times I was in an air raid shelter when the whole building was shaking. We heard the bombs whistling down on us and after a moments silence the mighty burst of an explosion nearby made us think there was an earthquake. But we survived the day and night bombing only to experience the roar of the artillery of the Red Army pounding the city of Berlin. Three times buildings in which I was at the time were hit by shells. I will never forget the sound of the Katyusha rocket launcher. Berlin’s destruction was the end of the devastation in Europe that also included Stalingrad and Warsaw.

American B 17 over our home

American B 17 over our home

Once, coming back from an errand to get some sugar, I was attacked by a Russian fighter plane. Later, on my 10th birthday, a couple of Red Army soldiers wanted to blow my brain out unless I drink a cup of vodka. I refused and was saved from my ordeal by an officer. I must have believed the Russian political commissar who told me, Russians would not make war against children. I have been a Russophile ever since.

Seventy years ago, in 1943, I knew nobody who was as old as I am today. Of my four grandparents only the mother of my dad was still alive. I had a couple of old grandaunts but they were still not older than seventy then. For an eight year old they were amazingly old. Now I’m even older! But I heard them telling stories of what happened nearly seventy years earlier. What a span of time I’m grappling with here: 140 years !

We have three great-grandchildren and that puts us in the middle of seven generations. This is purely amazing! I lost my maternal grandmother when I was just three and I remember her well.

When you live in Berlin you experience history as it happens. It is that kind of town; restless and searching for more life, even in the ruins of a “Thousand Year Empire” that lasted only twelve years. The part of Berlin where I grew up was in Kreuzberg. “It is one of the most interesting places on the face of this planet,” says my blogger friend NotMsParker http://kreuzberged.com/

After the war Berlin was occupied by the four big Allies. And they were not on friendly terms with each other. Especially the Soviet Union did not trust the Western powers and they wanted to dislodge them. Of course this feeling of mistrust was reciprocated. There was always a sense of political crisis in the air. Perhaps we, my wife and I, were looking for a more stable environment. Our gaze went to the end of the world: Australia. A nuclear holocaust for Europe was on the cards and what better idea than putting as many miles as possible between us and the old homeland.

On the way to Australia, on an ocean liner that was for us pure luxury, we stopped at exotic places like Aden and Colombo. I saw Colombo one day after my birthday on the 17th of May 1959, Pentecost Sunday. It impressed me with its mixture of its many religions.

SS Strathaird to boat we came on 1959

SS Strathaird the boat we came on in 1959

On board SS Strathaird May 1959

On board SS Strathaird May 1959

Australia gave us a good start. After two years tragedy struck us in the form of Poliomyelitis. All our three children were struck down with especially bad consequences for our eldest daughter. She was confined to an iron lung and a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Later in life I took up long distance running and even ran four Marathons. What a great time I had. I even ran many road races, of different length, in my home city Berlin on my various visits there. Everyone knows about the “Wall” in Berlin and when it fell in 1989 it was the happiest day of my life. I still feel the emotions of that tremendous event today.

As I steadily get older I feel like a ticking time-bomb. I feel alright now and still go for runs. They are not long runs like I used to do, but short runs every second day. It is good for my mental equilibrium and for my cardiovascular system. But at my age one can expect life threatening events. Elderly people fall and end up in hospital never to return to normal life; if at all. A sniffle in the morning could be the beginning of a terminal Pneumonia. “And so it goes,” Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favourite American writers, used to say.

But I made it to here and I have plans to stay around for at least another ten years. And if I keep running I may end up in “Runner’s Heaven”. Wherever this is.

In the mean time, I’ll keep in contact with my many internet friends I’m privileged to have found or they found me. This is one of the good things that happened during my life time, the PC and the Internet. The computer was invented by Kurt Zuse only a few hundred meters from where I grew up, in a house I passed on my way to school and a school friend resided in. “And so it goes.”

At this late point in my life I’m still interested in politics, but take it more with a grain of salt. Often I give the news a miss as I feel I heard it all before. I’m worried for the people on the Indian Subcontinent that they might be sucked into a great confrontation. I hope the teachings of the Koran, the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita and of the Dhammapada will help the people to overcome their differences. There is so much wisdom in these books.

My world of ideas comes among others from Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Henry George, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many others (like the great Russian writers). I love all the great painters and the classical music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and the folk music of so many countries, and Jazz, of course.

This is where we live now: The Illawarra, NSW, Australia

This is where we live now: The Illawarra, NSW, Australia

I could go on but my lovely wife brought me a cup of tea and everything must come to an end. But don’t worry I’ll be here for a while yet.


A cup of tea served with LOVE

A cup of tea served with LOVE !

The Dessert

The Dessert

The meal was good . I grant you that.

It raised my appetite for more.

What I can see from here

is just the thing I have in mind.

A dessert of a more erotic kind.

You look puzzled and you smile.

I see , you haven’t got a clue,

but for dessert, my Sweet,

I wish

I could have you.

The Swagman and his Family

This poem was inspired by the painting by FREDERICK McCUBBIN "ON THE WALLABY TRACK", 1896

This poem was inspired by the painting

Life was tough in eighteen-ninetysix.
Australia in the midst of depression is.
There is no work,
men could not earn a Quid.

What could they do, but grab a swag
take the missus and the kid.
and start to walk
the ‘wallaby track’.

They have to go
where there is work
leave cities, head for the bush.
Find work where the tucker is.

For days they are on the track.
Heat and flies are eager to attack.
The missus shouts, Stop!
For a minute or two of rest.

I and junior need a drink.
‘ve walked too many miles today
A cuppa would be just the thing.
Or at least, anything to drink

Alright then, her hubby says.
I let the billy boil,
while you, my love
Under the Paperbark sit and rest.

Exhausted by the heat of day
the woman and her baby boy
go right to sleep
under nature’s canopy.

That’s it, for the day, the swagman thinks
we’ll make camp for the night,
here by the creek.
Tomorrow is another day.

Cooper’s farm is fifteen miles away.
With any luck and much grid
They’ll make it,
before the sun again hundred hits.