2013 in review

Many thanks to all my followers.

I wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR  !!!  🙂


Berlioz 1935




The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Are females taking over or are males slack?

We were at the Wollongong Beach today. It was fairly early, but the beach patrol was already on duty.

What was immediately apparent, to me at least, was that the life guards were all females, about fifteen or sixteen years old. . While I like too look at pretty girls I  was still wondering were where those famous, bronzed Australian lifesavers? Has there been a secret takeover by feminists? And another thing I noticed, not for the first time either, those life savers are being sponsored by the German Post office, namely by its subsidiary DHL  Are Australian companies not interested in sponsoring this noble service to the community? Too busy shovelling money or transforming tax concessions into profit. At least this foreign owned company is giving something back to the country in which it is doing business.


Female only life guards

Female only life guards

So, what is happening here? The German historian Theodore Mommsen wrote in his History of Rome that it is a sure sign of a civilisation going downhill when the males are being replaced by females in leading positions and they then are having more influence  on society.

After generations of domination the males are getting slack and shunt responsibilities. Instead of seeing them patrolling the beaches you see young Australian males on the evening news belting each other in a drunken stupor.

Female and male life guards

Female and male life guards

After a little while some males turned up and put up a sun shade. Still, a female was watching the swimmers. I hoped the bell would never ring. As this would signify a shark had been sighted and the swimmers should leave the water immediately.

A lonely rock fisher braving the wild surf

A lonely rock fisher braving the wild surf

We did not stay long at the beach as my wife wanted to go to the swimming pool.

The Wollongong Olympic Pool with the Wollongong Harbour in the background

The Wollongong Olympic Pool with the Wollongong Harbour in the background

After a good swim there, we went for a drive to Shellharbour.

An old Man and the Sea

Contemplating the eternal sea

Contemplating the eternal sea

The last couple of days we were staying at the shore of the mighty Pacific Ocean. The constantly rolling surf creates its own rhythm. Like our hearts it  beats faster or slower according to circumstances.

Why do we go to the edge of the ocean? I think there is something primaeval in our urge to go and see Mother Ocean. That its where all life on Earth originated. We are land animals now, but have not forgotten where we came from. The  Amniotic fluid is not dissimilar to sea water and points to our development from marine to land animals.

Waves smashing onto rocks

Waves smashing onto rocks

One can see  the power of the sea while observing the waves smashing onto rocks,  which are the remnants of a fiery, volcanic past. In earlier times the beach was often the starting point for a fishing exercise. Boats took off with cooperating males as crew. In other parts of the world this is still being done.

Here, where we live on the South Coast of NSW, in the Illwarra, the beach is mainly used for recreational activities. One can see not only  surfers but also driftwood.


It too is a witness to a former life as a tree, from who knows where from. The edge of the ocean, the beach, is the result of the changing nature on our planet. Next morning it was gone. Drifting, of course to another destination.

Recreational users of the beach will be well familiar with a flag that symbolises so much of Australian life. It is the Life Saver’s Flag  telling all it is save to surf between the two flags.




When walking along the beach one can see other elderly people contemplating. Contemplating what? Their lives, our lives. life on Earth, where it will all end? Only  a couple of weeks ago there was a report and even a video why water disappeared from the surface of Mars. I think we don’t have to worry about it right now.


Caspar David Friedrich like is a man looking at the sea flanked by two young Morfolk Pines

Here is a man, Caspar David Friedrich like,  looking at the sea flanked by two young Norfolk Pines

That was last night and the setting sun turned the haze that had settled over the landscape into a mysterious veil.



In the morning, a new dawn broke and prepared a new setting all together. I was thinking, not at all morbidly, if all live came out of the ocean perhaps we should be returned to the sea when we die. I know, at funerals the clergies like to tell us, that we were made from dust  and to dust we will return. But wouldn’t it make more sense to return us to the sea  where all life originated?

I looked at the rising sun over the ocean  and decided, I would like that when my time comes.






In Limbo

My friends, it has been a while since I published something. I actually work on a short story about a soldier of the Red Army at the end of WWII.

The story itself had a difficult gestation. It was originally written in English years ago. Then I rewrote it in German and published it on my German blog. After that I lost the English version. So, I decided to rewrite once again. I know, I’m no literary genius but my hope is, that my writing might be interesting enough for others to read, because it contains some of my own experiences.

I had already the second draft and thought, nearly ready to go. Just show it to my lovely, learned daughter Caroline and as we say in Australia, Bob’s your uncle”.

She had come to visit us in her break from Uni and she offered to have a look. O boy, did she use the red pencil. I was lucky she left a comma in the middle and a full stop at the end. Poor old Ivan has to do battle a bit longer.

I intended to have another look after Caroline had left. On the very next  day we went to a beautiful Indian lunch together.  When we came back home we found our home had been burgled.  And even some of Caroline’s stuff had been stolen. It has been nineteen years since our last break-in and we had become confidant that we would not have another burglary again, ever.What had been stolen can be replaced and will be.  What is more disturbing to our mind is the lost sense of security. In short we were out of our equilibrium. That was two weeks ago and slowly we are finding back to ourselves. Caroline stayed a few days longer and got in contact with the police and insurance for us.

Today we gave ourselves a two day break from reality; an escape from the everyday humdrum of existence. We drove the car about 30 km north and ended up at the same old spot we stayed three years ago. But we have the feeling we are hundred miles from care.




It is the time before the big Christmas rush. It is quiet for now, just what we need. On Monday we are to see Caroline for her birthday in Sydney.

I hope when get home again our home has not been broken-into  again. Forget the thought, Peter. For now we are looking at the blue Pacific Ocean.


Two people walking at the edge of a mighty ocean

Two people walking at the edge of a mighty ocean