culture, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review, seasons

Happy New Year

When standing on the beach and watching the waves rolling in you can every now and then find things. In the surf, you can find stones, shells, algae or other sea plants and even human waste. At the same time, the surf washes away footprints or any other mark in the sand. Heavier waves are able to form the beach and even the coastline anew. This happens usually during the winter storms.

Today, a new year started. A new year comes to us just like the waves on the ocean. Some waves are small, others are bigger and some even might be shaking the foundations of life. You won’t know in advance what the year will bring to your life. You also won’t know in advance, what it will take from you. But, you have to take it and you have to cope with the changes.

So, I wish you a happy new year and may a gentle warm wind strengthen your back and dry up the tears remaining from the past year.

Take care!

art, culture, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 5-36 – Happy new Year!

We’re standing right in front of a jump: 2018 will be 2019, soon.

Here in Germany, some people call the days between Christmas and New Years day the “days between the years” or short “between the years”.

Don’t get confused, the year starts on January 1st and ends at December 31st here, too. But, many businesses (primarily smaller ones) close their doors these days for a short vacation to recuperate from the very stressful Advent time (the 4 weeks before Christmas). Also, big businesses encourage their employees to take these days off.

In this context, you can understand these days as being a bridge between the years.

Another custom here is, making resolutions for the new year: stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol, more sports, living a more active life, finding a new job and so on. I guess, you got the idea. Also, you make a wish for your neighbors, friend and colleagues. These wishes usually include health and personal success (without going into detail).

So, I wish you a Happy New Year. And, I thank you for all of your support!

A new year is a bit like an empty sheet of paper. No wrinkles, no stains and nothing written or drawn on it. So, it’s up to us, to go forwards and leave some marks on the paper, to make sure, we’re alive and create some memories.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(traditional gaelic blessing)


art, culture, food, nature, photography, seasons, world

Happy Easter!

Why bunnies for Easter? Why eggs for Easter? Why Easter?

The word easter is derived from the ancient germanic goddess Ostara. As a goddess rising from the east, she was responsible for fertileness and the spring. Many different cultural festivities and celebrations were connected to here: i.e. the easter fire and the fire wheels. These events were meant to cast out the winter daemons.

Bunnies get there babies in spring and they often have many of them. So, they are a symbol for fertileness. Btw. primarily rabbits were meant here instead of the hares or bunnies. While hare hide their babies in the boundary ridges and only come at night for a short visit to feed them, rabbits are having their babies in bigger amount around their holes.

Next the eggs. In medieval ages, the famers have had to pay taxes to the landowners. These taxes often / usually have had to be paid in natural produce. Depending on the exact region, the beginning of a new year was on March 1st, spring equinox or April 1st. On that day (new years day), taxes were due. So, the Lenten season also was the time to save food for uses them for paying the due taxes. But, starting from new years day, they were free, to use their products on their own again.

Easter is always on the first Sunday after the first spring full moon. So, we have the Lenten season lasting over the tax date. Eggs were also not allowed during Lenten season. So, the eggs from the Lenten season were marked with different colors to distinguish between old and fresh eggs.

Happy Easter!

art, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography

Happy New Year

This morning, a line of an old song came up to my mind: Ein Jahr geht schnell vorüber (a year is quickly over) by the German Band Münchner Freiheit. They became very popular in the 1980s with German lyrics and a good sound. Despite they appeared during the NDW movement (Neue Deutsche Welle) like i.e. Nena, Ideal, Grauzone, Humpe & Humpe, Extrabreit which were also inspired by the New Wave style coming from the UK at that time, Münchner Freiheit never called themselves a part of the NDW movement. And, when analysing their lyrics, you can see, it’s true. The band name “Münchner Freiheit” (~ Freedom in Munich) comes from a square in the Bavarian capitol Munich.

This particular song was published in 1988 and was very successful, as nearly all of their songs. Although, the first line might imply otherwise, this song wasn’t written for birthdays or New Year eve. It’s called “Solange man Träume noch leben kann” (As long as one can still live dreams).

Instead, it’s a motivational song, in my opinion. Try to live your dreams, as long as you’re able to! To help you understand the German lyrics, I translated them for you.

One year is over quickly
When the rain falls
A sea full of questions
I stand opposite you
In memory of bygone days
The big goal was far too far
For our dreams too little time
Let’s try again
As long as one can still live dreams
One year is over quickly
When the fog comes
With silvery silence
You are facing me
And it’s hard for me to show you love
The big goal was far too far
For our dreams too little time
You know that someday
Once a miracle can happen
Let’s try again
As long as one can still live dreams
I need you, you know that
Let’s try again
As long as one can still live dreams
The big goal was far too far
For our dreams  …

So, go, an live your personal dreams!
New year, new opportunities!
Happy New Year!
culture, seasons

Happy New Year

dsc_6831_wfor everyone!

Many people use the beginning of a new year to negotiate some resolutions with themselves. Do you or did you?

Some want to stop smoking, others want to lose weight, learn another language, do more sports or spend more time
with the kids / family.

I usually don’t make such resolutions. I don’t need such an event for making plans for change. But for many people such New Year Resolutions are very helpful, although many of them fail. Why aren’t they successful? Often the resolutions are phrases up in a bad shape for being a resolution.

But what should one do, to make a resolution work? In case, you have a plan for a resolution, write it down, regardless when you get the idea. But, make it a goal!
For making a plan be a goal, you have to
– write it down
– keep a realistic timeline
– express it proof-able
– make a (realistic) plan, how you could reach the goal
– make a review appointment after half the time for adjustment purposes
– make another review appointment at the final date for proofing the goal

Here’s an example:
Say, you want to lose some weight. So, you shouldn’t say “I want to loose weight”. Instead you have to say “My goal is to lose 10 kg until easter”.  This is an example. You could certainly plan to lose 20 kg until the 1st of June. But keep it realistic. In case you have difficulties to estimate, what is realistic and what is too much, ask your friends, doctor or another advisor on that specific subject. Than write it down! Next write down the steps you want to execute to reach the goal. You could i.e. make appointments with yourself for a certain amount of time on certain times (i.e. every Monday and every Thursday at 6 p.m. go jogging for an hour) and record your status every month. Stay with your plan. Maybe you have to adjust some steps after some time. But try hard to stay on the line. At easter you could easily stop on your balance board to check your current weight and compare it to you starting weight. This it proofing your goal. Did you pass or did you fail? In case, you failed, how far away are you from your goal? What do you do now? Extend the time? Be satisfied by the reached result? Did you learn something during the time that is useful for the future? Write it down!

If you want to, you can use the space below to write about your resolutions. Do you make some, why and maybe which.

A new year is just like an empty sheet of paper. And it’s on you, what you’ll write on it. And next you can have a look back, and see what you have reached.

I assemble a book each year in December. A book containing the best photographs of that last year as an essence. Only about 40 – 60 photos out of 10,000.  My personal year in photographs. It’s an interesting way for a review.

Happy new year!