Those Small Little Moments!

This rainbow in the Alster fountain! (Sunday, November 4). All pics by Franzi.

It’s time for a look back – those last four weeks were full of big and small events. In those tumultuous times, the small moments are those one has to enjoy the most and give back the power to go on.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Treasure those small pretty moments :)!

A surprise from Stephan: My very first time INSIDE the Elbphilharmonie – to listen to the singer songwriter Lisa Hannigan (Friday, October 20)

Those fall colors in my courtyard fascinated me (Saturday, October 21)

Hamburg’s television tower and the fairground lightened my way back home from my creative writing course (Monday, October 30)

My ‘little’ brother married (Friday, November 3)

Shiny ‘medals’ for junior scientists at the Nacht des Wissens (Night of the Sciences – Saturday, November 4)

The November light on the Isebekkanal (Saturday, November 11)

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Lately … on Instagram!

Race! All pics by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

Today just some new pictures from my Instagram account I made during the last four weeks. I use Instagram mainly as a way to live out my artsy moments ;). So, I thought it would be great to share the latest pics with you from time to time. Last month I discovered not only a loooong (chalk) snake in my courtyard, but I also visited for the first time a horse race, saw some stunning 1980s architecture in Chemnitz and enjoyed the evening sun at the Alster in Hamburg.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Have a beautiful one :)!

Snake!

Architecture (Chemnitz)

Evening (Alster – Hamburg)

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Those Small Pretty Moments!

Sunset on the Alster (Friday, August 4). All pics by Franzi.

The last four weeks felt like a rollercoaster ride. There were extremely emotional moments and I was always on the run. Looking back, I first remember those big events that were incredibly important for me and my pals. But then there were also those pretty little moments: The ones that lasted only some hours or even minutes and came unexpected. Those moments are what makes life worth living and the happy power boosters that always give me fresh energy.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Enjoy those small pretty moments :)!

Stunning view on the Dove Elbe in Vierlande (Friday, July 21)

A relaxed afternoon in the allotment garden of my pal Annika (Friday, July 21)

A tour through the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine with its impressive library (Thursday, July 27)

A walk from my dad’s house in Chemnitz to the Adelsbergturm – the same walk I did with my grandpa every time when I visited him as a kid (Saturday, July 29)

Home-made meringues and fresh roses from the Isemarkt (Friday, August 4)

On the CSD pre-party at the Jungfernstieg (Friday, August 4)

Sunset in Planten un Blomen (Saturday, August 5)

A relaxed evening on the couch: Just me, Stephan and a bottle of wine. Perfect (Tuesday, August 8)!

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In Memoriam of a Princess…

Pink roses for a princess who stated “A dash of pink is always a good idea!” Pic by Franzi.

Last Thursday a friend lost her battle against cancer. She was a hell of a fighter and will be missed forever.

I am incredibly thankful to knew her and for all the happy hours we had together. Never will I forget her singing this song or her sleepwalking or her homemade jams or her being able to be ready in the morning in only 5 minutes (max) or her or wild dance in a car full of helium-filled balloons at her hen night or her love of karaoke or her first attempts on a snowboard or her being “kidnapped” by some unfriendly police-officers or the situation in which I realized she was pregnant or her socks on the bath mat in our first winter vacations or all those other small events that we were able to enjoy together. …Or the moment she came back into the life of one of my besties, as her so-called “fortune cookie”.

She also was the big luck of another dear friend of mine – she was the mother of his son and his newly wed wife. …Those two people were the reason she fought this hard. T & H: Thanks for being at her side during this battle and all the strength you gave her.

I am grateful to had her into my life, in the life of my friends and for every intensive moment we were able to experience in the last year – despite all odds. Now that her fight is over, we will carry her in our hearts. To enjoy every moment – that is what she taught as during those last months.

Goodbye princess C. You will be in our hearts forever.

I wish you a week full of memorable moments. Enjoy every second!

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Essay: Fear of Flying…

Pic by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

This week is a special one: My two pals Isa and André will marry. Life writes the most incredible, wonderful stories!

Both decided for getting married abroad. To be more precise: In Portugal (Algarve), at the Sea. When Isa asked me and Stephan to join them there, I said yes immediately. No matter if I am afraid of flying or not – I will be there, when those two special friends of mine tie the knot.

While I am writing those lines the two of them are already up in the air. Stephan and me will follow them soon and I am starting to get nervous.

My fear of flying started after a – let’s call it not so nice – flight to Cuba when I was still an adolescent. I never loved flying, but I was not really afraid of it. Then I didn’t fly for some years. It just didn’t happen. When I finally sat in a plane, 18 years old, on my way to Turkey to celebrate the end of school with friends (André was one of them) I only realized I was getting a panic attack when the plane started to move. Unfortunately, at this point it was a bit late to exit. My seatmate was an elderly lady who gave her very best to calm me down until we finally arrived. I don’t know how I get back from Turkey but afterwards I avoided flying – I was too afraid of my own fear.

Nevertheless, I still loved to travel: I went to Rome, Paris, London and Vienna by train. Also to Brussels and Prague and Amsterdam.

Then, 7 years after my last flight, my doctoral supervisor decided I had to fly to Nice for a conference. Luckily my friend and colleague Lars accompanied me. It was a remarkable journey: We lost our luggage and missed our connecting flight in Paris. In between all the chaos, Lars calmed me down by talking and holding my sweaty hands. Somehow we made it to Nice and back. It was totally worth all the drama!

Nice was a turning point: Together with Isa, I booked a flight to Barcelona. She was the perfect travel companion and soon realized, that the way to get me on board (and to cry only a little bit) was to talk to me and distract me. After Barcelona, we also flew to London and back. With every flight, I was slowly getting better in confronting my fear.

But then life went busy and time and money were tight. So, my last flight is already four years ago and my fear returned.

Lately, a friend of mine told me the most remarkable thing:

“I love the take-off. At this point you have no more control about what is happening. You just have to go with the flow and feel free.”

This sentence reminds me on the yogi-way of thinking. I am practicing yoga for years now but I am still not able to give up the control. Still it’s a daring thought and I will have it in mind when the plane will finally start to move on its way to Portugal.

Just in case this will not help, I bought an herbal calmative and Stephan resolved to tell me lots of interesting stories to distract me and to hold my sweaty hands.

Now I cannot await the journey to begin – as well as to be with Isa and André on this very special day.

I wish you a wonderful May week! Dare something :)!

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Essay: Looking at Night into Foreign Windows!

Pics by Franzi.

I love walking, even when it’s dark outside. It frees my mind, I finally end the day with the recommended 10,000 steps and some fresh air, smelling distinctively like the current season – filled with the thick scent of blooms in spring, sunny and dry in summer, humid and spicy on fall nights, clear and icy in the winter.

Strolling through the night

When it’s dark, only a few people are still outside. Everything is a lot quieter than during the day. Fewer passers-by, less chitchat, fewer cars. Life is going on inside the houses, not on the dark sidewalks outside. Strolling through the night is meditative. A good moment to recapitulate the day’s events or simply to let flow the thoughts.

A glimpse of life

Illuminated windows are like doors to other worlds. They show glimpses of the life  inside all those foreign houses: The family at their dinner table, the book shelves stacked with hundreds of thick volumes, the kitchen counter with a basket of fruits, the flicker of a TV. Passing all those light boxes, watching them for maybe two seconds, moving along, it’s easy to invent a very own story  about the just seen scenario: The family on the table maybe just speaks about an adventure the kid experienced the day, the bowl of fruits was maybe shopped on the farmers market this morning, the men in front of the TV is maybe enjoying his leisure time after a hard day at work.

Every window tells another story

I love those little insights into foreign worlds. It gives my own world another perspective. I am here, walking outside, those people are inside, having a great or maybe bad evening together or alone, living their life until tomorrow. Then everyone will leave his or her home again, a new day starts with all those new stories to experience.

As a kid I was living in Berlin, in a block of apartment houses. My bedroom window had a free view onto the 12-floor building opposite. There were around 100 windows. During a sleepless night I would sit on the window-sill and imagine a story for every illuminated window I saw. Those dream journeys into foreign lives made me calm and sleepy, until I was ready to go to bed again.

Today, coming home from those evening walks, I am also a lot more relaxed then when I left only half an hour ago. Here I am, letting the world outside. Closing the curtains. Switching on the light. There are a lot of stories out there. Now it’s time for my very own.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have one full of little stories :)!

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New Year’s Resolution V: Visit more Museums!

Pic by Franzi. Instagram @luckmysocalled.

My fifth resolution: Visit more museums (and exhibitions)! I realized that this important part of my life didn’t play the same role last year as in the past.

I maybe was only five times in a museum during the last twelve months. Last week I visited THIS fantastic exhibition and learned a lot about my own country. So, next year I resolve to spent more time with cultural events, museums and exhibitions.

Have a beautiful day :)!

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New Year’s Resolution I: Relax More!

Pic by Franzi. Instagram @luckmysocalled.

It’s this week again… X-Mas is (nearly) over, the new year is already knocking on our doors and it’s time for my New Year’s resolutions 2017! Today the first one: Relax more. I know, I know: This one comes every year. And I am really bad in fulfilling it.

A good friend of mine wrote me yesterday that the series “Franzi on tour through Germany” must have more episodes than the famous German soap opera Lindenstraße. Maybe he exaggerated a bit and the reason I am traveling this much is simply because I am still flexible (<- no kids) and most of my closest friends are living elsewhere. So, I promise that I will not stop traveling, but I will give myself more pauses – for my hobbies, yoga and just some me time.

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week – have a relaxed one :)!

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Winter Vacation Special: One Quote a Day! #Day6 (or something like that)

6 Monday 2Pic by Franzi.

Day six (or something like that), quote six.

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Summer Bucket List!

Summer Bucket ListPic by Franzi.

I’m a big bucket list fan… To write a list of to-dos and to talk about it is not only a reminder for oneself – it also creates some pressure to actually do those things. Here are the ten things I plan to do during the summer of 2015:

1. Swim in the sea & pick up shells on the beach.

2. Go to an open-air cinema.

3. Eat gazpacho.

4. Go to an open-air concert.

5. Have a picnic.

6. Have at least a handful of BBQs.

7. Read at least three books.

8. Try out three new ice-cream variations.

9. Walk from Hamburg’s Landungsbrücken to Wedel.

10. Have a handful of after-work beers/wine spritzers in a nice beer garden.

…And now comes the pressure-part: At the end of summer, I will tell you how many of those activities I really have done :).

What’s your summer bucket list? I wish you a wonderful start into this next hot, hot summer week!

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