Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary


January, How the New Year Started

January, 2012

Written 31 +

Dear Friends and Family,


I have not written in a month, for a variety of reasons, but now I will try to catch up. Again, this is mostly for our own memory-crutch, so when we are old and crotchety (next month), we'll be able to say "remember when ...").


The last set of diaries was all America, all Christmas, all family and mostly pictures. This one will be different: mostly text, not much family, and very few pictures. Oh well, that's kind of how our life goes too.

We did manage to celebrate New Year's Eve with dinner with friends Marilyn and Dieter's house. Nice food and conversation, as always. After dessert, we claimed "jet lag" and left well before midnight. We were in bed when the new year came, but not sleeping. The local custom is for neighbors to set off fireworks and Harald and Marion next door made a great show for us. I just looked out the bedroom window and had a great view.

Later in January we dinned with the local friends again and again enjoyed the conversation. The mediocre food was at a restaurant-I-shan't-name and shan't-return-to. A few days after that, Marianne and I met Robin and Art up in Frankfurt, again good conversation and, in this case, pretty good restaurant food. Sometimes you win, sometimes not.

Marianne's big January activity has been the start of preparing for her first art showing. In March, she will have some of her pictures hanging in the hotel in Offenbach where I normally stay. The "vernissage", or opening party, is March 1 and we have lots to do before that. Naming and framing. Fixing and pricing. Making business cards. Making a web-page. (or two, since Gabby is helping with a more professional one too.)

I don't know if it was the jet lag, the vernissage preparation, the Germany gray winter skies, or just laziness, but I have not taken many photos this month and nothing worth sharing (except for Marianne's pictures.) I have excuses, and I do intend to get busy again, but I struggle a bit for inspiration. This weekend is supposed to be sunny, but bitter cold: minus 25 C (=minus 13 F) Saturday night. Probably freezes my inspiration.

Otherwise, I'm back at work. It's been pretty negative around the office since Germany has decided to shut down all their nuclear plants. That will cause the loss of over a thousand jobs in the German part of our company. People are taking different tacks to stay out of the lay-off list.

Since I work for the American part, I'm not directly threatened but just in case, I have finally decided to retire. I will work through the last day of June and then, after a proper Independence Day BBQ on July 1, we'll be on our own. We'll stay in Germany for the forseable future, since we own a house here and really have no American home at this point. Some day, we'll leave, but not now.

What we ARE doing is planning what to do during retirement, starting with the first months. We have decreed that July will be France, August Germany, September Italy, and October America. There are over 200 countries in the world after that, so I think we'll run out of money and time before we run out of places. We'll keep the diaries up-to-date**.

So, that's about it for now. Take care and do tell us if you want to visit, or we'll tell you where the key is hidden.


John ( and Marianne-the-almost-famous-artist)


**ps: My diary production system has gotten a shock over the last week or so. I made the mistake of trying to upgrade my laptop's computer system, only to discover my software no longer worked. When I tried to revert to the old systems, the whole world fell apart. I became friends with several people on the Apple Help Line with hours of conversation over three or four days. (Actually, they were all great: friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and understandable.) It actually took more than 20 hours of downloading replacements for software I lost and, in the end, I could not reconstruct the software I use for the website. Consequently, the only way I can build the website for now is on the old, home machine. I need to work out a fix before we travel! ( Replacing my old software is $400 and puts me at the mercy of Adobe again. Not sure I want to go there. )



Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary