[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-gLRp5bSpw[/youtube]The best news about Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, is: It’s good. Really good. While I liked Daniel Craig as James Bond from the start, I was not overly impressed by either Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace. Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ0L7O_khbs[/youtube]I have very mixed feelings about Suzanne Vega. When I was at university, for six months I lived next door to this very nice girl named JoAnn, who loved listening to music. Really loved it. Did I mention the walls were thin? Her favorite albums were Suzanne Vega’s Solitude Standing and Tracy Chapman’s Tracy Chapman. And believe me, there are only so many times a day you want to listen to Tom’s Diner or Talking ’bout a Revolution. That said, I have since recovered from Vega overload and have come to quite like her. Luka, with its harrowing lyrics and lovely melody, is probably my favorite song by her.
Are there songs that you hated due to ever-exposure in the past, but that you like now?
– Rike Horstmann
This year, for the first time ever I have made plum jam according to my mother’s recipe. It worked out beautifully, I now don’t understand why I never made it before, and it’s so easy! Here’s how you make it:
The main ingredient is 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of common plums (prunus domestica domestica) or zwetschges – the names for this sort of plum may vary regionally, but they are dark blueish purple and oval (see below; these are from our garden) – with the stones removed. Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVGinwDu0L8[/youtube]This song is what I call an insidious earworm: It sticks to the back of your mind even after you’ve just heard the first few notes, and doesn’t leave you for days.
I don’t even particularly like this song. I understand it’s emotionally charged with memories of 09/11 for many, and for that reason I respect it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the kind of song that does not appeal to me much. Still, it sticks to me like a burr whenever I hear even a snatch of it.
Yesterday, someone hummed it near me – and here is my revenge on you all: I’m giving you the earworm.
– Rike Horstmann
No report of visiting Bavaria is complete without mentioning the food. It’s just that delicious! When I speak of Bavarian food, what I really mean is Southern German and Austrian food, because reciped have been traded in these regions for centuries, local cuisines have enriched each other and the result is a variety of cooking that is similar in all these areas.
I want to begin with the beer, because no proper Bavarian would dream of sitting down for a full meal without a beer. There are several sorts, most important Pils, Helles (similar to but not the same as lager), and Weißbier. For those who try to avoid alcohol, there is alcohol-reduced beer and alcohol-free beer these days. I prefer the latter; when we went to Oktoberfest last weekend and I ordered some there, my husband was quite shocked it was actually available! Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoWcgP7SUD4[/youtube]For me, Marianne Faithfull is a true “mood” musician. Sometimes, I don’t listen to her for months, next I take an album of hers and listen to it non-stop. Continue reading
The best part of my recent trip was a visit to Rose Island or Roseninsel, as it’s called in German, in the Starnberger See. There is only the one small islet in the whole of the rather big lake, and it’s a truly magical place.
The first people settled there in the Stone Age, and from one point at the shore, you can see the remains of their stilt houses in the water (when it’s clear enough). I was fortunate enough to be able to see them, but taking a good picture didn’t work!
King Maximilian II of Bavaria bought the island from a local fisherman, and used it as a summer retreat for himself and his family. Continue reading
My husband and I spent this year’s summer vacation in the south of Bavaria, on the shores of the Starnberger See. It came as a bit of a surprise, as we had other holiday plans at first, but wasn’t it a marvellous place! I fell in love with the area immediately, and am now plotting how to acquire a retirement home there in the future … Just kidding. The housing prices there are about the highest in the whole of Germany. Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7Vu7cqB20[/youtube]Although I only watched the competitions now and then, I enjoyed the Olympic Games in London hugely. By all accounts, they were especially happy and friendly, and I think you could sense that even from the TV screens. Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PTJHhUeAfc[/youtube]I’ve been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run a lot recently, and the song Jungleland is the one that has stuck with me the most. I love the way the different melodies and instruments are weaved together, and the urgency of Springsteen’s voice as he delivers it. Unfortunately it’s too complicated for me to sing without a score, but I catch myself humming snatches of melodies.
What is your favorite Springsteen song?
– Rike Horstmann