. . . as seen on display in one of our favourite Restaurants during our recent stay in Bangkok.
Forgive me my friends for not quite being myself today – Samba Music and other Carnival music (mostly in the Cologne- /Rhineland dialect) is to be heard in our house nearly all day, somehow household chores seem to be getting done just a bit easier J. So come and join me, play the first video “….Mer han dr Karneval em Blot …” and dance along with me.
“We have Carnival in our blood….”
Tomorrow, Monday, is the famous ‘Rosenmontag’ (Rosemonday) in Germany – the highlight of the Carnival season, celebrated by Millions of Germans and foreign tourists alike. No cold, snow or rain can keep us off the streets at this time. Old and young just want to do one thing – to dress up in any kind of costumes, the more ridiculous the better and often more fun, and to enjoy themselves. No social- or language barriers can stop us – because they simply don’t exist.
“Rosenmontag” sees an incredible parade of wonderful floats driving through the city centre – it is a fantastic spectacle and all along the route one can hear the cry “Kamelle” (sweets) of the crowds and the people on top of the floats oblige happily and by the arm full throw “Kamelle” into the swaying and singing throngs of people. Another float throws “Struessjer” (sweet little bouquets of flowers), tiny toys, Erasers into the crowd of “Jecken” (crazy people). But of course, I must not forget the “Buetzje” – little pecks/kisses on the cheeks, on this day it is like “kissing under t he Mistletoe”.
Once the parade is over, the celebrations don’t stop here – but continue in Pubs (Oh, give me a good Koelsch Beer), Restaurants and Halls -.
Difficult to bring you, who has never been there, quite the atmosphere? of that day, but let me include those two videos here (my thanks to Youtube) which will give you a little insight at least. And to all of you my friends, who have been there, even a long time ago, happy memories.
Kölle Alaaf! - LONG LIVE COLOGNE AND MY RHINELAND.
At last – after a long 5 months I am back on screen! I feel better and my Doctor promised that I will be completely ok again in another 5 months. But for now, that’s enough talking about me in connection with this (stupid) bathroom accident.
But somehow I have not completely got back into my daily routine as yet – or I would not have forgotten that in Germany, especially in my part of the world in Bonn/Cologne, we have entered the craziest few days of the year – the Carnival Season. So, when I switched on my TV this afternoon to see the German news on Deutsche Welle, I found out, that today is “Weiberfastnacht” in Bonn/Cologne. My urgent telephone call to the Cologne Tourism Office did not bring any result – everybody!! is out on the streets celebrating.
Why not come and look at this video on YouTube (with my thanks) – it’s in English! – It will introduce you to our Carnival. Believe me; nowhere do Germans celebrate their carnival as enthusiastically as in the Rhineland, in beautiful Cologne. And today, Thursday, we get our chance to take charge – it’s women’s day – Weiberfastnacht!
Have fun, come back for more this week-end and until then I leave you with our ‘battlecry’ – “KOELLE ALAAF”.
I woke up in my hotel bed long before the requested “wake up” call. Having taken my medicine for this wretched foot of mine, who’s swelling just refuses to come down, and enjoying my first cup of coffee lovingly prepared by JS, I too settled down to reading the morning paper but was soon slightly ‘put off’ by the usual headlines of gloom and doom from around the world. Contemplating if I really wanted to continue or listen to some nice gentle music instead my eyes were drawn to a small article complimented by a few photographs on the inside of this newspaper.
Once I started reading I simply could not stop and before I knew what hit me tears were streaming down my face. My subsequent sobbing made JS jump out of his chair and rush to my side assuming that I was overcome with too much pain. I could only point to the article which he quickly read and understood and the gentle man that he is, he let me cry for a little while. And a few moments later I realised that as apparently some of my tears were also part of a certain amount of self-pity because of the pain I have to endure right now, the majority were for this sad and at the same time beautiful story – and all my self-pity flew out of the window in one big whoosh. I even felt a bit ashamed for feeling sorry for myself – my problems are absolutely nothing compared to not only some stories here on screen but especially this heart rendering one.
Xie, a young 44 year old woman from Beijing, is suffering from terminal lung cancer in its last stages and she had only one wish – to get married to 50 year old Tea, who is from Korea and whom she had met 2 years ago. When he learned of her cancer he proposed and in December 2013 the two loving people tied the knot in an auditorium in Beijing. Xie who is now extremely thin and far too ill to stand during the 30 minutes ceremony, sat in a chair – looking as regal as a Queen and very radiant. Xie wore a tailor made western style long white wedding frock made out of satin and lots of lace.
But the most beautiful thing of all was to see the love and happiness of this beautiful bride and the love and devotion on her groom Tea’s face.
One can only wish and hope that this couple will be given the chance by “the powers above” to spend some more time together here on earth.
For Xie and Tea
(Photo: © Manningtree Archive)