Friday, 31 December 2010

Silvesterabend - New Years Eve

Ein Jahr neigt sich zu Ende....

Dass bald das neue Jahr beginnt,
spuer ich nicht im geringsten.
Ich merke nur: Die Zeit verrinnt
genauso wie an Pfingsten.

Die Zeit verrinnt. Die Spinne spinnt
in heimlichen Geweben.
Wenn heute Nacht ein Jahr beginnt,
beginnt ein neues Leben.
(Joachim Ringelnatz 1883-1934)

Einen guten Rutsch in's Neue Jahr!



31. Dezember 2010


Minuit au Chateau...

...and what am I wearing? 

preferable this Robe from Dior (1993)


...we probably end up just 'casual' and very quietly
at home with a glass of Champagne... or two... 



Thursday, 30 December 2010


Natural Colors and Natural Materials

calm - harmonious - timeless 

all images COTE  OUEST  2010

- my own - 

Sunday, 26 December 2010

26. December - History

..... known in Ireland as
  St. Stephen's Day

In Irish, it is called (Gaelic) La Fhéile Stiofan or La an Dreonilin
- the latter translates literally as another English name used,

the Day of the Wren

Although now mostly a discontinued tradition,
in certain parts of Ireland persons carrying
either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren,
travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing.
Depending on which region of the country, 
they are called Wrenboys and Mummers.
St. Stephen's Day is also a popular day for visiting family members.

A popular rhyme, known to many Irish children
and sung at each house visited by the mummers goes as follows:

The wren, the wren.....

...the king of all birds,
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Although he was little his honour was great,
Jump up me lads and give us a treat.

As I was going to Killenaule,
I met a wren upon the wall.
Up with me wattle and knocked him down,
And brought him in to Carrick Town.

Droolin, Droolin, where's your nest?
Tis in the bush that I love best
In the tree, the holly tree,
Where all the boys do follow me.

Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
And give us a penny to bury the wren.

I followed the wren three miles or more,
Three miles or more, three miles or more.
I followed the wren three miles or more,
At six o'clock in the morning.

I have a little box under me arm,
Under me arm under me arm,
I have a little box under me arm,
A penny or tuppence would do it no harm.

Mrs. Clancy's a very good woman,
a very good woman, a very good woman,
Mrs. Clancy's a very good woman,
She give us a penny to bury the wren.
(this version is popularized by the Irish group The Clancy Brothers)


Boxing Day 


The tradition has long included giving money and other gifts to those
who were needy and in service positions.

Hundreds of years ago,
during the Age of Exploration when great sailing ships 
were setting off to discover new land,
A Christmas Box was used as a good luck device.
It was a small container placed on each ship while it was still in port.
It was put there by a priest, and those crewmen who wanted
to ensure a safe return would drop money into the box.
It was then sealed up and kept on board for the entire voyage.
If the ship came home safely, 
the box was handed over to the priest in the exchange
for the saying of a Mass of thanks for the success of the voyage.
The priest would keep the box sealed until Christmas
when he would open it to share the contents with the poor.

During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor
would "box up" their leftover food, or sometimes gifts
and distribute them the day after Christmas 
to tenants who lived and worked on their lands.
Around the 1800s, churches opened their alms boxes 
and distributed the contents to the poor.

It certainly became a custom of the nineteen-century Victorians
for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts 
on the day after Christmas in return 
for good and reliable service throughout the year.

Another possibility is that the name "Boxing Day"
derives from an old English tradition:
In exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowner's Christmases ran smoothly,
their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families.
The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses.




2. Weihnachtsfeiertag - 'Second Christmas Day'
It is also a Holiday and was invented by Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) 

Happy St. Stepen's Day - Boxing Day - 2. Weihnachtstag 
- or just a good and friendly Day! 

1. Picture: Painting by Susanne Kirwana (www.SuseDolAmroth)
2. Picture by Jobst H. Klemme

This little birdy 'wren' is named in German "Zaunkoenig" - the 'fence king'

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
four Larks and a Wren,
Have all build their nests in my beard!"

by Edward Lear, American Poet and Painter (1812-1888)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day

After all "Jingle Bell's" and 
my traditional "Weihnachtslieder"
which I mostly enjoy.....
On Christmas morning, between 10:00 and 12:00
and during preparing Christmas lunch,
I love to listen to

This music is so joyful and inspires my cooking.
Adding a little bit of this and that..... here and there....
and humming along with the  cantata! 

     Johann Sebastian Bach     

1685-1750, Leipzig

Cantata BWV 248.I

Jauchzet, frohlocket...

 ...auf, preiset die Tage,
Ruehmet was heute der Hoechste getan!

Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage,
Stimmet voll Jauchzen und Froehlichkeit an!

Dienet dem Hoechsten mit herrlichen Choeren,
Lasst uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren!

Celebrate, rejoice, rise up and praise the time,
glorify what the Highest has done today!
Abandon despair, banish laments,
sound forth full of delight and happiness!
Serve the Highest with glorious choruses,
let us honor the name of the Supreme Ruler!

 Thomaskirche in Leipzig with the Thomanerchor

I like to recommend....

...from our friend TON KOOPMAN

Happy Holidays

Froehliche Feiertage


Second picture: Barock Church in Gutenzell, South Germany
All photos from internet
Unfortunately the text of the cantata translate not very well
into English

Friday, 24 December 2010

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Weihnachten - Christmas

23. December....

Morgen, Kinder, wird's was geben....
morgen werden wir uns freun!

Tomorrow, Children......

Welch ein Trubel....

What a hurly-burly...

...welch ein Leben...

wird in unsrem Hause sein!

Wie wird dann die Stube glaenzen
von der grossen Lichterzahl!
Schoener als bei frohen Taenzen
ein geputzter Kronensaal.

Einmal werden wir noch wach,
heissa, dann ist Weihnachtstag! 

Only one more night...


Images: COTE SUD December 97

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Trees - Baeume

Advice from a Tree
By Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,

Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter

Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light

Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!  

 Henry William Burges, Landscape painter, 1827

The Beauty of Trees in their Winterdress....

Our Walnut Tree, Périgord



'Sleeping' Trees - Black Forest



Our 200 year old Yew Tree, Périgord 

By Joyce Kilmer  (1886-1918)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Many thanks to Bob from Kentucky who sent me the poem of Joyce Kilmer