in flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– John McCrae, 1915

Everyone who went to school in Canada should know the first line; everyone who’s used cash in Canada since 2001 has probably caught at least the picture of the poppy, if not the entire text, on the back of the $10 bill. What an incredibly evocative and powerful poem.

naturalisation? nein danke

Happy eight year anniversary, Germany. We could officially get hitched, y’know. One of your conditions would be that I dump Canada and Hong Kong, which I’d never do. I used to think this was a bit of a pity; every time I stood in line at immigration at a European airport I salivated at the thought of a red passport.Read More »

sportliche berg- und talfahrt

Werfen und fangen. Werfen und fangen kann ich sehr gut. Das ist genau meine Sportart. Ich weiß nicht, ob jeder ‘seinen’ Sport hat, der am besten zu ihm passt. Was heißt denn “passen” tatsächlich? (Was heißt “Sport”?!) Vielleicht ist es die Bewegung, die man angenehm findet und die einem Freude bringt.

Spaß und Freude durch körperliche Bewegung ist mir sehr wichtig. Ansonsten fühlt es sich nur an wie Arbeit! Ich treibe seit meiner Kindheit Sport. In der 2. Klasse habe ich Badmintonunterricht gehabt. Während der Pausen in der 3. und 4. Klassen habe ich nur gebolzt. In der 5. Klasse habe ich Basketball für mich entdeckt und mich sofort, für das nächste Jahrzehnt, in ihn verliebt. Nebenbei habe ich in der 7. Klasse mit Feldhockey und Netzball angefangen, die ich die nächsten vier bzw. sechs Jahren spielen würde. Dennoch stand Basketball stand immer ganz Vorne auf meiner Prioritätenliste.Read More »

my 2015

WHOOSH! 2015: blink and you’ll miss it.

I’d resigned from my job at the end of 2014, so from then on till I actually left it was smooth sailing. There was considerably less anguish and misery than the previous year, because the end was in sight. Leaving my job was the big event that defined my 2015. Almost everything else that happened resulted directly or indirectly from that.Read More »

children’s books are magic

golden compass philip pullman a swiftly tilting planet madeleine l'englethe thief of always clive barkerthe outsiders s.e. hintonsolitaire mystery jostein gaarder a handful of time kit pearson













Every summer when I was a kid my mom would drop my sister and me off at the public library for the day. I would start by returning the books I had borrowed and finished from the previous day and grab a book recommendations list that was available on a coloured slip of paper. There were several lists according to genre and age. I’d wander around the children’s section, pulling things off shelves. What I couldn’t finish during the day I checked out to read later – in the car, at the dinner table, in bed.Read More »

thanksgiving leftovers

Day 10: Turkey grilled cheese
Day 10: Turkey grilled cheese

Thanksgiving is stuffed full of cliches. They usually turn out to be true. The overabundance and excess of food is one. The shoulda-worn-sweatpants laments are another. I managed to rein in my eating this year – more because I was the host and actually had responsibilities than because I’ve developed self-discipline, I’m afraid.

Let’s talk grilled cheeses. Read More »