Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year evening dinner

My New Year evening dinner: German vinegar potato salad and salmon. Very nice and tasty.

German New Year sweets

These are traditional german New Year sweets, some special cookies and whats called "good luck bugs" made of chocolate. So not only in Cambodia but also Germany people eat bugs. Only difference over here they made of chocolate and they eat this chocolate bugs only at New Year and Easter celebrations. :-D

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 in Cambodia

Now it is midnight in Cambodia and the new year begins. I want to wish our family, friends and reader of our blog in Cambodia a very happy, healthy, prosperous new year 2010. May all your wishes come true and may love and happiness accompany you all through this new year.

And of course, I want to wish you, my pdey samlanh a happy new year. I am with you over distance and may this new year be happy, healthy, bright and full of love for you and us. As this new year begins, we move closer to the day we will move and live together, united as family and couple in our everlasting Love. ILYSM!

Source of the photo: http://cambodiaphotos.blogspot.com/2008/10/cambodia-soccer.html

Celebrating Silvester in Germany



Why do Germans call New Year's Eve Silvester? And what's with all the mustard-filled doughnuts, firecrackers, and melted lead? The Local has the lowdown.

No your friend isn't planning to ring in 2009 with someone named Sylvester instead of you. Silvester is the German name for New Year's Eve – owing to the fourth century Pope Sylvester I. Eventually made a saint by the Catholic Church, his feast day is observed on December 31.

St. Sylvester’s day became associated with New Year's Eve with the reform of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, when the last day of the year was fixed at December 31. But despite the holiday's Christian name, many German New Year's traditions can be traced back to the pagan Rauhnächte practices of heathen Germanic tribes, which took place at the end of December and beginning of January.

Instead of recognizing a single day as the winter solstice, the Germanic tribes observed twelve Rauhnächte – hairy nights, so called due to the furry forms of the deep winter demons – or Rauchnächte – smoky nights, due to the practice of smoking the spirits out of one’s house on January 5. Bringing very little sun to the northern regions, the twelve Rauhnächte were considered days outside of time, when the solar and lunar years were allowed to re-synchronise. Silvester took place right in the middle of the twelve Rauhnächte and was the night of the god Wotan’s wild hunt, a time of particular commotion and celebration.

As in many other countries, the Germans celebrate Silvester with fireworks, champagne, and boisterous social gatherings. Making noise is key: the ruckus of fireworks, firecrackers, drums, whip-cracking and banging kitchen utensils has been driving away evil winter spirits since the days of the Germanic Teutons. One of the most famous German firework displays takes place at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Private celebrations with Böllern (firecrackers) are also common.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20091231-16425.html

How to eat Jackfruit

http://cambodiacalling.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-eat-jackfruit.html

Really nice article and great photos on how to eat Jackfruit. Makes me really miss the great cambodian food and fruits I love so much.

New year celebration in Germany

Now it is just around noon in Germany and still any hours to go till the new year celebrations begin. Just want to share a little bit about the way to celebrate new year over here.

As christmas is a holiday focusing so much on the family, the new year celebration is the holiday focusing so much on the loved one, on the one and only. That might be one reason why I miss YOU so desperately much already all day long.

Normally at around 6pm people meet with friends and having dinner and than new years party together. Couples spend this evening and night very close together. At midnight than first thing everybody does is to wish his loved one a happy new year, couples hold each other in the arms and the first kiss of the new year is for the loved one. Will miss this tonight a lot to give you this first kiss of the new year and to be with you.

There is only one little comfort, to know that from next year on, all new years celebrations we will spend and live together.

After wishing each other a happy new year, this wish is getting extended to the friends at the party and than everybody leaves the house to go outside, to watch the fireworks all over the city or even start its own firworks. All the neighbours are on the street watching and doing there own fireworks too.

When the fireworks are finished everybody goes into the house again and the party continues.

Tonight I will not join any party, because you are not with me and because Dad died just a few weeks ago. So I will just stay quiet at home, cherish the memories of our lovely times together this year, around 23.30pm I will lighten candles and incense on our altar at home, in front of your photos too and just say a short prayer and makes wishes to Buddha, that all beings might find happiness and that you and we might be blessed in our Love and preperations for our move together in the coming year. Than at midnight I will stand in front of your engagement photo, with a glass of champaign, look into your lovely eyes on that photo and wish you a happy and blessed new year. Will miss you at midnight than a lot, maybe you can see and feel me than in your dreams while you sleep in Cambodia. ILYSM!


Source of the photo: http://www.darleenclick.com/weblog/archives/2006/12/index.html

Happy New Year 2010 with Music from Abba

As the celebrations for the new year are approaching I found this YouTube video with a very favorite song from ABBA which is played over here in Germany in many homes and at many partys at midnight. So I want to share this video with this popular New Year song:

Ribery on his way to Madrid next summer

Bayern Munich's French international Franck Ribery is set for a €55-million move to Real Madrid next summer, a year before his contract at the German giants expires, a report said Wednesday.

According to the German specialist website ran.de, the move was hammered out in August between Bayern and the Spanish club at the time of Dutch star Arjen Robben's transfer to Munich.

Bayern did not pay Real the agreed €25 million price for the Dutch winger, instead sitting on the cash in anticipation of the Ribery deal, said ran.de, which is owned by German private broadcaster Sat.1.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20091230-24275.html

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quote as New Year resolution

"Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life ... today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day. Such is the salutation to the dawn."


Today I found this really good quote on a website. Think this quote and living up to its meaning is a very good new years resolution.
Want to make every day in the coming year to a dream of happiness and a vision of hope, together with YOU.
Want to focus on every day with that attitude and live each day well, based on the values and principles which are important to me and based on the everlasting Love which unites us, as couple and family. ILYSM!


Source of the graphic: http://allproactive.com/blog/2009/07/mid-new-years-resolution-special/

Video: Cambodia - Kingdom of Wonder

Found this video on YouTube promoting Cambodia for tourism, really nice to watch, as I really love Cambodia as my second home so much. Also so many places shown in there, where we have been together. So many lovely memories of our times come to my mind and heart by seeing the video and listening to the music of the video. ILYSM!

Rare New Year's Eve 'blue moon' to ring in 2010

Once in a blue moon there is one on New Year's Eve. Revelers ringing in 2010 will be treated to a so-called blue moon. According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue — the name has nothing to do with the color of our closest celestial neighbor.

A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.

"If you're in Times Square, you'll see the full moon right above you. It's going to be that brilliant," said Jack Horkheimer, director emeritus of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of a weekly astronomy TV show.

The New Year's Eve blue moon will be visible in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa. For partygoers in Australia and Asia, the full moon does not show up until New Year's Day, making January a blue moon month for them.

However, the Eastern Hemisphere can celebrate with a partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve when part of the moon enters the Earth's shadow. The eclipse will not be visible in the Americas.

A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, and most years have 12. On average, an extra full moon in a month — a blue moon — occurs every 2.5 years. The last time there was a lunar double take was in May 2007. New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last time was in 1990; the next one won't come again until 2028.

To read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091230/ap_on_sc/us_sci_blue_moon

Mean OUR first new year celebration as couple and family is under a good sign! ILYSM! When I watch the full moon at midnight on the 31st while watching the fireworks over Bochum, I will see you there in the moon, smiling at me and being at my side. IMYSM!

Father and brother jailed for 'honour killing'

A 50-year-old Turkish man was jailed for life in Germany on Tuesday over the brutal "honour killing" of his 20-year-old daughter, a murder carried out together with the victim's twin brother.

Gülsüm Semin's brother was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars, while a 32-year-old Russian accomplice was given seven and a half years by the court in Kleve, western Germany, a spokeswoman said.

On March 2 the young woman, who had recently had an abortion, was lured to a patch of wasteland where her brother and the accomplice strangled her with a cord and beat her in the face with a club and a tree branch, the court found.

The woman had been in conflict for some time with her family because she had chosen to adopt a "Western" lifestyle that was incompatible with the traditional Muslim way of life as seen by her father, police said.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20091229-24241.html

Another sad story and example where religious fanatism and islamisn can lead to.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dinner: German noodle salad

Dont know why, but this late afternoon and evening so far I am not in such a good mood, feeling somehow restless. Maybe just the mail today that Phowa has been done for Dad brought back some memories of him passing away a few weeks ago. To my mind came the christmas and new year celebrations with my parents when I was a little boy. Will be a strange feeling this year not to call him on the 31st at midnight to wish him a happy new year, as in all these years before.
So I had a quiet dinner tonight, full of memories and with a lot of missing YOU.
Had for dinner a traditional german noodle salad with fried sausages, really tasty and nice, only you were missing to have it together. IMYSM ILYSM

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Buddhist Phowa ceremony done for Dad

In November I wrote here (Our family blog - JW and SH: Buddhist Phowa for the Dead, requested for Dad to be done) about my request to Lama Ole to do the Buddhist Phowa ceremony for him, after he passed away.

Today I received a email that Lama Ole did Phowa for Dad during his Phowa course in San Diego and even a second time during a course in Uruguay. He send me best wishes and told me that I now can remove Dads photo from our altar, that everything is now done for him and that he is now in a really good state.

Sounds weird, but after reading this, I felt so peaceful and had a feeling like Dad telling me that everything now is well and that I can finish the time of mourning for him. Hard to decribe, but somehow I know that now everything regarding him is well.


Lama Ole during Phowa course
Source of the photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91861350@N00/202143071

South Asian Nightmare

In June, Gaithersburg resident Kyaw Zaw Lwin traveled from Thailand to New York to deliver a petition to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special adviser on Burma. The petition, with 680,000 signatures, called on the secretary-general to exert pressure for the release of more than 2,000 political prisoners.

Now, in a tragic twist - and as the Obama administration moves forward with a new policy of increased engagement with Burma - Mr. Zaw Lwin, a U.S. citizen who often goes by the name Nyi Nyi Aung, has disappeared into a Burmese jail cell himself. (Although the ruling junta changed the country's name in English from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, I and most supporters of freedom and human rights there prefer the original name.)

On Sept. 3, Mr. Zaw Lwin flew to Rangoon, where Burmese authorities arrested him on arrival. Returning to Burma, which he left in 1988, may seem a little crazy. Mr. Zaw Lwin works for the Free Burmese Political Prisoners Now campaign in Thailand; his mother and two cousins are serving lengthy prison terms in Burma for participating in the peaceful demonstrations in 2007.

To read more: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/10/02/south-asian-nightmare?tr=y&auid=5760630

What the World Can Learn from 10 Years of Excesses

The first decade of the 21st century was marked by crises. Militant Islamists attacked New York, the financial system crashed, the climate is threatened by catastrophe and democracy lost some of its standing. All this put together has spelled a debacle for the West, although the Internet represents a ray of hope.

Philipp Blom is a man who knows something about the beginnings of centuries. He is sitting in Café Korb in Vienna, a place where time does not so much move as remain frozen in place. He is here to compare the beginning of the 21st century with the beginning of the 20th century.

Blom has written a wonderful book, "The Vertigo Years," about Europe in the years between 1900 and 1914, a period he describes as a nervous time. The pace had quickened, and new inventions, particularly the automobile and the telephone, condensed and accelerated life. It was overwhelming for many people, and "neurasthenia" or nervous exhaustion became the disorder of the age. Today we would talk about "burnout."

On the other hand, says Blom, it was a time of hope and utopian ideas. People looked forward to the future, and to a more affluent, equitable and pleasant world. Then the Great War began.

Blom sees both parallels and differences between that era and today. At the beginning of the 21st century, there has also been a surge of innovation that has condensed and accelerated life, he says, and this time new technology -- the Internet and, to an even greater degree, the combination of the Internet and the mobile phone -- is also the driving force behind change.

The difference, says Blom, is that the beginning of this century has not yielded any hope for the future. Blom utters a depressing sentence: "We don't want a future, we want a present that doesn't end." It isn't as if this present were so attractive, he says -- it's just that people are worried that things could get even worse.

In a few days, the first decade of the 21st century and of the third millennium will come to an end. It was a decade that began, not with a smooth transition into a new era but with a bang. It was a decade filled with crisis years: the 9/11 crisis, the climate crisis, the financial crisis and the crisis of democracy. Taken together, they represent a general crisis for the West. Things could hardly have gone any worse over the course of decade.

To read this complete interesting article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,668729,00.html

Monday, December 28, 2009

Berlin condemns Iran

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday slammed the "unacceptable" crackdown on Iranian pro-opposition demonstrators by state security forces and pressed Tehran to respect civil rights.

"I condemn the recent violent clashes in Iran in which people died due to the unacceptable actions of the security forces," she said in a strongly worded statement.

"I call on Iran to live up to its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," she said. "In particular, the right to free expression through peaceful demonstrations must not be restricted or suppressed by violence."

Merkel expressed her sympathies with the families of those killed in the anti-government protests, after Iranian state media put the death toll at eight, and called on Tehran to defuse the situation.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091228-24215.html

I think a government run by religious, intolerant fanatics must be condemned. Basic human rights are non-existent there, this is really a shame and will finally lead to more rebellion against this religious, inhuman dictatorship. Sad for every person in Iran and elsewhere in the world who must suffer from a islamic, intolerant religion and society.

Motionless poem

Found this nice poem, to describe so well what I feel about you, us and our life together. Just to say thank you for a wonderful, thoughtful and loving celebration of Christmas together over webcam. ILYSM!

Motionless

If time could stand still, I’d freeze it here,
So you’d always hold me, close and near.
In your arms, where I’m meant to be,
Filled with the perfect love you’ve given me.

A bond so strong, a hold so tight,
To know you’re the one; my ‘Mr. Right’.
A blessing sent from up above,
In you I’ve found my one true love.

Our lives entwined to be as one,
Upon this journey we’ve just begun.
Where you and I will find no less,
Than eternal love and happiness.

- Kelley Saint -

Angkor Wat Video

Have found this great National Geographic video on Angkor Wat, really nice to watch. Feel so much reminded of our lovely time there in October, so many memories of us being there came to my mind. IMYSM!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dinner: Thai chicken curry

For dinner some Thai chicken curry, not fresh but made from a can, not bad but also not really nice. Very big difference to the fresh cambodian meals we cook together. Miss a lot our meals and our cooking together so much. ILYSM

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Funny book: "Bad Karma"

Quiet, to quiet Sunday afternoon, after all those days celebrating christmas. At home, on the sofa, trying to clear my head from all this thoughts and memories of christmas in the past, with my parents. Now I have my own little family, even if my pdey samlanh is right now at the other part of the world, in Cambodia, and can not be here, I still feel him so much with me, but also miss him desperately.
To clear my mind and heart a little bit from these feelings of longing and all this emotional christmas memories who come up today so much, I decided to read a book, which is really a lot of fun to read, but which still provokes thinking about life and actions, about cause and impact.
The book "Mieses Karma (Bad Karma)" from David Safier, has been a Bestseller in Germany for a long time. It is a fiction story about a lady who makes a big career, neglecting her family, being very self centered and focusing only on herself. Than all of a sudden she dies and is reborn as a Ant. A situation she can hardly cope with and accept. Slowly she begins to think about her former human life and step by step she realizes her shortcomings, she slowly learns to recognize the importance of gaining good Karma through words, thoughts and actions. The whole book is written with so much humor, that it is a pure joy to read it. But besides this with so many thoughts to think of the own life, sometimes like a mirror to make one ponder. Have not even reached half of the book, but it makes addictive to read more and to find out how the story continues. Really a book worth reading.

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Bomb scare diverts Detroit-bound German flight

A false alarm over a suspicious suitcase forced the landing in Iceland of a German airliner bound for Detroit, national flag carrier Lufthansa said Sunday.

A spokesman for the airline told reporters that the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt on Saturday with 160 people on board was carrying luggage from a passenger who was not on the plane.

As a precaution, the pilots landed the Airbus A330 in Iceland, where the baggage was removed. The flight then continued on to Detroit with a delay of about two hours.

The spokesman declined to comment on media reports that security experts feared there were explosives on board, but noted that all luggage in Frankfurt is X-rayed before being loaded onto planes.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091227-24201.html

H.H. 16th Karmapa Black Crown Ceremony

Short, interesting video on the special Black Crown Ceremony of his H.H. the 16th Karmapa. Its related to the black crown he is wearing on the painting I received as Christmas gift from you. Thought might be interesting to see.


Black Crown Ceremony

max lunik | MySpace Video

Photo Gallery: Bright winter

Right now we do not have any snow anymore in our part of Germany. But in other parts of Germany the snow changes the landscape like magic into another world.
Found this nice photo gallery to share some of these magic moments in white snow.

To view the gallery: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-50070.html

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2nd Christmas day: At my parents grave

On the 2nd Christmas day I visited today the grave of my parents, to bring them a candle and some incense. Dad was burried there only a few weeks ago, it is now a strange feeling to celebrate the first Christmas without parents. The flowers and wreaths of the funeral are now gone from the grave, some flowers left and it will take some more time till the grave can be restored again with green, flowers and the grave stone.
Some sad moments to be there alone on Christmas day at there grave, so many memories came to my mind, all the wonderful Christmas celebrations they did for me when I was a little boy, all the love and care they gave me.
Missed YOU a lot to be there with me, holding my hand. ILYSM!

Christmas song: Petit Papa Noel

On the second Christmas day we celebrate today in Germany another of my favorite Christmas songs, in fact this is a french Christmas song which is also very popular in Germany. IMYSM! Thanks for celebrating Christmas with me so close, although you this Christmas in Cambodia, I feel you so near with me during the holidays. ILYSM!

YouTube video:

Merkel slams China for jailing dissident

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at the Chinese goverment on Friday after a Beijing court jailed Chinese dissident and human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo for 11 years.

"I regret that the Chinese government still heavily restricts freedom of expression and the press despite great progress in other areas," Merkel said in a short statement.

Liu, 53, was convicted in Beijing of "inciting subversion of state power" after he co-authored a pamphlet last year that called for human rights protection and the reform of China's one-party communist system.

Source: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091225-24177.html

Good that the german government speaks clear on human rights, wish they would do the same more clear regarding the situaion in Tibet, regarding the genocide on Tibetans and the inhuman destruction of there culture and belief and the more than a million Tibetans killed by the chinese.

Five dead in Christmas Day fire

At least five people died after a pre-dawn Christmas Day fire in a house in the German town of Unna in North Rhine-Westphalia, the police said on Friday.

Five people died and two others were seriously injured in a fire that saw a one-family house in the small town engulfed in flames. Six people were registered at the address, and authorities believe that all the victims belonged to the same family, though no children were thought to have been in the house.

Firefighters received the alarm at 4:36 am from a 56-year-old resident of the house, but the fire was already out of control when they arrived. Four fire engines and over a hundred rescue workers took part in the emergency operation. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, and the 56-year-old is still in life-threatening condition in hospital.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091225-24173.html

Unna is a city not far from Dortmund, meaning not far from us. Very sad, specially for those families, who lost through this fire there loved ones over Christmas. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas gift now at there place in our home

I have found now some nice places for the lovely Christmas gifts in our home.

The painting of the 16th Karmapa, your lovely christmas gift, is placed now over our altar at home


Your lovely roses are in our reading room beneath the big photo of you from our engagement day


The Angel / Ghost house stays now in a corner of our balcony


And the statue found its home in the entrance room of our home


Hope you like the arrangement a little, as it is OUR home. IMYSM in our home on this 1st Christmas day.

Photo Gallery: Christmas trees around the world

This photo gallery I found shows some nice photos of Christmas trees around the world, even the big Christmas tree from Dortmund is in there.
Enjoy watching..
So special and wonderful to celebrate these Christmas days with you. ILYSM!

To view the gallery...

Christmas song "Jingle Bells"

As it seems that you like this Christmas song, because you sing it all the time when we talk, I found this funny sing along version as YouTube video for you. :-)
It is also a popular Christmas song over here in Germany.

Germans still giving despite recession

The financial crisis has not affected Germany's charitable spirit, leading aid organisations reported Thursday. UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and Caritas International are all expecting this year's private donations to be at least on a par with 2008.

A survey carried out by news agency DDP found that Germans have not given any less to charity in 2009, despite a tough economy. The United Nations children's aid organisation UNICEF is expecting a similar level of donations to last year, according to the spokesman of its German branch Rudi Tarneden. "We're not seeing a direct effect of the financial crisis," he said.

UNICEF made €52 million from donations in 2008, plus another €16.4 million from the sale of greetings cards. Tarneden says that around 30 to 40 percent of Germans give to charity, and this proportion has not changed in the current year.

Doctors Without Borders spokeswoman Claudia Evers said the humanitarian-aid organisation was even expecting to exceed the €44 million that was donated in 2008.

Rainer Lang, spokesman for the Protestant charity Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) agreed: "It's a very positive signal for us as a Christian relief organisation that we can record an increase despite the financial crisis." Lang said Brot für die Welt had received €1 million more by the end of November than it had in the first eleven months of 2008.

To read more:
http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091224-24161.html

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Simple Christmas dinner

After our Christmas celebration just a simple Christmas dinner. German  potato salad with german sausages. Look forward to our coming Christmas celebrations, to cook together big traditional Christmas meals. IMYSM!

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Our first Christmas celebration together

Now our first Christmas evening celebration as family together is over, two more Christmas days to celebrate together as family are ahead of us, even if we can on these days only share this special time of year together over webcam, it is still a very meaningful and emotional time for us. Thanks Honey, for making me such a wonderful Christmas night, for the lovely gifts, for the roses, the painting of the 16th Karmapa and most of all thanks for your lovely letter, which touched my heart so much and is the most beautiful Christmas gift. YOU are the greatest gift, the gift of your Love means everything to me.
Now you sleep in Cambodia and I will spend a quiet Christmas night in our home in Germany, cherishing the lovely memories we share and the wonderful first Christmas night we just spend together. This is our first and last Christmas we are apart from each other, lets look forward, all the coming Christmas celebrations are ours together in our real life as family and couple. ILYSM!

Thanks again for your meaningful and precious gifts:


Two book gifts from our friends Martin and Alexander, one book about the history of Cambodia and the other one a cookbook in German with only cambodian dishes. Miss so much our cambodian food and meals together


Two gifts for our home, one statue for our entrance room and the "Ghost or Angel house" for our balcony


Look so much forward to celebrate the two coming Christmas days on Friday and Saturday together with you, my one and only. So happy that we share these days and times together. Means a lot to me. IMYSM!

Video: everything prepared for our Christmas celebration

A short video from our reading and meditation room, now all candles are burning and everything is ready for our first family Christmas celebration over webcam. Looking forward to our time soon. ILYSM!
video

Another Christmas surprise: Red roses

Just another Christmas surprise from my Love in Cambodia arrived. Three beautiful red roses. What a big surprise. Over here in Germany the meaning of making someone three red roses as a gift represent the three magic words: "Ich liebe Dich! (I love you)".
Thanks so much honey for making me such a great Christmas day so far. Really look forward to celebrate soon tonight our first family Christmas over webcam, to  see you open your Christmas parcel in Phnom Penh and to open this big gift of you over here in Bochum, no idea whats in this big box. ILYSM!

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to our friends and everybody who is reading and following our blog. We wish you all a peaceful Christmas time with your loved ones full of happiness, joy and love.

SH and JW

Our little Christmas tree in our home, we are looking forward to our celebratio together next year, than we are happy to celebrate with our friends and will have a real nice and big Christmas tree.

European Car Designers Pimp Santa's Ride

The next time Santa sets off for his around-the-world journey on Christmas Eve, he may have slick new ride. The design chiefs of six top automobile manufacturers have come up with their take on the sleigh of the future.

Usually car designers are required to consider a myriad of fairly everyday expectations as well as less ordinary desires. Which probably made this case clearer than almost any other: SPIEGEL ONLINE asked top car creatives from a handful of leading automobile manufacturers to come up with an exclusive design for a new sleigh for Santa.

The results don't have a lot in common with the classic reindeer and sleigh set up. Where once the plucky reindeer pulled the sleigh along, now they have become passengers -- or, sadly for quadruped fans, as in the case of the Mazda design, they have been left at home with the workshop elves.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,668859,00.html



To see Photo Gallery of all designs: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-50154.html

Human-shaped fruit

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/bmaW/~3/SDYaVEPgsT4/human-shaped-fruit.html

Is this really a fruit, or a fake or joke? Has anybody seen this before? Looks funny, if it is real, I wonder if it is natural grown or created by human as artficial breed? Wonder what it taste like if it is real?

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HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS



HOPE YOU LIKE IT. This is just a little gift from a distance from a man who really love you deeply in his heart. All is to dedicate to only love.

HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS SWEETIE.
I LOVE YOU.
SH

Christmas Love poems for YOU

Some Christmas poems, for the one and only I love with all my heart, so much, deep and true. May these poems accompany you through the day, till we celebrate Christmas tonight together, our first Christmas as family and may these poems accompany you through the coming Christmas days. ILYSM!

Come Home For Christmas

Unlock the door of your heart -
Enter the gentleness within.
Open the window of your soul -
Breathe in the season of miracles.
No matter how far you've traveled,
It's time to come home now,
Where Christmas abounds in love, in true love..


I really want to tell you

I really want to tell you
Just how precious you are to me,
My every thought of you
Is as loving as can be
My heart is totally filled with things
That words alone can't say,
This comes especially for you
With love on Christmas Day.


On the eve of Christmas

On the eve of Christmas
I'll have you near
I'll wrap my arms around you
And hold my honey dear
I'll kiss those lips of wine
As you stand 'neath the mistletoe
My heart will follow you
Everywhere you go
Merry Christmas My Honey


I love that I love you.

I love that I love you.
I have loved you from the very start.
I LOVE ALL OF YOU,
I now hand you the key to my heart.
Merry Christmas, my Honey


Source of the photo: http://www.wallcoo.net/holiday/Christmas_Trees_decoration_1600x1200/html/wallpaper1.html

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More photos of the christmas star flower

Wonderful red blossoms.

New flower: Christmas star

Just back home from buying some christmas cookies for tomorrows christmas celebration. Close by to the bakery is a flower shop, so I bought for our reading room a new flower, as one you seen in August is now out of blossom and will not recover. So this new one will replace it now for a few months till its season is over. The flower I bought is very popular in winter and christmas time, in fact the translation of its name into English means "Christmas Star". Like you, I like flowers a lot, hope you like this new flower for our home. ILYSM

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German Christmas Markets Thrive Despite Great Recession

The Brits usually aren't too thrilled about anything German trying to make its way across the English Channel. But there is one exception. Each year, German Christmas markets take over the downtown pedestrian zones of a growing number of British cities. The biggest one -- and perhaps the biggest one anywhere outside Germany -- is in Birmingham.

"Smells good," the man in the gray trench coat says. But is he talking about the Glühwein or the bratwurst? "The mix," he says, as he breathes in the cold winter air -- this matchless "German mix." The city hall of this British metropolis of more than a million people bears a sign with large lit letters reading: "Happy Christmas Birmingham." In front, a German flag is waving, and a yellow pennant flying above the "Knobi Satt" stand promises filling garlic bread.

Each year, dozens of small wooden stands are set up in the pedestrian zone of Birmingham, England. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is imported in toto by container ship from Germany -- bringing a touch of Germany to Victoria Square. You can find Aachener Printen ginger bread treats, Christmas Stollen cakes, nutcrackers, lambskin slippers and wooden toys -- just as you would at the real Frankfurt Christmas Market on the city's Römer square. Glühwein -- which is German for mulled wine -- is even served up in mugs emblazoned with the Christmas market's logo. Heart-shaped Lebkuchen ginger bread hearts are frosted with words like "Schatzi," or "sweetie." The price lists are even written in German. The only difference between a Christmas market here and one back in Germany is that you have to pay in pounds.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,668831,00.html

Lunch in the office: German "Schnitzel"

This has been the last lunch break before the christmas holidays, went with Matthias a colleague and good friend to the snack place near the office and got a typical german meal, German "Jäger Schnitzel", Schnitzel with dark mushrom sauce, mayonaise, fries and salad. Really tasty and nice. Similar to the Schnitzel we had a lake Kemnade in Bochum in August. Remember? When eating this I had to think of our time and meal there. Lovely memories. ILYSM!

Christmas song: Stille Nacht (Silent Night)

The somg performed in this YouTube video is surely the worldwide most known and in many languages translated german traditional christmas song. In every home over here, where christmas is celebrated this song will be played on christmas night and also in every church service. Most likely everybody over here in Germany has a certain memory related to this song and christmas. Enjoy watching and listening...

Getting Catholics and Muslims To Cooperate

Cologne is home to large number of Christians and Muslims as well as controversial plans to build a mosque that will be Germany's biggest. While some fear an Islamic incursion, others in the Catholic-dominated city are donating Sunday's collection to the mosque building project.

If there was a religious conflict in Germany, then it would surely be visible in Cologne -- the city is the capital of Germany's religious Turkish population as well as a bastion of Catholicism. Because here, Catholic numbers are dropping and Catholic churches appear to be turning into retirement homes while Muslim numbers are growing and Muslim followers are building one of the largest mosques in the country.

The mosque, which has been a subject of controversy because of its size, will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers. The Oriental-style building itself, which was designed by a Christian architect, will consist of two minarets, each 55 meters (180 feet) high. These will flank a dome that is a stylized version of the globe. It is likely to be Germany's biggest mosque as well as one of the most controversial sacred structures in the country. Protest groups have campaigned against the mosque and controversial Jewish intellectual Ralph Giordano has even described it as a Muslim "colonization of foreign territory."

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,668676,00.html



Really hard to comment on this, but can not hide my personal opinion on this. To be honest I am a very tolerant and open minded person. But from my experience so far with Moslems and the Islam (not talking about this fanatic islamic terrorists) I have some problems with this huge building in Cologne and also with the spread of Islam over Germany and Europe. I experience Islam in its present form as a religion which is very intolerant, intolerant towards other religions, towards women and there rights, towards gay and lesbians, towards Jews and more could be added. I think as long as the Islam is such a religion it does not really fit into our liberal and free society and the values and human rights we gained and developed over so many years. I see this development a little bit as a danger to our democratic on human rights based constitution and life style. I know many might not agree with my opinion, but this is based on experiences I made over the years.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas song: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

This time another german, traditional christmas song as YouTube video, called "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come (Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her)" The video has the text of the song as german and english subtitles. For me this song brings many memories of christmas evening as a child with my parents back to my mind, as this song was besides some others, always played, when as a little boy I was entering our living room where the decorated christmas tree stood and the gifts were placed beneath the tree. Somehow with this song always the celebration of christmas evening on the 24th December begun. So when I hear this song, I can see myself as little boy, totally excited and nervous entering the room, seeing the love of my parents in there eyes and than getting my gifts to open under the christmas tree.

German coffee makers fined for massive price-fixing scheme

Coffee lovers have been overpaying in Germany, the competition watchdog announced this week as it slapped fines totalling €159.5 million on three of the country’s biggest coffee makers, Tchibo, Melitta and Dallmayr.

The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, uncovered multiple instances of "price architecture" going back to the beginning of 2000. The three coffee giants secretly colluded on price hikes, dramatically pushing up the price of filter coffee, espresso, coffee pads and beans.

The fines were imposed on the firms along with six employees involved in the fixing.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091222-24107.html

Thought this might be of interest to you, as you like to drink coffee so much. :-D
IMYSM!

And the Winner Is … A Dog

The finale of the German reality television series that looks for the most talented act from around a nation screened on Saturday evening. Nine million Germans watched and some of them even voted for a winner. Their conclusion: The most talented performer in Germany right now is a black and white dog.

Just like every other country, Germany has its fair share of reality television shows. The likes of "Next Top Model", "Big Brother" and "Idol" have all been translated onto German television screens. One might also imagine that, like the audiences in so many other countries, Germans might get sick of these kinds of "casting shows."

But no, "Supertalent 2009" -- similar to shows like America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent -- remains one of the most popular series, even after seven long seasons. According to commercial television channel RTL, which broadcasts the series, around 37,000 candidates applied to show off their talents on the little screen and over 6 million viewers watched the preliminary rounds of the series. On Saturday evening the final, which featured 12 acts, was watched by an estimated 9 million viewers.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,668466,00.html



Photo Gallery of the competition: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-50054.html

Spain set to strengthen ties with new embassy

Spain intends to open an embassy in Phnom Penh by July next year, Mariano Alonso-Burin, the country’s special envoy to Cambodia, said Monday.

“We have two main aims here: help develop Cambodia and strengthen ties with the legitimate government here,” he said, adding that he would be formally accredited as ambassador by the King of Spain when the embassy was established.

Spain’s official diplomatic presence was withdrawn by the early 1970s, he said, leaving it up to its embassy in Thailand to extend its services to the Kingdom.

“Three years ago through our Asia Plan, we decided to improve our presence in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Cambodia welcomed the move, adding that it would “improve the diplomatic activity between the two countries”.

To read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2009122230367/National-news/spain-set-to-strengthen-ties-with-new-embassy.html

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas song: O' Come All Ye Faithful

Another YouTube video with a Christmas song in English again, for me also a very meaningful song, as this one reminds me a lot of the two years I lived in England and the two Christmas I was able to celebrate there. Many memories of the friends and families I spend Christmas there come to my mind. Really a lovely and festive song, performed really great in this video. Enjoy watching...

Germany's holiday food favourites

Invited to a German Christmas dinner and don’t know what to expect? Forget about Turkey with cranberry sauce, say goodbye to mince pies and Christmas pudding and embrace these Teutonic holiday specialities.

Germany has a rich and varied culinary Christmas tradition, as well as a huge selection of festive foods which makes coming up with a definitive list a tricky task. But here, plucked from typical German Christmas fare, are the essential tastes you are likely to encounter.

Really a good article to read about German Christmas food traditions, really worth a read. Look forward to our first real, big German Christmas dinner together next year.

Here is the link to this really interesting article: http://www.thelocal.de/lifestyle/20091221-16219.html

Company Christmas gift

Every year around Christmas my company has also a little and always nice gift and surprise for everybody of the team. This year a backpack which can also be used as a trolley for trips and travelling. Very good quality, can also be used great as a laptop bag. Always a very nice and thoughtful idea from the Managing Directors to show there appreciation to the whole team through such christmas surprises.

Walk in the snow

Just back from a short walk with our dog "Julchen" near the office. She likes to walk in the snow and likes to jump around like crazy in the snow. Really funny to watch her and to see how much she enjoys it. It is pretty cold, but not a wet cold, so its a nice winter weather to walk around in warm cloths. Would be nice to walk with YOU and Julchen in our favorite forest here in Bochum, to enjoy the white forest and this special season. Miss you a lot during this Christmas season. ILYSM

Cold Snap Causes Christmas Chaos in Germany

Generally Germany is well geared for colder weather. But nobody anticipated that this weekend would bring the year's coldest. Temperatures sank as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius in some areas and snow and ice affected road, rail and airport services. The weather resulted in several deaths and hundreds of accidents.

Germany has not escaped the chaos that a severe cold snap has caused right across Europe.

At a freezing minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit), this Sunday night was probably the coldest night of the year, according to German weather watchers. The severe cold weather -- just as many Germans were heading home for the holidays -- has caused traffic chaos, hundreds of accidents and several deaths.

German weather service, Meteomedia, reported that on Sunday night the weather system that has been nicknamed "Vincent" caused temperatures in the mountainous area of Albstadt-Degerfeld -- approximately halfway between the city Stuttgart and Lake Constance -- to plummet to around minus 30 degrees.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,668320,00.html

Germany clinch World Cup

The German team retains their WOVD Volleyball World Cup title on Saturday with an impressive win in the finals over Slovakia; Cambodia finishes fourth

Germany were crowned World Organization Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD) World Cup champions Saturday after defeating Slovakia 3-0 in the grand final at Olympic Stadium.

Earlier in the afternoon, Cambodia had put in a lacklustre performance in the third-place playoff to lose to an impressive Poland 3-0, who had gone from strength to strength after stumbling in their opening match against the hosts.

After a demoralising 3-1 defeat to Slovakia in the semifinals the previous night, Cambodia seemed a shadow of their former selves, with Poland dominating every sector of the court. The Europeans opened up a significant lead early on as the Cambodians struggled to motivate themselves, seemingly sapped of all their earlier vitality. The set went 25-18 to the visitors, and lead stayed in Cambodian’s boots throughout the second, which saw their worst performance of the entire tournament as they conceded it 13-25.

To read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2009122130327/Sport/germany-clinch-world-cup.html

The 16th Karmapa, a living Buddha

These are very rare pictures of a living Buddha, the 16th Karmapa, leader of the Tibetean Karma Kagyü lineage. The shots are taken from the documentation "The Lions Roar - The Life and Times of His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa"

YouTube Video:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weather forces airport closures, cancellations

Icy conditions and heavy snowfalls forced the closure on Sunday of Düsseldorf airport – Germany’s third largest – and also caused havoc at the key transport hub of Frankfurt.

Many flights at Frankfurt, which is Germany’s largest airport and a hub for Europe, were cancelled or redirected, a spokeswoman for the airport said. She added that the airport was expecting snowfalls until Sunday evening, causing further disruption.

By the early afternoon, at least 50 flights had been cancelled at Frankfurt, and 15 others had been redirected to Stuttgart or Munich. These were partly due to changes to flight plans

The temperature fell to -30 degrees Celsius in parts of Germany overnight, while the average temperatures across the country on Sunday languished around -10 to -15 degrees.

A police spokesman in Düsseldorf (so not far from us and our home in Bochum) said: “Air traffic has been halted since this morning” and added he did not know when the airport would reopen.

The airport's website offered stricken passengers an information hotline.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091220-24071.html

4th Advent sunday

Today is the 4th Advent sunday, so the day to lighten the 4th candle on our advent wreath. Thinking back to my childhood, I remember that this 4th Advent sunday was always the most exciting for me, because it means that christmas is very close to celebrate with the family. To keep a little the tradition my parents told me, I was sitting today in our kitchen, listening to christmas music, having some christmas cookie, enjoying all four candles burning now and reading your letters, wathching our photos, also our engagement photos and dreaming of you and the many christmas celebrations ahead of us together as family. Miss you a lot during this special season. ILYSM!



And here another photo of our balcony, to show how much the snow increased over the day, compared to the photo I took this morning. Everything outside is white and children are playing in the snow. IMYSM!

Even more snow

Today the amount of snow even increased. In this part of Germany we had in the recent years seldom so much snow.
Took again a photo of our balcony covered in snow, compared to the one I took yesterday and published here, it makes the increase really visible. As there is also some wind coming up, we even have little snow storms.

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The Khmer Rouge, the Nazis and the Banality of Evil

Very interesting article in English found at the website of the leading and highly respected german weekly news magazine "Der Spiegel":

Hannah Arendt used the phrase 'the banality of evil' to describe Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who hastened millions to their deaths. SPIEGEL columnist Erich Follath points out the striking similarities between Eichmann and "Duch," the Khmer Rouge official now on trial, which indicates just how universal the propensity for evil really is.

In late November, closing arguments were presented in the case of the international community and the Cambodian people versus Kaing Guek Eav. Better known as "Duch," this 67-year-old former Khmer Rouge official was the commandant of the most notorious prison and torture house in Phnom Penh. The verdict in this spectacular trial is expected soon. When the judges in Phnom Penh pronounce it and, as expected, Duch is sentenced to several decades in prison, justice will have been served. The offender will be locked away, and a chapter in Cambodian history will be closed.


But does the Duch trial honestly represent a reasonable settling of accounts for the country's past, which saw almost a quarter of its population fall victim to genocide in the horrific period between April 1975 and January 1979? Likewise, are there similarities to be found among the men who order others to commit genocide, a core of absolute evil that can be identified in their characters and careers? If so, can crimes against humanity be dissected and classified so as to prevent their recurrence?

Duch, who was at times submissive and at times provocative during his trial in Phnom Penh, seems depressingly ordinary. But if you take a closer look, it becomes clear that the one thing he is not is unique. In fact, Duch resembles a Nazi henchman put on trial in Jerusalem in the early 1960s for his role in the deaths of six million Jews. Indeed, in a way, Duch is a second Adolf Eichmann.

The life of this Khmer Rouge official, the crimes he committed, methodically and completely devoid of pity, his maneuvering during the trial between expressing regret for the victims and attempting to evade responsibility by claiming that he was nothing more than a "cog in the wheel" -- all of this is highly reminiscent of Eichmann's behavior. And like the 1961 trial of the SS lieutenant colonel -- which, despite the best intentions of the prosecutors and the great attention it generated among those affected -- proved to be a failed historic opportunity, the Phnom Penh trial of Duch in 2009 also threatens to end in failure.

To read the complete, worth reading article, go to: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,667263,00.html

Ice and snow cause traffic chaos in Germany

The biting cold that has blanketed Germany in snow and ice caused chaos on the roads at the beginning of the weekend, killing at least two people and causing thousands of accidents, particularly in the west of the country.

Two people were killed in the far-northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. And police in North Rhine-Westphalia counted more than 1000 weather-related accidents since the beginning of the snow falls on Friday afternoon.

The plummeting temperature caused the breakdown of the power plant for chemical firm BASF in Ludwigshafen in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The temperature at the Funtensee lake in Bavaria dropped to -33.6 degrees. Northern Germany’s highest peak, the Brocken in the Harz mountain range, had its coldest December night in 31 years: -21.7 degrees.

However the German Weather Service (DWD) is forecasting an end soon to the bitter cold, with warmer air replacing low pressure system Vincent by the end of Sunday. Temperatures were set to creep back above zero by Monday and climb to about 5 degrees on Wednesday.

Police said a 24-year-old female driver died in a collision near Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein after she skidded on snow around a curve into the path of oncoming traffic. Similarly a 52-year-old man in the same state went onto the wrong side of the road and was killed in a collision. His wife suffered life-threatening injuries.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, 20 people were seriously injured and another 85 suffered milder injuries in accidents. The cost of accidents was estimated at about €2.5 million. This is the state where we live honey

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20091219-24051.html

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas dinner with Beate and Jarek

This evening I was invited to Beate and Jarek together with some other friends from the Buddhist center to have a nice, traditional polnish christmas dinner together. Spend really a nice time there with some excellent food and nice talks with the friends from the Buddist center. Only you were missing so much, to make it a perfect evening and dinner. Miss our meals together as couple and family a lot.

 

Photos and movie of our street covered in snow

Just some more photos and a little movie of our street covered in snow. It looks nice and pretty, but would be so much more enjoyable, if we could enjoy it together. I miss you today a lot. ILYSM! Enjoy the photos and movie of our home, next winter we will celebrate christmas together and maybe be able to build our first snow man together.

video