30 June 2012

What I am reading: June 2012

Another busy month: wow. I can't believe how little I am reading and how extremely busy I have been. Two birthday parties (to go to), the kids' schools winding up, summer festivals and good-bye parties, project weeks and sleep-overs, Kindergartenfreundebuchs and Schulfreundebuchs, a visit to Istanbul and  several doctors appointments, trying (and failing) to get renovations lined up in the US at two separate places, setting utilities up for take-over, my apa delayed 33 days (and then forwarded from Customs without ever being opened) so I needed to work from softcopy for a week, thinking about where we will be in the fall and still being undecided, and trying, always to get stuff out of the apartment. The weather is up and down, the girls are growing out of their clothes, I need to get rid of things!

We are leaving for the US for a few weeks in less than two weeks (that is, several days ago when this will be published), to get our house renovated and perhaps re-rented, and our apartment (and life) is totally not in order. Aagh.
  1. break no bones (2006) by Kathy Reichs: This is the last Temperance Brennan I have on the shelf (in English), so I will be taking a break after this. In this ninth Tempe novel, the action moves from chilly Montreal to steaming South Carolina. Dr. Brennan has taken an undergraduate class on an archeological dig as an emergency replacement for the class' teacher, when an "incursion" in the site is discovered: a non-historical body. Both Tempe's ex (Pete) and her current friend, Det. Ryan, are at the scene and soon another body is found, linked to Pete's investigation of a church and its finances. A twist I won't give away that is current and well-researched. 
  2. Stormy Petrel (1991/2011) by Mary Stewart: A slim novel by Lady Stewart, set on a small Hebridean island off Mull, with the wonderful scenery that she is known for. Although the protagonist is an English tutor at Cambridge, she actually writes both poetry (and under a pseudonym) science fiction. More like a novella than a novel, but always a wonderful read.
  3. My Brother Michael (1959/2011) by Mary Stewart: From the height of her power, the descriptions of the scenery are amazing. Once again, it's amazing to read in this time period and to see how Lady Stewart made her protagonists women, who changed and grew, and were strong and her male leads respected and in fact demanded that strength. After a 6 year engagement, Camilla has broken it off and isn't certain what she is looking for. Having spent that time pulled behind the wake of her ex's jet stream, she is isn't certain of her own volition and acts impulsively when told that an "Englishman" is awaiting a car at Delphi. Delivering the vehicle also brings her into a dangerous hunt, carrying violence and death forward from the war into the (1959) present. I have been enjoying reading through Lady Stewart's work: just a few more of her suspense novels to go. Then perhaps I should re-read her Merlin tetralogy.
Didn't get this sent out in time, as life caught up with me, so I'm pubbing it late.

It was a crazy few weeks, with T1 having a school sleep-over, T1 "graduating" from kita, a counseling session with the school rector, packing to leave, the German pushing hard to get his work done before vacation and therefore spending more time in Munich, cakes to bake for parties, birthday parties for the kids to attend, health certificate for the cat, as well as a follow-up on vaccinations for the kids and a dental appointment for the adults. Then following up with our kitten's plane reservations (may I say that Delta was once ok, KLM was once superb, but that the merger of their systems has created a monster where neither side seems able to make or confirm reservations on a co-branded trip). After hours (literally 3+) on the phone, I was finally assured that there was a reservation. But when we got to the airport, there wasn't one. "Luckily", they found a place for her, because I pointed out that there was no option to suspend her animation while we were on vacation. The KLM guy was extremely nice, understanding, and long-suffering: I was a bit tense myself, until we dropped ur bags and had the card showing the Darla was allowed on the plane.

More later, on our return trip;-) (though let me mention that not a person asked to see her EU Tierpasse or proof of chipping. In the US, they didn't even notice that she existed on entry.

13 June 2012

One of my favorite Graffitos

I particularly like the shadows that the sunflowers cast on the wall.
A warm and sunny scene that sustains during the many cold and grey months in Berlin

02 June 2012

What every cat needs...

Getting ready for our kitten (the carrier on the right is legal for under seat in planes—
we have a larger one for ordinary travel)