Yarn bombing in Musselburgh

I`ve come across this kind of street art before, and I now discovered that it even has a name: Yarn bombing.

Yarn bombing seems to be trending as an alternative to graffiti – always cheerful and peaceful, never aggressive and obscene, and I also think it spreads an air of generosity. After all, someone has spent a lot of time and money making those pretty little things, often very evidently with a lot of love, and then they take them to public spaces for everybody to enjoy. Feminine is a good word that springs to my mind (while I always associated graffiti with masculinity).

This is part of those which can be admired in my town at the moment:


Photos from others also show a line of fish which has been draped around a boat at the harbour, so need to go back and have another look…

… and then we were on a boat (Rhein in Flammen)

Rhine on Flames is an annual spectacle during which all (!) villages and cities alongside a particular stretch of the river Rhine are putting on fireworks in a consecutive order. There are fun fairs and camping, or you can book yourself a ticket on one of 60 boats travelling slowly alongside all fireworks, so you can enjoy a full two hours of them, against the spectacular scenery of the area`s hills and castles, ending with the great finale in Bonn, our formal capital.

Here, in the park Rheinauen, I remember many a Rhine on Flames with my friends, wearing silly headbands that glowed in the dark, eating deep fried fish in a roll, and daring each other to go on those crazy rides. I once even went on a date there – we sat on the same small jacket in the grass watching the dramatic firework display and then holding each other`s hand all the time while rushing back to the tram, careful not to lose each other as thousands of others came along.

I`ve been on the boat before, when I was around 20 (my aunt worked for one of the sponsors, and her husband was on duty), but I wanted my husband to experience it, too. It was hard to photograph as I and all the other boats and fireworks were moving, and it was even harder to chose from the many photos that I have:

Leaving Linz


Moving North


(for those with an interest in history – the tower belongs to the Bridge of Remagen, whose story in WW II was turned into a movie)

dsc_2127.jpgThe Grand Finale


Too many photos? I hope not. If so – sorry 🙂

And if you are interested, the good news is that you won`t have to wait until next year – there are more events upcoming on other parts of the Rhine until September – see link at the beginning of this post for dates.


These were hard to photograph, as I was on a ship and, like the fireworks and other ships, moving. Some of the spoilt photos turned out to be rather interesting… (tbc)


How Do You Usually View This Blog? (Poll)

I need your help – could you please tell me how you usually view my blog? I`d like to get a rough idea of how many of you see my my template and particularly the widgets on the side. Thanks so much! 🙂

full website


simplified website fuer smartphone and tablet


simple post view


preview only


… and then we were in Linz/Rhein…

It was like a step back in time… For a long while, every time I came home I found something had changed, but this time, I was very aware of how same it still is from since 30 years. Same shops, some of them hadn`t even been painted since I entered secondary school, and I felt like I still knew every pothole.

Pretty as it no doubt is – I couldn`t cope with this town any more. At 6000 inhabitants, it once represented the big wide world to me (I lived in a village 10km up through the forest), but now, I was puzzled because I couldn` t connect to WiFi anywhere, nor could I get rolls in the morning because the baker`s oven had broken, and when we walked into a wine bar at 9.30pm on Sunday night we were told they had actually just closed.  Sales staff rush up to you almost as soon as you start browsing their shelves and give you advice on how to wear that dress as you` re stepping out of the changing room in it. Everything is very personal… too personal, at times. I feel everybody knows each other bar me. I feel we are turning heads for speaking English. Even the language – everyone is talking very slowly, and their dialect is so familar it seems unreal.

I feel strange (in the proverbial sense) and at the same time taken care of. A woman rushes up to help as I almost fall over an uneven cobble, and I`ve got a feeling I know her from somewhere…



Cigarette and Chewing Gum Dispensers

… and because there was a festival going on…


We were in Bonn…

The weather was absolutely glorious…

Of course, we ate white asparagus, which is only available in May and early June and on menus everywhere, so everyone will eat it as much as they possibly can…


Beuel Train Station hasn`t changed in 20+ years…

My first poppy seed cake in a loooong time … had to be consumed at the earliest opportunity…




I`ve been living in Britain for 15 years now, but there are certain things I still struggle with.

One of them is people saying things they don`t mean – be it as a ritual or just to be polite. When someone says, for example, “Let ` s meet soon,” I`ll almost get my diary out, while for the other person, it may have been merely a way to say good bye. Neither do I understand how people can treat those they don`t really like almost the same as their friends. I`ve seen people speaking really dismissively of others, and as soon as this person walks into the door, s/he is the best thing since sliced bread.

A few weeks ago, I was in a situation where I had to cancel someone`s night out at only a few hours` notice. I hadn`t seen her for about a year, and I said let `s do coffee just the two of us instead. She said yes, no problem, but when I followed up the next morning, she remained all quiet. This was a month ago, so last night, I felt it was quite in order to reiterate. Turned out she had been busy doing other things but would love to see me when all finished. I said no problem, I just want to make sure that I wasn`t just being polite.

And you know what she wrote back? She said “I know you mean it Bianca, I`d say I know you pretty well – always genuine xxx”.

This one line felt so good, in a world where I often find it so difficult to cope with people *not* being genuine. Even though I wouldn`t have termed it like that, as it was usually I myself who I felt had it all wrong.

BTW, she`s not British either.