Boom chak ! Cajón-mania

If you are wondering what the title is about, then you haven’t tried this fantastic method of reducing stress by rapping the rhythm, having heaps of fun hammering, strengthening your finger muscles when standing in traffic, learning to listen to the beat and simply losing yourself in a song. Too fun to be true?

My first encounter with this handcrafted wooden percussion “big box”, translation of the Spanish cajón (kah- HON) was at a Spanish guitar concert with this accompaniment. I was intrigued by the soft sonorous sound, the practical aspect of sitting atop one’s instrument and the convenient size and the astonishing array of rhythmic patterns or grooves a player can coax out of such a small box.

After the concert I started hunting around for lessons and found a great guy offering workshops, lessons and exquisitely crafted cajones made in Hungary. I soon became the proud owner of a lovely, deep sounding cajón that does not irk, but delights my neighbors, unlike any drum set or piano (no, I won’t settle for electronic devices, the sound is simply not the same).

Meanwhile I can tap out all sorts of basic grooves to the radio music that’s playing, I’ve become more coordinated and calmer, even a traffic jam is a welcome occasion to drum on the steering wheel and practise a new song. Boom! is for the bass, chak! is for the open in this hand-to-hand drumming. Ts! designates the in-between taps with your fingers. Not to forget tapping the basic beat with your foot. No worry, no knots. It’s a great way to relax. Just beat it!  For Munich I can recommend and instruments from Cajón Studio.

My favorite Cuban drinks are, naturally, mojito, daiquiri and pina colada with fresh juices and Cuban rum. And of course, anything salsa or son. As to sun hats, I love those Chillouts made of paper, they are so lightweight and can be squashed into any bag. Enjoy the sun, people!

Blueberry cheesecake – easy as pie!

Here’s the ultimate summer recipe: fat, luscious blueberries (mmmh!) on a no-bake crust and (light, light, light! almost no calories) layer of yummy cream cheese.

It’s quick, no-nonsense and even healthy – did you know that all red and blue fruits and vegetables have lots of anti-oxidants and are therefore anti-aging superfoods? No problem, just load on those berries and smile while your wrinkles just fade away.


for the crust:

1 packet of graham crackers / Bahlsen Vollkornkekse, crushed

3 – 4 tablespoons melted butter

Crush the crackers and mix with the melted butter. Press down firmly into a 10″/ 24 – 26 cm cake pan on top of baking paper.

for the cheese:

2 – 3 p.  cream cheese light

150 ml (1 glass) milk (or light cream)

1 – 2 tablespoons sugar or vanilla sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Whip the ingredients into a light, fluffy cream, add just enough milk to make the mixture smooth.

for the topping:

1 pint/ 500 g fresh blueberries (or canned and thickened)

1 pk. cake glaze, prepared according to directions (with orange juice to enhance flavor)

Distribute blueberries evenly and pour glaze carefully over them. Leave cake to chill for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy on a sunny terrace in a cool breeze!



intuition – female only?

Prévision du 4 juin 2018

Si vous avez parfois des intuitions qui sont presque des révélations, c’est le moment ou jamais d’être attentif à votre vie inconsciente. Que ce soit dans vos rêves nocturnes ou dans vos réflexions de la journée, certains signes pourraient se montrer extrêmement signifiants et vous permettre de prendre des décisions concrètes dans votre vie. N’hésitez donc pas à écouter vos instincts et vos impressions, vous aurez beaucoup à y gagner.

Honest, I love to read my horoscope. But not the trashy ones, like: “Today you should do more running.” or “Take care of your health.” Mine are personalized (sorry for the French!) and (often) really say something meaningful (to me).

You have no idea how often my intuition and instincts have preserved me from fortuitous pitfalls and traps that others had laid out for me. Yes, in these past six years I really had to watch out for my health, usually my mental health.

I could not believe how base fellow man can become to achieve some sort of goal, be it “Fame” or “Sexiest guy of the moment” or “Men are superior beings” or “I may be a woman but I don’t mind playing the guys’ dirty tricks“.

What has happened to the Romans’ memento mori ?  We are all perishable mortals, so what, please, is so fun about hurting and demoralizing others? Ladies, gents, boys and girls, listen to that little voice inside your head. That is your guardian angel, also known as intuition. Try to follow it and not the temptation of trying to be “bigger than life”. You will be lots happier. Smile!

What a Wonderful World This Could Be!

One day Moshe Dayan, who lost an eye while fighting in the British army during World War II, was stopped for speeding by The Old Bill. “I have only one eye,” he protested. “What do you want me to watch – the speedometer or the road!?”

Dayan, Moshe (1915-1981) Israeli minister of defense (1967, 1969-74) and foreign minister (1977-79)      

–  The Old Bill = die Polizei, the police

Imagine” sang John Lennon, just imagine that people would open up both eyes and really be concerned about what is happening around us.

No, I am not going to complain about our situation in our developed countries. We are comparatively well-off and live in freedom and have a beautiful countryside here in Europe  –  also in all the other countries I have visited all over the world.

As to the natural weather catastrophes and pollution and ugly city-scapes, they are almost all man-made.

As to greed and corruption and hatred and false ambition, they are, unfortunately, also within human nature, but the dark side of it. Renaissance Man will try to suppress these “basic instincts” and strive for a higher level of knowledge and aesthetics.

Nowadays, though, I see a larger tendency among the affluent to selfishness and the NIMBY effect (as is “Not In My Back Yard” propagated by the the USA in those years of Panama Canal and Cuba Crisis and Nicaragua guerrillas). They are too anxious to retain their current standard of lifestyle and fear that others might struggle to achieve the same. They are so fearful that they shut up their mouths and close both eyes and refuse to hear pleas for help from those oppressed and bullied.

Imagine we could have a world with visionary leaders that are proud and fearless, selfless and generous, noble and true, who listen to constructive criticism and try to save the globe, not just a tiny chunk of it. Men and women like Macron, Obama, Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, M.L. King, and countless others.

Each of us can contribute. Open both eyes!

Césanne’s lifestyle coaching

Lifestyle Issues :
recipes, Munich, traveling, observations, coaching, up-life

June 2018

It is sunny, hot and humid in Munich. That is why we need things to cool us down and add spice(s) to our life! So here is my super fast, no-fail, idiot-proof Andalusian GAZPACHO for a quick, easy to make and non-expensive ice cold meal:

Ingredients for the cold soup cf. photo left  (2 portions)

200 ml tomatoes, peeled, diced

1 onion, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, in cubes

1/2 bell pepper, minced

2 slices of soft toast (or roll)

200-250 ml ice cold water

herbs, finely chopped

salt, pepper, jalapeno or tabasco sauce to taste

el picado : to put on top of the soup – cf. photo right

croûtons with herbs  –  3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped  –  diced seasonal vegetables