Canadian Impressionism in Munich

The HypoKulturhalle in the Theatinerstraße of Munich has a fascinating exhibition currently running of Canadians, mostly born at the turn of the century, who decided to travel to Paris and attend famous schools of Art. One group was the “Group of Seven” and the others were named after the building they met in in 1910, “Beaver Hall” in Montreal.

From Paris, they fanned out to many other places in Europe, such as Venice, Spain, Germany, but also back to their native Canada with its large expanses of trees and pastures.

Sometimes one has a feeling of déjà-vu, like the lady with the umbrella from Monet, or his painting of coquelicots / poppies, the colors and a touch of Seurat’s pointillisme, a painting of the Seine and its houseboats, a bourgeois family dressed in white, the peasants in rough brown cloth.

One recurrent motif are children in the middle of light-speckled surroundings, reading on a sofa, having a family picnic, carrying flowers and looking at butterflies – which idealizes the peasant girl. The more affluent young lady reclining on a bench at the beach is once again dressed in elegant white with a matching hat: tanned skin is for the working class, not for the noblesse.

Another common motif are young women, sewing, knitting, reading, reclining on a divan, many clothed in Japanese-patterned robes and dresses, among them one nude’s back.

A very Canadian motif are trees, maple trees with buckets, birches in the wind, fir trees laden with heavy snow on their boughs. Not to forget the fields and the rivers with boats and cargo.

Regular rates are €12,-, 11,- for students and half-rate on Mondays. Lockers, a cloakroom, a café and a nearby subway station Odeonsplatz, as well as audio guides, lectures and curator tours are regular features.

Total ticketing tourist tricksters

Okay, my Austrian girlfriend had put this tick into my ear: you ought to go to Bregenz and see the See. No, sorry, see the lake-theater (German: Seebühne) built right into the water. How cool can you get! Very!!

Yes, I can very much recommend it if you like Austria (CHECK, our backyard, unless our politicians come up with stupid ideas),

 

if you like operas (CHECK, especially if hubby is more into the mainstream operatic ones featuring real songs he can sing) (can he sing?),

if you don’t mind being cramped up for about 2 1/2 hours on the hard plastic seat (CHECK, don’t forget fat cushions and yoga class beforehand) (forget about breaks or walking or standing up in between),

if you had a yummy dinner (CHECK CHECK at La Scarpetta in Dornbirn and the Kleines Gasthaus am See, bliss, except fot the three screechers & wailers whose parents couldn’t care less about their offspring’s wails),

So, if you don’t mind all the above- mentioned things, then a weekend trip from Munich to Bregenz (about 2 1/2 hours cramped in a car) and lots of extra cash is just the thing!

Our Travel Agency took out a chuck by charging our credit card the minute we booked with them.- that is a NO-NO. Normally, your card gets charged for 20%  immediately as a kind of promise and the rest about a week or two ahead of the event. Our agency  pretended now to know about this etiquette, but I had a long talk with them. After all, there such things as a Terminüberweisung and the bank will make sure the money is transferred right on time.

The hotel chosen in Dornbirn was the right size and category and not too far off from the Seebühne, about 20 km along the B 190, but had definitely seen better days and did NOT have AC. Nor did it have appeal. However, it boasts a very good breakfast, albeit missing the more expensive choices, but I don’t breakfast that much anyway, and the employees are nice and offer cushions and shuttle bus and those things you didn’t know you’d need.

Our escapism took us first to the interesting Rolls-Royce museum in Gütle (8,-€ adult), then the Seilbahn/ incline up the Karren of Gütle (Oh yes, the view iS WORTH it! free overlook in plastic over the precipice) and a great lunch of Lumpensalat (a sausage – cheese – red-onion- vinegar – oil dressing kind) with good beer and even better Almdudler (what? you don’t know the famous lemonade with herbs?).

The hot afternoon was spent in the Waldbad / Gütleright next to the river or creek without much water in this drought, but interestingly full of big and small smooth rocks and pebbles. The Waldbad offers many treats for families, well run.

 

 

“Carmen” by Bizet is most certainly in all the operatic books and Wiki. The scoop was the fantastic Bühnenbild/ backdrop done by a lady from London with two gigantic hands tossing the cards of fate. At times, the cards will be lowered at ground level to go partially underwater, so the crowd gets emphatic with skirt tossing and head banging and running and splashing each other, which is just the build-up of suspense to Carmen’s tragic end (how did the singer manage that death scene???) – no, I’m not cheating, you go there yourself, please!

 

 

 

 

Cherry cupcakes

What can be more delicious than some cherry cakes from scratch? And it is really simple.

So here goes:

about 3 handfuls of cherries, pitted  or  one jar drained

one large cake pan lined with paper or two cupcake pans lines with paper cups

Mix in a large baking bowl, till fluffy:

200g margarine or butter

200 g sugar

aroma: vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. of Grand Marnier

2 – 3 eggs, one by one till fluffy

 

Sift on top:

200g flour

2 tsp. baking powder / soda

Stir in carefully, making sure all ingredients are well-mixed. Put spoonfuls into your cups or tin. Bake at approx. 190° C / 375 ° F or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Personally, I am like a Poppins and can always sniff out a finished cake or tart a few minutes before my timer can ring. Cool down slowly, the cakes can be left in the warm oven with the door opened.

Frost if desired or if you are making it as a whole cake, try out some Streusel:

100 g each of flour, sugar and butter, mix till you have a crumbly mixture and crumble it over he top of your unbaked cake. Along with whipped cream, deeelicious!

Ah yes, my latest fun line:

Und wenn ich die Schokolade im Dunkeln esse, finden mich vielleicht die Kalorien nicht.

(If I eat chocolate in the dark, the calories will perhaps not be able to find me)

20180623_124525.jpg
cherry cupcakes

 

 

Bullying and histrionics

Be the girl on the right! is the caption of a pic with 5 little ballet girls at the barre. The one on the right refuses to do exactly what she is told. She is “told off” by her teacher.

IMG-20160104-be the girl on right

Marguerite, Margarethe or Gretchen from Faust and Marguerite (1900) also stands on the right. She is unsure of what to do:

„Nun sag, wie hast du’s mit der Religion? Du bist ein herzlich guter Mann, allein ich glaub, du hältst nicht viel davon.“  Goethe has her ask the seducer. When she decides to trust Faust, she is sorely betrayed and shall later kill the newborn ‘child’ – whom I also see as a symbol of her feelings of guilt and shame.

Have you ever considered the fact that your boss might be using the exact same ploy to “seduce” his employees to do exactly what they are told? Nowadays, such behavior is no longer considered seducing, but bullying. However, if any one individual offers a piece of constructive criticism, he/ she is immediately quashed?

Vae victi! We alle know what the consequences are, such as burnout, di-stress (as compared to eu-stress), feelings of insecurity and angst. Of guilt and shame that we are no longer standing up to our own convictions, but meekly accepting another ambitious person’s will  –  voluntas  –  over our own. Of no longer believing in ourselves!

When I hit upon the word HISTRIONICS on OWAD (One Word A Day, Paul does a fine job) the other day, I had to laugh, the definitions and examples reminded me sooo much of a certain person. A person I had trusted, believed in, considered a role-model for many years,  who suddenly turned the tables.

The word histrionics was either formed from the English histrion, meaning actor, or it was borrowed from the Late Latin histrionicus, which also referred to an actor, theatrics or pretence. (…)
Histrionics, which at its core means overly dramatic and superficial behaviour, can be a useful skill if one has chosen an acting career. On the other hand, for the layperson it can lead to a personality disorder called HPD, or Histrionics Personality Disorder.
(source: https://owad.de/)

How can you get out of this emotional turmoil?

Step One: Listen closely to what that person says and analyze the underlying meaning of those words. Did I accept these words at face value? Or was the said person’s intention quite another?  Write down those typical quotes and try to look at them from different angles.

Polonius: What do you read, my lord?      Hamlet: Words, words, words.

Step Two: Believe in yourself, your personality, your talents, your life’s goals again. No matter what anybody says to or about you. So what if you do not live up to someone else’s expectations? All it means is that you and him/ her were not meant to be – it takes two to tango. Find some more congenial surroundings, another job, another place, another hobby, other soulmates.

Step Three:  (The hard part!) Be patient. It took me many years to come to the realization that I hadn’t been the one with the problem, but that bully!  Start by feeling sorry for that person –  and then forget him/ her ASAP (as soon as possible). The feeling of relief is immense, be assured!

20180524_pinchpot-1-e1529035591226.jpg
pinchpot

So, now you can pretty well do as you like. My therapy was / is ballet and gym, music and instrumental lessons, choir, arts and crafts, friends’ support, being with children who are more spontaneous than adults : “Kinder und Narren sagen die Wahrheit” (Children and fools speak the truth).

20180223_ballet curtain

Don’t we all wish for a Happy End? Thankfully, I have found my Prince Charming   –  and my peace of mind.