21st century woman

Over the last month German papers such as ‚Die Zeit’ have discussed the issue of (German) Academic women not having any children at all. So I was quite surprised to come to GB and find a disussionin the British media where some docotrs claimed that women in Britain were having their kids too late, which means a higher health risk for mother and child as well as higher costs fort he health care system. It was stated that women were waiting too long- either for the right time in their career or untill they find the right partner... Excuse me- what about teenage pregnancies in the UK? And-what about the men(still involved in the process of making a child), who often enough like to put off the decisison of having children(just to marry 25 year old girls, when they hit 40???)? Or should women in their best time for childbirth just ‚mate’ with the next guy who is bumping into them in the supermarket? Last weekends ‚guardian magazine’printed an article from the American author Lionel Shriver, a woman in her 40ies, childless, who admits that she was selfish enough to choose her career, her writing and her friends instead of a life with or disrupted from children. But does she have to justify this? My friend Susanne sent me an email asking me (rethorically?), which woman between her 30ties and 40ies is actually happy. The mothers are drowning in work and the struggle to combine family and career. The childless wait fort he prince, with whom they can start a family, just to worry THEN about family life and career. Oh and of course they are always told that their biological clock is running. Thank you! Some say it’s the women’s own fault; because feminism made them loose the connection with their female side. Well, I have to take a deep breath. Of course I want it all! The funny thing ist hat these discussions and thoughts lead nowhere; except from realising: Everybody has to make his or her own choices or deal with the realities of his or her own life. And time can’t be rewinded. But please, no more blaming! If you don’t like your life –as man or woman, you will have to change it, or at least try to change something. Otherwise: enjoy life, carpe diem!, with or without kids! Here and now!

Posted by steffi at 1:09 AM
Categories: misc



163 million cups of tea are drunk each day in the UK!

This is my country, though the tea variety is more than poor.

I am longing for my favourite tea-shop in Berlin. At least there is a Tea-Museum here in London, though not as it should be in the center and when I was there last time it seemed rather volunteer-run. Here is another nice tea-website . I like especially the section, where the ambassadors wifes  talk about tea. And here is another link on how to host a tea-party . Enjoy!

Posted by steffi at 10:26 PM
Categories: misc


for your 2006 agenda

privat house It's open house weekend and so many great buildings are open to the public. I recommend everybody to plan a visit to London for next september and visit some outstanding places. Saw a Turkish bath which is now a pizza place (yes, I can take you there any time). I also saw the first social housing project (what an opportunity to peep inside of somebodys life!) and a lot of buildings from the outside as people had to queue up for up to 90 minutes to get into some buildings! open house website 

Posted by steffi at 12:09 PM
Edited on: 2005-09-18 12:13 PM
Categories: art

Marc Quinn on Trafalgar Square

Alison Lapper  

New statute on Trafalgar square. Marc Quinnn's sculpture shows pregnant Alison Lapper. for more information 


Posted by steffi at 12:02 PM
Categories: art


honeymoon seems over

Es ist ganz seltsam. Eigentlich bin ich ja Meisterin des Neuanfangs und stürze mich mit Begeisterung in neue Aufgaben, Länder und Zusammenhänge. Jetzt bin ich hier in London gelandet und habe meine ersten beiden Unitage hinter mich gebracht und fühle mich, wie eine Braut, die nach der Hochzeitsnacht grübelt, ob ER denn wirklich der Richtige ist. Er ist hier meine neue 'Profession'. Kunstlehrerin. Wir Deutschen meinen ja, dass man immer nach oben streben muss; Lehrling, Geselle, Meister, tüchtig bis zum Rentenalter und dann noch einen schönen Grabstein draufsetzen. Jetzt bin ich 34 und weiss immer noch eher, was ich nicht will, als irgendetwas anderes. Aber ich habe mich entschieden, ein Lehrertraining zu machen, in England. Der Workshop, den ich in Russland gegeben hatte, hat so viel Spass gemacht und ich wollte ja auch mal längerfristig denken. Die Briten sind nicht so lebenslänglich an Berufe gebunden, wie wir Deutschen. In meinem Kurs sind die viele um die 40 und haben ganz unterschiedliche Biografien und Positionen. Deswegen bin ich hier, und jetzt merke ich, dass -quasi als 'blinde Passagiere', 'deutsche Denkweisen' mit mir gereist sind. Ich weiss nicht so genau, was mir in den vergangenen 2 Tagen den Enthusiasmus gebremst hat. Vielleicht ist es diese Mantra-mäßige Wiederholung, mit der uns gesagt wurde, wie schwer und hart dieses Jahr werden wird. Da muss man sich ja gerade fragen, ob man Masochist ist, oder ob man lieber bei McDonalds Burger brät.

Also, mal sehen, ob man mich nächstes Jahr beim Mac antrifft, oder in der Schule-. Oder sollte ich mich vielleicht doch bei meinem Dad als Bäckerlehrling bewerben?

Ok, ok, it's here and now, where I want to be.

Posted by steffi at 9:51 PM
Categories: misc


this fall feeling

These first days in London are strange. I feel like a new fish which is bought for an aquarium. Before you let him slip in the water of the tank you put the fish in his used water in a plastic bag in the new tank to adjust to the temperature. Somehow I watch London from within a bubble, I meet people I have met somewhere in the world as most of my London friends from College have moved away. Again a new life is about to start. Some friends tell me they are envious about my moving around. But I think it is kind of funny. While they feel stuck in their fixed lifes I sometimes feel stuck in movement. Anyway, it is autumn, my favourite season. I buy tea and biscuits. Leonard Cohen, Johny Cash, Kate Bush and other cosy voices are lying around my cd player. What a pity that I do not have my poetry books around me. It’s time for Trakl, Anne Sexton, Else Lasker Schüler and when did I last read Baudelaire? ‚Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut keines mehr(can't remember is it from Hesse, Rilke?)’- how lucky I am to have found a nice home for the coming months. I wonder who will join me for this falls tea parties-

Berlin Bear

Posted by steffi at 8:33 PM
Categories: misc


being a foreigner again

I nearly had forgotten all aboput being a foreigner. In Japan I had the alien regsitration card to remind me of my spacial status. And really sometimes I felt like in outer space during my stay there; though in a positive sense-. Now I try to get my life sorted in ‚Great’ Britain. Concerning the serioce one surely can leave out the ‚great’. Today I wanted to open a bank account. You wouldn't think of having an adventure when something like this is on your schedule, would you? But having arrived in England just a couple of days before I naturally can’t provide bills or statements with my new address. So one bank told me that a TV license would do and I could get it at the post office. Right. I went there, paid 120 Pounds for a years license and came back to the bank with the receipt. There I have been told- Sorry. The receipt has to be printed and can’t be handwritten as you get it from the post office. However IF I had a printed one this would do, but just not the handwritten one I had -!!!! Now I needed a statement from my landlord and his council tax paper. Well as I live just 5 Minutes away I came back to the bank sooner than they expected me and I could see how delighted they were to have me around again. Now they were checking everything I brouhgt for them; the woman told me this might take a couple of weeks- This seems to be my Bristish school of patience. However, if I wan to or not- tonight I will watch TV to make use of my new license!!!

Posted by steffi at 9:28 PM
Categories: misc


Jennifer Brown -WANTED

When I was just about buying my ticket to go to the city of London at Luton Airport, I was asked by a stranger if I had graduated from a certain university somewhere in the States some 15 years ago... Obviously I do have a ‚Doppelgänger’ somewhere in the United States, called Jennifer Brown. I hope she is fine and had not settled in unlucky New Orleans. How would it be to meet your Doppelgänger, I wonder. How would it be to swop lives-identities? Sometimes I am quite fed up with my exciting life and wouldn’t mind to change with a quieter one or just with another one (housewife, mother, office worker, )...at least just for a try, for a change. I remember this quote from a book(which wasn't so great otherwise):

Sometimes you discover that right next to the life you just happen to live there is a different one you could have lived as well.

Anyway. A new life is just about starting now and I am curious how it will fit me- Jennifer Brown, maybe I will watch out for you a bit later!

Posted by steffi at 7:38 PM
Categories: misc

London called me -and I followed

Here I am. London.

Who would have thought that 6 months ago. Not me anyway. I nearly missed my plan on tuesdae, but this is just how everything went during the last weeks and months since I came back from Japan- tension and exitment untill the very last minute. I took a cab from the station to my new home and the driver called me ‚Darling’. When I arrived there it was already dark. Within minutes my trunk was all over my new room; when I looked out of my window I saw a fox walking along the street and moving towards a house on the opposite side of the street. I love foxes. In Japanese they are called ‚kitsune’. Foxes are magical creatures in Japanese belief and they can change their appearance and even become humans. Very often they fool men, but usually they don’t harm anybody. In Japan I saw a breathtaking Kabuki play in which a fox was bound to a magical drum which was made out of the skin of his fox parents...When I closed my eyes the other day in my new room I saw an imaginary hunting crew riding after my neighbour, which I call ‚Mr Kitsune’. Of course my Mr.Kitsune would find a perfekt hide-out from them. However I am sure he was guarding my first night in the new bed(a futon, by the way) and makes my first dreams in my new bed come true.

Posted by steffi at 7:34 PM
Categories: places

an mir liegts nicht

Bevor ich mich auf den Weg nach London machte, machte ich ein Kreuzchen auf den Wahlzettel und erfüllte meine Bürgerpflicht. Also, an mir liegt es nicht, wenn Deutschland demnächst schwarz sieht- Ich werde mir die Wahl und das Ergebnis, das unmittelbare, wie das weiter-reichende aus sicherer Entfernung in England ansehen. Übrigens, bei einer Wahlparty verganene Woche in Berlin habe ich noch ein paar Entdeckungen gemacht; der beste Wahlspruch lautet: Ohne Deutschland geht es Bayern besser- Für potentielle Protestwähler der großen Parteien kommt hier der Link zur Bayernpartei und zur Frauenpartei .

Posted by steffi at 7:28 PM
Categories: misc



My flatmate recommended this book and as soon as I started it I could not stop reading. The author Patricia Melo takes us to a favela settlement in Rio de Janeiro, to a poor boy nicknamed Kingie who lives with his mother and sister; he admires the trafficker and leader Miltao. The eleven year old wants to work for him and become one of his men. From the first page we are taken to an inferno , which spirals down. Incredible. Intense. Cruel. Read it.inferno

Posted by steffi at 3:27 PM
Categories: books