It is BOOK CLUB time again and we are reading UNTER LEUTEN by JULI ZEH - welcome to a parallel universe in the middle of Brandenburg nowhere, where you meet a spectacular set of Unterleuten´ inhabitants - all tangled up in a huge dispute spinning out of control, about bird protection and a looming wind power station to be built in their midst, while still battling the aftermath of the former DDR.

In case you want to read along and meet a group of nice book lovers, let me know and I will set you up with the details! We will meet again on 16.5., 7.30 pm at our favorite spot in Regensburg.


(Texts I send to my sister at age 34 - she almost never replies. In the end I tell the singer of the band that I liked the concert more than the exhibition I actually came for and congratulate him for being nice and not arrogant on stage. He says they do try their best. When I unlock my bike I come face to face with said cute bass player - he´s apparently having an earnest discussion, sitting down on some grimy stairs with a pretty girl and I know when I´m defeated. So what do I do in my weird crouching position? I ask him what an "aerostat" is, since the band is called that way. When he tells me it´s a Luftschiff, I say something like "so it´s basically a yellow submarine, but in red and up in the air". Calling my sister on my return home, she tells me that this is an excellent pick up line. Well, at least a made them laugh. I take a hot shower, check for early spring ticks and scary bruises my physiotherapist might have left behind with his cupping tool, trying to make my legs feel less numb - none and none. Then cat gets a chin tickle and I tell her I love her so. In bed before 10. My life is hilarious.)
(I have been wearing those shoes for over 20 years now. The leather is getting a bit stiff, but so am I.)
(By looking at our workshop you can definitely make out who is the Silberschiedemeister and who just isn´t. W started working on that turquoise bracelet about 30 years ago and is currently finishing it for my birthday - so excited!)

I always had to use the bathroom a lot, but with this vegan diet I am starting to feel like a bird or a mouse, digestion-wise. When you put something in, something else falls out - maybe even a bit like those dolls you feed with a tiny bottle, just so they would start to pee right away. Never had one of those, they were made of evil plastic, but I still left the toy catalogue laying open at the page with the thing on it, hoping my parents would somehow get the clue. All in vain, of course. Probably this diet is actually more fitting for the naturally constipated amongst us. 

I read, read, read. Brilliant essays online, wonderful newsletters, magazines, so many books. Without  Medimops, I would be broke by now because of my book buying habit - my mum actually thought I was ordering insane amounts of pet medication, because it says "Medi" and "Mops" on the packaging. These days I am down to exclusively female writers now, I rarely bother with the male ones. I grow impatient with them and become fidgety. I read so much, it is impossible to keep it all neatly stored and easily accessible in my brain. This makes me impatient and fidgety too, especially when I wake up at night - usually because my cat starts bouncing on my chest. Then my mind starts spinning with things I should look up, look at, look like and I am having a hard time falling asleep again. I think most of the available brain space is actually clogged up with food stuff, recipes I spotted somewhere and want to try someday. Like where did I find that vegan BANANA COOKIE RECIPE and did I bookmark the one with the SPICY PEANUT NOODLES I could have with the tiny winter radishes I found on the farmers market? For what did I buy the nutritional yeast for - a VEGAN CEASAR SALAD? Did I make a note somewhere of the ingredient list for that fabulous chickpea salad I had, when going out for lunch with my friend? The chickpeas were like none I ever had, so silky and fresh, like falling right down from the chickpea tree/plant/whatever and straight into my mouth... I´ll put it down here real quick: I seem to remember cucumbers, dates, celery and fresh coconut flakes, covered in a turmeric dressing. And I did read an exceptional article on how we view WOMEN´S STORIES, didn´t I, but why can´t I remember a thing about it? THE FOLDED CLOCK sat on on of my bookshelves for two years now, unread, which is shocking to me now, just shocking! But on the other hand, I am so happy to be able to read it now - maybe we were both just waiting for each other and for the right time. (There is a lovely The Lit Up Show EPISODE, which I greatly enjoyed, too - the one with Jennifer Egan is brilliant, too.) It definitely looks like I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO READ. I would like to dive into all those topics, submerge and drown, but all I do is look at shiny surfaces and reflections. 

My hair is too long and looks drab, my face always scrunched up, a vertical line sits between my eyebrows - there is nothing photogenic about that, nothing to successfully instagram. I can´t even fake beauty, create an idea of myself from scratch, some kind of voice. What do I sound like? I am wondering if there is a place for me in that chorus out there, where and what I want to be and what I have to do to get there.  On the other hand I have just entered a new phase of unshakeable, leaden tiredness that keeps me just where I am. It is a kind of tiredness that doesn´t respond to freshly squeezed orange juice or spicy food or going out anyway. I only return shaking, with a ringing in my head and a desperate need to go to bed immediately. On one of those days I have to lie down in the afternoon and stand up again with a dislocated jaw an hour later. Chewing hurts and I massage my face using a bit of soothing oil while watching Friends. It turns out watching Friends has become unbearable in this new feminist era - Ross really is the worst of all (E says "he has always been a problematic character") and suddenly JOEY is the way better option. But maybe my voice is the one with the drab hair after all, living in the equally drab suburb and on a weird diet that makes her poop a lot. Maybe it doesn´t matter that I don´t drink a lot of WINE in a lot of places and drinking no wine in no places and writing about that down is just as legit. I really like the story of her Riesling nameplate by the way and I am thinking about which one I could get for myself - "Toilet"? "Emergency Exit"? My sister E suggests "Overly Excited" and wants something like "Easily Butthurt Feminazi" for herself.

At the flea market I find five plates and a bowl in the same blue pattern as two cups I greatly admired as child. I thought my mother so fancy for owning those, and their matching saucers. Looking at the dark blue flower at the bottom of the cup, covered by yellow coloured tea, made me feel cozy and warm. There was a turquoise enamel tea pot - now used for watering plants, a vintage leather berber bucket bag with fringes and a necklace with a tiny pearl and moon stone my dad made for her, that I also thought very grand. Taking a look in my cupboards, you wouldn´t think I live alone, you wouldn´t even think I was raising a big family. You would think I was hosting endless dinner parties instead, with mismatched dinner ware and lots of candles. None of this is happening however. It did, quite a few years ago, when dinner parties where my favorite thing. I don´t know if they were any good, but I liked coming up with a theme and preparing it all. And on each of those evenings I thought "Now your life is actually starting, that is actually how it is supposed to be. Never mind what happened until just now." I also think so every time I get a new dress.

Since I haven´t celebrated my birthday for over ten years now, I am thinking of maybe doing so this year. Well, only if my sister comes to help me "entertain", otherwise this would be too much pressure for me. What I want is a gathering of friends, sunshine (or not, I actually don´t care), pretty birthday dresses and delightful cakes with matcha and raspberries and the one with the rum soaked raisins in it. I want buttermilk scones, sugar and basil marinated strawberries with cream and I want pretty pictures as proof - those with the blurry sunspots and shallow depth of field. And I want my mother´s cheese crackers, sprinkled with seeds and spices, too, egg wash and all.

Last Easter Sunday a period of bad stomach pain started with a little twinge behind my pubic bone, when watching ELVIS on Youtube, which always makes W so excited. I tried to walk it off in the sun, by the river - the pain however didn´t give a fuck about a walk. It had come to stay, to spread and morph. This year I put a lot of brie and BLOOD ORANGE MARMALADE my mum has made on a lot of slices of sweet Easter bread. Then I take a walk with W, during which we don´t find a solution for my current cash flow problems, but I don´t really mind. After that he tells me the engineering for my new pieces is completely wrong. He is right about that, of course, but I don´t mind either. There is a storm that evening and the rain comes down slanting heavily from every direction, washing away everything but the throw up in front of the brothel I ride by every day. On Eastern Monday I eat even more of that yeasted bread with raisins and almonds and we take an other walk. I break a sweat in my new leather jacket, since the sun is out again and we pick up some earnings from one of my local STOCKISTS to ease the cash flow problem. Then we discuss our engineering issues in a very leisurely way. I haven´t felt that much like on holidays in, like, forever.

There is an Instagram ad for a vacuum cleaner attachment I am freakishly drawn to - it let´s you suck tiny bits of dust from your cutlery drawers with fuses so narrow, you don´t even have to remove the things in it. Now I desperately wish for that kind of thing and spot nooks all over the place I´d like to deep-clean with it.

I tell my parents I won´t be able to chip in on the new heating system we´ll need in the near future, since I have to save every cent to have my cat cloned one day.


(These pictures of my after-winter garden basically show what is called an "Idylln" around here, in a very ironic but loving way.)
(I took the pictures of those golden ear rings to be with fancy stones in the workshop in early fall and they still aren´t finished - by posting these I hope to put a bit of pressure on us to do so.)
(This NIGHTSTAND made me want to give Anita Brookner an other try - I found her HOTEL DU LAC so cruel, but I am so glad I gave it another shot, because this one is just so, so good. Here is my favorite passage: "He would, he had long ago decided, be deliberately euphoric. It was a technique which he could practise and perfect, although sometimes it nearly eluded him. Thus, from his earliest days, he remembered scenes that might have been deviced by Proust." To be deliberately euphoric - what a way to lead ones life (despite the fact that he has been trough a lot of hardships), this seems hugely inspiring to me. I also love the fancy vintage cover and I am planing on collecting many of those. Oh, and that would be my own CRESCENT BRACELET, in case you were wondering!)

My Sundays are busy in a weird way. I do my laundry because I still have my Grandmother´s ancient electricity contract, where they don´t charge as much for electricity used during the night and on Sundays. It looks like I use as much electricity during the week as on washing and tumble drying days. Also I need to flip my mattress once a week, because I got tricked into spending a lot of money on it years ago and it turned out it is complete garbage and really sucks. After a week of sleeping on it, it feels like I have to crawl out of a valley each morning. So Sunday is when I flip the damn thing. My sister says I can´t call it being tricked, I was just being plain stupid instead, since it was one of those shops calling themselves a specialized mattress dealer in bold red and yellow letters, while  simultaneously announcing an eternal sale. The tumbler also doesn´t really work that good anymore, so I spend the day with a kitchen filled with chairs covered in clothes in the final drying stages.

I find a padded fancy leather jacket at my friend´s and stockist´s SHOP, when she is having a sale. I also fall in love with a black cashmere sweater with flowers on it. In the end I swap them for the most elaborate of our SILVER RECYCLING NECKLACES, which means I got a really, really good deal on them. They both smell like the also very fancy perfume she sells, which unfortunately gives me a  bit of a headache, so I have to air them out for a while. Which basically means wearing both a lot. I look almost sharp in that jacket, a quite disturbing sight.

I break the cup that wet with my tiny tea POT, all because when doing the dishes that morning I marveled at the fact that I had not yet broken it, even though I use it every morning since my sister gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago. Trying to put it away while simultaneously eating a shitty peanut-butter-seeds-and-chocolate-slice, I drop it a few hours later. My magical thinking is powerful and by now the facts are on my side. I had a premonition of dropping my phone in the toilet (only for the first time it happened to me, the second time it was a surprise) and even of my grandmother´s deadly stroke, I get a feeling about the tiniest and greatest losses - so don´t try to tell me otherwise. I can´t accept broken or lost things, so that damn cup was glued together again right away - you can´t drink from it anymore, of course, but at least it is not that broken anymore. However I also think when something minor happens, it means something major isn´t happening instead. So all of these plates breaking and there are a lot of plates breaking these days - sometimes they just sit broken in their drawer, broken by ghosts´ hands probably - keep the really bad stuff from happening. And I am very thankful for that. I even told my mother about this when she was mourning a broken antique jug and made her feel very good about it instead. 

A friend tells me she is pregnant while the dog she is currently watching starts to throw up violently. The poor beast heaves and shakes and I pity her a lot. She is a vegan dog, so the throw up is bright yellow. When I am riding home on my bike, I am wondering how a dog in the wild might come to the conclusion to lead a vegan life and I figure it probably goes like this: "Glaubst as, des Hoosn jogn bockt mi nimma - i friss etz Ruam!" This is absolutely untranslatable since that specific vegan dog lived in the Upper Palatinate, being a teenager around 2010, talking this era´s local youth slang. I ask my sister if it is weird to think my own joke that funny - she doesn´t have a conclusive answer.

I don´t know what is wrong with my Photoshop, the transformation frames leave traces all over the desktop and I have no idea where I am at at any point - it feels like going mad. Then I find some short cuts to press while rebooting the whole thing and it goes away. 

I am so pissed these days, carrying around some kind of anger, pared with so much tiredness and a feeling like I might come down with something any minute now. I had wanted to go to a screening by a quite successful DIRECTOR growing up in our town, visiting even the same school as I did, but I had written the date wrong and noticed it too late - made me scream. I also wanted to go to Munich and take a look at all those JEWELLERY EXHIBITIONS, but the day before I was so still so tired I had to lie down after riding the fold up bike I wanted take with me around the block. I will do so some other time, but it feels like I have failed. On the other hand, going to a bigger city always makes me feel depressed about the one I am living in. Of course I could just go visiting a lot, but I am just so immobile. Instead I feel like my life is wasting away, living at the lifeless outskirt of a narrow medieval town, with not that much to see. It is cute alright here, but I feel like I miss out on so much, the really beautiful things. But right now this is the only life I can afford and I am grateful for its advantages, but these days this irks me a great deal. I yell-tell all of this my sisters, they understand. They are not enough dates between meals to calm my mood and never any sweets in the house. My sister´s co-worker suggests I might switch to alcohol, everybody knows about my faul temper by now. Then I get an update on Facebook that one of the events I had dreamed of going to, a poetry reading at the Haus der Kunst, was cancelled due to sickness.

The seasons are changing again, my cat wants to be let out in the middle of the night, for a stroll in the dark. On her return she rattles at my door and covers my white bed sheets with earthy foot prints. The next day it feels like the first day of spring, she stays outside all day and comes home pumped, trying to pick play fights with me. It seemed like she had gotten old during the winter, but the warmth has turned her into a kitten again. It does sound odd, but I have really liked that winter, I am in no hurry for Spring either. I feel in tune with the seasons now.


It is BOOK CLUB time again - we are meeting on the 28th of March and you are very welcome to join us! Just send a message to mail@wsake.com and I´ll set you up with the details!

We will be talking about MIDDLESEX by JEFFERY EUGENIDES, a novel having celebrated its 15th birthday last year. Being very late to a lot of things, I just discovered it over a year ago and I was so blown away, the inferno of Smyrna is still haunting me - one of the events in recent history I had no idea about, but then I am not very fluent in Greek/Turkish history, or a lot of the other themes in this wonderful (Homeric) book. 


(Thank you so much, BRIGITTE, for featuring our SILVER RECYCLING NECKLACES amongst other sustainable fashion ideas - we have some BRACELETS now, too!)
(March is apparently endometriosis awareness month so I joined #1in10 - there needs to be better education and more research, the lack of knowledge even shown by medical professionals is shocking and harmful, physically and mentally. Endometriosis is an invisible disease, no ultra sound or MRI scan is able to show it - but my hot-water-bottle-induced skin damage might give you a clue.)

The temperature drops below zero and a piercing icy wind from the North-East picks up. It hits quite close to the ground, behind the knees, sometimes it drifts higher, ripping the hood already drawn close from the head. Biking in this kind of weather is an ordeal. The colder it gets, the more I slow down. My movements become leaden. The grease in my joints becoming goey. I take a walk by the river in the sunshine to the discounter who offers by far the best deal on fair trade, WWF-approved, organic bananas. I fill my backpack and trod home again. The bananas start to rot before ever getting ripe.

I meet a jogger, she is so beautiful and when she comes up to me, her smile is full on.

And then the temperatures drop even further. I stare at a lot of weather reports, but the digits just won´t change. I am scared to go out and put on a third pair of underpants, which have belonged to my grandmother, the nude coloured woollen knee length kind.

For their book project I charge my sister and her boyfriend the exact amount of money I need to buy these SHOES.

I haven´t seen my friend in more than half a year since she has moved her family to the countryside. We finally meet up in our town´s French restaurant. I order some "Good luck" tea from the very cute French waitress (I have a thing for the French currently) and a few sips in, we reach territory we never had - we talk about our mothers. We go deep. Down to the roots of our greatest fears that made us what we are now. The tiny seemingly insignificant events that shaped us so irreversibly. I don´t manage to finish my galette with ricotta and spinach and hand it over to her. When I get up from a chair later that day, my right leg has gotten slightly numb and I can´t shake it off. My back has started to act out again. There is no connection, but I had missed my FRIEND a lot.

My workshop and garden helper tells me he feels depressed, so I agree to go out with him at Fasching. It turns out no one is around and when he tells me about his troubles, I have three instructions for him: stop smoking weed, eat a lot instead and staying clear of his father. A week later, he lets me know his life has already improved greatly by following those simple rules. I share my white chocolate bar with ground espresso bits in it with him, I am not supposed to eat it anyway - there is milk powder in it.

Last winter I got a pair of woollen pants on sale and wore them only once. I had already considered them a waste of money but now I put them on every day, they have an elastic waist, some kind of harem style and enough room for Heattech underneath. They need to be dry cleaned though, which is the only downside, so I will try putting that off until the end of winter. I am not a dry cleaning person, the last time I had something cleaned was when a mouse lived between two of my woollen scarfs for a few days. A dark red and a light blue one, the droppings I found were also coloured that way. I have some other good mouse stories up my sleeves, but I am keeping them up there for an other time.

The first time I taste miso is in an edamame salad I pick up at REWE to go before my train ride home from LEIPZIG. I also have two Dunking Donuts. And it is also the first time I have edamame, which I still haven´t found for sale anywhere, so I still like to get this salad sometimes. Can´t wait to make WALNUT OLIVE MISO SAUCE, even though soy products are considered very un-clean. I have never had a PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH, too, but I have been dreaming about that combination for so long.

I long for my sisters, someone to eat dinner with, to talk to at night. I am pondering getting a little poodle. 

I call E and tell her to coarsely grate two huge salad potatoes and roast them in a non-stick frying pan in olive oil with caraway and salt. They stick to the pan a lot so she needs to make heavy use of her wooden spatula. Almost at the end she has to add some sauerkraut - it is a divine meal, she agrees. I have mine with lots of our local mustard.


(Gluten-freeing these DATE BREAKFAST SQUARES by using buck wheat flour turned them into such a crumbly mess, they have to be eaten straight from the pan.)
(Considering the amount of tiny Madeleine moulds I found on the flea market, you might think I finally found all that Lost Time Proust was looking for... but they were produced in West Germany, so they could also be used for "Bärentatzen" - a German bear paw shaped cookie - and we would have to start looking all over again.)
(That golden version of our ARROW RING had quite an exciting journey to its new owner in Hungary, but eventually arrived in the end - now let´s hope she says yes and likes the ring!)

The sheep and cattle are rotting away on their pastures these days, so my sister tells me. After the wettest months in history the fields in Northern Germany are not only drenched but flooded, mud baths. It sounds like a biblical plage, a punishment for a great sin. She is constantly on the line with the veterinary office to get a few of those poor beasts moved to dryer grounds, probably making enemies with every farmer around.

I crush the chickpeas so they might soak up their tomato broth (you could also call it "red water"), hoping I won´t throw up afterwards - my belly is in excellent shape these days. The next day I place an order for a juicer (a slightly damaged model from Amazon Marketplace) and a lot of supplements - I am going to jump on the CELERY JUICE train in full speed. When they arrive, the packets of barley grass powder, ashwagandha and spirulina smell like incense sticks. I have to figure out some of the combinations, so far ashwagandha and l-lysin gives me an unpleasant dizzyness that must be avoided in the future. Before my first green smoothie I am really scared, but then the mixture of baby spinach, avocado, pear and the juice of a blood orange tastes unexpectedly lovely and afterwards I feel pumped at first and then vomity, then good again and surprisingly full - after I had a few "Energy Balls" and a scalding hot golden milk to warm up again. Smoothies do make me freeze a lot, I could never add ice chips to them since this would make me probably turn completely blue. I have no idea how to address this issue so far, I did however figure out the vessel-problem - since regular large glasses being to small for these quantities, I switched to my BEER MUGS. This has not been a satisfactory solution due to their un-spoon-ablitly, so I am doing bowls now - yeah, that´s how late I am to every fad around. To speed up the ripening of all those smoothie-bananas, I drape them around apples, it kind of looks like a banana-nest filled with apple-eggs. The ceiling above my Vitamix is blue berry splattered by now. I brew my fresh sage and thyme tea in the almost empty jar of my favorite local HONEY, so nothing gets wasted. There are jars filled with seeds and beans in every stage of sprout on my counter, including mold. At least I think it is mold, unless they have grown very furry roots (a quick Google search later I have to admit I was wrong about the mold, it is fibrous roots instead). My mum sometimes busted out some mungbeans when we were kids and I loved their taste and crunch, so there is a Weck jar filled with those too. Broccoli simply won´t work in my environment, they turn to a smelly mush no matter which sprouting technic I use. The "Spicy Sprout Mixture" gives me heartburn in the end, so I am down to alfalfa by now. My favorite tastes these days are MUSTARD (still have to try the sprout variety), vinegar (please try that BROCCOLI WITH RAISINS and soba noodles) and salt, probably all very un-raw and un-clean.

This goes quite well for a few days, then I start feeling queasy by just thinking about that green stuff and I move on to making pestos (with raisins, of course) instead of smoothies, to be had with roasted vegetables. I usually do a huge batch with my farmers market loot, so I have lots of left overs to use up during the week. Also I think I should stay clear of legumes, the verdict is still out on (totally not raw) sauerkraut - how can something supposedly so good for your gut give you that much gas? This is a fact however: Vitamixing and juicing means so much cleaning up - I think my diet so far is a huge waste of water.

Also in my shopping basket: a JADE ROLLER. You can definitely expect a complete transformation of myself and I will soon present you the new and depuffed Anna!

There is a construction site on one of the four bridges I cross everyday, so they shut down one bike lane and I have to use the other side - after a week I am still thrown by that fact. I am such a creature of habit with such set ways. Each morning is a struggle now, since I have changed my own feeding routine and I have to concentrate very hard to get everything in line. Flexibility is not my forte, but I never said otherwise. In the hands of a psychologist I would very likely be diagnosed with an adjustment disorder within seconds, but I rather go with astrology and call this my stubborn Bavarian taurus streak. And it was probably the blue super moon that made me realize so many things about myself lately, strangely enough a few of them surfacing while talking on Skype. The discussion had nothing to do with anything, it was just seeing myself behaving in certain ways on that tiny screen in the right upper corner of the screen. I do not know how to change these habits but I feel it is crucial to do so, so I am watching myself rather closely now.

Yes, I am new to Skype, but the screen sharing option is pretty great, so we´re using it a lot while working on a book project. In between my sister and her boyfriend show me their kitchen re-enactment of a German gold medal winning free skating lift. We move on to doing Aljona´s fist-shake-morphing-into-an-arm-glide, which is basically the only thing we´re able to do somewhat gracefully.