I’m bored? Bravo!

This morning after the yoga flow programme and feeding the birds in the garden, I discovered an article in the newspaper that took me back in time: The Bauer publishing house is opening its Bravo Archive from 1956 – 1994 (https://www.bravo-archiv.de/home.php).

Yes, yes, Bravo. When I discovered it then, at the age of 12, shortly before the Olympic Games in Munich, I was immediately one of its millions of enthusiastic readers. Because when I was 12, my life consisted of school, homework, meeting friends on the street and on weekends largely of boredom. Bravo was a grateful distraction, as it fuelled a 12-year-old girl’s many fantasies.

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Sex, Drugs and Corona

Did you read it too? In Greenland and Hong Kong the consumption of alcohol has been banned or severely restricted. And in Mexico the Corona brewery was closed down. While in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, no more alcohol can be purchased, in Hong Kong no drinks with more than 2.25 percent alcohol content were allowed to be served and sales were completely prohibited.

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Home Office in Quarantine

Up to now, some of my colleagues have worked from home because they wanted to do it themselves (and sometimes their managers had to be convinced). Those who received management blessing then took special care to appear just as professional from home as from the office – or even more professional. The webcam background was checked for telltale elements that could allow conclusions to be drawn about private life, and any acoustic disturbances were also eliminated. It is better to sweat with the window closed than to risk the noise of the nearby carnival penetrating through the phone.

And all this is – at least in my experience – suddenly quite different…

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A divided society mirroring our selves

The following text is a guest contribution by Gabriele Guthmann. She runs a practice for psychological counselling, energy work and consciousness coaching, and lives in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Our society is subject to increasing polarization, according to a recent survey by the Konrad Adenauer Trust. A look at the development of German society since the turn of the millennium shows a growing imbalance in international comparison with countries like Sweden or Denmark.

The imbalance of income structures, political and economic uncertainties lead to the experience of different truths of our social values. A society that has allowed itself to lean back on security and stability for decades is falling into increasing disorientation. This results in fear of loss, aggression, excessive demands and the feeling of being separated from others.

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Simple? Complicated? Complex? Or already chaotic?

Can the Cynefin model help in matters of the heart?

Quite a while ago, the so-called Cynefin model (from the Welsh word meaning “habitat”) achieved quite a bit of notoriety. It is a typology of a system or project that provides a clue as to what kind of explanations and/or solutions apply or might be helpful in uncertain contexts.

The model is divided into four categories or contexts: simple, chaotic, complex and complicated.

Now from time to time I too use one of those platforms where you can tell other people something (about yourself). On this particular platform I was told someone I knew had updated his or her relationship status to “complicated”.

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The End is Nigh! Or is it? – “Factfulness”

by Hans Rosling et al

It would be easy to fill our blog with just a list of events and topics that depress you. Here’s just a sample: Climate change, populism, the refugee problem and our response, political “leaders”, fake news, hate speech, consumer waste, knife crime, endangered species, insect decimation, locusts in Africa, child abuse, hunger, sex discrimination, obesity, Brexit, plastic in whales’ stomachs, Trump’s inability to put a sentence together without the words “wonderful” or “beautiful”, floods, fires and now a deadly virus. It’s enough to make you want to emigrate – but where to???

If you want a breath of fresh air and the chance to say to yourself, “Pull yourself together!”, then this is the book you need. Hans Rosling (1948-2017), Swedish head of the Division of International Health at Karolinska Institutet and advisor to the WHO and UNESCO, co-founder of Médecins sans Frontières, combines his experience and knowledge of world health with statistics. Sounds dry and boring, doesn’t it!

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Underground Sustainability

In January, I told you about the “eco etiquette” and my attempt to reduce my own ecological footprint. In the meantime I have changed a number of processes and products in my everyday life and I am still in the process of finding out how big its effect might be. It is a complex undertaking… For some issues it is made easy for me: there is a credible book, an expert or a reputable website that can help. In other areas it is more complicated.

An example of this is the matter of how you would like to organize your parting from the Earth. Is there an “green” burial? You start at the end, so to speak, but everyone has to consider it eventually, so why not now? In addition to the relevant literature, I discovered a fascinating source of information on this subject: the local crematorium organised an open day.

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Great, I can choose!

The two-part article “Too much bloody choice!” (published on 21st and 28th February 2020) ignited an impassioned discussion in the Harlequin team. We wondered whether it was an issue that affects all sections of the population or just the 50+ generation. Therefore, we were curious to hear the younger generation’s view. We are very happy to post a guest contribution by Ricarda Fillhardt, who looks at the “agony of choice” from a different perspective. Ricarda is a student and currently lives in Edinburgh.

I certainly doubt an excess of choice makes us happy. Just last week I spent so much time trying to decide what to watch on Netflix that it was too late once I had (semi-content) settled on a film and went to bed instead. I also recently decided to treat myself to a wellness day on my birthday and must have spent hours on tripadvisor trying to find the best option in the vast amount of saunas and wellness centres my home town had to offer. However, this rarely occurs to me as a problem. I grew up with choice.

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