Drugs party

According to a status report on drugs 2021 (national REITOX (Réseau Européen d’Information sur les Drogues et les Toxicomanies) node to EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction), in 2018, 8.3% of 12-64 year-olds had used drugs (especially cannabis) within the previous 12 months, of those more men than women. Bavaria in particular is well above the average, especially noticeable among 14-17 year olds.

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A lifelong companion

The 70s cast long shadows

My colleague PUE has written about lifelong learning at Harlekin.blog from time to time – I will now follow suit and comment on “lifelong furniture”. It’s about the magnificent exhibit pictured above, which was brought back from the attic to the light of day.

In the first Corona summer (how that sounds…) a major renovation campaign took place at our house with all kinds of measures to make our 60s terraced house fit for the future. Corona rules made some preparations necessary. Routes were marked in the house, etc., in order to allow the 3 – 6 builders who were working in and around the house at the same time and ourselves to take coffee breaks “at a distance” – including pleasant chats over coffee, of course.

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The Reading

This post is by our guest author Susanne Bröer. Susanne lives in Berlin, is a graduate in business management, has been passionately sewing quilts for 30 years and writes short stories, so-called five-liners.

Thursday, 8 pm! There aren’t many people sitting in the auditorium, maybe a dozen – mostly of the older generation, literature lovers, so to speak. Some are armed with writing material to take notes, others wait in curiosity for the literary spectacle that is about to follow. A woman enters the stage, dressed in black, accompanied by an almost ash-blond small boy, presumably her son. A large book with a red cloth cover lies open on the table in front of her.

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Why do I actually do this?

What keeps me sitting down and writing articles? What’s the point? I could play golf, take the dog out, cook or take a spin on my motorbike instead. I deliberately chose only activities that I enjoy for the comparison. Not things like cleaning windows, chasing clients on the phone or arguing with insurance companies. So why? Okay, there’s a bunch of nice people I’ve known for ages that it’s fun to “work”with. You also develop your personal writing style, your own way of expressing yourself, your precision and so on (we’re talking about the punchlines here, not the approach shots). Is that all? Hey – the alternatives are mentioned above and they are really good ones. So why? Probably it has been obvious to everyone except me. I can already hear the chorus of heartfelt compassion at the next Harlequin meeting.

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Crime Scene Front Garden (Part 3)

Of child murderers and disturbers of the peace

There are also some kestrels breeding in my neighbourhood. Incidentally, they are not related to birds of prey, but to parrots. Once made aware of this peculiarity, one can see some parallels between the two species, e.g. in flight, motion on the ground and beak design. But that’s not what I wanted to write about. Kestrels, like tits, lay their eggs at intervals of a few days, so that some of the children will develop further than the stragglers. As a result, the older ones beg more loudly for food and are thus attended to more quickly and grow faster. And in years of shortages, such as this year 2022, only the older ones are then fed. The younger ones starve. This is a survival strategy of birds called cainism. This behaviour is also known in storks when there is a food shortage in their breeding area.

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Crime Scene Front Garden (Part 2 after all)

Of swindlers, robbers and executioners

The stories told here are not for the faint-hearted. According to human moral standards, they are all about the rejection of all ethical behaviour and the deep abyss of social machinations. Things get really bad in the bird kingdom. So think twice: do you really want to read on? I warned you….

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Would you emigrate to Mexico, Beate?

… an email asked me some time ago. The mail came from XING, or more precisely from one of the “business communities” I am registered with. “I don’t think so!” was my first thought, and my second, “Why do you want to know that anyway?” The text informed me of the results of a large survey conducted by XING’s sister platform, InterNations. InterNations asked 12000 expats in 52 countries which country they felt most comfortable in.

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Growing Green Cities

The Floriade 2022

The “Floriade”, the world horticultural exhibition, will take place in Almere in the Dutch province of Flevoland This year. The Netherlands organises the Floriade every 10 years and there are bad reviews each time thanks to massive budget overruns. How high the loss will be this year can probably only be said when the exhibition closes its doors in October. But it already looks like a record. The true numbers of visitors is much lower than those estimated – whereby Corona certainly also plays a role. Several heads have rolled among those politically responsible.

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Crime Scene Front Garden (Part 1)

Of foreboding in nature

Jersey Tiger

This is not about your unease as a mighty thunderstorm front approaches, although this spectacle of nature could also be worth an article in Harlequin, especially if there is a theatre of clouds in the sky (look up and discover, as I did, your grandmother as a cloudy silhouette). And it’s not about mosquitoes either, which are, after all, known as awe-ful bloodsuckers of mammals and thus also transmit diseases. Nor is it about ticks, which, once they have bitten into a mammal, grow larger and larger and only occur at altitudes of up to 1,200 metres.

Today it’s really about crime stories, S&M practices, pretense and deceit. And all this in nature. And it’s about small and tiny creatures trying to hold their own in a world of eating and being eaten with artifice, guile and trickery.

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Read-along Films?

Subtitling versus dubbing

On German television it has been standard for donkey’s years to show foreign films dubbed in German (with the exception of “Dinner for one” on New Year’s Eve, of course). DVDs and streaming services offer the choice of “original with subtitles” – but with films and series on TV international actors and actresses are still “dished up” with German voices.

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