Since “indoor” group sports are not possible at the moment (1), I have been obliged to look around for yoga courses on YouTube – and without much enthusiasm at first. I found what I was looking for from a young woman from Berlin who explains really well and clearly indicates what matters in individual exercises. A real happy ending for me – in the meantime, “yoga with tablet” has become an enjoyable (and beneficial) part of my everyday life.
However, after the first few classes, I found that the blocks I had to overcome were less physical than linguistic. I had certain difficulties with prompts like “Let your forehead go all soft”, because whatever I had hoped for from yoga – a soggy noodle it was not.
Just to get things clear from the beginning: The title does not refer to the daydreams of any old pensioners, but it is about the preconceptions that people between 60 and 67 have about their own retirement period, which is ahead of them but has not yet begun. The topic comes up again and again during enjoyable evenings with friends, and the “fantasies” in this regard not only say a lot about the nature of the people involved in the conversation, but also about the challenges of their particular everyday professional lives.
When my harlequin colleague HFI told me about the post she was writing about birds in music, I said, “I know lots of songs with birds in them too” – and started right over with “La Paloma, ohe” and “Wenn die Kraniche ziehen (When cranes migrate)”. My Harlekin colleagues struggled to hide their horror, but at the risk of lowering the intellectual level of the Harlekin.blog somewhat, I thought the topic “birds in music” would not be complete without Schlager1.
The trend toward exercise and wellness continues unabated – and I think it’s highly commendable. The saying “Sitting is the new smoking” fits this trend well – and is leading more and more companies to encourage their staff to do fitness and wellness exercises during working hours. There are numerous instructional videos on LinkedIn and YouTube, and at my company, one colleague took it upon herself to regularly provide us with new exercises “for in between.”
When I was working in Laos as a voluntary teacher with the British Voluntary Service Overseas (similar to the US Peace Corps), I had the bright idea of treating a number of friends to a British Christmas dinner. I lived in a town on the Mekong, miles away from the nearest Sainsbury’s, so I pondered how to source my ingredients. Fortunately, the British Embassy was a mere few hundred miles away where occasional treats like Chivas Regal for next to nothing (duty free) were available.
In the Netherlands, every lunchroom, every bakery that sells filled rolls and every café has “broodje gezond” – a so-called healthy roll – on the menu. I was initially very impressed, because it is not a matter of course to be offered a healthy alternative competing with less nutritious treats. I don’t want to tangle with all the bread-roll shop owners in the country and immediately commend all those whose “healthy rolls” really are healthy. But in my experience, they are a very small minority.
Dear Harlequin fans, I confess, over the summer I neglected my educational mission and did not publish any “stories that life writes” for our blog. This will change again instantly, laughter provoked by bizarre stories helps best to banish winter blues and pandemical tin-foil theories.
The German title of this article is based on the Stern magazine column “News from Kalau”, which specializes in excruciating puns; no doubt the cartoonist would also think of a suitable cartoon for the following story. In short, the following story is about foreigners in strange places, weird streets and an irritable taxi driver.
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