17 Juli 2008


Rhine beach pleasure

Pure delight! Who needs to travel to the Mediterranean with this little beach nearby (20 minutes by train, in Mainz)?

We discovered it thanks to some friends a few days earlier - but that day was cold, with just a little sunshine at the very late afternoon, and the beach empty. But fun was just the same.



One of the nicest thing to do is to go shopping for the garden.

My latest acquisition:

This wonderful very fragrant rose (a 'Geoff Hamilton').

08 Juli 2008


One year already ...

... that we are back in Germany.

Time flies.

Sorry for the long silence.

We had a good year. We re-acclimatized well in Frankfurt; lots of things make us happy to be back in Germany, but, well, we still miss lots of things from Japan. Apparently, that will not change; so we'll fly over to Kitakami for a 3 weeks holiday in autumn, to keep in touch. But we are both ashamed that we didn't continue to study japanese, notwithstanding our good intentions. And sorry that we didn't manage to make Jakob keep his awakening japanese.

It was a healthy year; Jakob and I both hadn't been ill even for one day, even during the long winter. And it was a green year, especially since we got our garden and spend there really a lot of our free time.

And of course, that year was a busy one, gosh! My new job (lasting one more year from now on) is really interesting, but it was lots harder than staying at home with baby Jakob and have coffee and a chat with the Uenomachi neighbours. I coordinate a biodiversity project, a public campaign called “Biodiversity region Frankfurt / RhineMain”. It aims to inform about the surprisingly rich biodiversity in our region and to raise the regional population's knowledge and consciousness of biodiversity. My work has almost nothing to do with science, but everything with PR and marketing - I had to learn a lot! But (me and three colleagues I had to engage - THAT was not easy for me too, believe me) we managed to realize all scheduled elements of the campaign (several series of lectures and events, excursions, guided visits, a poster campaign, expositions, films, short clips, school contests etc etc). One year ago I really wasn't very optmistic, but I have to admit that I am quite satisfied. The price to pay was much work and little time to spend in family.

Speaking of family: Jakob is quite happy in his kindergarden, although he didn't find a new best friend after Luke left. From August on he will stay until 2 pm (now only until 12).

Thomas seems to be increasingly happy at home, after some difficult months. He is still busy writing scientific papers with the japanese colleagues. From autumn, he will hold a tutorial at the University. He enjoys to spend so much time with Jakob (lucky him!), and sometimes even has prepared a nice meal when I come home at night.

You see, we are really fine... let's see what the next year will bring. Cheers!

And how did we spend the last two months? Here's a short retrospect.

May was incredible busy, the climax of the biodiversity campaign I manage (see http://www.biofrankfurt.de/, then click on the blue leaf), due to the international biodiversity conference in Bonn.

Our stand at the conference center:

But there was still some time to spend with other, more important things, such as:
Happy reunion with Jakob's friend Luke ath the family's new appartment in Mayence.
Smiling ...

... and learning to use the Laufrad (running bike without pedals,really popular in Germany). Since we bought it last autumn, Jakob categorically refused to even try it - since a few weeks ago. Now he's a real racer.

Lake of Constance trips, including landscape art, barbecue and martial arts:

Gardening, of course:

...and harvesting!

We went at a family meeting with my parents and my sister's family at the incredibly blue Blautopf, a large karst spring

We had guests - from Africa and Japan:

Gnanando, my former counterpart and now manager of the Botanic Garden of Papatia in Benin:
He hads been invited to give a talk at a side-event at the biodiversity conference and afterwards spent a few days in Frankfurt - it was his first stay out of Africa, and of course he had to try the famous apple wine.

Hiroko, a friend from Kitakami, who was not here at that moment by coincidence, but because she loves football :

I took a few days off and we had four great days.

And were sad when she left:

(No, she didn't return to Japan by train, but went to Paris for a few days!)

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