Long Weekend

It was the last long weekend of the year (at least, one due to a public holiday, I guess I can still take a day off for a personal long weekend). Corpus Christi last Thursday. The weather wasn’t very good throughout. Very overcast, occasional rain, cool temperatures, humid. But good for going for long walks with Curious Dog and I definitively prefer cool wet weather to hot baking weather.

Apart from going on walks with Curious Dog I used the weekend to do some:

  • Cooking and baking
  • Reading
  • Watching movies with Partner
  • Cleaning
  • Meditating – although not as much as I had meant to.

The usual stuff, but more relaxed as there was more time for everything.

Regarding cooking and baking, I did the cooking and Partner did the baking. We had a mushroom stew with carrots and kidney beans in a beer sauce with dumplings on Thursday and the leftovers on Friday. Saturday we didn’t cook and had Singhalese take-away instead: carrot fritters with a yoghurt dip. On Sunday I made a huge pasta salad with peas, capers and fried smoked tofu which we had for both lunch and dinner.

Partner baked a vegan cheesecake for Thursday and Friday and a fantastic vegan tiramisu with strawberries that we had on Saturday and Sunday. Today, we had a simple but nice nut cake for our afternoon coffee break, to sweeten our workday.

I caught up on my reading goals by finishing up Little Dorrit, which I really enjoyed. I also continued with poems from the New Oxford Book of English Verse and read a few of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories (which I still find quite weird and depressing). According to Wikipedia, it’s supposed to be (American) Southern Gothic with grotesque characters – I can sure confirm the grotesque part of the description. Guess that’s not going to be my favourite genre. Still, they are kind of fascinating and I will finish the collection, but I’m probably not going to choose to read a novel by O’Connor anytime soon.

We watched some films and documentaries of TV. What stuck in my mind was “Der Tag wird kommen” (“The Day Will Come”) the latest episode of the Polizeiruf 110 series, which is a police detective series that was the East German counterpart of the West German Tatort series (also a police detective show). The series were continued after the German reunification. Sunday’s episode was about a suicide disguised as a murder in order to cash in on life insurance and also about the manipulation of the police detectives by a criminal they’d put into prison in previous parts of the series. Not bad. We also watched Knives Out with Daniel Craig and loved it. Very nice homage to Agatha Christie and quite funny, too. Additionally, we watched the three-part episodes Stories vs. Reality on the youtube channel Like Stories of Old. This channel is great. It explains philosophical ideas behind movies and these three videos examined the role that hero tales play in our lives. Makes me want to read Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex and Joseph Campbell The Hero with a Thousand Faces, although I haven’t got time at the moment. They go on my to-read list (which, unfortunately, is always growing never shrinking).

Housecleaning and washing clothes were also on the agenda. But I didn’t overdo it.

I even took a shopping trip to a dog food store a couple of towns over. Last time I went was at the beginning of the Corona lockdown. It was a nice drive – almost my usual commute that I’ve not been doing for month now and will not be doing probably until the end of the year. And I’m sure in future it will be easy to do home office.

Shockingly and sadly, the weekend was overshadowed by yet another murder of a black man by police. Rayshard Brooks, shot in the back! BLACK LIVES MATTER – we must overcome rascism and police brutality, in the US as in Europe, and the rest of the world.

Keep safe, world.


Thought on Current Events

It’s very painful and concerning to watch the events in the United States around the murder of George Floyd.

Institutions and people who hold power should be held to account for their actions. I can’t understand why policemen who misused their power in glaringly obvious ways, killing an unarmed person who was already restrained and pleading for his life, and who were filmed doing this, were not immediately arrested.

It must be so hard to be continuously fighting for justice and never winning a decisive victory against structural racism. I admire everyone who is peacefully protesting. It’s sad to see some peaceful protests taken over by violent protesters and looters and its especially sad that this violence hurts the same people already burdened by racism. But, frankly, I can understand that the decades long fight against such human rights violations which never seem to improve can cause people to wish to retaliate.

Things in Germany are, sadly, not nearly perfect either. We too have stark examples of police incompetence unlawful killings by police are, thankfully, very uncommon although not completely unknown to happen). A prominent example is the murders of people with Turkish roots by the right-wing terrorist group NSU (National-Socialist Underground), which occurred between 2000 and 2007. These terrorist acts took more than ten years to be cleared up, largely because the German police didn’t properly investigate the crimes, preferring to see them as crimes originating within the victim’s social environment (that is, the German-Turkish community). The crimes were also ridiculed in the press. It was an all-round debacle and I hope justice will at least be easier to get for minorities in Germany in future. But this will not happen by itself, we need to keep watching out and acting to safeguard people’s rights.

It’s so frustrating that there is so much racism and classism and religious intolerance among us even in this day and age which we fool ourselves is so civilized. Regardless of how civilized and advanced a society holds itself to be, actions can easily prove the opposite. Nothing is more important than showing humanity towards everyone. We should not be doing things that hurt others, and if we do them through ignorance, we should strive to better ourselves and our societies. So depressing that this is apparently easier said than done, and also something that so many people and so some many political leaders seem to actively work against.

One needs to strive to be part of the solution and hope for the future. Even though it seems an uphill struggle.

Keep safe, world.