Again at the Castle of Schwerin

Wintertime rainy days. What to do? Let’s go to Schwerin and have a look again at the castle. It is always interesting and being with friends it is much more fun.

This is no history lesson about the castle in Schwerin as I already have an article about and which you can read here.

There is even a second article that talks about the ghost who is still ‘living’ here.

I let you just enjoy some additional photos I took this last time I went. The castle is always an afternoon worth of having a cup of coffee and a look around in the museum.

Enjoy the photos!

The Castle, Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/Germany:

Large view

Posted in Europe, Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, ON TRAVEL | Tagged | 2 Comments

Winter in Travemünde

Winter in Travemünde is cold, very often rainy but only sometimes ice-cold and snowy. Here are some photos that will give you an idea what a ‘real’ winter with ice-cold wind from the east would look like.

Enjoy and keep warm!!

Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:

For further information:
More about Travemünde

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Little Flake and the Girl – (A Short Winter Tale)

Once upon a time there was a little snowflake that was born on a cold December evening. Winter is the time when snowflakes come into the world. Little Flake was her name. Her mother was a raindrop and her father the cold Icewind.

On this cold December night, it was the 24th, a raindrop fell from the sky and the strong, imposing Icewind fell in love with the iridescence of all her colors. He held her and kissed her long and lovingly. Shortly thereafter, mother raindrop became a feathery snowflake and Little Flake was born.

Little Flake let herself be carried cheerfully by her father through the air. She laughed and danced happily on his arms. She wanted to discover the world, fly higher and higher.

Below her she saw bright lights. Illuminated houses, lights moving on long dark bands, flickering candlelight.

Little Flake also saw an infinite number of other snowflakes like herself. Many of them were already exploring the world on the ground. But there were even more swirled through the air, carried on the strong arms of their father.

Father Icewind blew the little snowflake onto a windowsill at a house. There she sat down. Through the glass she could see 2 children dancing around a big tree in the brightly lit room, laughing. The cheer was contagious and the little snowflake was laughing with them. When the little girl ran to the window and gazed happily out into the frozen world, Little Flake got frightened, backed and was immediately carried away by her father.

She heard bells ringing, smooth music playing – and she let the ice-cold wind whirl her cheerfully through the air.

Eventually her father got tired and stopped carrying her around. The snowflake slid slowly on the ground and lay down on a orange-red carrot, which served as a nose to a snowman with black coal eyes. Here she rested until late morning, exhausted by all the dancing all night long. She glittered happily in the cold sun, the cool Queen of Ice had a hard scepter.

When the door of the house was opened eventually, because the snowman was right in the front yard of the same house she looked into the window last night, the little children of yesterday evening ran out of the house, laughing loud. The little snowflake on the tip of the nose of the snowman looked at them, all excited. When the little girl approached curiously and looked at the snowman, she saw Little Flake right there on the very tip of the carrot. She came very close and looked with wide eyes and was amazed.

Little Flake laughed back, blinking at the big eyes. As the little girl tapped the tip of the snowman’s nose, Little Flake vanished, and she became like her mother a raindrop. The girl looked disappointed for a moment at the carrot, before she ran away, laughing again.

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Shut In, Shut Out (A Duck Tale)

Hello, Oskar here. I want to talk to you again.

My human family members came up with something new to complicate my existence. ENTRAPMENT! Yes, you read right: they locked me up! Every day I have to live confined to a space of about 50 duck steps. Surrounded by high ivy, a dense shrubbery and a fence with climbing roses and other stuff. The ground is a dense lawn and I also have a pond of about one deep dive. On one of the sides is a wooden walkway from where I can watch what’s going on on the other side of the fence. OK, theoretically I’m not really missing anything. Except my company, which, of course, is shut out now.

Max, the dog, is now going in and out of the house with an always open door and I can not follow him anymore. No bites anymore, running under his belly, pull on his tail or just sticking my head in my feathers next to him. NOTHING! Why?? Because I have always sat on the kitchen steps and shit on them? I am a shit-er, so what? Or because Max and all other family members do not want to get loving bites? Someone explains that, please!

Now I practice flying over the fence and it works pretty well. My humans believe the fence is high enough not to let me out, but they are wrong. It won’t be easy to get me out of their life!

When Max comes out, I fly over the fence and run right under his belly. That’s where he can’t get me that easy. I annoy him a little bit with bites until he voluntarily goes back into the house. It’s fun and a little fun is needed in my life!

In the meantime I have already found out something much better. The two – Max and Mum – sit or lie most of the time in the study. I hear the radio, she clatters on the computer and Max snores loudly. So I quickly escape somewhere under the fence, run quickly through the open kitchen door and slip very quietly under the curtain into the kitchen.

I stand still, make a long neck and tighten my ears. I turn my head in all directions a couple of times, if anyone has heard me. Nothing! So I go very quiet – limp, limp – to the other door, drink briefly from Max’s water bowl without my usual loud smack and listen again. Now I’m really close to my goal!

A few more steps through the small vestibule, two or three quiet shits, and around the corner is my beloved object of annoyance: Max. I hear him snoring – my goodness, if the snoring would cut trees, there would be no trees in all of the country! No pee-tree for Max anymore!!

Well, I get ready, and then we start: I whirl around the corner, stand immediately in front of Max and … snap, I have his nose! Yeah, I did it! I bit his nose! The look that he has at the moment, you have to see! No one can look as stupid as Max, when he is pinched in the nose while he sleeps!

He starts barking a moment later, but until he understands what’s going on, I bite him again. Another bite on a paw and when he gets on his four legs, I’m already under his belly. What fun, now get me! The crap is that he often whirls his feet around so wildly trying to get me that the fool sometimes end up on one of my paddles. And sometimes he bites me without biting. Means he gets me into his jaws without closing them. He never ever hurts me!

The other day he stood on my wing! OMG, only a dog’s brain can be so stupid! A duck would never do that! But I have to be patient with my patchwork family members, humans, dogs or cats just do not have the IQ of a duck!

Anyway, I had my fun until our human catches me and brings me back outside. She does not like when the dog gets upset!

But most of the time I am in my enclosure … or until the next attack at least!

Yeah, that’s how I spend my time, so it’s not that bad in end. Sometimes I run after the sparrows. They are already in the morning with me, when I get finally my food. I have a few bites and then quickly tell my human, what I have dreamed last night and immediately the sparrows are there eating MY food. But now I defend it: if the sparrows come, I aim at them, head down and neck long (because of the aerodynamics!) And go! They are gone quickly. For the next few seconds. Then I can quickly swallow all I can, no matter what.

And I love to swim in my pond, dive in the water, shit in it as much as I want to and try to get out the stones around the side. My humans always put them back, so we have a lot of fun of pulling out and digging in stones during the day.

So, people, that’s it for now. Just wanted to tell you what they came up with. Now I put the beak under the wing and sleep a while. Sometimes I wonder why I had to be born a duck. Deep down in my heart I am a Buddhist and believe in rebirth. But I’m not sure if I’m one step higher or one step lower than my last life. Because of my intelligence, of course, on the higher one! Well .. I think about it and then tell you, what a conclusion I came.

To all a warm chatter-bye and: splash the water!

Quack quack

Posted in The Storyteller | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Daily French Bread: Baguette

I love – like most of the Europeans – a crunchy bread crust. One of the very few things my sweetheart and I are completely the opposite, he loves the American fluffy bread. I even differentiate for what I want the bread: to clean the plate, as companion for soup, with fresh, homemade jam or for a sandwich. All have a different taste, made of different flour and are soft or with a crunchy crust.

Baguette is traditional bread in France and easy to identity: it is white bread with a golden crunchy outside, soft inside and slim and long. In France the recipe is defined by law (!), in other countries it only may be called baguette, but have an altered recipe. Like mine.

History tells us also something about the baguette: there is no history. No one knows who invented the long bread stick which appears in the 18th century the first time in France. But here is a first law in 1920 coming out regulating the dimension and the ingredients. It is today a little longer than half a meter/25 inches and 6 cm/2 inches of diameter.

I tried a gluten-free version with mixed flours and I made shorter baguettes. But they are super tasty and crunchy outside, soft inside… like the ‘real’ one.

To give the right shape I tried out something new: a Baguette backing tray. Later I bought also a shorter one which makes baguettes like rolls.

The baguette to me has the same taste as a ‘real’ one, it is a little less fluffy inside which I like more but has a wonderful crunchy crust. I gave a couple to a friend of mine who said that it is like french baguette she used to eat before the no-gluten-story.

What do you like on your baguette?

Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Passive Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Passive Time
1 hour
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Passive Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Passive Time
1 hour
  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until you get a smooth bread dough. Cover the dough with some saran wrap and let the dough rise for one hour in a warm ambiance.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F.
  3. With wet hands divide the bread dough into 4 equal pieces and form with your hands a small baguette. Put every one in one of the baguette baking forms.
  4. Place a bowl with water on the bottom of the oven and the baguette baking tray mid-height.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden on the top.
  6. When they are ready take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before eating,
Recipe Notes

You should not eat any baking goods with yeast when they are still warm, but it is so delicious, especially with some herb butter!

As the little baguettes are like long rolls, it is not necessary to cut them in slices.

If you prefer a bigger baguette, just take another baguette baking form (for two big) and bake for 30 minutes.

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