Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 30th, 2013

(Deutsch) “A serpant in thy bosom warmed”

Händel’s  fascinating oratorio SAUL

The IF Blog is one of the few blogs in Munich, and even in Germany, which is mostly published both in German and English. This is thanks to our Evelyn (EG), who translates most of our articles into English at high speed.  She is doing this out of friendship and out of her love of the English language. And it sometimes happens that we like her English translations better than the original German text.

As to myself, I keep thanking Evelyn all the time for her service!

Her second and very special interest has already been mentioned .  A huge amount of passion and a high degree of professionalism characterize this part of her private life. Together with her son, she sings in the choir:

arcis vocalisten

under Thomas Gropper.

Since the picture has been taken some time ago, Evelyn and her son Martin cannot be seen on it.

Now, the ARCIS-VOCALISTEN again realize a very special project. It is their third co-operation with stage director Dieter Reuscher and Gerrit Jurda (light effects) in the Himmelfahrtskirche at München-Sendling, Kidlerstr. 15. On Saturday, November, 9th, and Sunday, November, 10th, at 7 p.m., they will sing and perform

“A serpant in thy bosom warmed” – Händel’s fascinating oratorio SAUL

In a fully played-out version. Extraordinary soloists will sing and the special orchestral ensemble  “L arpa festante”  – who play in the original baroque pitch – will play. The entire concert is conducted by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gropper.

About the oratorio:


1739 – while his operatic career was still under way, George Frederic Händel turned his attention towards the famous material from the Samuel Books of the Old Testament. The Jewish king Saul invites the shepherd David who, by winning over Goliath, becomes a great hero and commander, to come to his court and then tries to link him to his family by marriage. With growing envy, he discovers how David is ever so charming and even more popular both with his people and family. He tries to kill the hated upstart boy, also wanting to induce his son Jonathan to do the deed. Jonathan’s friendship with Saul, however, is stronger than that. We are witnessing how Saul’s mind gets more and more confused and envy eats him up.

In emotional and magnificent pictures and quick musical succession, Händel draws this monarchical tragedy, the triumph of friendship and the fate of Israel – one of his greatest oratorios. It is rare for Händel to use such a huge amount of musical instruments – timbals, trumpets, trombones, carillion, flutes and oboes will complement  the strings.

So what you should do now is look at your calendar and see if you can make it – and then order tickets!


Roland Dürre
Wednesday September 25th, 2013

From Füssen to Bad Tölz

One Last Time:

A Picture Says More than a Thousand Words.

This time around, you can look at three (almost wordless) pictures of today’s trip from Füssen to Bad Tölz (more than a hundred kilometres, but with disappointingly few metres of altitude).


Is it possible to have a nicer bike trip than this?


Looking left.


The three days we spent riding our bikes through the Allgäu were true happiness for us. And since you should always finish when everything is just perfect, we took the BOB from Bad Tölz to Holzkirchen today at 6 p.m. and then went on riding our bikes to Unterhaching. To be perfectly honest: it was not just because everything was so perfect, but also because the weather forecast for tomorrow is less than promising. Besides, I have a little problem to solve at the enterprise.

But as soon as circumstances will permit it again, we will go back to Bad Tölz – from whence we will continue our trip to the Königssee. After all, we already did half the way from the Bodensee to the Königsee.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 24th, 2013

From Oberstaufen to Füssen

or yet again

A Picture Says More Than A Thousand Words.

So here are some more pictures (almost without words) of today’s bike trip from Oberstaufen to Füssen (almost 80 kilometres, this time including some “nasty” metres of altitude).


Start early in the morning.


Fog over the lake.


Airplanes on the sky.


Barbara on the edge of the road.


It is a long way!


We might have had it easier …


But, again, it was wonderful.

I took all the pictures. Just as we passed all those places, I took them on S5 – and naturally, NO editing at all.

Roland Dürre
Monday September 23rd, 2013

From Rorschach/Goldau to Oberstaufen …


A Picture Says More Than A Thousand Words.

Consequently, here are just a few pictures (without words) showing today’s bike trip from Rorschach on the lake Bodensee to Oberstaufen (a little more than 80 kilometres with many “nice” metres of altitude).


It was beautiful.


It was more beautiful.


It was most beautiful..


It was really great.


It was really great with Barbara!


I loved tthe wonderful day.

(Translated by EG and RMD)

Roland Dürre
Sunday August 11th, 2013

My Advice for Hackers – Why Don’t You Try Church Bells!

Yesterday evening, I was invited to celebrate with Manfred in Schierling. Manfred is an entrepreneur. With his small but exquisite enterprise MS-Duroplast, he dominates parts of the world market – regardless of the fact that the company – quite deliberately – does not have a webpage (!). Once each year, he organizes an in-door festival. We were invited. It started on Saturday afternoon. Consequently, we went to Eggmühl by train, then on to Schierling by bike.

gasthausManfred had booked a room for us at the Gasthaus Haslbeck. We spent an excellent night there after a beautiful midnight-bike trip of a little less than 10 kilometres from Schierling to Semerskirchen.

The night was over at 6 a.m. – then the church bells right opposite the restaurant started making a tremendous noise. On the picture, you cannot see the church. It is to the right of the restaurant – which you cannot see on the picture, either. It sounded like the church bells were aimed directly at us with full power. And I literally stood in my bed. To be sure, it was my own fault – why had I not gone to sleep earlier? But mind you, I was not the last to leave the party.

And here is what came to mind: if you were to control this church bell through a computer that is connected with the internet (after all, we are talking the object internet, aren’t we?) and if I were a hacker who can do this kind of thing, I would hack into these personal computers and switch off those bells whenever in the vicinity.

Incidentally, the same wish of mine came up whenever I rode my bike in North Africa and had to spend the night close to a mosque the tower of which was equipped with those colourful and blinking electric lights. At night, the metallic recorded voice of the Muzzein would be heard through powerful loud speakers.

After thus shortened sleeping time, I rode on to Moosburg today. Driving through the beautiful but not totally comfortable “Lower-Bavarian Hills”, I made my peace with the bells.

As a matter of facts, I can only recommend the Haslbeck Guest House. It is a family enterprise where we were welcomed really warmly. The internet worked perfectly, the rooms and breakfast were just great. And it lies close to a small lake, totally idyllic. Except… the church bells…

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday March 29th, 2013

Zarah Leander – Life is Full of Surprises!

A short time ago, Andreas sent me the following email:

Hello Roland,

today, I write about a totally different event. I occasionally manage my girl-friend’s affairs and therefore sometimes organize a concert for her. Being an “opera singer poaching in diverse genres”, she also – along with opera pieces and classical concerts – has an evening about Zarah Leander in her program. Knowing that you are rather interested in art, I thought maybe I should not leave you in the dark about the evening on April, 13th, in the Gasteig “kleiner Konzertsaal”. I would be truly glad if you found the time and inclination to go and see the performance!

Andreas Lehmann is an old acquaintance of mine. Time and again, our paths met. Decades ago, it happened at IXOS – that was during the “wild times” of the “new economy”.  IXOS was a very special DAX- and NASDAQ enterprise. The last time chance brought us together was during the “ISARNETZ – die Münchner Webwoche” in 2012. All of a sudden, we sat facing each other on the board for deciding who was to get the “Isarnetz Award”.

Of course, I will follow his invitation. Here is the text informing about the event. I find it truly exciting!

Zarah Leander returns to Munich!

To be sure, it is not the Diva – whose Munich performances probably were more than 70 – herself. Standing in for her, the ”Duo InterMezzo!“, starring singer and author of the work Tatjana Conrad, are preparing to back-trace the great star under the German heavens of the 1930ies.

On Saturday, April, 13th, 2013, Tatjana, whose adopted home is Berlin, will present her theatrical jewel „If you want to see a star, look at me! The light and shadowy sides of Zarah Leander“, directed by Philip Lüsebrink in the Gasteig Kleiner Konzertsaal. The role of Arne Hülphers, who was the third and last husband of the great chanteuse, will be played by David Grant.

Who was Zarah Leander? Mythos. Diva. Well, that much is certain. Culprit? Victim?

<The two artists invite you to investigate those questions together with them and finally, perhaps, not really come up with an answer, but a little more understanding for the star who graced the heavens of the “Third Reich”. You will not have any reason for sadness – on the contrary: Conrad and Grant want to tell you in words and sounds how this woman captured her audience and they wish for her humour, charm and wisdom to also spread a little shadow and light over the evening.

Besides musical surprises, earworms such as ”Eine Frau wird erst schön durch die Liebe“ and ”Yes, Sir!“ will contribute towards ”Ufa Nostalgia“ in the same manner as ”Waldemar mit dem schwarzen Haar“ and evergreens like ”Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen“ and ”Sag’ mir nicht Adieu“.

This and some more “hurly-burly” will await you on our concert evening. We want it to be a musical- historical “red carpet” that might reach the audience via memories of the great Zarah Leander.

Consequently, I will be at the Gasteig Kleiner Konzertsaal on April, 13th, and I look forward to a very special evening. It would be doubly nice if I were to meet a few friends, as well! So why don’t you come – I am sure it will be a great evening.

(Translated by EG)

Today, I had another discussion with friends who feel desperate about the stability of our currency. One function of money is to transport values into the future – and by now, the future is “Greek”.

Wise people discovered this a long time ago and therefore came up with their own Solar Riester concept. In this case, the winner is the German Michael directly, instead of around the detour of political distribution. We are talking twenty years of secure retirement money for the capital you invested and no government can abolish its debt with just a stroke of the pen – as the Greeks already show us.

Mind you, I believe you should calculate with no more than ten years of uninhibited money flow and also with some cuts in contracts already valid. The social pressure will increase, which is in accordance with the concept of an Augsburg enterprise: “I cannot make money with my roof and let the people living under it pay the price, can I?”

Of course, you should buy realty without using the Riester legislation, because otherwise they are truly immobile and cannot even be exchanged for the flat you will need when you enter the third phase of your life, because it is more suitable for senior citizens.

But the true winner is the marriage Riester concept. “Investments” into your shared future with children, hiking tours, evenings to play, shared visits to the cinema, taking responsibility for others and also letting others take responsibility for you – ethics, no gold in the safe because you were scared, no cat gold on the raw material market.

Time for your partner, time to ponder on your own development and to think about what others discovered about you.

I wrote a small book on meditation: “How to lengthen time“. I think this is the true meaning of the Riester legislation: to fill the time you have anyway with the sort of careful life that makes sense.

(Translated by EG)


Roland Dürre
Saturday November 17th, 2012

Looking Back – Wilfried Bommert at the IF Forum

Last Tuesday, Wilfried Bommert of the WDR was our guest at Unterhaching. Wildfried Bommert is a well-known expert when it comes to “feeding the world”. He also published several books on the subject. Currently, he and a few partners are establishing the Berlin  “Institut für Welternährung”.

Our last presentation in the series “living and surviving in a sustainable way” was yet again another highlight of the 2012 IF Forum. Herr Bommert deliberately kept his presentation very short and concise. We had planned this, because, after all, we wanted to produce an attractive video recording for Youtube as an extra value.

I think we succeeded. Every single sentence uttered by Herrn Bommert was right on target. Without employing unnecessary emotions and questionable judgements, he reported facts in a very objective way and came up with simple, logical conclusions.

Consequently, there was a long discussion after the presentation. It was extremely constructive and passionate. And we agreed: the messages sent by Herrn Bommert are important. He demonstrated in a very simple and rational way how feeding the world dangles on a thin string. And how easily this string could and perhaps will break.

However, Herr Bommert also showed us ways to change matters. And he also showed us that it is, indeed, possible for us to prepare for the time after our stupid and eventually fatal economic habits will have caused a collapse. Consequently, his finishing lines after a very thought-inspiring list of facts and judgements were rather nice and optimistic.

With Vienna sausages and meatloaf (of course from the butcher Schlammerl of Ottobrunn), we spent quite some more time discussing things in small rounds. And finally, when the hot spiced wine and ginger bread were served – also from a local bakery: Götz of Taufkirchen – the general atmosphere was one of courage in view of a possible future and joy about all the interesting information and the culinary delicacies.

I already look forward to watching the video recording by Friedrich Lehn. As soon as it is finished, we will make it available for you on all our diverse Youtube channels.


Here are a few pictures to refresh your memory and maybe arouse your appetite for the video.

Wilfried Bommert talking to Mr. and Mrs. Gerlach. Thomas Gerlach works for the Bayerischer Rundfunk. He was the one who first introduced Herrn Bommert to me.

The introduction to the presentation. It will start right away …

As so often, all pictures were taken by our Rolo Zollner.

Jörg Rothermel
Thursday October 18th, 2012

Report from Melbourne #2


Since I myself am now also an immigrant, I made myself knowledgeable on the subject.

For information about Australia as an immigration country, you might wish to start with the Victorian Immigration Museum. Up until the 1960ies, the government encouraged Australian citizens to talk to friends or relatives in Europe about immigrating to Australia.

Without the immigration waves between the 19th and the middle of the 20th centuries, the conquest of this huge country would not have been possible. (It is a separate story how the rich Aborigine culture was almost totally destroyed in the process).

By now, much has changed. To be sure, in absolute numbers, Australians with origins in Europe and the USA are still the majority. But immigration from India and, above all, China, increases considerably.

A few days ago, there was a long article in the local newspaper „The Age“, announcing that apartments in a new building in the district of Glen Waverly were open for inspection on the weekend (that is standard procedure if someone wants to sell or rent out property: a certain day for inspection of the objects is set, and then they are sold according to the principle „first come first serve“). For the agent, it came as a total surprise that the interested parties were almost exclusively Chinese. Some of them were actually prepared to pay up to 40,000 $ above the asked price for a certain apartment. The fact that 16 apartments were sold for a total of 40 million dollars on that day shows how solvent the interested parties were.

By now, the ratio of Australians with Chinese origins (who have a permanent permit to stay) in those 15 districts of Melbourne where Chinese like to live is between 27% and 16%. According to a survey, these districts are chosen because they have good schools, good public transport and an active Chinese community. For the Melbournians of Caucasian descent, this situation is a challenge, because they witness how – right under their noses and quite obviously for everybody – Melbourne is changing. Unfortunately, it also causes numerous racist escapades.

The name of the first Chinese school in Melbourne is quite remarkable: „Xin Jin Shan Chinese Language and Culture School“. Xin Jin Shan roughly translates into ”New Golden Mountain“. Incidentally, that is the name the Chinese gave the Australian gold mines in 1850 to distinguish them from the Californian gold mines that were running dry at the time. Those were called Jiu Jin Shan (”Old Golden Mountain“).

Mind you, today the majority of modern Chinese who immigrate to Australia are no longer looking for their one chance in life; they are already a success and wish to secure and maintain their prosperity.

Downtown Melbourne

Here is a totally different issue: to be sure, we live quite nicely in the outskirts of Melbourne at Williamstown, but downtown Melbourne (also known as CBD “Central Business District”) has an inimitable flair. In fact, it can even hold a torch to Paris.

Traffic is more or less what you would expect to find in a city with 4.5 million car enthusiastic citizens. Even a reasonable public transportation system, along with the fact that one hour parking at the garage is 16 $ and a parking ticket costs a minimum of 180 $ do not seem to make any difference. In between the densely packed cars, you will frequently find bike couriers maneuvering their way through the traffic. They must either have finished all they ever wanted from life and are thus ready to die, or else are practicing for the next Tour-de-France.

Information for all car drivers: in the city centre, you will find so-called Safety Zones where you will have to use the left (!) lane if you want to turn right – it is the notorious Melbourne ”hook-turn“. It is supposed to make it possible for those on the right lane to go ahead unimpeded; however, it will only work if the first driver who wishes to make a turn starts in Formel-1 fashion; if he fails to do that, there will be an ear-splitting signal-horn concert, because, naturally, nobody behind him wants to remain sitting in the middle of the crossing.

Melbourne hook turn

Many houses in the city centre were built in the middle of the 19th century, when Melbourne was the world’s richest city. Of course, this was due to the gold rush – at the time, around 1/3 of all the world’s gold was mined in Australia, with the most yielding gold fields in Victoria, not far from Melbourne. To this day, this prosperity is obvious if you look at all those noble bourgeois and business houses.

The special flair of the city centre is also due to the arcades and lanes, the creative (sometimes also endearingly scurrilous) shops and the thousands of bars, coffee shops and restaurants. The most beautiful and elaborately decorated one of them is the Royal Arcade.

The Royal Arcade is guarded by the biblical giants Gog and Magog.

Gog & Magog i. Royal Arcade

Apparently, some of the arcades in a side lane simply came into being because the owners of the restaurants and bars joined forces and had some protection against rain spun over the street; all you need after that is a few chairs and (in winter) an electric heater and the place will quickly be so crowded at lunch and in the early evening hours that you can no longer pass.

The place is particularly full on Fridays after 4.30 p.m. – because that is when almost all employees working in the CBD offices go to the pub for a pre-weekend drink. Now, in spring, you can hear street musicians playing at almost all corners. To me, it seems that the quality of the music is considerably better than, for instance, in Munich. In Australia, Blues and Country are particularly popular.

Haigh's i. Royal Arcade

Chocolatiers and candies shops are currently very much loved in Melbourne. In fact, the Melbournian love of sweets sometimes borders on the bizarre. For instance, there is an Italian restaurant in Carlton where you can get “Chocolate Pizza“.

In the CBD, there are excellent restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine (Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Moroccan,…). Melbournians are enthusiastic about European cuisine – if you want to eat out for dinner, you have to make a reservation no matter where you are going.

For the critical immigrant from Munich, it remains to be noted that the price-performance ratio cannot always come up to Munch standards. To make up for it, many restaurants and bars have the sitting-room atmosphere of first-class English pubs.

I will be back with my next report – No Worries

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012

I Wish I Had A Zeppelin :-)

IF blog is now in the middle of its Summer Slump . I am staying near the beach for two weeks, seeing to And I add a few “catch phrase articles” to the “keywords”. Today, I will write about the “Zeppelin”:

I never dreamed of having a camper or a yacht. Regardless of me actually appreciating the Nomad life very much. Luxury cars, too, are something I can easily ignore. But there is still something I would like.

I would really like to have a zeppelin. Now that would be it: a zeppelin for sailing over the land, the mountains and the ocean. With a flat hanging down from its gondola. Said flat would have a small kitchen, a comfortable bedroom and a salon. The salon would have to have glass windows on all sides. Perhaps even a floor of glass. And, of course, there must be a nice big outdoor platform. Just like there must be a steering bridge for the pilot.

A zeppelin, moving quite slowly and being driven by the wind without any noise, like a balloon. But it would also have to have a powerful motor, to enable it to glide through the air at a speed of 100 km (?) per hour.

It would be best if my zeppelin were powered by solar energy. And, of course, my zeppelin would have to have a small bike garage.

Using my zeppelin, I can always travel ”as the crow flies“. That would mean I could travel quite far, even at “only” 100 km/h. It would be the most efficient way of “slow travelling”.

My zeppelin would also be able to land and start on meadows. Or perhaps only drop anchor. So that I could get up and down using a gondola tied to a rope. And provisions and bikes would be sent up and down at a hook.

Travelling over the oceans of this world, I would then look down on the luxury yachts of the rich. And once in a while, I would accompany them on their travels. And over the land, I would occasionally sail over the motorways and look down on the big cars standing bumper to bumper.

(Translated by EG)