InterFace Christmas Card 2014.

This year, I again received a lot of mail on Christmas. Some of them were general Christmas Greetings and some were very personal. I tried to reply to all the greetings. If there are persons who did not get a reply from me, I ask their forgiveness.

A highly appreciated friend of mine wrote something special. His greetings started as follows:

The “Online Roland” differs considerably from the underlying human being I know and hold in high esteem.

In this letter, I read many nice and appreciative things. That made me quite happy. Between the lines, however, I quite clearly found a certain helplessness because of my “digital schizophrenia“. Because I seem to betray values in the digital world that are important in my personal world.

Well, reading about my “digital schizophrenia” made me thoughtful. After all, for me, my biggest riddle is my own personality.

The “digital thoughtfulness” started with the IF Blog. You all know that I sometimes strip quite naked . Why am I doing this?

Christmas in 2009

My answer is simple. Basically, I write the IF Blog only for myself. It is a kind of diary. And since I believe that transparency is not just a virtue but a necessary requirement for a better social co-existence, I publish my ideas. I do not want to press my ideas on anybody and I also do not want to be a missionary – even if sometimes you might get that impression on reading my articles. Also, I do not really care about a high number of clicks.

(Even though it makes me quite happy that my short Christmas Greetings (Weihnachtsbotschaft) – according to a rudimentary measuring – has already been read by several hundred persons, even if wordpress, due to technological specialties, counts less and less readings (since it only counts the direct number of downloads on an IP address)).

Seite downloads
/rd/einen-guten-rutsch-und-ein-gutes-neues-jahr/ 214

This was yesterday

I consider this happiness a very normal human trait.

What is important to me is that, at least in my own perception, I mutated from idealist to egoist. Because I believe very strongly that I can move a lot more if I feel well myself. Consequently, my first duty is perhaps to do well by myself. After all, only those who treat themselves well can treat others well (incidentally, you can exchange “treat well” with many other terms, for instance: only if you appreciate your own value can you appreciate another person’s value).

And since the coming year is the last year before I turn seventy, I believe my time is too precious to waste it on being against something or getting annoyed with someone. Or even worse: getting angry with someone or something.

So the ideal of my life lies in the serenity I will need during the next few years in order to be able to die in peace. In the IF blog, I created my own categories What I dislike! (Was ich nicht mag!) and What annoys me (Ärger), where I wrote articles about what I find frustrating.

I learned that frustration is not something that agrees with me. Just as it helps neither others nor myself if I am against something. Both concepts will make me smaller. Mind you, this is not resignation. It simply means that there are more important things than getting annoyed or hating something. I am always mindful of the paradox of hatred:
”If you hate someone, you do not harm him/her, but you ruin your own life”.
Naturally, I really like all the things in this world. This is especially true for the consequences of “technological advance“. And digitalization, which some people love much and others condemn with a passion, is only a current manifestation of said “technological advance“.

In 2019, I will celebrate my fifty-years-of-digitalization. It will then have been fifty years that I played an active part in digital development. That is something I feel very comfortable with. To be sure, I, too, detest such results as “military drones” that come down from the heavens and kill people and destroy their homes. The nuclear bomb, too, is basically a digital product, and I do not like it at all.

On the other hand, I feel quite comfortable with social media, etc. One of the reasons for this is that, by now, I think I am autonomous enough not to buy things I do not want. I believe I have now become resistant against marketing. This is true for the Fang-Gang (FANG is short for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google – I am sure you need include a few others, too). And the discussion of yesterday and today during the 35th Congress of the Chaos Computer Club – Hashtag #35c3 – which, incidentally, I think is among the best German social discussion platforms – is also something I like. Even if, as far as I know, politicians shun the 35c3. I wonder why.

Talking of how technological advance is a danger, the first thing that comes to mind which I really find threatening is the MIV (motorized individual traffic). On top of my life, I feel that my lungs, too, are in danger. I only need to leave my house and approach the Putzbrunner or Rosenheimer Land Straße, and will immediately get gas poisoning. Ask any lung doctor for the facts! For me, those who drive a car are like smokers who blow their poison into my lungs.

But then, what good will it do to become upset? I live my life without using individualized vehicles and thus I demonstrate that you do not really need them. It is quasi the inherent “thank-you” when I experience how good this is for my health.

I have exercise in fresh air. I get extra time that I know how to use well. Basically, I try to find routes that are as far away from poisoned air as possible. Even if this occasionally means a detour. But at least I do not have to get annoyed with the fat old men and women driving their SUVs.

And that is exactly what I also do with other things in life. I detest fascism and nationalism, but I am not categorically against the AFD or other forms of latent fascism. I believe that God and religions were invented by people. And I cannot understand how anybody can consider something “the highest” if they themselves invented it. But I know that this belief of mine, too, is just a belief and nothing else.

So how can I oppose people who firmly believe that God created the world a few thousand years ago exactly as it now is and that he made the strict rules which turn around the world and which he clearly communicated through his ministers and diverse messages (the stories of humanity)?

If then a fanatic who is particularly receptive to this kind of indoctrination kills a few people, then I find this no worse than the daily killing that happens on our motorways, highways and other streets. And even these killings on the streets are not a reason for me to categorically oppose all SUVs and their drivers. And for all those who kill (some even say: murder) carelessly, I do not feel hatred but compassion.

It is clear that I am in favour of both a reduction of speed in the MIV sector and a reduction of religious indoctrination of children and other people. And that is also how I live as a model. Just as I am in favour of peace and love. And I find it good to always question what is allegedly the truth or what goes without saying. And that is what I try to do myself, as well.

Except: I no longer want to be “against something“. Just like I also never again want to be angry with anyone. Because both sentiments just make me feel miserable. And that is not at all what I need in life.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday December 19th, 2018

Ich bin gern ein weißer alter Mann

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Monday December 17th, 2018

Old White Men.

Next year, I will be 69 years old, which means I have been one of the “old white men” for quite some time.

Well, “old white men“ are the opposite of my idol. It is not what I want to be. So what should I abstain from if I do not wish to be an “old white man”?

But then, what exactly is an “old white man”? Historically speaking, we have had these “old white men” for a very long time, indeed. And they have always brought misery over their micro-cosmos and/or the entire world.

I count the Prussian Emperor as much among the “old white men” as the generals of the courageous armies. The same is true for the upper echelons of the Catholic Church.

Nowadays, I count the German “National Hero” Konrad Adenauer among the famous examples, or, to be totally up-to-date, Donald Trump, the “America First” president of our most beloved ally, the USA, also known as “God’s Own Country”.

Among the German and Bavarian politicians, too, you can find a number of them. Most of us suffer under them. I leave it to you to imagine whom I mean.

Even “God” was presented to me during my catholic education as an old wise man. Basically, this is no surprise if you read the (man-made) “Holy Scriptures” of the monotheistic religions (Christendom, Islam, Judaism). What you read will fit extremely well with the “old white man” as a deity.
Let me try to define what exactly an “old white man” is. Here are three special characteristics shared by all “old white men“.

“Old white men” have three characteristics:

  • Old white men are afraid!
    Although they actually have made it in life and could in theory live without sorrows, they are very much driven by fear. Their fears happen between the ears. The reasons for the fear change with time, but they will always return. For example: at one time, the evil Russians are the enemies, then the immigrants, and then again the evil Russians. And so on. 
Due to their fear, they cannot stop and let the power go.
  • Old white men judge and condemn.
    Because they know everything. If they meet someone, they will immediately know if the other person is competent or not (mostly the other person is not competent). They also know why this is so. Whatever someone says or does will be judged and condemned without much contemplation. 
They always know what is right and what is wrong. And that is why they think they need to make sure that the others, too, do the right things. Of course by their definition. 
Thoughtlessness is closer to their lifestyle than consideration. Experience is used selectively to prove their prejudices, counter-arguments are ignored.
  • Old white men are cynics.
    A long time ago, I learned the sentence “cynicism is the emotional manifestation of the intellectuals”. I think this sentence is still true. However, its meaning has turned around. “Old white men“ have often lost their emotions. They believe they can compensate this loss with cynicism. Naturally, this cannot work. Because cynicism is the opposite of emotional empathy.

Now you might say I forgot the characteristic “male“. Well, that is not what I think. In fact, more and more often I see women who think and act like “old white men”. Besides, stating that they are male would be a tautology (Tautologie) when we are talking old white men, it would sound like a Pleonasm (Pleonasmus). Which means it is no good as a criterion for defining anything.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
In Otto Scharmer’s Theorie U, I read that the three highest barriers against finding yourself are “permanent judging, cynicism and fear”. Well, doesn’t this sound a lot like the “old white man”.

Roland Dürre
Friday November 16th, 2018

Unbelievable but Likely .

Somwhere over the clouds (yesterday at the Spitzing Pass)

I read the following dialogue as reported and commented in a tweet. I want to hand it on to you with my own comments:


Two teenagers in a bus:
“If you take the year 2018 and subtract your age, you will get the year of your birth!”

”Wow, it’s true! Great!“

We are lost. All of us


And I must admit that I immediately did my own mental calculations. And the result was truly stunning:

Yes, it is correct!

2018 – 68 = 1950

I even did the reverse mathematics as a test:

1950 + 68 = 2018

Also true!

And then I felt truly embarrassed.

? After all, the difference between the year you have and the year of your birth is defined as your age, isn’t it? Consequently, it has to work.

But what would happen if, on a huge stage, I would say that the year 2018 is a very special year because, exactly as the year ends (on December, 31st), the sum of their year of birth and their current age in years would be 2018 for all living people? And if I would add the comment that this is really something special?

I guess that most of the audience would quickly do their own calculations to find out if it is true for them and then accept this truly asinine statement of mine. And that only very few would get up and leave the lecture hall because the speaker is telling such rubbish. Because people are used to believing what they are told. And asking critical questions is no longer fashionable.

Incidentally, this is where we touch the origins of mathematics. The age of a person is a good example for the axiom of the natural numbers {0,1,2 … n, n+1} (except that the natural numbers are, by definition, infinite – which is only true for the number of years a person has lived if there is eternal life). To be sure, you can still have an argument about whether or not zero is a natural number. I would say this is a pure matter of definition.

You can perform the operation “add“ on the natural numbers – the same is true for the operation “multiply“ that is derived from the adding operation – and yet you will remain in the domain “natural numbers “.

Our measuring of time with the arbitrarily fixed point zero that is supposed to have been the time Christ was born can be an example for the ”Whole Numbers“– as we all know, they are constructed from the natural numbers through another operation, the subtraction. Just like you can construct the rational numbers from the whole numbers through the operation of division.

These are the kinds of ideas I had after my first shock had subsided. And now I am even more surprised to see that some people are actually surprised about getting a as a result of a subtraction of b and c.

(cb = a) and similarly of c being the result of an addition of a and b (a + b = c).
a = year of birth  b = age  c = current year

Wow. Extraordinary?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday November 1st, 2018

My Sources of Inspiration …

I like to see myself as a source of inspiration for other people and as someone who creates impulses. However, I do not like to give advice – especially not if nobody asked for advice. Because ad-vices are also vices. Especially if nobody asked for them. That is at least how I feel about it. Just as I also believe that it is a good thing for everybody if he or she can follow his or her own way in life, instead of having to follow what others defined as the way.

But I also assume that, when looking for solutions, we first have to ask the right questions – before then answering them. More often than not, there is no limit to how stupid a question can be. I like asking stupid questions. Just like I also like to inspire people.

View from three hundred metres above on Raiatea and its neighbouring island – one of many highlights of my travels. A good place for contemplation and inspiration …

But then, there are more people who inspire me and give me impulses. It happens if you meet people. If a place is very beautiful, I can even be my own

Currently, I am quite busy studying social systems such as enterprises, which means I am studying Niels Pflaeging. You can also find him on Twitter and FB. I have met him in person and to me he looks like someone who, occasionally, will formulate things directly and who also likes arguments, along with ending up as the winner of an argument.

However, I feel very close to him and consequently I will now write down a few of his recent theories. I found them more or less at random in twitter and facebook.

So here is the stage for Niels:


Let me repeat it, because this is really important: 
The so-called #MaturityDegreeModels  are abominable, misanthropic dirt that hinders the development.

They stand in contrast to all upright learning and development theories. 
They have inherent assignments of guilt. 
They are truly criminal.

Introducing one´s own opinion with expressions such as „Science tells us that…“ does not make one look smart. People see through you.


Lean should never be imposed. #Agile should never be imposed. #Beta should never be imposed. #SelfOrganization should never be imposed. #OrgDevelopment should never be imposed. @OpenSpaceBeta takes an clear stance in favor of #invitation. http://www.OpenSpaceBeta.com  #InviteOrImpose


These days, many firms stage a #NewWork and #Transformation theater.
This will not cause more #achievement and a more humane organisation. On the contrary: it will erode integrity and trust.
How about transformation without (!) making a lot of fuss instead?


Remember:
Holacracy and self-organization 
are as related as a shoe and a banana.


How about we stop wanting to “lead employees“ and instead start „letting teams lead the enterprise“?


You can distance yourself from the #AgileIndustrialComplex. Do not mention the intent, the method, the patterns. Anyone can. And should.


„A good #leader…“ – that does not exist! #Leaders do not exist. Only #leadership exists: It is a social phenomenon that happens in the space between people! Let´s stop the quackery.


It is all about #irritating people – not about #convincing people!


You don’t need to #develop your #people. They can do that on their own. In fact, they #must do it on their own.


Management level. What a dirty piece of vocabulary.


True leadership means working on the system.


Command-and-control organization does not produce any winners. It only produces losers. Even at the top.


So far Niels Pflaeging.

Much of what he says is how I feel about life in my family, in my enterprise and in all other social systems.

There should be a prohibition on all wheel models, competence matrices/models, development processes, teaching programmes, development centres and leadership programs. In all of these models, one individual person puts himself above others. Or, and that is just as bad (or even worse), a system is put above individual persons.

Well, if you have rules, that means someone has written some orders. Processes are processes. First, you have the “I-know-better”, then comes the morals and then the assignment of guilt. We really should stop doing things that make us and others look smaller and that hinder our development.

However, Jens is far from the only source of inspiration for me. There are many others. It starts with my family and continues far out, including you all. Currently, due to the Bavarian elections and the political discussion, often comes to mind. I might even write an article about him similar to this one. Again, speaking for all of you. Until such a time, however, you may wish to follow him on twitter ().

But I have so many more sources of inspiration – and I would like to write about all of them. Well, all I can say is I wish you all love and all that is well and good. And I thank you all very much, indeed.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday October 28th, 2018

1969 – 2019: Fifty Years of Computer Science.

It is now autumn of 2018 – which means that, before long, we will have 2019. 2019 minus fifty is 1969. In the autumn of 1969, I had my first intense contact with “computer science”. I started studying at TUM as a mathematics student, minoring in computer science. At the time, TUM was still Technische Hochschule München (THM). In fact, I found that name even nicer that TUM, but that is neither here nor there.

This means that, next year, I will have a very special personal jubilee – fifty years of computer science in my life. In the light of this, it is probably justified that I consider myself an IT pioneer of the third generation. In my view, the first generation was represented by people like Konrad Zuse, whom I was lucky enough to meet in 1985 during the InterFace bike tour to Hünfeld (where Konrad Zuse lived at the time).

The second generation is represented by people like my teacher Friedrich L. Bauer, who, among other things, gave the first lecture in computer science at THM (now TUM) in 1969. I was there.

I think that fifty years of contact with IT are definitely something special. There are so many stories I need to tell.

However, the current digitalization hype is something I am fed up with. For me, digitalization started happening when they came up with a method to write down what you said. And what we today call digitalization is basically nothing but normal progress.

And I intend to tell many stories from those fifty years in 2019. I will relate anecdotes that are quite useful when it comes to understanding how things were done in those days. Without internet and wikipedia. And I will also talk about the influence our entrepreneurial cultures had on society. And how we ourselves were influenced and changed.

It will be a potpourri of individual contemporary stories that go well with each other and that describe many different aspects of change. Since there are many exciting stories, I will make two presentations out of them. Part one will be the first twenty-five years from 1969 until 1994. Part two will relate the time from 1995 with the change of the millennium until today. However, I will not only speak about yesterday and today. There will also be some tomorrow. I really look forward to it and I will see to it that both the audience and the speaker will enjoy the presentations.

Well, I already told some of the stories in the IF blog, didn’t I? For instance when I wrote about Tools Making Tools …  (Werkzeuge machen Werkzeuge …) in 2017 or when I wrote about My First Project (Mein erstes Projekt) in 2015 or My Best Slide… (Meine schönste Folie …)  of 1981 (written down in 2008) – but these are all only examples. Of course, my presentations will not be quite as lengthy as my IF blog articles.

And the occasional missing story will also become an IF blog article. And, of course, I will also tell you in the blog where and when the presentations will be given.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday October 18th, 2018

Childhood Memories – Waste, Potable Water

Perhaps, as you grow older, you start thinking a little more about how life was when you were small?

Eating a snack with my sister in the backyard of our flat at Rosenaustrasse 18 in Augsburg (behind the central station).

I was one of two children of a middle-class family. My father was a tenured officer at the German Railway and my mother was a teacher who, due to having children, no longer worked in her job. To this day, I still enjoy meeting my sister who is five years younger than I.

I forgot most of the things that happened during my childhood, but a few memories remained with me through my entire life. And they are still quite vivid.

One of these memories is about washing your hands. And about our relationship with water.

Our parents took cleanliness very seriously. Which meant that we had to wash our hands as often as possible. Here is how we did it: turn on the tub, wet your hands, use some soap, rub vigorously, use more soap, rub vigorously… as long as necessary, and then, finally, turn off the tub.

On weekends, we often went to Thannhausen (in Swabia) and met our grandparents on mother’s side, as well as the families of my mother’s sisters. We spent much time in the open. And I often returned to the grandparents‘ flat looking quite dirty. So, again, I had to wash my hands.

Which I did. Once, my grandfather saw me wash my hands. He scolded me because – as was normal for me from at home – I never turned the tub off during the entire procedure. He explained to me that water is a valuable commodity in our lives and that you should never waste it.

I immediately agreed with him and I believe that this short episode had a huge impact on my life. And if I see today how, in the public swimming pool, some grown-up men activate the shower and then chat with someone in the ante-room, I do not find this so great.

Thinking of Thannhausen, Augsburg and those times, I remember many other things that were not so great.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

It has now been almost fifty years since I was first permitted to vote. And, as far as I can remember, I also always took part in the elections. Because my super-ego always ordered me to go and vote – even if I did not feel like it.

Only a few days ago, I discovered that the voting procedures (and consequently also the rules) are quite different for federal elections, state elections and district elections.

Initially, I was outraged about my deficient political education. Then I asked friends I consider wise democrats – and it turned out that they, too, were quite ignorant. During the electoral campaigns and from the messages on quite a few election posters, I discovered that even some of the parties and their candidates, at least partly, do not know the differences between the federal, state and district electoral systems.

That was a consolation, but it also motivated me to describe two important differences:
As opposed to the federal election rules, the Bavarian State Elections are organized in such a way that the first votes, too, will be counted following the proportional representation (see: Bayerisches Landtagswahlsystem and Bundestagswahlrecht)!

When it comes to the district elections in Bavaria, the five-per-cent rule is ignored. Conversely, there is a minimum rule for the Bavarian State elections (until 1973, the Bavarian rule said ten per cent for the district level. Since 1973, we have now had the state-wide five per cent regulation as written down in Art. 14 of the Bavarian Constitution. Since the Bavarian Electoral System has no Basic Mandate Clause as we have in the Federal Electoral Regulations, this also means that persons who won their seats might actually not receive a mandate).

What does that mean?

First and foremost, the voter in Bavaria should, when giving his first vote, not apply the same reasoning as he would in Federal Elections, because he might do something he had not intended to do.

Secondly, if you give your vote in the district elections, you can also elect “small parties” without the risk that these votes will practically be cancelled and titled “others”, as would be the case in State Elections.

You remember?

Tomorrow, we have both State and District Elections. And remember: there are different rules for the two although you vote on the same day in the same election office.

Some more information:

In the 2013 district elections, the CSU did not have the absolute majority in any of the seven Bavarian districts. In the district parliaments, we do not only have the representatives of the well-known parties CSU CSU (89), SPD (38) , FDP (6), FW (21), Grüne (18), but also representatives of the Leftists (5), the BP (6), the ÖDP (6), the Franken (2) and also the Piraten (4). I took the numbers of the 2013 elections from Wikipedia.

I do not understand why the parties that know they will hardly have a chance to top the 5% in Bavaria do not tell their potential voters that there is no 5% clause for the district elections. Presumably, quite a few voters would probably elect a small party.

I would propose that we standardize the voting procedures – and we could at the same time reform it. To might make it easier for the citizens.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday October 5th, 2018

Is Democracy in Danger?

Here is what I think about the Bavarian Elections in a little more than a week.

Between ruins (South Georgia – whaling).

Democracy in Danger?
I hear this question more and more often.
And my answer is:
Yes – but it has been in danger for a long time already!

The democratic idea includes that people who live in a country (and therefore are this social system) elect their representatives who then find social consensus in parliament and realize said consensus in the form of prudent legislation. But this has not worked well in a long time.

My friend Detlev Six writes:
Liberal democracy is the most sensitive creature of the world. Nurse the baby!

Well, I, too, think that democracy is a rather tiny plant that should be well tended. However, that is not what we do. Instead, said plant has been threatened and harmed by various pests for decades.

I identified the following reasons why democracy in Bavaria and many other countries has been in the decline:

  • A general weakness in education and learning.
    Schools and universities produce consumers and workers who are more and more adapted to what the system needs, instead of autonomous persons in an ethically responsible awareness of values.
  • Party oligarchy.
    The parties no longer work towards the “social consensus”. They do not want the best for the people but continuing power. For said power, you need votes, which they want at any cost.
  • Interest associations and lobbyism.
    
The citizens see that the government, the parliament and the parties are ruled by foreign powers where the individual interest has priority over the interests of the people.
  • Marketing makes elections ridiculous.
    
How electoral campaigns are organized irritates the people and de-values the elections. You can now again see it in Bavaria. What nonsense you read on the posters that have been distributed all over the streets? Neither do the manifestos of the parties convince anybody. You get the impression that the party where most money flows into marketing and where people are best manipulated will win the elections.
  • The candidate selection and the internal party sleaze.
    
Again and again, party members that have never been elected into top positions get them.
  • Feeling powerless.
    
Huge parts of the population see themselves as powerless (either because that is how they feel or because they really are).

However, the “democracy in danger” question is now asked because the populists in Europe have such success and because of the imagined – and perhaps also real – threat of rightist movements and nationalist tendencies in Germany.

However, I believe that these problems are just a consequence of the factors I listed above and other similar developments. For me, this means that we ourselves caused the entire dilemma. By democratic failure. Both actively and passively.

And, as so often, those that lament most about what is wrong are those who caused it. We will probably have to accept that it is all our own fault, if we like it or not.

So whom am I supposed to give my vote?

I do not yet know. I do not like the Green Party because they were the ones who, along with the SPD, made it possible for our armed forces to be stationed abroad. CSU and SPD do not look electable to me. As far as the CSU is concerned, this is not only because of the current protagonists. The SPD did not understand #newwork at all, although this could (should?) be their topic. The FDP covers its clientele policy by promoting an “educational push“ and is millions of miles away from a “liberal“ policy, which means I cannot give them my vote. As I see it, the Left Party has some nice and good things in their program, but they also say many adventurous things. When it comes to “work life”, they are just as bad as the SPD. The AfD is not at all my world. That leaves only the ÖDP, which looks honest to me, or the “Die Partei”, which at least does not have a manifesto that makes you laugh as much as that of the other parties. Well, and ever since they tried to write a common political manifesto (see IF-Blog five years ago), I no longer like the Pirates either.

But here comes what is most important: 
Many of us are really well off. Let us enjoy life and give a little bit of our strength and nourishment (and nursing) to the little plant “liberal democracy”! And the first step is probably to actually go and vote.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday September 6th, 2018

Vacation. Over. Short Report and Contemplation.

The campground directly on the ocean.


Now we are back. The vacation is at an end.


On the first September Sunday, we went back to where autumn greeted us. After more than two weeks of the simple lifestyle under the Greek sun. It was not a luxury vacation – it was very hot, we spent a lot of time in natural surroundings with little civilization and very basic sanitary facilities. But there was plenty of swimming and riding our bikes – and there was much to enjoy every day.

And, once again, a deflated tyre.

When we were riding our bikes, the thorns were often a nuisance, because they kept puncturing our tyres. Mosquitoes were after us and small fish kept nibbling where the mosquitoes had bitten us. It was really hot and quite warm in the tent, even at night. The fresh wind and the ocean were extremely welcome.

It was no luxury vacation, but we had a great time with many experiences. Riding our bikes, there was much we really got a chance to inspect closely. There were up to five grandchildren and they all enjoyed the days just as much as the grown-ups. Naturally, that was a particular joy for us.

Once, it even rained.

There was one rainy day, after which the days were only slightly colder. At night, there were no lights and we saw the stars – during the middle part of our stay, we even saw the full moon. The stellar configurations I had learned as a young boy re-appeared.

And, in the middle of one night, I was wondering what it would be like if the sun were not to rise one morning. To be sure, I was well aware of the fact that, so far, this is not very likely to happen. But do we really know? Well, I can only say that I was quite happy to see the sun rise every morning!

In this simple world, I understood how important the sun is for us humans – and why, over many millennia, the human race saw the sun as a deity.
The beauty of nature has always impressed us.

During our bike tour.

You only have to ride up a mountain, and already you see the world below become smaller. Unfortunately, what you see is sometimes misleading – more often than not (too often), there is a lot of trash hidden among the beauty. Our paradise, too, has its set-backs.
Another notion gave me pause. Because I swam along the beach every morning and then went on a leisurely stroll on my way back. I was really looking forward to my cup of coffee for breakfast. And on the way, I had to climb over quite a lot of small rubbish.

No beach is free of trash.

And I though: “Why don’t I carry a plastic bag with me on my swimming/hiking tour, so I can collect all these many straws? It would certainly do me no harm, would it? And I should have enough of a personality to not mind people certainly then looking at me in a strange way.“
? And perhaps the Goddess Sun would like such behaviour?
However, the next morning came and I had forgotten the small plastic bag, which means the plastic rubbish was not picked up.

On the Mavrouni cemetery, the corpses can see the ocean.

So far remote from the noise of our cities, you also start thinking about life and death. And you realize that camping might also be one of those things that potentially get a little harder as you grow older. Regardless, I would like to try it again. And if I can still do it next year, I will carry a small plastic bag whenever I go swimming in the morning – and then I will collect some trash on my way back. And I will not mind if people look at me in that peculiar way!

I promise!

RMD
(Translated by EG)