A tribute to breakfast.

Breakfast, at least that’s what I’ve been told over and over again by newspapers and magazines, always quoting some doctors from lesser known universities, is the most important meal of the day, if you skip it you’ll die an agonizing death or you find yourself out of the job for performing badly any time soon, and although I can’t prove it with any medicinal facts, neither has my hair’s shine improved nor did I have fewer problems with learning Chinese, I do subscribe to that point of view as it is the only meal that includes a boiled egg. I love boiled eggs. My grandmother had them with French mustard, moutarde à l’ancienne, or im Glas, which is actually two boiled eggs with some spices served stirred in a glass, no stem, a tumbler, I’d say, and to anybody who like literary connections, like those who can’t eat a madeleine without quoting Proust, rambling on about their transporting smell and one’s childhood and all of that, I recommend Klaus Mann’s brilliant novel “Mephisto”, Eier im Glas for breakfast play a small but dramatic part in it, but I seem to digress, my eggs are mostly eaten pure and simple, some salt, some crushed white pepper, that’s it, as long as the spoon is made from mother-of-pearl and the egg cup is to my liking.

Midnight Chocolate

When God came up with cocoa beans, he must have been in a very good mood. Cocoa beans are the best beans there are—sorry, Heinz, no offence, but your bean cans were portrayed by Andy Warhol, this is as far as your fifteen minutes of fame go. Anyway, cocoa beans are so very rich in healthy flavonoids, but more importantly, without cocoa beans there was no chocolate, and without chocolate there were no chocolate glazed marzipan cakes, especially the one in my fridge (keeping it in the fridge is important to make the thick chocolate glaze as crunchy as possible), the one I just devoured out of sheer lust. And now I am in such a good mood, the best of moods, actually, just like God himself the day he came up with cocoa beans.

A place in the sun.

Sometimes, I find myself staring at the bowl in my kitchen where I keep fruit and vegetables that don’t like the fridge. Everything looks so good. Beautiful, really. Little works of art. Colour, form, texture, all is so amazingly well executed. I just can’t take my eyes off. Artichokes, for example. Why would you wanna hide them? You’ve got to cook them anyway. Or peaches. Beware of putting these in the fridge! I once took a bite of a peach from the fridge… Boy, did that hurt! You can’t use that much Sensodyne to protect your teeth from icy cold peaches. Especially when your fridge’s temperature is almost near zero. But bananas really don’t like the cold. There was even a Chiquita commercial about it, in the 1940s, with a song sung by a banana dressed like Carmen Miranda: …but bananas like the climate of the very very tropical equatooooor, so you should never put ba-naa-naaas in the refrigeratooooor, oh no no no! But wherever I store fruit and vegetables, they don’t last long either way. They get eaten up way too soon to really care, isn’t it a shame?

Toughen up!

After a day of work in the garden—and more importantly: in the rain—one cannot expect me to carb up with caviar blinis, can one? When you feel like a lumberjack, eat like a lumberjack, I say. Sautéd beans, sausage, potatoes, and lots and lots of marjoram is the heartiest way of getting one’s strength back. And don’t forget to have a beer with it instead of the usual claret…

Walking on sunshine.

After one of the hottest summers ever, I expected myself to—for once!—enjoy the rainy days of November. Alas, there is no rain. Not a drop of it. There’s nothing but sun. Blue sky, green pastures, singing birds, warm air, this autumn looks and feels like spring, an exceptionally beautiful one at that. And so I’m able to continue to take my constitutional after lunch in that blissfulness called the countryside. The only bad thing about it, the whole thing gives you an appetite, something I wanted to avert at any cost.

TV dinner, 4.0

I admit it. I love to eat while watching TV. The thing is, it’s completely unhandy to use a knife while half-lying in your chair, it’s almost as unpractical as serving steaks when there’s no place to sit (Mr. Geller is my authority on this, you know, Ross and Monica’s father from Long Island, the one who bought a Porsche to help him cope with his midlife-crisis and walked in on Rachel when she was changing in Monica’s room). Anyway, my point is, you just have to prepare stuff you can eat with either a spoon or a fork. Greek salad, for instance. It’s really healthy, too, so you can even tell tour mum or your nutritionist about it, the most demanding group of people ever. Make a lot of everything, too. In this binge-watching age, one never knows for how long a series really ties one down, and one wouldn’t want to pause in the middle of everything just to prevent oneself from starving, would one?

These mornings when you need a friend.

You’re tired, you miss your bed the minute you get out of it, then you don’t want to leave the shower but of course you get out of this comfort zone, too, you get all styled up and into the kitchen, you pour yourself a coffee, and you look at this mass of vitamins and nutrients and beauty boosters you keep washing down with it and you ask yourself if it’s all worth it — and then there’s that very important beagle person who tells you everything will be fine. God bless him.

The magic of Lake Lucerne.

Lake Lucerne, like any other lake, looks best in summer. Then, the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, the clear, transparent water, there is no lake cleaner than in Switzerland, believe you me, I swam in it, it’s gorgeous, anyway, the high mountains, topped with snow, the lush trees that line its border, the figs, chestnuts, yuccas and cypresses, the intensely blue sky, insanely blue even, everything looks just majestic, as I said, in summer. In winter, it looks something like that, grey and shapeless, you might say, or quite bewitching, if you have a liking for anything mystic, romantic and enchanted, then it might be impossible to resist its allure, you’re facing a magic realm, by the way, are these old willows on the border or the Erl-Kings daughters? Don’t blame these streaks of fog, your sight is not deceived, you might find yourself entering a different world, out of touch, disconnected, ethereal spheres will take you in and never let you go, so beware, these cruising boats might never come back, leaving you behind in that gloomy place, you might want to change your plans and stay ashore, you will find some enchantment here too, just head for Hermès, the store is right there, just follow the voices coming through the withering leaves, we have many a golden robe for you …

A Gothic walk.

All of a sudden, at exactly 12:12, the sun came out and took me by surprise on my walk through the romantic ruins of Babelsberg Park. I had rather been in some kind of gothic mood, as if I were stumbling not through the underwood of one of Berlin’s recreational areas, but through a novel by Mary Shelley or one of the Brontë girls, my mind somewhat befogged, exposed to wind and rain, all alone, with no soul in sight, abandoned, deserted and lonely, but what can one expect on a weekday, forcing my way home to a warm fire and hot cocoa, getting rid of my heavy boots, formerly known as New Balance sneakers, weighted down with mud, as I had made it through these wuthering heights’ frightful woods, my way had led me far from the madding crowd and paved grounds, and then, just I had reached a street, right in the middle of nowhere, bright sunlight, a blue sky, blue! I hadn’t seen a blue sky for ages! But hell, what a disappointment, with all that blue sky, Misses Brontë and Shelley were no longer with me in my twisted brain, their influence on my imagination was gone, dissolved, my mind was thrown back into reality, ever so harshly, all those kilometers through the woods had just brought me back to the place where I started: to the entrance gate of Babelsberg Park. But that’s the trouble with any tour, isn’t it?

Splendour, style and stairs galore.

Despite a very white sky, not grey, just really white, hate that colour on a sky, I felt like not having another cup of tea, but like strolling through Potsdam’s palaces and gardens, I needed some splendour, some king’s extravaganzas to lift me up, and Friedrich II’s summer residence Sans Souci, his pleasure palace outside of Berlin, would definitely do the trick, its rooms are just magnificent, rococo at its very best, but once I arrived after a 45 minute commute, I wanted to stay outside, even at temperatures below zero, every little puddle was frozen, just to catch up with nature, listen to the birds while walking through all those gardens, from Sans Souci to the Chinese teahouse, from the New Palais, new means, it’s from seventeensixtysomething, from the New Chambers to the Orangerie, some marathonic palace hopping so to speak, you see, the eye has to travel, once said Diana Vreeland, and so my eyes and I went on an extended trip, a very extended trip, through all kinds of architectural styles, we’re still quite exhausted from it, I’m blaming all those stairs, they’re all very beautiful, even perfect, but still, why did they have to construct so many of them? I feel like having spent way too much time on the stairmaster.