Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I have used a photo like this as a Christmas greeting before, I think. Definitely on my German blog.

This choir of angels goes far back in my life. We used to have (some of) them when I was a child, and they would come out at the beginning of advent, decoration on our sideboard in the living room, together with some candle-driven pyramids. 

These items were precious because somehow friends and relatives in the GDR had managed to get a hold of them (which usually were not available to inhabitants of the country where they were being made, because the entires production used to go into export). We had several of the pyramids, a set of small choirboys, and a small orchestra of angels. 

As far as I remember, the musician angels were always my favorites, and once I was earning money myself I would buy me a little musician every other Christmas or so. Then at some point my mother offered to let me have the angel orchestra, and I gladly took that advantage. At that time, my son was already an active little boy and for a few years we were guarding the angels instead of them guarding us. 

Eventually we discovered that the annual Christmas market in Landshut included a stall that sold these angels. Ever since then it has become a little ritual between us – my son and I go to the market, and we have long discussions about which angel we will acquire this time. The discussions can even start several weeks before we take the figures out of their boxes to set up advent decorations. Usually I will argue for a few more string players because a real orchestra needs lots of string players, and they are certainly a minority in our assemblage. 

My son, the drummer, and with a very argumentative nature, will argue for any other instrument but a string instrument, and so discussions are serious, take their time, and the final decision depends on many aspects. 

This year my sons took an inventory of what instruments we have, including whether the angel has brown or blonde hair. My husband isn’t really so much into this, he thinks we have enough of these and should not go and get more. Although we have tried to bribe him by including 'his' instruments, a grand piano, and saxophones.

It is not an entirely homogeneous group, either. Pretty much so, but, as with Germany, we do have a few foreigners in there.

Especially the singers - they do look a little bit different.


But we know it still is not a complete orchestra, and it is nice to have a ritual like this. Unfortunately this year it was a rather nasty and rainy day, and my son also had to be at basketball practice on time, so our trip was brief. We decided on the bass clarinet for this year, in blonde.

My son, in a youngster’s manner of wanting to the biggest and most expensive part, would have liked to get the organ.
However, we are keeping that for a later date. Knowing full well that it is not going to get any cheaper… The online shop for the angels and many other little fellows is here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

70 Years: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

As I was driving in the car this morning I listened to a short historic report on the 70th anniversary of the UDHR. I hadn't known that the committee had been chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. So I have already learned something today.
My textile activities this year were not knowingly shaped by this anniversary. But it was my theme this year. Two quilts completed this year that explicitly use text from this declaration. One was already completed last year, though using a variation from the German constitution.

text messages 12: Die Würde des Menschen

And even although the current state of the world is not as peaceful and as harmonious as this document is setting out to make it, it gives me hope that such a document was written. Perhaps we will learn, after all. And it is worth keeping fighting for that. So I am also happy to say that a new ship of the organization Sea-Eye is already nearing Spain and will be active in Mediterranean waters. I donated to make this possible, and although I can't go an be part of the team right now, I am following their progress.