DALSTON NOIR #3 The Past Isn’t A Different Country

hipster 1
Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read here Dalston Noir #1 Trouble On Kingsland Road
Read here Dalston Noir #2 It Was a Dog’s Life After All

‘The past lies like a nightmare upon the present.’ (Karl Marx)

Still befuddled, Egon enters his studio flat, which really is the real-estate agency’s term for bedsit, on Graham Road. There always lingered a slight morbid and musty smell in these Victorian houses and Egon resented the fact that he kept looking at the same four walls.

Lying on his bed, he feels as if the walls are closing him on him, or maybe he’d just been here for too long, but as he isn’t paying rent he isn’t complaining.
After splitting up with his ex, he felt lucky not having to move back into a flat-share, which he thought was undignified at the age of 35, but unavoidable in London where being able to live on your own was considered a luxury. Continue reading

How to Cure the Flu or Die in the Process – A Love Story

14  Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them

men have flu too
Men have flu too

But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?

  1. Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
  2. Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
  3. Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
  4. Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
  5. Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
  6. Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
  7. Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
  8. Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.
    it can only get better
    It can only get better

    What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:

  9. Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.

Continue reading

Being a Legal Alien

fish and chips 1 croppedOr A German In London
*Warning: clichés and stereotypes  abound

I first came to Britain on a class trip in 1992 and nothing prepared me for the melting pot that was and is London. Walking down the street, I couldn’t believe the sheer diversity of faces, nationalities, religions and cultures. This was G. E. Lessing’s dream of (religious) tolerance put into practice in everyday Britain in the late 20th century. Coming from a country where there was hardly any non-German soul living/working/studying/on benefits – this was extraordinary. Continue reading

Does Anybody Need Any Help?

Hausfrau is here to help
Hausfrau is here to help

This Blog Will Sort Out Your Life. Promise.

As the wintery August chill is continuing into autumn I’ve decided to prepone Christmas this year. And in order to get us fresh and early into the spirit of the coming season, I’ll be playing Tinkerbell fulfilling wishes  for one month until 30th September.

So…. If there’s anything you’ve been wanting to do but for whatever reason lack the strength or willpower or support or courage or focus, this is your chance to get your request in.

My only condition is that I can do it from/in London and that it’s feasible. As a starting point, here is a list of possible deeds my limited imagination drew up:

  • Be agony aunt
  • Play cupid/matchmaker
  • Feed your budgie
  • Help you find/get back in touch with a long lost friend/lover/relative/classmate
  • Teach you a Russian song
  • Give relationship advice
  • Visit you in hospital and read to you
  • Play a round of back gammon and let you win
  • Teach you how to stand on your head and see the world upside down
  • Be your personal shopper
  • Have a chat about anything
  • Teach you how to cycle
  • Accompany you somewhere
  • Help you write a letter/application
  • Disentangle Her Majesty The Queen’s German lineage for you

Anything at all. If it’s in my power, I’ll do it.

Please send your requests to dagmarbaumunk@hotmail.com. I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you.

It’s day 43 since I quit my job.

morning pages & smoothie
delicious days – morning pages & smoothie

Now I cannot imagine how i was able to squeeze 40 hours of employment into my week. It wasn’t even that my job was particularly boring or hard or stressful, I had lovely colleagues and often a whole lot of fun. But I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I wasn’t even sure what it was that I really wanted to, but I knew this wasn’t it. I only felt a part of me present and in demand and the others were slowly wilting away and getting number by the day. So after 4.5 years I called it quits and somehow surprised myself with that decision but while i was steadying myself for the life after I also knew it was the right and only thing to do.

I had been saving up, cutting down on holidays, circumventing bars, restaurants and clubs and instead tried to have as much free fun as possible. And the old adage that the best things in life are free was confirmed: meditation, yoga (online), seeing friends, talking, laughing, cycling, lying in the park cloud-gazing, reading – all came free of charge.

I wanted to find out how it would feel not to be accountable to anybody but myself and taking sole responsibility for my life, my time, my days, how and with whom to spend them. Make all decisions myself and risking of not having anyone but myself to blame in case it would go haywire. With that came entering uncertainty, non-employment, knowing that my savings would run out and because London is London, that this would happen rather sooner than later. Not having the next job lined up or a wealthy auntie about to pass away – and be okay with that.

What’s more, doing all this without having anything or anyone to fall back on, neither family nor partner, but doing it under my own steam without safety net. Scary and exhilarating at the same time. What if I got depressed, just stayed in bed? Without anybody needing me to be anywhere at any time this was definitely a possibility. Without any of the artificial structures holding me together, would I have enough self-initiative and motivation to get up just for my own sake?