BIRTHDAY – without spirit but with spirit

Waking up on one’s birthday without hugs, without congratulations from the family, without the purring of cats. What is this like? Lonely? Her loving husband who is longing for her is the first to congratulate her (“Thank God!”). Her daughter, however, can’t cope with the time difference and reaches out much later.

In order not to be inactive and most of all not to become sentimental, Paula and Riccola hike up the Rob Roy Glacier ( On their way the notice that they forgot to refuel. Therefore, they leave their car in a parking lot. They hitchhike the last kilometres until they reach the starting point for the mountain tour. They climb the mountain and are thrilled to see the glacier. A gift from heaven!


On their way back, they first stop a car and the man wants to tap some petrol from his car, but he doesn’t have a tube. They stop another car and they get just enough petrol to reach the next petrol station. To not having to stop involuntarily again, she is accompanied by a New Zealander and they drive in convoy. “Extremely kind!”, Paula thinks; I think so, too!

My planned birthday present (an overnight stay in a comfortable hotel, with massage, pedicure, and what else is needed on such a wild tour) has come to nothing because I never know where Paula stops next. Originally, she wanted to go to Cromwell ( rents a room in the lovely Dunstan Hotel instead ( There she drinks her aperitif from Gibbston Valley in the garden. With Riccola she spends a nice evening in “Paulina’s Restaurant” ( She praises the rib-eye steak, orders dessert, and doesn’t count calories.

Since my sister has tried to quit smoking, she gained a lot of pounds and is struggling with this fact daily. She can hardly resist sweet temptations like chocolate and ice cream. Her fiercest enemy is sugared whipped cream, most often served in double dose.

When stepping on the scale in the evening, she can’t make sense of the world any more (why hasn’t she lost one pound after all the hours she spent exercising?) and blames it on hormonal disbalance, thyroid dysfunction, or anything else.







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