Thank you Baden Baden

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for your revigorating spa at Caracalla Therme. It made me remember a soviet time childhood motto: Ветер, солнце и вода наши лучшие друзья* 🙂 overwise served with a very present sense of German order and structure. Helpful in particular when an all-smiles octogenarian crosses the nude-clothed areas as if at home 🙂 under the priceless looks of ladies of his age 🙂

a first experience of swimming under the rain. “Swimming” in my case case is more of a “comme le fer a repasser” (an ironing machine) 🙂 as Mme Francois, my neighbour-patissiere, puts it.

my muscles fever and a reminder that i have them and they need regular exercise,

a very nice Alte Laterne hotel team. They made us feel at home.

a special dinner at Garibaldi Restaurant with many authentic Italian flavours. 

an excellent Russian speaking guide at the Faberge Museum. It was our first encounter with Faberge and the 1,5 cm Easter egg with a rabbit inside was most impressive. As were the first and last Easter eggs made by Faberge for the Russian crown. The Museum has also a small but impressive collection of gold jewelry from all over the world and a lovely small garden with the sculpture of a gigantic rabbit. 

very pleasant evening walks along the “Lichtentaler Allee” and the little cascades of the Oos stream, with a busy ducks traffic. 

a show of old-meets-new with the 19th century railway station transformed into a concert hall.
your many and diverse children playgrounds. A must in our case. 

Only an hour by bus from Strasbourg – thanks FlixBus- Baden Baden gained a spot on my list of places to comeback to for a shot of relaxation and recovery.

* wind, Sun and water are our best friends.

Thank you Tbilisi for

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the usual barbariski candies. Getting one became a sort of reward from dear Gia. I was almost preoccupied that i would not get one this time.
an in-depth discussion with his simple and uncorrupted mind, which adds even more to the understanding that people come from Earth and politicians come from another vereeeeeery distant planet. Regardless of the country, by me.

for challenging my confirmation biases on projects, reforms, stakeholders management and related. I now know even more that i know nothing. I think i might need a pair of alter socks 🙂 i know now where i can get them.

for newly acquired partners and a replanted desire for a mutually beneficial collaboration to last with them and dear long standing partners.

yet another first – my first toast at a Georgian dinner. I was assured i did not break any customs. It must have been the gorgeous wine and food at Citadel Narikala.

a dinner with eyes on a magnificent view of Tbilisi and back to a 4th century wall. That’s what i call a Back-up.

the best, as usual, hosts at MGK hotel, where i return with a feeling of a warm home.

a delayed flight – i’ll put it on the account of you not wanting me to go- which turned into unexpected time spent in Warsaw, my student time city. So, thank you! Also for a supply of Ptasie Mleczko by E.Wedel, which adds to the bag of Georgian goodies, that i bring home.

The power of No

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From these my fav is “Learn to say No without explaining yourself”. 

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/simple-living-images/

My first unexplained No was loud and clear. I was in a meeting room with our former business partners and their lawyers. The wanted a deal and made an offer. I could hear their expensive watches ticking. I said No. To their disbelief. To my astonishment. And a silent joy. Threats followed. My No stoods its ground. It made them say Yes to our offer. We cleaned the accounts and closed the noisy chapter. The rest is history.  It was cool. And worth it.

You may want to Try it next time. Try it. And enjoy it all!

Thank you, becomingminimalist.com for inspiration. 

What was your favorite creative activity as a child?

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When i read an article in the “Mindful” magazine*, the question “What was your favorite creative activity as a child?” drew my attention. Most frequent answers to this questions were:

“Making clothes for my doll from scraps of fabric.

I loved rummaging for scraps and still do!”

“When I was supposed to nap, I would jump on the bed and make ridges and valleys in my quilt. Then I would sit quietly and imagine towns and people living between the ‘mountains.’ (I’m from Colorado.)”

“Needlework and cooking with my grandmother.”

“Daydreaming.”

“Making a ‘radio show’ with a tape recorder and my siblings.”

“Putting on plays.”

“Puzzles.”

“Designing houses.”

“Melting crayons,building bricks with the melted wax, and building cities with the wax bricks.”

Nr 4 flashed childhood memories of my grandmother. Happy memories. Warm memories. My hand and her hand mixing the dough. Clothes covered by white flour. The floor covered by flour. The trail to the stone oven she built herself in the courtyard. The smell of freshly baked bread she divided between me and my cousins with her strong and beautiful hands. Her smile as she watched us eat. Her mindful presence and the safe world it opened.

In the quest of creativity, the mind tends to get sophisticated. Yet:

*The article appeared in the June 2017 issue of Mindful magazine.
 

Postcards

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– Did you send postcards from Tartu?

– ?

Our digital world brains tried to locate the concept in the memory. It was at a working dinner with fifty something judges. 50 is a number for their age. 

They were restless:

– you never send postcards from your trips?! I always do. To mom, dad, each of my four kids. Tomorrow you’ll do it as well. 

Our fingers were looking for the nearest post office on the phone screen. 

Next morning we are at these wonderful Estonian judges court. One of them holds poscards. You know – the rectangular piece of thick paper. They make us sit and writte down words on paper. You do not disobey a judge in his court.  One of us: ‘”it’s the first time i do it”.  My brain is not ready to tell me when was it the last time i did it. 

– can i take a pic of the postcard and send it electronically? i ask playfully.  

When was the last time you sent a postcard to your loved ones? Re-live it or do it. It feels good on the giving end.

 It feels good at the receiving end. 

A week after that dinner, my kid greets me in the evening with: “look what the postman gave me!”  🙂