Sunday, 14 April 2013

Northern Soul

20 years ago David Gray released his debut studio album "A Century Ends".20 years later - today . I am listening to his song "Shine". David Gray actually made me go and buy music after a very long abscence if mine. The music started a process.

Over the past year I have gone through some transformations that lead my closer to my true self. Over the past 12 months, I've revived my love for music. For my 40th birthday my sister invited me to a concert in Hamburg. What we both did not know back then: It seems that Hamburg as a place, a vibe, an atmosphere ... is like a perfect match to me.

nono from Lubeck, did you take a close look at the pile? I am getting ready!

I did not fully trust the overall positive feelings I had after my first stay. So I went back, expected some disappointments. The opposite happened: The excitement grew even bigger. Now, that I am going there for the third time within 12 months, I feel the need to "test" the city anymore. I will go there on my own.

My parents don't understand why I go there on my own. Why I would do this, go without company? I answered "Well, you know, of course I could stay here, sit and wait for someone to accompany me. Or, I could just go" (Not that I had not asked a few friends, if they would like to join me).

For all that we struggle
For all we pretend
It don't come down to nothing
Except love in the end
And ours is a road
That is strewn with goodbyes
But as it unfolds
As it all unwinds
Remember your soul is the one thing
You can't compromise
Take my hand
We're gonna go where we can shine*

I know, I will shine.
I already glow.
I guess I can call myself lucky, being able to feel joy and happiness even when being on my own. Well, I won't be all alone. Two amazingly welcoming people await my arrival.
dodo from Hamburg will meet me for dinner on my first night in Hamburg. We share the love for photography. Together we will conquer the 12 platforms of the Elbphilharmonie-construction-site. :-)

Have you ever meet a place (or country, people, language) where you immediately felt at home? Where you could be just "you" and felt akwardly alive, more alive than anywhere else? Please share your thoughts and experiences, I would love to hear from you!

Now I only need to decide whether the trench coat is a good or bad idea for this trip. The black nylon sports jacket would be the smarter option. But the trench coat has way more style.

I try to fit in. That's why I am going to see Abercrombie & Fitch from the inside. I need pink or green sweat pants for my upcoming stay at the Black Sea in May! Grey and navy is a No-go down there. Does this suffice to label this posting with "Shallowness"? Hmm. And please forgive me the typing errors, I need to get going, ironing waits for me. But I did not want to leave without leaving you a note!

Good night!
Paula, definitely a northern soul

Lyrics: David Gray: 'Shine'


  1. Dear paula, i`m a original hamburger deern, a so-called fischkopp. I know your feelings exactly! Moved away from this lovely and most beautiful city exactly 21 years ago. Return frequently and each time my heart jumps. : -) good luck, JL

    1. Hi JL! It is hard to imagine how someone can leave the city of Hamburg. Now that I have been there for the third time in 12 months, I like how it unfolds more and more ... The puzzle is getting complete and I really like the picture that is taking shape. Finally I found the first corner of the city I do not like at all! The business-quarter Hammerbrook. It is so sterile and boring. I passed it on my way back to the Oberhafenkantine, coming from the IBA on Wilhelmsburg on a Stadtrad. More pictures to come from the city of noble men and women ;-)

      Thank you for sharing you roots with me, now I like you even more :-D

  2. still looking for that place

    1. Dear Tracy, it took me 40 years. Maybe you start with music like I did? Music helpd me seeing clear.

  3. Hamburg sounds like a wonderful city. A friend of mine visited there a couple of years ago and shared beautiful photos and interesting stories.

    At 55, we should be getting more interested in travel but actually we just want to stay home and do domestic things like cook, sew, garden and have our friends over for dinner. Maybe it will change but I think we have grown tired of travel. The one place that does sometimes call to us, where we feel most at home, is Italy.

    As for music, we listened to it non-stop when we first got together in 2004, but for some reason these days we like silence, maybe because we have concentrated music time at choir rehearsals Thursday nights and singing Sunday mornings. Maybe that is enough.

    What is wrong with traveling on your own? I think if you feel confident on your own, and have people to meet, it's a great idea.

    1. Dear Susan!

      I don't remember, when you found out about my blog. It was two years ago, when I did not feel like travelling at all.
      Back then I felt exactly the way you describe it: no need to explore something new. It felt just right. Unfamiliar but very ok.
      I did not mind staying home at all:

      It seems I always need some explanations when things change just so.

      Not much later I realised that I had been totally exhausted, without knowing so - after having undergone troublesome weeks, including hours in the ICU, holding my mothers hand after brain surgery. Things like that - catastrophies in your family - go deep. Of course you stay strong, but inside it's another story. I was recovering from a stressful period, at least this was my explanation.

      My mother recovered soon and it was then when we realised that we should make use of the given time. Now is the time to live an active life and leave the city whenever we feel like it, because we know there will be times when we will be needed in Vienna, when our parents will need us. Now is a precious timeframe - our parents don't depend on us and we are free to go abroad and we both have jobs and earn money which allows us to explore places away from home.
      One thing lead to another: Hamburg, Sicily, Scotland and this year the Black Sea and Hamburg.

      My parents did not have that time at our age, because they had us, their kids. Their "free time" started a bit later.

      Friends for dinner is something we really want to catch up with over here. Thank you for reminding me!

      And speaking of music:
      I had my MP3-player with me but did not make any use of it - the sounds of the city sufficed. :-)
      I was still full with the experience of the beautiful concert on the second night during my stay. Big feelings! Waterproof mascare highly recommended. *sigh*