|This is the page I put items
that don't conveniently go anywhere else on this site, such as:
Schedule of book signings.
Announcement of an article I've written for a magazine.
A new book I think everyone should read.
Links to pages about recent trips and/or their pictures.
Anything else that seems like a good idea.
So please, check below each time you come to the site!
|From the Desk
As we look back at 2010, Herbert and I are confronted first and foremost by the contrasts. From the sun, warmth and colors of West Africa, we have returned to the cold and grey of Northern Europe. From the crime, corruption and chaos of Lagos, we have come to the harmony and elegance of Leipzig, the city of Bach.
Leipzig has changed dramatically since the early 1990s. The core of the city around the renaissance town-hall and the baroque stock exchange is a pedestrian zone with lots of restaurants, cafes, book-stores, Art-Deco shopping arcades, galleries and museums. (The New York Times rated Leipzig as one of the ten pleasantest cities in Europe!) Around the inner city, there are gracious residential suburbs with imposing 19th Century villas or attractive, turn-of-the-last century four-story apartment houses. There are large parks and the Elster flows gently through the city, offering families and sportsmen opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and rowing. As soon as the worst of the winter is over, I will start looking for riding opportunities as well.
Last year, in the tropical heat and without family, Herbert and I did not celebrate Christmas. This year we had a beautiful tree, an advent wreath, and we heard Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed in the church where he worked and is buried, the Thomas Kirche. We had a snow-storm on Christmas Eve, which was horrible for all the people trying to travel to family etc. but lovely for us as we were staying home. Christmas day we walked in the "winter wonderland" by the river and watched the kids on their sleds etc. Very lovely and peaceful. It was our first "real" Christmas since we'd left Norway.
Work at the Consulate General Leipzig is, as expected, multi-sided. I am the sole “reporting officer, covering everything from party politics and economic developments to environmental and social issues. In addition, I am the only Consular Officer, providing services to American Citizens, and I also serve as the Post Security Officer. Familiarity with German history, particularly the period of Germany's reunification and the post-unification economic crisis have proven an advantage, when establishing contacts and analyzing current trends. My studies of the German Resistance to Hitler have also opened doors. General Friedrich Olbricht had close ties to Leipzig and the Bundeswehr base in Leipzig has been named for him; Leipzigers are always delighted to hear that I wrote my dissertation over General Olbricht.
Things are starting to move on the next book in the Leonidas trilogy. I'm close to a final cover, half way through the edit of the re-write, the publisher says "all systems are go" and readers have left notes on my guest-book asking when the next book will be out.
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