In memoriam

WW1 Memorial

In memory of Baptist Reiss. Born 13th August 1894, day-worker,
wounded during WWI in November 1916, died 24th January 1916.

Baptist belonged to my mother’s side of the family. This is pretty much all we know about him.
We couldn’t find out where he is buried yet. So today we went and left some flowers
at the memorials in Esslingen.
Reiss, Baptist

Date: 2016-01-08

Let’s try the blogging thing again, shall we? As 2015 was an eventful year – and I could have written dozens of posts … maybe I will catch up on them – I will list the most notable events.


⇢ Car is now officially a classic car! It is 30 years old. Car has been with my family all this time, it has been a part of life changing events and is a beloved companion. We celebrated by participating in a classic car meeting and race.


⇢ Visited Kassel in Germany where I took part in a convention on historical cemeteries and gave a talk on a local cemetery. More pictures of my trip can be found on flickr.

Kassel Bergpark 2015

⇢ Published an article – it is good to be a published scholar.

⇢ Was accepted at the University of Leicester in England and was granted a scholarship (thankfully! and it’s still ridiculously expensive).

⇢ Visited Leicester in England.

⇢ Had my third nervous breakdown at Heathrow Airport – the most terrible place on earth.

⇢ Had my first phone conversation with a native English speaker. And it only took me 22 years of learning English to get there.

⇢ Rode in a British taxi for the first time.

⇢ Visited Richard III’s tomb. Have become a loyal devotee. The King Richard III Visitor Centre was also a fantastic place to visit. (On the picture below, you can see my hairy haggis from Edinburgh )

Richard III statue with my hairy haggis

⇢ Had a lovely talk with a volunteer at Leicester Cathedral. Still, nothing beats the chance meeting with the WWII RAF veteran in London (“The last time I saw a German, I was flying an airplane and dropping bombs. It’s so good we have peace now.”). He was the coolest!

⇢ Went to the theatre in England for the first time and saw “Mr. Holmes” with Sir Ian McKellen. Highly recommended!

⇢ Fell in love with the tv show “M*A*S*H*” (and got the complete series on DVD).

⇢ Saw The Alan Parsons Project live for the second time – which was awesome.

The Alan Parsons Project 2015

⇢ Saw Marilyn Manson live – which was awful.

⇢ Saw a screening of the “Hamlet” production with Benedict Cumberbatch. It took me more than two hours and three trains to get there. The things you do… I’m still proud of myself for not murdering anyone in the audience. How can you not know “Hamlet”?! It’s my favourite Shakespeare play. I’m glad it was dark as I was sitting there like a child experiencing Christmas, Easter, Halloween and a birthday party at the same time.

Benedict as Hamlet 2015 Benedict as Hamlet 2015 Benedict as Hamlet 2015

⇢ Continued to earn some (very little) money by working as an English tutor. I admittedly enjoy it a lot, most of the time. Last month I was told I had managed to make one of my students go from “English is there to torture pupils” to actually enjoying English.

⇢ Had a rather perfect Halloween with countless pumpkins, fake blood, trick or treaters and Vincent Price movies. I really need to sort through the tons of pictures I always take on Halloween.

⇢ Got a part-time job at a museum archive until March. Better than nothing. And I hope I enjoy it a bit.

⇢ Had a peaceful (snow-less) Christmas. Santa brought many gifts. For example: “Justified” season 1 & 2, the books “Digging for Richard III” by Mike Pitts, “Carrying the Fire” by Michael Collins and “Failure is Not an Option” by Gene Kranz, a London poster, the official Queen calendar and a colouring book for grown ups.

Presents 2015


Despite various things that did not go as planned at all, I have to say that 2015 was a good year. That, of course, makes me scared of 2016. My biggest wish is for my family to stay as healthy as possible. Also, a job would be nice. And maybe an idea for my master’s thesis.