Winter is a long time when you come from an island that doesn't really do seasons. It was so cold that I even had to buy a coat and also discover that things like gloves, hats and scarves have an actual function. But it wasn't just the weather. I've been on a retreat.
I don't mean an organised retreat where you officially say you are going on a retreat, because that wouldn't really be a retreat, would it? It would be an action. A statement.
What I did was retreated. I didn't plan to. I just became reflective and reclusive and my favourite place was solitude. I did a lot of thinking, a lot of deciding and a bit of changing. I was surprised at that. I thought people didn't change very easily, or that it was huge work to change, but in this case it just happened. A bit like puberty happens to kids and as they hysterically scream at you to 'leave me alone' they also reassure you that this behaviour is nothing to do with their hormones whatsoever, no, it's all because of 'you'!
So was my retreat of the hormonal nature? I believe not. Possibly something to do with age though, and definitely attitude.
And then something even worse happened. I shed a few layers of tolerance, patience and understanding. I decided that no, I won't 'stay calm' and drink coffee. It's not my fault though, it is the fault of the greater gods who sent me on the retreat. I didn't make these decisions consciously, the Gods just allowed me to release my inner cantankerous cow. Cows are sacred in some countries you know.
Oh hang on a minute, cantankerous cow is what people used to call me before my retreat. So maybe I just became a tad more self aware.
And on the subject of the Gods, well I did something very wild recently. I went to church! You see I was sitting (on my own of course, due to the retreat) in a cafe on a Sunday morning and I saw people going into this big church across the road. Wow, I thought, how quaint, people still go to churches. So I got curious and went and joined them. I wasn't sure if it was a catholic or protestant church, but I decided protestant because there were bibles on the seats and when they sang a hymn, the number of the hymn came up on a display on the wall. Do catholics do that?
I think in general that the protestants have better hymns, but otherwise the sermon was pretty much the same. The priest read a bit from the bible, and only then did I discover that the phrase 'healer heal yourself' came from the new testament. Very apt for my current state of mind I thought. Afterwards I thought about how as a kid I used to have to pretend I had been at mass. (Who said mass?) But now I would have to pretend I had been at the museum in order to save the embarrassment of explaining to people where I'd been.
So the bottom line, reader, is that I have not blogged so much as I've been on the retreat, but now that I'm back, please expect the blogs to be even more bitter and twisted than before, and possibly not as frequent, as I am also doing a lot of business writing at the moment. I will post the links when it's presentable enough for the public eye.
On the 2nd of April I move into my new office space on the 7th floor at Park Office in Karlsruhe. After the retreat I'm looking forward to a bit of elevation...