Showing posts from November, 2012

Sofie Seliger

Sofie Seliger was born in 1927 in a the small town of Leopoldsdorf on the outskirts of Vienna, in Austria to parents Heinrich and Bertha.  A nominally Jewish family, they farmed pigs, amongst other things.  Sofie had three brothers – Walter, Kurt and Robert.  They used to play in the fields around their home, and generally cause all sorts of trouble.  As the only girl, Sofie used to stick up for herself, and her brother Walter would later describe her as “a bossy sister”. They were part of a large family in and around Vienna.  Sofie was named after her Danish grandmother, who died before Sofie was born.  Sofie’s grandfather ran a watch-making shop in central Vienna and Sofie used to go in and help him wind up all the clocks. Life was calm and gentle. A  happy family in the middle of Europe. However, things were to change forever in the 1930s.  The advance of the Nazis into Austria saw the Seliger family lose their home and be forced to live in a tenement in the middle of

Sleepless in Seattle

There, I did it.  A crap joke about the fact that I'm in Seattle and awake at a stupid time in the morning.  I arrived here on Saturday, and applied my usual technique of "staying awake until a normal time on the first night, then going to bed really tired".  It's a technique which has always worked in the past for snapping me into the new timezone. However, this room has a real flame fire.  It's rather nice.  A little switch by the bed puts the fire on for a timed hour, meaning that you can fall asleep by the light of a roaring fire, and then it'll turn itself off afterwards.  The problem is, though, that a roaring fire makes the room warm.  And a warm room makes for a sleepy room.  And so yesterday afternoon, when I put the fire on to stave off the rain pouring outside, I found myself waking up quite a few hours later thinking "oh, bugger!".  And true enough, despite getting to bed at a sensible time last night, I woke up at 5.30am today.  "