Es sind fast acht Monate vergangen, seit ich die Entscheidung getroffen habe, umzusiedeln, und jetzt, da sich der Staub gelegt hat, fühle ich mich definitiv mit meiner Entscheidung berechtigt. Brandenburg, meine bisherige Heimat, ist in der Tat ein wunderschöner, aufregender und wilder Teil Deutschlands und ein Ort, den ich noch lange vermissen werde. Kein Wunder, dass es mit seiner flachen und offenen Natur, den dichten Wäldern und der windgepeitschten Landschaft zu einem der beliebtesten Reiseziele in Deutschland zählt.
Es ist erstaunlich, wie laut sich unsere innere Natur machen kann. Ich bezweifle keinen Augenblick, dass es die norwegische Hälfte der DNA meines Stammbaums war, die mich dazu drängte, in einen "vertikalen" Teil Deutschlands zu ziehen, in dem hohe Hügel, Klippen und tiefe Wälder einen Großteil der Landschaft bilden. Und ich bereue diese Entscheidung nicht. Vorbei sind die Tage, in denen man auf ein Feld blickte, das sich bis zum Horizont erstreckte.
Also habe ich mich jetzt niedergelassen und das Haus ziemlich renoviert. Meine Werkstatt ist fast am Laufen und es müssen nur wenige Änderungen vorgenommen werden. Ich bin dabei, die Produktion wieder aufzunehmen und zu sehen, ob ich meine Nachbarn mit meinen Fähigkeiten zum Holzdrechseln beeindrucken kann. Ich habe auch die schwierige Entscheidung getroffen, meine Website zu überarbeiten, um die Wartung etwas zu erleichtern. Dies bedeutet leider, dass weniger Auswahlmöglichkeiten zur Verfügung stehen. Wenn Sie jedoch nicht finden, wonach Sie suchen, zögern Sie nicht, mich direkt über das Kontaktformular zu kontaktieren.
Ich denke, der Umzug in die Eifel war das Richtige: Es gibt einen deutlichen Unterschied zwischen 1000 km und 200 km. Zum einen bedeutet dies, dass derjenige, der zu Besuch kommt, lange Zeit bleiben muss, um es lohnenswert zu machen, und das ist nicht immer einfach. Ich bin jetzt näher an meinen Freunden und meiner Familie sowie an der belgischen Grenze. Die gute Nachricht für meine belgischen Nachbarn: Ich kann jetzt extrem reduzierte Portogebühren anbieten, da ich jetzt BPost verwenden kann! Die Grenze ist 700 Meter von meinem Haus entfernt.
Ich freue mich wirklich auf diesen Neuanfang, mit neuen Möglichkeiten, Leute kennenzulernen, vielleicht sogar in die Schönheit des Holzes als natürliches Element einzuführen. Ich freue mich auch darauf, mit meinen beiden neuen Labradoren (Woodstock und Dilbert, derzeit 5 Monate alt), durch die Eifel zu spazieren. Seit meiner Ankunft hier Anfang August muss ich noch aus dem Fenster schauen und Wetter sehen, das ich nicht liebte oder zumindest nicht lernen konnte, um es zu genießen. Selbst in den feuchtesten Nebeln sieht das Tal fantastisch aus!
Ich bin ein Eifeler!
Almost eight months have passed since I made the decision to relocate and, now that the dust has settled, I definitely feel justified in my choice of action. Brandenburg, my previous home, is indeed a beautiful, exciting and wild part of Germany, and a place that I will miss for some time to come. It is no wonder that it is one of Germany's #1 holiday destinations, with its flat and open nature, its dense forests and wind-blasted landscape.
It is amazing how loud our inner nature can make itself. I do not doubt for a moment that it is the Norwegian half of my family tree's DNA that urged me to move to a move "vertical" part of Germany, where tall hills, cliffs and deep forests make up much of the landscape. And I do not regret this decision. Gone are the days of looking out onto a field that extended into the horizon.
So, I've now settled down and done quite a bit of renovation on the house. My workshop is almost up and running, with only a few modifications to be made. I'm about to restart production and see if I can impress any of my neighbours with my woodturning skills. I have also taken the tough decision to rework my website to make it a little easier to maintain. This will unfortunately mean that less choice will be available, but if you do not find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact me directly via the Contact Form.
I think moving to the Eifel region of Germany was the right thing to do: Say what you will about distance, but there is a distinct difference between traveling 1000km and driving 200km. For one, it means that whomever visits has to stay for a long period of time just to make it worthwhile and that is not always easy to do. I am now closer to my friends and family, as well as the Belgian border. The great news for my Belgian neighbours: I can now offer extremely reduced postage fees, since I am now able to use BPost! The border is literally 700 meters away from my house.
I really am looking forward to this new beginning, with new opportunities to meet people, perhaps even introduce them to the beauty of wood as a natural element. I am also looking forward to walking through the Eifel with my two new Labradors (Woodstock and Dilbert, currently aged 5 months). Since my arrival here at the beginning of August, I have yet to look out of the window and see weather that I didn't love or, at least, couldn't learn to enjoy. Even in the dampest of fogs, the valley looks amazing!
Ich bin ein Eifeler!
Whether we like it or not, appearances do matter. This is not a self-interested plea aimed at urging my readers to buy something from my Webshop (although I am of course happy to provide you with
one of my finest writing implements!). Rather, it is intended as a statement of fact and a talking point. For better or for worse, with every
step that we take into the world, we are being observed and, sadly, judged by our peers. Our mothers may well have taught us that "it's what is inside that matters", but this is unlikely to
impress our future boss into giving us a new position or persuade the new bank manager into giving us a large loan. Attention to our appearance is a vital part of living in today's society.
This has me thinking about items that we wear and use on a daily basis. Standing out from the crowd is not easy and yet we still strive to do so, ironically, by purchasing many of the same items that we see others using and wearing. The inevitable consequence: In our attempt to differentiate ourselves from others, we end up looking even more like those who surround us. As the crowd chanted together to Brian's mother in "The life of Brian" (a film by the Monty Python collective), "Yes, we're all individuals!"
Henry Ford famously stated that "you can have any color as long as it's black." Things certainly have evolved since 1909 but, in our modern, so-called free market, we choose (or, some might say, are forced to choose) between Samsung and iPhone, PC and Mac, Coke or Pepsi, Android or iOS, manual or automatic. Cars of course offer a little more choice, but on the highways of Germany we all seem to be riding in the chariots of the same 5 or 6 manufacturers, with each model looking like last year's or the competitor's bestseller. Similarly, our houses or apartments all suffer from acute cases of Ikea-itis, with everyone owning or having owned a Billy bookshelf. The list goes on.
This isn't the consequence of a lack of choice, for we have many. The culprit is the uniformity of choice, with each product resembling the other. Because of this, we have been conditioned into
desiring what we are being told to desire, rather than being allowed to truly follow our innermost instincts. If we need a new car, we must choose a car that looks like one. Need a new phone?
Then you must buy a phone that looks like a phone. Begone, spirit of original design and function! From a manufacturer's point of view, this is understandable: Investing in originality, in
something "far out", diverse and unique is a major risk few are willing to take. With each manufacturer not wishing to risk too much, they stick to the "definite winners" of the past. Why
reinvent the wheel, after all?
Most of us cannot afford full wardrobes of handmade shoes and clothes, nor do we have the time to perpetually be on the lookout for a unique Je ne sais quoi for every day of the week, but "God is in the detail" as the expression would have it. It is the small nuances, the tiny accents and the wonderful personal touch that highlight our own individuality, that free us and that set us aside from the crowd.
I'd like to conclude on an optimistic note: In a world like today's, a genuine smile, a kind disposition and a well-groomed appearance are the one true way to set yourself apart from the crowd. That said, a nice handcrafted pen certainly doesn't hurt. :-)
My local timber supplier once said to me, "Wood is simply amazing". And he is right about that. Forget metal, clay, wool or stone; wood is the king of all materials. It is both alive and dead, maleable and rigid, weak and strong. It adds warmth to our households and stability to our roofs. It shelters us from the wind and gives us a shade in the heat of the summer.
We've probably all found ourselves bewildered by the majesty of trees during our childhood, but for me it wasn't until I discovered the potential of wood in the scientific process of dendrochronology (tree ring dating) when I realized just how good a friend wood has been to humanity. It is stunning to think that 400 year old trees felled by a storm can be used today to make beautiful hardwood floors, but it is even more awe-inspiring that we can still accurately date wood 15,000 years old (or more) and conclude that it used to be part of a bridge or a granary. That is what I call a long and true friendship and it is really amazing.
Wood in all its shapes and colours, in all its smells and textures, that is what appeals to most of us. The grain on a bowl, the elegance of a tabletop, the robust presence of a cupboard,... We run our hands against it and place it under our noses. Our relationship with wood is ancestral and appeals to that most primitive part of the human mind. It comforts and nurtures today as it has for thousands of years.
So today, I turn a new page as I attempt to share my love of this magical material with others. With my creations, I hope to share some of the ideas and designs that I find most fascinating.