LISELOTTE & NIELS
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2015
We have once again managed to reach the lovely – and sometimes hectic – Christmas season. It is time to make a sign of life and to send our warmest wishes for a merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and a very happy,
healthy and exciting 2016! We hope it will all come true!
We have had a nice and mostly happy year. Lovely trips in different directions. Western Australia at the start of the year, Saarbrücken in Germany, then the
north-east of Italy, followed by the very south of Italy (Puglia), Riga in Latvia, Northern Greece (Thessaloniki and Kastoria), Denmark for the summer and the green and beautiful island of Madeira in November. Tomorrow we will leave for a Christmas for two
in the French city of Lille. We have heard a lot of nice things about the big city in French Flanders. Now we will go there to see it for ourselves!
We are both in great form – as far as we know J I ( Niels ) have walked 1.500
km this year! I’m quite proud of that. Walking is a great time for being creative. So when I return every day I normally have a rather long To-Do list, done on the
My three “kids” are well
and active too. Claus in Odense continues to look after the history of his city. And in addition he is very active in buying and selling shares. Never call him in the evening just before 10 p.m. Because by then he has to follow the closure of the New York Stock Exchange! Lasse here in Brussels
follows the European development (and non-development!) at close range from his job in the Danish EU Representation. In addition he is very active by walking (even more than me!) and at the fitness centre. And Cecilie and her family in Perth in Western Australia enjoy life under the sun. And she is very successful in her research on the importance of physical activity for well-being, incl. mental well-being. She and her husband Nikos, who is
professor in the same field, are travelling the world with their research. Their two daughters, Anna Maria (soon 10) is a great reader, a painter and just got the Yellow Ribbon in karate! And Zoe ( 5 ½) is almost Australian champion in charming and entertaining people. Not afraid or shy of anything or anybody. She wants to become a ballerina ! We
will meet them all in Denmark right after New Year. It will be good fun.
This year has also had its very sad moments. Liselotte lost her brother in the summer. After two years of fight against cancer he had to give up. At the end it was what he waited for. He will be greatly missed. And we have friends around the world, who either died or were/are very ill. At our age this is not surprising, of course. But it is still sort
of unreal and almost unacceptable. Death and illness hit others, not us and our loved ones. But it reminds us once again that we have to enjoy every minute and every day.
It is definately a duty! Some day it is too late. We should all remember that. And live accordingly!
And finally Europe: a year full of troubles and anxiety. Why? Our view is that we are short of politicians with the necessary vision, courage and determination. Sorry to say it that bluntly. But had they acted decisively from the beginning on all
problems, which have appeared during the year (Greece, Ukraine and not least Syria and not least the migration crisis ) much would have been different. Populism and new nationalism have both been allowed to be at the forefront. No obvious feeling and action of solidarity ( apart from in Germany ). No pro-active policy to stand up to the populists. No determined efforts to unveil all the lies and dangerous allegations, which
are circulating. There is definitely room for improvement!
Now, I do not want to sound too pessimistic. I am convinced that Europe will not only survive this crisis. It will come out
stronger. Perhaps a couple of members will fall off at the wayside. So be it. There are much more important issues at stake than using a lot of common efforts to try to accommodate domestic problems here or there.
Europe will simply become irrelevant, if it does not act together and on the really important issues in today’s world. I am sure that most of our politicians will realize that before it is too late. Or as Churchill
once said: We politicians will only take the necessary serious decisions, when we can see the gallows! On the other hand, we cannot just leave it all to our
politicians and their abilities and courage. People also have to realize what is at stake and not be continuously seduced by lies and populistic language. Stand up and fight,
for Europe’s sake! And for all of us!
With these greetings and this encouragement we want once again to wish you a lovely Christmas and a fantastic new year. And we hope to see and talk to you also in 2016.
Liselotte and Niels
35, Avenue de l’Europe, B-1330 Rixensart, Belgium
Tel. 00322 652 0812 Mobile: 0032 47 47 47 040
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: kimbrer