Blogs by Maria Thermann
Leipzig – Penguins are optional
4/7/2012 11:28:28 PM
I write mainly for children and in my Maria Thermann Blog on Wordpress I like to discuss how locations and buildings influence and inspire my writing. This time I'm talking about Leipzig in Germany, in particular Leipzig Zoo.
It struck me how my writing – or rather my writing mood – is influenced by the places and surroundings I find myself in. Here in Cardiff, where it’s noisy and where the Grunters of this world make life difficult, I’m far less inclined to be creative than I was while travelling in Germany or the Czech Republic for example. Speaking of the Grunters - as one final twist to the tale if you like - one of these wretched Grunters turned up ringing my doorbell today…had I seen his post?
Of all the nerve! No apology, no sorry for having been such a nuisance! Nope, no matter how often I told him there had been no post for him, he kept pestering me about it, until I put an end to the conversation and shut the door in his face. At which point I heard him swearing outside, calling me names. Welcome to Wales to you, too, Mr Grunter!
While living in Cardiff is having a negative impact on my creative output of drawings and various writing projects, staying in many different German cities and also in Prague had the opposite effect. I found myself constantly scribbling into the little notebook that I keep on me at all times – there are notes for sequels to books I haven’t even started writing, yet!
The penguins floating around in the blog header are there to remind me that one day I shall be back living in Leipzig, where a lovely quiet apartment awaits my return. Leipzig Zoo, where these little swimming aces have their home, was founded in 1878 and has since then undergone huge changes. Its most recent newcomer is the amazing Gondwanaland, where three continents are crammed together under one gigantic vaulted ceiling.
The enormous Gondwanaland glass dome houses the tropical rain forest habitats of Africa, Asia and South America with more than 40 exotic types of animals and 500 different trees and plants. Visitors can walk on wooden walkways through this man-made jungle or take a boat for a trip on the artificial river Gamanil.
Gondwanaland shows the world as it was millions of years ago, before one gigantic landmass broke up and split into different continents. Living fossils, animals that have survived evolutionary changes and natural disasters since Gondwanaland reigned on Earth, are displayed in an amazing array of terrestrial enclosures, aquarium-style tanks and in the river. Outside of Gondwanaland the zoo has geographical zones where animals from around the world are strutting their stuff in habitats resembling their natural ones.
These penguins reside on Penguin Island and have their own dishy human who plays with them, feeds them fish and talks about them two or three times a day to zoo visitors. The two Pingu girls and boys up in the blog header were taking their early morning swim, when I took this picture. Just a little exercise before the nice young man with the breakfast sardines arrives!
No matter what the Grunters of this world get up to in the meantime, I shall look forward to the day when I can say Hello to the Leipzig penguins again…until then I shall dream of a veritable maelstrom of creativity resulting from my move across the Channel.
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More Blogs by Maria Thermann
Leipzig – Penguins are optional - Saturday, April 07, 2012