Focusing on German Architecture, Celle

Recently we wrote a post on 10 things we love about living in Germany. One of the 10 was German Architecture. Today we would like to focus a bit more on this subject and show some photos that Mohammed took of our favourite German city: Celle.

We drove to Celle early one Sunday morning, spent time walking around and just really looking at the buildings in the city centre area. There were only a few tourists around looking with big eyes and open mouths at the buildings.

Observing them I realised how often we take our surroundings for granted, when was the last time you stopped and really looked around the place where you are?

It was wonderful to look around with fresh eyes, really noticing every detail. There is so much in Celle to discover! One blog post on it will never be enough!

There was some information we already knew about Celle but then we accidentally met two lovely ladies who told us a lot about their city. They both live there and are really proud of their city.

Celle is a Royal city. It has a castle, sadly we couldn´t take any photos of it as it is covered in scaffolding at the moment, but as soon as we can I shall post photos of it. Ancestors of the British Royal Family come from here and lived in this castle.

So here are some of the photos we took and some really interesting information!

I love the painted decorations on the houses. The colours are fantastic and what is written on many of the houses is very moving. Most of them have the name of the original owners, when the house was built, and something about them or the hopes they had for their new home, others have written on them a verse from the Bible or a short prayer or petition to God, like Bless this home and it´s inhabitants.

Others have funny comments like it is not possible to be happy if your neighbour doesn´t like it or doesn´t like you. But usually there is something written about God or asking God for His blessing and protection.

One thing that I didn´t know and was told to us by the two lovely ladies, is that these decorations (see photos under) on top of the houses, contain the original architectural plans for the house, inside that golden ball. So that if ever there was a fire for example, then the plans for the house would be safe and the house could be rebuilt again. Amazing and truly clever!

This one I already knew! Those thick pieces of wood sticking out of the top of the houses were used to lift goods, with the help of a rope and pulley, into the houses and pulled in through those little doors, like in the photo here above.

Goods were stored in the loft of the houses, like for example large quantities of flour for the winter, or in the case of shop owners, a tailor for example, the fabric for his work would be lifted up and pulled into the house to be stored in the loft.

 This one  is really interesting! If you look carefully at the next photo, you will see that it is two 1\2 houses. Originally the two halves were planned by the architect as one house, but the sisters who were going to build it and live together had a major disagreement so the house was literally cut in half, with no extra money or resources, the house was built in two halves, with a piece of ground in between, with the two halves in opposing direction to each other.

One of the things I really like about Celle is the fantastic window boxes that hang from the windows. The Geraniums look so wonderful and they make the houses look even more attractive!

The stone roads, or cobbled roads, are protected and I can see why, they have a lovely pattern to them and are in amazingly good condition. I really enjoy them even if they are uneven! No high heels girls!

And the last photo is to make you laugh a bit! Here I am looking into the window of one of my favourite shops, Mohammed took the photo and then showed it to me saying: “here I am working and what is she doing? shop window shopping!” and he laughed a lot.

Celle is a truly wonderful city, it looks amazing with the Christmas market there. I promise I shall write a post before then with photos of Celle on the run up to Christmas and the Christmas market.

Until then we would like to say that we had an amazing day rediscovering Celle and spending time together. I think this was the most important part of the day, the spending time together. We highly recommend rediscovering your surroundings with friends or loved ones or with your husband or wife.

Building good memories is the secret to growing strong relationships and a happy life.

Mohammed & Beatriz

All written content and photographs are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.
© 2018-2020 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

Ten Things I love about living in Germany

Having lived in Germany for a while, I can safely say that there are many things that I love about living here.

From every day life to work life to social life, I have found many interesting aspects that have brought me enjoyment and satisfaction.

In fact there are so many things that I enjoy about life in Germany that I had to limit my list to ten!

So, here goes!

  1. German architecture. I love the older buildings, the farm buildings and the village´s architecture. I also really enjoy the modern architecture. The highly environmentally friendly houses. The houses that come almost ready made and are ready to live in, within 2 to 3 weeks!
  2. The woodlands. There are so many beautiful woods in Germany. The area where I live is surrounded by many wooded areas. I love the fresh air they produce, the beauty of the trees, their changes as the seasons change, and the many footpaths that are there for everyone to walk on and enjoy.
  3. The wild life. From my conservatory I look straight into the woods that are behind my home. There I see many Deer, they often visit my garden and eat the fallen apples from my apple tree! The Hedgehogs that ran around my garden from the woods and stop to look at me with their head sideways turned, before they run away back into the woods. The foxes. The incredible variety of birds. And finally but not least the wolves. Yes, there are wolves in the woods. But luckily not in the wood behind my house. How do I know that? Well, the Deer are still here!
  4. The weather. Believe it or not! The temperatures are not extreme at all. Having lived before in other lands where in winter it went to -27 and in another country where in the summer it went to 54, temperatures in Germany are enjoyable. I love it that I can go out at 10 o´clock at night in the summer and have my car windows open without feeling cold.
  5. The German language. Yes! you read it right. At first I thought I would never learn it, but then it was like I had fallen in love with this language. I couldn´t get enough of it. There are expressions in German that make me laugh, there is a word that literally translated means: “a face badly in need of a slap”! Or the composite words that make absolute logical sense when translated. 
  6. German modern music. I have some favourite artists, and I really love their music. The sound of the words in the songs and the content in their songs with a depth that has been forgotten by other singers in other parts of the world. Whereas many modern music artists seem to be focusing on superficial things, my favourite German artists are singing about the things that bring me to reflection and the enjoyment of real life.
  7. Bicycles. Everybody has a bicycle and if you don´t have one because you are new here then a good hearted German person will help you find one! We all ride our bicycles as much as possible. I rarely see people walking around except in busy shopping areas in the city and even there, people ride their bicycles by. When given with a choice, we would all choose to ride our bikes to the shops, doctors and work. For fun, for pleasure and for work. No matter the age. From Children to the elderly, people enjoy their bicycles no matter what. I love seeing in the morning women that ride their bicycles to work in their high heels! Or on a rainy day how people ride their bicycles under  an umbrella! Maybe that is why those of us that live in Germany are fitter and healthier than many.
  8. Roads, bicycle paths and agricultural roads. I love that the roads are slightly curved so that when it rains the water runs off the road easily. It makes them safer. I specially enjoy all the bicycle paths! There are paths for bicycles everywhere. And I like the agricultural roads, They are there to connect farms and fields with each other, they are supposed to be used by farmers and farm traffic…. supposed to… in reality many use them as a short cut to wherever they are trying to get to or just to enjoy the views.
  9. Breakfast. In Germany breakfast is a special event. I love how people here celebrate their birthdays or other special dates by starting their day surrounded by their friends and family, around the breakfast table. This is no ordinary breakfast but a really wonderful set up of a variety of foods and delicious breads, fruit, fish, you name it! Candles are lit and flowers decorate the table. People actually dress up for breakfast. It beats a bowl of cornflakes any day!
  10. Happy people. The majority of German people are happy, cheerful and friendly. They take time to talk with other people. They listen. They laugh and joke and smile, even early in the morning! I can´t remember seeing road rage here. They have their own way of passing by! and they don´t get worked up about it. I like that women here look like women even when they are wearing jeans and men look and behave like men. I have never heard of a German man being told to find his feminine side! 

I have the feeling that 10 is not enough! I look forward to continuing to enjoy life in Germany. Why not visit Germany sometime?
All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Happy Wife = Happy Life

Wives who are happy blossom. They look more beautiful every day. They apply themselves to everything they do and try to do it right. They make their houses into welcoming homes.

A woman has the ability to affect the atmosphere of  any room with her mood. A happy and radiant wife will turn a home into a little bit of heaven. An unhappy wife will bring a sad and heavy feeling into the home and every day life.

Most men know what makes their wives happy and what makes them truly unhappy.

Men who truly love their wives strive to do everything they can to not do anything that makes their wives unhappy. Of course we are all human and do make mistakes, but the important thing is not to keep on making the same mistakes. If something that you did made your wife unhappy and made her cry, don´t do it again! 
Obvious! but why is it that some people keep on making the same mistakes over and over again until their relationships fail? 
Once a relationship has truly failed there is no way back. Once the love dies it is the end.

But before you get to that point it is time to wake up and take care of your wife and your relationship.

Take a little bit of time everyday to get to know your wife all over again. Bring romance into your relationship and lavish your wife with your love. Encourage her, praise her for her beauty and what she does right, motivate her to keep growing as a person and allow her the freedom to be herself. 
From one happy husband to many!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Never Give Up

So you have encountered difficulties in your path?

What was that someone once said to me? “If at first you don´t succeed, try and try and try again!”

Giving up at the first difficulty does not lead to success. If you are looking for a new job and got rejected then apply again to a different company, consider first what you can change on how your application is presented.

When looking for a new job it is really important to highlight the positive things that you have achieved. In order to do that you need to be able to think about yourself in a positive way. Exactly that, which you think is not so important might be just what your future employer is looking for.

If you had a set back at home or in your friendships, then try again! True friends are those that stand by you in spite of difference of opinion. You might disagree on a point but if your friendship is a true one, then differences of opinion should not be the end of a friendship. This world would be very boring if we all thought in the same way!

Having friends who think differently to us and live in a different way, enriches our lives as long as we learn from each other and allow each person in our lives to be contributor to our personal growth.

When it comes to family… Well, who didn´t ever disagree with someone in their family?

But the family bond should not be the whether we agree on everything but the love that we have for one another. Loving one another deeply should be the unbreakable bond that unites us with our family members, no matter what.

When we truly love we respect each other´s way of living, because the love we feel for the other person is greater than the mistakes or differences between us.

Treasure your family, forgive, reunite with those you love and love you, in acceptance of each other, without judging. Simply love each other and all else falls into place.

Living in a land far away from my own and far away from my family, I have come to know how
important each person in my family is to me, how precious the good memories are, how precious too are the phone calls and the video calls that we hold with each other. I miss my family and wish I could just go home for a coffee and a chat.

When did you last call your mum or your dad?

When did you last chat to your brother or sister?

When did you last go home for the weekend and sat around in your pyjamas all day, just talking and eating and laughing?

Don´t leave it until it is too late. Family is not just for Christmas!

Never give up on the most precious relationships in your life.

Never give up on trying to build a better life for yourself and your loved ones.

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Right Thinking

Hold onto the right thoughts. These are the thoughts that lead you towards success.

Maybe you too are starting out again in life, like we did. Once you made the decision to start again you really need to let go of the past.

It is specially important to let go off the situations and choices made in the past which did not lead to success, whether that was in your professional life or in your family life or even love life.

It is also crucial to let go of the wrong thoughts, these are those thoughts that lead you to doubt your ability to reach success, to reach your goals and hold you back.

If coping with negative comments and the negativity of others is not easy, then it is also crucial to surround yourself with those people that encourage you in your plans for positive change in your life.

Taking time out to think is of vital importance, choose a place where you feel peaceful, where you can focus and breath in fresh air. Push aside every negative thought and write down the positive thoughts that will encourage you in times of doubt.

Starting afresh in life is not easy. Some of us are forced to start again because of the tragedies in our lives, others make that choice because they are not happy or satisfied with their life as it is.

Whatever the reason, the right thoughts are already an achievement!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Friday Freedom

After a week full with work and commitments there is nothing better than to have that feeling of freedom that comes with Friday!

But true freedom does not depend on which day of the week it is. It does not depend on where you live or who you live with.

True freedom comes from having peace of mind and peace in  the heart. True freedom comes from being true to yourself and admiting to the truth inside of you.

A while back we used to work together for someone else, but the people working with us didn´t think it was OK for us to work together. They made our work life very difficult and it spilt over into our private lives. We nearly lost each other. As we drifted away I wanted to tell her everything that was in my heart:

“The first time we kissed I felt the time going really fast, I felt I had the whole world in my hand, I felt so happy, I felt we were the only two people in the world.
I remember when we walked by the river, I looked at you, how you moved, how you talked, I felt I wanted to hide you inside my heart and not let anyone see you, to keep you safe from the whole world. I wanted those moments to never go away.

Now we have been 3 years together and my love grows more and more everyday.

What words do I need to say to you? my sweet girl or my queen?. Even when you get up in the morning and you leave to go to your job, I feel really scared for you, but I try to hide it inside myself, so that I don´t show my worry for you.  But you are my Queen, the love of my life, my inspiration and my best friend.

I want us to do the things you like and make you happy but time slips away and takes me from you for a little bit because I think so much about how to build a better life. And then I see that we have already a better life because we have each other.”

I still feel the same way about her…

If you work with your husband or wife, keep work life and home life apart. Write a schedule where work times and home life times are clearly defined. Build barriers that nobody is allowed to cross over and above all protect your relationship.

There are many jobs out there and every worker could be easily replaced but you can not replace the person that loves you and cares for you, the one that travels through this life by your side

Life takes you through many roads and sometimes people try to lead you down a road you should never take.

Value yourself and your relationship.

Don´t let yourself be limited, conditioned and influenced by the expectations of people around you who try to push on you their personal views on your private life.

We have defeated the meath. We have now worked together on writing our books for over a year and are working together on this Blog. We do it without allowing outside influence into our private world. We have peace inside our work life, home life and inside our hearts.

Wishing you Friday Freedom and peace in your heart.

All content and photographs are the property of Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio. © 2018-2020 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

Walking forwards

I walked across many countries in Europe for 3 months to get away from the war and save my life. If there is one thing that I learned about walking forwards in life is that it can be a difficult and painful process which leads to a positive end.

It requires leaving behind not just the negative things in one´s life but sometimes it means having to leave behind things that we like, enjoy, are comfortable with or think we can´t live without.

For me it was a particularly difficult and painful process because it meant leaving behind my loved ones in order to save my life.

But when you want to move forwards in life, in your business, career, home life or love life then you might need to make some difficult choices.

It takes just 9 days to create a bad habit but it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and create a good one.

Just making the decision to walk forwards in life is a huge positive first step. Breaking the bad habits in your life that are stopping you from being successful is already a success. Building new positive habits means we are almost there!

Then we know that we are walking in the right way and on the road to achieving our goals.

Keep a written record of everything you have achieved, not  about what  you dream off but what you have actually done. All of us have dreams but if I hold this dream in my head and never do something about it then I will never do anything in my life. Make a positive habit of recording the steps you take on the road to success.

Keep walking forwards, one foot in front of the other!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

The pursuit of happiness in every day life

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a very important phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says these are rights that have been given to every single person by God. 

We have the right to pursue Happiness in every area of our lives, but I believe that our happiness can not infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Not only that but we need to learn to respect the right of others to pursue their own happiness. As long as that pursuit is not breaking laws or damaging other individuals and their property.

We do not need to agree with their life choices or support them on their choices but we do need to learn to respect them and give them the freedom to live their own lives.

If we spend our time focusing on what other people do that we do not agree with, then there is no time left to focus on our own happiness.

We find happiness in every day life, for example in the changes in nature. We delight in seeing the changes in the vegetation around us and are grateful for the chance to witness God´s hand at work.

Taking time to stop our busy lifestyles to simply look around and notice the beauty that surrounds us, brings great satisfaction and makes us happy. Sharing these peaceful times with our loved ones makes it even better.

Take time to look around you this weekend, take a deep breath in the fresh air and be happy! Simple things are the best in life!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018-2020 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Taking time out

Focusing, learning, planning, doing and progressing is all part of the processes to achieving goals, but when we only focus on the “serious” staff and don´t take time out to relax and enjoy life we are very much in danger of “burning out”.

This last weekend we took time out to relax and enjoy a perfect late summer´s day. We went to the circus, ate ice-cream and took time for a relaxed walk. We had a great time, came home feeling totally refreshed and full of energy to move forward! Because a photo is worth more than a thousand words:

Plan into your busy schedule time to relax and to see something different. Once you go back to focusing on your work or life plan, you will be able to concentrate much better and feel rested.

Wishing you happy planning and much fun!!!

(All photos and content are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

© 2018-2020 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)

Switch into Positive

Our brains follow our instructions. Our moods shape our thoughts. Negative thinking produces negative actions.

Focusing on instructing your brain to switch into positive thinking will produce positive outcomes in your life.

For example, if you put the alarm on to get up in the morning to go to work, but before you go to bed you tell yourself that you are tired, that you are in fact exhausted and that you will not manage the next day, then the next morning you will start the day tired and continue in that mode all day long. And probably also in a bad mood!

Negative thinking lowers your energy levels and prepares you for failure.

However, if before you go to bed you tell yourself that you are tired now but after a good night sleep you will successfully complete the next day, then you will have a positive and successful day ahead of you.

Plan for success. Make your mornings easy. Prepare all you can prepare the night before, then go to bed with a clear feeling that the next morning you will have an easy time before facing your day. Every time you are tempted to think negative then consciously change your thoughts. Be hard on yourself.

If you forget easily what you need to get done the next day, and that is leading you to stress and exhaustion, then invest on a small notebook that you carry around with you. Write lists on it detailing what you need to get done that day and for the next day.Of course we are in a modern world, you can also make your list on your mobile phone!But for me personally nothing beats the feeling that I get when I use my little notebook!

Seek positive thoughts and you will be on the road to success!  

                                                                                                                                                                                (All photos and content are the property of Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali   © 2018-2020 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)