FEBRUARY 1987: I meet Sophie in a Jazz club.

FEBRUARY 1987: With great joy I run a guest house in Porto Seguro with 24 rooms. A Swiss woman comes as a guest and instead of travelling on, she stays.

APRIL 1987: My new classmate picks on me all the time. Nobody here likes me.

MAY 1987: I have to go to Finland for eight months' military service. After the first six weeks I can't stand the people any more. After ten weeks I am saved and work in the engine room of a small ship with an eight man crew.

JULY 1987: I learn to swim on Corsica in a river flowing into the sea. Previously in swimming lessons at home all I did was cry and never won a "sea horse"-swimming badge. Now I love the water.

OCTOBER 1987: For three years my husband has been suffering from fatal motor neurone disease. He is still fully alert mentally but completely paralysed physically. It's the week after the stock market crash in New York: My son, who works as a broker in Frankfurt, gets in his car exhausted in the week after the stock market crash in New York. He has a bad accident and becomes permanently disabled.