Posted Mar 2, 2020
Off to England again. It's very quiet at Baden-Baden Airport. No doubt it will be busier at Stansted. This afternoon I shall be in Cambridge; will be passing 2legs' house.
I don't really go many places with crowds these days, which is fortunate with this new epidemic starting.
I'm not one to be pessimistic, but I can't help thinking of the scene in the airport at the end of "Twelve Monkeys".
The Germans have a word for talking about worst case scenarios like that: "Den Teufel an die Wand malen" (painting the Devil on the wall)
Some kind of record
Posted Dec 13, 2019
Last week I flew to Stansted and back for the umpteenth time this year. Our mother's house has now been handed over to a new tenant. But there is still a load of stuff from the clearance at my sister's house (in fact, you can hardly get in through the door).
I only had hand luggage and was, as usual, through passport control etc really quickly (in both directions)
And now I have just landed at San Francisco and by some miracle have got through immigration and customs in even quicker time than Stansted.
My son who has come from San Jose to meet me, only left home just after I landed after he had to wait 2 1/2 hours for us last time we came here.
So now I am sitting outside SFO with a coffee and due to meet my newest grandson very soon. He was born on Tuesday.
Posted Dec 9, 2019
Just got a Whatsapp this evening from my son in California informing me that my 4th grandchild - 2nd grandson - has been born.
Just as I'd sent all my Christmas cards. Now he'll not feature in the family newsletter till next Christmas.
I'm flying over on Friday to help look after him and his elder brother. Looking forward to it!
Posted Aug 9, 2019
With a view to putting together an obituary for my mother for the local paper, I have just re-read her "Memoir" which she wrote some years ago, covering her life up to when I was about 4 (she assumed that I would know what happened after that, I think)
Anyway - I thought I would share some of it. Maybe I'll save the rest for NaJoPoMo in November.
But for the time being, here is an excerpt, describing life in a girls' boarding school near Walton on Thames where she had been evacuated with the rest of the insurance company she worked for. They were twelve typists to a dormitory, and by this time (1941-42) there were practically no men left working in the company, and the girls were taking over the men's jobs. Outside working hours they had to find their own amusement - and they were very inventive!
The memoir is very matter-of-fact in tone, but my mother's humour twinkles through on occasions. She was about 21 at this time.
So here goes:
- No Spam smiley!
By this time with only girls left (and a few old men to keep an eye on us!) we were finding our entertainment more and more in the town. I had got to know Barbara in the Claims section and she became friendly with Eric who lived in the High Street. There were, of course, very few men around but there was a Royal Army Ordnance Corps billetted in Weybridge and they would come over to spend an evening dancing. As they were around for a few weeks, we got to know some of the regulars and found some really good dancers among them - even in their army boots!
Barbara and I did the refreshments at the dances, which consisted of tea or cold drinks and Spam sandwiches. Eric used to buy large Catering tins of Spam and we practically lived on this tasty addition to our diet, either in sandwiches or fried with bread or anything else that was available.
And here's another gem from the same page:
We did manage to find some changes in the monotony, however, like finding a baker's shop in Hersham where they sold delicious doughnuts. They were so fatty and sugary that they were sold in greasproof bags.
Posted Jun 10, 2019
Well - things are quite dramatic on several accounts at the moment.
Next weekend we are looking forward to a trip to Bonn. We shall see our granddaughters again for the first time since we got back from the US. All is in turmoil there because they are moving, our son has a new job and is commuting an hour each way at the moment. There is nothing to keep them in Bonn any more as his new school is over the Rhine and quite a way out Eastwards in the Westerwald. The youngest granddaughter is now 5 months old - she was 2 months old when we saw her last, so we shall notice a big difference.
The main drama next weekend however is the dramatised version of the Matthew Passion which his choir are putting on. I am listening to it now. The choir (Vox Bona) performed it as a concert at Passiontide but the big event will be the acted version next weekend. For the concert they already sang without music. That sounds impressive, but I sang it some 40 years ago and can still sing along with the chorales and the "Sind Blitze und Donner in Wolken verschwunden" bit.
Drama nearer home is that just before I left for England last week, our car got a flat tyre - I was driving, but it wasn't my fault. There was a nail on the ground where I parked. Because everyone has just put summer tyres on their cars over Easter (mandatory in Germany) or for some other reason, the garage is having trouble getting deliveries of replacements. This year we had had brand new tyres too!
Fortunately, we have a really good public transport system and getting to and from the airport by bus and train is not difficult or expensive, nor does it take much longer.
Bigger drama at home, however, is that our shower has decided to start leaking. Well, it has probably been leaking for a good while, and we only noticed a few days before I left for the UK, as it started dripping through the ceiling below.
More drama with my mother. I'd only been back a couple of days and she had another bout of delirium, symptom of a UTI. I felt so guilty - should have seen it coming. In hindsight, there were some signs whilst I was there, but I didn't add them up. She called my sister at 5 am yesterday morning with stories that the police were coming to ask her questions. She was wandering about the house, picking things up and re-arranging things, and had gone out of the patio door - all without her frame, and that's quite a step down.
My sis got the doctor to come during the morning and antibiotics were prescribed. Fortunately we now have quite a team of helpers and neighbours who can come and administer the medicines when my sister can't make it because of work commitments.
Well, that's enough drama for one journal. You'd think. But now I'm up to "Lasst ihn kreuzigen". Can it get any more dramatic?
Thanks for reading.