Monday, 30 June 2008

I shall be off then...

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things
of shoes and strings and sealing wax and cabbages and kings...

And of fields and hedges, of stony beaches and deckchairs, of sparrows and crumbs and pints, cricket and pub bands, fish and chips. Of dried-up parks and warm ponds. In English! With friends who drink and go on long country walks but also drive to the postbox on the corner.
After a month of first wet and then too hot weather, of doing double shifts writing and translating, of taking my Mum to department stores and cheese boutiques, of partying and yodelling, of arranging keys for builders and looking for somewhere to park my car for two weeks, I am really ready for a break. England - here I come!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Yodelling and other parties


Friday night was the 25-year-anniversary party of my friend Bine's language school, four women friends founded it in 1983 and now it has grown into a sort of multicultural venture, and they still know how to party.


The range of performances by teachers and students included a rap by the teachers, capoeira by some students and a transvestite hair dressing apprentice doing a version of "Hit me baby one more time" ....such multi culture in München is absolute bliss.

So, on Saturday morning I was so tired and ill I nearly did not make it to the annual yodelling workshop (It is hard to describe the thrill of singing and yodelling with 70 people who can sing note-perfect), but eventually I jumped on the train and walked a sweaty half hour up
the mountain and it was so perfect. The walking, the sunshine, seeing the mountains, the mix of people, and the singing.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Football is the new Rock'n'roll


I have been wondering recently why suddenly everybody seems to be into football. Especially young women! On the train I overheard two girls - maybe 16-year-olds - discussing the match that got Germany into the quarter finals. One of them said "if we had lost I would have burst into tears". What?
Last night, after Germany finally beat Turkey in the semi-final, millions of people were partying all over Germany (thank god most of them in total party harmony with the losing Turkish fans). When you watch them in the stadions and at the public viewing parties, it is drama bordering on hysteria, they laugh, they cry, they laugh, they hug..it's fabulous.

I talked to Mick about it, he said in his inimitably laconic way "who needs the Beatles - now they got football". Bingo! It's rock and roll!

Monday, 23 June 2008

A Midsummer Night

Sometimes the sky outside my window is so spectacular!

On this tropical night here in München, the sky is just giving up the last of its light and the streets under my window a cacophony of cars trying to park close to the ice cream parlour on the corner, the legendary Sarcletti.

Which is a real asset to have near, despite traffic chaos and never anywhere to park, because you can get ice cream and cake until midnight. If you need to.
I don't often need it,but it's good to know it's there.

Somewhere on Lake Garda, last year I was there with Debbie.
On an evening like this I feel a sort of tug, like I should be somewhere wonderful. Like in Cornwall, where my sister and my niece are! I haven't been in Cornwall since I moved back to Germany, I miss it.

Or in Scotland - where I hope I will be in September.
Somehow, the place I long for is always the sea.
When I lie awake at night and hypnotise myself back to sleep, I always think of deep blue water.
And now I live by the "blue remembered hills" or - mountains - of my childhood..

Saturday, 21 June 2008

A typical European football cup Friday

Here I was half watching a slightly boring football match, whilst doing the crossword after an active, even exhausting day..
First I worked, then I went out to my Mum's on the train as she needed chauffeuring, which my sister and I both love doing. She has so many important things she needs to do: buy new cotton handkerchiefs, go to the Apotheke (in the meantime "run over to the bakers, i need that jogging bread" - I suppose you eat it instead of jogging. She needs to look at jackets, go to the cheese shop which is only open two days a week, and then we drive to the pick-yourself-strawberry fields (forever), where we don't have to pick ourselves because she knows the woman, of course, and we chat and her granddaughter picks the strawberries for us.
I also made Eton mess, which is an English pudding featuring meringue, whipped cream and strawberries. You just layer it in a bowl, in a sort of ...mess.

But on the way to Mum's , I also went for a swim in the lovely lovely Steinsee (a dark deep moor lake which you reach through a long wooded walk).

Picked elderflowers for the family favourite: elderflower fritters. Mick is not convinced - eating green stuff from the woods? They are totally delicious and not really slimming.

In just for a few minutes, their fragrance fills the whole car.
No tree-shaped odour eaters needed here.

So, just as I was about to give up on the match, first the Croats score in the extra time, then in the LAST minute, the Turkish score. I was wide awake, when the penalty shoot-out started. Watched grown Croats cry. Now, the car corso has started - Turkish families burning over-priced petrol and god are they happy.


Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Epic Rain Stopped...

I have been indoors too much, growing web between my toes.

Translating too much nonsense like "the soft fragrance of the rose meets the fruity blackberry" and "Did you know that you can get younger by eating , with grapes and tomatoes, with olives and beans, walnuts and pumpkin?" It's only funny for so long, before it starts rotting your brain. But: yesterday the rain stopped...

for long enough to sit outside Löwi and have a drink.

For the first time tonight I might sleep without socks. In June.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Food porn - the best

Today's reward

Not much time for play, only a few more days of chain-gang work and perma-rain, then it's summer HOLIDAYS....

Sunday, 15 June 2008

A tourist day out

Today was the day München decided it was 850 years old. And oh my did they lay on the party!I am glad I went - it was cheesy as hell with all the old Trachten (real and dubious national costume) wheeled out and bad yodelling and everyone drinking beer and eating Bratwurst. But man, it was fun.

I started by cycling across town to the Hofbräuhaus, where the alternative Bavarian music scene was jamming in the beer garden, with a band called "Landlergschwister" releasing its album. The Hofbräuhaus beergarden is one of the best kept secrets in town. It's lovely, cool, green and the food is cheap (unlike that poncy place opposite the opera, where a glass of not very nice Austrian Zweigelt costs 5 €...Anyway, the music was sweet and the atmosphere was party.

And then I just cycled past the giant pink cake, made by a local Bakery chain with the help of child volunteers


and the rafters who bring down the wooden rafts from the source of the river Isar (nowadays only for tourists)

and various other types of Bavarians, for example, our wildly popular Mayor, Herr Ude (two pictures down on the left), 




I also saw some horse power,
...and some new Bavarians,

On my way home I passed  my all time favourite art installation, the magic fountain, placed temporarily outside Lenbachhaus Museum again. You walk in - the water stops. Children love it and scream - I nearly did. It made my day.



Saturday, 14 June 2008

Still eating


Today it's the weekend, I made a delicious pasta lunch with lovely smoked bacon, peas, chopped fresh tomatoes and some green asparagus. Very easy. Later, eating will probably continue as I am invited to a little housewarming party at Carin's - never to let anyone go hungry.
This could be my third night of just a little too much wine, possibly.
Great.


Friday, 13 June 2008

Rainy Friday. Nothing much happened.

Not much time for living, luckily weather not too painfully beautiful.
I am too busy translating stories about how the super rich amuse themselves.
I met a friend recently who is a super talented musician and has just one wish - to be able to compose music. He makes a living playing tunes from the operetta "Im weißen Rössl am Wolfgangsee".
We are all prostitutes.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Rich and fit

Yesterday, I finally got paid for a project I had finished three months ago - not a nice feeling when you go into overdraft. So I went out and bought flowers. Much more celebratory, being paid this way than having money put in your account every first of the month - how boring.
I cycle across town to my yoga class and really enjoyed it - it had just stopped raining, and the lime flowers on the trees all fragrant. When I was younger, I had never noticed that so many streets in München are lined with Linden (lime trees) and they fill the whole city with their smell in early June.

My breakfast this morning. I bought apricots yesterday and they didn't look to good, so I made instant jam.

This flower is called "Gärtnerschreck" (gardener's horror), because it is indestructible!?!


I also bought this paper lantern for summer lighting.
















Cycling back from yoga, there were hundreds of cars flying Turkish and German flags - the Turkish team had won a match and thrown Switzerland out of the European cup. Luisa and I waved to them as they went past, and they shouted and laughed out of the car windows - It was such a party!
I ended up drinking quite a lot of red wine last night. A Bavarian friend of mine once said in best Benglish (Bavarian english): "I have a so a headache". Now - I have a so a headache.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Stormy weather


More photoshop "art". this is what I do when I should be working: tinkering with my fotos. I don't see how anyone ever has a problem with too much time.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Summer comes flooding in



Do we like rain? I do actually. Do we need rain? It is sweetly reassuring to know that things will grow and I am home and dry. For this month I don't care how much it rains, it makes working easier. From July, a little sunshine would be nice for our holiday in England.

Mick's comment: "everybody complains about the weather, but no-one does anything about it".


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Nostalgic things I don't really miss



A typewriter is a thing of beauty, like the steam engine, or the ink pen. They are little masterpieces whose craftsmanship you can actually see and admire, in a way that you can't admire the computer or an MP3 player. This one I found at the "Flohmarkt" last Saturday, an annual jumble sale event across the whole of Schwabing, a borough of München. These Flohmarkt events are getting very popular, all the houses open up their beautiful green backyards and pour out the contents of their attics and cellars. It is a day of fun and social activity, you see friends at their stalls and bump into people hunting for other people's cast-offs.


here's me finding one of my bargains (Luisa took this one)


And here is a game Geraldine and I used to play during long drives:

Ilse went to flea market and bought: a paper parasol, a big old coffee cup, two large baskets, a paper elephant lampshade, a tall glass vase, two silver spoons and two silver forks, a brand new kitchen sieve, a double bamboo-pattern IKEA duvet cover with pillow, a scarf and a red toy Suzuki motor bike for Oscar who was three last month.

I didn't buy the type-writer, because I really don't need it.

some other things you can see at the Flohmarkt: