Sunday, September 28, 2008

Freiburg bliss, Saturday Sept 20th

mHello bloggie,

Yes I’ve been remiss the last few days. What with the extra resting, to help the asthma settle, and the wonderful happy hours we’ve spent with the family, there’s been no time for mere computers. But now we’ve established a pattern of sorts, and here’s what’s doin’...

You’ve read about our arrival. A huge success. The second day we slept in, then went to spent the rest of the day with our dear ones, as they each came home from school or choir or went out to a meeting or whatever. All WE did was sit around being delighted and drinking coffee and listening to our washing going around in the washing machine. Fabulous. We may even have gone for a walk.. a totter in my case.

Next day we went to the doctor for me, to get some more steroids and have a check up. Frau Mendle has got quite a file of our family in her practice, cos me mum’s been to see her too, in previous visits! The doc decided to do some blood tests, to check MY potassium levels, and blood count, and also to see what indicator there might be of infection. She topped me up with nice drugs, confirmed that my blood pressure was still nice and low, and off we went. Easy. I’ll see her again on Monday for the blood test results and anything that might come out of that. I’m not feeling much better as to sinuses, but the asthma has calmed down a lot. I made the mistake of having some wine last night and that caused some problems today, so off ze grog again, sigh, for now.

I went shopping with sis and elder niece in the afternoon, to buy some warm clothes for M. We found just the right thing in the first shop they took me to, skivvies and a good wool and cashmere jumper. Purrfect. I tried to find something for myself, but I felt awfully shy shopping with others, and I easily purrsuaded them it was time for coffee instead! Then we had to get home so I could prepare the dinner - roast lamb. Nom.

It turned out very well, even tho it was served more than an hour late, cos me sis had two close girlfriends drop in around 8pm when the food was ready. Much hilarity, wine and chatter ensued, and I thought what the hell, turned everything down, and we just got stuck into family stories and learning about the friends and their trip to Italy recently, and all that jazz. Finally at 9.30 M kind of said, faintly, ‘are we going to eat?’ and we retrieved the dinner. I think in some ways letting the roast meat and veg sit in a very slow oven (only 50C) for a while had done it good - the lamb was sweet and very tender (I cooked it very simply in oil and lemon); the potatoes had become crisp wedges (not burnt), as had the carrots; the onions were more or less melted; so the only slight casualty was the boiled brussel sprouts which were definitely over-cooked. But it didn’t matter a jot, and those of us who remained had a beautiful dinner. And OH how I enjoyed cooking it! And loading up the dishwasher, using the microwave, using the washing machine and dryer (it’s all in the kitchen, continental style). Made me feel very at home. We stumbled, replete, relaxed and full of girlie hugs, back to the motel after 11pm. Ahhhh, this is better. M’s new jumper is a hit, a good colour and a good fit and warmer than his old one. We slept so well.

This morning was another matter, the princess corpse rose after midday and although M went out valiantly TWICE to try to get me coffee (the motel brekkie finishes at 10am), no go. He went over to the family, leaving me saying “I won’t be long”. Huh. By the time the little pink pill had propurrly set in and I’d had a shower and stuffed around it was nearly 4pm! Yikes. But that didn’t matter either, the others were having a blobby Saturday, so I just turned up, drank several buckets of coffee, and then it was time for a quick meal and off to a Commedia Del’Arte performance at the Castle in nearby Bad Krozingen. Four of us went - us, sis and younger niece. It was such a good evening, with quartet of two violins, cello and harpsichord/mini-organ, and two purrformers using masks and the minimum of props and choreography to tell a broadly humorous tale of mis-placed loyalties and love. Of course there was a happy ending! Of course there was silliness and the old two-door/cross-dressing character gag. I loved it. Sis brought marzipan to eat to keep the digestives wolves from the door, and at interval we had wine and good bread. All most satisfactory. I may not be able to tell you of dozens of trips to tourist sites and accounts of exhibitions or repeat museum history lectures, but BOY the music and entertainment has been wonderful in the last few weeks.

Tomorrow is another very special day - our cousin Sarah is travelling here from Basel to spend the day with us. We will meet her at the Freiburg Cathedral, where the nieces are singing Mozart’s “Sparrow Mass” during the service. Then we’ll have the afternoon with Sarah to catch up on tons of family news (her elder daughter is getting married next week, for a start!), and go for another walk in one of the parks around here. I expect it to be a chatterfest all day.

Monday is even planned - M is going away to Heldelberg for 36 hours on his own. He lived there when he was 17 with his family, and wants to make another sentimental journey there. Last Europe trip we spent a week there, it’s a lovely place. It was the site of one of our magical journey experiences, when we were walking down from the Schloss on the top of the hill overlooking the town. It was Sunday evening in a golden late summer light; and all the churches began to ring for their 6 o’clock services. The bells floated up to us through the forest where we walked... as I said, magical. MY fate this Monday is more earthly - I’ll see the doc again, find a WiFi point so I can bring blog and email and such up to date, and then I must (presses hand to brow) shop again. You’ll find out why.

For now, I am going to sign off while I can still hear the cello continuo from the baroque music (Corelli etc) tonight, and hope that tomorrow my nose behaves itself in the sight of god, Sarah and the angelic choir.

Today brought to you by coffee. Coffee. And.... COFFEE.

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