Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 34

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Friday June 6, 2008 (diary, travel)

Grandma Heitzmann's birthday Again fog everywhere as I wake up in the morning. I eventually make my way to the "Eck" to read my paper and warm up with a tea with rum.
Two important meetings between a man and a woman are going on today on two separate continents. Obama and Clinton have a "secret" face to face in the US, while Angela Merkel in Germany welcomes the new Russian president Dmitrij Medwedjew. They too, she reveals, communicate privately in English with each other.
Business is on top of the German-Russian discussions with strong interest from both side to build a gas pipeline (the "North Stream") through the Baltic sea (Ostsee) connecting both countries. This proposed "North Stream" is clearly an attempt to alleviate the present total dependency on the troublesome Southern gas connection which runs through a couple of small countries surrounding Russia there.   In terms of trade Russia is for Germany what China is for Australia. The trade between the two European countries is huge and by far the most important for Germany.

The second important news of the day in Europe is the leak of cooling water from an atomic power reactor in Krsko, Slovenia. The water was captured within the plant and fortunately did not escape to the outside world.
The good news of the accident was that the EU electronic alert system (called Ecurie, installed 20 years ago after the Chernobyl disaster) conveyed the warning quickly and faultlessly to all EU countries. The bad news however was that the Slovenians changed several times their communication as to what had actually happened. A sense of unease and concern has therefore spread throughout the EU.

Escargots at the Pizzeria, St.Peter In the afternoon Wivica and I are invited for "Kaffee und Kuchen" to celebrate Grandma Heitzmann's birthday. We spend a very pleasant hour or so with them. I very much like farmer Heitzmann and his wife, they are very friendly and we get on well together. We discuss of course the present milk farmers crisis and other aspects of farm activity which I find of interest.
In the evening I take Wivica to the local Pizzeria. I need my regular fix of escargots and the Italians do them just right.
In Avignon last week I had planned to have the Escargots Provencale which are done in a tomato sauce, but because of the rain I did not get around to that. Perhaps in Holland later this month I will have an opportunity to try them that way, as I remember that Don Franco, the Italian restaurant in Deventer, used to do them like that to perfection.

Although we can not communicate at present I feel that on the emotional front things are progressing, partly consciously, partly subconsciously, in a positive direction. Is this all just wishful thinking, or does she think and feel the same way ?   Could it possibly be (I keep asking myself) that we at this stage in our existence may receive this wonderful wonderful double gift of finally arriving at the one place ("country") where we truly belong, and of finding a new motivation, new reason to live for ?

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Saturday & Sunday June 7 & 8, 2008 (diary, travel)

I have received an email from WebCentral that my web site (which includes my Blog) will be off line for the duration of 8 hours for important web server maintenance, from 22.00 hrs on Thursday June 12 until 06.00 hrs Friday June 13 (Australian Eastern Standard time).

Schwarzwalder horses Again fog all day Saturday but by Sunday lunch it lifts and the sun starts to shine through thanks goodness.
The European soccer Championships have started. Switzerland and Austria are joint hosts for the games. Two matches are televised each day. I go to the Zährliger-Eck Cafe to watch the action there on TV so that Wivica does not have to suffer all that sport. Of the 16 countries competing three are trained by Dutch trainers, Marco van Basten is in charge of the Dutch team, Leo Beenhakker of the Poles and the famous Guus Hiddink (who guided the Australian team through the 2006 World Championships) is the trainer of the Russians.
I watch Portugal-Tschechien (2-0) on Saturday night and Germany-Polen (2-0) on Sunday. Both are nice flowing and open attacking games, a real pleasure to watch.
Tomorrow Holland plays against Italy and the Zähringer Eck Cafe have then also their regular skat night. I used to play this German card game with my Granddad and Dad back in the 50s and always enjoyed it, so I will keep one eye on the soccer, the other watching the cards.
If the weather stays good I may get on the road to Bavaria on Tuesday or Wednesday, we will see.

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Monday & Tuesday June 9 & 10, 2008 (diary, travel)

The Glotterbach I wake up to a blue sky on Monday morning and immediately decide to do my intended 9 km walk to Glottertal. It proves indeed to be a beautiful trail. The first half I descend through dense forests until I reach the Glotterbach (Glotter Creek) which I then follow along a trail which is at stretches less than a foot wide (30 cm).
After a good two hours I enter the village of Glottertal, made famous by the German TV series Die Schwarzwald Klinik which was located there. After the first few houses I know I have reached the end of my trek when I read "Schnekken auf eigener Weise" on a blackboard outside the Wirtshaus Zur Sonne, of course I must try those. Half a dozen snails in a small vol aux vent (pastry cup), very nice indeed, never had them like that before. The beer too, Hirschen-Bräu comes fro a very small ancient (since 1868) brewery only a few miles away. After lunch I take the bus back to St.Peter.

In the evening I watch the Dutch soccer team absolutely demolish the Italians, 3-0. Usually the Dutch team is full of prima donnas, brilliant players who do not gel together well. Perhaps this time it will be different ? With van der Saar as goal keeper and van Nistelrooi up front, the whole team appears to be in a harmonious balance.
At the third goal I loudly let out some juicy advice to the Italians in English, and the whole Pub is laughing. They clearly do understand some English, at least four letter words that is for sure. The Germans are as happy about the Italian defeat as I am, their cheating against Australia during the last World Cup has not gone unnoticed here.
After the game is over I watch the skat players for a while. Much of the game is coming back to me, but I will try to find a book with the exact rules in the near future.

Tuesday morning is still fine but by lunch time thunder and rain start again and last much of the afternoon. I do some shopping for in case I leave for Füssen tomorrow. We will see.

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