Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 37

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Saturday & Sunday June 21 & 22, 2008 (diary, travel)

Wirtshaus Zur Sonne, Glottertal Saturday morning I wake up to a blue sky and a sparkling sun and immediately decide to do the walk down to Glottertal again. It is about 8 km to the Wirtshaus Zur Sonne in Ober Glottertal, and I walk the distance in well under two hours.
I feel quite fit and enjoy the exercise, but deep in thoughts I am only now and then aware of the wonderful nature around me. Down by the Glotter bach I follow again the very narrow trail along the water's edge and notice that they have mowed a narrow band of grass along the entire track with a whipper snipper since the last time I walked here. The council obviously maintains these walking tracks well as the numerous hikers in the Schwarzwald are very good for the local economy.

My moccasins This narrow track reminds me of the rabbit tracks criss crossing the woods around Martinshof which as a young boy I followed everywhere with my friends. We were very much inspired by the books of Karl May then, with Winnetou and Old Shatterhand our true heroes.
Like my friends I always had my bowie knife (?) strapped to my side, the essential tool with which we cut our slingshots, bow and arrows. My dearest wish in those days was to earn a pair of real moccasins, but the nearest I ever got to that were the soft leather step ins I wore inside my wooden clogs.
As I write this I suddenly realise that this childhood dream has actually been realised in my present day clothing. For the last 25 years or so I have wore nothing else but moccasins, not quite the original Indian type, but near enough.

At Zur Sonne I settle down for a long lunch, snails of course, and a potato soup with two Wienerle (sausages) floating in it, a nice combination. Both waitresses remember me from my first visit. Not quite so surprising as one just has returned from a holiday in Darwin which she loved.
I take the bus back home and am quite done in for the rest of the day. Sunday too I have a relaxing time, with in the evening dinner at the Italian restaurant in the village with Wivica.

I have stopped watching the soccer for the last few days and only follow the results. Russia had a surprise 3-1 win over Holland, and both Turkey and Spain got into the semifinals after penalties. The two semifinals are therefore : Germany against Turkey, and Russia against Spain.

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Monday June 23, 2008 (diary, travel)

Street painter in Freiburg Again a bright and sunny morning. I have to go to Freiburg and instruct Heidi to guide me to the Schwarzwald-City shopping center car park and she gets me there without a hitch. I have to pick up a book I ordered. The Herber-Bücher bookshop is an absolute paradise for book lovers. Four stories packed with books. They have sections for foreign language books in French, Italian, Russian and their book collection in English is equal to or even superior to what is on offer in most Australian bookshops.
I walk out with a copy of A History of Modern Britain, superbly written by the well known former Political Editor of the BBC, Andrew Marr. From the very first word I read he sets a blistering pace and brings up images and ideas in beautifully flowing sentences. A 600 pages smorgasbord I look forward to.

I am in a talkative mood today and chat with several people in town, including Joh, a street painter, and a young bassoon player who I find busking on the market place. I compliment him on his tone and good technique which he appreciates. For years I have been sitting next to a young bassoon player (during rehearsals and concerts) in the St.Peters Concert Band (in Adelaide), and consequently have become rather familiar with the degree of difficulty of playing this so interesting instrument.

In the late afternoon a thunderstorm, then it clears up again. In the evening I go to the Eck in town to watch the Skat players. Having read up quite a bit on it I greatly enjoy watching them for a while.   All day I think of "her" as she is going through an awkward few days this week. I hope she will be OK.

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Tuesday June 24, 2008 (diary, travel)

Zährlinger Eck Cafe Variable weather today, cloudy but pleasant in the morning, rain in the afternoon and a beautiful evening with the sun shining through as the clouds disappear.
I have a quiet day, get organised for my trip to Holland tomorrow, lunch at the Eck, dinner with Wivica at the Pizzeria. I have booked online a Hotel in Maastricht in the very South of Holland (Province of Limburg). I look forward going there again after so many years. But my thoughts and mind all day are far away and with her.

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Wednesday June 25, 2008 (diary, travel)

Bitterballen The sun shines when I set out for Holland at 9 AM in the morning, but within half an hour I am in a "Stau" on the A5 on my way North. Luckily I am near a turn off and with several other cars manage to circumvent the trouble via some side roads (Heidi being agreeable to that too).
Soon I head West across the Rhine and then turn North again through France, where the freeways are free of congestion. By midday it starts to rain heavily, but after an hour this too passes over. I reenter Germany, then into Belgium and when I enter Holland and reach Maastricht at around 2 PM I am welcomed by a lovely sunny afternoon. Heidi has considerable trouble finding Hotel Maison du Chêne (a good choice again from the LPG), as most of the roads onto the central Markt are blocked, but I get there eventually. I have to park the car for the night in a parking area on the edge of the town center, a 5 minute walk from the Hotel, but that is OK.

Maastricht is a wonderful vibrant place, Cafes, Restaurants everywhere and with the sun out the many terraces are full with people. It is strange to see after all those years the familiar shops again, like C & A, V & D, Albert Hein and even De Bijenkorf. One of the large disused churches is converted into an enormous book store, quite unusual. I walk around and finally settle down on a little square and have what ? Of Course ! Bitterballen !!
I try to find a Restaurant that has Steak Tartar on the Menu, but can't find one, so settle for a huge Bami Speciaal as you only can get in a Dutch Chinese restaurant.

In the evening I watch the semifinal Germany - Turkey. Once again Angela Merkel (the German Prime Minister) is in the audience. The Turks play a great game, bamboozling the Germans time after time, but their main strikers are injured and not playing, so in the end Germany still wins 3-2. They fought hard and fair, but once again in this tournament the side with the more attractive, skillful and better football loses. Listening to the commentators on an English channel they too are disappointed.

How is she I keep thinking all day, everything OK ? I do a few prayers for her (yes, atheists do pray too very occasionally. To whom ? To the combined spirit of life you could call it.)
Some good news too from my son Jeroen. My potential Grandson is holding out well and now has grown to the size of a bean (1 cm).

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