Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 251

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps, Text & Photo series

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Sunday - Saturday, July 1 - 7 2012 (diary)

Steingrubenhof, Sankt Peter The good weather was over when I left Baden Baden on Sunday morning, and the weather was no better when Wivica picked me up from the railway station in Freiburg.
It was good to return to Sankt Peter however and it felt like "coming home" when I arrived at the Steingrubenhof, especially as I was welcomed by Lydia and Georg Blattmann (the farmer/owners) with a schnaps upon my arrival.   Finally settling down here after a month of rather hectic traveling through Europe I suddenly started to feel rather tired.

So this week I have been pleasantly resting up, reading and watching TV (the Spain-Italy European soccer championships final was great, Spain deservedly winning 4-0), with only a few trips to Freiburg and dinners and short country drives with my sister.
The Global roaming facility with Vodafone has been a total disaster. It worked painstakingly slow for the first week after my arrival, then packed up altogether, a total waste of money. I certainly won't do that ever again. Fortunately most Hotels in Europe provide now good Internet access, as well as here at my holiday apartment Feldbergblick.

Glühwein the modern way The weather being rather cool I ordered a Glühwein with my dinner the other day and was much surprised when I was presented with a glass of wine containing what looked like a tea bag floating in it.
This is a (for me) new way of making this drink. Simply heat the wine, then pour it into a glass with a glüwein bag in it which contains all the taste ingredients required. Add a slice of lemon and sugar to taste and the drink is ready.
It tastes really good (and like the real thing) and I will certainly take a few of these bags (which are readily available in most grocery stores) with me back home.

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Sunday - Tuesday, July 8 - 10 2012 (diary)

Pfefferlingen I must say that after my Camino experience I have lost my taste for strenuous walks for a while. My body has suffered enough I decided, so I have been very lazy this past week in Sankt Peter. A 1 km walk downhill to the village (but not back uphill) or a stroll to Wivica's home is quite OK, but more will have to wait.
The weather provides another excuse for my laziness, for it is all over the place One moment rain, then thunder storm, blue sky with a short spell of sunshine, then overcast and perhaps rain again, all within the span of barely half a day.

One other short walk I greatly enjoy : a 100 metres stroll to the Wald Cafe. Besides dining there at least once a week with Wivica, I like to sit there in the afternoon, consuming a tea with rum, then Pfifferlingen with toast accompanied with their present special : a .025l glass of Badischer Landwein.

The pfifferlingen (called "cantarellen" in Dutch) bring back memories from my boyhood (1940s and 50s) when we used to collect these mushrooms growing in the wild from the woods around our family home Martinshof. To me this is a very very special dish.

Donna Leon Besides food I also hugely enjoy roaming the wonderful bookshops in Freiburg. There are two very big ones, Herder Bücher and Rombach. As pocket books are here about half the price as in Australia, and the choice is hundredfold of what in Darwin or any other medium sized city in Australia is available, I purchase books here at my hearts content.

So far I have bought a dozen books, most of them from three authors which are very popular here : Georges Simenon, Sjöwall & Wahlöö, and my latest find Donna Leon.
Donna Leon is an American novelist who since 1981 has been living in Venice (Italy). Like the other writers I mentioned above, she is a detective novel writer and famous for her series featuring Commissario Brunetti from the Venice police.

The great difference between these four authors and most other detective story writers is that their books are not just "who done its" but portray in detail the private lives and circumstances of the main character as well as the prevailing environment (in France, Sweden and Italy), attitudes, culture and mood at the time.
Comparing the three, it stands out that Simenon presents a quite positive and amiable perspective of the first half of the 20th Century. The other writers on the other hand, are quite negative and at times fatalistic about their heroes' environment (Martin Beck in Sweden, Brunetti in Italy) placed respectively in the second half of the 20th Century and early 21st Century.
This, I believe, strongly reflects the reality of our present time : after a steady decline of perhaps 30-40 years, we have, from a moralistic and ethical perspective, arrived at the bottom of a trough. Will we get out off it ? I believe so, for after all as individuals we still are humans. Unfortunately the institutions we have created, huge companies, complex Governments, outdated religions, are not. It may take therefore a long long time.

Together with the books I purchased here during previous visits I have now about 25 books, which I will send to Darwin and donate to the Palmerston Library in order to upgrade their collection of novels written in German.

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© 2012 Michael Furstner