Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 274

11 | 12 || 2012 : Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec ||   Page : Previous | Next

Martinshof Story - Happiness - Awareness - Black Forest walks - Camino - Dolmen Tour - Travel

Most Recent - Next - Previous - Page 1 - Photos - Maps & Articles - MP3s - Jazclass

Thursday - Monday, February 21 - 25 2013 (diary)

The clapper inside a bell We have a saying in Dutch I on many occasions wanted to translate and say in English, but could not, because nobody could tell me the name for the part hanging inside a bell.

"Hij heeft de bel horen luiden maar weet niet waar de klepel hangt."

Finally, last week, with the aide of one of Doug's (my son-in-law) illustrated dictionaries, the mystery has been resolved : a clapper.

"He has heard the bell ringing
but does not know where the clapper hangs."

Meaning : he does not understand a thing about it !
Immediately on finding adjacent sketch a typical English expression also revealed its origin to us : "he was running like the clappers."

Through the writings in my Blog I sometimes get the most unexpected contacts, like two weeks ago for example.

In Felechas with Hauk, 1958 In the summer of 1958 I and a friend (Hauk Fischer) spent 6 weeks in the tiny village of Felechas (Asturias, Northern Spain), mapping the geology of the surrounding area for our studies in Geology. Two years ago I wrote a couple of short stories about my experiences there as part of my Memories from Spain (stories 8 and 12).
Two weeks ago I was contacted by Yosune, one of the residents of Felechas, who had read my articles. "Miguel, the people here still remember you, still talk about your stay in Felechas." : 55 years after we have left !

Felechas was (and still is) a tiny village, located a few hundred meters off the then dirt road between Sabero and Boñar. Main traffic on the road was from trucks carting coal from the nearby mines South of the road.
One of the truckies, Ossany, gave me a lift on my first day when approaching Felechas, and he did this several times after, whenever he passed us on the road. Ossany invited me for lunch with his family one day at their home in Boñar and later bought his own truck, carting goods throughout Spain.
The coal mines have long been closed now Yosune tells me.


In the summer of 1958 I traveled to Felechas a week ahead of my friend Hauk to set up camp in the village. Every evening I went to the local Pub to meet the inhabitants and explain what we were planning to do there.
I showed them my topographical map of the area and they were both surprised and delighted to see the name of their village "Felechas" printed on the map. They had never seen their village's name printed on any document ever before. My self-winding wrist watch too, a recent invention in those days, attracted much interest and amazement.

Yosune is from a younger generation and was not born yet when we stayed in Felechas, but several of our acquaintances, like the wife of Julio the local grocery shop owner, are still alive and well.
Yosune has a house in Felechas but presently lives in Barcelona. She promised to show me around town next year when I hope to visit the Costa Brava, doing a week-long walk there with Walks in Spain in September/October 2014. We are both looking forward to that. I have also been invited to revisit Felechas itself, but that will probably have to wait until a later visit to Europe.

Most Recent - Next - Previous - Page 1 - Photos - Maps & Articles - MP3s - Jazclass

Tuesday - Thursday, February 26 - 28 2013 (diary)

Thackeray : The World is a looking-glass William Makepiece Thackeray's Vanity Fair is a light-hearted boisterous romp of a read, but underneath hides a more serious side of the author which here and there comes to the surface :

"The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.
Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you, laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion; so let all young persons take their choice."

Thackeray as a young man went to Paris and tried his luck as a painter before getting into writing. This is one of his illustrations for his book.

A common Dutch proverb flows on from Thakeray's observation : "Wie goed doet, goed ontmoet."
Meaning "Who does good will encounter good."
The Dutch are renown for their sometimes blunt comments and observations, which show little regard for the feelings of the listener(s). Even after living almost 50 years in Australia my Dutch nature slips out now and then, and I have to remind myself : "Be nice Michael, keep your mouth shut."

I try to do my best, but it still does not come easily to me. Perhaps this is why I enjoy visiting Southern Germany so much. The polite and mellower attitudes of the Germans there help me to tone down my much sharper Dutch nature and blend in with their social and emotional environment.
(Could it be that these differences in nature are at least in part a reflection of the two markedly different physical environments : the cold, flat landscapes of Holland versus the mystical fairytale woods of the Black Forest ?)
Speaking the German language for me personally is like changing my nature. Charlemagne was so right when he pronounced : Speaking another language is like possessing another soul !"

Comments - Most Recent - Next Page - Previous - Top - Page 1 - Photos - Maps & Articles - MP3s - Jazclass

© 2013 Michael Furstner