In my circle of friends and family, there are several birthdays to celebrate this month; I have been to three already, with two more before the month is over.
Weather-wise, we've had a mixed bag so far, with some unseasonably warm spring-like days, a bit of rain (nowhere near enough yet to replenish the low groundwater levels from the extremely dry summer of 2018) and just recently some frosty nights and sunny, but cold days.
I can never emphasize enough how important it is to make use of the precious little daylight we get on an average work day, and to get on our feet instead of just sitting around all day at a desk and then later at home in front of the TV or computer, tempted as we may be. Those times on the settee or on our comfortable computer chairs will feel all the better when we've been active first - always, of course, considering individual circumstances and abilities.
Here is a bit about last weekend - a typical January weekend, I'd say.
I arrived at O.K.'s on Friday evening after a rather adventurous train trip; mid-trip, I had to change my travel plan twice, and the train I had originally intended to take never made it to where it was supposed to go.
On Saturday morning, we were invited for a sumptuous breakfast to celebrate an 80th birthday in O.K.'s extended family. The location was a restaurant called "Ponyhof" (losely translated as pony stable), in the countryside just outside the historic town of Gengenbach:
|The outbuildings of the former farm are mostly decorative and for storage these days.|
|In warmer weather, the patio is really inviting.|
|View from the Ponyhof towards the hill behind which is Gengenbach.|
Having such a long, leisurely and sumptuous breakfast meant we did not need or want any lunch. Instead, we went for a walk in the afternoon, starting from O.K.'s cottage and walking between/around his and three neighbouring villages.
The cloudy sky made for some beautiful light; my mobile phone's camera has tried hard, but did not fully do it justice.
|On the fields between Niederschopfheim and Diersburg.|
|I loved it how the sun lit up patches of the fields, vineyards and orchards.|
|The road between Diersburg and Zunsweier.|
We went on another walk on Sunday afternoon, but on the mostly flat area on the other side of the village. It felt good to have sun and wind on our faces, and even better to return to the warm cottage for coffee and cake!
My train trip home on Sunday night went without a hitch. Why can't our trains always be like that? Really, on Friday, I would have had trouble without my mobile phone. It allows me to find out about delays, cancellations and alternatives without depending on the sometimes late, incomplete or even wrong information on the train itself.