Friday, 24 October 2014

Completing the Walk

To complete the walk around Lindau (see previous post for the first part), all I had to do was to keep close to the water and cross the road near the Spielbank (casino). 

From there, the path takes on something of a different character; it becomes more "fancy", if you like, with roses planted alongside and leading up to the private yacht harbour where members only are allowed to moor. In the summer, this bit is very busy, but now all boats are covered for the winter, and there were only a few people about for maintenance work.

At this point, I had completed my walk around the island. 

I found these two sleeping beauties snoozing in the main harbour. The picture of the lighthouse was taken from the base of the Lion, same as this selfie. (The Lion being the same one you can see in the first picture of my previous post.)

Usually, boats and ships are coming and going all the time; not just for tourists, but also the people who live and work around the lake use them to get from A to B, as it sometimes can be quicker than by road. At this time of the year, however, traffic is much reduced, and this was one of the few boats I actually saw in action.

 View of Lindau from the base of the Lion.

Oh dear! People can't leave an iron railing alone these days, it seems. The "love lock" fad started with bridges, and now it looks as if it is spreading to just any type of railing. This is not a bridge but the railing around the base of the Lion. Also, people throw coins, trying to land them on top of the pillars. I could think of a thousand better things to do with one's money.

It was lunch time by now, of which my stomach reminded me with quite some insistance. I went for something to eat at a place called "Die Möwe Jonathan" ("Jonathan the Seagull"), which is the German name of the novel "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach, published in 1970. I have not read the novel, but it has become famous enough for everyone to associate the name Jonathan with seagulls, I think.
Anyway, my lunch was nice, chatting with the hostess and watching the world go by, thinking about what to do for the afternoon.
The café/restaurant have their own facebook page, if you are interested.

I'll let you know what I did in the afternoon in my next post.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Walking Around Lindau

Two posts back, I gave you a warning - there were going to be many more pictures from Lindau (on Lake Constance) in future posts. And here is one of them.
On the first day of our stay there, RJ left after breakfast to hold a one-day seminar about data protection/privacy and IT security. I had the day to myself and set off soon after he was gone.

My plan was to walk around the outer rim of the island once, which would take me nearly until lunch time (if I'd keep to a very leisurely pace, allowing for plenty of photo stops), then have something to eat before setting out on another walk, this time to explore the town centre. Depending on the weather, I could take a short boat trip around the bay to Bregenz (Austria), or visit a museum and/or some shops.

At first, the weather didn't look promising. As you can see, the morning light was grey, and it was very windy, with sprinkles here and there, just enough for me to be glad of my hooded rain jacket, but not enough for stopping me from my walk.

Later into the morning, all of a sudden the sun came out. This is the advantage - or the disadvantage - of being near a large body of water such as a big lake or the Sea: The weather changes very quickly.

 By now, I had more than halfway surrounded the island. I'll show you the rest in my next post.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Read in 2014 - 39: The Blood of an Englishman

The latest installment of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series has only been out this month, and already both my Mum and I have read it – with much pleasure! 

“The Blood of an Englishman” is surely one of the best in the series, combining all the elements fans of Agatha Raisin enjoy: 
the cast of familiar characters plus some new, case-specific additions; the setting of idyllic Cotswold village Carsely and nearby town Mirchester; fast-paced (but not too fast) plot; detail where it helps but not where it doesn’t; a case that is neither too obvious nor too complicated; and of course there is Agatha herself with all her well-known strengths and flaws. She still smokes, still suffers from low self-esteem when around anyone who is younger and better looking than her, still is quick to set her eyes, mind and heart on any even remotely attractive man in her orbit, and surprisingly, she is still in her mid-50s – even though this is her 26th adventure, and most of the books cover a whole year (some even more than that).

M.C. Beaton’s style is as brisk as always. Even by her most ardent fan it could hardly be called elegant, but that is not what she is aiming for anyway (at least not with the Agatha Raisin series). There were very few moments in the book when I thought her editor could have done a better job; one is the sentence “piles of dingy slush were piled up”. Another one was the mentioning of a date with a man on Tuesday while five pages further on, the same date happens on a Saturday.

If you have read and liked any of the former Agatha Raisin books, you will like this one, too. And you will probably also enjoy the little extra: A bonus story, “Christmas Crumble”.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Favourites First!

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, my husband and I spent our summer holidays in different places dotted around Lake Constance. In November 2009, Steve died, and I have not been back there since. Some months ago, RJ was appointed instructor or lecturer at the academy of Bavaria's administration and was asked to hold a seminar in Lindau (where Steve and I were in 2008), on Lake Constance. He suggested I come along, spend the day he would be at the seminar on my own and then have a long weekend there together. It was a good idea, and he was very kind about it, saying he would understand if I'd rather not make the trip with him, but being happy if I did. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go, and have not regretted it one minute.

Of course, on the Thursday (the day I had to myself while RJ was teaching) I took many pictures, and a few more on the Friday. But I don't have time right now for a more elaborate and thorough account, and therefore I'll show you my favourite pictures from Lindau first:

Thursday morning, shortly after 9.00. This is the entrance to Lindau's harbour as seen from the promenade.

 A kingfisher! Not a particularly good shot, but I was so pleased to see this bird in the wild - they are relatively rare, and I can't remember the last time I've spotted one.

Thursday around lunch time. The sun is out now, but you can see how windy it was - the flags are all perfectly straight.

RJ took this on the Friday.

Friday late afternoon.

You'll see and read more about this beautiful place in future posts, and next up will be another book review.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Rosehips, Fog, and Autumn Fashion

That my favourite seaon is summer is probably not new to you, if you have been reading my blog for a while. But late summer / early autumn will always have a special place in my heart, for its colours, its abundance on fields and in gardens and its incomparable light.
Many of you who reside in Blogland with me have shown beautiful pictures of your gardens or what the area around where you live looks like this time of the year.
I have not been out and about as much as I would have liked last week, since I was in the firm grip of a big fat cold and stayed home from work for the second half of the week, but I took a few pictures earlier this month:

Rosehips against the backdrop of this incredibly blue sky. THE picture of autumn for me.


On the morning of the 2nd of October, the fog was so dense I couldn't see much further than the next house. Most of the time, such a start means the day will turn out beautiful and sun-filled.

Later that same day, I went shoe shopping with my Mum - my proven and trusted shopping companion, same as my sister - and found this pair perfect for a day at the office when it is not cold enough yet for boots, but too cold (or wet) for a pair of pumps or Mary-Janes:

Of course I didn't wait long before I wore them to the office for the first time, teaming them with a pair of purple trousers (from Aldi), a black shirt (H&M, I have 5 or 6 of this same model but in different colours) and an Esprit jacket which I like very much for its autumn colours and good quality (I've had this, part of a suit, for 12 years already). You can't see it in the picture, but the fabric has the same purple as my trousers, socks, necklace and lipstick in it. It is a very good woollen tweedy fabric (not Harris tweed, I'm afraid), never goes out of fashion and is sturdy yet business-like enough to have been worn through many a trade fair.

I felt so comfortable and good in this combination that it could very well become a favourite for this autumn, both for the office and for a (brief) walk in the city. For longer walks, I wear lower heels, although I must admit I did give these the ultimate comfort-test which for me consists in walking home from work one train stop before my actual stop, about 5 km / just under an hour. The shoes served me well enough on that occasion, but I am not going to use them again on a similar distance.