With daylight lasting considerably longer now than it did only a few weeks ago, I have started to walk home again whenever I have enough time and the weather is right. This week, this was the case twice; I walked home (not directly from work, but getting off the train in the small town next to my hometown, one stop before I'd have to) the 5 km or so both on Tuesday and yesterday.
On Tuesday, it was nearly 6.00 pm by the time I reached this crossing on the fields, and the light had the particular mellowness I like so much about that time of the day. I had this beautiful sunset to my left for a while until I decided to take a picture of it (with my mobile phone, which really doesn't have a good camera).
Yesterday, I left work a lot earlier (at 4.00), and there were many other people out and about, so I did not take any pictures.
We're in for a beautiful weekend with plenty of sun and temperatures are expected to reach 20 Celsius! What a difference to this time last year, when I still had to wear my padded winter coat, scarves and gloves in April.
Unfortunately, though, I'll have to be careful about weekend activities. On Wednesday, I woke up with a sore throat, and it has become worse over the last two days; can hardly speak now (which maybe isn't too bad for some, he he) but generally feel alright, not ill as such.
Were you wondering about the headline of today's post? Let me get to that now.
On this recent post I showed you pictures from the Old Cemetery. One picture I did not show you was this one:
A large family grave (when do you actually say "grave" and when do you say "tomb"? I honestly don't know the difference), such as a wealthy family would have back in the days when this cemetery was not yet the "old" one, but the only one of Ludwigsburg.
What intrigued us at first when we walked up to this grave was the small, simple stone cross, just visible behind the rusty iron fence in the left corner of the plot. Why was this one seperate from the others? It certainly wasn't for lack of space on the large stone tablets against the wall, because on there, a name was added as late as 2001, when actually the cemetery had long ceased to be used officially, and the stone cross was much older than that. Who had been close enough to the family to be buried on their plot, but not close enough to have their name added to the headstone?
My imagination was captured in particular, though, when I saw one person's name and dates:
Look at the middle panel, where it reads (in the lower half of the panel):
"Dolly Höring geb. Dick" (meaning Dolly Höring, née Dick), followed by
"geb. in London, 23. Juni 1873" and "gest. 23. Febr. 1933 Schlachtensee".
Now, who was Dolly Dick? How did a lady from London end up marrying into a family of doctors in Ludwigsburg? Which one of the men named on the headstone had been her husband?
Three cheers for google! I managed to find out a few things about "Dolly". First of all, Dolly was her nickname - unusual for that to appear on a tombstone, isn't it? Her full name was Kate Anna Dick. Her father was one Charlos (I imagine this to be a transcription error; isn't it much more likely that the name was Charles, not Charlos?) James Adolph Dick, a London merchant who had married a German woman, too: Anna Scriba from Darmstadt.
Kate ("Dolly") had four siblings. In 1899, when she was 26, she married Otto Höring from Ludwigsburg. The wedding was in Frankfurt. Otto was 33 and, unlike most of his male relatives, who were doctors, worked as "Regierungsbaumeister". Today, I suppose that would be a Civil Engineer.
A typical bridal couple of around this time would have looked like this:
(These pictures are not mine. I nicked them from various places on the web.) Possibly, Dolly had a hairstyle like this around that time:
And maybe one of her day dresses looked like this:
Anyway, it is entirely left to my imagination as to how she met Otto, and what her life with him was like. Her father died 4 years after the wedding, her mother died in 1913 in Oslo (then called Christiania), Norway - another intriguing change of scene. The person underneath Dolly's name on the tomb, Adolf Höring, was probably her son, born seven years after she married Otto.
Dolly was only 60 when she died. By then, in 1933, people dressed and lived differently from when she left her parents' home in London to live in a foreign country with her new husband. It was the beginning of a new era for Germany, one that would lead to terrible atrocities commited by many of my countrymen and -women, the extents of which are still very much in our minds today.
She did not live long enough to know about any of this. Her husband died in the last year of WWII, by then back in his hometown. Whether Dolly ever lived in Ludwigsburg at all, or was merely buried here because it was her husband's hometown, I don't know.