Thursday 12 July 2012

Guest Post By My Mum: Two Angels From Down Under

Yay! My Mum's 4th guest post is here! Do you remember the first three? If not, or if you'd like to re-read them, you can find her 3rd one here, and it contains a link to the 2nd one which in turn will take you to the 1st one. Or you simply put "guest post" in the search bar in the top left corner of my blog.

And without further ado, here goes:

Two Angels From Down Under

Recently we had very lovely visitors from Australia, a couple, which we have known for 40 years.

Long ago, we lived in a small village in a brand new house with several flats in it. 
Our family, meaning my husband, two daughters and myself, had the attic flat, and "down under" in a small 1-room-apartment, those friends of us.
(Picture of the house; ours was the flat on the top floor, the Australian couple lived on the ground floor. The middle flat was rented by another family.)

But at first we didn't know each other, only when the owner of the house called and asked for someone who can speak English, because he didn't, but he had to tell the "young couple down there" something very important.

So I went downstairs and translated for him, and that really was the beginning of a deep friendship. 
I learned that they were on their honeymoon, they had come from Bowen / Great Barrier Reef (Australia) by plane, and stayed in Germany for 2 years. They bought a used car, worked, whatever they could find to do for some weeks, then travelled around Europe, came back to the flat, worked again to earn some money, and so on. 
When they were in, we often met, went on trips together; they loved our two girls (4 and 5 years old), and they did babysitting for us, so my husband and I could spend an evening out from time to time.

They went back to Australia by ship, because they had bought so many things for their new founded household.
They decided to come back to Europe, especially Germany, every 10 years. Well, after 10 years, they really came and stayed 4 weeks. In the meantime they had 4 children, and travelling was not as easy as before.

And now, 30 years after their second trip to Germany, they came back again to see us in our small town, directly from Hongkong and Frankfurt. They rented a car and started from here on a 3-month-trip, Russia and other Eastern countries included. They also will go to France, where they want to rest and relax at a pretty rented cottage.

It was so nice to meet them again, there was no distance between us, though we had not seen each other for 30 years, and not even written that much in the meantime. But we loved to tell what happened to us and to listen what they had to tell. They are such good people, uncomplicated and really generous. It was all in all quite nostalgic.
When they left, we all had tears in our eyes, I don't want to imagine that maybe I won't see them again in my lifetime... My dear angels Bernadette and Walter!

- - - End of guest post - - -

Thank you, Mum, for another guest post! It was indeed wonderful to see Bernadette and Walter again, and like you said, it was as if we'd been meeting all the time and there was no gap to bridge after all those years.

These two, by the way, taught me and my sister our very first English words. We loved playing in the yard (we were 3 and 4 years old when our family moved in, and 4 and 5 by the time we moved out), and when we wanted a drink or needed the toilet, sometimes we couldn't be bothered to climb up all the stairs to our top floor flat. Instead, we would knock at Bernadette and Walter's door, and they were always so kind and fun to be with. They taught us how to say "Please a drink" and some other words in English.
(Me, aged 3-4 (ca. 1972), with the neighbour's cat. Imagine this chubby kid constantly pestering you for drinks!)

Much later, in 2008 I think, their eldest daughter came visiting; she was born after their return to Australia and now wanted to see where her parents had spent such happy years as a young couple. We instantly "clicked", just as it had been with her parents.
And we all hope that we will meet again!

PS: My Mum has put some new items in her Etsy Shop. You can get there directly from my blog, the "Mini Etsy" is on the top left.


  1. What a beautiful story! Isn't it funny how instantly you can click with another person! Maybe your parents will get to visit them in Australia some day or maybe the couples can mee "half-way" in another location!

    I remember at my wedding, my brother was walking me down the aisle, when I noticed a "pretty blonde in a red dress" and I wondered who she was . . . I know, you'd think you'd know everyone at your wedding. Well she was the wife of a very close friend of my husbands, whom I'd never met, they lived out of state. When we were introduced at the reception we must have chatted for 30 minutes, after that, we became instant friends. They moved back to Massachusetts, and have since moved away. We visited them in Virginia or see them when they visit their parents, and 19 years later we call each other regularly!

    I hope you continue to keep in contact with the "children" of Bernadette and Walter, they sound like such a lovely couple!

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my waterfall post, isn't it a lovely spot! I like the way you think too about the butter and jam on the muffins!!! LOL!!! They are so delicious!

    Have a wonderful week!


    1. Hello Mary, yes, it is great when that "clicking" thing happens, isn't it! The children are going to join their parents for a few weeks at the holiday cottage in France, and we do hope that we'll manage to set up a meeting for all of us in August.
      You too enjoy the rest of the week!

  2. Thanks for a lovely post. How nice it is that you've all stayed friends. Sometimes over the years, we drift apart, and it's hard to reconnect, so it's especially lovely that you've all stayed friends.

    1. Yes, I've had that happen with people I was quite close with at school. We met again many years later and suddenly found we didn't have much to say to each other anymore. But more often than not, I am able to rekindle a friendship even if there was a long gap in communication.

  3. It's wonderful how one can make good friends just from living nearby. We have a woman like that in our life. I hope she'll get over to England again. I saw her in America about 10 years ago when I went over there to do something else.

    1. Yes, and the amazing thing is really how this friendship and closeness is a lasting one in spite of decades during which there was little contact.

  4. This is a lovely story...I do have some friends from times living in Europe, but none from our time in Germany who are still alive. We spent most of the time with family, I think. But the connection your mother had with her friends from Australia is beautiful. My daughter Em had a junior year abroad at the University of Munich and some years studying there afterward and has a best friend from those days as well as a wonderful husband!

    1. That's quite romantic, Kristi, about your daughter having found her husband while studying abroad!

  5. Oh, I love this story from your Mum! Have you ever been able to visit them in Australia? Friendship is so warm and true and this is demonstrated so well in this story. And I love the photo of you as a little girl clutching that kitty!

    May I just say how much I love the handknitted socks made by your Mum, I really love them!

    1. Thank you, Kay, you are always so sweet and kind! No, none of us has ever made it all the way to Australia. I must admit much as I'd like to visit, the very long flight puts me off a bit. But never say never, right :-)

      Have you seen the new items my Mum has put on her Etsy shop?

    2. Hello Kay,
      thank you so much for saying, that you like my handknitted socks! I am always glad to here this! ;-)

  6. I wonder how their trip to Russia is going? What a fascinating place to go.
    Every time I see it on the map I still can't get over how huge it is. And varied~
    then off to France! Lovely story. xx Julie

    1. Julie, they are fine - we get an email every now and then, and by now, they have made their way through the Baltic countries and all the way down to Austria and across Switzerland towards France.

  7. I cannot understand how I missed this post. It is the sort of story that makes me so very happy that people from different parts of the world make such lasting friendships. I have received so much from similar friendships - one reason why my wife and I and our children spent so much time in Germany. I am so very pleased for you - and for your Australian friends. Now I shall return to Meike's Weekend in France post.

    1. Your comment here now confirms my thinking that I am doing right in referring to my own older posts on my blog. My reading list of blogs is quite long, and that combined with sometimes being away with not much internet access and the bugs on this platform can easily make for a "lost" post.