Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Long and Varied Week

Let me start this post with last Saturday
I love museums, but have not been to one in a long time. So I was all for it when, at my sister's birthday, we (i. e. two friends, RJ, my sister and I) agreed on seeing an exhibition at the museum in Stuttgart's Alte Schloss ("old castle", a building from Renaissance times, as opposed to the "new" palace, which was built and rebuilt much later). The exhibition we wanted to see is about the connection between the House of Wuerttemberg and the Russian royal dynasty of the Romanovs. Several marriages between both houses meant a relationship was established that made the families and countries profit from each other in many ways, not only politically.

In 2011, I read two biographical novels about the ladies who were most prominent in my area from that connection. You can find my reviews on these books here and here.
Naturally, I was interested in seeing the exhibition that would show objects these ladies I had been reading about had used in real life; dresses they had worn, and many other things. 
When we arrived at the entrance, though, we found there was a queue so long it would have taken us half an hour just to get tickets. We decided against going in and went somewhere else.

I found this video on youtube that allows a glimpse of what we missed. The video is less than two minutes, and so I hope some of you will watch it although the commentary is in German.

Stuttgart has much to offer in terms of culture, and many places of interest are within easy walking distance. After a brief discussion, we settled for visiting the Willi Baumeister exhibition in the new art museum.

Now, I don't expect many of you to have heard the name of the artist before; although he was internationally known and his work popular outside Germany, he was pretty much a "local hero", having been born in Stuttgart and maintaining close ties with his home town throughout his life. 
If you click here, you will get to the official website in English.

We enjoyed the exhibition; the building alone is worth a closer look. A short description in English and pictures of what the building looks like by day and night can be found here.

After so much cultural input, we needed physical sustenance as well and went to a Spanish tapas restaurant a few hundred metres away, for good food and free-flowing conversation.

Sunday was a lazy day for me. I read my weekly paper, watched a bit of telly, played my Sims and just had quiet day in.

On Monday, I worked from home and had lunch at my parents'.

On Tuesday, I worked from home again, where RJ joined me in the afternoon. In the evening, we went to the pub, where I had finally managed to get my team for the pub quiz together again. It was our first quiz this year, and the very first pub quiz ever for RJ, who came up with some really good answers.
Some of the questions were easy enough, while others needed more knowledge than we had, and our team only reached 24 of 29 points.

Wednesday was spent at the office of our biggest client. RJ was still staying at my place, and invited me for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant near my home after work.

Not my own picture, but these gnocchi al pomodoro look pretty much like the ones I had.
On Thursday, we worked together from home, and on Friday, we were back at the office. After work, RJ spontaneously decided to accompany me to a friend's birthday party, where we had once again good food and drinks, interesting conversations and lots to laugh about.

I came home last night (or, rather, this morning) just before 1.00 am, and was quite ready for bed. It has been a long and varied week, with two projects finished at work and several new ones on the way. There was culture, there were friends and family, there was laughter and there was some seriousness as well. What I did not have all week was much exercise, apart from skipping rope. I miss running, and am looking forward to going dancing next week Saturday.


  1. What a lovely week, Meike! Although I lived in Stuttgart (actually nearby in a small place called Dachswald, just outside of Vaihingen) I think a great deal has changed since 1974! Both museums sound fascinating. Perhaps you will have another chance to see the one you missed! Do you jump rope alone, for exercise?

    1. Not sure yet whether I'll make another attempt at getting into the exhibtion before it ends at the end of March; I suspect it will be even more crowded shortly before that.
      Yes, I jump alone in my bedroom :-) There is plenty of space there, and I think the 2 Euro I paid years ago on ebay for my simple, classic skipping rope (with wooden handles, just like the one I had when I was little) were the wisest investment!

  2. Stuttgart is a beautiful city, lived there for 3 years, I remember visiting many of the museums and on a school trip with my daughter going to the Ritter factory and eating lots of wonderful chocolate.

    1. Some years ago, I sent to the Ritter factory with a friend, which was a great trip. They have added a new building now which I have not seen yet, so maybe it is time to go back!

  3. Sounds like a great week to me! Of course, since you are so fit it won't hurt you to have just one week off from exercising! I would love that museum. I have fond memories of the museums we saw in London. I think I would like to live in the British Museum, I would never get tired of looking at all that is there.

    1. It's just that this time of the year is the one I'd much rather go into hibernation than go out for work, or even for walks. I am torn between wanting fresh air and daylight and wanting to stay in and keep warm.
      Yes, the British Museum is fascinating, and has so much to offer that it certainly would not be boring to live in there!

  4. The museum looks fascinating, Meike. I wish a little they had showed more of the paintings, they sort of whisked by them, and how beautiful they are! I thought maybe I would know a word or two of German, I'm always amazed by the facility for languages that Germans seem to have and I don't!
    Anyway I'm pleased for you and your full week. xx

    1. Thank you, Julie!
      Well, it was meant to be a teaser so that people would react just like you, wishing to see more of the paintings and going to the exhibition :-)

  5. The video on the exhibit was lovely, even if it was in German! LOL!!! I also watched the English video on the Russian crown jewels - amazing.

    Well, it sounds like you've been a busy girl! It's great to work hard and play hard! I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

    1. Thank you, Mary, you too!
      I like being busy, but I also need days like today in between, where I have all the time and space to myself.

  6. Baumeister's work puzzles me. I don't really understand it and am not sure whether I like some of it or not. I suppose the fact that it makes me think makes it interesting. The video certainly showed that it was a shame that you missed the exhibition. Your week is just the sort of week I would have enjoyed. I think I'd have been happy with 24 out of 29: you are obviously used to much better results.

    1. I tried to understand Baumeister's work, too, and must say that the exhibition was set up in a manner that allowed you to see how he developed his particular style from the figurative to the abstract. Once I understood some of his codes, I could see "more" in the abstract paintings. Usually, I like art more when it does not have to be explained to me. I am quite conservative in that respect.
      Yes, my team and I have won the pub quiz a few times, and have come 2nd and 3rd, too. It is of course not all about winning or carrying home a prize, but it certainly adds to the fun.