Tuesday 29 March 2022

Birthday Week

The rest of my birthday week saw my usual pattern of work and walks. It was sunny throughout, and warming up nicely during the day after chilly nights and mornings.

I walked one of my favourite circuits on Wednesday, taking in the golden late afternoon light. It was the time of day when one can nearly always spot herons in the fields as well as kestrels, buzzards and of course plenty of crows and doves.

Kestrel (I think)

Yes, I'm pretty sure it is one.

Three herons in a (very dry) field. Sometimes I spot eight or more together.

Neat barn and shady figure.

On the way back, I crossed the patch of allotments that offers a good view towards the town center, and although I have seen it many times now, I keep being amazed at how the ferris wheel is visible from almost anywhere. It was only the day before that I was on it myself!

Can you see the ferris wheel?

Zoomed in, you can see it better.

On Thursday, I was expected to participate in an online after-work event hosted by one of my clients. The event was to start at 7:00 pm, meaning I had to go early if I wanted to fit in a walk. It was around 4:00 pm that I came past this beautiful magnolia tree:
The weekend arrived, and O.K. with it, bearing more birthday presents for me, from himself as well as from his parents and his sister & husband. There were so many that they did not even all fit on top of my living room cabinet!
On Saturday, I had booked massages for both of us at the spa across the road, and then made us a proper breakfast with bacon and eggs on toast, Earl Grey, sparkling wine and tomato juice.
Also, I had my second ride on the giant wheel. As there were only the two of us, we had more room in the cabin to move, and could take pictures without the steel frame being in the way. There was nothing we could do about the sunshine reflecting on the cabin windows, though:
Afterwards, we took a stroll down the road to the palace grounds for a closer look:

We spent the rest of the afternoon at my parents', enjoying coffee and the sunshine on their balcony. 
For the evening, my sister joined us at my place. We had ordered food from the nearby Indian restaurant, and while the food was very good (it always is from that restaurant), the Sicilian rosé wine I had bought was bland - we could have just as well have had water. Never mind; it was still a nice post-birthday celebration for the three of us.

The Sunday was going to be another day of wall to wall sunshine, and I wore short sleeves for the first time this year. Still, it was chilly in places, and I was glad about my long-sleeved hoodie more than once.
After a leisurely late breakfast, we walked to Asperg and the castle on the hill (you've seen it a few times on my blog already). 
And again, the ferris wheel was visible - much better to the naked eye than what the camera was able to capture:
Can you spot the "rocket" in this one:
We took a different route back to Ludwigsburg and had a good view of the castle on the hill where we had just come from:

I am now 54 years and one week old. Cheers!


  1. I would be very happy to be 54 again, except for having to go to work.

    1. I do like my work - most of the time :-)
      Admittedly, there are days when I wish I were closer to retiring.

  2. How nice that you celebrate your whole birthday week! You certainly had nice weather for your hike with OK. So much Spring beauty! Thank you!

    1. It is much nicer - and, especially these days under pandemic conditions, safer - to spread out my celebrations instead of having one big "do" for my birthday.
      Every year when spring comes round I think it is my favourite season.

  3. You certainly had brilliant weather for your birthday week. The cold has reached us today and it is altogether different weather.

    1. The cold is not quite here yet, but will reach us soon. Today, we are finally seeing some long awaited rain.

  4. Great to share in your walk photos Meike. I enjoyed reading this post about your birthday. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome, Rachel - thank YOU for reading and commenting.

  5. What a wonderful birthday week and you had good weather for it too. The palace grounds are especially beautiful in the Spring. I enjoyed all your pictures!

    1. The palace grounds have become even more beautiful day by day, with more flowers opening. Now we're in for a cold spell; hopefully, it won't do too much damage. At least the rain is VERY welcome!

  6. I like your birthday photo and especially your hair! When I was just 55 I was able to take an early retirement from work and moved from the California desert to the gulf beach of Florida to care for my infirm mother. I've often thought I retired too early, but circumstances dictated my move and I'm very happy I was able to be with her.

    1. Thank you, Jill!
      Several people in my circle of friends and acquaintances have been taking early retirement in the past year or two, or are considering it for the near future. If they can afford it (or if circumstances make it the best move), it's a good opportunity to put their lives on a different track. Not an option for me at the moment, though.

  7. One day I shall make an undercover visit to your favourite cafe in Ludwigsburg, waiting patiently for your appearance.

    Meike Why is that old guy staring at us?
    O.K. That is what old guys do. Stare.
    Meike He looks like Omar Sharif on Prozac.
    O.K. Omar Sharif doesn't have blue eyes.
    Meike You're right. Blue, piercing eyes.
    O.K. He's harmless. Nice shoes.
    Meike Oh my Gott, he's coming over !!!

    Myself It's Meike, isn't it? I follow your blog. And you must be O.K.
    Can I buy you guys a drink? I'm Tasker Dunham.

    Only kidding. And I manage without Prozac.

    1. Jack, your fictitious conversation made me first smile and then laugh out loud as I was reading it last night shortly before bedtime.

      You might have to wait several weeks for our appearance, provided you knew where to go in the first place :-)
      The café staff would certainly come to know you as a new regular!

    2. Kind laughter is always a tonic.

      My eyes are blue but I never stare; a woman I worked with told me my eye contact was never very extensive.
      Piercing stares are a form of domination.
      If I am at peace it is because my early childhood was happy and secure.

    3. I am happy to say that what you say about being at peace is true for me, too. We are fortunate.
      My eyes are also blue, but a piercing stare is definitely not part of my repertoire, either.

  8. I am now motivated to try sparkling wine and tomato juice with breakfast! This morning I had a bowl of cereal so it's not hard to improve on that!

    1. Not together, I hasten to add! Tomato juice is good with vodka (or so I am told - can't say I have ever tried a Bloody Mary), and sparkling wine goes well with orange juice, but I wouldn't try it with tomato juice.
      During the week, my breakfast consists of coffee, followed at least an hour later by a bowl of muesli, preferably with some fresh fruit like banana or seasonal berries.

    2. Our standard fare is wine. For several months now we have pretty much stuck to Malbecs, finding them very agreeable, and reasonably priced too. I have had both Bloody Marys and Bloody Cesars, and while they are quite agreeable once in a while, I don't think either one would ever become a favourite drink. We do, however, enjoy gin and tonic on the patio on a hot summer's day.

    3. We love our G&T's, too. One of the first times I spent a weekend at O.K.'s, he sat me on the balcony on a balmy early summer's evening. There, under the starry sky (not so much light pollution in the village as where I live), he served me my first ever G&T.
      With meals on weekend nights, we usually have wine, too. Not at breakfast, though :-)