The third week back home since my Yorkshire Holiday is almost over (at least work-wise), and I have not even said anything about the 2nd week
Monday (August 8) was sunny and windy, which made the 28C pleasant enough for a nice long walk after work.
It was almost the same (sunny and windy, around 29C) on Tuesday, when I met up with my sister after work. We went to our favourite wine bar/shop so that I could buy a bottle of a wine I had particularly liked at a tasting there back in June - and I was lucky in getting the last bottle they had. It was for my Mum's birthday later that week.
From there, it was just across the road to the palace grounds. The late summer flowers were beautiful, but of course the long dry spell, intense heat and wind have been taking their toll on the gardens. My sister took this picture of a particularly beautiful flower bed:
We were getting thirsty by now and a bit peckish, so the Irish Pub was our next stop. A table in the shade was just right for us, and since I had not eaten fish & chips while in Yorkshire, I did so now - I know it's not the same, but I quite like them there nonetheless.
On Wednesday, my Dad had to go back to hospital. This was a planned stay for a minor operation. His Covid test had of course resulted negative, but a man who was in the same room later tested positive - meaning my Dad was moved to a room on his own (which he didn't mind), and we were not allowed to visit (which we did mind very much).
Like the previous Wednesday, once again I went for a leisurely "run" (more a trundle!) in the fields before work, and before it got too warm for it. In the afternoon, I rang my uncle (Mum's big brother) and spoke to him for quite a while; we'd not heard from each other in a long time, and I was getting worried as to how he and my aunt were doing.
I wrapped up the day with a short evening walk on the fields.
The weather remained the same on Thursday. My sister and I met at our parents' place after work, to help prepare the rooms for a change.
My parents have what in German is called a maisonette flat, with a staircase in the open-plan living/dining/kitchen area leading to a 2nd bedroom and bathroom upstairs. Until now, the upstairs part was my Dad's, with my Mum having the downstairs bedroom and bathroom. It has become nearly impossible now for my Dad to master those stairs, and so they have swapped rooms.
A lot of carrying things up and down was involved, but of course more needs doing eventually. We just had to make sure everything was ready for when Dad would be back from hospital.
Friday (August 12) was here - my Mum's birthday! She turned 78. Her birthday was not quite what she would have liked; from the moment she got up until late afternoon, all she did was work, sort, organise. Surprisingly, Dad was released from hospital already, and brought home mid-afternoon. In between all that, friends and neighbours popped in with flowers etc., and of course the phone rang several times - an action-packed day for sure!
My sister and - a few hours later - I had been helping and done some more cleaning and shifting stuff, then went home for about an hour to shower and change. Back again, we ordered pizza, and opened a bottle of sparkling wine to toast Mum's birthday. Presents were opened, cards read and although Dad was still rather groggy after his stint in hospital, it turned out to be a nice evening after all.
On the Saturday, I was finally going to see O.K. again, for the first time since the 11th of July! As usual, the train journey was not without problems, but I arrived only about half an hour later than planned. And of course I had left enough margin for that. Mid-afternoon, a couple of friends picked us up to drive deep into the Black Forest: A group of eight of us were booked for ziplining.
This was a present for one of the group's 50th birthday, and apart from one person in the group, none of us had ever "ziplined" before. Do you know what it is? Have a look at the website of that particular area, if you like.
I was determined to have a go and not really worried or scared. But once the instructions started and the guide kept talking and explaining, the longer we stood there listening, the more I felt I did not want to do this. It was purely my gut reacting, not my mind, and I was quite surprised (and somewhat disappointed) by how I felt. In the end, I was the only one of the eight who did not go - everybody else did, and loved it!
For the roughly two hours they were away, I stayed at the base and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the woodland. With me were two others who had only come along for the company, not intending to zipline. So the three of us had a nice long chat, and at two points, we could watch the others swish along the steel cables across the valley. We took pictures, knowing full well that what we could see rather clearly with the naked eye would look just like a pin prick in the photos.
Clicking on the pictures enlarges them; maybe you can spot the person zipping across then:
Once everyone was safely back on the ground, we piled again into the two cars we had used to get here, and drove a bit further up into the woods until we reached a tiny hamlet, consisting of a former typical Black Forest farm turned restaurant and two or three houses nearby. The place is popular for its regional food and beautiful surroundings, and without booking tables we would not have had a chance.
Everyone enjoyed their food and drink, and then the sun set and the super moon appeared! With no town, no street lights etc. around, the nightly sky was almost magical to look at, and the moonrise was truly spectacular. Again, what we saw with the naked eye was MUCH bigger and better than what my poor quality photos can convey.
We even spotted shooting stars - it was one of the few nights when the Perseides are visible.
Sunday was the hottest day of the week at 32C. It did not stop us from going for a walk/hike we have done several times before, finding the shade of the woodland the best place to be. About 15 km and a few hours later, we were back at O.K.'s cottage and had coffee with vanilla ice. Before our evening meal, we visited his parents, enjoying Aperol Spritz on the patio behind their house.