Thursday 17 November 2022

Nov. 7 - 13

Here is my summary of the week from November 7 to 13.

Monday, the 7th of November, started adventurous as my train trip home from O.K.'s did not touch Stuttgart but went to Esslingen, where because of it being completely overcrowded, I could not get on the intended train to Ludwigsburg but had to take the local train to Stuttgart and change again for Ludwigsburg. Good job it wasn't too cold or wet, or all that waiting on platforms would have been very unpleasant. I arrived home quite a bit later than planned, but as there were no meetings scheduled in the morning, it was ok.

There was no time for an after work walk, as I had the fortnightly meeting with my volunteer group.

On Tuesday (Nov. 8), I worked on-site at my client's and went to help my Mum with a few things afterwards. It was good to have at least a little walk in the sunshine during my lunch break. 

The moon as seen on my way home from my Mum's

Wednesday, the 9th of November, was rainy. I was back at my Mum's after work to help writing the thank you notes to people who had attended my Dad's funeral or written to us. We wrote close to 60 cards, and that did not include some of those who we were in touch with via email or telephone. 

These are only the condolence cards sent to me - my Mum received many more.

This one was included with one of the cards - the sender did not know how perfectly the colours match my new rug. I will keep it on display in my living room.

It was sunny and mild on Thursday (Nov. 10), and I was glad to meet up with my friend and her six-year old daughter, dropping little C off at school and then continuing our walk. The exercise, daylight and opportunity to catch up with my friend and share our worries and joys really makes a difference to a day.

The news about our gravely ill friend were not good, and so my sister, his brother and another friend traveled to where he was in hospital. My thoughts were with all of them, and I found it very hard to focus on work. Shortly after 3:00 pm, I realised it was no use, shut my laptop and went out again. I dropped off some of the thank you cards at those friends who live in town and then walked on until sunset.

Friday, the 11th of November, saw me up early. My boss picked me up well before 8:00, driving to Metzingen with me where we were to attend an event organised by a regional group of our professional association (data protection officers). It was the first time this year that I saw my boss "live" and not just on a computer screen. We made good use of the drive to catch up with each other, on personal matters as much as on work-related things. 

The event was interesting in many ways, and it is always good to meet my fellow DPOs. I was home at about 5:15 pm and did my cleaning etc. in preparation for the weekend. O.K. arrived at my place at around 9:30 pm. We sat down for shakshouka and a bottle of pinot noir which we did not even empty - unusual for us.

I had invited my Mum and my sister for a family meal on Saturday (Nov. 12), but with my sister now away to be with our ill friend, there were just the three of us that evening for my home-made Yorkshire puddings, roast spuds, parsnips and parsley roots, with beef goulash made in a rich and creamy sauce based on the same red wine we later drank with the meal.

But that was the evening; during the day, we went into town (where I took the photos shown on this post) for a late breakfast at a café we like. Our next stop was a clothes shop where O.K. found a shirt he wanted, then on for an espresso at a coffee shop. We dropped in at our favourite wine merchant's before going home, where another coffee was in order before I started cooking.

It was good to have my Mum over for the evening, but we missed my sister and our thoughts and much of the conversation revolved around our dear friend.

Sunday, Nov. 13, was again sunny and mild. After a leisurely breakfast (almost at lunch time, really) with fresh croissants and rolls delivered to my door by our Brezel-Taxi, we went on a long walk down to the river and back across the area called Hungerberg which I first showed you here

View across the river towards Neckarweihingen

Cemetery chapel in Hoheneck


Footbridge between Hoheneck and Neckarweihingen

Steps leading up from Hungerberg

View from the top of Hungerberg

After coffee and a rest, I put a ready-made vegan lasagne in the oven for our evening meal. It was alright but I won't buy this particular product again; it was a little disappointing in terms of taste.

O.K. left shortly after 8:00 pm, and I ended my week watching another episode of "All Creatures Great and Small" (the DVDs were a gift from my sister).

I am very sad to tell you that our friend has died on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The week I describe here was overshadowed by the worries about our friend - and also about my sister, who was very close to him and is suffering the most.

 All this was of course not made any easier by our Dad's death only five weeks ago. You can truly say that, as a family, we are having our roughest year yet. It will all take time to process, and the gaps in our lives will never be closed. But at least we are still here, and can be there for each other.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that you've now lost a friend too. You are in my thoughts.

    I enjoyed the pictures as always but the teasels caught my eye particularly. Dried ones were very popular in vases when I was a child. I grew them for the first time this year. Goldfinches (Stieglitz) love them but I have been deserted by them for the last couple of years.

    1. Thank you, Graham. It would have come as a heavy blow any time, but with my Dad's death still a fresh wound it is even harder. Rolf is the third friend I have lost this year.

      Dried teasels were still popular in my childhood. Some people would spray them with gold or silver paint and put them up for Christmas. On my walks across the fields, I sometimes spot goldfinches on them.

  2. Condolences to you, your sister and the family and friends of your much-loved friend. You are having sad times dear Meike, hopefully the coming months and next year will be much better for you all.
    You've definitely been busy though and how you manage all that train travel travel/changing without getting lost along the way is amazing!
    Your photos of the countryside are lovely. All Creatures Great and Small starts a new season here in Jan. I can hardly wait, I love it so much.
    Thinking of you, your sister and Mum so often - glad you are there for each other.
    Mary XXX

    1. Thank you, Mary.
      This year has really been the worst I've known. Three friends, my Dad and a former neighbour who was very much part of my childhood and youth are gone.

      Not getting lost during my many train trips is easy because they are always in the same familiar region, plus I make extensive use of the Navigator app.

      I didn't know there is a third season of All Creatures coming out; it is really a beautiful series (and not only because it is set in Yorkshire).

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your dear friend. Coming so close to your Dad's passing is rough for all of you. Good you have each other to lean on during these sad times.
    I loved your photos - especially the lovely reflections in the water with the bright blue skies! Take care, dear Meike!

    1. Thank you, Ellen. Rough is the right term. We could not go through all this alone, but eventually, each of us grieves differently and has to find a way to cope.
      The river looked particularly beautiful on that sunny day with the colourful trees.

  4. Thank you Meike. I am. sorry that your friend passed away and for your sister at this time. You have a wonderful family.

    1. Thank you, Rachel. My family has become significantly smaller; now more than ever, we rely on each other.

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend! So tough to wrap your head around the passing of those we love, and when they come so close together...
    I must tell you that your photo of your homecooked meal might just be one that I wish was sitting on my table tonight! As you know, Richard can't have wheat, so I have only had Yorkshire puddings just a few times in my life but I remember them well! That beef goulash made with red wine which you also had with the meal! Just yummy.
    And that Yellowstone card! Oh, you will never believe it, I did wonder if that might be inappropriate to send in with a card, but doggone it, the older I get the more I just go ahead and do what I want to do! LOL! I know how much you love yellow and the sunny border is unlike most things you find with a sympathy card! I am pleased you will keep it to look at in your sitting area! Consider it a hug every time you look at it! xx

    1. Thank you, dear Kay. It just is one loss after another this year, some cutting deeper than others, but all of them sad.
      You did well including the Yellowstone card with your sympathy card. In my family, we have long started using artwork for sympathy cards instead of the more conventional ones, athough many of those are really beautiful, too. You should see some of the ones we received from my Yorkshire family.
      But each and every one of the cards arriving in our mail boxes is fully appreciated and beautiful; some of my English-speaking friends even made the effort to write in German, or sent home-made cards.
      I will now think of you all the way over there in Georgia sending me a hug every time I look at the Yellowstone picture.

  6. So sorry for your loss of yet another friend, Meike, and so close to the death of your own father as well! - It's the recent series of "All Creatures" you're watching, I assume? I've seen that on TV, but I've got the old series on DVD (1978-1990, seven seasons) and have seen that so many times that especially during the first season of the remake, I found it hard to get used to some of the new actors and slight changes in the story... I'll still no doubt watch and enjoy the next season of that too, though, when it comes!

    1. Thank you, Monica. He was a close family friend, like a brother for me, and the fifth person in my personal sphere who has died this year.

      Yes, it's the 2020/2021 series, and I really like it. I know some things have been changed; for instance, the role of Mrs. Hall is greatly increased, but she's wonderful. We used to watch the original series as a family on TV, back in the 1970s and 80s, and we all loved it. But I have not watched it since, and so can not remember so much detail as to make a direct comparison with the new one.

  7. So sorry to hear about the deaths of your father and family friend.