Monday, 6 February 2023

A Windswept Week

Last week, it was windy, grey, cold and wet most days with precious few glimpses of the sun or opportunities for walks.

On the morning of Monday, the 30th of January, I arrived home from Offenburg after an uneventful and punctual journey involving the usual two trains - why can't it always be so?

I had enough work to keep me busy all morning. The afternoon was dedicated to an online conference with my professional association, and then it was time to meet with my volunteer group. That was the best part of the day; my sister was there, too, and apart from talking "business" we also had time to catch up with each other and share a few laughs.

My Dad would have been 81 on Tuesday (Jan. 31). I worked at my Weilimdorf office, co-hosting and moderating a workshop, something I always enjoy. Participation was good, and we had no major technology issues to battle with.

In my Dad's honour, my Mum cooked his favourite meal that evening, and my sister and I joined my Mum and her close friend who lives in the same house. Surprisingly, I had only one tearful moment all evening.

On the 1st of February (Wednesday), I worked in Weilimdorf again and, although it was very windy, cold and grey, on my way home got off the train in Kornwestheim and walked the rest (about 5 km). 

For the 3rd time that week, I was in Weilimdorf on Thursday (the 2nd of Feb.). It was chilly in my room, and I was glad that I was going to work from home the next day.

Friday (Feb. 3) was here, and I was able to start and finish work early enough to take advantage of the last couple of hours of daylight. 

No rain was forecast, and there was even a spot of sunshine around lunch and early afternoon, but by the time I was out and on my way to Benningen, there was nothing left of that. Instead, the wind blew me about quite a bit, and for the last km or so, rain was coming from all sides. Luckily, I had not entirely trusted the forecast and had zipped the hood on to my padded coat.

O.K. arrived a little earlier than usual, and we started the weekend with glasses of Apérol Spritz (we like to mix it ourselves, with more soda than Apérol) and a meal of home-made creamy mushroom and onion sauce on ham and toast, covered with cheese and baked in the oven.

For me, the highlight of that week was definitely Saturday, the 4th of February. Not only did the sun manage to come through (although it was still windy and chilly), but O.K. and I went for a good long walk to Asperg and the castle on the hill (you have seen it on my blog several times).

Mark the spot on the far right of the wall on top of the castle hill of Asperg.

This is the open space on top of the hill...

... and this is the spot visible to the far right in the first of these six pictures, a popular viewing place.

Looking across the town of Asperg towards Ludwigsburg

Looking across Asperg in the opposite direction
We went back through Eglosheim, stopping at Katharinenkirche (Catherine's Church), built in 1497. Typically for a protestant church in Germany, it was locked, so all we could do was walk around it.

We did not choose the most direct route into town, as it would have taken us  along a very busy road, but instead walked through the deer park again:

Schloss Favorite ("Favourite Palace") - the sunlight was very clear and sharp and brought the colours out so brightly it almost hurt the eyes.
On into town we went, across my hometown's beautiful market square and home for a quick coffee and a rest. All in all, I walked about 14 km that day.

At 1/4 past 6:00, we were off again, but not far - only to the Indian restaurant around the corner from my house. I had booked a table for four, and my Mum, my sister, O.K. and I had an excellent meal. It was VERY noisy in the packed restaurant, making conversation rather exhausting. Still, we enjoyed the evening.

No sun, no walk on Sunday (Feb. 5)

My order of freshly baked croissants and rolls was delivered, according to the automatised notification email, but - for the 2nd time since we've started to order from the bakery more or less regularly - the bag was not there when O.K. went downstairs to pick it up. My front door is not easily visible from the street, and only people who live in the house or have something to do here walk past the cars and actually know that there is a second front door past the first house. 

I sincerely hope that nobody in the house stole my croissants, but it has happened twice now and I really wonder whether I should keep ordering. Delivery is usually shortly after 6:00 - I am not willing to get up at that time on a Sunday morning only to make sure my paper bag is not nicked.

Oh well, I still had a few slices of toast and served it with eggs sunny side up for a decent breakfast. 

We spent all day indoors, watching silly movies (Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, anyone?) just right for a day like that, having coffee and cake in between and later eating my home-made Kässpätzle (as seen on my blog a few times before) before O.K. packed his bag and left shortly after 8:00 pm for the long, rainy and windswept drive home.


  1. Replies
    1. It was a sunset - I was on my way home from the office (no night shifts in my line of work).

  2. I am wondering if, because your front door is hard to find - maybe the delivery person is putting your order in front of the wrong door. Do you look around a bit at the nearby doors when you check for your order? I would call the place and ask them to ring your bell so you can get the order when they bring it. Or have them text you a photo so you know the package is there.
    Glad you got in that nice hike with OK!

    1. Ellen, they have been delivering just fine for about two years now, and only recently the bags have been missing twice. We do look around, and we tell them precisely where to leave the delivery when we order. Also, my name and house number is clearly printed on the delivery note. In the order form, you can also tick the option that they ring the bell when they deliver, but as I know it's always around 6:00 in the morning, I don't really want that on a Sunday morning - we rarely wake up before 9:00...
      That long walk was much appreciated!

  3. Permitting February gales to blow you about a bit is a danger if you are near traffic or a turbulent river.

    Gale-force winds in Glasgow come now & then; pedestrian bridges are off-route.
    Strong men have been swept to their death. Yet it's hard to stay indoors
    Aperol Spritz or coffee in market square is my idea of a rest station.
    Sunshine so bright it can hurt your eyes ! And in treacherous February too.

    Watching the trailer of the new Spielberg movie reminds me of your skies.
    John Ford told young Spielberg that Sky Above & Below (reflected in water) is good.
    You have lovely Above shots, and space to breathe from the castle hill, Aspberg.

    Shame churches are locked when they could be open for the faithful & lost seekers.
    Beautiful when your mother made your father's favourite meal, on his 81st birthday.
    My parents are always talking to me in my dreams, rarely my two brothers.

    1. Walking to Benningen across the fields means the wind can blow me about unhindered, but the river is down in the valley, far from where I walk, and the busy road is on the other side of the fields, also too far to be dangerous.

      What do your parents talk about in your dreams?
      So far, I have not yet dreamt of my Dad, but I have dreamt of friend R who died only 5 weeks after Dad. In the 13 years that Steve has been gone, I dreamt of him only a handful of times.

  4. Occasionally it's good to have a more 'mundane' week because it makes weeks like the previous week a bit more special. Notwithstanding I like 'ordinary' weeks because I can re-charge my batteries.

    1. I like ordinary weeks, too, for precisely that reason. It's all about the balance, isn't it - being alone v. being with people; having a regular (work) day v. a celebration or other special occasion; going for a hike v. having a quiet day in.

  5. A busy week with a lovely ending. I am glad the family is united in their love for your Dad; I am sure it is hard without him but your closeness must surely be of great comfort to all of you. My, you do take long walks but then you are still a spring chicken!
    My long walks are a thing of the past since I hurt my back several years ago. Gardening is good exercise too.

    We've had a relatively mild winter with only a couple of weeks of frost so far. Occasionally it gets very blowy and I often wonder if the trees in my garden could come down.

    Take care and enjoy life. Love to your Mama.
    Friko (Ursula)

    1. Thank you, Friko - and the same to you.
      In the gardens around here, a few large old trees had to be cut down for that reason; any strong wind could have blown them over, and they were too near the houses. I was sad about each and everyone of them. Fortunately, there are still some big trees left.

  6. Rather spectacular sunset photos - looks almost like a fire going on... - Well, I suppose one could argue that it was/is, although VERY far away ;-) ....

    1. You're absolutely right, Monica!
      Yes, when I saw that "flare", I zoomed in to make it show up a bit better in the photo.

  7. WHO STOLE MY CROISSANTS???? I do fear that is what I would be saying! Gee, I hope that won't happen to you again!
    I love that your Mom made your Dad's favorite meal in his honor for his birthday. My Dad's date of birth is in April, just after mine...I think I would like to make a lemon cake in his honor, or a red velvet cake...or a chocolate one...gee, he had a lot of favorites! LOL! Your photos are AMAZING. You do know that you live in a gorgeous spot, right?

    1. We were thinking about making a detective novel or mystery film of this - The Croissant Case. Who would play O.K., and who would be me in the movie? My choices are Jason Isaacs and Sandra Bullock :-D
      It is a good idea to make a cake to mark your and your Dad's birthdays.
      Gorgeous spot? Well, it is a heavily industrialised area, and we have no proper woodland worth mentioning, unlike O.K.'s area where you're in the Black Forest within 20 minutes on foot.