Monday 27 November 2023

Rainbow Week, Music Weekend

This past week was very busy but also very good. You will see why in a minute.

Monday (20 November) had everything from sun to rain and back to sun. 
I was working from home and took the chance for an afternoon walk to Benningen. Now that sunset is so early, if I want to get any substantial walk in by daylight, is has to be during the day - of course that is not always possible with my work schedule, but Monday afternoon was good.

For the most part of that walk which takes just under two hours, I did not need to pull up the hood on my rain coat, and for the rainy part, I was rewarded with not just one, but THREE rainbows!
Just leaving Ludwigsburg

Looking back towards Freiberg

First of three rainbows across Benningen. Can't see it?

You can now!

Number Three - I didn't get a good enough picture of the 2nd rainbow.
I worked from home on Tuesday (21 November) morning, had an early lunch break and then took a local train to Marbach, where I was due to give my last training for this year. 
Again, it was raining, but by the time I left the Literature Archive mid-afternoon, it was still grey but remained dry until the evening.
On a whim, I decided to walk back to Ludwigsburg (around 8 km), and this time chose the path along the river. 
Walking down towards the river through Marbach's old town. The "castle" like building is the old water works.

River Neckar

Vineyards and allotments line the path on one side, the river on the other.

Grey clouds and bright foliage
It was a good decision; there were only a few cyclists and the odd dog walker, but most of the time, I had the river, the path and the vineyards to myself. The atmosphere was so peaceful and quiet, with the remainder of autumn foliage lighting up the greyness; I could only wish for everyone to experience such peace at this war-torn time.

Once I arrived in Hoheneck (at the bottom of Ludwigsburg), just like last time, I took the first bus coming my way up into town, only a few minutes from where I live. It was dark by then; I had just made it to the first houses and street lamps as dusk set in.

I spent the next two days, Wednesday and Thursday (22/23 November), at the office in Weilimdorf. Wednesday morning was frosty at -2C/28F; Thursday was a tad warmer at a maximum of 6C/42F.
Thursday was also the opening of Ludwigsburg's Christmas market. You have seen many pictures of it over the years, but I still can not resist showing you more! The blurriness of my photos is due to me trying to get out of people's way; it was truly packed that evening, and I really only went for a first short stroll and my favourite Christmas market food.

O.K. and I spent the weekend separately, since he had band practice all weekend, starting on Friday after work all through to early Sunday afternoon, in preparation for their annual concert before Christmas.

Therefore, instead of doing my household jobs on Friday (24 November), I went to visit my favourite neighbour at the senior residence where she has recently moved to. She is the lady whose house and garden my kitchen window overlooks. At 91, she is still relatively mobile, and fully "there" mentally, but she has had several falls recently (fortunately, no bones broken), and her relatives have urged her not to remain all on her own any longer.
Of course, after so many years in her house, moving to a single room with shower and toilet is a huge step. But she's holding up bravely, and we had a good chat. 
It was another very windy day with a mix of rain, sun and clouds, and after the first very wet sleet fall of this season, all of a sudden the sun came out, and from her window, we saw the most luminous, brilliant and clear rainbow I had seen in a long time! (Sorry, no photo.)
Like two little kids at a toy store window, we stood there grinning, watching the rainbow until it paled. It was quite spectacular, really, and a nice moment to share with my old neighbour; her slightly subdued mood was much improved afterwards.

On Saturday (Nov. 25), I went to help my Mum with a few things after breakfast, then back home to finish my own things. At 2:00 pm, I was out again, this time to my sister's. Together, we walked the short distance across the fields to the garden centre just outside Ludwigsburg. Every year on the last Saturday before Advent, they host a combination of sales exhibition (of Advent wreaths, Christmas decorations and so on) and mini Christmas market, and every year, we go there.
A small brass band plays Christmas carols, there are mulled wine and other drinks, hot sausages or soup to choose from as well as coffee and cake. The gardener's family is big, with a large number of children, and they all do their part. Some clear the tables, others ladle soup into bowls, man the grill or pour drinks.
It is a lovely event, and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours before walking home.

My sister's Christmas present came early this year: On Sunday (26 November), we went to a concert at one of the two churches facing the market square.
"The Seasons" by Joseph Haydn is an oratorio first performed publicly in 1801. If you want to know more about it, here is the link to its wikipedia entry.

The choirs, solo singers and musicians were wonderful, and our seats on the balcony perfect - great acoustics and a view of everything and everyone.
Three hours is a long time to sit still, but the music was so beautiful and the "story" is so interesting that it passed all too quickly.
A truly great present for the five of us! (Mum, sister, Mum's friend, my sister's friend and myself).

We went for a drink and some food at the pub afterwards, just across the market square. Speaking of which - the Christmas market was suspended for that evening due to it being Totensonntag ("Sunday of the Dead" or "Eternity Sunday").
The main lights were on, as you can see, but the booths and stalls were closed.

The organ was behind us.

Getting ready, about 20 minutes before the concert stared.

The church where the concert was.
During the day, I had been on my own, quietly doing this and that, resting and going for a short-ish walk in the afternoon, when it looked like it wasn't going to rain for a while.
A good week to get ready for the next four, leading up to Christmas.


  1. What a nice week you had! I'm sure your neighbor was happy to see you and will welcome your visits in the coming days.

    What a magnificent church for a concert.

    1. When she rang me to tell me that she had moved to the home, I asked her whether she would welcome a visit. She was very pleased, and when I rang a few days later to arrange for that Friday afternoon, she told me how much she was looking forward to our chat.
      She has relatives and friends who ring and visit, but I understand it is not easy to adapt to this new chapter in her life after 88 years in her own house (she moved in as a 3-year-old when the house was just newly built for her family).

  2. In my neck of the woods, people moving to a Home, must make sure of family and friends' constant visits, as there are cases of mistreatment of those who seem to be lonely and with no one 'to keep an eye' on them.

    1. Such scandalous conditions are thankfully not the norm here, as far as I know. The home where my neighbour is now is well established in this town and frequented by many visitors who would notice immediately if something was amiss.
      Of course, there is never a guarantee that not one or other of the employees behave in an unacceptable way, as in any institution designed to look after vulnerable people, be it children, the elderly or people handicapped in one way or another.

  3. What a lovely week you had! Seeing rainbows always lifts my spirits. Who will live in your neighbor's house now that she is in care? It was so nice of you to visit her.
    I can't believe how quickly Christmas will be here and how fast the year has gone!

    1. The 1st Advent Sunday is coming up already!
      Rainbows always lift my spirits, too (not that they need much lifting most of the time, but you know what I mean).
      My neighbour says she does not know yet what's next; she's moved in only three weeks ago and still needs time to settle in. But since she has three nephews (more or less my age) and they have families, too, I don't think it will remain empty for long. I just hope she does not sell it all to an investor who will turn the plot of land into a block of flats in front of my windows!

  4. Oh how much I would have loved that concert also!! You know I always love your descriptions of the Christmas Markets there! Guess what, our son and daughter in law visited us and on the way home, they stopped in Roswell, Georgia and enjoyed a German style Christmas market! Isn't that something!! They are becoming more popular in cities and towns here but that one in Roswell, it looks as if it is the first year they have done it. Also, I have left comments on your posts from my phone...but they don't go through and that is frustrating! Love your rainbows too!!

    1. Thank you for the link to Roswell Christmas market - I will have a look in a minute.
      Sometimes I have problems commenting from my ipad, too; I don't use my phone for blogging (reading, writing or commenting) since I don't like the small "keyboard" (which isn't really a keyboard) and the small screen.
      You and I would have a lot of fun visiting the Christmas market together :-)

  5. I'm finding the short days difficult, already. Any gardening needs doing in the morning. Leave it until the afternoon and it soon begins to get damp, cold and dark.

    1. Only three weeks until winter solstice, and slowly but surely our days will lengthen again.
      It has been raining nearly all the time here; combined with a nasty cold wind and early sunset it's not very walk-friendly right now.

  6. Dramatic skies and rainbows, and very nice photos from the Christmas market as well!

    1. Thank you, Monica! I was supposed to meet friends at the Christmas market twice since its opening, but the weather was so dismal I opted out both times.

  7. That organ is magnificent, and it would have been amazing to listen to that concert. The very best of gifts indeed!

    1. Everything came together there - the church as a beautiful venue, the musicians and singers, our seats high above, and of course being with family and friends.