Friday 5 July 2024

Last Week of June

The last week of June was warm to hot until the Sunday, when a rather drastic drop in temperature and some rain rang in a chilly, wet spell that lastet for most of the first week of July.

On Monday (24 June), unlike most Mondays I travelled to the office in Weilimdorf mid-to-late morning. A company-wide summer event was taking place, complete with a sort of mini trade show where most departments (including mine) had a stall where they presented themselves and their work. 
It was good to meet some colleagues face to face I had so far only ever spoken to in online meetings or on the phone, because they are based at our Cologne branch.
At 5:30, we were all gathering in the canteen for speeches from our top level management. Once the (brief) speeches were over, the four top managers donned aprons and took their positions on the patio at the grills and counters - like at last year's summer event, they fried, grilled and served our food. 
A variety of dishes were on offer, and nobody remained hungry.
Eventually the grills were turned off, and two of our four top managers switched roles once again: They were now back in the canteen, on stage as part of the company band, playing rock and pop covers everyone knew. We were (nearly) all singing and clapping along; it was fun and they played well, especially considering that they aren't a regular band and only meet for rehearsals two or three times before the event.
Beforehand, we had been informed that at 9:00 pm, the canteen staff would throw us all out, since they had to clear up and rearrange chairs and tables for a conference the next morning.
I left at about 8:30 pm when I knew I was going to have a convenient train connection.

Tuesday (25 June) was sunny and warm at 28C/82F with not a drop of rain. I worked from home and went for an hour's walk with my friend before my first meeting of the day. I had not seen her in weeks - she had been away on work trips to Las Vegas and Vienna, returned from the Vienna trip with Covid, and it took her a good while before testing negative. 
My lunch break was spent having a massage at the nearby day spa, something I try to fit in once a week for my neck/shoulder problem, originally caused by scoliosis but of course not made any better by sitting at desks and working on computers all the time.
After work, I went for a walk on the fields for just under two hours, enjoying the warmth and early evening sun. I spotted a hare and saw many birds and butterflies, but as usual was way too slow getting my mobile phone out to take pictures of them. The fields and meadows didn't run or fly away, though!

I was back at the office on Wednesday (26 June). The day started sunny again, but a late afternoon thunderstorm meant no walk other than the few minutes from my house to the station in Ludwigsburg, from the station to the office in Weilimdorf, and back.

Thursday (27 June) was also off to a sunny start, but with clouds drawing in towards the evening. It was warmer than before at 30C/86F, and more thunderstorms were forecast. We were lucky in that they came down in other places, not in Ludwigsburg.
At 7:00 pm, I met my sister near the station, and we walked into town together, meeting our Mum at the bus stop near town hall. We had tickets for an open air theater in the walled garden of a former brewery bang in the middle of town, a popular venue for events.
A small group of only six actors performed "Nathan der Weise" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a play widely known in Germany and (at least it used to be) part of the curriculum at school. At its heart is an ancient tale of three rings, symbolising the three main religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The tale's (and thus the play's) morale is that no matter what religion or ethnic/cultural background, all humans are essentially equal and should be treated accordingly. A timeless truth, particularly poignant in today's heated atmosphere of aggression and intolerance.
The performance was unusual in that Nathan (the main character) was a woman, and it had a modern twist, which we liked very much. There were sprinkles of humour as well, but the message was serious and offered plenty of food for thought. You can find out more about the original play on Wikipedia (in English).

I worked again from home on Friday (28 June). O.K. and I spent the weekend apart, as he had appointments without me, and so I had time to attend a work shop for interested citizens hosted by our town's administration. 
The work shop dealt with questions about the future of our town, how we want to live, what is possible, what needs doing, under different aspects such as economy and tourism, living and education, environment and climate, building and mobility. It was very interesting, and it is good that as a citizen, one has the chance to participate in the preparation of important decisions that will affect our lives in the years to come.

Saturday (29 June) was the hottest day of the year so far. At 33C/91F, it was extremely humid, and a walk or other outdoor activities were not advisable. I spent the day quietly behind drawn blinds, doing the odd little job around the flat, reading, playing my favourite computer game, and resting. 
In the evening, I slowly walked to my sister's. We watched the Germany-Denmark match together; it had to be interrupted because of a thunderstorm, and it all took very long before the final whistle, and the result of 2:0 was confirmed. Still, it was an entertaining evening. Walking home a bit after 11:00 pm, it was dark but still warm and muggy at 28C/82F.
With all windows open, I tried to get some sleep... but maybe a couple of hours later, a strong wind rose, creating a lot of noise outdoors and causing things to flap about indoors. I got up, reluctantly shut some of the windows, made sure everything was alright and went back to bed. It wasn't a night for good sleep, though - too warm and noisy.

My sister had invited two friends, my Mum and me on Sunday (30 June) to a BBQ at her allotment. However, the temperature had dropped considerably over night, and it was raining almost all day. Therefore, we met at her flat instead and had a pleasant afternoon and early evening with all the food and drink we'd prepared for the BBQ, and of course enjoyed the company.

I walked my Mum home and arrived at my place at around 8:00 pm. With the cooler air, I was looking forward to sleeping much better than the previous night.


  1. I never imagined Germany as a place where it got hot and humid in the summertime. I know it doesn't happen as often there as it does here, but we at least have a/c everywhere and in every home. I sympathized with your inability to sleep when it was hot; that's the number one problem I have when our a/c goes out. I NEED a cool room to sleep well, you know? :)

    I'd love to see pictures of the hares and butterflies that appear on your walks. We've had three or four species of butterflies in my garden this year, and identifying them has been a joy. We don't have hares around here; but we do have small eastern cottontail rabbits. Usually we see lots of them in our neighborhood in the spring and early summer, but this hasn't been a good year for them.

    What it has been a good year for is fox sightings! There's a fox that has been hanging around for a few months now, and we often see him/her if we walk the dogs just as the sun is going down. I think of you and Neil when I see it!

    1. For the last 20 years, my part of Germany has seen longish periods of draught and high temperatures with increasing frequency. Many modern houses now have A/C, but hardly any of the older ones do. We just try to keep out the heat during the day as much as possible, and let fresh air in (if there is any!) during the night.

      On the fields around my town hares are not rare. In central Stuttgart, some of the green park areas are infested with rabbits - and of course there are foxes there, too, but I have never personally encountered a fox in Stuttgart, only in my (much smaller) town. I'd love to see a picture of "your" fox! Do your dogs spot him or her? If yes, I imagine their reaction will not be on the playful, friendly side!

  2. I had my middle son and his three children visiting for 6 days last week and so I've been really tired this week! It was fun but noisy and I never sleep good when my grandkids are in the house as I am always listening for any disturbances in the night. I always am ready to pop up and help so I do not sleep soundly. I'm catching up with some naps since they left.
    Hope it doesn't get too hot for you to have a good rest, Meike!

    1. Fun but noisy - that sums up (limited) time with children very well!
      I can imagine that you now need to catch up with some naps, Ellen.

      We've not had very high temperatures this past weekend but are in for a hot day tomorrow. I have opted to work from home, as my study here is cooler than my office; also, I can dress more lightly here than at the office (and won't be stuck on a crowded train with a lot of sweaty people and no windows open!).

  3. The end of June was hot here as well, but now we're back to much lower temperatures, and frequent rain showers. In the middle of the night I found myself up to get my duvet out again, after having used only an empty cover for a while...

    1. Summer has not yet reached the stage where I sleep without my duvet, as it has cooled off enough during the night even when it has been very hot during some days.
      This week, we're in for a hot day tomorrow (Tuesday) and then slightly cooler temperatures; not quite the drastic drop we've had a while ago, but again with thunderstorms and plenty of rain.

  4. The UK had a very chilly June and a very wet year in total . We have had very short cycles of war days . And Wimbledon this year has been affected

    The fox story is lovely . I live in central Bristol , in the South West of the UK , in a cottage by a church and we have families of foxes living nearby . My elderly cat Milo is not a fan
    Siobhan x

    1. I had to read your sentence about the "short cycles of war days" twice before I understood - thankfully, you didn't really mean war days!
      Hopefully, the last part of June and first week of July will be mostly good - it's when my sister and I will be in Ripon for a fortnight.

      Yes, Jennifer's fox story is nice. I wish I'd see foxes more often during my walks, but I suppose they are there, just don't want to be seen by me :-)