Category Archives: Deutschland

Local people

11 o’clock, 11th day, 11th month. I am  sitting on a bench on a railway platform in Breisach on the French German border, waiting on a train to take us north to where the wind blows after half a decade living on the calm right bank of the Old Rhine.
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Loomings

Moby Dick, my Gideons bible, lives in the bedside drawer. Ahab’s Pequod is always ready to sail and carry me away on nights when sleep does not come easy.

The last time I was in Heidelberg I pinched some wi-fi from a coffee shop. If the founders of the coffee shop chain had stayed with their first idea they would have called it Pequod but in the end they decided to name it after the first mate aboard the whaler, Starbuck. Continue reading

Vine time

I took a  break from walking beaches to take part in this year’s grape harvest. A Winzermeister from a nearby town invited me to help and I thought a little manual labour would do me no harm.  Continue reading

Smack dab in the middle

A little to the south of Breisach and some 40 km north of the Swiss border two trees grow, one either side of the towpath that runs along the right bank of the old Rhine channel. These two trees form my portal between northern and southern Europe. This gateway is where the cool north and the warm south meet, the midpoint between machair and maquis. Continue reading

Hibernating fleas

Sunday morning early starts are over for the year. Last Sunday was the final pre-dawn break for the border two hours before the Shipping Forecast.

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Harvest in Germany – a country on the pop

Late summer and early autumn in southern Germany is a time of much drinking, a bit like the rest of the year in fact, but a little more choreographed with popular wine festivals and being-sick-on-beer festivals. Continue reading

Adopt a vortex

On 22nd October 2012 Dominic Jung from Wetter.net gave the German weather forecast in which he said: “Teilweise tanzen dann sogar im Alpenvorland die Schneeflocken bis ganz runter vom Himmel.“ I ran a Google translate of this forecast and the result was better than I could have imagined,

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