Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Monday 21 June 2021

The Day I got Lost (slightly revised)

A few months ago, during the height of Covid-19-time, I bought a wonderful edition of the fairy-tales of Die Gebrüder Grimm. Might have been the same longing that brought many people to start examining their family history - fairy tales are a bit the family lore of a nation. 

The Gebrüder Grimm started to collect those tales from 1819 on - writing down what till then was only told verbatim - and thus endangered to get lost. They didn't add anything, and we are so thankful for their great work. 

Fairy tales are for children, one often thinks - especially when you know only the sweet Disney movies. But a long long time ago, when mankind told these stories around open hearths or at the spinning wheel on long winter evenings, they were cultural transmission. 

Some fairy tales are outright cruel. Some are not easy to understand. As a child I only loved those with a happy end, those which made me laugh. But now I see that a lot more of the wisdom of the not so nice  tales is stored inside me too. 

What I esteem: the fairytales taught children - different from nowadays overprotective helicopter parents (no chance to become that with triplets!) - that the world is a colourful but not always a peaceful place, that not all people are interested in that proud parents' Unique Sweet Child, as lovely and pure as it might be, and that the world sometimes is not fair, although fairy tales also often tell you that virtue is rewarded. 

One of my favourite fairy tales are "The Bremer Stadtmusikanten" (The Town Musicians of Bremen, where I come from) - its mantra for living-on is : 

"Something better than Death you will always be able to find."  

I'll drink to that - and cling to the antiquated syntax! 

Now to my adventure of getting lost: 

"In the Olden Days when wishing still has helped..." (fairy tales often start like that) - so, in my modern language: the day before yesterday, I went to the next town by train to buy some bread, and, as the weather  was hot and beautiful, decided to walk back to the little village where I (part-time) live now. 

That would make about 3 km, and I thought I knew the way. 

So Our Heroine started - with lovely fresh bread and no stones in her knapsack. 

Two times she asked Friendly Strangers if she was still walking into the right direction - and got somehow muddled advice about being quicker on another route. She walked on confident.  

When suddenly the road went uphill, she started to wonder. (Having a good sense of locality, why did she go further up, knowing that the little village nestled into a valley?) 

After a while she saw an ugly Old Woman, accompanied by three barking dogs, coming out of the woods, and she asked her: "Is this the way to Arcadevillage?

"Yes, my dear! Just go through that wood and you will be right there!

Our Heroine overlooked the strange glint in those eyes, didn't notice the cackling and was afraid of those Cerberous dogs.  

WELL...   This was what followed: 


After about seven miles through the wood and then many more miles through oven-hot dry fields she finally reached home. 

"And if she hasn't died she is still alive".  (Oh yes, she is!

After a few deep breaths she looked up the name of that wood and that little river (and I swear it is the truth and nothing but the truth). It is: 

                                                               Devil's Ditch.   


Saturday 19 June 2021

Morning Fog and Name-dropping


Another very hot day will unfold - the last two days we had temperatures of 34° C, which make you feel as being clad into hot blankets. 

In the early morning mist rises from the meadows on the low ground near the little river. It is always a stunning sight.                                                   

So: No walk with the triplets' electro mobile - but I brought two watering cans, thus we spent a very vivid and wet afternoon in the garden - little hands slided into the cans, discovered how to splash fountains - and the sun dried the clothes at once. 

I wonder how I shall name the triplets here - to respect their privacy. They have very beautiful names (and each of them has three - fortunately we only use one, otherwise they would be up and away while we stand around and call them :-) 

Elizabeth von Arnim called hers fictional "April, May and June". Might bring confusion to the readers, especially in months with the same name? 

Maybe I call them by the name of the Three Graces: Euphrosyne, Thalia and Aglaia - but Euphrosyne is a bit long - and my son detests abbreviations...  

So: I will call the unidentical triplet "Igel", which she choose very early to name herself, meaning hedgehog - in the beginning her abundant hair stood away from the head in little spikes; so she heard it very often. Now the spikes changed into a sort of long curls.The uniovular call her "Igel" too. 

The first uniovular triplet calls herself "Ada" (which I adore!). 

The second uniovular, who is very determined and fearless, has the name of a strong Nordic goddess - the name is short so she can pronounce it almost correct. She is the third of the Three Graces, Aglaia- so I will call her Glaia.  

Igel, Ada and Glaia -time will show if that fits. 

Thursday 17 June 2021

Nature's Mysteries


Now that I have Internet in Bavaria, I can come into contact with the world again. 
I am here since almost three weeks - the Flying Dutchman left a few days ago, and I try to arrange the last (the last?? Hahaha) equipments for my second, very rural domicile. 

With the triplets we do very long walks - WE walk (most often my Daughter in Love and I), the triplets are riding in a fashionable electro mobile, motor necessary because here are steep hills, sometimes with a gradient over 9%. 
When I say long walks I am speaking of 10 - 13 km, and those very often in the sun - because around 14 o'clock the triplets shall sleep, which they do in that mobile. 

And I enjoy the beautiful nature here. See so many plants I know - but now I came upon something (with no time to make good photos - first time on May 30) that made me fall back for a second: WHAT IS THAT? on a lake? 

Second time we went by I also had no time (the electro mobile runs fast) - but I managed a snapshot, the flowers no longer in abundance - and which my Apps did not recognise - I use PlantNet, Andy Green and Flora Incognita. 

Do you know what that is? Thank you for your help! 

PS:  I've found it! (I think...): 
        It might be ALISMA - maybe lanceolatum, or Alisma gramineum.