Yesterday I was invited to a colleague's house from the technical college in Gaarden (not a misspelling) and I was so knackered from the weekend I almost didn't go. But since it's almost a criminal offence to waste a long weekend I decided to drag myself off the bed and trek out to a village an hour away from Kiel.
The day started off like a typical Sydney day- at least as far as I can remember- sunny, a light wind and about twenty degrees. It was so lovely to sit on the train with the shafts of sunlight across my face, watching the green fields rolling off into the distance and the cows grazing. I don't think I've ever noticed that there were any cows up here.
Anyway then I got onto a bus which meandered its way through Neumünster and off to the little village where Monica lives. It had bus stop names like 'church' and 'school', as well as rolling past a traditional Mayday beer and sausage gathering (we call that a barbeque right?) sponsored by the CDU- the Christian Democrats in the town square.
When I got to their cosy house, a two storey semi-detached with a garden and a big living area, a nice change from pokey little apartments, I was immediately presented with a glass of champagne and given the tour. It has been so long since I've been in a house filled with books and art that it was like returning home. I was given a wonderful lunch, plied with wine and told all about the wildlife around here, which apparently includes wild boars and deer, both of which are on the increase. It was a whole other Germany and I really liked it. Especially the intelligent conversation with two very clever and interested people- such a relief not to have to be cool.
I arived home very chilled, quite drunk and in a great mood to face the week, which has so far been great, accompanied by sun sun sun and my new clothes which always cheers me up. Although some shoes for the wedding would be great...
There are swans in the lake in the centre of the city, called the Little Kiel, and dafodills on every street corner. People are wearing t-shirts and looking relaxed, there are cherry trees in blossom and I can't quite believe it is the same town.