a walk through winter wonderland!

our plan for today is — after church service — to take the cable car up to felsenegg and walk through the snowed in landscape to buchenegg and have a fondue lunch there…the weather in the morning, before we go to church, is overcast instead of the promised blue sky…let’s see what happens, we are determined to have a go regardless.

and, sure enough :-), the weather does clear up: when we leave church, the sun has cleared away most of the clouds and is still at it, we rush home, change into walking gear and are off. it’s sub-zero, snow all over the place — a winter day out of the picture book! the cable car takes us up to felsenegg — in the cabin with us is another couple with a german shepherd dog: the dog clearly is fazed by having to travel in a cable car and does not look too happy. we all make it fine up the mountain, the dog is the first to be off the car and clearly relieved to be.

all the trees are all either covered in snow or frosted over — it’s a bit like stepping into winter wonderland 🙂 we walk along the ridge and after about 30min arrive at restaurant buchenegg where we turn in for our fondue lunch. we are early enough to get a table in the more formal part of the restaurant, order an aschenputtel fondue (classic fondue with wholegrain mustard, very nice) and enjoy ourselves…

after lunch we walk back via the lower route to felsenegg: all clouds have been sent packing, and we enjoy a crisp, sunny winter afternoon with lots of snow and landscape!

24 kinder eggs, 23 loosers, 1 winner…

i had an kinder egg advent calendar last year…aside from the fact that i was quite often on a business trip or otherwise away and couldn’t go through the daily procedure of unwrapping the kinder egg of the day, cracking the yellow inside capsule, marvelling in amazement at what wonders the ferrero people managed to hide in it — and, thus, ended up with most of the kinder eggs still unwrapped at the stroke of midnight 1 january — the theme of the kinder egg advent calendar was supposedly about polar express, a book i quite like. well…the pretty much only nice surprise i got from the 24 chocolate eggs was the little toy bus, the rest was just a ghastly assortment of the weird, ugly, and preposterous from the world of little plastic toys…

p.s.: no, no repeat of an advent calendar planned for this year…

registered mail from…

got notified of registered mail this week to our place in germany…a bit puzzled what that could be…turns out that it’s the “earbags” that we ordered a couple of weeks ago over the internet from earbags.com in sweden — the funny bit is that the letter comes from eskimo fashion knitwear, no, not from sweden, from sri lanka! interesting…

oh, and the earbags are quite nice and warm, too…quite in time for the bout of sub-zero temperatures we are currently enjoying.

a kind of time travel

having had stumbled over the campion DVDs, i became interested in the campion books by margery allingham. unfortunately, only two are currently in print (mystery mile & sweet danger)! after i had read those, i got keen on more…i’ve never really been interested in second hand books or second hand bookshops, but the only way of keeping the supply of campions going, was to order them second hand via amazon UK — which i did…and it worked out fine: over the last couple of months i’ve kept ordering one margery allingham after the other from all over the UK, and a steady stream of old paperbacks has been finding its way to me.

at the beginning of the week i found another campion in my mailbox when i came home, coroner’s pidgin. it turned out to be a hardcover book published in 1945 in britain, directly after the war! labeled the “new campion story”, it was priced at 8s6d and “printed in great britain at the windmill press, kingswood, surrey”. the back inside of the cover contains what is called in the US a public service announcement for the newly developed BBC general overseas service!

handling and reading that book is really a bit like travelling through time! cool!

p.s.: the BBC general overseas service still exists today, and you can even listen to the old station ident! the wind mill press is mentioned on the recollections of lower kingswood page.

knitting instructions in code

getting a bit carried away earlier this month we ordered knitting patterns from rowan in the UK (dorothee has taken up knitting again) — today we got an email with three PDF files attached which contained the step-by-step instructions…a first look at them left us a bit puzzled:

Row 1 (RS): K1, K1b, P1, K1b, K1. Row 2: K1, (P1, K1) twice. Rep these 2 rows until 142 rows in all completed ending with a WS row. ... 

that looks a bit, hmmm, shall we say unexpected. looks like those knitting instructions have been encrypted: knitting instructions in code…

an hour and several google searches later we manage to decode some of the instructions, some remain a mystery though — i end up ordering the knitter’s bible…somehow, this used to be easier (having a surname that starts with an ‘h’ and due to varying class sizes, i somehow always ended up in textile works instead of wood working or metal working back at school — so i did learn to knit, to sew, to do leather work, to operate a sewing machine, and my self-knitted socks were my pride and joy for years to come [until they really could not be saved any longer, as they were too disintegrated])

slavery about to be reintroduced to US…?

just got the january 1, 2005 wittenburg door newsletter from the wittenburg door (“the world’s pretty much only religious satire magazine”) and here is “a little piece of jetsam that just flotsammed its unsigned way into our offices” (and is making the rounds on the web):

Dear President Bush,

Thanks for doing all you can to defend God’s Law. I understand and agree with your proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. Whenever one of these unbelievers tries to defend “his” or “her” homosexual lifestyle to me, I simply remind them that The Book of Leviticus brands it an abomination. God said it. I believe it. And that’s it. End of conversation.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding a few other elements of God’s Law:

  • Leviticus says I can possess slaves, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. I don’t understand. Why can’t I own Canadians?
  • I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus. Considering her like-new condition, what do you think would be a fair asking price?
  • I know that I am not allowed contact with a woman who is menstruating because she is ceremonially unclean. The problem is how do I know if she is or isn’t? Most women are offended when I ask.
  • When I burn a sacrificial bull on our family altar, I know it creates an odor pleasing to the Lord, but my neighbors say it is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  • I have a neighbor who, in spite of the death penalty prescribed in Exodus, insists on working on the Sabbath. Am I obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
  • I know Leviticus says that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but can I play football if I wear wool gloves?
  • My aunt wears garments made of two kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). She also curses a lot. Do we really have to get the whole town together to stone her? Couldn’t we just burn her to death at a private family affair?

Mr. President, I know you have studied Torah extensively and possess considerable expertise in these weightier matters of the law, so I am confident you can help me. And thanks again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

far-fetched? i hope so…