ladies’ night…

erlangen’s cinestar cinema has a “ladies’ night”, the cinelady, once a month (the last wednesday each month), tonight’s showing is a preview of the latest pride & prejudice dramatization! doro has secured tickets weeks in advance and we are off to the movies tonight!

cinelady turns out to be a bit biased against us blokes: all female members of the audience get a glass of prosecco, the male participants get — nothing (as one of the “ladies” present [not my lady, i hasten to add] feels urged to explain to me in a rather gloating manner). hmph. doro very kindly, though, lets me sip from her glass.

it’s a huge room: seating easily between 400 and 500 persons. tonight, though, it’s chock-full with ladies; a woman next to us starts counting the men present, it looks like the fingers of one hand suffice…

after a bit of advertisements and previews of other movies, the lights are turned up again and the cinelady organisers appear on stage: a lottery! and doro wins a voucher for a cocktail in the downstairs bar! definitely my lady’s night 🙂

the remake of pride and prejudice is quite well done: in contrast to the BBC version of 1995 it’s faster paced (out of necessity due to it being slightly over 2 hours long) but the essentials are there, and it manages to convey a more accurate picture of the social conditions at the time. quite well-done all in all — only drawback (judging by the grunts of disappointment rippling through the audience after the last scene): no wedding scene…

we conclude with cocktails (free one for doro, non-free one for me) at the downstairs bar.

a trip to the turn of the 20th century

12:07 — we catch the RE train to coburg, a trip that takes 1h 15min but also takes you back over 100 years to the the turn of the 20th century (the point in time where the 19th century is calling it a day and the 20th is eager to get going): though having its share of modern buildings (most visibly, the headquarters of the HUK coburg insurance company when you leave the station towards the city) it has lots and lots of 1900s (or thereabouts) villas and buildings.

we have a light snack at the stadtcafe coburg — an interesting mixture of art déco and modern architecture — and then meander through the old inner city part towards the market square (short stop at the bookshop riemann — where i cannot resist the rather thick but also rather interesting die grenze durch deutschland: eine chronik von 1945 bis 1990 by roman grafe, a chronicle of the inner german border, the iron curtain, focusing on the area around probstzella).

after taking a look at the statue of albert of saxe-coburg, prince consort of queen victoria (very decent statue, his alleged innovation not on display) we then make our way past the rathaus to schloss ehrenburg and on into the hofgarten: a really nice park with lots of deciduous trees and green spaces — we love it!

from the hofgarten we climb up the stairs to the veste coburg. most of the castle (supposedly one of the largest still remaining castles in germany) is currently under renovation, but still it’s an impressive sight and site and the views across franconia are spectacular.

finally, we make our way back through the hofgarten to the market square and have a late tea/coffee at café feyler — lovely place; again, decorated in the style of the early 20th century.

we take the 18:35 RE train back to erlangen, back to the present.

dinner tonight is, fittingly, in the goldene harfe, an old frankonian pub.

all in all an interesting day 🙂

a visit to the reichsparteitagsgelände

it’s early monday afternoon and we have just entered the reichsparteitagsgelände, the parading and rally grounds of the NSDAP in the 1930s and 1940s — ahead of us lies the “fascination and terror” exhibition. it takes us all the way from the beginnings of the NSDAP in the 1920s to its end in 1945 and also to the nürnberg trials.

17:00 — we are in the literatur café in downtown nürnberg. both of us are still impressed and moved by the documents, pictures, films, and sound recordings on display in the document centre. it’s difficult to see how one could have behaved different than herr meier-müller-schmidt during the third reich: cut off from almost all impartial news sources, subjected to a constant barrage of propaganda, under pressure and terrorized by the nazi party’s SA, SS, and gestapo. and yet, i hope i’d have the guts and the intelligence to resist, to oppose — and to do so in a meaningful and effective way (and with “effective” i’m thinking “sustained”).

before heading back home we go for a bit of shopping at breuninger’s: three new trousers and a winter jacket for me.

cod copenhagen

ingredients:

  • 500g cod fillets
  • sliced pumpernickel bread, enough to cover a 10×20cm baking pan
  • 2 tablespoons of whole-grain mustard
  • one thin leek, chopped into thin slices and washed thoroughly
  • small onion, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed & chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 50g parmesan/parmeggiano cheese, grated
  • squirt of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt & pepper for seasoning

preparation:

  1. preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. pour the olive oil into a 10×20cm baking pan
  3. arrange enough slices of pumpernickel bread to cover the base of the baking pan
  4. heat the butter in a pan and add the chopped onion and leek, and let them soften for about 5min
  5. add the capers and mustard to the leeks and onions, stir well and turn the heat off immediately
  6. spread the leek–onion–mustard–capers mixture over the prepared pumpernickel
  7. season with salt & pepper
  8. place the cod fillets on top of the leek–onion–mustard–capers mixture, squirt lemon juice onto it, and season once more with salt & pepper
  9. cover with parmesan/parmeggiano cheese
  10. bake in the oven for 30min.

serve on warm plates together with a nice white wine 🙂

airport oddities

by now i should have been in copenhagen, instead we are still in the air, the flight got off about 1 hour 20 min late: fog in copenhagen. everything was going on time, half the passengers (well, half the number of passengers, got to be careful here) were already inside the airport bus for SAS flight SK 600 when the ground staff stopped boarding and de-boarded the bus as well. the plane is an MD-80 and as i’m sitting in one of the front rows it’s surprisingly quiet. and the seats have considerably more leg space than swiss is offering…hmmm…

anyway, visiting the lavatory in terminal B at Zurich i noticed that zurich airport is providing baby changing stations. interesting, that. i guess that if you grow tired of your baby, you can change it at those baby changing station for another one.

speaking of airport lavatories: heathrow airport (at least terminal 4) for a some years now no longer has a gentlemen’s lavatory nor a ladies’s lavatory, no, they have male and female lavatories. now, this is interesting. i’d understand the concept of male’s lavatory or a female’s lavatory, but a male one or a female one? and, thinking about it that poses the question of where do you go to if you are a heterosexual male (or female) person?

weird.

waiting for the music…

it’s past 22:00, dorothee and i have been in erlangen’s markgrafentheater for a bit over two hours now — the plan was to enjoy a bit of good baroque music. the concert, titled “about baroque” was scheduled to start at 20:00…well, we are still waiting for the music to start.

so far we’ve had the musicians from the “freiburger barockorchester” carry out an ambitious, well-orchestrated, and technically no doubt very demanding attack on their various instruments. the strings have taken most of the beating so far with their, well, strings, being severly plugged, pulled and jerked every which way (alas, i have to say that their hearts don’t appear to be in it: they don’t manage to break any of the strings). the flutes and winds have been treated much better, none of that let’s-beat-the-flute-over-the-organist’s-head — though, that might be due to the fact that the organist has been replaced by a couple of mini-paperweights that are every so often taken from one key and put onto another — resulting in really long drawn out tunes and, as dorothee so aptly remarks, also resulting in the creeping conviction that we suffer from a sudden collective case of tinnitus.

the program lists

schweitzer’s piece made it rather clear, that this is anything but baroque music…the only way this could remotely be considered baroque is the way that everything appears to be programmed: think a bunch of robots trying to play instruments (that is, first generation robots with all the inherent flaws). when vassena’s bagatelli came on, people started to leave in droves — rather disappointed it seems, one man even left the theatre banging the doors. michel van der aa’s imprint was the only piece that was approaching music — but, as the old saying goes, “close, but no cigar.” after the break (“to go or not to go! that is the question to be solved. whether to go and perchance to have a beer?” to paraphrase william s.) julianne klein’s folge mir nach and rebecca saunder’s rubricare did little to improve matters: carefully arranged noise, avoiding the logical grand finale of the musicians smashing their kit on the floor…but music? no, not even close: my downstairs neighbour has a rather shy tom cat that often looses out to the cats of the neighbourhood; a couple of days ago the cats were having another go at it in the middle of the night — that was more melodic than “about baroque”…

p.s.: the critic from kulturradio was a bit more polite