the second spirituality weekend at schloss schwanberg

just back from the second (of five) [spirituality weekends this year][spirit] at [schloss schwanberg][] — a dense, challenging and very productive weekend. i experience it as quite liberating to learn and work together with christians from all confessions (catholic to lutheran to methodist to baptist)! puts a lot of our confessional bickering into perspective…

[spirit]: http://www.akademie-st-paul.org/ausbildung/leiterkurs/index.html
[schloss schwanberg]: http://www.schwanberg.de/

when i made the decision to apply for this education my wish was to get out of my personal belief comfort zone, to be challenged belief-wise, and to intensify the relationship with god — it’s turning out to be all of that and more! i usually try to maintain my privacy and become uncomfortable when people get too close — sometimes i wish it weren’t so, but that’s the way i am, i guess — and i also try not to “violate” the privacy sphere of those i work with or encounter (yeah, good old [kant][]). participating in the [sacrament of washing the feet][] of my co-learners was, thus, quite a challenge for me — which i eventually decided to take on (and, no, i didn’t have to do this, there really is no peer pressure, others in our course did not participate and that was accepted as well — it’s a rather open and non-pressurized learning environment). it is a humbling experience — both to be the receiver as well as being the giver of that sacrament, but it’s also a liberating experience.

[kant]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_Imperative
[sacrament of washing the feet]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2013:1-17;&version=31;

a good weekend — i’m looking forward to the next one.

dining…london underground style…

BBC1 London’s regional news just had a sequence about a group of art students dining out…on the london underground! here’s the [youtube.com video][ut]:

[ev type=”youtube” data=”ywLhNwSBizE”][/ev]

according to the beeb, [london underground][lu] found it amusing but stressed that the tube is not really a place for having dinners…funny that. the news clip also mentioned that in the 1930s there were even [_real_ dining cars, pullman cars, being used on the metropolitan line!](http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/metropolitan.html)

[ut]: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ywLhNwSBizE
[lu]: http://london-underground.blogspot.com/

argh…5min of rosamunde pilcher are about enough

having watched german news on TV i caught the head end of tonight’s [rosamunde pilcher drama-soap-we-only-watch-it-because-of-the-scenery-you-know][rp] — which was billed as taking place on the isle of wight. yes, i had to keep on watching.

[rp]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosamunde_Pilcher

the young, engaged-to-be-married, couple are arriving by the lymington-yarmouth ferry and are collected by an old school friend of him. the usual banter ensues and finally they make it to the car of the school friend and drive off: **in the direction of newport**. a sinister looking young man is observing them all the time and drives off in the direction of freshwater to the south.

_—cut—_

next scene: they are still in the car, but driving up the cliff road **towards freshwater bay** (the one that takes you past the golf course there before dropping down to freshwater bay). now, you have take do a pretty good detour to start off from yarmouth in the west towards newport in the east and then come back towards freshwater bay! even worse, why not drive directly south? the only logical explanation at this point is that either

* the old schoolfriend is a bit on the daft side and is clueless about the isle of wight (hard to believe from the plot of the movie so far)
* they have decided to the scenic route and are in fact driving around the whole of the island.

well…

_—cut—_

next scene: our lost-on-the-isle-of-wight threesome is still cruising around, this time they are on the approach road to the cliff road! that pretty much rules out the scenic road possibility and only leaves the only explanation that they all are a bit daft and on their *second round around the island!*

faced with the choice of

1. watching the rest of the movie with the sound off
2. having dinner and switching the whole thing off

i opt for number 2 (and barely 5min into the movie).

in case you wondered: the title of the movie was _flügel der hoffnung_ — yes, a german movie. for some strange reason us germans are besotted with the english, english landscapes and sceneries. the [german wikipedia page about rosamunde pilcher][rp-movies-de] lists about 73 movies (all of them in german, BTW), whereas the [english wikipedia page][rp-movies-en] just lists about 2. go figure 🙂

[rp-movies-de]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosamunde_Pilcher#Verfilmungen
[rp-movies-en]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosamunde_Pilcher#DVD_Release

quite some pain in the nether-regions…

at 10:00 this morning we started testing mountain bikes. our bike shop, _[freilauf][]_ had prepared a couple of bikes for us to test ride. north of [erlangen][] is the _burgberg_ (castle mountain, though there is (a) no castle left [was there ever one? hmm], and (b) it’s not a mountain on the swiss scale of mountains, really) and we used the uphill path as test circuit — meaning a 10min ride through town followed by 15min up the hill…

while mrs d bowed out of the exercise after trying two bikes, i keep on test riding — all in all i must have done the circuit about 6-8 times — and, yes, i did buy a mountain bike in the end 😉 but talk about “a pain in the …”

[freilauf]: http://www.feineraeder.de/index.php?id=6
[erlangen]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlangen

a worship service, a walk, dark beer, the tart express

after this morning’s worship service we went for a walk to [weißenohe][]. getting there was actually quite simple: we took the 209 bus from [zollhaus][] to [eschenau][] and changed to the [gräfenberg train][], getting off at weißenohe. easy peasy 🙂

[zollhaus]: http://www.fen-net.de/er/blank/zollhaus.htm
[eschenau]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschenau_%28Eckental%29
[gräfenberg train]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A4fenbergbahn
[weißenohe]: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wei%C3%9Fenohe

from weißenohe we walk in the direction of _dorfhaus_ and then towards the _lillach springs_, notable for their [travertine terrasses][] — and with us crowds and crowds of (slow moving) sunday afternoon walkers 😉

[travertine terrasses]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travertine

once past the lillach springs we are by ourselves rather quickly (it also helps that the path goes uphill now 😉 and we enjoy the quietude after the “highway” just a moment ago. by the time we reach the turnoff to gräfenberg it’s already 17:00 and we decide to cut the walk short and return to weißenohe to catch the train back — which almost works out. the weißenohe _[klosterbräu][]_ brewery, however, throws a spanner into our plans: we cannot resist its temptation of a frankonian dinner complete with a good local brew…

[klosterbräu]: http://www.klosterbrauerei-weissenohe.de/

…we leave with the train two hours later, filled up with a good meal along with a couple of pints of good weißenohe klosterbräu beer…

at eschenau we change into the 209 bus again, which is going back to erlangen. it turns out to be an interesting ride: at each bus stop we collect some more of the local _landjugend_, the female members of which are dressed up rather tartly. i can’t resist naming the 209 bus the _tart express_ (yes, i know, bad, bad, bad).