groundforce afternoon

originally our plans for the pentecost weekend had been to do a two day walk in the [napf area](http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napfbergland), a rather nice walking area between lucerne and berne. originally…

well, two weeks ago we set out to find the [“across einsiedeln” geocache](http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=3138e381-2371-4c1c-9d7c-a8e175a604d4) — which was supposed to be a rather simple one in easy terrain. as the weather was quite warm i didn’t put on my mountain boots but instead went in sandals — had i but known… we did find the GPS location of the “across einsiedeln” geocache, but didn’t find the cache itself. looking around i spotted a rather nice hiding place up a slope, climbed it, checked the spot, found nothing, then went back down to mrs d waiting on the path — and, hitting a muddy patch, slipped and twisted my ankle terribly! it hurt quite bad, and we returned home immediately, me grinding my teeth, mrs d trying to support me as well as possible. needless to say we cooled the ankle all afternoon and evening and on monday morning it did look better already.

having worked from home on monday, i decided to give it a try and went to the lab on tuesday — tuesday evening matters were worse: the left foot swollen and hurting like hell. so, wednesday morning i hobbled my way to the A&E at einsiedeln hospital: luckily nothing was broken, but the diagnosis was: torn ligament 🙁 no walks for the next three weeks, and a brace to wear 24×7 for the next two weeks 🙁

so, that kind of spoiled our plans for the pentecost weekend. the foot is improving, luckily, and as of tuesday i’m allowed to drive again. as the weather was fantastic today (grumble, had i but worn those boots), i decided to finally tackle the gardening experiment i had meant to do all along: grow some vegetables and herbs on our balcony. the wooden container i had already assembled during last weekend’s enforced stay-at-home sunday and it was now time to fill it with a mixture of clay spheres (to retain the water) and soil — and, of course, some vegetables and herbs!

a trip to the local garden center (the [“landi”!](http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landi_(Unternehmen))) later i had soil, clay spheres, and a green tomato plant, a san moreno tomato plant, a basil plant, italian parsley, english mint, an oregano plant, chives, french carrots, and an assortment of colourful radish seeds.

here the container once it was filled with soil:

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a pixture of my _buxus buxus_ along with the lavendel — which we planted four weeks ago:

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at the _landi_ i also bought a sheep, can’t have agriculture without sheep, really:

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and here is the final result of my groundforce afternoon:

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now i’m really interested in what this will turn out to be: vegetables in 3 months time or compost in 3 months time? hoping for the vegetable option…

stumbling over words…

_[some german skills required]_

i used to sing in the church choir of the [united methodist church adliswil][emk] back then when we still lived in adliswil. around december of last year michael hug, a very good friend of mine, asked me whether i wanted to take part in the farewell summer concert for viktor hug, long time conductor of the choir[^1] — naturally, having always enjoyed the way viktor leads the choir, i agreed. and so i’m taking the train from rüschlikon almost every thursday night to thalwil, pick up the [mobility car][] there and drive back to adliswil in time for choir practice. then at around 21:30 i “race” back to thalwil, drop off the car at the station, and catch the train back to wädenswil to make the connection to the train to einsieden.

[emk]: http://adliswil.umc-europe.org/
[mobility car]: http://www.mobility.ch/pages/index.cfm?dom=6

[^1]: and, yes, they are related 🙂

tonight we were practicing chorus #24, _der herde gleich_, out of [händel’s _messiah_][messiah] — and although we had had a stab at that one before, tonight i picked up an old german word: _wallen_. it seems to mean _to walk_ and is used like “er wallte seinen weg dahin” (he went his way). i liked it so much, that at arund 21:30 i didn’t just go, no, _ich wallte von dannen_ 🙂

[messiah]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_(Handel)

what a walk

via [spiegel online][] i came across a fascinating [youtube][] video made by christoph rehage who after studying in [beijing][] decided to _walk_ home from beijing to [bad nenndorf][]. now, as you might have noticed, bad nenndorf is not exactly a chinese name[^1] but instead the name of a little town in norther germany, so quite a distance. in fact — and if you take a look at [christoph’s walking map][map], you quickly realize it yourself — just crossing china east to west is a bloody long walk. aside [from doing a photo blog about his experience][tlw], he also took a picture of himself everyday and assembled it into a video clip:

[spiegel online]: http://www.spiegel.de/reise/fernweh/0,1518,621990,00.html
[youtube]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ky6vgQfU24&feature=player_embedded
[beijing]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing
[bad nenndorf]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Nenndorf
[map]: http://www.thelongredline.com/map.htm
[tlw]: http://www.thelongestway.com/

[have a look at his blog,][tlw] fascinating reading!

[^1]: though i’ve heard an american colleague (jokingly) passing off his german/austrian/swiss-originating name as being scottish to another american colleague — with the latter one believing it 😀