I am looking at a map of Regensburg and realising how swiftly one forgets the racing of the heart which results when eyes feast on that little slither of land between Danube and Danube Canal – that jewel of whitewashed houses, others rainbow colours – where I lived close to the bone in the spine of Europe’s greatest river. How swiftly I forgot that the Kanalbrücke’s real name is the Protzenweiherbrücke – and that Fischmarkt leads to Keplerstrasse, the Freibad sits on Lieblstrasse, the Pfaffensteinerbrücke and motorway cuts across the river at the Altstadt’s western edge, the last crossing until Mariaort. Examining the map elicits other remembrances. The route I used to ride to school, a furious pedal zig-zagging from stone bridge to iron, up Weissgerbergraben, overtaking yellow buses at Arnulfsplatz. Sipping green tea on the street (Rote-Hahnen-Gasse, the map tells me) at Cafe Lila with Julia for the first time, dawdling in the doorway, umbrellas in hand as a May thunderstorm crashed overhead. I clutched warm laptop to chest, fresh from the white …
My friend recently sent me some forgotten pictures from my 22nd birthday, and reminded me what a lovely evening it was. Dreamy chocolate cake, wonderful company, girl reunions on the sofa and I was rather spoilt. These pictures make me so glad my birthday is in the winter – a chance to have a necessary celebration in that cold, gloomy season. It was excellent.
I may be cosied up with a running nose, but salvation arrives in the knowledge that today – 20th March – is the official first day of spring (and another officially important day. You know who you are!) It may furthermore be rainy and dull outside my window, but I am nonetheless filled with joy at the prospect of the coming season – this glorious season of sunset walks, burgeoning flowerbeds, picnics just because, sandals, bare ankled bike rides and dappled light. I am looking forward to working hard and playing hard (the latter to denote something along the lines of: riding my bike to an appropriate green space, eating strawberries, lying in the sun and rhapsodising on my favourite season until dusk.) Happy first day of spring! *pictures from a Bavarian spring (the best)
I still have four limbs!
Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mother who is my best friend and can make me laugh until I’m crying even when I’m grumpy. She looks like a film star with the most radiant smile, throws the most stunning dinner parties at the drop of a hat, knows how to have fun in any situation, makes Christmas magical and decorates the house like nobody else, cooks the most exquisite (and seemingly effortless) meals, is the most kind and honest woman I know and manages to do/be all of the above alongside a demanding (and worthy) job, various voluntary commitments and the running of a household with complete grace and joy. Mama, you are the best and I love you.