Sunday, June 17, 2007


I've been indoors all day, drinking coffee and eating cookies and reading Terry Pratchett's "Men at arms." All very pleasant, but in the end too much of a good thing, and I am now suffering an upset stomach and the withdrawal symptoms of a fading sugar rush. I shall go for a walk around the Feuersee after posting this.

The celebration was quite fun in a dull way, a pleasant two days in the countryside. We stayed overnight in a hotel adjoining the building, which sits in a clearing on a wooded hillside just outside the town, with views to the west across Niederbayern; once the building work (and the quarry on the opposite hillsite) had stopped for the night, the clearing was absolutely silent. I slept with the balcony doors open, and heard nothing but crickets and birdsong. How wonderful. One of the highpoints of the trip was breakfast on Friday, on the hotel terrace: I turned my chair perpendicular to the table and sat with my bare feet on the lawn and the hotel cat in my lap, drinking coffee and eating scrambled eggs on toast while the others read highlights from the newspaper reports to each other. (G asked, "Udge with a cat in his lap? how can this be?" I replied that I'd picked up the habit in Portugal.)

I am in two minds about the countryside. I loved being there, with the quiet and fresh air, surrounded by grass and trees; but I'm quite sure that I could not live in a small town for more than a week before suffering an extreme case of cultural claustrophobia. It was instructive (shall we say) to sit at the mayor's table after lunch, drinking with the town council, to realize the extent to which everyone knew every detail of everyone else's life, and to see the limits of those lives. Several present had never been to Munich, less than 200 km away. It was actually a relief to stop at the Chinesischer Turm restaurant in Munich on the way home, to be back in the noisy, bustling anonymity of a big city again.

To my surprise and pleasure, G and U paid for everything; I hadn't expected that. It's pleasing to be reminded after all of my whining in recent months that they are good people; they're just not particularly good bosses.

(There will be photos and reports posted elsewhere, which will not be linked here to prevent customers and colleagues finding my blog. Anyone who wishes to know more is welcome to mail me, I'll reply with a URL or two.)

And with that an era comes to an end. I don't know what will be next, hopefully something good.

Last week's Friday Favourite is a song from 1975 from this album. Enjoy.

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Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Ah yes, the joys of a small town. When everybody knows you purchased some new socks.
But you don't need to be in a small town to have that 'I like it here better' attitude - years ago I worked for United Technologies in California, and they frequently sent me back to home base in Hartford Connecticut. They are the largest employer in that state. Took my wife along sometimes (usually 2 week trips) and we went to Boston one weekend. It's about 100km, and most people were amazed we were going that far, and just for the weekend? Some had been there for high school trips. County population around Hartford population is over a million.

June 18, 2007 at 4:43:00 p.m. GMT+2  

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