Couldn’t be Sir, the cook used them all in the raisin bread.”
A very big hello to everybody from a frosty Göβweinstein, where although clouds are as seldom to come by here (is this normal for November?!) as a regular British bus service, the “wintry weather” has nevertheless made its mark and my shorts are very much at the bottom of my suitcase. The cold temperature has clearly constricted the blood flow to my head of late, as I didn’t realise until Wednesday how long it has been since my last blog entry; courtesy of Emma Sawers and Jack Levent who encouraged me to get writing again! I’m very pleased to report that Jack is alive and well in Siberia, despite it being -20 degrees and snowing, scheduled to drop even further to -40 (I just hope he manages to get to Primark in time!). So thank you everybody for all the lovely messages this last week, they’re always very much appreciated. As ever, there is lots to report and recount; I swear that there is literally NEVER a quiet moment here, despite Göβweinstein being absolutely tiny (I reckon that the tag of ‘city which never sleeps’ was wrongly awarded to New York). So here goes.
On average, I believe that around 25% of Facebook statuses consist of something along the lines of: ‘I’m living for the weekend,’ or simply, ‘I can’t wait for the weekend.’ Now I’m sure that I’ll be just the same in 10 years time (not sure if I’ll still have Facebook by then mind you), but for now my personal equivalent of this generic statement is, ‘I can’t wait to work again with Senior Chef Herr Vogl!’ (Bernd’s dad, if you can’t remember). I mean it’s great working in the restaurant, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to get outside and do something a bit different, and invariably Lutz has some task or other for me to do. Nearer the beginning of my time here I helped Lutz renovate a room, which as I’ve previously elaborated was very funny indeed! Last week it was gardening, which in comparison to the high-tempo of the hotel was INCREDIBLY therapeutic; basking in the sun and blues skies making it even more relaxing. Over the weekend I was basically running up and down stairs with flower pots, which despite being very tiring (I’m unfit without question at the moment), I did earn a cheeky 20 Euros. Yesterday however was something EVEN better, and what you can see above is exactly that J . The outdoor steps leading to the secondary Gästehaus were pretty filthy until yesterday (moss and chewing), when Lutz handed me (on first impressions) some sort of futuristic / over-sized pistol. This transpired to be no weapon after all, much to my disappointment, rather a high-powered water sprayer kind of thing, specifically designed to clean concrete. I was at first very surprised that Lutz didn’t want to take up this opportunity himself (what with boys being boys), but I didn’t mind at all being asked to do the honours myself. For approximately an hour I was spraying away (that doesn’t sound too provocative does it?), where I’d say that the job probably only required around 30 minutes, but due to the sheer fun it was I completely milked it. Afterwards the stairs were undoubtedly once again prim and proper (at the cost of the water bill), yet I’d say that the only hard thing about the whole task was resisting the urge to spray Lutz when he had his back turned (trust me it, was very tempting).
In other manual news: Gradually…very gradually…the work in the Werkstatt (tool shed) is nearing completion. I knew that you had all been waiting for the updates! This seemingly never-ending process took another noteworthy step last week when Roland, Christian and I successfully installed a work-bank in the room in a bid to create space for a tools / working ‘area.’ I won’t be forgetting the word Schraubenschlüβel (spanner) for a while. I’d definitely put a significant bet on it! Despite all of this work in the Werkstatt that has been ongoing since before my arrival in Germany, I don’t think that even the most experienced of maid / Putzfrau could thoroughly clean that place, it’s a clean freak’s worst nightmare.
On a sadder note, we all said our goodbyes to Wolfgang the cook yesterday, who is leaving the hotel until next summer (not sure if I’m going to see still be there by then!). This man is among the biggest legends that I’ve ever met, and one of the only people who I’ve never seen stressed; as they say in German, he’s always “mit der Ruhe.” I’ll definitely miss the times (normally between 10 and 12pm, when work is winding down), where Wolgang pops into the bar, and invariably lets us know that he and Ingo are thirsty, so one of us pours them a beer each. And then 10 minutes later, another beer, and so the routine goes. On his final night we all watched Anka cut his hair (she’s just graduated as a hairdresser), and had a good chat around a glass of wine. He passed on his address to me, which I was very chuffed about, and then made me promise that Grace and I would visit him! Cool as a cucumber.
Despite being very proud of my English heritage, I must say that the German “Accident and Emergency” system beats English A &E hands down! I recall my one and only visit to Exeter A&E(thank God) during my first year at university; if you need an alibi then contact Georgia Goldsmith or John Lomax. As far as I can remember I was 1 of 6 patients on the waiting list when I arrived at approximately 12pm (give me credit that I wasn’t even one of the drunken students that often frequents the place of an evening!). All I had was a deep gouge on my toe, hence I hoped that considering there were so few patients waiting, and that my injury was easily treatable (and also because I wanted to go to bed!), that I’d be in and out within an hour. Alas no. 5 hours later, at the crack of dawn, having acquired some butterfly stitches (not even the proper thing) and a complimentary hospital magazine, we three finally emerged from Exeter A&E. We were absolutely exhausted. Now I was really worried that I was on the verge of reliving this horrible experience when Bernd injured his knee around a week ago, and asked whether I could accompany him and Lutz to A&E. However, contrary to all my deepest and darkest fears, we were in and out of the hospital in 45 minutes (and Bernd got a free wheelchair, which is 10 times better than butterfly stitches.) Either people in Göβweinstein and surrounding areas are incredibly cautious people and enjoy following ‘Health and Safety’ regulations, or the ratio of doctors to patients is incredibly disproportionate! Either way, Bernd is on the mend.
So, those were some of the main highlights of the last week. In general discussion, I am as to date still unable to get over how cool Senior Chef Lutz’s car is (it’s a top of the range Mercedes Coupe). Without question, it is the slickest car in the village; even Roland admitted the other day that he shares my opinion. Any excuse for taking his car for a spin, and Lutz will be on it. A couple of days ago I told Lutz that I needed to buy some shampoo from Lidl’s (which is about 150 yards down the road), so how does he react? Immediately he offers to take me there in his car (where in reality it would probably be just as fast to walk). I’m not complaining mind you, I love being seen in that car, it always feels so cool and is 10 times faster than all of those tractors that are almost as common as an 80’s moustache around here.
Deviating slightly off topic, I must quickly say that I am very satisfied with the English national football team’s last two performances against Spain and Sweden, both of which were victories. Although, as you know, I don’t harbour much hope for England at the forthcoming European Championships, it was very reassuring to see that we still have the ability to beat both the bigger and the lesser teams (despite our style of football being rather negative)! Anyway, enough of football. The biggest bit of news I have for you is that I’m flying back to England for a week, jetting off on Tuesday, in order to spend some quality catch up time with my lovely girlfriend Grace. To put it in a nutshell, I really cannot wait! I’ll be blogging again soon though, so don’t worry. It will most likely include some pictures from the week with Grace (I’ll try not to upload too many cheesy ones), but I’m also planning to recap on a strange experience that I experienced only last night; one involving German medieval knights and maidens…