Dave the motorhome is steaming up, reversed into a dedicated motorhome parking spot in the corner of an immaculate sports centre car park in Olsberg (N51.35649 E8.48448).
A lorry load of wood arrived at our friends’ house a few days before we arrived and was stacked up, much the familiar sight across much of Germany. When they moved here from the UK a few years ago, I recall the stories of the winters, weeks of sub minus ten degrees C. This is topped off with piles of snow, which you’re legally obliged to shift from the path outside each day. A house a few doors down from theirs has exterior insulation, looking like a normal rendered house but when you knock it with your knuckles (I couldn’t help but try it), it sounds hollow, weird. Basically, winter is coming, and we’re wimping out. Dave’s natural instincts have kicked in, and he’s heading south.
Bruce and Andrea are a fabulous couple, blessed with a heap of energy, talent and wonderful kids, one of whom I’m proud to say is my god son. After the confines of Dave, where our silent reading is often only interrupted by a snoring dog, their house was like stepping through the cinema screen into a whirlwind of activity. Andrea is easily the All Action Hero of the house, dashing about cooking, cleaning, admonishing, encouraging, cuddling and, on occasion, shouting loudly. Of course we loved it, especially when Bruce whipped out his wheat beer and we, again, got drunk, this time hitting the sack at about 2am, lightweights. It was a real treat to see them again.
The rain has continued to pour down on Germany. Driving south we quickly found ourselves in Bavaria-esque forested rolling countryside, sheets of water giving the illusion of floating along a dark river of a road. After pulling into a small town for a couple of hours to enable Ju to pack in a power-nap, we decided to keep heading south, drawn along by the promise of imminently ice-clad Alps. As Friday evening VWs and Audis nipped past us on their commute home, the rain kicked up a light mist which rolled across the road, hiding the view, so we’re not entirely sure what we’re surrounded by. The town behind us seems a small idyll, half clad with shaped grey tiles, towering over authentically narrow roads. Since we’ve not celebrated out anniversary yet and, amazingly, last week was under budget, we’ll go see if we can’t find some local nosh.
And for those of you hard of hearing, for once you may be glad of the affliction, as here’s a tortuous Ukulele rendition of It Must Be Love (thanks for tabs Vaughan!).
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