Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Farewell to Prien

View from my bedroom window

Snow has arrived here roughly four weeks after it had been wished for. Much to Lulu's disappointment it eluded us at Christmas, which had a perversely bright, warm and summery feel to it, but now it looks like we're going to have a white January, or at least what's left of it. What a surprise I got this morning when I looked out of the window opposite my bed and saw the rooftops of the neighbouring houses padded with a crisp white layer of snow. The main road running past the house was white, the pavements were white, the branches of the tree outside my window were (and still are at the moment) a Christmassy white. It all looks very nice from inside but I dont know if I'd enjoy messing about outdoors at the moment. The worst thing about snow is what they call "glatteis", in Germany, when snow has been around for a while and turns into a slippery and treacherous layer of ice on which people constantly skid and fall and break their bones - especially the elderly.
View from the living room

Well, this last week has had the typical overtones of leave taking with everyone sighing and wanting to know why I didn't consider making Prien my home. At least that's better than everyone sitting around with bated breath waiting to see the last of me. No doubt when I am actually back I shall be flooded with memories of my time here, playing with Felix, practising the guitar with Lulu, fending off Sammy the cat one of whose past times is to creep up behind me, poke his paws through a slit in my chair and scratch my butt. Our late night conversations over wine (with a cigarette or two thrown in, on occasion, though smoked out on the terrace - not inside the house), the table where I sit with this laptop, surfing the net, writing my blogs and mails, so many things.

Sammy sitting under my wheelchair,
waiting to spring

It's weird but time seems to have no significance whatever. The last four months seem so compressed I could swear I landed here yesterday with a broken ankle. At other times, the day I broke my ankle and phoned Ariela from Frankfurt and she insisted I come and stay with her, seems so far off, like it belongs to another lifetime. The care and attention I've received in this home, well I don't know what to say about it. So I wont try. Instead of asking myself what I have done to deserve all of it and feeling piously modest I decided a while back to just accept and enjoy it and it has worked fine.

Recently there has been a new addition to the household which has added a bit more spice to our lives - Linda, the young woman from Morocco, who helps keep house, looks after Felix, does the occasional shopping and a whole lot of miscellaneous chores. Though she was really shy in the beginning we've started having a lot of fun together and she gets on pretty well with the kids.

So these are the last two and a half days. On Saturday I'll be flying to Cologne to spend a day or two with Ayse and Suhail plans to join me for the weekend. And perhaps if I have time I'll blog again before I leave here. If not some time when I return to Bombay.

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