It’s spring. Deep breath. Smile.

On Sunday we built up the catamaran, our Dart 18, the Seebock. It’s now sitting down by the beautiful Ammersee, ready to go. Looks good, but could use a new trampoline and some lines. The water was 7.5 degrees centigrade, brrrr, so we decided to go and have potato-leek soup and tea (me) and dark beer (him) instead in the beautiful beergarden under the little medieval church.

It was First Communion Sunday, the girls in white and cream, the boys in suits, moms in purple and grandmoms in lilac… and a big sister being flaky in green and purple stockings. Photo ops against a blue-grey-green lake and sky. A few white sails. Flowerpots with pansies and forget-me-nots. Sparrows. Perfect.

I didn’t have anything to take a picture with. Sorry. I’m afraid you’ll just have to take my word for it.

The truth

wallace-mccainSunday was election day here in Bavaria. There are a lot of people who think that this state doesn‘t have a democracy, since it‘s been ruled by the same party for so long that public servants are not seen to be serving anyone but themselves. …
I’ve been thinking about what makes democracy tick as I read a book by David Foster Wallace, the most brilliant writer of my generation in many ways, who killed himself on September 12th, losing his 20-year fight against depression. This book is called „McCain’s Promise“, and it’s about what makes people care enough to get involved in politics. According to Wallace, it comes down to straight talk. Continue reading The truth

Planet Oktoberfest

masskrugOnce a year this city goes totally nuts. I know enough people who can‘t stand the madness that is the Wiesn, as the Oktoberfest ( is known here.  A Wiese is a meadow, and that’s what the Theresienwiese, as the fairgrounds are called, once were, years ago, when King Ludwig and Queen Therese decided to celebrate their wedding here in 1810. In the first years the Oktoberfest was modeled on the ancient Olympics and was actually a sporting event. Today the only sports involved are raising a liter of beer in a glass mug (that‘s just over three pounds) and keeping your balance while you dance on the table (which is not allowed, but everybody does). Oh, and there’s finger wrestling, or Fingerhakln, of course, and running hurdles to get to the restrooms. So the disciplines aren’t too challenging. Continue reading Planet Oktoberfest