Category Archives: Bad Feilnbach

Birthdays of Beer, Dragon Slayers, Authors and a Date with a Singing Cow

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This week we had a very important day with regard to beer, dragons, authors and a singing cow called Uddele (not to be confused with Adele). The day was 23rd April. Let me start by explaining its significance for beer.

On 23rd April 1516 the Bier Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law was passed in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt (this law was originally proposed in 1487 but they need a bit of time to think about it). The law stipulated that German beer could only be made from water, barley and hops and must be priced between 1-2 Pfennig per Mass (if you have been to the Munich Beer festival you will appreciate that a mass is a rather large glass – and the price has gone up!).

Advertisement for Rosenheim Beer first produced in 1543
Advertisement for Rosenheim Beer first produced in 1543

In those days people didn’t realise that yeast was essential to the fermentation process. We had to wait until 1860 for Louis Pasteur to prove that fermentation was caused by living micro-organisms. Prior to his discovery brewers knew that a successful brew benefited by adding the sediment from a previous fermentation to the new batch. The yeast organisms were transferred in this sediment and quickly reproduced, causing the new batch to ferment. Yeast could find itself into the beer mix even if it wasn’t added through the ‘old’ sediment when the brewer exposed the vats to the surrounding air. This would allow natural yeast and bacteria from the atmosphere to fall into the mix, start replicating and ferment the ingredients.

The Beer Purity Law was introduced in Bavaria to stop brewers competing with bakers for wheat and rye in order to ensure that bread remained affordable for the common folk. When the States which now make up Germany became unified in 1871 the Bavarian State insisted that the Beer Purity Law must be applied throughout the country as a precondition of their membership. This led to the dominance in Germany of Pilsner type beers and some of the more exotic local beers like the northern spiced or cherry beers became extinct (although they flourished over the border in places like  Belgium). Needless to say there were some brewers who refused to be pushed around by the Bavarians. As a result you can still enjoy a Koelner Koelsch or a Duesseldorfer Altbier if you visit Cologne or Duesseldorf. Long live beer diversity!

Alpine View in April
Alpine view in April (Wendelstein mountain overlooking Bad Feilnbach in Bavaria)

The original beer purity law was later succeeded by the Provisional German Beer Law which allowed additional ingredients to be added like yeast, wheat malt and cane sugar (but prohibits the use of unmalted barley). The German Beer Law still applies to all domestically produced beers although under EU legislation it is now possible to import beers made from other ingredients.

So next time you visit the Munich Beer Festival (the Oktoberfest which confusingly starts in September) just remember that the 23rd April 1516 was when the brewing rules where first laid down (and also remember to book your hotel rooms well in advance for the 500th birthday of beer in 2016!).

Alpine House Wall Pictures 1 St George
Alpine House Wall Pictures 1 St George

Today when I came down from taking RISKKO for his afternoon mountain walk I noticed a painting on the wall of one of the houses which reminded me of another reason to celebrate 23rd April. It is St George’s day and the painting was of a soldier on a horse fighting with a dragon. In the year 303 George, an imperial guard of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, was decapitated in the city of Nicomedia for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His body was then returned to Lydda in the Holy Land, the country of his birthplace where the Christian community honoured him as a martyr.

During the reign of Constantine (AD 306-337 the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity) a church was build in Lydda and was consecrated to a man of the highest distinction. This was almost certainly George (or Georgius – in Latin).  In AD 494 George was canonised as a saint by the Pope (Gelasius 1). The church in Lydda was destroyed in 1010 but was rebuilt and dedicated to St. George by the Crusaders. This was again destroyed in during the 3rd Crusade (1189-1192 – yes the crusade fought by Richard the Lionheart, and perhaps even supported in some small way by Sir Henry Duggleby, our dear ancestor who was born around 1115 in Yorkshire, England: See the Duggleby History page using the link here).

Painting of St George killing (hidden) dragon on a German Wall
Painting of St George killing (hidden) dragon on a German Wall

At the time of the Crusades the Christian martyr St George became famous across Europe. In 1190 the City of London adopted the St. George’s flag (a red cross on a white background) for their ships entering the Mediterranean. This allowed them during the crusades to benefit from the protection of the Genoese fleet (for which the English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa). The English Synod of Oxford declared St. George’s day a feast day in the Kingdom of England in 1222. Although the Reformation in England dramatically reduced the number of saint’s days in the church calendar, the day of St. George, 23rd April, was one that continued to be observed as a holiday.

And what about the dragon I hear you asking? This part of the legend of Saint George, in which he fought with a dragon, was brought back to Europe from the Holy Land by the Crusaders. Although St George was depicted before this time as a soldier the true origins of the dragon legend are unknown. It is thought by some that this was a way of depicting the fight between the Christians and the devil or perhaps the fight against the Roman Empire (or both). Whatever the true origin of the legend, it would appear that George was one of the most courageous early Christians who died painfully for his beliefs at the hands of the Romans.

English Pub and Swans by Surrey Canal
English Pub and Swans by Surrey Canal – April Scene by Chris Duggleby

Now, let me move to the third important reason to celebrate the 23rd April. This is the day when, in 1564, William Shakespeare was born. Interestingly it is also the day when, in 1616, he died. As the research into the Duggleby family tree highlighted it was much easier to be clear about dates of deaths hundreds of years ago than about dates of births. There were no birth records at that time, whereas the dates of deaths were usually written on gravestones and were also included on official documents like those confirming the reading of the last will and testament.

Therefore although 23rd of April was certainly the date when Shakespeare died, his date of birth was deduced in the main from two pieces of evidence. We know he was Baptized in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26th. According to the English Prayer Book at that time a baptism must occur no later than the Sunday, or other Holy day, after the birth. On his tomb it states he died on 23rd April 1616 aged 53. Since he was born in 1564 the presumption was made that he died on his birthday (if he had died before his birthday he should have been 52).

English Canal Scene in April
English Canal Scene to celebrate St. George’s day on 23rd April by Chris Duggleby

Whatever debate exists about his birth date the date of Shakespeare death is unquestionably 23rd April 1616. So get booking your 2016 hotel rooms in Stratford-upon-Avon and near the Globe theatre in London early. You may have noticed that the 500th anniversary of both Shakespeare’s death and the German Beer Purity Law fall on the same day? This will also be St George’s day. Anticipate some pretty ‘fluid’ celebrations.

Moving on now to a less historical subject but one that is nevertheless very important those around me: this week RISKKO, my faithful guard dog, replied to an advertisement in the famous doggy music magazine the ‘Rolling Bone’. Uddele, the famous English singing cow, had placed an advertisement for a Rapper to join her in her next musical adventure. RISKKO is prolific when it comes to wrapping so he asked me to help him to reply. Low and behold within a couple of days Uddele turned up at our Alpine pad in her convertible BMW to interview RISKKO and carry out some sound trials in our music studio. There will be more on this exciting development in RISKKO’s music career next week but for now here is a picture of the two of them having fun in Uddele’s convertible (for once it was sunny!).

I bet you can’t wait until next week!

Uddele the Singing Cow Visits RISKKO in her Convertible
Uddele the Singing Cow (please note not Adele) visits RISKKO in her Silver Convertible Sports Car

If you found this article interesting you might also like to take a look at some of my other recent reviews. Just click on the titles below:

19th April 2014: German Police Catch Hedgehogs Testing Home Made Crash Helmetsin Saarbrücken

17th April 2014: Niche On-line Dating Services (Specialities: HerpesThrush andGenital Warts)

31st March 2014: Women In the Army: Germany – Problems with Sexual Harassment,Scandinavian Solution ….Sleeping Together

18th March 2014: Germany and Finland Joint Investigation: New Case of Sexual Cannibalism Including Self-mutilation (Castration) During Intercourse.

7th March 2014: Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Discovered in France – Potential for European Ecosystem Disaster

4th March 2014: 30,000 Year old giant virus found in the Siberian Permafrost and ‘resurrected’ – it is still infectious!

2nd March 2014: Wolves are better at learning from their ‘pals’ than dogs.Through domestication dogs have lost a capability that is key to success in the wild.

24th February 2014: Ant Wars: Crazy Ants deploy Chemical Warfare against Poisonous Fire Ants and their Amphibious Craft.

9th March 2013: Insects getting hooked on psychoactive drugs – How plants take advantage of bees by giving them a caffeine buzz.

29th December 2012: Spreading diarrhea and vomit through the washing machine – The Norovirus propagator in our kitchen. 

23rd December 2012: Lower Saxony puts naked winter sports event on ice for safety reasons following massive popularity of undressed ladies on sledges and fears of over exposure. 

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

If you like this kind of news there are plenty more exciting articles on my Alpine Press contents page which you can find here. Why not add this site to your browser favourites or subscribe to get regular updates?

Love on the Beach (or Pink Lips gets a new Italian Convertible)

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This week I have decided that the blog entry should have a romantic flavour and there are two recent events that have reinforced my view that love is alive and kicking both in the Southern Hemisphere and also here ‘up North’.

Let’s start with the sunny end. Recently, Lorraine and Ian, the couple who live in the Villa next to my pad in Cape Town, decided to get married. Sadly because of an urgent assignment in another country with the RiskBusters I was unable to attend the wedding ceremony. I had to leave South Africa just as it was starting.

Just before the wedding - strolling on Llandudno Beach
Just before the wedding – Lorraine and Ian strolling on Llandudno Beach

So, in order to participate ‘in spirit’ the love birds asked me if I would help them to put together some photos for the invitations. So the three of us trundled off down to Llandudno beach, camera in hand, and captured some sun and passion (despite getting sand into those inconvenient, itchy places).

Just before the wedding - one last look into your eyes on Llandudno Beach
Just before the wedding – one last look into your eyes on Llandudno Beach

This means that although I couldn’t be physically at the ceremony, I was involved indirectly. In fact I hear from the now happily married couple that they also decided to turn some of the photos into table mats. This means I can also join in whenever they have a romantic meal, looking into each other’s eyes, and perhaps inadvertently dribbling onto my lovely artwork!

With you in spirit if not in person!
With you in spirit if not in person!

Now, the second romantic event for this week’s blog was prompted when I turned up at the Car hire counter upon arrival at my usual alpine airport. Helga, the friendly lady at the counter, could hardly control her enthusiasm. “Mr Dog-I’ll-buy how luverly to experience your person coming again: I wud like to give you somezing extra special in der VIP carpark: Do you like Italian sports cars?”

I felt my pulse rising in anticipation but tried to stay cool: “Well only if they are red” I lied.

“Null Problemo! Der roof is red but if you don’t like it you can pull the nob and get off with it”

Even before I got to the car I had already sent a text to my partner, Pink Lips, who was waiting for me in the apartment: “Get your head scarf out, tomorrow we are going out in my Italian Sports Convertible”. I couldn’t wait to see what Helga wanted to give me in the VIP car park. Was it a Maserati GranCabrio or perhaps a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.

Riskko and Pink Lips enjoying the air in their new Italian Convertible
Riskko and Pink Lips enjoying the air in their new Italian Convertible

Next day Pink Lips was up at the crack of dawn, dressed in a bright red ribbon for her trip in the convertible. Even our dog RISKKO was already sitting in his basket with his tail wagging. So we waited for the rain to stop and then jumped into the masterpiece of Italian style and engineering craftsmanship. I hadn’t realised that the Fiat 500 was also available as a convertible.

By the time we got to the supermarket the rain had almost stopped, so while I was doing the shopping Pink Lips and RISKKO tried to work out how to get the roof down. Fortunately I had not left a can opener in the car.

Riskko helps Pink Lips get the roof of the Italian Convertible down
RISKKO helps Pink Lips get the roof of the Italian Convertible down

I returned to the car with this weekend’s provisions and found that the two of them had succeeded in getting the roof down. They were showing off to the other shoppers in the supermarket car park and having a cuddle in their shiny brand new Italian convertible!

Sadly it started to rain again so we had to put the roof up and return home. Pink Lips asked me whether the Car Hire lady knew I was from Yorkshire – she had noticed the fuel gauge on my ‘sports’ car had hardly moved since I picked it up. We managed to get through a whole weekend of alpine touring and had only consumed about 14 litres of fuel. I explained it probably had something to do with the aerodynamic shape. I also pointed out that in Yorkshire we would probably add in a few design improvements like bigger side pockets for the ferrets (this would make it into a true ‘sports’ car). I would also have added a couple of straps at the front so it could be fastened onto the Donkey. This would improve the fuel consumption even further. Italian style and Yorkshire frugality!

At this point RISKKO decided to be sick in his basket. Time to go home.

If you haven’t seen their latest video yet just type RISKKO into You Tube or try this following link! Please note that some of the less respectable videos you might come across when you type Pink Lips into the search engine are not mine.

Riskko and Pink Lips schmoozing in their new Italian Convertible
RISKKO and Pink Lips schmoozing in their new Italian Convertible

Have a romantic week!

Chris Duggleby

If you found this review interesting you may also find some of my other recent articles worth checking out. To view these simply click over the titles below:

31st March 2014: Women In the Army: Germany – Problems with Sexual Harassment,Scandinavian Solution ….Sleeping Together

18th March 2014: Germany and Finland Joint Investigation: New Case of Sexual Cannibalism Including Self-mutilation (Castration) During Intercourse.

7th March 2014: Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Discovered in France – Potential for European Ecosystem Disaster

4th March 2014: 30,000 Year old giant virus found in the Siberian Permafrost and ‘resurrected’ – it is still infectious!

2nd March 2014: Wolves are better at learning from their ‘pals’ than dogs.Through domestication dogs have lost a capability that is key to success in the wild.

24th February 2014: NAZI Research into the use of Mosquitoes as Biological Weapons to Infect Allied Troops with Malaria.

24th February 2014: Ant Wars: Crazy Ants deploy Chemical Warfare against Poisonous Fire Ants and their Amphibious Craft.

9th March 2013: Insects getting hooked on psychoactive drugs – How plants take advantage of bees by giving them a caffeine buzz.

29th December 2012: Spreading diarrhea and vomit through the washing machine – The Norovirus propagator in our kitchen. 

28th December 2012: If you want to suck on my worm you had better whistle my song! 

23rd December 2012: Lower Saxony puts naked winter sports event on ice for safety reasons following massive popularity of undressed ladies on sledges and fears of over exposure. 

22nd December 2012: German tax authorities require lorry drivers to keep a toilet log-book(“LKV Fiscal Bog Log”).

25th August 2012: Sex Tax declared a success by Bonn – once again Germany leads the way in fiscal innovation with high-tech self-service sex tax collection system.

18th August 2012: Polar Bear dies of Encephalitis after catching Herpes from a Zebra in Wuppertal Zoo near Düsseldorf.

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

11th August 2012: Do you have killer rats/mice in your cellar? Over 2000 people attacked in Germany so far this year (Hantavirus Infections at record levels).

28th July 2012: Naked Night Swimming in the Lakes Around Munich (costumes and towels are for wimps!)

28th July 2012: Naked In-line Skating in Dachau (Is this Germany’s Preparation for a new Olympic Event? – Watch out Beach Volleyball!)

7th July 2012: Sexual Equality in the Black Forest town of Triberg: Men only parking spaces.

(…..and the link to the Pink Lips You Tube video is here!)

If you find these articles interesting why not visit the contents list of my Alpine Press page and take a look at some of the other reviews, just click on the link here. Alternatively why not get free updates of new articles by subscribing to my RSS feed using this link. This will send the latest updates direct to your browser and you can read them at your leisure by looking under the ‘feeds’ section of your browser favourites.

Snow Returns (or King Richard and the Fairy Warriors)!

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After another exciting week eradicating business risk with the RiskBusters the time arrived for my weekend vaunt into the mountains. Helga, the friendly car rental lady, was already dangling my key-ring on her finger as I approached her counter on arrival at the alpine airport. Hello Mister “Dog-I’ll-buy” I have something extra special to give you in the VIP car park this week.

Snow Back for April in Heidi Land
Snow Back for April in Bavarian ‘Heidi’ Land

Perhaps at this point I should explain why Helga now refers to me as Mr. “Dog-I’ll-Buy”. After hearing many variations of her attempts to pronounce Duggleby I decided to make it a bit easier for her. I explained that my name was derived from my ancestor Sir Henry Dog-I’ll-Buy in the North of England. Sir Henry was King Richard the Lionheart’s official dog purchaser. The English Royal Family is famous for its love of dogs, especially Corgis. During the third Crusade whenever they arrived in a new town or village Sir Henry would go through the streets in front of the King shouting ‘Dog I’ll Buy, Dog I’ll Buy’. I explained to Helga that according to Welsh folklore the Corgi was the preferred mount of fairy warriors and King Richard paid especially well whenever Sir Henry found this magical companion for him.

As was common in the 12th century Sir Henry’s trade became his name. Over the centuries the name “Dog-I’ll-Buy” evolved into Duggleby. I showed her using Google Map the village in the North of England where Sir Henry and his descendants lived. Needless to say there are not many dogs there these days, especially Corgis.

Helga now pronounces my name almost perfectly and I appear to have become something of a celebrity within the airport car hire fraternity. They regularly ask me how are things in the royal dog trade.

So, you may ask, what special treat did Helga give me in the VIP car park? This week’s vehicle was an A3 Convertible. At this point I had no further need for a weekend weather forecast. I drove to my apartment in the dark, parked my little topless beauty and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to see that overnight the whole village had acquired a carpet of pristine white snow. Fortunately I had left the semi naked convertible in my garage.

Although my alpine village gets lots of snow in the winter I manage to escape most of it due to my annual quest to find new sources of vitamin D in the southern hemisphere. This means that for me snow, in moderate doses, can be a bit of a treat. I slipped into some warm clothing, packed the tripod and camera into my rucksack, and headed up the local mountain stream to gets some photo’s of the snowy waterfalls.

Author by the Mountain 'Bach'
Author (Chris Duggleby in tights!) by the Mountain ‘Bach’ (Bad Feilnbach Waterfalls, Bavaria)

It is amazing to think that a week earlier my son Pascal and I had been sitting in shorts and t-shirts in the garden of our local alpine restaurant. Compare this week’s pictures with the ones I published two weeks ago. Within the space of a week the temperatures had dropped over 20 degrees!

I decided that it would be sensible not to take the convertible to the local supermarket. My neighbours know that the Brits can be somewhat ‘interesting’ but I prefer not to overdo it. Just wait until I tell them the story about Sir Henry, official buyer of the King’s dogs!

The Wendelstein taken from the Balcony
The Wendelstein mountain taken from the balcony – still snow capped, still beautiful 

(There is actually another chapter to this story in which Sir Henry Dog-I’ll-Buy had to sell the Royal dogs to help Eleanor of Aquitaine raise the ransom demanded by Duke Leopold V of Austria. This unfriendly gentleman had imprisoned King Richard in Dürnstein Castle on his way back from the 3rd Crusade. The ransom money played a major part in financing the creation of Wiener Neustadt in 1194 – should be worth a few free drinks next time I visit Vienna).

Snow Back for April by the Waterfalls
Snow Back for April by the Bad Feilnbach Waterfalls (Spot the chilly head!)

P.S. Some dog related aspects of this story have been passed down through the family by word of mouth (and via my grandmothers rather messy recipe book) and therefore the documentary evidence may be rather suspect. The stuff that is properly evidence based can be found under the Duggleby History page – just click on the link here

Recycling in Style!

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Although this is only my second weekend in the mountains the recycling waste builds up quickly (helped by five months of junk mail in the post box). So on Sunday I made one of my regular trips to the local recycling centre. This is not any old waste centre – in fact I think this is one of the most scenic trips to the rubbish dump you can imagine. It is probably best to describe it using pictures so I made sure I took my camera – a bit of a challenge as it had to travel in the same rucksack as the rubbish.

Heidi Country on the way back from the Rubbish Dump!
Heidi Country – part of my extended but scenic trip to the local recycling centre.

My weekend alpine retreat is surrounded by mountains on three sides and is traversed by numerous mountain streams accompanied by their associated waterfalls. It is, in fact, a Spa resort and is well known for its ‘Wellness’ Clinics – we get many health tourists, especially in the summer. The local Authorities have gone to a lot of trouble to create lots of pleasant and interesting walks for visitors and residents. Many of these follow the streams. You guessed it: one of these walks happens to go from my house to the recycling centre!

Alpine Stream on the Way to Rubbish Dump
Alpine Stream which makes my trip to the Bad Feilnbach rubbish dump a pleasant experience

I normally follow the stream downhill to the ‘dump’ with my rucksack of rubbish (and camera) and then follow a more strenuous route home. The walk is important because on my less energetic weekends this, and a walk to the local supermarket, may be my only exercise (I will talk about the more energetic weekends in another blog entry).

Waterfall on the Way Back from Rubbish Dump
Cascade of waterfalls on the journey to the local recycling centre

On the return route I take a stroll up the hill through ‘Heidi’ country walking past the grazing cows with their rather noisy cowbells around their necks. This is not a bad idea as it is very easy for the cows to stray into the woods and get lost. My journey also takes me through a mountain forest rising gradually until I reach the mountain stream I followed earlier but higher up the mountain. I can then follow this all the way back down to my house. The many waterfalls along this mountain stream or ‘Bach’, together with the oxygen from the trees, create a very refreshing atmosphere.

Lake and Waterfall on Way Back from Rubbish Dump
Lake and waterfall on way back from the rubbish dump in Bad Feilnbach, Bavaria

The round trip to the waste centre takes about 90 minutes and in addition to doing my bit for the environment I feel that the mountain walk has ensured the environment has also done its bit for me. After this peace and tranquillity I am ready for another week of excitement with the RiskBusters in London pushing forward the frontiers of risk management in big business.

Not bad for a trip to the rubbish dump eh?

Until next time….

Author after doing his 'bit' for the Environment
Chris Duggleby (Author) after doing his ‘bit’ for the environment (and his ageing body!)

Hello Alps!

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STOP PRESS!! Have you tried the YouTube Playlist featuring all of my compositions for the TRANSFORMATES? Here it is:

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Chris Duggleby (Author) getting some pre-Spring sun on the balcony in Bavaria

After a very hectic week in London at Mission Control with the ‘RiskBusters’ I was certainly ready to escape to the Alps on Friday evening. This was my first weekend excursion to the European mountains since the end of last October and as I stepped onto the flight it felt like I was going home. I was just about to put my bag into the overhead luggage compartment when a friendly voice from behind greeted me with:  ‘Back from South Africa then – did you have a good time?’ It was one of the more hardy commuters between London and the Alps: one that didn’t escape to the south at the first sight of snow. This friendly greeting only served to reinforce my feeling of homecoming.

The welcome continued after I landed and I went to pick up my hire car – Ah Mr Doogelbuy (one of the name spellings you will not find in my ‘Duggleby’ history page), I have something special for you. The lady is always so nice that I just can’t bring myself to tell her that I actually prefer the small cheap cars….. I am trying to minimise fuel consumption!

Mountain stream and waterfalls running past the Alpine retreat in Bad Feilnbach, Bavaria

So within minutes of stepping off the plane I had picked up my ‘Panzer’ from the VIP parking area and was heading down the Autobahn trying to just gently ‘caress’ the gas pedal. After about 40 minutes, in the direction of Salzburg, I was in sight of the mountains. Suddenly a shooting star shot over the Autobahn in front of me! If there was any sadness left after my departure from Sunset Rocks last week the European gods were working hard to make it evaporate.

20 minutes later I found myself trying to manoeuvre the Panzer into my modestly sized garage. Fortunately the inbuilt parking sensors screamed at me as soon as I got too close to the walls. My neighbours had installed solar powered garden lights along the path to my front door. The path follows a mountain stream which runs by the side of the house. Somehow the pretty fairy lights and the sound of the water cascading over the waterfall just added to the magical atmosphere. The sky was free of any clouds allowing me to clearly see a carpet of stars twinkling above. Before long I had settled into my bed with the curtains wide open so I could fall asleep gazing at the stars.

View of the ‘Wendelstein’ from the Bedroom Window in the Bavarian Alps

Dawn broke much earlier than in the UK so after a very short lie-in I was quickly up and inspecting the apartment to see what had changed since I left. Everything was perfect: all the IT systems sprang into action (and more importantly the fridge and the kettle!). Before long I was listening to BBC radio via the i-Player and my screen players were re-playing my various photo collections. I may be something of an international gypsy but I do like to keep in touch with the UK music scene (and the British humour). At lunch time my younger son who lives nearby came over to pick up the socks which Daddy had purchased over in England. Both children prefer to get their socks and undies from a well known UK store. We enjoyed lunch in the garden of our ‘regular’ restaurant which overlooks the mountains. Although it was the middle of March the temperature was an incredible 20C (and certainly much warmer in the direct sunlight).

Three of the local Bavarian birds bending over backwards and doing a little dance to make me feel welcome!

The Chef came out to greet us with the almost obligatory ‘nice tan!’. He served up his latest speciality ‘Baeren Salat’ and we chatted about the weather. A few little personal niceties can make lunch so memorable! One of the simple reminders why, despite the challenges, I rush from work each Friday evening and fly half way across Europe.

Another exciting episode soon….