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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Alter Opa おじいちゃん

2024 年 4 月 27 日



👉 Put headphones on 🎧 ヘッドフォンをつけてください



Why was the swan silver? I have no idea. In my experience swans are either white or black 🦢

But Orlando Gibbons obviously thought otherwise.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8kUlKE10-E


The silver swan, who living had no note, When death approached, unlocked her silent throat; Leaning her breast against the reedy shore, Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more: “Farewell, all joys; Oh death, come close mine eyes; More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.”


*


I think that this text is heavy with meanings now lost to us. Anyway, my swan in the Palmengarten this week was neither silver nor dying.......

フランクフルト植物園の美しい白鳥



She was actually rather beautiful, full of life and having not a trace of melancholy. Indeed, despite the cold temperatures, the Frankfurt Palmengarten was a pleasure to visit. One of my book group colleagues accompanied me, and we started our day with lunch at the Siesmeyer Café, a sort of Frankfurt upper-crust hotel offshoot with a bewildering heirarchy of serving staff.


Potato soup and Frankfurter Wurst......


ポテトスープとフランクフルトソーセージ……




Goat's cheese and salad......

ヤギのチーズとサラダ……





Yeap. Not a Yakitori or a Soba noodle to be seen here. This is firm Frankfurter Cuisine. 😅


Walking around the glasshouses is very educational. For example, there is this....

このサボテンは「義母のクッション」と呼ばれています!





...........Kroenleinia grusonii, popularly known as the golden barrel cactus, or mother-in-law's cushion. It is a species of barrel cactus which is endemic to east-central Mexico. Mother-in-law eh? interesting......pretty spikey.....



Photo: Vicdan



Other wonders included the Bird of Paradise flower - an extraordinary flower. Vicdan remembers bringing bunches of these to friends when she was living in South Africa......





But we are not finished with the spikey jobs yet.....look at this.....

これを見てください




ouch........!




But colour wins in the end........however impressive the spikes are......











Don't ask me what the names of all these tropical and sub-tropical plants are. They are all written in Latin anyway.


Earlier in the year I had been to the Palmengarten to see the butterflies. I didn't know if they were still there, but we walked over to the house to have a look anyway. And we were rewarded........more butterflies than people this time.....

美しい蝶





These butterflies are not caught in nature. They are bred in Costa Rica. The farmers there earn a living planting the right trees and bushes for them, before sending the pupae to Franfkurt to hatch out and propagate......

これらの蝶は自然界では捕まえられません。 コスタリカで飼育されています。 農民たちは、蛹をフランククルトに送る前に、孵化させ繁殖させるのに適した木や低木を植えて生計を立てています。





They seem like paper kites, slowly flapping through the heat and resting on leaves....



Photo: Vicdan




They even land on you if they like your colour........!





But it's actually quite a relief to get out into the fresh air and see what is growing naturally in the Palmengarten.

Peonies "Pfingstrosen"...are in full bloom.....牡丹









And Azaleas...Tsutsuji....here in one its homelands......Japan......where they grow everywhere....

つつじ 躑躅 / that is one kanji character to be reckoned with!



Photo: 友子さん


Quote Wiki: "........Tatebayashi, Gunma is famous for its Azalea Hill Park. Tsutsuji-ga-oka. Nezu Shrine in Bunkyo, Tokyo, holds a Tsutsuji Matsuri from early April until early May. Higashi Village has hosted an azalea festival each year since 1976. The village's 50,000 azalea plants draw an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 visitors each year......."


And here in Frankfurt.......





It was a day for the camera.......





.....and even for fish. I have never tried photographing fish in an aquarium before....

水族館の魚を撮ったことがない





.........but they were very co-operative.....






 


Recently I wrote about visiting the Suntory Concert Hall in Roppongi, Tokyo. Well one of the first things that I did after arriving back in Germany was to go to a concert in the Alte Oper (The old opera house) in Frankfurt. And it struck me that the two halls were not dissimilar.....

六本木のサントリーホールはフランクフルトのコンサートホールとあまり変わらない




The four musicians standing up have just played Joseph Haydn's Concertante für vier Soloinstrumente....a wonderfully happy piece for violin, violoncello, oboe and bassoon. And so very soloistic that I was hoping my re-hair of the 'cellist's bow would last the evening. All was well, however. Then came Richard Strauss's Alpine Symphony. This was introduced (unusually) by the director of the Senkenberg research team, Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner. He described how alpine streams would have sounded different in Strauss's time, not being flood-proofed or "improved". He spoke passionately, and gained a huge applause from the audience.


a night scene outside the Alte Oper.....

夜のフランクフルト




When I was new to Germany I would pronounce Alte Oper so badly, that it sounded like the Alter Opa.......which means "The old grandad". Well, the way it sits in the middle of Frankfurt you could almost call it that........


「Alte Oper」という名前を間違って発音すると、おじいちゃんのように聞こえます!





The same week I was actually in the Senckenberg Natural History Museum. I had been invited by marine biologist Julia to the official opening of the exhibition "Natur+Medizin". I was expecting a rather formal academic event, but as I entered the hallowed halls of the museum I heard a dixieland band playing and the buzz of conversation. People wandered amonst the dinosaurs and the wine was flowing freely. The speeches were full of thank yous to everybody who had made this exibition possible - and there was a long list. A bit like the credits at the end of a film.


ゼンケンベルク自然史博物館の新しい展示会の開会式





This is a new permanent exhibition all about how animals find medicinal substances to heal themselves, and how we humans have taken natural substances to heal ourselves. There is even a section on fake medicines - like Rhino horn powder, for example - the same substance as our nails - keratin.



 


"Change and decay, in all around I see, O thou who changest not, abide with me". That line was penned by the Victorian hymn composer W.H. Monk, and I have always found it rather gothic and gloomy. When I returned to my flat this month and looked out of the window two things had changed. The old house opposite had been raised to the ground to make way for a smarter new energy-efficient building......


私が日本にいる間、近くの道では2つのことが変わりました。 家が取り壊され、店舗が移転しました。





(Now if you are still reading, congratulations! You are reading "The View from the Towers". But here is a view OF the Towers......unusually exposed......)





Opposite the Tedi budget shop has decided to migrate to another part of the town.......





Change alright, but not necessarily decay. Decay is a notion I associate with dentists. Indeed I was at my dentist yesterday. But there was no decay said the assistent. "You drink a lot of coffee don't you?" was her comment. I told her about how women in 19thc. Japan used to blacken their teeth to look more attractive. She was a bit shocked. But it's true. It was called ohaguro (お歯黒). Look it up if you don't believe me...........Here's an Ukiyo-e print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, from the series 'Twenty-Four Hours at Shinbashi and Yanagibashi', showing a woman applying ohaguro.......


昨日歯医者に行って、お歯黒のことを話しました......





Why not try it? instead of using ferric acetate and tannin, these days you could just use a permanent marker pen.........I wonder what your dentist would say........😧



 



🔴 Thank you for reading "..Alter Opa.."

  ".. おじいちゃん.."を読んでくれてありがとう



  Feel free to share the blog with friends.

🔴  よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください




🔴  And and I enjoy hearing from you...!

コメントすると楽しいです!



THE END


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