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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Blue 青

Updated: Apr 9

🔵 Blue on blue. The pen, the beer, ........the memory......ペン、ビル、懐かし...

To be honest, I was not very impressed with the HELLES Bavarian mild beer - give me a Hessen beer any day. And as for the blue pen, I bought that in a department store in Yokohama which had a pen section as far as the eye could see. But now I am having difficulties finding the right refills. And the memory? ah, that is singing Stanford's "Blue Bird" with the CTK Choir Frankfurt at a "Cheeky Tie Concert" in 2019. CTK がっしょうだん -私たちは「青い鳥」を歌いました 🎶

That innocent time before Covid; before the horrible invasion of Ukraine..........懐かしい .........take time to is a slow piece....use headphones 🎧....

🔵 But blue recollections do not end here. There was blue tinged with peat-bog-brown on the Arklow coast of Ireland アークロウ、アイルランド南東部

Or the blue sky over Mt. Fuji, accentuated by cotton wool clouds....富士山

🔵....or the perfect blue over a little village in the Spessart, where I was walking at the weekend...(The Spessart is a hilly, thickly forested area east of Frankfurt, and we had to cross over the border into Bavaria to get there).

Luckily there was nobody at the border crossing post demanding that we put on Lederhosen or Dirndlen, pull on red socks, or demand that we launch into some jolly Volkslied.....tralala....🎵....😂.) バイエルンの森でハイキング. 小さな水車

This little watermill was not in the shade, hence we left a few brave souls to investigate whilst waiting under a tree....

The deer kept in the shade as well.....鹿も日陰を好みます

but the bees were more interested in this sweet smelling blossom growing randomly in the middle of nowhere.....Buddleia?

After a good 17km or so our merry group strode into the sleepy town of Hiegenbrücken. Not a soul was to be seen on the streets....where was everybody? probably watching the football on the TV or something similar. But note: however dead a German town may seem on a Sunday afternoon, you will not go hungry or thirsty. So it was that our walk ended with a refreshing drink in the gloomy, but aptly named "zum Frischen Quelle."..(at the sign of the Fresh Spring). There was only one train an hour back to Frankfurt, so we made the most of it...17キロ歩いた後、飲み物が必要になりました

🔵 I rather like Frankfurt. It is a manageable size (791,000 population - to give you a comparison, Edinburgh has about 506,000), although I did bump into this extra Scot the other day in Langen...

But to continue. Frankfurt has lots of interesting spots, like this Ramen restaurant in the West End...フランクフルトが好きです。 面白いラーメン屋さんですね

🔵 or the glinting monolith of the ECB...欧州中央銀行


🔵 Warning : Here follows a rant until I am blue in the face.....喚き散らす

This year I may have to hire a car when I am in Japan. No problem you would think. After all, I have an International Drivers Licence. The trouble is, this so-called (German issued) International document is pretty limited, as it is only translated into Russian (hmm...), Spanish, and how about Arabic, Chinese, Korean....or Japanese? 無用 😒

And if it has been issued, wait for it, not in Germany, but in Switzerland, France (there is a contradiction there), Monaco or Taiwan, you need to get an official translation of it. This ridiculous bureaucratic anomaly refers you back to the "Geneva Convention 1949".....err...hang on, Geneva is in Switzerland.......You don't believe me?.....well read on....(note that whoever wrote this can't decide whether to write licence (British) or license (American)..........🤣

(By the way, a translation will set you back at least €80.00......somebody is making a nice little business here). Oh isn't life simple 😂 ?)

End of Rant.


🔵 Enter Charles III.

Nah, not him. Or the guy on the biscuit tin. No, Charles III of Baden-Durlach. It's thanks to him that we have the town of Karlsruhe today. And when you wander around this town you get the feel that this has all been planned. There is no untidy medieval quarter, or Romanesque church. But there is a socking great 18thc palace with gardens, a Italianate style market place, and a hunting lodge (more of that anon).

Thomas Jefferson, when he was American envoy to France, visited Charles when he was planning Karlsruhe (which is in Baden, just on the French border). Washington D.C. was being built at the time, and Jefferson brought many maps and plans with him. So it was that Karlsruhe was founded in 1715.

I drove down to Karlsruhe on Thursday through a torrid heat, made all the more gruesome as the ac in the car had broken down. So first point of call was an air-conditioned ice café. I ordered Spaghetti ice of course. My favourite. Then I did a little wander. Here is the market place with its Italianate church....私は息子の歌を聞くために木曜日にカールスルーエに行きました

.....and olianders......

...and here is Charles's palace....with some impressive but tasteless (but fun 😁) baroque statues.....(statue to cyclist; " really, my dear, what muscles you have!" )

It has all been beautifully restored post 1945......

with grottos.......

....and flowery vistas.....

🔵 I mentioned a hunting lodge. Yes, Charles built a little house on the outskirts of town, complete with horse stables and barracks. These have proved ideal for conversion into a music college (Steinways instead of horses, you could say).....and so today we have the wonderfully expansive campus of the Karlsruhe's the "hunting lodge".... 音楽大学は「狩猟小屋」の中にあります

...with the Wolfgang Rihm Forum on the left. And inside the "hunting lodge" (Schloss Gottesaue)......? Well there are some very nice rooms for music. And I was there for interest of course......

...and what a wonderful group of young people! And such an exotic mix of nationalities...歌のクラス - たくさんの国籍!

🔵 For some, like mezzo soprano Louise Lotte Edler, it was an emotional farewell to her fellow students and professor after 8 years of Bachelor and Master studies....she ended with In diese Heil'gen Hallen from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.....From others, like Yukari Fukui (in the blue dress), we heard a fully professional and moving performance (Regnava nel silenzio - Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor). Joshua, who is just finishing his second semester, sang Next, Winter comes slowly from Purcell's Fairy Queen, and two of Dvorak's Biblical songs - sung in Czech I noted! I was glad the accompanist, David Gatchel, got a nice bottle of Sekt. He deserved it. ピアニストはシャンパンのボトルを受け取りました。 彼はそれに値するものだった。

Thank you for reading "......Blue........."


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2 opmerkingen

matt jordan
matt jordan
30 jun. 2023

We're singing "the blue bird" tomorrow; those f flats though*!!

01 jul. 2023
Reageren op

Well, I hope your blue bird got away safely......

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