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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Einhard アインハルト

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

2023 年7月14日

Here is a picture of four walkers cavorting around in a 🤔.......No, hang on, we don't do things like that. But this place used to be a church, and it is seriously old. Were you paying attention in history lessons at school? Then you would have picked up the name Karl der Grosse / Charles the Great, or maybe Charlemagne? He could be called the first proper European King - King of the Franks and blessed by the pope to be the first Holy Roman Emperor. He lived from 747-814 and made sure that he had all the right people working for him. Einhard was one of them. Einhard came from a wealthy, influential family, could write in Latin and knew how to get projects (like building churches) done. And it was Einhard who built this church over 1000 years ago near Michelstadt in the Odenwald. 私たちはこの古い教会を見つけました。きょうかいは、1200年前に 建(た)てられた。 。

He had been in Rome, and had obviously been inspired by the classic Roman building : the basilica. Although originally used for trade or meetings, these buildings became the standard model for Christians to build their churches. So take a look at this - you could be in Rome...........私たちはローマにいるの?

You can just see a little niche on the left hand side of the round apse - that is where Einhard would have put the relics of the saints which he nicked (盗みました) from the Roman catacombs. In those days you needed a few relics to give a church some sort of spiritual prestige. Later he moved the relics to the new abbey of Seligenstadt, where he probably thought they would get more followers (like a sort of 9thc. Youtube).

Of course this building has gone through many changes. But the fact that it was used as a wood store for the court of Erbach for hundreds of years ensured that the original roof - built in 1168 - I have to add - was always maintained.....the wood had to be kept dry you see...屋根はオリジナルです

I love this simple architecture ("Carolingian" - Karolus / Charles).....私はこの建築スタイルが好きです

We ventured down into the crypt......where, incidentally, it was nice and cool. Anna even got internet reception down there - Einhard would have been impressed. We had just walked about 10km through sweltering heat - over 30°c, so you can imagine that delicious cool feeling 😊....地下室は涼しかったです。 外は34℃ でした

Here's a picture of Einhard as a scribe (apparently), from a manuscript written in 1050....I like his designer leggings.....アインハルトはデグナーのレギンスを履いています🤣

Before we left I took this view of the outside. It doesn't look like much, but it is one of the better examples of authentically preserved Carolingian architecture in Germany.

Mention Michelstadt to anyone here and they will think of the famous Christmas Market. It's true that the old town centre is very pretty albeit in that "Ye Olde Germany" way, which, to be honest, I find a little claustrophobic. A stream runs through the market square........ミッチェルシュタットの通りを小川が流れている to a remarkable medieval market hall...マーケットホール

Time to head back home on the VIA railway. 家に帰りましょう....


This is the time of swifts. あまつばめ雨燕. They scream, whirl and dive above the rooftops, catching the insects on the wing. Once or twice in the past they have crawled under the eaves of my old house, only to get hopelessly disorientated in the loft space. In the hallway I had heard a fluttering of wings above, had pulled down the ladder into the loft and there was this little black huddle, immobile on the ground. Strange birds. Almost prehistoric. I had picked one up (feather light!) and carried it up onto the roof. It clasped its feet around my finger and did not want to leave. Eventually it did take off and joined its brothers in the sky. A strange experience. Saving a life. あまつばめ雨燕.が屋根裏部屋で迷子になる

The heat is now on, and my neighbours' backyard such is now reduced to dry, straw-coloured grass....(I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when things were different!)....私の隣人の庭

Whilst on the Bahnstrasse the temperature on the digital clock outside the chemists' (Apotheke) tells all............ 温度を見てください...

phew 💦

It's also fan time (fans? do I have fans?.....Answer: I have one 🤣)

And here it is, sending forth a gently cool breeze that caresses my cheeks......I can't work without my Senpu_ki せんぷうき 扇風機 at the moment. My electric fan. If you ask a Japanese person for the word for "fan" you open a box of tricks. Now my sort of fan can be seen almost anywhere in the world - even on older Tokyo metro carriages - as a fixture in the ceiling. Where they turn around, they send a cool draught down your back.

But of course there is the much older traditional folding fan - the sensu せんす 扇子 . This is the sort of fan you would expect a Japanese lady to have in her hand when she is walking around the streets of Kyoto, or performing traditional Japanese dance (Nihon buyō).

Sen Yumeiji Nishikawa (holding fan) runs a Nihon buyō dance school in Frankfurt. Here she is at the Main Matsuri Festival last year with her Friseurin on the right, and Enka singer Akari Mochizuki on her left. Very elegant. とてもエレガント....

This one, with its classic Hokusai-inspired motif, was given to me by one of the performers...

Then there is the fixed fan - the uchiwa うちわ 団扇, traditionally made of bamboo splinters. It's often used at festivals or by Buddhist monks at ceremonies. These days they are also popular for company logo advertizing....😊

So now you know. 😊.

Time for my second espresso this morning - well it is Monday morning after all....私はエスプレッソが好きです

This evening I thought I would listen to BBC Radio 3. Imagine my surprise and irritation on seeing this on my mobile phone.....ゲッティンゲン? 誤表記

The town Göttingen I know well, as two of my friends live there. And it does indeed have a professional orchestra. But it is call Göttingen NOT Gottingen!! Such a careless mistake! I thought all the people working for Radio 3 were all highly educated, intelligent people. Not so it seems. I immediately fired off an email to the producer of Radio 3 in Concert. At least the presenter, Fiona Talkington, pronounced the name correctly. I wonder if the BBC will apologize.......


Last week snails grabbed my headline. And this week it is Mr. Einhard, who lived over 1000 years ago in an area we now call Germany. Courtier to the great King of the Franks, and who built that basilica in the Odenwald. Would he have eaten snails? Quite possibly, given that in his time there were vineyards providing for wine production (a common edible snail is the Weinbergschnecke (Vineyard snail).

Now snails seem to get an unfair share of jokes made about them - rather like violas in the orchestral world. And so it is that the Literaturewissenchaftler ("Literary scholar") Dr. Florian Werner has written a little book about them, mining the humorous potential of these poor creatures to the full. On Wednesday he introduced his book at an event in the Holzhausenschlossschen in Frankfurt - cue photo 👉

After he was finished our friend Julia got up and put the snail into a scientific context. ("Difficult to get excited about this" was the prejudice I brought with me).

Not only had she brought with her some dazzling and curious examples from her museum (The Senckenberg ), but fantastic photos of snails and the rest of the mollusc world 🐚 . She explained how molluscs - be they on land or sea - create their spiral shells from calcium carbonate, most of them being "right-handed"- thus producing clockwise shells. Or why some have coloured bands on their shells...or why.....and a thousand other fascinating details. Here's the link to the event again..... . An interesting lecture. Thank you Julia!



So that's all we have for this week. 👉Keep reading each week for new adventures and happenings from your ex-pat violinmaker/hiker/writer/language student.......🕺

STOP PRESS >>>>>>> Anyone interested in an old but elegant glass-fronted cupboard? It's light to me +49 178 8112331

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