Dear friends!

 

Over the years, I have produced several video clips that have raised the profile of my novels. Actually, they are no longer necessary. But each clip involved a lot of work. So it's only right to offer the pensioners a quiet, contemplative place. Especially, since my appreciation for the German short lederhosen was also carried to Mediterranean climes in this way. This is to be continued here, to set a topical accent.

 ~~~

 

Buying Railway Tickets in Cerbère

 

In mid-November, days are going to be short. Mediterranean seawater goes down to 18° C. Or even less. It’s time we go going. Salzburg, our main residence, is waiting for us. The railway ticket is curiously much more expensive at RENFE (Spanish railways) than at SNCF (French Railways). Today I buy it online. In the past, when there was no internet, I bought it across the border in Cerbère at the ticket office. That meant climbing several flights of stairs. Most of the time I met a friendly lady. She took my order and asked me to return in half an hour, as she had to phone with regard to the seat reservations. There is a children's playground in front of the station. No doubt I am an old man. But in a way, the German lederhosen from my youth should justify a visit. Later, after some sport, I again climbed up to the station. “Voilà, Monsieur, vos billets, s’il vous plaît! Bon voyage!"

 

Buying Railway Tickets in Cerbère  ·  mp4  05:06  

 

 

Cakewalk on an early spring day  ·  You'll see my vintage leather wear

 

A sunny day with cold air · The last snow is melting away · You see my old leather clothes, self-sewn in the seventies · The buffalo hide jacket and trousers still fit well · In forty years, the strong leather has been mended several times · Especially the trousers – after falls from the motorbike · The jacket sometimes behaves like a naughty child · Then it whispers seductively “Let me be your straitjacket! I warm you up.” · "Let's warm up traditionally instead. Hey – you see how a sprint warms me up?” · "Coward!" growls the jacket.

 

While working on this clip, I read Walter Starkie's "Raggle taggle", Adventures with a Fiddle in Hungary and Roumania. In it, the professor of English literature (1894 - 1976) describes his experiences on a journey through Hungary and Roumania, which he considered the most important homelands of European Gypsies. He was president of the International Gypsy Lore Society from 1962 to 1973. The book was first published by John Murray in 1933. My copy is from the 12th edition in 1964.

 

Cakewalk on an early spring day  ·  You'll see my vintage leather wear  ·  mp4  05:36 

 

 Looking for wild asparagus near Vilajuïga, Spain

 

This morning, Jig is not successful. There is no asparagus left. Someone must have been ahead of him. Anyway – it's a wonderful day. He thanks the gods that he is in the beautiful countryside of Alt Empordà, Catalonia, Spain.

 

  Looking for wild asparagus near Vilajuïga, Spain  ·  mp4  05:55  

 

 

NEW IN JUNE 2021

 Some athletics including the horrible chin-up

 

     Even with increasing age I wouldn’t like to miss some athletics. On the Mediterranean Sea, daily swimming is actually enough. No matter what the weather. At least as long as it doesn't get too stormy. That could quickly get you into trouble on the rocky coasts of the upper Costa Brava.

     All my life I've started the day with 25 push-ups. It really wakes you up and gets the body going. Long walks are optional. In hidden places, I don't have to be ashamed of my weak arms. I occasionally try pull-ups there. I have always found them awful. In my youth, with frequent training, it went quite tolerably. 50 years ago I weighed 69 kg. The ideal body weight for 180 cm height and delicate bone structure. In the course of time, I have only gained 4 kg. Let's get to work! Last try for today! No, no - at the moment I can't pull myself up perfectly! Smiling, the spirit comforts me. "A correct chin-up is not that important." How true!

     Let’s finish today’s exercises with a fast spurt. It goes well with my famous fast running legs.

 

Some athletics including the horrible chin-up  ·  mp4  04:38  

 

REVISED EDITION JUNE 2021

Worshipping  Flowers  and  Beauty of Nature  ·  Doing  Sports  beside

 

The meadows are in full bloom. It is an invitation to worship flowers and beauty of nature in the cool of the early morning. After breakfast I like to take a long walk through the fields, may be with some sport. My gym takes place in a secluded spot where I don't have to be ashamed as no one sees me.  Boys already know how useful pull-ups are for the muscles. Because boys like to show off their muscles. I’m a loser in this regard. But let’s try again. How long could I hang? Perhaps half a minute. The third time's the charm. Not in my case. Same result every time. Not a proper pull-up!! I should exercise every day to get stronger muscles. Well let's buy the newspaper to distract us. Ha-ha! Today with reports about the best Spanish track and field athletes ...

 

Worshipping  Flowers  and  Beauty of Nature · Doing  Sports  beside ·  mp4  04:51

 

NEW IN JULY 2021

Barking Dogs  ·  A fruitless discussion

 

I like the mountainous landscape of the Upper Empordà in Catalonia, Spain · Every afternoon I go for a long walk through the fields · Unfortunately, free-roaming dogs are not everyone's cup of tea · Especially not when the dogs operate around detached houses in the countryside · Sure, they are reliable guardians · But you never know if they might be in a bad mood and attack you · That's why it's better to stay out of their way · Some time ago I had a discussion with the owner of a country house ...

 

Barking Dogs  ·  A fruitless discussion  ·  04:25 

 

REVISED EDITION · AUGUST 2021

Travelling season  ·  Is travelling still good – compared to the past?

 

   During the summer holydays, older people should let the younger ones do the travelling. Trains and hotels are crowded. Nowadays, you have to have a lot of patience to enter museums and art monuments. In our youth, generosity towards late trains was needed at best. Everywhere you could find space and there were no waiting queues. I like to walk up and down the platforms of our main station, mentally rummaging through the past. Yesterday, I remembered Evelyn Waugh's famous travel notes, When the Going was good (1946). Nowhere does he mention people waiting in long lines. And the author seemed to be happy about his fellow travellers.

   "I soon found my fellow passengers and their behaviour in the different places we visited a far more absorbing study than the places themselves." I like to walk up and down the wide platforms, which have just been rebuilt and adapted to modern times, and imagine what comment Waugh would have had ready for an idle stroller among hurrying travellers. Well, my short German lederhosen are a pleasant garment for hot days. So he might have eyed them appreciatively.

 

Travelling season  ·  Is travelling still good – compared to the past?  ·  05:22 

 

REVISED EDITION · COMING SEPTEMBER 2021

Period of Ripeness  ·  A cakewalk through the fields of the Upper Empordà

 

Where ever you walk through the hinterland of the Costa Brava in autumn you see Mother Nature coming along with open hands. Typical Mediterranean contributors are: carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua), sweet almond trees (Prunus dulcis), cork oaks (Querus suber), holly oaks (Quercus ilex), vine stocks (Vitaceae), in abandoned fields virtually overgrown, where birds have already celebrated their banquet ...

 

Period of Ripeness  ·  A cakewalk through the fields of the Upper Empordà    

 

REVISED EDITION COMING IN OCTOBER 2021

Sunny morning in Portbou  ·  With a glimpse to the headlines of La Vanguardia

 

Going for a stroll on a sunny morning and buying the newspaper  ·  The sea is steady  ·  Barça and Vargas Llosa dominate the headlines  ·  Two winners with different jobs  · Moving a ball with the feet or moving words in poetry ·  Both activities are exciting  ·  But so far there has been no Nobel Prize for a football team  ·  Around noon the wind picks up  · To swim or not to swim is never the question  ·  We have the beach right on our doorstep  ·  It would be a sin not to go swimming  ·  No matter what wind and weather dictate

 

Sunny morning in Portbou  ·  With a glimpse to the headlines of La Vanguardia

 

REVISED EDITION COMING IN NOVEMBER 2021

Autumn in the Catalan Pyrenees  ·  The Howl of Tramontane

 

In our second home, Portbou, autumn often starts with cold north wind. The stormy phenomenon, named Mistral, has its origin in the Rhône valley. The Mistral traverses Camargue, Languedoc, and Roussillon. In the French Catalonia and beyond the Spanish border, in the Alt Empordà, it is called Tramontane. Even in its last lap through the Albera Mountains in the Alt Empordà it reaches velocities of 120 to 140 km per hour, before, farther south, Tramontane peacefully falls asleep in the Baix Empordà.

 

Autumn in the Catalan Pyrenees  ·  The Howl of Tramontane    

 

REVISED EDITION COMING IN JANUARY 2022

Mediterranean winter on the upper Costa Brava

 

 

The Sea of Wisdom can get quite cold in January and February. But every now and then there are days with cloudless skies and graciously warming sun. Rock niches protected by north and west winds allow sunbathing. In the hinterland of the Costa Brava you rarely have to give up a walk barefoot. A forceful confession of winter is contained in John 20:23-26, for this season between passing and becoming as a harbinger of new beginnings. I then like to pick up once again the autobiography of the French novelist André Gide, Si le grain ne meurt  [ If it die... ].  The work, published a hundred years ago, is a sublime example of the abundance and richness contained in human life.

 

 

Mediterranean winter on the upper Costa Brava