I do wonder who out there is reading. I know Kim is, and Cynthia is, and Susan Schneider are you still there?, and Mommy, and Ruthy but she's camping right now - and Anja surprises me every now and then mentioning she read - anyway I thank you all for reading. Hi and love to you all!
Now it's 6 weeks and a couple of days till we leave. Tonight, sandwiched between sis-in-law #1 and her family on one side, and my friend Bianca from Weight Watchers on the other side, I mentioned about the 6 weeks (as in: when we go there will be lots of clay and children's books and things like that for now-2-year-old Fanny to inherit, and in 6 weeks we'll be dismantling our household), sis-in-law Jacqueline and friend Bianca both said dismayedly - oh no! 6 weeks! Which is gratifying and sweet, and I think that too though of course I have home to go home to. But yes, it's weird to be thinking that.
I had a wonderful day Wednesday. In the morning, went shopping with my weight vest on and my book in my hand (Empress, by Karen Miller, book 1 in the Godspeaker series, a fantasy/science fiction thing - have I mentioned it before?) and even though I thought I'd got beyond looking funny, one of my neighbors said "Das sieht lustig aus!" which means "that looks amusing!" She said it very nicely (she's a lovely woman).
Then I went to my office and sent and received e-mails and meetings like mad about the upcoming good-bye party at our institute here, for which I have so far been the entertainment committee though others are coming on board. And I worked on the 813-page manuscript. And after lunch there was an hourlong meeting with the other committees for the party, and then I went to the bus stop to take a bus clear across town to see my friend Susanne and Felix called to say he'd locked himself out of the house (I hadn't seen him since he'd come home from school; coming home very early while I was to be at lunch and meeting, I had left him money and a note and he'd very happily/gratefully taken himself to Subway) - so I had him run to the bus stop, barefoot because that was how he'd locked himself out of the house, and I nervously gave him my keys (I tried putting them in a plant box along the long street he was running up to find me at the bus stop but I couldn't tell whether he was seeing that was what I was doing), nervously because the bus was already overdue - but anyway we had a key handover and it worked out fine and we got to chat a minute [the office and the lunch room are a 5-minute walk down the street from our apartment; the bus stop is between them, but about 4/5 of the way to the office - i.e. 1 minute from office, 4 minutes from home].
Then off to Susanne, reading Empress on the train on the way there and up the steps to her house, tripping only once on the steps, and then a couple of hours with Susanne singing and playing the guitar! It was wonderful. Susanne is my friend from the gospel choir weekend workshop last October, and for a while we saw each other oh, every couple of weeks almost for a nice long walk, but it had been easily 6 weeks and maybe more. And we both had a wonderful time. Susanne was the one playing the guitar - she's a lot farther forward than I am though not completely confident. Then we put the guitar away and sang rounds. And she had a songbook and I had my Rise Up Singing songbook, and she liked some of what was in it and I left it with her to make some copies of some songs for her English class. (Songbooks in this country have LOTS of English songs in them; songbooks in our country--I hadn't even noticed but then of course did--not terribly many German ones, though in the Rounds section there were a couple.)
That was really lovely and so much fun, and then we went for a short walk to the Spree, the Berlin river that runs very close to her house, and then I was zooming off on the train to Sabine's for Wednesday night play-reading. We sat outside on the balcony, it was me, Sabine, Anna my young undergraduate friend, and Sabine's 13-year-old daughter Ada, and for once we read in German not English, the first half approximately of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Der Besuch der Alten Dame, the Visit of the Old Lady, a play I wrote about in these [pages? pixels? keystrokes?] a few months ago, if I remember aright. It's an amazing play! Several twists and several things that after they are twists just become fascinating and challenging things to work out. I do recommend it, again.
So yes, a very nice day altogether.
And at Weight Watchers on Tuesday mornings I'm connected, I have three friends from there who I walk with and have done things with outside of Weight Watchers and even at the meeting (though I didn't go this week, working on manuscript), though it's lots of people, there's a wonderful atmosphere and people I'm now very familiar with and feel connected with, and they've let me know they'll miss me too. And I them!
Speaking of manuscript, I got through the end of page 813 yesterday. Hooray! I came home, took off all my clothes, weighed myself [bad news, too much editing and not enough exercise or sleep], put some more clothes on, and sat around reading Empress and maybe also some Proust with husband (I know we read some yesterday morning though we were both harried, which was very nice to do) - I am NOT an exclusively lowbrow person, I let some high culture in through a tiny crack in my armor sometimes.
Anyway. So many more nice things - Tuesday out to dinner with friends from the institute, it was a glorious night and a glorious dinner and a fun conversation (though I may have gone on a bit extra about my low-culture tastes and specifically my Saint-German vampire novels [which are not just any vampire novels I hasten to add]). Last Saturday hubby successfully turned 50, he liked the birthday book I put together for him with lovely notes from his oldest and bestest friends and family.
And now it's me and Felix alone at home tonight. Got to talk to my parents which made me very happy - no video chat because it wasn't working for some reason, but an audio one. Hubby left this morning for a long weekend in Krakow with his best kindergarten buddy. 2-year-old joy machine Fanny spent the afternoon with me and Felix, culminating at the school festival where, as I mentioned above, Bianca sat on one side of me and Fanny and her parents on the other - Felix played percussion in one song and electric guitar in another performed by his class band.
Tomorrow night my fellow writing group members come for a sleepover, and Sunday we're running an all-day writing workshop (12 people have signed up for sure and there might be a couple more), so I'm a little nervous but I intend to go get some sleep right about now and spend tomorrow cleaning the house and making the beds for the sleepoverers, and then worrying about food for sleepover, food for writing workshop, and writing exercises for the workshop!
Oh and I've started riding my bike around more when I remember to. It's a nice way to get around, it really is. But I'm not going to completely abandon my beloved double decker buses and wonderful-places-to-read S-Bahn trains. Or my walking, with or without the weight vest, and with or without Fanny's stroller. (Today we went and looked at the ducks, which is a favorite pastime. And we sang "Hänschen klein" about 6 times - two with one of our songbooks, and two with the other, and once before we opened the books, and actually many more than once after we closed them again so it was more than 6 I realize now. Fanny likes to tease me by singing one of the lines from it to me, but wrong-ish, and then I correct her and sing it right, and then she laughs her head off while I sing the rest of that stanza and for good measure finish the song with the last two stanzas.)
I'm wondering - forgive me if I've already written this - if I should keep blogging when I get home, and if so, in what form? What should I focus on? Dailiness simply? Or something else, some other aspect? I'm just not quite sure.
It's a lovely evening to a lovely day. I do hope against hope those protesters in Iran can change something. Good night, good night!