Things started well with another ice-cold but sunny ride into the office. I am still feeling a bit peaky and so I was huffing and puffing a bit but at least the last few kilometers are downhill so by the time I got to the office I looked better than I felt. I thought to impress my wife by whizzing through the tight chicane on the steepest bit but unfortunately there is grit on the road just where you don’t want it so I had to dab on the brakes and wobble round the corners as usual. I’d just been looking at some spectacular pictures of my brother racing motorcycles before I left so by the time I got to the office I was feeling pretty inadequate all round.
Things didn’t improve when I got to work. It was one of those days where you get bombarded with problem after problem. Nothing works properly, nothing turns out as you’d hoped. Of course, this goes with the territoriy if you own/manage a small company. The buck really does stop there. I got bashed by the buck today.
For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking of a song by a German group, Die Toten Hosen*, called “Tage wie diese” – meaning “days like this”. It’s a really good song which is about the excitement and cameraderie building up when everyone goes to a football match. It starts quietly as everyone is meeting up and heading out and gradually builds up to a chorus which is designed for the terraces. I’m not much of a football fan, but it’s one of my favourite at the beer festivals because it never fails to get everyone up on their benches shouting out the chorus at the top of their lungs.
Thinking about that song got me thinking about other German songs I like. It’s not a language that fits easily into verse, but the best songwriters can make it work. So the next on my list was “Über den Wolken” by Reinhard Mey. The title means “above the clouds” and it really is about flying airplanes – but without being cheesy.
Probably my favourite German songs are by a strange chap, Herbert Grönemeyer, who has a squeaky voice and writes odd melancholy music. He has had a go at making some English language music – not bad but doesn’t quite work. He is also an actor and played the photographer in the only German film most Brits have seen… Das Boot.
I can’t think of a clever way to end this post, so I’ll do the next best thing and be honest. I had a rubbish day but I did think about some nice German songs and they cheered me up.
*Toten Hosen means dead trousers. This, in turn, is part of an expression used to describe a situation where not much is happening – for example an empty bar or restaurant. Roughly translated you might here someone say “was it busy?” to which you could answer “no, dead trousers.”