Good Friday

I had a great lie-in this morning. After waking at around 6 am as usual, I had a quick read and then managed to doze off until after 9. I was woken by the ringing of a small bell which signifies that breakfast is ready. An excellent start to the day.

I needed the extra sleep because I had driven 1400km in the two previous days – from Stuttgart to Berlin, then to Essen and then back home. When I was planning the trip I hadn’t really considered the distances properly and thought that as Berlin and Essen were both sort of up north that I would just “nip across”. I had forgotten that since East Germany came back into the fold, the country is pretty wide up there. Berlin is only 60km from the Polish border so my nipping across to Essen turned out to be a 600km ordeal with lots of road works and plenty of traffic. The drive back home was pretty grim too.

But luckily for me Jesus got himself crucified so I could have a lovely guilt-free lie in this morning. They do say he died for our sins – now I get it. I am now fully recovered and feeling quite perky.

Easter is quite a big deal over here. As soon as carnival is over (shrove Tuesday) the shops start filling up with chocolate Easter Bunnies and people decorate things with hard-boiled coloured eggs. As with most holidays here it is slightly less tacky than back in England but they are catching up fast. It’s also quite common for the kids to get big presents at Easter, just like at Christmas. Because we (usually) have proper winters with snow, Easter is the time that the kids get their new bikes. So after the chocolate egg hunt on Easter morning (yes, they do that here too) the pavements are full of kids wobbling around on shiny new bicycles with worried looking parents running after them.

The weather is horrible today – grey and wet. None of us feel like going out but we might take a trip to the cinema later. The giant multi-screen chains have made it to the big cities in Germany with their giant popcorn buckets and huge vats of coke (thanks, America) but our local cinema is slightly more modest affair. The good news for me is that you can buy a proper glass bottle of beer (choice of several available) and a bag of Studenten Futter (mixed nuts and raisins). This is the perfect combination for me – not sickly-sweet and quite filling all washed down with a nice cold grown-up bottle of beer. And because I had a great lie-in this morning there is every chance that I will stay awake until the end too. Happy times – that must be why they call it Good Friday.

Bis morgen.

P.S. You can also get a beer at the giant multi-screen chain cinemas too, but usually they will only have one of the mega-brands like Becks or Heineken. At our local cinema you can get the excellent, locally brewed, Wulle.


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