Ariane has flown off to Dublin for a couple of days on a girls’ trip with her friend Corina – which makes me a so-called Strohwitwer (literally a straw-widower). We use this expression whenever the husband is left alone for a few days. Tomorrow is a bank holiday – Father’s Day over here – so I am hoping that I will be able to have lie in and then have breakfast made for me. In anticipation of the easy day tomorrow, I have allowed the kids to watch some TV this evening and cracked a couple of beers myself. I may even have a whisky when they’ve gone to bed.
This afternoon it was down to me to ferry children around to Zumba/Accordeon/Shopping. This meant a fair bit of time in the car, with the radio on. Unfortunately I have lost all control of the music which is played in the car so, with two pre-pubescent girls in control, that means that I have a choice between chart music and… chart music. There is only so much Adele a grown-man can stand so once I got the girls planted in front of the telly, I plugged myself into Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” and started looking at the calendar and thinking about the next mountain weekend with Alan (see account of previous jaunt here: Alpine Sunshine and here: Austria). Alan and I then got into a brief prog-rock texting frenzy about what we were listening to at that moment. In retrospect it would be hard to think of a more middle-class / middle-aged activity. But what the hell, it’s Father’s day tomorrow.
So what happens on Father’s Day in Germany? Well, apart from hopefully having breakfast served, the traditional thing to do is meet up with other fathers and take a wheelbarrow full of alcohol for a walk in the woods. It is a wheelbarrow, but not as we know it. The German boozing version is called a Bollerwagen and it is dragged rather than pushed. Most families will have one – they are great for loading up and going for a picnic. But on Father’s Day most of the space is taken up by beer. I do approve of this tradition, and think that it is a very constructive way to spend such a holy day but I must confess to never having done it myself. I do see a couple of groups of boozy fathers in our village every year, meeting up and then heading out to the woods for a barbecue and a booze-up with their Bollerwagen. But usually they are a fair bit younger than me and I can’t help thinking I’d rather just have a drink in the garden and collapse on the sofa later on.
I’ll let you know how it goes.