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.


A well-stocked Bollerwagen

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.

Bis morgen!


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