I had a couple of very pleasant rides into work this week. The weather has taken a turn for the better and it has been dry for nearly a week now. Sunny, but not too hot with a light easterly breeze. The normal high-pressure summer weather we would expect but which has been elusive so far in 2016. The trails in the forest have completely dried out so our bikes roll just a little easier and, what with the Tour de France being on at the moment, the hills seem a little flatter than normal. Ariane was getting into the spirit of things a couple of days ago. I could see she had the bit between her teeth on the descent and as we approached the left/right combination that I like to think of as “the chicane” she stuck her left knee out like a motorcycle racer. Here we go again, I thought.

Well she made the first corner and threw her bike over to the right and by using all the available space just squeezed round the second corner. Walking up the hill was a portly, middle-aged Nordic Walker whose heart-rate certainly got a sudden boost. Ariane was already past him but I saw him hold up his hands crossed in front of his chest while clattering his sticks together. It was all over in a second and nobody was in any danger but the poor chap got the fright of his life. The forest is full of early morning Nordic and Power Walkers and we always make a point of saying hello and smiling if they are coming the other way or giving a friendly “ding” on the bell if we are coming up behind them. But in this case we were the cycle-commuting equivalent of aggressive BMW drivers. Apologies to the pedestrian folk of Schönaich and Böblingen for that. I blame Ariane.

I was looking forward to getting into work yesterday because on Thursday evening the German football team lost. After the English team lost one of my colleagues said to me “So how do you feel about the next Brexit?”. I threatened to dock her pay and we had a bit of a laugh about the utterly predictable joke and since then I had been plotting my revenge. I wanted to ask her how she felt about the “Dexit”. Unfortunately she had a home-office day so I couldn’t make my wisecrack and enjoy just a little Schadenfreude myself. I did watch the first half of the game and Germany looked much better than France but it seems they didn’t have luck on their side and just couldn’t get the ball in the net. That’s strange because usually Germany always beat sides that they should beat. I know that sounds obvious but England is quite the opposite. Anyway Schönaich was very quiet on Thursday evening although there must be a lone Frenchman living around here because someone was driving around tooting their horn.

Unable to make my clever Dexit joke I had no choice but to get some work done. I had a decent day and solved a few problems and raced home (speedy cycling-shirt on again) for a barbecue. My Mum* is staying with us and it seems like ages since we could all relax on a Friday evening and have a couple of drinks and a bit of slightly burnt meat. The evening sky was clear and we ended up having one of those perfect barbecues where it starts with a bit of sweating over the grill and ends up with the stars out and a cool beer in your hand.

Today I had a bit of lie in and then walked with my younger daughter to the bakers. We didn’t see any of the usual characters mentioned in Morning Wanderings but Frau Schimpf, the bakers’ wife did have a little Brexit chat with me while we were waiting to be served. After breakfast I was able to give Mum a special treat – she accompanied me to the tip. It was a bit smaller than she expected, but it was nonetheless a hive of recycling activity with good burgers of Schönaich doing there weekly duty. I should mention that just about every village has their own tip so they can be quite small. Within a 5km radius I can think of three other tips we could visit. What a paradise. We are spoilt for choice. People who live in large cities don’t have this choice. In fact they have no choice at all because usually all the recycling waste is collected in the “Gelbe Sack” so there is no need for them to devote part of their Saturday morning to this ritual.

The rest of the day has been devoted to doing not much at all apart from taking the kids to the pool, dozing off every now and then and watching the Tour de France on TV. Perfect.

Bis morgen!

*I picked Mum up at the airport on Thursday evening – thus missing the second half of the footy.


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