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10 posts from January 2011

Lunch at the Kantine


I was early to meet my friend for lunch and the Kantine was so tranquil when I arrived.


I had plenty of time to study the handwritten menu. The baked sweet potato with chorizo, lentils and cabanossi sausages seemed the thing to get, but the Maultaschen were calling my name.

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An afternoon at the Nordic Embassies

On a rainy Sunday, there are worse places to take a toddler than the Nordic embassies' building. The lack of security at the door -- no metal detector! -- was so refreshing. It chimed with my stereotypes of the Scandinavians.

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A day in Birkenwerder


When we woke to sun and temperatures above freezing, we knew we had to seize the moment.


We rode the S8 north past windmills and fields to the town of Birkenwerder.

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Cherry branches from below and above


I bought cherry branches at the Blumencafe last night. By morning, they had stained the vase water this amber. I had never thought of the redness being in the tree, but it's true, even the cut ends have gone blush-dark.

Now I'm waiting for the stubby branches to break into leaf and flower.


Out and about in Hopeman & Burghead


This time last Tuesday


A friendly crowd followed the flaming tar barrel down Burghead's narrow streets. Once at the Point, the Clavie Crew placed it on the stone altar.

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And with that, she was gone


You see that innocent grassy knoll above? That's where the Clavie is burned every year. Afterwards, stovies are served in the village hall. This pagan fire festival takes place in the village where my parents-in-law live, and it's one of the many things I'm looking forward to on our week-long sojourn in Burghead. It will be my first winter visit to Scotland: watch for frosty seagrass and snowy pine forests just as soon as I get online again. Off to the airport now!