And Gutenberg Lived Here: Summer Solstice: Like The Man Said

Yesterday I got involved in a sort of friendly word war.

Actually, there was no war,

since when someone has a great Michael Caine accent and writes about his

“luvverly garden”

you always finish last.

Which is fine with me.

The oldgit at wordpress is just too funny.

And while we were tossing words about,

I wished him a happy solstice.

The result of which is another absolutely gorgeous piece about how he, as a Brit,

will celebrate the solstice-

plastic ponchos over naked maidens who refuse to dance by the wet ashes of a

fire doesn’t begin to cover it.


This morning I wake up,

Look out the window,


It’s been raining for several days here in Gutenberg Land.

Slow, steady, nasty, drizzly.

Interspersed with just a soupcon of hail, deluge, pest,

flying cows…

And, what with the television showing ads every couple of minutes during the nightly news

for the great plastic cups, dishes, spoons, dancing maidens in dirndles with




not the girls

or are they the ones on page 23?

by a popular Swedish online store,

whose furniture is known

and feared,

throughout the world.

“hook screw type a (12)  to bolt b (10)

to build your new dream kitchen ‘Korvan.'”

The revenge of the Vikings.

Many years ago,

in a fit of hubris,

I actually spent eight hours building a bed,

bolt by bolt,

manual by manual,

breathing in the unfinished wood,

not stopping to eat or drink,

till I realized I was late for rehearsal,

tried to escape,

then collapsed outside the door,

and promptly locked myself out.

The locksmith “Arnie” was more expensive than the bed.

Which brings us back to expectations.

I personally expect sunlight on midsummer night.

A broad meadow where you can see forever.

Mead in a horn.

(well, ice tea for some of us)

And frolicking bucolics.


other midsomer.

Bring on Joyce, Tom and the Vicar.

So back to reality…

One of our favorite midsummer trips is to the Volkspark,

a place of great mystical views of the Rhine river.

From the top of the mountain.

Through the magical ceremonial smoke

of the camper hibachis,

on which are grilled three cloves per dog garlic-laced beef hot dogs (Turkish)

Or gigantic two-pound pork steaks (the Germans)

Or soy hot dogs

(for those who are vegetarian, but don’t want to miss out on anything)

Then, as the children and dogs run free,

it begins.

The six-foot by six foot grill masters,

who haul boxes around all day in a certain Swedish furniture store

suddenly rise,

take out racquets the size of a large cooking spoon,

and start whapping small birdies into submission-

for the honor of the shire,

the Eu,

the day Vercingetorix won the battle of Gergovina-

yes, I’m an Asterix fan,

or whatever else is important at the moment.

Followed closely by oohs and ahs of the crowd.

Which is usually the moment our group of sixteen Hunsruck mathematicians, various international wives,

all math teachers,

with the exception of me,

the reasonable one of the group,

who gets to drive one of  the buses,

the other one studied languages,

take off.

I mean how much excitement

and smashed birdies

can the non-German heart survive.

And spend the rest of the evening singing off-key,

and discussing Riemann-Roch,

or the ballad of poor ypsilon.

Or at least that was the way it was

until today.


When we decided to run a few errands on our way to the Volkspark

we discovered:

The entire city is filled with cars from up to several hundred miles away,

there is an open air showing of a football game.

Probably something European-cup-ish.

Ireland, I think.

I’m not really sure.

And a huge state fair thing on the Rhine-

with loop-the-loops, and test how strong you are, and pulling out small stuffed footballs and player figures with a giant claw thing.

Which meant that, since we could find nowhere to park, we decided to move on the Volkspark.

Only to discover-

no room at the inn.

So, moving right along, we decided we would go home,

and warn everyone and invite them to us.


there is an open air event in the stadium,

which means no parking at our place.

Or anywhere within blocks.

We had to park in the garage.

And since we only have one slot…

We’ll celebrate tomorrow.

And pretend it has to do with the date line, or something.

Oh, and as for next year:

Stonehenge, get ready.

Which, along with the fact that the Brits can’t play the Eurocup again, seem to

be the two best reasons I can think of for Brexit.

copyright 2016

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