In only a couple more days we will reach the shortest day of the year and then the days will begin to lengthen again – having closed the curtains around 4.30 today, I’m looking forward to a little more daylight once the festive season is over!!

But since that’s where we still are, let’s enjoy the moment –

16. On the table – is a small hand-thrown dish I bought at a farm shop a couple of years ago. Since it’s the season of nuts and mandarines, as well as candles, and we all tend to gather around the table, there is always a bit of peel, shell or match to put aside and I collect it in here for periodical emptying. IMG_404317. Triangles – not a shape I really “do” (it’s curves and geometric for me!) but who’s to say a triangle can’t have a curve?! IMG_4013Stein-am-Rhein is a very pretty mediaeval town I’ve mentioned here before, and fittingly, it has a mediaeval Christmas market in St. George’s monastery yard – there were many cloaked figures (LARPs? Re-enactors?) and a good choice of furs, carved goods, leather items, clothing and jewellery to be had, some ironwork and a fortune teller… This is on the way out into the town, the “lemon-tree house”.IMG_4009Our weather was simply gorgeous, far too warm for the season but easily enticing us to wander down along the Rhine and sit on a bench soaking in the sunshine! I loved this little house and must investigate what it was originally used for, perhaps something to do with customs? IMG_4021 IMG_4019Up above the little town is the castle of Hohenklingen – http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burg_Hohenklingen in German because sadly, there isn’t much about it in English. Briefly, it sits 200 m above the town and as it’s never been seriously attacked, it still looks as it did from 1200 to 1422… Its position has meant it’s been strategically important for all of its history, from the original wooden tower, through the Thirty Years’ War to helping to defend Zurich and including WWII. IMG_4024Last but not least, as we wandered back towards the railway station (and not this miniature one!) IMG_4015we passed the local cinema… IMG_402618. 15 Years ago – ooh, my goodness! 15 years ago we had a young family with three girls aged between 4-15 and lived in a large and rambling house. It wasn’t exactly a farmhouse, as it had belonged to the village vet, who was considered a Herr Doktor, who went in for luxuries like electricity, parquet floors and central heating – as well as a telephone. It seems he was a little eccentric, but he was obviously respected in the village and we were told that he carried out his duties by horse and trap until he retired, which we worked out must have been in the ’60s or ’70s! Older people in the village tended to come to the back door, as this was the official entrance to the vet’s and they had often been sent along as children to fetch him – it didn’t even occur to them to come to the front door and ring the bell, which sometimes startled us at first! This included the midwife from a smaller village up above ours, who checked on me daily for a couple of weeks after I’d had my last daughter. She was in her 70s, very brisk and efficient and had brought her only son up single-handedly after she was widowed very young – a most imposing, matronlike lady!

IMG_2005It was a nice house for a family and we had lots of space and invested a lot in the garden, however it was also a lot to deal with and we were quite relieved when we moved to a smaller place. In the meantime, the roof has been replaced and has solar panels on the other side, and a hedge, too, has been removed, so you can actually see the house from the road! Still, happy memories!


6 thoughts on “Mid-December

  1. Hello Swissrose or may I call you Melanie? I enjoyed very much reading this post and I love all the photos!. You recall such happy memories. Since I live in Australia, we have soon the longest day. But I grew up in Berlin, Germany. and I remember well how early it got dark around Christmastime.
    I send you Season’s Greetings and wish you a very happy fourth of Advent and a Merry Christmas!
    Love, Uta 🙂

  2. Pretty dish – not seen that before. Stein-am-Rhein looks as delightful and quaint as ever. Nice to see the old house is being maintained and not falling into disrepair. Memories 🙂 Thanks!

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