When last Sunday (oh, only yesterday !) was a stroll in the park, this Monday was a walk on hot coals. It’s 22:00 and I am dripping with sweat. I left for the Spessart around midday and looked for an easy drive through the river valley, over the hills and into the forest. But it’s summer, and I forgot the gods of road construction. I thought it’s a specialty of this lovely town to schedule all major maintenance works for summer, especially when the large festivals take off (Mozartfest, Africa Festival and so on), but no – it seems to be common practice in Lower Franconia. They ripped out the surface of the major Bundesstrasse, put up a sign to keep out the heavy trucks (like 40 tons) and send the traffic (at least in one direction)  through the vineyards. So I drove behind a 20 ton truck that managed to manoeuver through ways which normally are reserved for pedestrians, bicyclists and smallish vineyard equipment – I feel deep respect for the driver.
What the administration in the valley can, the administration in the woods can do better – at least they thought so, but in the end they went for a standard solution with traffic lights. They also have a Bundesstrasse and for whatever reasons it needs reconstruction – but they have no wine there – HA! So waiting in front of a red traffic light in the middle of nowhere is what you do in the Spessart. I’ll get used to it, because (with a little luck) I’ll return tomorrow morning for additional research. Hopefully I will not feel like a baked potato again when I’ll climb out of the tin can on wheels we call the Magomobile, a trusted little treasure by the way.
The recherche itself was successful: It is the correct place, I found the family name, the books are readable – well, the last quarter of the 17th century is a bit difficult, because of the priests tiny handwriting, sometimes the ink is a bit awash, but it works; the 18th is very good, a new and good readable hand. And best of all: They allowed me to take photographs (without flash of course!), that’s the only reason I was able to work through hundred years of marriages in a little less than two hours, then the battery of the photographic apparatus gave up.  I could have stayed there for another hour reading, but I have to confess, I simply wanted out of that place! It is tiny and cramped – as my appartement you may say, but it’s different: I can put out books on a table, and I do not have to welcome visitors here on a regular basis. Frankly, I would refuse to work in that hole! The next room where the very friendly and competent secretary is working is a bit better, in the course of the conversation it surfaced that she’s only some months there and that she renovated her working area by herself, if I understood a certain hint correctly.
Now I should look at my photos and transcribe the entries, but it’s 22:30 and I am in no more mood for any work that involves concentration and heavy thinking and such. In fact all I want is a glass of cheap white and a thunderstorm. At least the cheap white is here and at a pleasant temperature.

10 thoughts on “Melting

  1. A quiet night, clear sky, no wind, what means no rush from the Autobahn some kilometers away. The last bus rumbling down the road, a distant dog barking, a small train passing – it is like every human and every animal is tired and resting. The temperature change was strong, only the cicadas are working a night shift, extra strong. The next days will be demanding, the drop is scheduled for Thursday or Frayday.
    I am sure you’ll be baked MsScarlet in the coming days (polka dots!), but I am not sure who or what is responsible for this, Tim.

  2. The vineyard ways are paved, but very narrow, XL. And at some locations I am not sure whether the construction can carry 20 tons or more.
    Thank you for the books – the reflecting floor is a nice trick, I wonder whether there is a reflecting ceiling too?

    Two words: Open window! We have no air conditioning here in private houses; it’s used in supermarkets, some shops, cars have it nowadays; the magomobile of course not, bloody luxury. In fact I once owned a car with climatecontrol, it gave me a permanent headache in summertimes, seriously Norma.

    Then we have as much summer as possible, Joyce! BUt actually it seems that the end of this summer episode is near: Thin clouds move in from the West, and there is a certain mist over the land, Glast is the German word that describes it best, small breezes start to show up; maybe we’ll have a nice thunderstorm towards the evening!

  3. I too have been dripping like a glass blowers arse, these last few nights, just lying in bed, waiting for the damned dawn chorus to start, By flashing your headlights at those pesky temporary traffic lights, often makes them change to green, I’ve seen emergency vehicles do it.

  4. Oooh, our feathered friends … and all of a sudden a lark ragout seems to be a good idea … Thank you for the tip with the flashing, dear Mitzi, or is it mooning?

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