Apus apus

BIttersweet, yes I think this characterises this week best.
Wednesday I sat on my balcony for some hours in the late afternoon, looking at the sky and watching those admirable little birds, Mauersegler, apus apus, or common swift. It’s possible that a few swallows were also in the group. I always remember that the augures, Roman seers, used to watch the birds, their behaviour & sounds, to catch a glimpse into the future. I was not that classy, and looked mostly back.
I finished a project that run over several years, mostly by accident. Nevertheless I felt a bit melancholic, pensive. At one point some years ago, I naively nursed the hope that there was the possibility of a long & steady contract. I made some suggestions that were rejected in clear words. Now I learned that the man who hired me ten (!) years ago retired last year, and that the (then) head honcho will leave for good to the end of this year. So the whole thing is buried now, as it was meant to be from the start. I have to go through some papers, billets etc. for the last outstanding bill, and that was that. It was a long good-bye.
There are one (or three) “things” that vex me, I know that there is a need for further investigation, research. I always defined myself, when asked “and what are you up to ?” by saying “Oh, the usual, lesen schreiben, recherchieren (read, write, research)”. I do not want it to end with a whimper. call it bus driver’s pride if you like.
The heat was unforgiving over the last days, finally this afternoon brought heavy rain, but no real relief. It’s a Dampfbad now, but at least with clear air. The small creek down there is not so little right now. She (it’s die Haslach) rose out of her bed and drenches adjacent fields. Too much water falling down in too little time. More rain is promised, at least slightly falling temperature too, but this promise was given & not kept a little too often over the last weeks by those weather people. All one can do is drink water, reduce the intake of “news”, and feed one’s brain. (The local firefighters arrived in the creek’s behalf, and put up some barriers, so yeah, they did something : If someone ignores these plastic things and gets wed feet, or falls in and drowns, the municipality is on the safe side – hey, we told you to not to !)
I do not want to blether on & on. I am tired in a way. My clothes are spread all over the place to dry, I was caught in the afternoon’s downpour. After less than ten meters walking it was useless to seek shelter, because t-shirt & trousers were already soaked, so I enjoyed the walk in the rain.
I want to end this with something friendly, swinging – so here is some music to enjoy.

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Eloped

In case you accidentially see a middle aged man of not very high built and small embonpoint, who looks a bit confused, wears a vanilla coloured vest and a beret of undefined colour, please be so kind and point him in the correct direction.
Just to be sure, because this discreption is a bit vague after all, his unique feature is a little black suitcase, a real one, not one of these things people trail behind. He may seem to be a bid “unstable” on his feet, but it is not caused from drink or ungodly shenanigans, but from work in the bookmines.
Usually friendly & carefree, just do not mention words like “removal”, “relocation”, “moving box” et al. Also a discussion about “cataloguing” is not recomended. Avoid libraries in general as dinner conversation, and all will be fine.

Sunday Music, on a Tuesday

“Ta-ta” you may say, venerated reader, “this guy isn’t even able to blog regularly at one day a week, ta-tah.”
And of course Your criticism would be absolutely valid & justified.
But I may say that the weekend that was, in fact was not a “weekend” with days of rest and laziness, sleep and recreation.
In fact I had additional driving duties on Saturday, and spent Sunday travelling from the early hours of the wonderful morning to late afternoon visiting a rural festivity in Middle Franconia.
I blame the sweltering heat for my difficulties with night’s sleep, what is surely no excuse for the fact that I slept in this morning, the first time in three years. I heard the alarm clock, held it in my hand, and saw the large finger pointing upwards. When I looked again, the large finger hadn’t barely moved, and I got up, went to the kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee. Suddenly I asked myself towards what number the small finger would be pointing, the five or the six ? The six of course, so the coffee had to wait, as had my co-driver who phoned in punctually when I was already marching through the street to the vehicle that I found thankfully parked at the usual spot.
An exciting life I unfurl in front of Your eyebeam, dear reader.
Also exciting, at least for me, is the early baroque music of the Venetian Dario CASTELLO (ca. 1590 – ca. 1658) (Ger., Eng.). Here we hear the tenth sonata from his second book, published Venice 1644, performed by Les Cornets Noirs from Basel, an ensemble specialised in early baroque music, what a coincidence.
I hope you enjoy the music, may the week be peaceful and stressless !

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Plans, eh ?!

Leaving in the ddm, spending the larger part of the day by looking at tons of papers, plans mostly ; all of a sudden in the late afternoon one finds oneself standing in front of some people who want to go home, presenting a project one has  – sorry for the rude expression – pulled out of the derrière in the early afternoon over two cups of coffee, or, to be correct, one chocolate and one coffee. What started as a “come over and have a look at our plans”-trip morphed into (the vague chance of) a full-scale project of at least nine months, or possibly more. Frightening and funny at the same time.
One part of the archive materials is stored in a 1902 madhouse. The guide would marvel at the impressing construction of the windows (“vandalenfest”) ; the sophisticated way of in-direct lightning and the very modern heating installations ; the unbreakable doors ; yeah, very impressive cell, state of the art in times of Emperor Wilhelm II. Nevertheless the doors are carefully blocked with stuff, so they don’t slam shut, and the whole building is downright nightmare-inducing – thank you, I won’t work there and do not want to see the small exhibition on the first floor. Especially when I’d have to pass the modern high-security facility next door in the evening. Even on this sunny afternoon it gave the impression of a 1943 prisoner of war camp.
It was an exhausting, and perhaps promising, expedition into Middle Franconia. If there should ever materialize a project, it would start in spring 2016 earliest, all their budget-planning for this year is through, all this needs a long notice – einen langen Vorlauf, while everybody else lives hand-to-mouth, oh hell yeah, we’re flexible.
No, I do not want to mumblegrumblegrouse. I just look in astonishment at the way public administration is doing business, it’s always astounding again. I should be used to it now, working as a trigger man in the public sector of culture is nothing new to me, and here my role would be to cover the head-honcho’s derrière against attacks, simply because the job (the whole project as it constitutes itself right now) involves to get rid of a lot of stuff. And nothing is worse than to cull materials, files, plans esp. from an archive, one needs a very good explanation for doing this. You can easily get things into an archive, you can barely get them out. And given the history of the institution in question, their more or less hostile relation with the responsible archive of the state, I can’t help but feel like being elected for the position of scapegoat.
I have the feeling that I shouldn’t worry now. Pay me and I shred it. After all it’s just paper, this brittle stuff they used for copies all through the last century, and besides me and one or two blokes who want to get rid of the stuff, nobody will know what was in there. And let’s be honest, most of these ten thousand files are simply nonsense.
But it’s nothing to built on, just a vague promise, so I’ll keep my hand in the lottery, and drive kiddies, that’s an honest job after all.