Piff, Pafff, Pöffff …

Some hours ago a colleague stopped my vehicle at the local supermarket. I clambered out, we said goodbyes, wished us mutually the best for times to come. He drove away, I visited the supermarket, and finally went home.

On Monday afternoon I felt anxious, and when I pushed open the door to my ophthalmologist my stomach knotted itself. I was on time, they were friendly, I knew that the starting examination would be a “moment of truth”, the result did not disappoint : It was worse than I expected.
When I finally sat opposite her, she asked “And, how is it ?”, only to answer the question herself : “It is really bad.” I had noticed some months ago that reading started to became difficult. So I did what any normal person does, I switched the screen setting from 100 to 110 %. Not a real solution.
When driving started seriously again, I asked for an appointment with my eye doctor, but had to wait for nearly two months, until last Monday. The Graue Star / “grey star” / cataract (as my dictionary calls it) in my right eye has become seriously bad, so that an operation is unavoidable. The degradation can’t be glossed over with glasses any more. I have to admit that I did not want to face this reality, I drove again on Tuesday morning. After this I realised that I am just an accident in waiting, and finally did the right thing : Ask for a sick note & accept the next possible date for a procedure.
My dispatcher was not happy, especially in the actual situation when people for this job are in demand (they even can’t give me a co-driver for months, I see a lot of new faces around), but here we go. What would be the alternative ?
The risk is not acceptable, and the best accident is the one you avoid, so no more driving for me. He amazingly pulled out of his pocket a colleague from another department, and asked me to train him on this route. All good, as long as I would not touch the wheel while kids on board. This was fine with me, and over the last days I was co-driving and explaining. I wish my successor (or stand-in) all the best.
The operation itself is nothing dramatic, I am just a big pansy. The idea that someone will use a knife to cut into my eye freaks me out. Of course I “know” that it is a standard procedure, done a thousands of times any given day, with a minimised risk, and a quasi guaranteed good result. Nevertheless, it is a cut into my eye, and I have to suppress any thought of The Andalusian Dog – no links here, bucket please …
I see it as a chance to find something else, to change things. The roadmap is clear. I have to collect all necessary papers & go for examinations before the given date (7th of December) ; I have to get myself into a state of cool-calm-collected-acceptance. The result of this (first) procedure will determine what follows, under some circumstances a second procedure (on the other eye) may be unavoidable. There will be time for recovery. I will have to get this driving job out of “my system”, and ask meself what i want to do, how to soldier on. It may be time for a hard look into the mirror. I know that i always can return to The Knights, and just keep on doing what I did for a living over the last years.
Tonight I can’t answer this, I even can’t pronounce the questions correctly. It was good to be with the kids this afternoon, and I am glad and thankful that I am not responsible for them any more, for their transport.
Anything else will appear.

Sunday Music

Thank GOd for the weekend, thank GOd for the vacancy, one week without driving, and without them lovely children – what a blessing !
I slept very badly over the last nights, on Friday morning I missed my motorway exit road (it cost me less than ten minutes, because it happened within a construction called “Autobahnkreuz West” with the next possible exit in easy reach) – I blame my tiredness, and the fog. I was driving through fog every damn morning last week, and it was fat, sticking, sun-resistant Franconian quality fog, not that flimsy imported nonsense, ha !
At least I had a co-driver this week. A colleague realised that I was driving alone now for a month (or more ?), so he volunteered to come with me. He started five or six years ago with the organisation, and I was the first he accompanied, and introduced him to the job. I am very thankful, a great gesture. After the vacancy he will return to his own vehicle, and I wonder seriously whether my regular companion will show up ever again.
On Tuesday I have to attend a mandatory class (First Aid & stuff), later I will go to Middle Franconia, and finally Suebia. So it is absolutely essential to do absolutely nothing today and tomorrow. With the exception of cooking, there looms another soup.
And while the stuff is cooking, there is time for a little Bourée (d’Avignon) composed by Nicolas VALLET (1583-1642) (Ger., Eng.) performed by Valéry SAUVAGE. (Here is a version by Paul O’DETTE, here the piece is performed by an ensemble, aptly named “Banquet du Roy”.) I hope you enjoy the music. May we all face a relaxing and peaceful week !

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Sunday Music

Thank GOd it’s Sunday. The last week was a six-day-week, several times through the school year a Saturday is used as normal school day. Thankfully the administration decided to make tomorrow (Monday) the movable day off. I need a two day break badly, things are becoming tense in my vehicle, slowly but steadily.. The reason is simple, I drive alone without a co-driver who looks after the kids. The little boy who can not speak found a new freedom over the weeks, and because he accepts no borders things are close to boiling over. He pulls his neighbour’s hair, kicks – just to put on an angelic face the next moment, kissing the girl next to him on the cheek. In the end I will have to change the order of seating in my vehicle, so a visit to the repair shop is imminent.
I will not get another co-driver, the Knights are handwringingly searching for drivers and other colleagues – and I must say that I saw some people lately I would not call colleagues, if they wouldn’t wear the badge. I usually do not complain officially about a colleague to my dispatcher, usually a serious talk ends disagreements or frictions. But last week this was not possible. I was seemingly not the first, and surely will not be the last one, who has to say something about this special “colleague”, I’ll learn of his departure soon, I am sure.
Today’s Sunday Music is the Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince GUARALDI (Ger., Eng.). I know that Linus expects The Great Pumpkin (Ger., Eng.) to show up on Halloween, still some weeks to go, but pumpkins start to pop up everywhere around already – and besides this, it is a gentle and friendly music.
I hope you enjoy the music. May the next week come without pulling hair, kicking shins, and slurping sleeves.

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Beer, Virus, Glasses

I am in a chatty mood today. I bought some beer from foreign places. Some weeks ago a friend invited me to dinner, and we went to a place that offers Chinese food. I never have been to China, or Asia in general, so I have no idea whether the food offered here in Europe as “Chinese”, “Asian”, Thai” etc. is really something people in those countries or regions actually do eat. What is sold here may well be adapted to a common “European” taste. On their menue I found Korean beer, and ordered a bottle. The stuff was actually manufactured in Germany, a normal, nondescript “Pils”, drinkable, not bad, just a beer.
But today I bought beer from China – it seems that the big steamers now do arrive in Europe again : Brewed & bottled in Qingdao (Ger., Eng.) in a brewery established in 1903, when the city was a German colony. It contained only a very small amount of rice (3 %). I wonder if in other former German colonies also breweries can be found. It was a very pale, and “light” brew, nicely drinkable, less than 5 % alcohol. Just serve well cooled.
Out of pure curiosity I also bought a Belgian brew, something I usually avoid at all costs, simply because these people throw anything into their beer that can not run away : Rice, sugar, colour, more yeast, even chocolate. In my experience Belgian beer is synonym with headaches of the very bad sort. They produce these concoctions of course with a little more uumph than usual. So the “exceptionally rich and complex flavour palette” comes with more than 10 % alcohol. It is called “Gulden Draak” (Eng.) and comes in very small bottles. Two are enough, seriously.

In circa two weeks the new school year will start, it seems that for me nothing changes – same route, same children. We will have to start twenty minutes earlier than last year, so it nearly equals what we had before the pandemic. The virus’ “numbers” are all going upwards around here, it will be interesting to see if, and when yes, what, will be changed. Presumably nothing.
I have not read about the last “findings” of the virus’ origins, and frankly, I am inclined to doubt anything in this respect that comes from a stately source, be it USAmerican, or Chinese, or else.
I can not forget this article on Reuters from last year, nevertheless I do not know what to make out of it. I vaguely remember that the French also reported a virus related death from late 2019. Whatever it means, I hope someone will piece it together one day.
All I am interested in is that no one of the people I love gets infected, and that I meself do not infect nobody. If that means, I am the odd one with the mask, so be it. Surely I will not use something that is made for de-worming cattle as a medication.

I spent too much time on news sites these days, of course I could not escape the last effort of Mr West, who seemingly found something he calls “Jesus”. What I heard on youtube, and other occasions, was bombastically boring ; someone should tell him that the only person, who gets away with supersized glasses on this planet, is Ms Apfel, happy hundredth by the way.
Enough of this. Sorry for having bored you for another five minutes or so. Let’s finish with The Pylon of the Month, August 2021, here.