I have yet to decide if the utility of observing this Lent lies in the great mirage of accumulated wisdom that I'm left with, or in the been-there-done-that feeling which leaves me very fond of my birthday indeed (already a good thing) and with a sense that it's exactly the perfect time to, well, get on with things.
So, I'm 31 now, and slightly disoriented. It felt far too warm and sunny this week to possibly be my birthday so the usual philosophical routine was interrupted by an unshakable joie de vivre. Worse things to complain about I suppose. The Föhn winds (see last post!) have been waning only gently, and it's hard to believe that we may get more winter before spring finally comes. The crocuses are up, the mini-daisies you see in the grass too, and of course snowdrops. Will I get to use my cross-country skis at all this winter? At this point it's ok if not...(or if I have to head for a high Alpine valley to do so!)
Here are a few pictures documenting Sunday's Beer-Rhine-Sunset:
St. Chrischona, where there is an excellent view of Basel, and when it's not as hazy at it was, all the way to the Alps.
Behind the 1509 church (you can climb right up the tower), there are forests and fields - somewhere in there the border between Basel and Germany too.
Modern-Day Sheep Herding
Having wound up on the wrong side of the hill to watch the sunset, we nipped over to the other side just in time. The haze which had obscured the view of the Alps the hour before was now responsible for a very fine palette of colours:
We headed back into Riehen - a northern suburb of Basel, stumbling upon a little whisky shop which is barely ever open but as luck would have it was closing in six minutes. So we nipped in and got a 50mL taster bottle of BenRiach 20-year old - wow! Heather and Honey rounded out by sweet pears. Back in Speyside in a few weeks, I think I shall have to explore...
The next morning, Helen (who had stayed over since she lives in Freiburg) and I had breakfast, and I got the distinct feeling that every time I looked, the daffodils had made one more step to opening. Shortly after breakfast was done, sure enough there was a bloom. Now there are five.
Since then, I've been recovering from the intense socializing of the last week, but I couldn't resist when I was invited upstairs for a very silly supper of eggs and toast (incidentally the same as breakfast yesterday too). But these were goose eggs from the farmer's market in France and we had to eat them out of espresso cups, to Sophia's supreme delight. She ate a whole one.
Now it's Saturday morning and I've just finished my coffee - perfect timing. Off to play in the Bach Cantatas later, playing the chorale tune on trombone in the first movement and slide trumpet in the last. Not many notes, but after being sent some live recordings of Bach for my birthday, I'm happy to get my fix of being inside the music myself!