Archive for January, 2013

My good ol’ British soul

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Personal stuff

Five o`clock in the evening and we set wheel on English soil at Dover. The weather was and still is misty. There is thick mist hanging over the landscape, so that the only thing we really could see from the Ferry were the white cliffs of Dover.

It was raining of course, a constant drizzle and the first thing we did, was driving to Folkestone`s Tesco to shop for some essentials (Earl Grey Tea, Chips…). Then we went up to Newington and to our lovely B&B with the rooms that could feature in a Jane Austen movie.

It started already when we came back out of Tesco with our bags, making our way through the car park through the drizzling rain. And we both felt, as if it was just another day in Edinburgh, returning after the evening shopping and on our way to our flat in Lochend Road, where we would have a cosy evening.

It didn`t feel like holiday at all. Coming here is like coming home for me, more than in Germany or any other place. Everything feels just right. I don`t mind the rain and the mist. Anywhere else, the mist makes your surroundings feel more uncomfortable. Here, everything appears more mysterious, as if you have stepped into another world.
If I was a witch I would say that you can feel the magic of the land in the air.

The very first thing that I do when I`m back where my soul belongs, is to make a cup of tea. I do have English tea bags, water, milk and sugar at home in Germany, but it is still impossible to even get close to the taste of a proper cup of tea brewed here. The reason is beyond me, but that`s how it is and I`m happy for it. Each country has such specialities which taste only truly good in that country and that`s one of the major reasons why travelling is so much better than just watching a documentary on TV.

That first cup of tea is always bliss to me. I savour every sip, sitting in the bed of this beautiful room that has a ceiling with wooden beams, a fluffy carpet, wooden furniture country house style and even a dresser with a three angle mirror on top of it, just like in the Jane Austen movies. The bed is facing the big window, which gives us a view over green hills, dotted with trees, sheep and the sea at the horizon. Well, I know that you see the sea at the horizon from our last visit here, of course today, I can only see as far as the fence to the neighbouring meadows.

I remember clearly the first time I saw the green hills of England for the first time at Brighton, when I was eighteen years old. My first thought, was that I had never seen such an amazing shade of green and I felt for the first time, what I felt ever since when I set foot on those hills again. A deep yearning inside of me, for what, I cannot really say, but it has to do with being here, being able to walk over those green hills, smelling the salty air on the constant breeze and feeling this deep deep connection to the land. It is as if I am constantly on the very edge of remembering something, something that was more important to me than anything else in the world, even my own life.
I keep having déjá vu moments here at almost every corner. They`ve become so normal to me, that I don`t even consciously notice them anymore. It`s just part of my life.

How I try to explain this to myself? I don`t try to anymore. There are many possible explanations out there, but I want to keep an open mind about it. If I settle on one explanation now, I might not recognise the truth when and if it hits me.

And even if it doesn`t, I shall not be any sadder for it. I`ve accepted it as part of myself and I know, deep inside of myself, that it will play an important role in my life. In a way, it does already.
I am simply a German who feels at home on the British Islands.

Oct. 2012 ~ Folkestone

Just now I was going into the elevator into the 6th floor in a hospital where my love is being operated at the moment. The door was almost closed, when another lady wanted to get in. So I pressed the “open door” button from inside, but all the door did was to stand still in the middle. The gap was too small for her rather voluminous form, so, valiently, I squeezed myself into the gap and pushed the door manually open, so she could get in. One of my slogans is, after all, why use brain when you can use muscle. After all, brains are far more valuable.

Once she was in, the door refused to close, obviously upset with my brutal ways. But after pressing our respective floor number buttons some more, it finally did close and while the portly lady was showering me with thank you`s, I had a closer look at her, since I normally feel slightly awkward when somebody is overly thankful for something that should be normal.

She wore school teacher glasses, a bob haircut that went nicely with the conservative / serious look and to top it of, she wore a parker with a silk scarf with a floral, old curtain design. She seemed to be somewhat uncomfortable with the fact that I had used bodily strength to grant her entry to the lift, so I instantly felt the need to make her feel less awkward by cracking a joke.
I don`t know why I never learn, that my jokes rarely have the same effect on other people as they do on my closest friends!
But once I had opened my mouth, it couldn`t be stopped and I said:

“Oh, no worries, really, I`m sure the elevator can take a little manual handling. And even if not, if we crash with the elevator here, at least we get immediate help, so the chances of dying are really very slim you know. I mean, we will have broken bones, and this is the right department for that exactly, although of course, we will also have raptured internal organs most likely, and that would mean the internistic ward, because damaged internal organs take precedence over broken bones in treatment, but then they do have an emergency room here, so most likely, we would be fine before long.”

I gave her a winning and encouraging smile. And then… it dawned on me that I had just said all the wrong things.
She gave me a look as if my skin had just peeled off my true, alien face (and my, I`m so used to that look by now) and I had a feeling that her feelings of gratitude were in the process of shifting into something else. Luckily for me, the lift door opened on her floor and she jumped, while mumbling non-committing sounds and leaving on her floor saying “Ah, yes, well oh, well, good bye.”
The door closed again and I did a face palm. Another tick on my list of people who will not invite me for afternoon tea!

Oct. 2012 – Nuremberg, Germany

How big is your world?

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Fan stories

Eleven by Seven. My storage unit is this big. It is also the size of my living accommodations. One window, four walls, and a tiny closet at a Y living with over one-hundred other men. Is that all my 38 years of life has boiled down to?
I am a rat pack by nature and as I look around this hovel I don’t see the Items themselves sometimes. I see instead the friend that gave me the item. The image of six lost loves of my bachelor life rears its ugly head from time to time.
On the window sill I spy the two foot tall Christmas tree and a collection of CDs and DVDs. My refrigerator is one of those three foot cubes. Oh the joys of bachelor life.
It is times like these when I am alone in my prison without bars that I find myself day-dreaming. As a life-long Trekie, I fanaticize about the perfected world of Star Trek. I have set out on the path of writing a star trek novel three different times. Each time the computer crashed and I’ve lost as much as 130 pages of material at a shot.
In recent months I have found new friends on the net. It seems so much simpler to communicate here than face to face where you have to judge body posture, tonnage, inflations, extra. I also been able to reach out to people I’ve lost contact with over the years. Each contact I make – each friendship I so is a branch in the life I own or at least am responsible for if you believe in a creator.
My immediate life may be an almost cloistered life in this rented room, but the reach of my friendships are world-wide. This computer is my freedom, distant friends and the gateway from the insanity of real life to a more noble future. How big is your world? It is as big as your imagination and your heart.

Submitted 10/18/2012 7:10:41 AM by Richard Shindle