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July, 2010: Second-Half Summary

July 12 through 31

Finished August 5


Friends and Families ,

Still, I am trying to catch up. Fortunately I have a spare day here in St John, New Brunswick so I think I'll make it. My business meeting ended a day early, but I decided to stick with my original return schedule. I don't expect to return this way any time soon!

So, what else did July hold?

July 18 -

Cirque du Soleil

One of Marianne's favorite things is Cirque du Soleil. She had ordered tickets to the last Frankfurt showing of "Varekai" and we both looked forward to the performance. As usual, Cirque was wonderful, filled with interesting music, and performers of all kinds: comedians and jugglers; acrobats and high-wire artists; singers, musicians, and the most imaginative staging.

Great show, but, alas, no photos allowed.


July 24-

An Irish Invasion

As followers of this diary recognize, our Bavarian neighborhood never passes up the opportunity for a summertime festival. This weekend, it was the annual Höchstadt Irish festival. Höchstadt has a sister-city relationship with Castlebar, an Irish village , so that's the excuse. But, mostly, it's an excuse for locals to perform, parade, dress up, and eat.

(Note Jay in upper-left picture. He's American, not Irish, but that's foreign enough.)


July 24-

A Yard Tour

Our next weekend was quiet, just tending to our "farm". This is the time of the year when we start harvesting the veggies of our labors. For city folks like us, this is pretty nice.

July 30 -


At the end of July, we had promised Claudia, a school-chum of Marianne's, that we would pick her up at her "felting" class in southern Bavaria. While we could easily have just driven down, picked her up, and returned home, we decided to spend a night in the neighborhood, just Marianne and I.

From our internet search, we ended up reserving a room at "Jagstmühle", a restored mill in the Jagst River valley. It turned out to be a wonderful location in a most picturesque location. Germany is filled with quaint locations and this would rank high on the quaint-scale of our experience.

July 31 -

Drive and Bridges

On Saturday, we left the mill early and stayed on back roads. Soon after starting, we ran across this covered bridge leading over to the village of Unterregenbach ("lower rainy brook"). I'm not sure HOW old this wooden bridge is, but clearly the cover had protected the structural wood for a century or two.

Later on our drive, we drove under a far more modern bridge carrying the A6 autobahn. As a Californian, I always wonder about earthquake behavior of towering structures, but I am reassured that this is "low seismic". Still, if there was an earthquake, I'd bet on the old wooden bridge over these modern concrete piers.


July 31 -


Finally, we found Claudia. Marianne last saw her about 40 years ago, but the two hit it off as if it had been weeks. Claudia showed us her classroom, where she had added to her techniques for making wool felt.

We passed through Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the way home , always a nice tourist stop. The day ended on our patio, sipping German white wine, listening to the details of Claudia's very creative art.


The next day, my birthday in fact, I headed to New Brunswick for a work meeting, but that's another story.


John and Marianne


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