Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

die Boot and dead plants

I am a plant-killer. Plants, lawns, you name it, it’s dead. And, the worst is that it’s not my foliage I’m killing, it’s the Father’s and maid marion’s (or I should say ‘frau marion’ as a result of their fall nuptials). Great guy pointed the irony out to me. In September when they went away for a week, she gave me a list with exact quantities of water I needed to give each outdoor bush, tree and plant. I railed against that list, telling great guy, ‘how stupid does she think I am that I can’t water some bushes properly!’ So, I just watered as the spirit led me. It turns out that nothing much can die in just one week….but, after a few months, that’s a different story.

Now, it has been 3 months since the pair fled the -3 degree winter here, for Spain, and the leaves are dropping like flies all over their house. I am now in full-force rescue mode, trying to bring these huge plants back to life before the travelers return, with tender loving care and waaaay less water. You see, I tend to over-compensate, just like when I cook. At least with cooking too much food, you have a few days’ worth of left-overs (love that!), but too much water for plants is not good, especially when they have these weird leaves which gorge out totally and fall over with their own weight. Bad.

I seem to manage one plant okay. Great guy and I have one plant in our little house and it seems to still be alive. Back in Canada, I managed to keep a fern alive for 3 years (although it was touch and go at times). I’m actually much better with animals.

Yesterday, we had 2 dogs over for supper, Nero and Emma. Their owners came along too; it would’ve been rude to leave them at home. Our little house is very warm (great guy likes to keep the temperature at a comfy, sauna-like 40 degrees (celsius) and with floor heating even a rhodesian ridgeback starts sweating. But, man was it cute to have 2 big dogs in our little place. Come to think of it, I did give them a lot of water too.

We chowed down on heaping plates of mussels, baguette and salad, the idea inspired by our recent visit to Dusseldorf’s old city. Great guy and I were in this beautiful Rhein city last week for die Boot – one of the largest boat shows in the world.

We viewed mega yachts, elegant houseboats, old wooden sailboats, a huge catamaran owned by Audi, and best of all, a seabob. I really, really want a seabob…and not just because it reminds me of my very dear friend. But, they look like so much fun to ride. Or, I guess you would say that you hang on to them, not ride them. It’s a little hand-held machine which propels you super fast through the water. You can steer it, so that you can dive and jump, or just cruise really fast through the water. Rhein-bobbing…a new sport? Fun.

Later in the altstadt, after a great dinner of mussels at Zum Schiffchen (built in 1628), we ended up at a brewery right out of the middle ages, called ‘dat leckere Dröppke’. Plank floors, wooden beer kegs for tables, and the din of hundreds of happy beer drinkers, being served by beer-bellied happy old men. I felt like I was in a robinhood or pride and prejudice movie. I will definitely visit Dusseldorf again soon. I know that it is a dynamic city, and being one of the hardest hit during WWII, there is a lot of story there to explore.

January was an experience-packed month for me, and one I’m grateful for. Except for missing my brother and his little family like a hole in my heart, the month was beautiful. Great guy was at home the past five weeks, because he switched jobs. It was so nice spending more time together at home, relaxed, calm, happy. We ate breakfast together most mornings, then I would go to work and he would work on his baustelle projects (z.b. he built a chimney, re-covered our driveway, cleared a new parkspace, and put in the floor heating in the haus apartment he’s renovating), then he’d make some lunch for us, and I would head out again. He started his workout program at the gym, building up his ‘mukis’ (as some Germans call them) and I’m trying to run again when it isn’t raining. All in all, a healthy start to the year for our body and soul…good thing great guy’s not a plant.

Wishing you also a healthy, happy, loving February.

P.S. Great guy has started called me ‘honeyle’, which I just have to say is the cutest sounding thing.

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