On today’s public holiday, we had a lazy, pleasant, sunny spring day. I did some gardening – pulled up the wood garlic that proliferates in spring but has stopped flowering by now. There seems to be more of this stuff springing up every year in my garden, against the back wall. I could use it to make wild garlic butter or something but somehow, I never get around to it. I also removed the yellow washing line fence extension and replaced it with the brown fibre rope which really looks much better. I also cut some of the grass verges and then decided that that was enough gardening for one day. Still haven’t decided what to plant in the free corner, but as we’ll be in Bavaria for at least a couple of weeks by next Sunday there’s not really any point in planting anything yet. It’ll only dry up if there isn’t any rain now that Summer is on the way. If I decide on a rosebush, the proper time for planting it will be in autumn, so there’s no hurry.
Partner made a vegan paella for lunch. We recently watched something about cooking paella on TV and Partner was inspired to cook this dish. He even went so far as to order special paella rice on the internet (it’s like risotto rice, but with smaller grains). We’ve had it twice so far with different vegetables and it’s been a great success. It’s all cooked in one pan and at the end when all the liquid has evaporated, you’re supposed to turn up the heat for a few minutes so that a crust forms on the bottom of the pan. This has worked amazingly well. This time round we had some artichokes in it (preserved in oil, from the supermarket). They weren’t bad but we didn’t like them enough to repeat the experiment. We use fried tofu instead of meat (we fry it separately in cubes, deglaze it with soy sauce, and then add it to the paella).
Tomorrow, on my additional day off, I will pull myself together and do some of the stuff I’ve been putting off all weekend (at least that is the plan). Pay bills, make some appointments for Mum, order oil for our furnace in Bavaria (I hope I can get it delivered in June as our tanks are very low by now), clean the inside of the car (I’m getting my summer tires on Wednesday and don’t want it to look like a dump), go grocery shopping…
Since nothing of any import happened today, here’s a story from a few weeks ago: At work, once or twice a year, I meet up with a few colleagues from years for a meal out and a good gossip. We used to be in one department but are now dispersed all over the company. At the end of April, we planned a meal at an Italian restaurant in one of the nearby big cities. I live at the edge of a major metropolitan area, but I hate driving into big cities where I don’t know my way around. Usually in those cases, I team up with someone else. This time, that wasn’t possible. So, I gave myself a pep talk, decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone (haha), had a look at google maps and saw that the route from my place to the restaurant was pretty straightforward. So far, so good. I said I’d come. Then I remembered that the meeting was on a Friday evening before a long weekend and almost chickened out because I thought that traffic would be terrible and parking worse.
On the day in question, it rained all day, even poured sometimes. Late in the afternoon, Partner suddenly said to me “Do you think we’ll get water in our cellar?” And I’m like “What?”. A big puddle had formed in the garden and was only about 50 cm away from dripping into the window well of our cellar window. It didn’t, thankfully. It stopped raining as I was leaving for my meeting but on the way, I had to drive through five or so places where water had or was still pouring over the road. Not very high, but still very unusual. There was a police car parked in the woods on the way, but the policemen weren’t doing anything. Once up on the hill, I thought that the downhill drive into the valley would be fine, but it was even more flooded. At one point, someone had stalled their car in the deep part of a flooded area on the road. I think they must have driven though the water too fast and swamped their motor (it was a small car). I almost turned back, but by then I was stuck in a queue and there wasn’t any space to turn around. Everyone else made it, so I thought it would be all right and it was, but still… It was the first time in Germany that I had to drive through creeks on the road (floods happened all the time when we lived in the tropics years ago, but my dad did the driving then). Crazy weather.
Once I got down into the valley there was no more flooding (at least none that I saw). I found a place to park (always my biggest bugbear) and had a nice evening with the colleagues. On the way back, the flooding had disappeared. I guess it was a kind of flashflood. The next morning, we walked with Curious Dog through the town and saw that the river (which is normally quite small) was still very high and had apparently flowed over one of the bridges. The road was still being cleared of debris, but the water had gone. I don’t know if anybody’s house got flooded, but I think not. There have been more serious flood hereabouts, though. There are markers on the houses by the river showing the high-water levels of previous floods. Maybe we were lucky that we didn’t get a flooded cellar. If it floods after only one day of continuous rain, I don’t know what would happen if it rained for several days in a row. Although it did rain a lot in March and April; the ground must have been saturated. We are not very near the river, but we are also not very high up above river level. Some of the houses near the river have small walls with slots for steel bulkheads to keep out the water but I have never seen them installed. Well, it would be a pain to have a flooded cellar. We’ve got our food stock down there, as well as our small freezer, the washing machine, and the furnace and a lot of rubbish that we should take to the recycling plant. I should ask the neighbours if our neighbourhood has ever been under water.
That was a little excitement at the end of April.