blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

German conversations, October to June

Pouring coffee for two of my German speaking
friends, on a Thursday morning
Each summer the German speaking Konversationsgruppe I belong to (and which I organise) takes a few weeks' break till we resume our regular Thursday morning meetings in October. When we reach this year's Sommerpause, we'll have met as many as 30 times during the academic year, not bad going; the group's members take turns to be our hostess. It was my turn last week, and I had one of the German ladies bring her parents, Peter and Bettina from Potsdam, to join us. Because our topic of the day was Schubert––it's my job to choose the topic for discussion every time, and what we read together––I sang and played a couple of Schubert-Lieder to the people who came along. Today, at Lolan's place, we read a short story by the Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger, who incidentally is of my mother's generation and still alive, born in 1921. Because her mother was Jewish, Ilse had to be hidden during the war while her twin sister managed to find refuge in England. I learn something interesting like this every week!

Here's a juxtaposition of some of the other topics covered since last October, a few of these in my absence:

Snails, Dyskalkulie, Die Geschichte von Malta, Die Geschichte der Mode, Heinzelmännchen, Bertha Benz, Vorbilder für Jungs, Mailand, Weihnachtsmärkte, Schnee-Eulen, Elefanten, Huskies in der Arktis, Der Karneval in Köln, Luxemburg, Nouruz, Ikebana, österreichisches Deutsch, Hannah Arendt, Maibäume, Tulpen

i.e. snails, an dysfunction known as dyscalculia, the history of Malta and of fashion, Rheinland pixies, Bertha Benz, rôle-models for boys, Milan, Christmas markets, snowy owls, elephants, the Cologne carneval, huskies in the Arctic, Luxembourg, Nouruz, ikebana, the peculiarities of Austrian German, Hannah Arendt, maypoles and tulips.

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