“Don’t put this on Facebook!!”

My mum has been at a health resort about 120 km away for the past 4 weeks, and I decided to visit her one last time before she comes back home on Wednesday. We had lunch together, went shopping, and took a stroll through the spa gardens, all the while talking about family life and friendships.

Spa garden.

I travelled back home at about 5 pm, just in time to quickly change and meet the girls at a Japanese restaurant: Maureen is returning to the US after 12 years in Germany and had asked us for a farewell dinner.


Shadow Dragon.

It was the first time Laura and I met, and given that she is a rather quiet and reserved person, I started to worry that I might be too much for her (since my humour needs an acquired taste). Luckily, she assured me that I was “hilarious” and right up her alley. The fact that she was the first to leave is surely purely incidental.

Melissa was keen on taking pictures as a memory for Maureen, so she happily snapped away; the results were rather amusing, as she managed to catch us in the weirdest situations imaginable. The following photo has been christened “The Last Supper”.

The Last Supper.

We went on to the local wine festival and sampled some quality booze (my alcohol intake in the last four weeks has been on the same level as my alcohol intake for all of 2015; I mostly blame the family weekends in Hamburg). Positive side effect: The more Maureen drinks, the more she lets her hair down. Figuratively.


We also somehow came up with an in-depth talk about how to make dead people “disappear”, which led to me discussing (at length) how you can identify bodies even after a prolonged period of time, rattling off bone marrow extraction, radiocarbon dating, and x-ray analysis of injuries and diseases. It was around this time that Maureen asked me why I was teaching English and not forensics. Long story, Maureen.

At some point after midnight, we ended up in a bar, where more pictures were taken and expressive dance moves were observed …

M and S.

I was home at 4 am, but still somehow managed to get up at noon to have lunch with one of my former Master students, assemble some new furniture in the afternoon, and attend a West Coast Swing workshop in the evening. A very entertaining weekend, but if I did this every week, I would need an oxygen tent by the end of the year.


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