Monday, June 19, 2006


Hot time in the old town tonight

Barry mit BierI'm back from Germany, and I'm blogging again, and, of course, my first entry (written on the plane home) will be a summary of the trip:

What a great time!
Yes, indeed. It was great to see many people whom I only see once a year (and sad to say goodbye to them at the end, after dancing, eating, and socialising with them for the better part of five days). It was great to have some terrific C3B square dancing to two good callers (Ett and Richard; almost none of us had danced to Richard before). And it was great to have some of those wonderful German Brötchen (bread rolls), with the whole grain flour and the seeds, which I always wonder why we can't get here.

Oh, right, and the Hefeweizen (unfiltered wheat beer). We have a new photo over there on the right for the "Barry mit Bier" series.

It's a pretty full schedule, with some 25 hours of dancing from Wednesday evening 'til Sunday morning. The callers gave us a good mix of stuff, from "warm-up" material to combinations that proved quite challenging indeed. And Ett was kind enough to make two of the three C4 hours be "first 50" hours, using only the first 50-ish calls in the now-established learning order. That allowed me to dance those as well, since I've studied the first 50 definitions (but hadn't tried them with dancers yet). It went well, and I was glad to get the practice. Now on to the second 50....

Jens, the innkeeperThe weather was weird. Fairly hot when we got there on Wednesday afternoon, and hot again on Thursday — 30C-ish and no air conditioning, made for an uncomfortably warm dance. But it rained cats, dogs, and several other animals in the wee hours of Friday morning, cooling things off significantly. Saturday was so cool, in fact, that we used an outdoor heater for the after-party that night, and I closed the skylight over my bed against the chill. And then it was hot again for the drive back on Sunday, back up to 30C. And it isn't "summer" for a couple more days yet.

One of the amusements of this year's dance came on Saturday night, when Ett wanted to take a picture of Jens, one of the inn proprietors, as he delivered our beer at the after-party (photo just above). Jens speaks no English, and Ett no German; still, it was clear to him, once she chased him down with her camera, what she wanted. He stood in the pose you see, already smiling broadly, as Ett said, "Smile! Somebody tell him to smile."

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