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May 2018 Things

I am still suffering from certain kinds of tree pollen and venture onto my balcony now and again to relax and read a book. I always have lots of tissues with me. Other sufferers will know what I mean. Got a nice comment from Thorsten linking my last Croc post to my allergies. Yes, let the crocs have them and give my eyes a rest!

We’ve had some good Spring weather here over the last week. Yesterday and today was 24°C and two families are having picnics in the gardens next to where I live. One has a tiny baby so I hope she is enjoying her first early summer party in a garden!

A couple of days ago I got a postcard from cousin Barbara from Berwick-upon-Tweed. When I started this blog, Barbara was one of two people I had in mind when I created its style and format. The other was little sister Frances. She has no idea of the world outside Silsden but Barbara has travelled a lot and is computer savvy. Frances no longer reads this blog but Barbara and a number of family members in and around Silsden do.

I decided to share Barbara’s postcard with all of them/you. What do you know about Berwick-opon-Tweed? Nothing! Then read on. The name means barley village/farm from the original  ‘bere-wic’. It is the northernmost town in England in the county of Northumberland and is just 4 km south of the Scottish border. It has a population of 12,000 which is double that of Silsden!

It was founded as an Anglo-Saxon settlement and later annexed to England in the 10th Century. Berwick changed hands between England and Scotland over 12 times in the next 400 years. I’m glad I wasn’t around then! Now 60% of the population work in the service sector, only 13% in manufacturing and 10% in agriculture.

The town is on the famous A1 road constructed by the Romans linking London to Edinburgh. It is famous for its castle, town hall and the ‘Old Bridge’ which is a 15 span sandstone arch bridge built in 1610-24. It also has the Union Bridge built in 1821, which is the world’s oldest surviving suspension bridge. Wow! …. but I didn’t know all that. Go and visit the town when you are next in Brexitland!  I can only remember one visit and that was in 1960. Yes, many years ago!

Who has a birthday in May?  Max the Pizza/Pasta fan in Berlin starts the month with his 35th on the 2nd May. Marcel my godson, who I have heard nothing from for the last year, will be 24 on the 6th and no doubt celebrate with his friends/student members/sword fighters in Berlin/Student Home/University. I wonder if he will get another scar on his face from sword fighting on his birthday. On the 8th May a certain person will be 75 years old and celebrate in the evening with his Kowalke Gang. I wonder if you can work out who that is? My nephew’s son will be 10 on the 10th May and celebrate in a town next to Silsden. Hans will be 67 on the 11th and no doubt have at least an extra 10 beers to celebrate with friends in Berlin! My ‘Dwahlin’ Trish will be 66 on the 13th and celebrate with her husband in their house in Datca, Turkey. Wish I could be there. Heike D. in Berlin will be a year older on the 16th and celebrate in district Marzahn where I used to live. Sylvia in Brighton will be 62 on the 21st. The day before my lovely, wonderful cousin Barbara will celebrate her 73rd with Rachael, Marley and lots of friends. Wish I could also be there! Jumping to north Germany we arrive at Wehe to celebrate Holger’s 54th birthday with Gabi, children and friends. Sure to be a very large grill party in the garden for that event!
Update: Barbara celebrates on the 20th and on the 14th, Holger and Gabi will celebrate 25 years of marriage with a holiday in Lisbon. Nice!