Friday, 27 August 2010

You'd think, really, that my brain had enough to be getting on with.

New term, right? Music to learn, of course, including some ferociously tricky modern stuff. New people to call by the wrong names, or inappropriately address as "du", or fail to recognise.

Flat to furnish. Van booked, must remember to drive on the wrong side of the road (English joke that; luckily for me I'm usually happy to swap sides at the drop of a hat). How to get to van-hire place if it continues this biblical deluge (even I can't cycle in this). What are the various addresses I need to pick up furniture from and considering that Frankfurt is a nightmare of diversions and holes in the road even when you're on foot, how on earth will I manage to find them?

Getting back to full health. Although this appears to be sorting itself out. I had a check-up at the hospital a couple of days ago. The doctor looked thoughtfully at my baggage. "How did you get here today?" he asked. "Cycled," said I. (An hour. Uphill. Blasted map doesn't show gradients...) "Hmm," he muttered, scribbling things down, "well you're a damn sight fitter than I am..."

Even the voice is starting to behave beautifully, on occasion feeling like a sports car whose engine has been taken to bits, cleaned thoroughly, then painstakingly and meticulously rebuilt, leading to purring and easy speed and manoeuvrability. On occasion.

I'm conscious of holes in my German grammar which need seeing to urgently, and of sneaky little verbal traps into which I am currently fated to leap (whilst explaining a rather spectacular bruise on my thigh to a friend yesterday, I airily let it slip that my bike had fallen for me, hard. Same mistake as in English, it would appear...)

Even, were it up to me, how to actually use a decoy duck call... long story, involves a party, needless to say, rather than actually hunting ducks. Was actually quite proud of myself for entering the weapons shop (surreally situated amongst the chichi gift shops in the picturesque Old Town) yesterday, armed with the translation for duck call. Nonchalantly, I made my request to the lady behind the counter, rather incongruous herself in electric-blue eyeshadow and amazingly high shining white bouffant. She looked at me in bemusement. Rats, I thought, obviously got told the wrong word. Again. Nope, she was just looking after things while her son was on the phone, he'd be out in a minute. Impatient snorting sounds from bewhiskered serious hunter type who'd come in just after me. Eventually the chap wandered through, and whilst evidently amused by my request (What?? Just because I was dressed in low-cut top, floor-skimming skirt with sequins and a flower in my long tangled hair, doesn't mean I couldn't have been a world-class shot. Or something.), rummaged through his box of tricks and found exactly what I was looking for. While I was handing over the money, he turned to the Serious Hunter and asked what he would like. "I'd like to be a duck!" he growled, bushy eyebrows bouncing up and down as he winked and grinned at me through his thick droopy moustache...

But no. What my brain spent a great deal of last night obsessing about was, hmm if I were to attempt to crochet the inside lining of a full-body close-fitting suit (evidently, and please don't ask me why, including integral gloves etc), would I manage to get things the right way around? And how? And which bits would be tricky, given that I appear to crochet things inside out anyway? I mean, good lord, I have NO intention of doing anything so ridiculous, yet here was my brain spending my precious sleeping time pondering the phenomenon of looking in a mirror and seeing oneself reversed, as it were, on a vertical axis and yet not on the horizontal (so left and right are transposed, but not up and down - why?), and what did that mean for trying to crochet the ends of arms and hands, inside out? No sooner had I squashed one idiotic query than another popped up. Three a.m. saw me awake pondering the deep and meaningful subject of the knees - I mean, I was thinking, even if I managed to get all the fingers right, would the knees perhaps be pointing in the wrong direction?

Sometimes I despair.

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