It was great to see my German collegues, and to meet their significant others. Nicole’s husband, Stropi/Milou/Snowball (he answers to all of these – basically various names for Tintin’s dog) is lovely, and they seem very well suited. I guess they would know after 17 years together.

Cordula’s family are also lovely. Her husband, Bernd, is a great cook and a gracious host. It was a beautiful and peaceful place to stay.

Otto, their dog, is an enormous dog with a very soft temperament. Rhodesian Ridgeback – Retriever cross. Looks like he wouldn’t think twice about gobbling down a grown man, but is a great big ball of fluff, who’s best friend is a cat with a Russian name I cannot remember.

Wedding celebrations until late on Saturday, leisurely, late breakfast in the garden on Sunday, followed by Hamburg sightseeing with Ilse and Patricia. Bernd drove us around all the famous and infamous areas of Hamburg.

I think I recognised the streets where we ended up when we were on a driving holiday through Europe when I was 11, and couldn’t find a hotel with vacancies… We ended up in one that let rooms by the hour, and didn’t figure out until the morning. We were too tired and the whopping great sign that said Lolita Sex Show was dark. My mum has the photos to prove it, with her and me posing outside in the morning. She chuckled all the way to Munich, I recall.


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