Today we decided to just “stay home” here in Lambeth and try to catch up with laundry, haircuts, and postings.
We stayed several days in Mannheim with our friends Marika and Vollker. During that time we transformed their dining table into an art studio, with Ben (6) and Karla (4) and me having a grand time doing colored pencil works in spite of the language barrier. Karla got fairly annoyed with me and Griff now and then – I mean, really, grown up people not knowing how to speak properly! She forgave Griff though when he demonstrated that tickling is a Universal Language. Although the art focused a lot on lions (which required a lot of roaring to get the message across as to just how scary they should look) and mice, I did find time to do one just for me of the roses. Everywhere you look over here there are fresh flowers for sale – and very cheap.
On our final day in Mannheim, we went to the Luisenpark, a huge open park right in the city with small boats that followed a track on the lake. They were slow, which allowed ample time for spotting turtles sunning on the rocks at the shore, and for being grossed out by the immense carp that came to the side of the boat and opened mouths the size of dinner plates to beg for treats…eew. And I got to see storks in action, which really was very exciting. Their eyes are really as huge as they look in my previous sketch, which I did from a photo that I thought surely had been retouched. Every high spot in the park had an active stork nest, and some of them were even down stalking through the tourists on the lawn. After the boat ride, everyone else went wading while I found a spot to capture the boats and the ubiquitous TV tower. The towers remind me of the Space Needle in Seattle, every town seems to have one, some even with a revolving restaurant. Scenic yet intrusive…
“Luisenpark” by Kerry McFall
So that wraps up Mannheim, next post will be about our travels with Dieter in Koln.