Revisiting a school book

Over the past few days, some fellow Booktubers and I read Heinrich Boell’s The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum).

The book, set in the early parts of 1970ies, deals with Katharina, a woman in her twenties, who lives a quiet life filled with work as a housekeeper and occasional work helping out at functions.

 

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During Karneval, she attends a party and meets a man, that she takes home and the next morning after he left, the police takes her to be interrogated because said man is suspected to be a bank robber and an alleged terrorist. Katharina and her friends and family are now hounded by the ZEITUNG (clearly meant to be the BILD, Germany’s notorious slanderous rag of a paper) and quickly every aspect of Katharina’s life is examined and deemed to be unworthy. The ZEITUNG tries and sentences her, before the police even determines if there is enough to charge her with anything.

“… she said she would not sign any deposition containing the word “amorous” instead of “advances”. For her the difference was of crucial significance, and one of the reasons she had separated from her husband was that he had never been amorous but had consistently made advances.”

It was interesting reading this again, even more so, because I read my old school copy including all the notes from the time. Passages underlined and “Idiot” written next to it. Comments from the teacher added on the sides. Doodles. It is funny how these little things can take you back to that time when you read the book for the first time.

It was also fascinating to go back to that time of that ultra conservative Germany during the 1970ies/80ies. How it felt, the constant threat of terrorism. I could almost smell that Germany back then. And the longer I think, the more I think about how brilliant Boell was to set this story during Karneval.

It was great re-reading this, and I shall pick up more of my German books this year.

“The characters and action in this story are purely fictitious. Should the description of certain journalistic practices result in a resemblance to the practices of Bild-Zeitung, such resemblance is neither intentional, nor fortuitous, but unavoidable.”


Published April 1976 by Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag
Paperback, 152 pages
English Edition: 
Published September 29th 2009 by Penguin Classics
Paperback, 103 pages

Dreaming of adventures

It’s been a bleurgh January, despite us visiting Alpacas at Lucky Tails Farm near Kingsbury (which is just lovely and yes the picture shows a llama and not an alpaca, but who cares if both are awesome) and despite dip-dyeing paper and despite baking and making hygge with cosy fires and tons of reading. January does not like me.

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It’s February now and the holiday to Scotland is imminent. I am excited, especially since we decided to take the train from the Midlands to Inverness. That is definitely one of the bucket list.

But it’s still 7 weeks or so before we head off, so some interim adventures are needed. I love these little Pocket Mountain Walking Books so much, we had one for Perthshire, last year we had one for the Cairngorms and for Dumfries and we have bought the one for the Wester Ross.

And I may, have bought one for the Cotswolds and the Wye Valley, because these areas are accessible on day trips from where we live.

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Today over lunch, I flipped through the pages and made a plan of which walk we want to do first and finally settled on Belas Knapp and Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds. Any walk that takes in both a neolithic burial site and a castle is pretty much a winner. I love that it gives you a rough map and a really good walk description (but I also always use my OS map app to plot the route, too).

There is also a lovely shorter walk (6.5 km) that starts in Broadway but quickly leaves it behind exploring smaller neighbouring villages as Broadway can become very, very busy indeed.

 

 

And so it goes

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I have seen this over at Etsy (click here for details) and I always think that’s how I want to feel in 2018 

Years ago, I had a blog that I loved so much and then I suddenly did not love it that much anymore for a whole host of reasons. Over the years since, I have started and abandoned many blogs because nothing felt quite right. Either I set myself too tight a remit to blog about (e.g. only about photography, only about food etc.) or too wide a remit (anything which normally meant nothing).

For the past year, I have been making booktube videos, you are excused if you don’t know what that means. I had no idea this existed before I stumbled upon it in summer 2016. Essentially, it is a corner on youtube (not a literal corner, more an imaginary one) where people like myself talk about books. And after watching others talk about books for a few months, I decided that I wanted to be part of this and so – very awkwardly – I started to make videos.

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In my normal life, I don’t really talk much about me making videos, mostly because I think most people I know would not or don’t get it. Some do get it though, e.g. my husband. And I credit the booktube community for making 2017, a really special year. I has been the longest time for me to have such wonderful conversations about books (in the comments you see). Love it.

I shall continue the booktube venture, but I wanted to occassional write about what I am reading, track my online bookclub adventure (Read Around the World Bookclub) and also my travels near and far, my walks, my vegan lifestyle etc.

You are welcome to come along.

Disclaimer: I am fond of quotes on pretty pictures. So don’t complain later. You were warned.

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