Saturday, 17th of May, 02.00 pm

After three weeks of rain and cold temperatures, early summer is back in North Germany. After a quick trip to the local supermarket to get some things for the barbecue, I started working in the garden.

There is a rule in Germany, called “Mittagsruhe”, meaning that between 01.00 and 03.00 pm you are not allowed to make a lot of noise. Mowing  the lawn  or cutting off branches with a motor saw during that time is out of the question here in the countryside (nobody cares in the cities). Funnily enough nobody minds when people start using loud machines as early as 06.30 on a Saturday morning, waking up people like me.

I think that rule dates back to the time when people came home for lunch, as my father did when I was small. He worked from 08.00 am til 12.00, came home to eat, had a snooze and left again at 02.00 pm, working from 02.30 til 07.00 pm.

Most Germans have their big warm meal sometime between 12.00 and 01.00 pm and have “Abendbrot”, bread with different cold cuts, ham,  sausage and cheese, in the evening.

I myself don’t like to have a heavy meal in the middle of the day. And on Saturday, sometime around 02.00 pm I served “Quark” (a curd cheese) with blueberries and strawberries on the terrace. A perfect meal on a hot day, and a well deserved break after two hours of gardening with the grass still to be cut.

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Fleamarket

If you feel for a short Sunday morning trip you will always find a flea market somewhere in the area. My partner and I like browsing them, looking for things to decorate  the garden with or unusual things for the house.

I got some old zinc bathtubs I use on the terrace for flowers, and we got some old cartwheels hanging on the walls. My partner likes old brewery signs and I love looking for old  cookbooks and books on how to run a household and keep your husband happy, written in the fifties or even before. Mind, I never follow the advice, I hate housekeeping, and am extremely glad I am living in an age with dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and the like. Once I found old editions of Time Life Magazine from the 1952 on a flea market in Kiel. They were interesting  to read and I loved the fotos of the women in their glamorous dresses!

Not all of the flea markets are interesting, These days you will seldom find some nice antique for a low price. It’s mainly people from around the area selling what they don’t need any more. Toys, books, records, old magazines and loads of clothes in all sizes and styles. In between you will find things our parent’s and grandparent’s generation liked, especially tablecloths, glasses and plates. Between all the private sellers are some professionals, selling household items like brushes, yarn, sweets, buttons, spices and cheap clothes that will fall apart after the first wash. Of course you will find plenty of stalls to buy chips, Bratwurst, ice cream, and fritters, and it is a must to have something to eat while you are there.  Since it is winter, most flea markets are indoors now, with only the toughest standing outside.

We didn’t find anything interesting today, but the sausages  we had, were  really nice,fatty and delicious!