Monday, June 2, 2014

Mammendorf morning meander

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Days begin early in Bavaria, light breeze stirring the curtains and the sun warming the room long before 5 am waking.   Restive, I dig out the tablet, glancing through overnight emails and text replies.  then a couple of more taps, skimming through the morning newspapers.

Small countries export their ambitious people: Bright young talents from the Netherlands are migrating off to distant cities promising more money and influence.  ‘Global Capitals’ are replacing national ones as magnets for trade and innovation.  Amsterdam may become a backwater, inhabited by an increasingly impotent national elite, only a delightful place for paceless mornings of coffee and newspapers.

And that would be a tragedy, because…?

DSC06122 (1300x972)Small towns, countryside-oriented, with lovely pebble beaches:  Dorset’s charm and allure.  Now the Jurassic Coast, an isolated province hidden beneath retirees and rock-hounds, has been ‘discovered’ by well-heeled Londoners.   Unsurprisingly, house prices are rising quickly.   A four-bedroom house with water views at a pretty, unspoilt fishing port such as Beer in Devon, on the western edge of the Jurassic Coast, would have cost £250,000 in 2001; now it might be £700,000. 

I’ll never catch up to the 1%, clearly.

Boiling water for coffee, I watch the spandex-clad cyclists stretch themselves along the paths bordering the Mühlenbach river.  We all have our ambitions.  I’m in town to close a business deal, qualify a CEO, assure a profitable future for the Dutch startup.  This story’s been years in writing, but its original lofty themes and noble characters feel blurred by multiple authors and successive rewrites.

‘No point in giving over to early morning ruminations, though.  And my meetings are still hours away. 

‘Time for a change of scene.

DSC06195 (1044x1300)I dress simply and head out for a brisk walk along the river to outpace my worries.   Unfortunately, the local rhythm is more demanding than the relaxed Dorset lifestyke.  Cyclists shout Rechts if I walk on the left; walkers clack their sticks behind me, then around my feet, eager to pass. 

I stepped off the path, more contemplative than irritated.

The city spires reflect in deep blue shallows.  A bench lies buried in high grass; the bridge rail is dotted with love locks

The British use well-spotted or closely observed to describe photographers or essayists who can direct attention to the subtle meaning and lyrical associations of everyday people and objects.

‘Spot the beauty in Mammendorf’s morning light?

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So, contemplating a fresh June morning in Bavaria,

What do people along the Mühlbach reveal about place? 

How does landscape connect across to past experiences? 

What composition best captures ambience and mood?

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