I was extremely delighted to receive so much feedback about Green Thursday, even a phone call from Germany! It may even be a pre Christian celebration of the coming of spring: green shoots appearing, and the first herbs and greenery after the winter time. Now here is today’s conundrum: Holy Week in Germany is called Karwoche. Kar is not the word for holy (heilig). Yet in most other European countries, it is known as precisely that, semana santa etc. I wondered if it was to do with carne, meat, as Karneval is allegedly carne vale, farewell meat, at the beginning of Lent. However, that doesn’t make much sense as Karwoche still falls within the Lenten period. A little sleuthing tells me that it is believed that Kar derives from the Old High German word kara, meaning sadness or lament, and this does indeed make more sense. So today is Karfreitag, which as a child brought up attending Sunday school, I could never fathom why it was called Good Friday, as it seemed pretty bad to me. Apart from the hot cross buns.
It was incredibly warm today, 22C, and when I was out in the garden, I could positively feel my freckles bursting forth. Which reminded me of my attempt in Kenya to explain to my students that I was not suffering from some odd skin complaint, but it was the mzungu’s (white person’s) protection from the sun. They found it very entertaining. The other thing which was amusing to them was my hair. I took to having conversation lessons out of doors, sitting under a jacaranda tree, looking out over Lake Naivasha towards Mount Longonot: a view to die for of course, but the students were used to it, it was their normal backdrop. As they got to know me better, they would creep closer and closer, and then one day, one of the girls said: “Madam (yes, very polite and formal), may we touch your hair?” I said yes, and suddenly it was like the children’s game of The Farmer’s In His Den, and it was “we all pat the dog”. All these hands stroking my hair because it is so different to theirs. It was so funny.
The mantra fit or fat is ringing in my ears, so to that end I did my online Pilates class, and also managed a 2 mile walk. Digging the garden took a bit of a back seat today because it was so warm. I think I will create a new ditty, sung to Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” and it will be called “Procrastination” because one can always put off to tomorrow what has not been achieved today.
My earrings today are appropriately from Kenya. They are large brass loops with a porcupine quill hanging in the middle. I have a necklace which matches them, with brass loops and beads. The markets there are full of delightful handmade goods and tourism has been in many areas a major source of income. Life over there will become exceedingly fraught: I read that they have 140 ICU beds in the whole country.
An interesting development is the number of plays and concerts available online. The National Theatre is livestreaming on YouTube: last night I watched “Jane Eyre”, a quirky production but well worth a look. There for 7 days for free. Friends of mine in Sweden are performing concerts every Friday at 7pm via Facebook. Last week it was bagpipes, this week it is medieval harps. So nice to see familiar faces.
I am delighted to receive comments and feedback on the blog. There is a comment section here on the blog, or by email, those of you who know me. It is a slightly odd experience writing into the void, but at the same time very exciting to know that I have followers. Preparing it certainly gives me something to think about during this strange lockdown period.