Friday, October 25, 2019

Studio Slog and a Travelogue

I've been having a hard time in the studio for the past several weeks.  I've got a wedding painting on the easel that's been kicking my butt.  It took two weeks of try/fail, try/fail, try/fail, before things started happening in a positive way.  I think one more week and I'll be ready to send an image to the clients, but for now, working on this painting is a wrestling match.

My regular life sessions haven't been any better.  The last four in a row haven't been up to snuff.  Don't know what the issue is, but it's annoying.  It will pass, though. Soon, please.

Since there's not a lot to report from the studio, here's another post from our European trip.  Twenty years ago today, here's what we were doing:

                Monday, October 25, 1999

On Sunday, we took a trip down to Heidelberg.  It was a gray, drizzly day.  We drove down and parked near the city center, then just went wandering.  Heidelberg is another typically beautiful old German city.  Many of the buildings in the center are centuries old.  Some are very baroque, others simpler, some are painted stucco and others brick or stone.  Many, if not most, buildings have iron railings outside the windows, and/or window boxes with tons of flowers.  We saw one apothecary that's been in the same building since 1783.  A long stretch of the city center is closed to vehicular traffic (we've seen that in a number of places and it appears to be quite common).  Heidelberg has a wonderful old castle ruin on the hill above the town.  It was quite a formidable presence until the French blew it up about two hundred years ago. Now parts have been rebuilt/restored and other parts are still ruined.  Incredibly spectacular.

There were thousands of people in downtown Heidelberg along with us.  We were all walking along, watching each other, and window-shopping.  That's all we could do.  It was Sunday, and everything in Heidelberg was closed.  I mean EVERYthing!  Well, okay, so I exaggerate.  Pizza Hut, a noodle shop, a couple of cafes, and two Christmas stores were open.  That was it.  Which raises two questions:
1.  Why were all the people wandering around if there was nothing to do?
2.  Since all the people were there anyway, why were all the stores closed??
Boggles the mind.

Driving on the autobahn is an experience.  They really observe the rules here.  You stay to the right unless (a) you want to pass, in which case you do it as quickly as possible, or unless (b) you're in a BMW/Mercedes/Porsche/equivalent and really romping, in which case you turn your lights on to warn everyone ahead of you.  No matter what, you watch your mirror about as much as you watch the road in front, because somebody could easily be doing 100 miles an hour more than you and on your rear bumper in no time at all.  Janis has christened our Range Rover the "QE3", because it feels about as big and stately as an ocean liner.  And you just don't see ocean liners in the left lane of the autobahn.

While wandering around Wiesbaden, I noticed that there was evidently one long street that wound its way all over the city.  I kept seeing its name everywhere.  Then I found out that "Einbahnstrasse" wasn't the name of a road, it meant "one-way street"!  Yeah, buddy .... "I live at 17 Einbahnstrasse". 

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