Monday late morning, but my sister assures me it gets very busy at weekends and in the holiday season.
What is almost immediately obvious is just how clean and tidy it is, but that is not for the sake of tourists and their shekels: this part of Ostfriesland is deeply Calvinist country where cleanliness and the rest are deeply prized and you ignore them at considerable cost. (The Emsland next door to Ostfriesland, where my German grandparents came from, is or was deeply Roman Catholic, though equally neat and tidy. One major difference between the two is that although the good folk of
Ostfriesland, who were Lutheran where they weren’t Calvinist, did drink the occasional beer and Schnapps — or maybe not quite so occasional — their Catholic cousins to the East in the Emsland did so to a greater degree. Then, after establishing beyond all doubt that the shop where one can buy Krabben almost straight off the boat was shut and is shut every Monday, it was onto Leer, one of the local big towns.
After a look around and a pot of tea — the folk hereabouts, unlike more or less the rest of Germany, have tea as their main drink, which this little Englander is very pleased about (I like my tea) — and once I had bought my Fehlfarben cigars (Fehlfarben is the equivalent of seconds — the cigars are exactly the same, but rejected on cosmetic grounds, which brings down the price nicely for what are still very good cigar — it was back here to the Ponderosa to — well, to do absolutely nothing to be honest, and kill time until the Germany v Portugal match tonight at 6pm (local time).
Tomorrow or the next day or even the next it’s off to the Moormuseum which I am looking forward to. It’s just what is says on the tin (an allusion surely lost on anyone not British and/or who hasn’t seen British commercial TV at some point in these past 20 years): it’s a homes and farms as they were 200/300 years ago in this neck of the woods.
That’s enough waffle, so here are a few piccies, none particularly good, and one in particular which could have been taken almost anywhere in the world. But rest assured, it was taken in Ditzum.