Monday, 11 April 2011

Shocked and tired

Today I went with Stuart to his cardiology appointment. Basically, the doctor said he needs a double bypass but they are not sure they can carry it out in his case and they need further discussion before making a decision. If they don't do it, he will take beta blockers for the rest of his life instead. If they do the op, it will be in a couple of weeks. Naturally, I want to be here and we have a conflict with my father's cremation. My mother is still waiting to hear if there has to be a post-mortem on my father's body, so we have no idea how soon a cremation service can be organised. And my daughters are in England not knowing if they are coming here to Germany as planned for Easter with us, staying in England so they can go to the cremation, or coming here to Germany a couple of weeks later so they can be here if Stuart is operated on. I was worried about Stuart when I was in Sylt but had no idea my world would be turned upside-down when I got back. I want to be with my mother, sister and brother, but also want to be with my husband. I need a cloning service. Feeling torn and sad.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Stunning Sylt and sadness too

My quilt group went for a long weekend to Sylt, an island which originally belonged to Denmark but changed ownership a long time ago and is now the most northerly part of Germany. It is one of the East Friesian islands and is a conservation area. We travelled eight hours by train Thursday and so had Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday and then another eight hour journey home on Sunday. We had a wonderful time.

My photos are all uploaded in the wrong order but I can't be bothered to change them round so here is a picture of my meal at the famous Sansibar restaurant on the island. Sylt is a rich people's island and has lots of celebrities and VIPs owning property there and they have made this beach restaurant the place to be seen. This is my main course of Steinbutt (turbot) with giant scallops on a bed of herbed spinach and tomato. It was divine - all the fish was wonderful. We felt like celebrities ourselves.

Below is one of the typical Sylt houses - many of them have thatched roofs and are exquisitely beautiful and maintained in tip-top condition; all the grounds are immaculate with bowling green lawns. If I were a multi-millionaire, I would buy one immediately but that isn't going to happen...

They drink a lot of tea on this island and there were tea shops everywhere, selling wonderful blends of loose tea and often serving tea and cakes as well. This one sold very unusual teapots.

The weather was grim when we arrived on the Thursday and we had a very wild and wet walk to the beach. We thought we would be inside at the hotel spa or quilting the whole weekend as the weather looked so bad. But no, Friday and Saturday were warm and sunny and, though still windy, it was a warm wind. Below are the famous Strandkörber (literally, beachbaskets). They are the traditional beach seats for northern Germany, enabling people to sit and soak up the sun while being protected from the wind. They have pull-out footrests, storage, tables for drinks, pretty much everything you could want to be comfortable and we saw many people comfortably asleep in them later in the day. At night or in bad weather, the back and top fold down to become the basket lid which keeps everything dry.

I have more photos to put up but need to wait a while. When I came back from Sylt I found out that my husband's recent annual medical has revealed a heart problem and he had to go into a clinic on Friday for a heart catheter investigation. After I drove home from the clinic, my sister rang to tell me that my father had just died. I couldn't tell my husband until he got home the next day, so it was a strange and diffficult day, worried about my husband and grieving for my father. I am going to spend a week with my mother in England and shall not post again until I get back.