Holy Underpass

Despite my cooking a very orange coloured Hokkaido -Red Kuri squash (looks like a pumpkin) for soup;  photos arriving from son J with his violent orange Ford Mustang convertible parked below the "Hollywood" sign on the hill overlooking LA and later the videos of the LeBron dominated LA Lakers NBA game tonight with the players dressed up in appropriate scary gear; grandchildren dressed up too for trick and treat in Ireland. I ignore Halloween and much like my daughter who banned the children to a friend's house and locked herself indoors with the lights and TV off, I hate this modern commercial event.

I did however venture out at sunset. While much of northern Germany had the day off for Reformation Day aka Martin Luther which last year had been a one-off national holiday for the 500th anniversary, here in Roman Catholic Bavaria it was a normal workday.

Our parish has the main Munich to Zürich rail line running through the main village, Sontheim. It is single track most of the way and was one of the last non-electrified lines. After years of protest from the Swiss and their very generous financial help, the German Government, Bavarian State, our county, our parish and the German DB railways have finally started to tackle the problem. For a year the line has been closed for the electrification but also to get rid of the countless road crossings which constantly had been the cause of accidents. Alone in Sontheim, there were three such crossings and just a couple of years ago two young lads were killed in a horrendous accident.

Not sure quite who paid what but the parish council were very involved in the project which included doing up the station platforms and building an underpass.

Today when the building teams had finished their work at 17:00, the parish priest, the county dignitaries, the parish councillors, the village brass band in Lederhosen and Dirndl and several of the parishioners turned up to bless the underpass.

In a 20 minute ceremony, the blessing was carried out and all the invited guests retired to the local hall to continue the festivities with the band playing and the beer flowing.

I only got to the open-air bit and tried my very best to get one single photo that captured the moment. It was impossible given the light and even my multi attempt effort above doesn't make it any better.

Still, it was good to see and the video I have posted elsewhere gives a better idea of how Bavarians tackle their infrastructure problems. The UK tackle their Brexit problems by throwing money at potholes. Luckily it is still a free world where everyone can make their own choice.

Luna and I then did a walk around the village in the dusk after which we drove to Erkheim as I need fuel for my car which I haven't driven for 12 days and whose battery was dead as I tried starting this evening and also because I need to get winter diesel into my tractor before the real frosts come and freeze up all the lines.

As one gets a 2 cents/litre coupon when filling up at the station attached to a large full range supermarket, I thought I would just check out the UK products available on the shelves. This had been brought about by Bliper Nogbad posting a nasty Hellmann's reference on a social media site which got me really angry about the UK's lack of any export success and that while they were IN the EU!

I sent the Anglo_Dutch owners of Hellmann's a piece of my mind overnight and against all my expectations, I got a reply in the morning and later on in the day yet another saying they were now supplying Austrian supermarkets and hoped to be doing the same in Germany soon and I should be patient.

I wasn't - patient that is - and scoured the shelves. Zilch. It really depresses me - hundreds of bottles of 30+ types of vinegar but not a single Malt Vinegar. Three types of Worcester Sauce all made in Germany and no Lea & Perrins, shelf upon shelf of Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Darjeeling teas in ridiculous pathetic bags with a string, label and metal staple attached not a single UK brand with a decent mug-size tea bag. It is so depressing.

I went home and wrote a 3,000-word rant on facebook.

Thank goodness there are people who bless underpasses and get on with work while others talk and talk and talk and get nothing done. As if the finances of the UK hang on the critical point of which nationalities can use the e-passport entrances at airports! Simply unbelievable and far worse than Trick or Treat.

Tomorrow a public holiday in Bavaria - All Saints.

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