The Real Jaws 5
This still photo does not do justice to the horror of the action video on which I concentrated during this encounter with monsters from the deep.
The video is on Facebook & I am 99% sure that even those without a Facebook a/c can see it here.
Luna & I out for the evening on our traditional Schickling walk near Ottobeuren which starts off with the first of two swim sessions in the River West Günz which forms part of the "re-naturalisation" area run by a local environmental group. I think I have written enough about them in the past.
Beavers are very active here & indeed in the area and Bavaria. A protected species that constantly causes clashes between farmers & the law. Despite seeing their work almost daily, having had them build a dam at the bottom of our property & even fell two of our small trees, I have never seen one.
I was quite unnerved having a beaver swim just 1m from my thinly clad shoes but luckily it was vertical distance and I don't think they jump upwards too well but I was worried it may attack Luna in or at the water's edge. Almost wonder if it was sick. Regardless, a memorable moment.
The video is unedited and several minutes long. I could have gone on for ever but had to get on with the walk. However, a few minutes passed two young girls I "noddingly" know walking their Border Collie Lea & suggested they take a look if interested but perhaps put the hyperactive Lea on the lead. I saw them in the distance walking very excitedly along the bank, so I guess they also shared the same experience.
Nice day, started early for an appointment at the branch of ATU, Germany's I think only car & bike accessory & service national brand equivalent to Halfords in the UK. Started in 1985 in Bavaria & was very successful but then taken over by the British Venture (VULTURE) Capital Company, Doughty Hanson & Co & ruined it, just as they did with Rank Hovis McDougall in the UK. After years of resulting finance chaos with a US Venture Capital messing around, even more, it was sold to a French company in the same auto parts business & last year Michelin invested in it too. So perhaps the future looks better. Now down to 600 branches in Germany, Austria & Switzerland, those in the lucrative eastern EU sold under the US time.
One had noticed how poorly stocked the shops had become as well as the general service. Lots of very poor ratings in the media & reports of appalling staff treatment. Both Angie & my personal experience in the last three years or so was also bad. However they have an attractive price structure for service jobs and as I "only" wanted the air conditioning system serviced (emptied, checked for leaks & refilled) I took the risk.
Arrived 10 minutes before the booked appointment for the 1-hour job. One hour later, I was still waiting on the carpark for something to happen!
HOWEVER, everything else about the visit went well. The Service Reception guy was excellent, the young but very knowledgable mechanic very thorough and did an excellent job. I froze on the way home! And the price was that advertised - €69.99. Angie had her's done last week but had decided she wasn't going to repeat the rude unhelpful service she got two years ago on her old car & went to a local garage. Cost exactly double - €140.
The guy on reception was about my age & as he checked me/car in, he started to let out lots of things in English. He had correctly worked out I wasn't a local. Sure lots of people hear that something isn't quite right about my German or more properly Bavarian but they can't place what it is. Is he a "Preiß" (slang for Prussian) from northern Germany, a Dutchman?
Turned out he had been a BMW production/manufacturing specialist for years and lived in Spartanburg, South Carolina at BMW's US works. Had done a stint in Rosslyn, South Africa (but refused to transfer there because of the criminality) and he also was in the forefront of the 1994 BMW takeover of Rover UK's operation, in particular at the Longbridge Midlands plant. He said he has never experienced anything like it anywhere. It was hell & told stories of how the assembly lines would deliberately sabotage cars destined for export, particularly to Germany & including such objects (fish) & notes "F**k the Germans". Any wonder when the House of Commons had imploded at the news BMW had bought it. £8 billion of lost investment later, BMW sold on the business in 2000 but retained the Mini brand & started production at Cowley, Oxford. He said you simply couldn't imagine the difference to Birmingham. It was like dealing with two diametrically opposed races of people. He reckons Oxford is the best BMW site worldwide.
I don't enjoy writing all this Brexit related **** but I have to get it off my chest when today that wonderful knighted, pillar of UK parliamentary democracy, Sir Bill Cash MP since 1984, the one caught dipping his grubby fingers in the taxpayers till and a lifelong hater of Germany & the EU and no doubt one of the most vociferous anti BMW takeover voices in 1994, stood up in the House of Commons and slagged off the German dominance of the EU with another of his hate speeches. Do we wonder why foreigners are pulling out and no longer investing in the UK? I sadly think the Cowley Mini plant is under risk of closing especially when things go electric. The "bedrock" of the UK motoring scene, the new LandRover is to be built in Slovenia - isn't that enough said!
Oh & just for my records: Did another bee check. Boy, are they busy? I have taken a risk & made an artificial swarm using a small five frame box, four with eggs/larvae & one of honey with the bees on them but no queen. I hope that they will quickly create a Queen out of one of the "ordinary" worker bee eggs, she will fly out for her maiden & only flight & return safely to stay in the hive for the next five years laying 2000 eggs a day during the honey season & I will have another folk for next year. However, I will look around for a Queen for sale which is a far less risky operation & speeds up the process.