RDP#8: Pickle

Yes I have a pickle story. It all began when I saw the film “Goodbye Lenin”  set in East Berlin just after the German Reunification . At last East Germany was free from communism and its restrictions on daily life. Families were reunited in the East and West and everyone was happy. However in this film there was an elderly lady who was a follower of the East German regime and was ill. Out of consideration for the mother’s illness her son thought it better to hide the fact that Germany was now re-united and so they pretended everything was as it was. If you follow the link to the film you can see the details of the story. It was an amusing film, but had its sad bits and pieces.

A speciality of the Spreewald in Germany
So what does this have to do with pickles. One of the few good products sold by the East German Republic were the pickled cucumbers from the region of the Spreewald and the female character in the film had to have her pickled cucumbers from the Spreewald. The son would buy normal pickled cucumbers and repot them in an old jar with the original Spreewald label so that the mother would not be disappointed.  Spreewald is a very picturesque area near Berlin with many small canals, but their pickled cucumbers are the best it seems.

At this time I was working as an export clerk in a company in Switzerland and we had many new agents in ex East Germany which I was taking care of. These agents spent some time in Switzerland for their training and I got to know them very well. I mentioned the Spreewald pickled cucumbers to the agent from Berlin and whether they were as good as said. He said they are excellent, was honoured that I had heard of them and promised to bring a glass the next time he visited. He visited often and every time he brought a jar of Spreewäldergurken. They came in many different varieties with various spices and flavours and they were very good. Of course everyone in the office wanted to try them and so my jars of Spreewäldergurken were divided amongst my colleagues. Now and again I smuggled one home and Mr. Swiss who also discovered their excellent qualities.

My working days are now long over, but the pickled cucumbers of the Spreewald in ex East Germany will never be forgotten. They are still being produced in the Spreewald and remains one of their main products.

RDP#8: Pickle

Good Morning

Cloudy Morning

We have clouds, but they are gradually making room for the sun and blue skies. I just hope today will not be such a catastrophy as yesterday. I hate days when I do not have the nice leisurely golden oldie time to do everything I want to. The gardener arrived yesterday morning and cut our hedges so they now look perfect, He then tended to weeding the garden. In my more active days I would do a bit now and again myself,  but that has become an impossibility and the two men were kept busy with my weeds until the early afternoon. I saw a few slugs sitting on my plants and the guys told me they were everywhere at the moment due to the rain we have had. I must remember to buy some snail pellets this morning, although Mr. Swiss found they also have a right to live. I think so as well, but not at the expense of my plants. I bought a parsley a week ago and now have only stalks, the rest became slug food.

Gala apples

In the meanwhile I noticed something strange on my gala apple tree, which I planted from a pip in a pot many years ago. Transferred it to the garden when it got too big to handle and this year it looks like a record harvest. I noticed some strange bare stalks on the branches and hope that the dreaded dodder was not spreading. The gardener said they were leaf stalks remaining after something was chewing my leaves. I do not know what this something was. It must be something that climbs or flies to get so high. In any case my apples are progressing and growing bigger day by day.

I tried to snatch a few moments sleep after lunch, although the gardeners were still busy and then the doorbell rang and only once. The locksmith arrived to put a new cylinder in the door. It is now law in our Kanton that all doors must have these special locks where you no longer need a key to exit. You just turn a nob.


This is OK, but we all have to have new keys as the old ones are worn down too much at the end to fit. Some keys fit and some do not. Mine and Mr. Swiss key is now too short. My son’s key is OK and the spare key that the neighbour has is also OK. No. 2 son also has a key so we will have to wait until the next visit to see if the key still fits. The locksmith had been here before and reminded us that he had given us all a month to order new keys, even longer and it is our fault if our keys do not fit etc. etc. He was a very impolite and it was clear to me that he has to constantly prove to everyone how intelligent he is because we are all idiots. As we are owners of our apartment our keys have to be especially made, you cannot buy one in the shop. Mr. Swiss has now ordered five new keys at a cost of approximately 350 Swiss francs. They take five working days to deliver and in the meanwhile we will have to get by.

These catastrophes are never ending it seems. Yesterday I had no chance of escaping into freedom anywhere and so I remained at home on the porch with my computer.

Today is week-end shopping day and the list is composed. I am now off to begin the day with some cleaning, organising and other housewife hobbies. I hope to see you around if nothing intervenes. I have had enough surprises lately. Keep well and enjoy the day.

And my spiraea is now flowering in the garden.