When we were at school, at the end of what was then the first year in secondary school and is now year seven, we were given a choice (supposedly) for the following year – German, Latin, Domestic Science or Spanish. I chose German as a first choice, Spanish as second and said I did not want to do DS. For some reason I really wanted to learn German, I don’t remember why now, but I did. I was put into Latin ‘because my spelling was so bad I would find it easier’; since both German and Spanish are very consistent with their spelling this didn’t seem a good reason – but there was no arguing. I also was good at spelling – just sometimes careless with writing – at junior school I always got all my spellings right, so it was an even more stupid reason.
Latin was a disaster for me, and periodically over the years I’ve tried to learn German. I first went to Germany with the swimming club and we went to the beautiful city of Heidelberg and had a wonderful time. I stayed with the family of a girl my age and it was the first time I had encountered a duvet; it was also the first time I ate venison! The German swimming club came to visit us the following year and we had great fun entertaining them.
When I was eighteen I met a young German man; we tried to continue our friendship with letters once he went back to Germany and he did visit a couple of times. However, unlike today when people can keep in constant and easy contact with friends around the world it was so difficult then and our friendship faded away. If we’d had WhatsApp then would things have been different? I’m sure so!
I next went to Germany to Koblenz on a school trip, as a teacher; again we had a marvellous time although our responsibility was to the students. We still enjoyed the trips and visits we went on, and of course, the German beer in the hotel bar in the evenings.
I haven’t been to Germany since, but when my son was at school he learned German and had a couple of exchange visits to Cologne. He now has a friend who lives in Munich, so right now he is over there visiting, no doubt dredging up his German from the depths of his memory!
Maybe I should start to try and learn German again – these days there are plenty of opportunities on-line to do so!
My featured image is from somewhere in Spain, maybe Alicante – even if i couldn’t learn German I could have had my second choice of Spanish which i would have enjoyed and been more successful!