My glorious Fulcrum Racing 5 CX wheels needed the front wheel’s cones tightened. Break out cone spanners and all the usual mess for a hub-gutting. But, no! All I need is a 2.5mm hex key to spin the pre-load ring tighter. Could probably be done without even removing the wheel. Out-farking-standing.
The Helmis live and work together. We work now in Rote Fabrik, beside the lake, and live in a house up the hill, a 15 minute walk or so. Behind us is the Uetliberg and forest. A shard of the lake is just visible off to one side of an apartment tower from my attic room. It has rained every day, wreathing the hills in scraggy mist and cloud. Late last night we ate fondue in the turquoise kitchen.
Rain, rain, rain, cold. A perfect day for wandering in the bush. If I had a rain jacket. The last free day in Bologna, and I’d decided some days ago I wanted to get out of the city and see the countryside a little, preferably somewhere in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines which fall on the south-east side of the Via Emilia and Bologna. One place that looked especially attractive was the Riserva Naturale Contrafforte Pliocenico, sadly a long journey by bus, but excitingly close in a car. Which we pile into with Bonnie and Giovanni and the family a bit after midday.
It rains. The clouds drop, mist rises. Visibility plunges to a score of metres. More rain and colder. We drive around, decide wandering is largely a muddy, slippery, sodden proposition, and keep in the car along the winding (sideways and up-down) narrow road looking for somewhere to eat. Closed, closed, also closed. Possibly a winter thing. I’d forgotten the name by the time I got home, so pieced together the junctions on the videos out the side window I was making while in the car, and matched them on a map until I came up with Ca’ Shin on the edge of Parco Cavaioni. Also closed. But they opened for us and served a very typical platter of cheese, cured meat, bread, and honey, which we had two of (yes, that good), followed by apple tart and coffee, all local and part of an bio food community, I think.
It’s utterly beautiful up there, hills and escarpments, too steep to be described as rolling, and despite being so close to the city, having a wildness I like very much. I would be very happy to wander these hills on a day like today.
Schlachtensee, Krume Lanke and the lakes along the east side of Grunewald have been my favourite walks around Berlin since soon after I first came here. There not so long ago with Gala and again with Dy, I discovered new parts; further west but still bounded in that direction by the S-Bahn and highway.
Rainy, cold, grey and peopleless, today was a typically perfect day for me to go further that way, cross over the dividing rails to see what the great body of Grunewald might have. My method of navigation, which often I find eerily accurate in a I’m-not-paying-attention kind of way, still got me going in an approximately desired direction as opposed to mired in a hopeless gyre; in this case mostly south-ish with west-ish tendencies.
It is mushroom season and the last few warm days met at their end with today’s rain found the forest erupting from all damp, moist, earthy orifices in a beautiful diversity of fungi. I was hoping the path I planned to wander wouldn’t be either too occupied by others nor too obviously a path, so I could feel at least a little as though I wasn’t surrounded by a city and it’s periphery. Lucky then my crypto-navigation also is accompanied by, “That path is sort-of in the direction I think I am to go, furthermore it is small, mostly overgrown and unused. Also wet. Perfect!”
After some time where I felt much the same as I did on my cold and wet circumnavigation of Lainzer Tiergarten in Wien, I found myself on a small bluff overlooking Havelsee. Much walking later, now thinking I needed to continue south-ish but east-ish also, I fell out at the furthest south-east corner possible, by S-Bahn Nicolaisee; just where I’d hoped.