“I need a blog,” I told my eternally-un-named friend today.
“Oh no, no,” she said. “I’m tired. There’s a lot of things you’ve said in other blogs where I think Oh, I don’t really like the way I sound there – that’s stupid – and why do you have to use the eternally-un-named friend phrase so often?… and… I’m really tired.”
“You’re at your best when you’re tired,” I told her. “You’re on a roll; go for it.”
My eternally-un-named friend and I returned from Nuremberg yesterday. It was my first visit. She had been there in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Tell me about Dürer and the statue of the rabbit,” I suggested.
Albrecht Dürer drew a picture of a young hare in 1502. Outside Dürer’s (rebuilt) house stands or, rather, sits a modern sculpture based on his picture.
“I remembered it being like your mother’s ornament,” my eternally-un-named friend told me today. “But it wasn’t like that at all – or Dürer’s drawing. Instead it was like this crazy thing that had myxomatosis kind of eyes and had his claws on top of a human foot and had other things sticking out of it… It looked like it had had a car crash and was really rough and ghastly and spookily gross but, then, Dürer did have some pictures of odd animals with pop-eyes for some reason.
“It just disappointed me because, of course, I was getting well into hares because of their connection with the moon and them being…”
“Connection with the moon?” I asked.
“The moon,” repeated my eternally-un-named friend. “The moon goddess is represented by a hare in pagan religion when women ruled… or were, at least, equal… ehhh… the world.”
We looked at each other. We laughed.
“We did have that conversation at Dürer’s house,” I reminded her, “where we were both disappointed that nothing in Dürer’s house appeared to actually be Dürer’s. Most things were copies.
“And I said to you: That’s possibly our fault, because the British bombed the place and – was it 94% or was it 97% of the town was destroyed?”
“I don’t think we need to keep mentioning things being bombed,” said my eternally-un-named friend. “I don’t think we need to keep mentioning the War. There is the Fawlty Towers joke of Don’t mention the War, but there does come a point where it all… There ARE other things.”
“Such as?” I asked.
“Dürer had a toilet built in his kitchen,” replied my eternally-un-named friend.
“I forgot to mention that in my blogs,” I admitted. “Remind me.”
“It was against city council regulations, even in those days,” said my eternally-un-named friend. “So he had to pay a fine before they would give it back to him.”
“But, getting back to the War,” I said, “you thought it was odd that I didn’t mention Rudiger playing tennis against the back wall of Hitler’s review stand at the place they held the Nazi rallies.”
“Well,” said my eternally-un-named friend, “people just used it for hitting balls against and Rudiger did when he was a teenager in the 1970s. Now you can’t do that because of it crumbling. If you had included it in your blogs, it would have showed that life had gone on. Only a few decades after this building we’ve all seen used on television as an awesome Nazi symbol of power… people were playing tennis against its side and back walls. It’s like the Ozymandias poem.
“When we were there at the weekend, the whole of that road where they used to march in front of Hitler was being used by a family on roller skates. It was like a 1950s no-longer-used schoolyard and there was some guy in shorts just using the steps to run up and down for exercise.”
“The odd thing,” I said, “was that, when we were in the rally ground, I didn’t think of the awfulness of the Nazis or the scale of the rallies. I was thinking of the lyrics in that Stereophonics song Nice To Be Out:
Let me think now, let me see
I stood once where Hitler’s feet had stood
When he made a speech in Nuremberg in ’38
“Oh for goodness sake…” said my eternally-un-named friend.
“You didn’t mention that one of Rudiger’s first landladies was an old woman who was so old she had owned the first car in Nuremberg and, about a year after she bought her car, someone else bought the second car in Nuremberg and, a few weeks later, they crashed into each other.”
“I didn’t think it was interesting enough,” I said.
“But,” said my eternally-un-named friend, “you were interested when Rudiger mentioned that female nurses are called krankenschwester, male nurses are called krankenpfleger and ambulances are krankwagens.”
“I just like the idea of a crank wagon,” I said. “When were you last in Nuremberg?”
“1993. And you didn’t mention in your blogs that the Nuremberg bratwurst sausages are small and thin – the size of a finger – because the wives of men in prison used to shove them through the keyhole. They were small enough to fit through a large keyhole… At which point in your blog, you could use the picture I took of you looking like Dr Strange-glove pointing to a very large lock which isn’t the prison. It was in the castle.”
“It might not be interesting enough,” I said. “What else did I forget to mention?”
“They have beavers in the river,” said my eternally-un-named friend.”
We looked at each other.