Sunday, 28 January 2007

Climate change

According to the newspaper article below, it looks like this is corner of Germany most likely in future to feel the full cataclysmic effects of global warming.

Being a wine bore, however, I'm personally preoccupied with how German wines will taste like in 30-40 years time. Will the delicate style of riesling wines that sold for more than Bordeaux at the turn of the 19th century soon be a thing of the past? Will wine growers down here in Südbaden be ripping up their Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) plots and planting red grape varieties like Syrah (Shiraz), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot en masse instead? You may chortle, but Hanspeter Ziereisen, a winemaker from Efringen-Kirchen just 6 miles down the road, is already making waves internationally with his Syrah grown on his premier cru site Efringer Ölberg. For information about Ziereisen and more besides, read Jancis Robinson's article:

Saturday, 27 January 2007


The Weiler Zeitung have sent me their paper free of charge over the past fortnight to try and get me to subscribe to them. While it it a decent paper, I doubt I'll take up their offer, if only because I often don't manage to read it when I get back in the evening because I'm doing other things. And in any case, the newspaper already has a dedicated website where I can browse the local news to my heart's content.

Nevertheless, the Weiler Zeitung truly is an upstanding newspaper for local people, and one supplement did catch my eye a couple of days ago: the fixture list for the second half of the season (Rückrunde) in the local amateur football leagues. SV Weil is the name of our local team, so, courtesy of the Weiler Zeitung, I present you, dear readers, with SV Weil's remaining fixtures in the 2006/2007 Verbandsliga Südbaden season:

*All matches on a Saturday (3.30 kick-off) unless stated.

3 March (yes, you read that correctly: following an inexplicably long winter break that began back at the beginning of December)
SV Weil vs. SV Stadelhofen
10 March
SV Linx vs SV Weil (Linx are the league's fat cats, run-away leaders and favourites to get repromoted to the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg. If Weil get anything from this fixture, I'll eat my (c)hat)
17 March
SV Weil vs FC Teningen
25 March (Sunday 3.00 kick-off)
FV Gamshurst vs SV Weil
31 March
SV Weil vs SC Pfullendorf II (reserve team of one of southern Germany's most well-known amateur clubs)
7 April
VfB Bühl vs SV Weil
14 April
SV Weil vs Kehler FV (Kehl is another town near the French border with a pedestrian bridge over the Rhine, though I won't bore you with that one)
21 April
Offenburger FV vs SV Weil (Offenburg are favourites to clinch the second promotion spot and are currently 8 points ahead of third-placed Pfullendorf)
28 April
SV Weil vs Freiburger FC (used to be Freiburg's best-supported team before the days of SC Freiburg and their gloryhunter following)
6 May (Sunday 3.00 kick-off)
FC Wollmatingen vs SV Weil
12 May
SV Weil vs FV Donaueschingen
19 May
SV Weil vs FC Denzlingen (note: Denzlingen, Teningen and Bötzingen are all local rivals of Freiburger FC)
26 May
FC Bötzingen vs SV Weil

Saturday, 20 January 2007


Yes, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Went to Basel Cricket Club's weekly indoor training session this week for the first ever time. Was toying with the idea for a good while, but always lacked will-power due to it being on a Friday night. However, since the summer, when I injured the meniscus on my right knee for the upteenth time playing football, I'd been seriously considering giving the Beautiful Game up and trying my hand at something else. Last night was now the moment I may have kissed my promising career goodbye as a midfield fantaisiste who can play the killer through-ball yet also lobs "hand grenades" à la Paul Scholes (and even tracks back to help out his defence).

It dawned on me over the last few months that the meniscus problem is terminal if I carry on with football - a weak spot that I've had ever since I badly jarred that area in a 50:50 tackle back in the late 90s. Sad to say, but footy has probably run it's course with me. I now want to try out a different sport, and cricket is that sport.

Last night was fun. There were about a dozen of us who turned up at the school gym hall, and we played quick limited-overs games with five fielders plus the bowler of course. Being indoors, the rules were somewhat improvised. For example, if you hit the ball on to the gym wall at the back it was six runs. If you hit the wall on the sides, it was two runs... or maybe four - I can't quite remember! I bowled a couple of overs, and apart from a freak first delivery, I think I did ok.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to training again next week.

Sunday, 14 January 2007


Subway, the food chain, is set to move into Weil this coming May. In fact, it will be moving into Weil's best and only specialist porcelain shop, Harr. I'm not sure what will subsequently become of Harr, but it's a shame that such a good shop selling high-quality products is now going to make way for a fast-food store.

However, I have friends from Heidelberg who visit me sporadically and will no doubt appreciate the option of nourishing themselves on Subway's legendary "footlong" baps.

Saturday, 13 January 2007


That's the word Weil's authorities used to describe today's event on the new pedestrian bridge. Around 600 lucky participants were asked to gather on the bridge at around 2 p.m. and walk around on it. The aim of this exercise was to measure how much vibration this would create on bridge. The original opening of the bridge was scheduled for 31 December, but this date has had to be put back to allow the relevant measurements to be completed which are necessary for safety reasons.

Anyway, I sauntered on down at around 4 p.m. and was able to walk across the bridge and over to the other side in Huningue, France. Being the first time I'd ever been in Huningue, despite the town being situated just a few stone's throws away, it was a funny feeling finally reaching the French side of the river. A bit like entering West Berlin from the East for the first time - hm... well, not quite, but it did feel funny. On first impressions, Huningue looked rather grim near the riverside, although the centre of town with its square and cenotaph was better.

Anyhow, photo time now. These pictures were taken from the bridge and from the French side:

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Walk in the January sun

Well, what a glorious day that was.
With the weather ridiculously mild for this time of the year (14/15C) and with the sun shining, I decided to go on an afternoon walk to clear the cobwebs. Being currently on holiday, I can afford these luxuries.
I didn't intend to go far, but in the end my legs took me as far as the village of Ötlingen. Here are a couple of photos I took along the way.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

We three kings

It's "Heilige Drei Könige" (Epiphany) today - and a public holiday here (but not in Basle) - so all the shops are closed. Although it's Saturday, the town has that Sunday feeling, with less people out and about plus the odd Swiss-registered car whizzing past, its occupants wondering why all the shops are closed.
Just spending a relaxing time and watching the FA Cup on telly. I did take the opportunity this afternoon though to go on a walk and use my new toy camera. Here are some of the results (including images of Germany's only "double roundabout rolled into one"):

Christmas on the Fylde coast

Returned to Weil on 4 January following Christmas spent with my parents at home in Lancashire. I spent a full two weeks there and really enjoyed being with my family and just relaxing. Here are a couple of scenic photos I took while I was there:

Ribble Estuary sea wall, sand dunes and Irish Sea in the distance

Fairhaven Lake