The headline in today's Berliner Morgenpost was "Winter Chaos: Crisis summit in Senate". They're moaning about the roads, pavements, railways, airports and the incompetent chaos thereof. Sound familiar? Feel a bit pleased about the super efficient Germans not being so super after all? That's Schadenfreude "pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others".

I hope I will be able to make it over and see some of you. Only 1 out of 5 BA flights were cancelled today.

Happy Christmas from Deutschland!

Interesting that they use English 'Winter-Chaos' though
Posted by: Carrie | January 16, 2011 at 02:19 PM

Loved it! I have a huge smile on my face! Dad is now on the telephone trying to get refunds on the tickets to places we never reached. I have just bought a raffle ticket in the village shop and I see the draw was taken LAST Friday. The disease is catching! When will we be allowed to pay on arrival? So looking forward to seeing you again. Do make it..... All love Mum
Posted by: Mum | December 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Very much looking fwd to seeing you George so don't be let down by weather, Simon

Posted by: Simon | December 22, 2010 at 08:39 AM


Keelings elevated to aristocracy – Grandpa nearly dies of exposure – Cally buried

As many of you know, Grandpas younger sister Cally died last Monday morning 13th December age 74 after a long illness almost certainly caused by her lifelong smoking. The funeral was yesterday in her home Lohr am Main, Germany.
Later in the Chapel
 It started in the catholic church in Lohr. Grandpa, Granny, Tom and I were there along with Nico, Christa, their two children Emma and Jacob and many other relatives and friends of theirs and Callys. The Keeling party were a bit mystified by the lack of a coffin in the church, but they do things differently here. It was a mass and the priest gave a sermon which also rather mysteriously began by talking about the composer Handel who was born in Germany and was buried in Westminster Abbey. It was a contrast with the man who left provincial Germany for cosmopolitan London and the woman, Cally, who did the reverse. He claimed that she was the daughter of the aristocrats Lord and Lady Keeling – a bit of an exaggeration. Sir and Lady Keeling – and we're not sure if that makes them aristocrats, but they were certainly posh. He went on to tell us about Callys great spirit, lack of diplomacy and sporting prowess – among other things she was an Olympic class horsewoman.

Emma and Jacob and two of their cousins also got up and said some words including how Cally had suffered her illness and frequent hospitalizations without complaint and how she kept her sense of humour.

Eventually the priest did his magic and we left the church. The village was sub-zero and clad in snow. Grandpa refused a lift to the cemetery and a coat proffered by Granny – 'he did not like it'. We proceeded at a very slow pace down icy paths. The cemetery has quite a large building in the middle, which is a sort chapel of rest, and there we found the coffin surrounded by flowers including an arrangement from Jocelyn Keeling and family (first pic).

Coffin exits
 Outside there was a large crowd of about 200 people. They waited while the close family filed past into the chapel of rest. We took it in turns to stand by the coffin, sprinkle it with water and pay our respects to Cally. Nico and his family were almost last and little Emma, who had been very chirpy up to then, was overcome with grief. She had to retire outside with Christa. The priest reappeared from a side door with his acolytes and intoned a few more words then the coffin was wheeled out, preceded by a flag bearer, round the back of the chapel to where the family grave is. Herbert was waiting there for his beloved Cally.

The family grave
 Most of us sprinkled earth on the coffin. Granny had a rosary, which I think that Cally had given to her Lady mother, and she threw that in as well. Grandpa by this time had swallowed his pride and donned the reviled coat. We had to hasten back to Nicos and Christas house which thankfully is only 100m away and warm the old chap up before he froze. We were then driven by the admirable Grigor to a hostelry in Sackenbach which is the village where Cally lived, right next door to Lohr. There we had a small wake and were able to become reacquainted with Werner, Gisela and Brigitta on the Seitz side, the very tall and on his third wife Freddy von Hutten (who confiscated my bow and arrow when I was small) and acquainted wth many of Christas relatives whose names I have already forgotten because I am so ignorant. Tom will supply.

May Cally rest in peace and may her descendants thrive - as they said when we left, "Next time, let's not meet for a funeral!
Grandpa wearing the reviled coat
Dear George, A very accurate and fair report. No wonder your daughter is a journalist. Thank you so much for being there and arranging our Paris hotel. It was just what we wanted. And we had an excellent lunch in the brasserie next door, which set us up for the last part of our journey arranged by Tom. Love Mum
Posted by: Mum | December 20, 2010 at 04:00 PM

Can anyone send the artilce about Cally' funeral to Mum as I know that she wold like to see it? thanks her email is:
Posted by: NIck Crean | December 20, 2010 at 11:43 AM

George and Tom - well done! LoL Jim
Posted by: Jim | December 20, 2010 at 09:51 AM

Brilliant George. Practically feel I was there. Just spoken to Mum, she called from Paris, on their rather complicated return journey. Perhaps Dad can get himself a new jacket while he is there!
Posted by: Paul Keeling | December 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Thank you George that was very nicely done, Simon

Posted by: Simon | December 19, 2010 at 08:53 AM