We got to Heidelberg Saturday night. Again one of my favourite cities. A lovely university town, apparently saved from the bombs by the British generals who had studied there before the war and determined to preserve the hallowed halls of academia.
I however have never studied there, though my stepfather D grandfather did for a term sometime during the nineteenth century. We have somewhere the most enormous certificate proving this.
But I first went to Heidelberg about twenty years ago for Jacek’s birthday. We thought our children were mature enough to look after themselves and each other. My mother and father lived near by, we were only away for two nights, what could possibly go wrong? True, some of our friends reminded us that we had a teenaged daughter who was very attractive. Yes. And so? She might have a party. Of course not. She’s far too sensible etc etc. And so we went.
We had a perfect weekend. We stayed in the Crowne Plaza hotel at one end of the city. We walked and ate and sightsaw and walked and ate and rang home several times. Including Saturday evening. Everything was fine.
We returned on Sunday afternoon. The house was tidy, mostly. But adequate. There was a strong smell of smoke but that we were used to as my mother smoked very heavily. Perhaps she’d been round?
The children were not very forthcoming about what they’d been doing, but we were so pleased with our own little holiday that we took little notice. They were tired. On Monday I went back to school. Yes, it was the worst school in west London but at that time I enjoyed it. I had some lovely classes that I really got on with.
And so it was proved. A couple of weeks after our return from Heidelberg I took in some homework. Essays and short stories.
I was particularly interested in one which was about three children whose names were Natasha, Andy and Marissa. Coincidentally similar to my offspring’s monikers. The story also unfolded very eventfully.
It didn’t take me long, intelligent being that I am, to realise that this story was almost a blow by blow account of a party at my house – Heidelberg weekend!
Oh dear. So, unusually for me, I brought my marking home that evening and asked my dear sensible 15 year old to read a piece of “creative” writing as composed by her friend RS.
Kasia’s face was a picture as she realised what she was reading.
Luckily no real harm had been done despite almost 70! people having enjoyed themselves while the cats were away. (My husband still remembers the damage done to the record player needle, though.)
So, every time we go to Heidelberg we remember this story. Advice to parents – obvious really!
Anyway, last weekend was the best ever. We stayed in the Arthotel which is a beautifully restored and modernised 12th century building in the middle of the old town with the most fabulous restaurant. We had a room with a turret and many many views, to the castle up above and by a stretch of the imagination even to the river. Breathtaking. The next day we were bound for Cernobbio by lake Como. A different story.