Anyway, enough of that, I will tug at your memories even more as this story progresses, well some of your memories. Most of you probably weren’t around in the early eighties……if you weren’t, you missed a lot! Back to Sunday July 4th! There I sat in my rooftop window. I am not sure if I was hoping to get a suntan, or trying to keep cool, but neither was working. I was hot and sticky and uncomfortable. I was also tired of the odd passer-by yelling at me. I left my window perch and went back inside. There were no garden areas with this apartment; we were very much in the city and I wanted to be outside in the sun, not stuck in the house. Westfalen Park would have been great, but it meant taking a tram down town and they didn’t run regularly on a Sunday. The fountains and cool grass were a temptation, but I wasn’t in the mood for a tram ride. Les was on guard duty and had the car. I went into the kitchen, got myself a bottle of cold beer from the fridge and sat in the chair by the open window to drink it. There was still no breeze coming in through the window, in fact I think there was only warm air blowing in. I got up and closed it. I really wanted to get out into the sunshine and in this heat, I needed to find a place to sunbathe. As I finished my beer I changed into a more presentable pair of shorts and top, slipped on some sandals, threw a few things into a bag (sun tan lotion etc.) put on my sun glasses and started down the stairs, of course just as I got down to the first landing I heard the phone in the apartment start to ring. Typical! I turned around and ran back up the stairs (answer machines weren’t common and cell phones weren’t around then), I managed to open the door and run to the phone before it stopped ringing. It was my mum, she didn’t call very often as Germany was ‘Long Distance’ and my dad didn’t like her to run up a big phone bill. We chatted for a while about nothing much. She was excited about her upcoming trip to spend a couple of weeks with us here in September. This was a big step for her as she didn’t like ‘The Germans’ because of the second world war. It took my mum’s generation a long time to get over the horrors they lived through in those times. I thought she would be pleasantly surprised though, when she came and stayed with us.
I put the phone down, picked up my bag and went back through the open door into the stairway. I wished they had done a better job on the stairway, instead it remained unfinished, no new paint on the walls, plain wooden stairs, it really was ugly. I later discovered that all work had stopped because the owner of this building was suffering with terminal cancer and was in hospital dying. Very sad! I stepped out into the blisteringly hot sun. Phew, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, but as always, I was desperate for a sun tan. Everyone looked better with a tan. Instead of my usual route along the main road where the trams went, I decided to turn left. I had never actually walked along this way. The road was lined with apartments and small businesses, and was a cooler walk than along the main road. It was always nice to see something new. We had only been in our lovely apartment for a couple of months, and I hadn’t had much time to just ‘wander’. I was always on my way to work. I was working on one of the big army camps, driving a big yellow ‘NAAFI’ wagon. It wasn’t a serious job, but was a lot of fun. (Except for when the gear stick came off in my hands as I straddled the tram line with a tram heading towards me). I made sandwiches every morning which I sold along with tea, coffee and doughnuts on the neighboring army camps. I also sold magazines, books, newspapers, birthday cards, and stocked up with anything else anyone asked for. It was a blast! The pay was awful, but it really was a lot of fun. Not a good career move, but I only did it for a while.