I was at the Teloy-Mühle this afternoon for an event and took a couple of photos of the staircase up to the upper levels. For those who have read The Devil’s Missal, this is the setting for a dramatic scene.
There is a road sign behind the golf course, near Bauer Berrisch’s farm which always makes me imagine giant toads hopping out of the woods.
A little tip to anyone living in or around Meerbusch. It seems to be a very good year for sloes. These are a native form of wild plum, quite bitter, but when combined with gin and sugar makes a magical concoction called sloe gin.
The German term for the bush is Schwarzdorn, so called because in spring the flowers appear before the leaves, so the bushes are black prickly twigs covered with white flowers.
Meerbusch boasts a fantastic Stadtwald or public forest which is open to everyone to walk in. It is a mixed forest with quite a variety of deciduous (beech, oak, sycamore) and evergreen (pine) trees.
Sadly Meerbusch has been suffering, like so much of Germany, with a combination of extreme weather and airborne disease which in particular is affecting the pines. Wherever you look it seems that the evergreens are dying off.
Let’s hope that enough survive to provide the foundation of new growth in the future.
A rummage through the archives threw up this beautiful old picture of the right hand wing of Schloss Pesch, just as the leaves were turning.
I wanted to share with you this lovely drawing by local artist Editha Hackspiel of the station in Meerbusch-Osterrath. The station sadly became famous as the location of a major rail accident in December 2017 when a freight train collided with a passenger train, injuring five people.
One of the sources I used while writing The Devil’s Missal was the journal of Steven Jan de Geuns, a Dutch academic who travelled extensively through Germany in the company of Alexander von Humboldt, passing through Meerbusch on 26th October 1789.
De Geuns waxed lyrical about Krefeld, calling it a beautiful city, clean and the closest to a Dutch city that he had seen (being a Dutchman himself, presumably this was high praise). His sightseeing tour of the city appears to have consisted of a tour of several factories. Meerbusch is mentioned only as consisting of fertile agricultural land. Which sounds about right for the period.
This photograph was taken before the installation of modern gates. The driveway used to be a network of muddy puddles of varying depths. It wasn’t too bad negotiating it in a car, but on a bicycle in the dark it was only for the hardened adventurer….
Autumn is the most beautiful season around Schloß Pesch as the woods which surround it turn golden and russet. If you haven’t taken yourself on a tour of all the breathtaking Meerbusch locations from The Devil’s Missal yet, the next few weeks would be the perfect time. These are older photos… the leaves have not turned yet.