One of the questions readers frequently ask is where do I write. Physically that is. Which seat is my backside attached to? What can I see from if I look up from the screen?
The answer is usually wherever I happen to be at the time. But if the weather allows it, outdoors. Here are three images of some of my favourite writing locations. The first is at Schloß Pesch in Meerbusch Ossum. The other two are in Meerbusch Büderich.
One relic of the second world war is an old flak-shelter which now stands by the Teloy windmill in Lank-Latum. It was designed for a single person. The rear is open. The idea was that anyone who was on duty during an air-raid, but was too far from a proper shelter, could duck inside one of these concrete devices and avoid being hit by shrapnel.
In The Devil’s Missal, the main character, Holda, spent her early childhood around Schloss Pesch. When she returns as an adult, revisiting those scenes sparks some strange memories… conscious and subconscious.
One of the confusing things for newcomers to Meerbusch is the sheer number of place names used for different parts of the town. Meerbusch was only officially recognised as a town on 20. May 1976. Prior to that it consisted of a loose collection of eight formerly independent villages: Büderich, Osterath, Lank-Latum, Ossum-Bösinghoven, Strümp, Langst-Kierst, Nierst and Ilverich, which went by the collective title ‘Waldgebiet Meerbusch’ – the forested region of Meerbusch.
As you enter the Herrenbusch by Haus Gripswald there is the obligatory information board for visitors complete with map and basic local history. This one has a rather lovely sketch of Haus Gripswald which gives a much better impression of the place than any photograph can, as so much of the house is masked by trees.
In the current heatwave the only hint of a cool breeze is to be found down by the Rhine. The best place to catch it is the middle of the river from a boat.
Unfortunately the ferry between Meerbusch and Kasierswerth is not operating at the moment as it is ‘moonlighting’ for a couple of weeks as a pleasure boat at the fair in Oberkassel. We are obliged to cool off as best we can on the banks.
The low level of the Rhine means wide beaches have appeared along parts of the river, especially around Meerbusch. The locals are making the most of this, holding barbecues and parties there every evening.