Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Stoned in Luckenwalde and another Half Marathon in Potsdam

Last Thursday was Ascension Day, a public holiday in Germany. After leading an evening session of the Foundation course at Buddhistisches Tor on Thursday evening I took a train from Berlin Central Station and joined Claudia in the garden at Luckenwalde for the start of a couple of weeks holiday. Friday was the start of the Turmfest in Luckenwalde, a three-day festival during which the town centre is closed off to host a fun fair and numerous stands offering assorted refreshments, and three stages present live music until late into the night. On Friday Claudia and I paid our four euros each and enjoyed first of all the music of pop band Stella Nova, and then the country and western of Uncle Lu, which was fascinating more on account of the couple of dozen square dancers in front of the stage than the music. The highlight of the evening however was Get Stoned, a really competent Stones cover band from Berlin. 
On Sunday I ran the Potsdam Schlößer half marathon again. This year it was even hotter than last, maybe 28°c. I had expected to run a faster time than last year, but it didn’t happen. I finished in just under two hours. Three minutes before the start, the commentator encouraged all participants to remember a runner, who died during last year’s race with a minute’s silence. The silence lasted literally about five seconds before the commentator started talking again. I suspect that part of the intention of this remembrance was to make this year’s participants aware of the potential risks. With about three-quarters of the course behind me I witnessed a man being helped to the grass at the side of the road, clearly suffering under the conditions. I asked if he required help, to which he assented, so I ran a hundred meters back along the course to a water station and explained what had happened and the helper called someone on his mobile phone. Hopefully all went well. 

My time was 1:58:59, three minutes slower than last year. I finished 784th overall (compared to 795th last year), 71st in my age class (70th last year)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Music and preparations for Potsdam

Since I last wrote something I've continued training for this Sunday's half marathon in Potsdam. Last year it was hot and I was not really fit so it was a tough run. This year I feel reasonably fit but the temperature is expected to be around 28°, so it might again be pretty hard going. We'll see...

After the pleasing discovery of Takemitsu at the Berlin Philharmonic the other week I have found another classical composer from the East: Tan Dun, whose Ghost Opera is a fascinating piece. Performed by the Kronos Quartet, it can be seen on You Tube, where his Internet Symphony can also be found.