My longest summer since 1976

It is the end of August and I am thinking what to pack for Tilburg, where I am going to spend a month at the University. It is that time of the year, and I am looking forward to it. I have a good memory of what I packed up for last September, and it included a jacket and some wollen pullovers. Over the last 4 years, it has been this time in Tilburg, in which I witnessed the beginning of autumn.

But this year, it appears all differently. Today, in Frankfurt (Main), the forecast is a maximum temperature 33°C. That's more than 10°C above the long term average maximum temperature in August. In terms of rainfall during the core vegetation period, we have not been that dry since over 50 years, Just a few days ago the government decided to compensate partially losses in agriculture. It is for sure, the prices for many basic food items will rise soon. On top of that, there are response measures taken by the EU in response to the agressive US protectionism. This includes some food categories. I am generally not in favour of having long supply chains for food, and for sure many US products are of inferior quality anyways. But no doubt, it will add pressure on food prices. 

Today, I went to the Niddapark, behind the house. That's my running trail, from spring time. Also spring this year was warmer than average: both April and May about plus 3°C. But it was still a healthy landscape. Now, the grass is yellow, trees show severe signs of drought stress, and my plan to get some wild Sambucus to make a syrup and jam, ended with looking at the dried berries. Also for yesterday night's picknick at the Main river bank, it was not easy to find a green spot of grass to sit on. Luckily some gardener of an office block decided not to care about the municipal request to cease watering decorative plants, and there was a patch. These are the joys of a financial industry which does not care. Actually, nobody does. I remember, when I studied Geophysics in the late 80s, there were already numerical models showing the direction and the energetic effects of composition changes of the atmosphere were available - even the full complexity was not really understood. Desertification, water scarcity, loss of arable land and it's effects on food supply, living conditions and even resulting migration were already back then quite seriously researched and discussed. I remember very well, a project with Münchner Rückversicherung, doing number crunching to adjust their loss models for future natural disasters. That's why I am a bit puzzled why people are surprised now.

Now I am hoping for an "Indian Summer", which we call "Goldener Herbst". I would not be too surprised though, that while the sun's Zenit moves further South and the Westerly winds kick in at such temperature deltas over the North Atlantic, there will be a bit of wind ahead and winter won't come easy. It was a long summer. The only memory I have of such a year, was the summer drought of 1976. I was just aged 10 back then, and time was endless anyway. Now, this is special. 

Dried up  Sambucus  spoiled my effort to make myself a seasonal jam. 

Dried up Sambucus spoiled my effort to make myself a seasonal jam. 

Reut Regev's R*Time

Summer in Frankfurt is coming to a climax with 37 degrees Celsius. During this time, when theatres are in their Summer break, Der Palmengarten (Frankfurt's botanical garden) offers a series of open air concerts and events. Yesterday, is was Reut Regev's R*Time initiated by the Jazz-Initiative-Frankfurt. I really liked it. First of all the music and show itself, and secondly the atmosphere and the great spirit of the audience. How better can you spend a mid summer evening, than sitting in a palm garden (on the grass) with great music and a glas of wine? What did surprise me though, was the age distribution of the visitors. I clearly was at the lower bracket. Well, this concert was really cool, with complex music and great fun. And it is even more strange, because Bockenheim is the University area of Frankfurt am Main, and still no young people around. Perhaps they did not find it, because there was no "app"? Perhaps it was too expensive? I don't think so: at a reduced rate applicable to students the ticket was EUR 6.00 (US$ 6.98). Perhaps I should go to some of "their events" to find out. Let me download an app first.

Reut Regev and Igal Foni performing with band in the Palmengarten on 27.07.2018. My apologies for the photo quality.

Reut Regev and Igal Foni performing with band in the Palmengarten on 27.07.2018. My apologies for the photo quality.

Frankfurt, Bonn, Stuttgart

The days in the North are long and this summer seems endless. Time is really passing more slowly recently. Hard to say why, but this is worth researching. This is why I decided to resume writing my diary again, and activity I paused about a year ago. One aspect clearly is, that here in Germany, so many things can be done in a day with ease, while in Malta the most simple things become a daily project due to the general shortage of infrastructure and reliability. But now there is always so much ahead after the early sunrise. Based in Frankfurt (Main), I went to Bonn and Stuttgart. I really liked Kirchner's unknown collection, exhibited in the Staatsgallerie Stuttgart, and also the other museums I visited.