London — So what’s this all about? Well, it seems that when some chaps get to a certain age, they start to wonder where they fit into the greater scheme of things. In my case, born to parents who were both refugees from Nazi Germany, looking back turns into a voyage across Europe. Any excuse for a bit more travelling ...
An aunt of mine once described a Babel-like family occasion at which her younger brother and sister, both German-born, met up to introduce each other to their respective spouses. The brother had married a Swede, whose sister was also present at the gathering, so of course they spoke Swedish together. The sister had married a Portuguese, so they spoke Portuguese together. The brother and sister spoke German to each other, but when the brother spoke to his sister's husband, they spoke French. It was that sort of family.
My mother grew up in the German city of Breslau, which is now the Polish city of Wroclaw. My father came from Berlin. They met when they were both working in a top-secret British military intelligence unit during the Second World War. During 67 years of married life, they only ever spoke English to each other. Whatever else we may be, we're not boring.
I'm pretty sure this journey won't be boring either. I hope you'll come along for the ride. It'll be interesting -- and fun, a bit like The Hairy Bikers (without the bikes) meet The Trip (without Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon). And probably less gastronomy as well.