After lunch Karl took us to Ispringen. I wanted to go there to see the house that Granny and Pop lived in. I’m not sure but I think Mum might have lived there for some time as well. It’s really interesting to see things like this. It’s a special place to see, but there isn’t much to say
. After visiting Ispringen, we went to the Ochs family garden. All the houses here are so close together that many people have a small garden plot just out of the town. They have little sheds and BBQs and in summer they have picnics in the garden. It a very beautiful place, there are many, many fruit and nut trees and the different family plots have hedges or little fences around them. All around is gently sloping farmland that leads out into a forest. There are only very small patches of snow left. The trees are bare except some pine trees and a few that are laced allover with white fluff. We fed a pair of palomino coloured ponies old fallen apples and ate walnuts collected in the Autumn. After spending some time in the garden we walked among some of the other plots, through orchards and farmland and then out to the forest. In the forest, Philip and Karl showed us some ruins that Romans had build when they invaded Germany. After visiting the garden we went back to Hilde and Karl’s and we played some board games. One was a game Philip had made called "The Big Hedgehog World Cup". We had little counters that we moved along as the dice said to, and when we landed on certain number there were things you had to do like miss a turn or go back and help another hedgehog. The aim of course was to get to the end first – and win the race. Another one we played was a traditional German game that is too hard to explain but the general idea is rolling a dice and moving round the board.
It has been such a pleasure to get to know Philip. The respect, kindness and willingness to help that he shows his grandparents and parents is such a wonderful thing to see. He is a very passionate and intelligent young man, also very kind and gentle. I think he will he will grow up into a wonderful adult. Not to say he isn’t a wonderful child. He has a love of scale train sets and builds scenes for them to move through with the help of Karl. They are very beautiful and Felix has been enjoying playing with them also, they remind him of his and David’s train sets.
Today we spent the day with Philip. He got us really excited to go to Switzerland when he showed us pictures from his holiday there. He then took us over to Hilde and Karl's. We had waffles for lunch with fruit from trees they had planted many years ago. Philip taught us a game, I don’t know what it’s called but you lay out 18 sticks or pencils or anything like that in a row and in turns you can take 1,2 or 3 sticks away at a time and the aim of the game is to not to be left with the last stick on your turn. Another version is to make a pyramid and you can only take sticks from one row per turn.