Posted by: Corri van de Stege | November 21, 2007

A lunch


The Nikolai Church in Leipzig 

Over lunch with a former colleague, we worked in an organisation both of us have now left, we discover that we have a similar interest in the cold war era, the time after the second world war when everyone thought that one or other party could/would drop an atom bomb if let out of sight, and its impact on European countries and our lives.  He has retired and now has the opportunity to travel places across France, Germany and Eastern European countries, which I don’t have the luxury for of course.  Except that I find opportunities to visit family and friends and have short breaks snatched in between working weeks and months. 

And so we discover that he is reading about the cold war and has Frederick Taylor’s The Berlin Wall on his shelf to read.  Quite amazing when we have not seen each other for a year or so and we have never really discussed this before at all.  And so we talk about Leipzig and he tells me  about this wonderful picture of the church in Leipzig where it all started.  Well, I have a picture of that church and it is here, taken on my last visit, the Nikolaichurch, where the protesters gathered and which now has a large poster across the outside wall, showing a picture of a man and his daughter who marched during those heady days before the wall came down. 

 We talk some more about childhood memories and how that era was so formative for us, in different countries, so overshadowed by the aftermath of a war we did not know anything about but that our parents had lived through.  And so it got me back on track, thinking about my writing and suddenly I knew how I had to start that first chapter, which had eluded me all this time and which stopped me from moving forward in a way that I was comfortable with.


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