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  • Writer's pictureThe English Translator

A blast from the past

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Third writing prompt - 8 December 2020

The gauntlet was thrown down by The challenge to pick a word from her teabag of the day courtesy of her tea Advent calendar and to write for a whole 15 minutes to see what you produce. I duly took up the challenge and am now presenting you with the second 15 minutes unedited, undiluted *insert epithet here*. Please note: these are random musings and no facts have been verified!


I knew a Hildegard and I know of another Hildegard.

Hildegard 1 (forgive me for reducing you to this if you happen to be reading) was the first Hildegard I had ever met. My boss at the first company I worked for in Germany, she grew to be a friend. We would talk for hours in the evenings after our work was done. No idea about what but it was fun, lighthearted stuff, probably putting the world to rights, as you do.

I remember going skiing together one weekend. Living in Munich, you never really had far to travel before hitting some slopes. Maybe we went to Brauneck, maybe we went to Garmisch, maybe we even went to Austria somewhere, my memory is so fickle nowadays. I sometimes wonder how it will be if my life were ever to flash before my eyes in a moment of danger. Will I be terrified? Will I be delighted to relive those wonderful memories stored dustily at the back of my mind and now presented to me? I hope it’s the latter.

Hildegard 1 came round when my first baby was born and presented her with her very own Robbe & Berking cutlery set. Such a lovely gift, although the baby didn’t think much of it at the time. Poor little thing wasn’t even allowed to suck it. My memories of Hildegard 1 are fond ones. I often wonder what became of her after I moved up north. Maybe our paths will cross again one day. Never say never. Hildegard 2 is, of course, Hildegard von Bingen. A person who figures quite a bit in German history. Don’t take any of my facts as gospel, but I seem to remember she was a special child, one of many in her family and who entered the convent at an early age. Rising up the ranks, she formed her own little section of religious pursuit as an abbess, tending the poor and using her knowledge of herbs to do good. Her name is immortalised on a number of roads and streets peppered through Germany. Perhaps she is even the inspiration for the marvellous-sounding “Hol Dir Schwung! Tee – Hildegard”. I like to think so.

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