This blog collects notes from Höfen, a small village in Southern
Germany, where Kathrin from public works was living and working for
Young beech trees are put up in front of the chapel.
The chapel is cleaned and the pilgrimage sign has got a new flower
The leather belt for carrying the flag is in place.
The chapel bells ring at 1.00 am.
All candles are lit.
The walk start at 1.30, and the church of the Fourteen Saints gets
in sight at around 5.00 am.
The official entry into the curch is a 6.45 am.
Bags were made for the 2007 Höfer
Goods, and it was time to make new ones for the International Village
Shop network. So I went to Baunach, which is 5 km away and
has a wholesale fabric shop, to get more cotton.
Gertrud who is a trained tailor helped to cut it all down, Mary and
and other women donated more doilies. Today was the monthly women's
afternoon with coffee and cakes, and the bags and doilies are now
spread across the village for the doilies to be stiched on by hand
... until the war refugees arrived.
The farm museum we went to showed the house with its original
furniture and use of rooms. The master bedroom on the first floor
was one of the largest, with a text to explain that this room
was never actually used for sleeping but for showing off the dowry.
Paulina then said, that her parents never used their matrimonial
bedrooom either. That the furniture and covers and linen were far
too precious to be used for everyday - until the 2nd WW, when it
became compulsory for every household with a spare room to host
refugees, whose kids would then pee into the beds.
With a few women from Höfen we went to see a nearby
farm museum yesterday, where a special exhibition of
traditional costumes is on display. The curator Mrs. Jauernig also
talked about their attempst to develop contemporary costumes for
and with communities. Whenever the group is split between Catholics
and Protestants it becomes impossible to agree on one outfit - and
these scarves from 1860 are a good example for how similar things
are done very differently.
May being the month of Mary here, comes with a weekly payer
meeting in the small chapel, with one Ave Maria per congregation.
On the last Sunday in May the annual procession to the church of
the Fourteen Saints
takes place. Around 80 people from the village meet at 1.30 am in
front of the chapel, and then walk 24km eastwards into the sunrise
to Fourteen Saints, to arrive there just after 6.30 am. Five to six
Ave Marias are held throughtout the walk, and the brass band plays
popular hymns whenever the procession crosses a village during the
At Fourteen Saints the group splits into those who go for coffee
and breakfast at the convent, and those who prefer an early
Two parcels with Höfer
Goods have just been sent to Ballykinler in Northern Irlenad,
where they will be on offer at on One Day
International Village Shop. Rhyzom connections meet Village Fair. Potted
Clay meets Caravan
Pot. Village products meet village products. From Höfen meets
The Late Ice Saints or Early Sheep's Cold hits in early May. We
just had temperatures of 20 degrees during the day and minus 4 at
night, which means that about 70% of cherries which were still in
bloom are gone, lots of walnut and quite a bit of the young vine
shoots. The last one is "Cold Sophie" on Sunday, and most people
wait until then with putting seeds and young plants out in the
garden. The Late Ice Saints have to do with a regular but not
annual meteorological phenomena and there are plenty of sayings and
farmer's rules attached.
Scepticism was running high again before yesterday's event.
Would anyone come? Is it worth making such an effort?
Around 35 people came for the clay evening, and after talking
and showing and exlaining what can be done with clay in your house
and in or on your body, it was time for some clay treatments. We
had warm and cold fluid clay for facials, more solid clay for
wrappings, different herb extracts to mix it in, Silvia had home
made moisturiser which was a huge success, and quite a few people
took clay home.
If you happen to be aorund the area next Monay 9th May, we're
doing a small public event
that involves clay masks, clay foot baths and clay wrappings. It's
a follow up from a clay workshop last
May, and part of the Höfer
Goods series. There is something very simple about clay, which
makes it fascinating, and I wonder how complicated our clay product
needs to be. For now we dag some clay up on the fields, disolved
and kneaded it, and it has an astonishing firm and "fat"
consistence. It will be used together with wild herbs to try and
remake some of the clay treatmenst that the older women remember.
One good story is that everybody used warm clay packs to treat
strained muscels or joints - because it really helps - and that the
clay was always removed when the doctor came for a home visit.
Start is at 19.00 in the community hall, and Gabriele Götz, a
local construction biologist, and Silvia Hellmuth who knows about
herbs will join.
Since the media covered every single detail of the big wedding
in London last week, word has gone around here, too, that the
British get the Monday off if a holiday happens to be on the
weekend. Everyone is impressed by this simple rule - maybe more
than by the wedding.