Sunday, 28 November 2010

First Pause in Advent 2010.

As today is the First Sunday in Advent I'd like to share a little of my story with you, and introduce you to a wonderful friend of ours.
In 1984 Mr B's career took us to Bavaria, Germany.
We left all our family and friends behind in the UK to start a new life in a new country. Scary.
We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into our new surroundings, making many German friends in our neighbourhood and amongst his work collegues, but the most important friends we made were our landlords and next door neighbours Herr & Frau Wilde.
Over the years we shared many wonderful times with the Wildes, celebrating not only high days and holidays but also day to day life in Pöcking, a small town on the shores of Starnberger See.
Frau Wilde (never Traudl, never "du") sort of adopted me as the daughter she never had.
She taught me many things, like how to play bridge, she is a fanatical bridge player and to this day, if I ever get the chance to play, I always find myself bidding in German! (Vier pik!)
We spent many an afternoon sitting in her "winter garden" as she helped me improve my embroidery, knitting, and German conversation skills all the time enjoying her "kaffee und kuchen".
From top right: Our house
 a favourite woods where we walked our dogs,
Feldafinger Strasse.
The snow season in Bavaria starts around the beginning of December and during our first winter in Pöcking she taught me how to cross country ski on the local golf course in Feldafing.
Did I mention that the lady was born in 1918?
Frau W & me 1991
Perhaps the one thing that Frau Wilde taught me which touched me the deepest was how to celebrate Christmas the Bavarian way,
Her Weihnachts Plaetzchen (Christmas biscuits) such as Zimtsterne and Springerele were legendary.
And so on this First Sunday in Advent and in honour of a much loved lady, I'd like to invite you to "kaffe und kuchen" my way.
My Adventskranz 2010.
Sadly, fresh evergreen wreaths are not easily found here in rural Normandy and so once again this year, a "faux" wreath decorated with white poinsettia flowers and silver pine cones surrounds four classic white Church candles.
The china service is Rosenthal's "Classic Rose" in white, which with its silvery grey design and gold trim complements the Adventskranz beautifully.
Napkins: Spode Christmas tree. (was sonst?)
For you to enjoy during the Adventszeit old fashioned mincepies (click here for the recipe) and lebkuchen, a very simple iced biscuit, similar to gingerbread.
(Note to Floss: I'm going back to Delia!)
With this post I'm joining
Floss @ Troc, Broc and Recup for First Pause in Advent.
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.
Marty @ A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday.
The Lady Katherine, for the first time, and Teatime Tuesday.
Click on the links above to see who else is joining in this week.


  1. Oh what a lovely post to introduce such a precious friend. She sounds like a very special person. Love your beautiful tablescape and the biscuits look devine. Hugs, Marty

  2. What a fantastic memory to have, of such an incredible lady! Thanks for starting off Advent with a Bavarian tradition - I met a German teacher at our language school meeting on Friday and she was telling me that she intended to buy a fresh evergreen wreath at the local German Christmas Market today. We did wonder where the Germans of the Midi find evergreens! Your everlasting ones look like a good idea.

  3. Hello - what a lovely post. I spent the first 2 years of my life in Germany - on an RAF base. All thats left of that life now are a handful of german glass tree baubles and some faded photos in my parents album.

  4. That was lovely! I too have wonderful memories of German Weinachts celebrations from childhood and then from the six years that The Great Dane and I lived in North Rhineland-Wesphalia. I would love to join you for coffee and cookies!

  5. Lovely! Got the Advent candles out and the Advent calendar. Now I need some of your kuchen!

  6. Everything is so pretty! Great memories and very tasty I'm sure:@)

  7. I loved reading your delightful family memories for A Pause in Advent. What a blessing they were to you. We have a few special adopted "grandparents" for my children that were blessings to us in similar fashion. Such joys! :)

  8. Pretty post, lovely photos! Love your advent wreath.

  9. Wonderful sentiments! I like Christmas stories, good old-fashioned ones with nice people. I am trying to make some new memories of my own living in Holland. You have to or you will go crazy thinking of what you are missing at home in Texas. Thanks, Maggie! xxoo

  10. What a lovely post. Our family love lebkuchen at Christmastime too! And your table settings are beautiful.
    Thankyou for kind comments on my blog
    blessings xx

  11. How lovely to have a friend that has taught you her traditions. I had taken for granted the woodland behind my house where I just help myself to greenery for the wreath I am making, so sorry you don't have any fresh greenery. I must take a look at the mince pie recipe as I am making mincemeat this week. Betty (yappy) x

  12. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my Pause for advent post. I love that we are all sharing things so special to us.
    What a wonderful story about your stay in Germany.
    Jane x

  13. Oh, Maggie. Now this is just the way to slow down and savor the season. How I wish I were sitting there with you enjoying a cup of coffee and one of these delightful sweets.
    It's fun to read about your memories from time spent in Germany. I like the thought of sitting with a good friend, stitching, and enjoying good times together.
    Happy day, my friend! ~ Sarah

  14. Oh wow, what a fantastic introduction to your advent traditions, I can not wait to hear more.

  15. What a wonderful post. It's so nice to have such wonderful memories of the people we meet in our lives. That is why it's so important to be nice and mentor other people. We never know how far our small gifts will go.

  16. Absolutely stunning, Lady.

    Love your adventkrantz...

    Happy TTT...

  17. What a great post. Since I'm from Bavaria I loved it. Thanks for visiting me.
    The Bavarian Christmas linky party is now open-won’t you come and join us at
    Don't miss today's give-a-way

  18. This is absolutely lovely. I so enjoyed the story as well as the photos. Thank you so much for this post.

  19. What a wonderful post and such a nice way to remember your dear friend. Those biscuits look delicious! And your setting is so pretty. Thank You for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment and for following me, you will find me as your new follower as well. Have a blessed day!

  20. Such a beautiful post! Your tablescape is lovely and I enjoyed hearing about your friend. Thanks for sharing.


  21. Maggie, Your china service is beautiful! Love your centerpiece with the candles, greenery and white poinsettias too.
    Blessings, Beth

  22. Such memories. So sorry to visit so late. Thank you so much for participating in Seasonal Sundays! I'm glad to be part of your celebration of the season.

    - The Tablescaper

  23. Maggie,

    Cross-cultural communication at its finest! Joyeuses Fêtes ....



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