River Thames Freezes
12th February 2021. The River Thames at Teddington froze for the first time in almost 60 years.
Snow in Lodi
Winter 2020-2021. Lodi, in northern Italy, is twinned with Konstanz.
The European Youth Orchestra comprises musicians from Lodi, Fontainebleau, Konstanz & Richmond. Lodi is also experiencing lots of snow this winter. This aerial photograph of Lodi was recently sent to REA by Pietro Farina of the Accademia della Arti Gerundia
First Snowfall in Richmond in 2021
24th January 2021 Following the recent example of Konstanz, Richmond experienced its first snowfall of the winter. Usually snow brings transport to a standstill in England, but this year most people are staying at home because of the pandemic.
REA member, Ingrid Colclough, captured this picture of a fox in her garden this morning.
Another REA member, Ulrike Dunckley, photographed Kneller Hall, the former home of the famous late 17th/early 18th century portrait painter, Sir Godfrey Kneller (who was born Gottfried Kniller in Lübeck). For the past 170 years the hall has been the home of the Royal Military School of Music, but, sadly, the musicians will be leaving this year.
58th Anniversary of the Élysée Treaty
22nd January 2021. The mayors of Fontainebleau & Konstanz exchanged online greetings on the 58th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty, which was a treaty of friendship & reconciliation between France & West Germany after a century of conflict. The treaty also called upon the two countries to pursue close co-operation with the USA & for Britain’s eventual admission to the Common Market. Britain subsequently joined what was to become the EU in 1973. Please click on the following link to see the mayors.
Ho Narro Dehom!
The traditional greeting in Konstanz during Fasnacht is “Ho Narro” (Hallo Fool), but this year it is “Ho Narro dehom” (Hallo Fool at Home).
Former REA chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, adores Fasnacht & has been a member of the Blätzlebuebezunft for 20 years, in recognition of which he has just received this bronze award.
The Zunft has 1500 members & has its headquarters in the atmospheric Schnetztor which has guarded the town for 700 years. The town council had proposed to demolish it when it became dilapidated, but the Blätzlebuebezunft offered to restore it at their own expense if they could use it, so it survives.
Heavy Snowfall in Konstanz
17th January 2020 Konstanz is currently enjoying its heaviest snowfall in years – up to 40 cm in depth. The magical snow is helping to brighten the mood in the midst of the pandemic. There is a curfew in Konstanz after 8 p.m. each night & the border with Switzerland is closed, but with so much snow in Konstanz there is no need to travel to enjoy winter sports. Frank Exner, the secretary of Konstanz Tennis Club, which is twinned with St. Mary’s Tennis Club in Isleworth, sent this picture to REA today.
New Year Greetings from Fontainebleau
It is the custom in France to send new year greetings cards rather than Christmas cards. We have just received this one from Thierry Bernard-Tambour, who is the president of the Jeu de Paume (real tennis) club which plays at the château de Fontainebleau & is in the process of twinning with the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace.
A celebratory match in Fontainebleau had been arranged in 2020 to celebrate the partnership & the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold. Hopefully this will now take place this year.
Weihnachtsgrüße aus Konstanz
2nd December 2020. We received the following message from our friends in Konstanz today.
“Es war ein außergewöhnliches und anstrengendes Jahr für alle und leider konnten viele direkte Begegnungen im Rahmen unserer Städtepartnerschaften nicht stattfinden. Wir hoffen, dass sich das bald wieder ändert und wünschen Ihnen einstweilen eine schöne Adventszeit, besinnliche Weihnachtsfeiertage und gute Erholung im Kreise Ihrer Familien. Halten Sie diese besonders fordernde Zeit weiter gut durch und vor allem bleiben Sie alle gesund!”
We certainly echo these thoughts & look forward very much to welcoming our partners from both Konstanz & Fontainebleau to Richmond in 2021.
“Wir werden immer Freunde, Partner und Verbündete sein.”