Friday, 15th June 2001

To Mr Groff

Good morning all,

When I was younger ( much, much younger ), some 11 or 12, I had a great teacher back in Luxembourg, Mr Groff. He was already close to his sixties, but fantastically alert. If the sun was shining, he would spontaneously decide to take us to the woods, and introduce us to the different names of plants and flowers ( in German, French AND Luxembourgish ). I regret it today, but I always preferred running around playing Zorro or Tarzan in the woods than listening to what he said, so I never memorised any of the beautiful things he tried to teach me about nature.

As kids we loved to hear his story again and again, when in world war II, he had to flee out of Luxembourg on his heavy bicycle direction Brittany and England to avoid to be forced by Germans into their army. He was a great help for the little Portuguese I was, who never really managed to understand German grammar ( especially their accusative, dative, der, die, das, den, dem...pfuuuuuuhhhh ). Those Brits who studied German know what I mean.

Mr Groff already then liked my "Aufsaetze", my little reports or "stories" ( ?, not sure if it's the correct word ), and he used to tell me "Alex, one day you'll make a great journalist. Like them you write a lot without saying anything, and usually what you say is rubbish." Nice, isn't it. Nothing has really changed after all these years, as you can see. These morning mails are a proof for it. Once, I had to write 100 words about the subject "Vom Butterbrot auf der Friedhofsmauer" ( "The sandwich on the cemetery wall" ) as punishment for letting air out of Pierre Turpel's bicycle tyres ( I couldn't hit him, because he was taller than me, so I had to find something else ! ). I had a big problem with that one, because I didn't manage to tell my story in less than 300 words !!! I always got my points due to my extravagant imagination.

To finish this week off, the reason why I'm writing this is that actually I wanted to tell you about the story of a "melon Charentais" made in Spain Karine and I bought in Sainsbury's, and I realised that if today you folks have to suffer with my rubbish stories, it is partly thanks to Mr Groff who pushed me to do it. And with all I've written above, there's no space left for my French/Spanish melon. Shaaaaaaame!

Have a nice w/e


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