Visit to Römisch-Germanisches Museum on 18th May 2022

Since the Römisch-Germanische Museum in Cologne is undergoing renovation (having opened in 1974), it has a small exhibit in the Belgisches Haus. This was our destination for our first OUT meeting this year.      We met for lunch at a traditional Kölsche Kneipe, Bei d’r Tant. It was nice to get a change of scenery from the Alte Feuerwache. Although it was one of the warmest days of this spring, 9 of us met there. In the small group we had a chance to talk to some of the members with whom we don’t always have contact. And we had the upstairs room to ourselves.      After lunch it was only a short walk to the Belgisches Haus, where the RGM has set up an exhibit in 2 rooms, giving you a survey of Cologne’s Roman history and a glimpse of some important Roman artifacts. I found the Roman glass vessels most interesting, and it was almost as overwhelming as the exhibits in the original RGM. I learned what a Kölsche Squiggle is:  decorative, colorful squiggles added onto a glass or vessel, not just painted but glass pieces stuck onto the glass. It still is amazing what the Romans 2000 years ago could produce with glass. Each case included signs in German and in English so that a guided tour was not necessary. Thanks, Katie and Linda, for organizing this OUT meeting, the next one being the new Stadtarchiv June 15. details to be announced.

This was the day of our annual charity sale: DVDs, books, CDs. Quite a few items were put out on the table, DVDs and CDs becoming fewer and fewer. It’s always fun to see what the others have read and get suggestions. Items are sold for € 1 each; the money then goes to our charity. The charity is always decided at the AGM in Sept. for the new Cosmo year. This year’s charity is the 2nd Frauenhaus in Cologne.      Frau Schrimpf, who works for the organisation, was supposed to give us a talk about the situation and work at the 2 houses. As luck would have it, she tested positive for covid just the day before, so our flexible, energetic president had to improvise.      No problem for Barbara M.-S. She knew of a member who lives at the Beginenhof in Widdersdorf, Cologne, so she asked Eva Stegemann to introduce herself and tell us something about the concept of the Beginenhof. It was the perfect way for us to get to know Eva, who is relatively new in the club, and at the same time  acquire information about this interesting concept of living.      Just a few of the basics. The idea of the Beginenhof originated in Belgium specifically for women who were not nuns. It is not religiously affiliated, but more socially-oriented. Each person has her own flat, can live on her own as much or as little as she wants. The group is self-governing, which has worked out so far with only some difficulties at the beginning. Eva has lived there since its beginning in Cologne 2013. She herself is very active, conducting a meditation group, but there is no pressure to participate.      It was so interesting to get to know Eva, and her story (our motto: each of us has a story). And I’m sure we’ll have various questions about her life at our future meetings. Thank you, Eva, and thank you, Barbara, for this very good, spontaneous idea.  AND, of course, you can Google Beginenhof for m

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