BONN. It is with a tinge of sadness but also deep gratitude to the General Anzeiger English edition that we announce the end of the monthly Bangers and Mash column which has tried to look at life in Germany through the lens of a 'Brit in Bratwurstville'.
Today it is also appropriate to perhaps reveal the name of the author, that is me. Nick Nuttall, former Spokesperson and Director of Communications of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn.
Over twelve months I have managed to articulate – at least to myself and hopefully to others – the deep fondness many British people living here feel towards the people, the culture and the institutions of Germany while having a bit of a laugh at some of its absurdities, surprises an cultural nuances. I have also poked fun and tried to illuminate a little the way British people see the world.
From the curious fascination here for slippers; the glory of German railways when compared with those running in the UK; the straight-forwardness of Germans versus the polite fibs of the Brits to my deep fondness for this special little city called Bonn, it has been quite a 12 month ride.
I would like to thank Nils Rüdel, political editor at General Anzeiger who listened and supported my passion for wanting to write such a column when we met in the run up to the UN climate conference in Bonn in 2018. I would also like to thank Mareike Graepel, who each month received and edited my column, for her patience and friendship and the whole GA English team. Thanks to Bernadette Hengst, the mystery girlfriend, who I rather freely, liberally and cheekily refereed to as the oracle!
As I write, the UK is chewing over the latest chapter in the Brexit story as the Prime Minister faced a ' vote of no confidence' following a government's worst defeat in the House of Commons since the 1920s. A new chapter in Anglo-German relations is being written. I am sure that if lemmings, racing to throw themselves off the nearest cliff, could have a second referendum they would perhaps take it. Let's hope, given what we all know now, that this indeed happens and perhaps the final story will be less Charles Dickens's Bleak House or a version of Lars von Trier's 2011 film Melancholia and more a Hugh Grant-style Love Actually ending.
This was how it began last January: 'With a Bang!’.
Nothing has changed: Sylvester 2019 was equally wild and blitzkrieg with normal German people turned into firework Freikorps! Take care, passt auf euch auf!