For most of her life she lived far away from us in Bavaria, I only got to see her in the summer holidays.
I have the warmest memories of those magical holidays, I can even smell the hay drying in the hot summer sun, while we are walking to a lake close by to go for a paddle, or to the near by Forrest, to see if we could spot the deer and find some cooling shade between the tall trees.
My uncle Rudi was the manager of the estate, paradise for any little girl, with horse stables, riding arena, lots of space for exploring.
It was like a little self-sufficient fort about 5 min. from the next town. The workers had houses on one side, then a few horse owners lived on the estate, there was the main house and gardens of the owner a very strong widowed Lady, my auntie and uncle and across from them was a sculptor studio, which was extraordinary for me also. He had big bronze statues in the garden and I often just looked through the window to feast my eyes on all the amazing figures inside, each of them telling a story. In awe of his skill I would be afraid to talk to him, but could watch him work with my nose pressed against the long glass panels of his workspace.
My uncle managed the land, the cattle, the lake and he kept an eye on the Forrest and it’s balance too. That meant he would hunt deer, wild boars, hares and pheasants at certain times of the year, to keep numbers right.
For me it was normal at the time and game was a very special treat a delicacy we all enjoyed.
But why I am talking about that is: My auntie left her jewellery to me, traditional Bavarian Hunting Jewellery, to be worn with a “Dirndl” dress.
The picture shows the beautiful handmade necklace with golden oak leaves, branches and set in the middle like the acorn a pair of teeth, the top corner teeth of the German Red Deer (Grandeln). The darker the colouring the more sought after they are, it’s either an older stag or he was eating a special type of pine tree that stains the teeth. My uncle took great pride in his job and he was a skilled hunter.
This jewellery was also a romantic present to his wife, showing his love for her.
So with all that in mind, I wore my auntie Regina’s jewels and set out to Dublin to visit the October festival, thinking of all the nice memories, great childhood holidays amazing food and the smell of the hay that I wouldn’t have experienced, without my dear aunt. Thank you.