Sunday 3rd May 2015, 2:30pm
Getaway #2: Mariann Oppliger und Sophie Hofer
Sophie Oppliger and Mariann Hofer chose this Sunday’s getaway destination.
– Oh no, it’s the other way around. Mariann Oppliger and Sophie Hofer. As artists, they always do things together. Maybe they actually are one artist. When I invited Mariann (because I know her slightly better than Sophie), I left it up to her, how and with whom to do it. Mariann’s answer was: “Well, even if I was to do it on my own, I would still discuss it with Sophie. So we might as well do it together from the beginning.” The last time I saw them both was at Mariann’s house, in the countryside near Bern. They were wearing very tall fur hats. – *)
When we met Mariann and Sophie they came without children. On purpose. Although a Sunday afternoon would be perfect to bring your kids. But not if you go into the woods while it’s raining and you want to find Waldmeister, a herb that only grows in May, and that is the most important ingredient for making Maibowle. Apart from the alcohol of course. The alcohol was another good reason to leave the kids at home, together with their husbands, they explained.
Waldmeister in English is called wild baby’s breath, which to me seems like a weird twist and pretty disturbing within this leaving-your-children-at-home decision. Waldmeister is also called master of the woods or (sweet) woodruff. Back then we did not know this. We only found the botanic name, Galium odoratum, in the books on wild plants and animals Mariann and Sophie had brought along in addition to the white wine and a security rope. We headed to the closest wood to go looking for woodruff. In case you ever want to have Maibowle, you need to look for plants that are 20cm high. They make leaves that are centered around the stem and point upwards in a whirl, two to three whirls, and on the top it has tiny white flowers. Put a handful of these herbs in a liter of white wine and add some sliced lemons. Let it sit for an hour. You can also take it on a walk like we did to make time pass.
While time passed we talked about Hofer-Oppliger, about officially and inofficially being married, about double names, about artistic monogamy while watching ducks on a shallow lake and trying to remember/ imagine if birds have penises. Two galopping dogs who resembled horses in size and movement came out of nowhere, splashed into the lake and chased away the ducks. For a moment it felt like a movie scene in slow motion. We walked on.
Three of us could describe the slightly erotic teenagers’ scene in Günter Grass’ Blechtrommel dealing with woodruff soda pop in a bellybutton. Three of us had never tasted woodruff before.
Later we found thousands of pollywogs in another shallow lake, after having finished the bowle. Then Sophie had to run because her husband at home got the fever.
Add soda and or champagne before serving.
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Sophie Oppliger and Mariann Hofer for this second Outside Sunday.