Picture the scene: it’s a hot afternoon in August 1965. Little Carys and her parents are spending the holidays – as so often – with the Welsh grandparents, and one afternoon decide to go to the cinema. The film showing is The Sound of Music, and little Carys, always easily moved, is blown away by the movie and in an instant becomes Maria (or Julie Andrews), and liable to fall in love with any passing German-speaker. Ahem.

After the film has finished, little Carys and her mother meet Carys’ father for tea in a nearby café. He has chosen to watch ‘Von Ryan’s Express’.

Carys, who is nine years old, is a quivering heap of emotion. She cannot stop crying. Yet her parents want her to choose something from the menu. She can’t, for snivelling.

“Seen The Sound of Music?” The waitress was kind and understanding. “It takes some of them like that…”

Carys’ parents order her egg on toast. If she had liked egg before, that was the moment when she started hating it.

Anyway. Here’s one of the songs from the film:

I used up all my holiday money to buy myself the LP, and within a few hours knew every song off by heart. I didn’t have a dirndl and had never seen a mountain, but in my heart I was Maria/Julie. The song “My favourite things” has the line “Crisp apple strudels” and I am sure that I had no idea at that time what a strudel was.

Fast forward many years and I have actually managed to marry a German and spend my life surrounded by my favourite things (although strictly no kittens), and so decided, as one does, to make a strudel.

My strudel used cherries rather than apples, and when it came out of the oven it was many things, but crisp was not one of them. It didn’t look like any strudel I had ever seen.

It tasted much better than it looks.

I do have a dirndl now, in fact wore one for our wedding, but have yet to climb a mountain, and to be honest don’t really want to. But when I rewatch the film – which still moves me every time – I see those outfits the von Trapps wear to climb their mountain and now have the feeling my husband may be upstairs weaving me such a cape as I type…

PS: This week’s header shows Prof. Bhaer, the one Jo marries in Little Women. Another German I loved from an early age…

Houghton AC85.Aℓ194L.1869 pt.2aa – Little Women, vol 2, illustration 142 – Little Women (Roman) – Wikipedia

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