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A toast to Joan and Mat Schwitzer

July 13, 2016

William Schwitzer's lovely tribute on the home page here is testimony to the long and loving friendship between our parents. I also remember them coming to London for Joan and Mat's diamond anniversary in 2007, determined to make it after having missed the party for the 50th. 

My sharp-eyed niece Maggie (newly annointed Keeper of the RJG Poetry Archive) reminds us that Dad was never one to let an occasion pass without rhyme.  Here are the verses he sent to Joan and Mat in 1997:

The Schwitzers on their Golden Wedding Anniversary    

Alas, we are too far away

To join you on the festive day

That marks your anniversary,

The Schwitzers’ golden jubilee.


So here’s a toast, old friends:

“The Schwitzers!”

(In good champagne or sparkling spritzers)

“Good health and happiness perennial

Attend you both ‘till your centennial.”


A little misunderstanding at

June 21, 2016
<p>When we attended Rays 75th Birthday party at the oriental club in London. A good time was had by everyone. At the end of the evening, the MC for the evening got up to make a little speech. He said that he had hoped that we all enjoyed the evening and that "If only others could take an example from the way Jewish people behave, then the world would be a better place" He obviously saw the name GOODMAN and assumed that we were all Jewish!! No-one had the heart to tell the poor man that we weren't!! Everyone was amused.</p><p>It was a fantastic evening and a joy to meet the American side of the family.</p><p>We attended the party with our baby Son Michael, fond memories. The picture is of the lovely Julia holding our Son Michael John Goodman.</p>

Two Men on a Bummel

June 19, 2016

In the summer of 1936, Ray and fellow LSE student Ian ('Bill') Williamson went on holiday in Germany. In February 1993 he found his journal from the trip, typed it up and titled it Two Men on a Bummel, referencing Jerome K. Jerome's sequel to his more famous Three Men in a Boat.  He also gave the full linguistic reference:

Bummel 'einen Bummel machen' - to go for a stroll or comfortable walk, the sense used here. But 'bummelig' means unpunctual or careless, hence 'zu bummeln' is to wast one's time and 'ein Bummler' is a loafer or tramp, no doubt the origin of the American word 'bum' for such a person... We certainly walked most of the way and I daresay we looked like tramps.

I was 19 at the time and made the following jottings in a notebook that has just survaced among my papers. Perhaps the main point of interest is its record of the very low cost of living in Germany, especially for tourists, in the mid-1930s. If memory serves, foreign tourists could buy a special kind of marks - 'Reisemark' - at the rate of 1/2 to the pound sterling, and I did the whole holiday on about five pounds. The Nazi regime was anxious to acquire foregn exchange for its nefarious purposes.

In fact, of course, it's the hints of what he thought and felt that most interest his descendants.  Granddaughter Maggie Christ transcribed the travel log in 2014, circulating it to the family in digital form. Here are a few highlights.

Tuesday 14th [July]
Train from Victoria 10:30 A.M., from Dover about 12:00—arrived Ostende 4:30. Crossing good. Visited Jean Bosman—toured the cafés with him and friend—many beers, so a little unsteady. Stayed the night with Jean, going to bed about 1:00.

Thursday 16th
Left Ostende heavily loaded about 11:30. Wind behind us, weather fine. Stopped en route at Bruges for refreshment. Stopped again at Ghent, but were disappointed. 10 km out of Ghent, slept in a field near a railway! –sore!! and tired, therefore slept well.

Friday 17th

Changed bikes to rub us in a different place—tied air cushions on saddles but mine came off. Weather still boiling hot, and air full of midges. This necessitated many beers. Arrived Brussels in mid-afternoon. 

Sat at a café and wrote home. Decided that the going was too hard and country too uninteresting; therefore determined to take train to Aix-la-Chappelle [=Aachen]. 
Stayed in a youth hostel, which is large and clean. Met an American from Michigan with whom we toured the town.

Saturday 18th

Left bikes and sleeping-bags, and took train for Aix. The American came with us, but with 'bike'. A bad journey, made three stops at Vervier, Luge and Herbesthal. At Luge a chatty Belgian took us around the town and stood us a beer. Not very interesting, apart from Charlemagne. The youth hostel at Aix is on a hill out of the town, and a good one—quite small. Very good meal at pub for 8 1/2 inc. beer.

Sunday [19th] set out on foot for Cologne. Walked about 6 kms out and got tired—must be very much out of condition. (beer?) 
Hailed a car, which actually stopped. Driver not going far but took us several km out of his way. Started to walk again, when it came on to rain. Saw a car drawn up by the road—with a G.B. number plate. Hailed the owners in good English. We stowed Ian in back among the luggage, and I sat in front with owners; two girls bound for Vienna.

Arrived Cologne about lunch time. Ate in a pub, saw the cathedral, and then went to the

hostel. This is over the bridge and very large—it therefore loses much personality. Besides, full of damned Hitlerjugend. 

Had a marvellous meal at a little café, with huge plate of bean soup, bread, and pint of milk for 5 pfs. In evening found a pleasant café.

Monday 20th

More bean soup and milk for breakfast and then off down the Rhine. Walked about 15 km till lunch, which we had in a pub—bread, butter, cheese, and beer. Got into conversation with occupants; Ian had a singing competition with an old drunk. Two lorrydrivers in pub took us as far as Bonn. Here we wandered around the town and bought a new towel, having lost one. Then set out for Bad Godesberg, a little town on the left bank. The hostel is on a hill overlooking the Rhine and the Siebengebirge—amongst them the Drachenfels. 

Spent the evening with some other Englishmen we met in the hostel. Found an old castle on top of a hill, which is now a restaurant. Fine view over the Rhine.

Tuesday 21st

Marched down left bank. Paddled our feet in Rhine, and then on to Remagen where we
crossed over. Walked down to Linz. A delightful old town this, and very a good hostel. I
have sore feet. Washed a few things out. Shown town by Nazi youth. (!?)

Wednesday 22nd

Very bad weather, which made us swear loudly. However, not unpleasant to walk in rain.
Crossed over to Andernach. Had meant to go on to Koblenz, but rain held us up. Had some trouble with Herbergsvater, who was a real German bully. Met several Englishmen.

Thursday 23rd

Fine morning—took boat to Koblenz with other Englishmen. Went for half-price as a party of students (50 pfennigs). Looked round Koblenz, which is a fine town and walked down to Braubach on the other side—crossed by bridge of boats.

Youth hostel full, so had to stay at a pub. This seemed to cater for overflows from Y.H., so 
got it for 60 pfennigs. Stayed up till 12—great luxury—drinking wine and talking politics. Went to bed mentally exhausted, but evening was enjoyable.

Friday 24th

Met two Germans on holiday—one from South Africa—who were staying at the same pub. They offered to take us to Wiesbaden. We left the Rhine and went over the hills. En route called at a camp of Hitler-youths. Camp well laid out in middle of the forest, but leader spent two hours explaining that they weren’t soldiers—very exhausting. From Wiesbaden walked to Rüsselsheim, which is over the Main. Had supper for 60 pfs—cutlet salad & potatoes, more than we could eat.

Saturday 25th

Breakfasted at same place, and as cheap. Went with a party over the great Opel car factory, which employs 18,000 men. We attempted a furtive closed fist salute, but if the men noticed they didn't let on. Highly interesting, but I thank the Lord I’m only a student. Asked for a lift and one of the drivers took us all the way through Heidelberg to Stuttgart. Car was one of the new People's Cars ('Volkswagen') and ran well. Stuttgart a fine town, well laid out, surrounded by hills. Pleasant hostel.

Sunday 26th
Excellent weather—hot all day. Took tram from Stuttgart to the top of one of the hills.
Walked from here through the woods to Waldenbuch. Wonderful country. Paddled our feet in a mountain stream and eat wild raspberries. Waldenbuch is a charming old village in the valley—there is no hostel so we are staying at a pub. Proprietress must have seen we were students and charged us only 50 pfennigs. Wonderful to be a student in Germany. Faces a bit sore from the sun.

Monday 27th

Once more through the woods to Tübingen—weather good in the morning, but were much troubled by horse-flies, which nearly drove us mad. At Tübingen we bought bread, butter, herrings and beer at a shop—the owner let us eat in his dining room and only charged us a mark. Had some more studs put in our heals. 

Weather turned bad after lunch—we had to walk through the rain to Rottenburg. Covered 30 km today; not so bad. Youth hostel in the crypt of the church hall. Had a great time chasing earwigs & cockroaches, but were too tired to notice them at night.

Tuesday 28th

Followed the Neckar to Sulz—weather good. Had lunch at a village which was only one
pub. Here we had bread & cheese and six beers—one on the landlord, a genial hulk of a
man. Stayed in pub about 3 hours as it was pouring. Marched on to Horb through the rain—here there was no hostel, so stayed in an hotel for 80 pfs. Town is built on hills and consistslargely of stone steps. Washed out some socks & thus left filthy water for the staff.

Wednesday 29th

From Horb to Freudenstadt—25 km uphill and against a strong wind—weather sunny but showery. Pleasant hostel—met an N.U.S. [i.e. English National Union of Students] group, with whom we spent the evening in a pub,dancing, drinking, singing.

Thursday 30th

Went with the N.U.S. group to an Arbeitsdienst camp. Really a soldiers' camp without weapons—very neat & tidy. [This was a way of getting round the provisions of the Versailles Treaty which stricktly limited the size of Germany's professional army, as Ray commented in his 1993 version.] The band played for us, but refused to play Tannenbaum—which in English is set to the “Red Flag”—as it was a Christmas song.

Walked on through the Forest to Kniebis—weather again showery but country grand.

Walked up forest path; feet very wet. Found a delightful hostel with a splendid view—when you can see it. Played chess with Herbergsvater & had a sing-song. Found a peasant in a pub who disliked Nazi-ism after two beers.

Friday 31st
Grand country & weather foul so decided to stay another day. I have a cold, through getting head & feet wet yesterday. Spent a lazy day—strolled about & played indoor games, wrote home. Had a mid-day meal which completely beat us. Went over another Nazi youth camp.

Saturday August 1st
Walked through the mist and up mountain paths. Hostel at Schliffkopf full of S.A. men so had to walk on to Rüdesheim, which is just a large hostel—but has a sort of youth hostel, only without anyone in charge. Made ourselves a good fire in a German stove.

Sunday 2nd
A short walk but very steep to Horningsgrunde a mountain about 3,600 feet up. More cloud. Saw the Hummelsee & thousands of tourists. Youth hostel is top floor of the hotel, but no-one in charge. Met two German maidens with whom we drank beer. They were put in the same room as us, so we sang songs until late. This was a compliment to English chivalry—what! German youths would have been 'frech'.

Monday 3rd
The girls made us cocoa and lent us boot-cleaning material. First time for 3 weeks.
Walked through the rest of forest to Baden-Baden—about 30 km. Glad to have walked these tough German girls off their feet. Hostel fine, but Herbergsvater damn rude so we got our cards back and went to a pub. Girls entertained us in the evening, with biscuits.

Tuesday 4th

The finest weather since Brussels. Walked ten minutes and stopped a car, which took us about 20 kms; soon stopped another which went to a village near Karlsruhe. Here we went to a pub, where we met two Americans. Had “Schlachtplatte”—battle-plate—for lunch. It was: various sausages and sauerkraut, which did not mix well with several pounds of plums, apples & pears—none too ripe—which we had “found” just previously.
A few minutes after starting a car stopped and offered us a lift—the owners had seen us in the pub. They were Nazi officials, but not in uniform; and had just made round of the concentration camps—“people are treated well if they behave themselves, but they have to pay.”

This took us to within 30 km of Heidelberg. We walked for three hours and then began to get worried, as it was about five o’clock. Eventually an old couple in a car stopped and took us to the town. Thus we managed to cover the 80 km, without much walking. An hour out of the town we found the hostel, but it was full so we stayed at a Y.M.C.A., which cost 150 with rolls & coffee. I went to bed very tired, & aching all over; do not know why.

Wednesday 5th

Tried to hitch-hike again, but the traffic had been diverted onto a new “Autobahn”, as the old road was only local traffic. After walking about 20 km we despaired and at Weinheim took train to Mainz—we had hoped to get to Frankfurt.

Thursday 6th
Took boat to Bingen—Ian decided to go on to Cologne as his money was running short. I got out at Bingen at 10 o’clock and walked to Baccarach. Youth hostel is an old castle built on a mountain, charming place, but overcrowded. Slept in the attic with two or more on a mattress. In the evening, wrote to Harold, then sat in the courtyard and had a singsong.

Friday 7th
Wakened very early by a trumpet call in a gramophone in the court-yard. Too sleepy & cramped to appreciate the romance.

Set off early to make a good walk. Had a short sun-bathe en route, and a bathe in the Rhine. Reached Boppard—about 28 km—tired but virtuous. Asked three people at Y.H. where water was to be found—one looked at the other and said in English—“I believe this gentleman is trying to help us, but I can’t make out what he is saying.” Had a long conversation with 20 German youths who gathered round me; embarrassing, but good for my German.

Herbergsmutter thought I was 28 and already a 'Pappa'. Maybe it was my moustache.

Saturday 8th

Set off early—walked about 1 1/2 hours, then picked up a car that took me to Koblenz. Walked again along a very uninteresting Autobahn; after about 2 hours stopped a light van that took me to Remagen and even turned round and came back to the ferry when I said I wanted to go to Linz.

Am writing this in a delightful café—a glass of wine, a pipe and two musicians, playing romantic ditties.

Sunday 9th

Breakfasted on bread & jam & coffee—as usual. No! No coffee this time. Up and off early. Strolled up the Rhine & over the bridge to Remagen. On the way came to a swimming establishment on the Rhine. Had a marvellous swim and sun-bathe. Walked on after a couple of hours much refreshed. Spent the evening over a beer on a Rhine terrace.

Monday 10th

Took motor-boat at 8:45 for Cologne, arrived 10:30 & went straight to hostel, as it is usually crowded. Had some more bean-soup—found 3 letters from Beryl. Weather boiling hot, like yesterday—am getting sore.
Went to flicks in early evening—mediocre film, but understood it well.

Tuesday 11th

Hung about until 2:30. Weather began well but ended in a storm about lunch-time. Took slow train for Aachen, arrived 4:30.
* * * * * 


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