Durand and Ruth and the Black Forest

I went to visit Durand and Ruth Robinson today. They are friends who were founder members of City Gates in Dublin, but they moved to France about 7 years ago, and then to their present home in the Black Forest area of Germany about 2½ years ago.

I caught the train from Zurich to Basel – changing in Olten. Durand met me at the train station and drove me across the border. We arrived at the International church in their town about 5 minutes late, but the service had not really got started. Durand and I snook in and sat in the seats next to Ruth, while she was looking the other way, so she got quite a shock to find us there!

Church was good. A tad on the traditional side for my taste, but they tell me it is not always so. The church meets in a big Christian International school called the Black Forest Academy, and the church is almost totally English (American) speaking. It was funny to have so many English-speaking folk in a single place. The town where they live was pretty small, but Christian organisations keep setting up HQs there, so it has grown. The school has grown too to accommodate all these families.

After church we went back to their home, where we were joined by a man Durand works with and his family, and another man who is planning to go to Ukraine to do web-based media work. Had a nice lunch and chatted, then went for a great walk in the nearby forest.

Durand and Ruth are poised to return to Ireland, but have not yet sold their house in Germany. They have had a few viewings in the last couple weeks. It’s a lovely house, with a fantastic view across the fields and valleys towards Basel. It’s sad that they won’t be able to buy anything nearly as nice in Dublin, and may end up renting instead. The price differential is so great. However, they have bought tickets for 7th September, as Ruth is going to start a course at UCD on 10th.

After supper, Durand drove me back to Basel where I caught an Express train back to Zurich. The entire journey, door to door was about 2 hours.

It was lovely to see Durand and Ruth again after all these years, and it was great that we were able to pick up our friendship where we left off. Must remember to try and keep in touch better!

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