It was in our first summer that we first saw the lanes which are made with low wooden sides and couldn’t make out what they were for. Come the winter we saw how they were filled with Ice and it all made sense. I had my first go at it last week with the Ramingstein Trachtenfrauen, and it was a real giggle. Some of the Fraus were a bit dubious, see the photos! The men who were there were those who support and help with the group throughput the year- but not so usually dressed!
I was given a huge pair of felt slippers with foam on the underneath which stopped the slipping, thanks heavens (not my feet in the photo though!). Most people here are used to sliding on ice and did it in their boots.
The Stocks were put on the ice and two teams decided. I had a go, there’s a metal stand you must keep one foot on as you throw. My first effort (and several after) had the stock bouncing down the ice. There’s a nack in swinging it and letting go low so it skims along. I nearly got it eventually. Each time all the stocks had gone, those nearest in the black puck won for the team, and then we’d all change ends. There was loads of Gluhwine and some schnapps, it certainly kept the chill off. The Poles with the flowers were sometimes used to brush the ice – as they do now in Curling, I guess this is the origin of it. After four goes my team won -not due to any help from me and we adjourned to the Pub.
We were then served Bacon Dumpling either in soup or with sauerkraut, then some of the guys were singing and playing guitar and kazoo. There was also a sort of Tombola where you had to throw three dice and the total was written down, the highest and lowest winning. My feminist feelings were awakened a bit, why do the Trachtenfrauen need men to support them – unless its to buy the dirndls, after all they do is get together and march about a bit, all a bit male patriarchal if you ask me!!!!!!!!