Christoph Profitlich meets Drago the painter

In my first year as a twinning officer, I stayed in a house with three cats – beautiful British Shorthair- on Marlborough Street as part of private accommodation during Bonn Week in Oxford 1997. The owner was a colleague of Lorna Edwards and May Wylie, who at the time took care of the organization of the Bonn Week, the counterpart to the Oxford Week, which usually takes place every four years in Bonn.

While I was still a little unsure beforehand whether my English skills would be sufficient for the conversation with my hostess, I was surprised to find out that the nice lady had to go away for the weekend shortly after the start of the Bonn Week and that she gave me her house for further use. Without any worries, but including cats.

After a brief introduction to the dishwasher, door locks and storage cupboards, I started day number 2 with a refreshing shower. The towel, which was quickly removed from the closet, turned out to be extremely fluffy, which was due to the fact that it had gathered a certain amount of cat hair in addition to the cotton.

After a second shower and a new, previously thoroughly wiped-out towel, I was able to start the day and picked up my fellow travellers Thomas Reiners and Brigitta Poppe, who stayed with Deborah and Michael Woodin a few houses away.

Oxford presented the delegation from Bonn with a nice program that led me to return home tired but happy to “my house” and I felt a little like Kevin in “Home Alone”. But there were still my feline playfellows, whose names I have unfortunately forgotten. They turned out to be good hosts and sociable companions in all rooms and situations. So far so good.

On Saturday, which traditionally ended with an evening together with music and dance, I came home later than usual and was looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday.

However, I was woken up early by the sound of the front door opening. Well, I thought to myself, half asleep, my hostess has apparently returned earlier. Next, the door to my room opened and a tall man dressed in white came in with a bucket and ladder. When I asked who he was, he said, both friendly and unimpressed by me as a sleepy resident: “Good morning, I am Drago, the painter!”

So I woke up faster than I had hoped, while Drago, the painter, was calmly repainting my room.