I’ll be off then – I’m going on a trip to the fair, if rarely mentioned city of Essen, treasure of childhood remembrances and coal-blackened past, European Capital of Culture in 2010 (the whole region is, not Essen alone) and place of the World’s Cultural Heritage of the UN (or whatever it’s called), the Zeche Zollverein. Tomorrow, I’m going to take a long look at this industrial monument which is treasured by photographers. I’ll just take the camera, too. (No, no large format, alas, though the weather forecast promises Becher-like clouds but rain as well.)

Tomorrow night, there’ll be some English lessons in those stylish surroundings before I’ll succumb to family-mindedness on Saturday. Let’s see what I’ll pick up, aurally or visually.

Does anyone know of other exciting historical locations in the city of Essen?