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This year, I’m celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday in Bonn, Germany. My sister and I raised a glass in Jane’s honour at the Christmas Market in the Münsterplatz, where we like to go for coffee or a glass of Glühwein “with” Beethoven.

For Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020, seven hundred gold and green statues by Ottmar Hörl, all about one metre high, were placed in the Münsterplatz, near the famous 1845 statue (above) by Ernst Julius Hähnel and just a short walk from the house where Beethoven was born. Many of the small statues are now on display in nearby shops.

I can’t help picturing hundreds of small statues of Jane Austen, lined up outside Chawton Cottage or Winchester Cathedral, or perhaps on the site of Steventon Parsonage, where she was born. Maybe in gold and turquoise, in honour of the beautiful ring she owned?

We’ve also celebrated by watching the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion. (It’s so good! We’ve both seen it many times, but had never watched it together.) And, in honour of Marianne Dashwood, I’ve been admiring dead leaves at the Bonn University Botanic Gardens and at Beethoven’s House.

The courtyard at Beethoven’s House:

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m looking for a title for the new blog series I’m planning, in honour of Sense and Sensibility. Please send ideas! If I end up choosing the title you suggest, I’ll send you a packet of cards I bought this week at Beethoven’s House.

Here’s a photo of my sister Bethie, the Poppelsdorfer Schloss, and a ginkgo tree that was planted in the Botanic Gardens around 1870:

Swamp cypress in the Botanic Gardens:

Since I know not everyone shares my passion for dead leaves, I’ll add a few photos of berries, mistletoe, and flowers.

Happy 247th, dear Jane!