Patriotism: Kay Fieldhouse wrote ‘Bottrop Boy’

A declaration of love for Bottrop: funny, offbeat, boisterous and full of lovable characters everyone knows and only exists in the Ruhr.

Berlin is his home, Botrop his home. As a photo reporter, Kay Fieldhouse travels halfway around the world for stories. He has submitted reports from more than 50 countries so far. But he is always drawn to the place of his childhood and youth. With ‘Bottrop Boy’, this 47-year-old wrote a declaration of love for people in the Ruhr region and especially in his hometown.

Over the years he has repeatedly collected sayings and tales from his circle of relatives and acquaintances. When he wrote them or presented them orally in groups or in front of people outside the Ruhr, there was much laughter. At some point, a friend approaches him and asks if he doesn’t even want to write a book about him. The first scene was written in 2010. It is followed by the first act. Then nothing happens for years. The idea of ​​the book moves into the background.

For Bild, he reports from crisis regions of the world

Other more important things get involved. As a journalist, Fieldhouse sees a lot of misery and suffering in this world. After the earthquake in 2010, he was in Haiti and saw how people in this extreme poor country struggle to survive. Over the years, he wrote on the spot, among other things, about a flood disaster in Pakistan, a famine in the Horn of Africa or the aftermath of a typhoon in the Philippines.

“I started writing the book as a hobby besides work,” he says. He has to read his recording over and over again. Usually the last lines are from a very long time ago. So it starts again. At some point, the collection will become a story and the story becomes a book. After a pregnancy of several years, Andy Sikora, Bottrop’s boy, finally saw the literary light of the day.

The story takes place in Bottrop. Why not in Berlin where he lives with his family? “Of course, I could have written something like an eighty-fifth Berlin novel about how exciting Berlin is, and poor and dirty,” Potterber says. “But Ruhrpott has a lot of interesting stories to tell through the characters and the people who live there.”

For him, home is more of a feeling than a word. Even after a long absence, if you return regularly, everything will remain as before – without a warm-up phase, the same shapes and faces. It had a “very calming” effect on him. “Botrop is very predictable,” he says and means in a positive way. “It can be predicted well and rationally in today’s unpredictable world.”

Kai Feldhaus and Andi Sikorra like Schalke 04

Many of Ruhrpott’s typical characteristics, sometimes quirky (“Hömma, can you make an aide?”), quirky (“Rock’n’Rolf”, “Himbeerbubi”) or brash (“Schwatten, make four junipers”) flow into his various characters . The novel begins with the parable of making Bottrop famous. Everyone knows the saying “Come from Bottrop, you’ll get a drop on your head”, no one needs it. Fieldhouse could no longer hear him.

Andy Sikora feels the same way. When he confronts him in a bar, he hits the speaker with full force. Then a court sentences Sikorra (type: lazybones, a local patriot with a good heart, prone to impulse-control disorder) to social work, and his girlfriend Anja breaks up with him. He embarks on the path of finding the meaning of his life and tries to regain the love of his life. His father Hermann, who actually just wants to drink beer in peace and prefers to go to the local football league in Ascheplatz on the traffic road, helps him out of the crowd.

“It’s a story of Hematoman and a father and his son,” says Fieldhouse. And how much is Andi Sikorra’s author biography? “I have never had fights. I also control my alcohol consumption as well.” However, Sikorra shares his deep love for FC Schalke 04 with its creator.

The Bottrop Tradition: After a pub night at the fish stall

Readers of his generation are more likely to remember their youth while reading. Do you want an example? Andy spends the end of a night drinking at a fish stall at the weekly Bottrop Market. “Yes, I tested that,” Fieldhouse admits with a laugh. At that time, his way was leading from the pub “Mühle”, through the disco “Swing” in the early hours of the morning, straight to the trusted fishmonger. Similar routes, such as Andi Sikorra and Kai Feldhaus, have been taken by many Bottrop pub-goers in the past.

The 47-year-old visits his hometown as often as possible. “Whenever I’m in Bottrop, I always go to my regular chip shop.” This refers to the Artemis grill on Sterkrader Straße. He grew up nearby, went to elementary school and spent years playing football with Blau-Weiss Fuhlenbrock. Today he lives in East Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg. “Here I can eat Georgian, Ethiopian and Indian,” he says. Greek chip shops, as at home, are few and far between. “I can only have a nice curry with potatoes the size of which fills me up in a Bottrop.”

More articles from this category can be found here: Bottrop

Leave a Comment