“ Brand: Schneider Schirme / Type: Umbrella „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Our house has a small, rectangular balcony sitting on top of a bay. Its railing is a row of short columns and slabs of sandstone. The house was built in the Art Nouveaux Style about 120 years ago and is rather attractive from the outside (living in such an old building is a different matter). It can only be used by one person because of its size and also because I'm afraid it may fall off together with the bay if there's too much weight on it. It faces west and when the sun is shining in summer it becomes too hot there. I use it only in late afternoon and then with a parasol. The parasol covers the whole balcony and sort of closes it off. If I use it earlier in the day, it's unbearably hot underneath.
There's room only for a deckchair, a small table and the stand of a parasol. This thingy is a nuisance, it occupies space which one could use otherwise. The best solution would be to have a blind fixed to the facade. A craftsman told me, however, that if a nail were hammered into the plaster covering it the whole layer of plaster would fall off it.
It has to be a rectangular parasol. I've already ruined some over the years. It can happen that they get stuck at one of the iron hooks sticking out of the wall (from the former blind construction). I can't get them off without tearing the cloth which means an untimely end. The last specimen was too light. It had about twenty thin and light stretchers and the gentlest breeze would bend them up. I had to constantly get up and turn them back down. This year I got tired of this sportive exercise and bought a new parasol, the Schneider Monza 606-11 Rectangular Sun Parasol to be precise. Schneider is a German firm which has made parasols for different occasions for over 140 years. I am surprised to find that British Amazon offer German parasols. A parasol is not a Mercedes or a Porsche. I'm sure Brits can also make them. What's even more puzzling is that they're much cheaper overseas than at home.
I've chosen the green specimen, it looks precisely like the one in the pic at the top of the site. (You can also get it in off-white, yellow and blue). It measures approximately 180x120 cm. The frame is white powder coated with four U-profile stretchers and a metal tilt mechanism. The pole diameter is 25 mm. It looks really good. The fabric is 100% polyester which is rot-resistant and water-repellent. I don't sit outside when the rain is gushing down, but I've sat on the balcony in a light drizzle and felt fine under my parasol which then served as a parapluie. The English term parasol is the same as in French meaning 'for sun'. Strangely, the English language uses only this term and not also parapluie which means 'for rain'.
The four stretchers look sturdy and up to now haven't had the urge to bend upwards in a gentle breeze when I'm sitting underneath. The tilt mechanism is important for me. In late afternoon the sunrays come from a sharp angle and touch my skin. With the parasol tilted towards them I can avoid that.
I'm not a one for frying in the sun. Not only because I don't want to look like a wrinkly baked apple when I'm old. I just don't like it. So I'm not so interested in what Schneider parasols have to offer and advertise especially, namely that they come with sun protection factor from 15 to 80 in accordance with Australian/New Zealand standard. The one I've got ranges from 40 to 79. That's rather a wide range, I don't really know what to make of it. There seems to me a big difference between staying in the sun 40 or 70 times longer than without the protection of the parasol. Well, whatever. It's not my beer as the Germans say. Besides, I don't live in Australia or New Zealand. I'm not a sun worshipper and when I've read my newspaper and dozed a bit, I usually go back inside anyway.
British Amazon sell this parasol for 25.79 £. I didn't buy a stand for it because I still had the one from the parasols before.