swinging Saturday

It wasn’t just the woolly aspect that made this Saturday rather delicious, it was lovely rambley Berlin day.  I started the morning with tea and chick lit auf Deutsch in bed, then dusched and took myself off to the market.  Ostensibly this was in hunt of presents, but I ended up scoffing a sausage and buying myself souvenir necklace so that didn’t quite work.

And then my day went even more pleasantly off plan, as I joined the crowd around Rob Longstaff and stayed there for ages, drinking coffee, enjoying the vibe.  It was all that is best of Berlin for me, there were even random folks swing dancing next to the little kids bobbing in their warm and toasty onesies.  He was chatty and versatile and since I’m feeling seriously sentimental at the moment I bought myself his CD to remind myself of all my happy mornings just standing with strangers in the sunshine, listening to live music and feeling lucky.  That will always be Berlin for me.  I may not have made it to many museums but when I’ve been waylaid in this way, I really can’t regret it much.

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Woolly

I’m a little bit woolly at the moment. It’s quite enjoyable but not always the most productive state to be in, which means that I haven’t got anywhere at all with finding myself gainful employment for UK reentry, nor made much progress with Christmas present prepping.

first try at colourwork, earflaps and pompoms

On the other hand I have ‘finished’ the hat I was working on for skiing.  It’s my first attempt at colour work and after ripping it apart a few times and getting used to holding a colour in each hand I really enjoyed making it.  The problem is that despite using the ‘child’ pattern it came up pretty big, and more upsettingly the gorgeous grey I chose for my stars doesn’t really show up too well.  I like it close up but it’s pretty subtle as you can probably see from my pic.  Yeah, I know, you can’t see the pattern at all can you?  It’s better in daylight, I’ll show you soon.  But anyhoo, all this means that in pursuit of perfection I’m going to have to do something funky to line this one and make it fit a bit better (fleece or fur?) and I pretty much ‘have’ to make another one.

That’s right, I was forced to make another visit to the wool shop on Saturday.  Off I went in the crisp cold sunshine on my bike, reminding myself how much I need exercise before I start falling down mountains.

just one corner of inspiration heaven

Somehow I’ve become awfully attached to that bike, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to her. Some bike oriented person in Brizzle is going to have to help me find another sit-up-and-beg-this-isn’t-exercise-it’s-too-elegant bike when I get home.  I’m just saying. You know who you are…

But back to Loops. I’m not complaining, far from it, but oh my gosh I have a hard time in there. It’s all so very very desirable, run by people who clearly love knitting and wool, and not only display the yarns beautifully but also have lots of sample knits and swatches around the place to show you what’s possible. Yearning to be able to do it all…I’m a bit limited at the moment as I only have DPNs and a circular needle here but if you want a wool stocking filler please send me specs so that I can stock up with wool before I go home.

I’ll be back to the shop soon because I got struck down by indecisiveness and was completely unable to choose 2 colours for this hat ‘take 2’.

just a few of the pretty colours

I finally narrowed it down to four shades (I have a 3 green hats, so no green, 2 red hats so no red…) and then got stuck.  Luckily the shop lady came along and told me that the dark blue would make me a good jumper but not hat, and she suggested the smokey blue and oatmeal.  I had to go away and think about it but I’m almost convinced she’s right and I’m looking forward to my next visit.

So now the question is how much to mess with the pattern.  I definitely need to take some rows out, but I’m strongly tempted to try a different motif as well.  I find knitting exactly the same thing again almost as hard as waiting for buses when I could walk instead.  This doesn’t bode well for my first pair of socks!

And that must be enough hat talk.  If you’ve any wonderful ideas, please comment, it appears that I need help….

No major diorama, just visiting dinosaurs in Berlin

I’m in my pajamas with heavy eyes, thinking about going to bed, but I want to get a few thoughts onto the page before sleep.  I just had a wonderful Berlin weekend with LTN (and his Mo), doing stuff.  Okay, we didn’t actually fit all that much stuff in, his plane was late, so we missed many museum windows and Saturday turned into a lazing and eating yummy food day (Gnocchi Berliner art: with red cabbage, bacon and apple in a red wine sauce. YUMMEH!), and Monday had teaching in it but we made it to more things than last time.

F’rinstance, we went to the Museum für Naturkunde .  They have the biggest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the whole world.  Fact according to Guinnesss and yes indeed, it’s pretty tall.

from the museum website

We mused on how the accepted format for natural history museums wherever you go seems to be to take a cool building with a big hall very near the entrance, add a dinosaur skeleton and arrange other stuff around the edges.  Whatever, it works.  This one got extra interactivity points though, lots of buttons for instructive clips including very exciting cladograms, plus 3D binocular doodahs on stands which magically clothed the skeletons in muscle and then set them wandering around the oldtime landscape.  Muchos exciting.   Berlin also has a world famous Archaeopteryx fossil, the ‘Ur vogel’ which was discovered 150 years ago in Bavaria and shows the hitherto ‘missing link’ between reptiles and birds – exciting stuff for scientists and, with dramatic storytelling as part of anniversary celebrations, for me too.

My favourite part of the visit was “Feathered Flight” a special exhibition celebrating this anniversary. There was a lot of fascinating science, but the outstanding element was a series of glass boxes suspended around the room which held a series of individual feathers, all absolutely stunning.  It really was outstanding, one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen for a long time.
Just one of many beautiful cases of feathers

Another two sections which I found particularly interesting were the Wet Collections and an exhibition detailing the preparation of items for the collection, both for scientific and display purposes.

Admittedly they may have contributed to some nightmares I had that night, but they were still worth seeing.  The wet collections are kept in a climate controlled room, and are both grotesque up close and strangely beautiful when viewed from a distance.  Like nothing I’d ever seen before.

Some people claim that this might not be the most romantic ‘date’ venue, but we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  At which point I should confess that the title of this post is an in-joke, sorry, and I’ll have to love you and leave you there.  Tales of the  Christmas Markt and German excellence in snack food shall be told tomorrow.  Auf wiedersehen.

Ed’s note – all pictures are from the museum’s website.

Tacheles and touristing

Another apology is due, I just saw yesterday’s post and realised that I’d managed to get some of the text out of order.  That was due to extreme sleepiness and surely some kind of bad tech magic.  Sigh.  It’s now corrected, I hope it makes more sense.

Anyhoo, here in short order are some pictures from Tacheles, after I finally made it there, and touristing with the girls.  Aren’t they (the girls) beee-u-diful?

By way of apology

First of all I must apologise for my long silence. Life has been a little bit complicated of late.

A while ago, and I lose track exactly when, I made the decision to book a one way flight home. I refuse to say that it’s für immer because I have definitely fallen for life in Berlin, but my thoughts are often straying home and the wind whispered in my ear that it was time for another change. Since making the decision I’ve had two wonderful visits, from my lovely girls and my LTN, and some beauteous autumnal days in the city. I’m working through the cycle of telling everyone that I’m leaving, and as ever, I’m finding it hard. However much I want to move on, I still find it impossibly hard to say goodbye to places where I’ve hung my hat for more than a few months.

So that’s had my head in a bit of a tangle, plus I’ve been a bit ill and working hard so that’s left not much time for blogness.  So to make good on a promise, I must quickly give you the results of much photobox silliness.

Then I must also give you this spot by Sham, just because I love it.

said Pippi triumphantly

And finally I must run to bed and hope to talk to you with more sense and more feeling soon soon.  But it’s an evil work week, so it might be another wee while.

The turning leaves

This is Unter den Linden in the festival of lights, the avenue looked fantastic (literally) with so much uplighting.  It made me really look forward to Christmas lights.

avenue of lights

As you can see, the trees still had most of their leaves when Dad was here, but they were beginning to turn.  Since then the city has been slowly turning into gold.  I do have more pictures for you but my internet at home is kaput and so I can’t edit at home. I don’t want to be silent for too long, so I’m just going to share this with you now, and promise you more trees and other pictures before too long.

I’m experiencing serious backlog at the moment.  After a succession of wonderful visits (such a good time was had with the girls!) I have lots of pictures and words for you, but I haven’t had time to sort through either and give you the good ones.  Soon soon, I hope, but not this weekend because the boy is visiting (yay).  Auf wiedersehen, bis bald.

p.s. Mr Murray, fancing coming back in to look after the place?  It’s going to rack and ruin since you left me…