strange but compelling

Have you seen the 9 Eyes project by Jon Rafman? It’s a collection of (discarded?) images apparently (true?) from google streetview.  Strange but often intriguing or wierdly compelling.  I like this one especially; it’s wonderful street art and it also makes me immediately think of the shelf of old sixties sci-fi that my mum had, which I’ve loved exploring for years.

like a sixties sci fi cover

On the secret shelf behind my parents’s bed there were short stories and epic sagas by Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, Ray Bradbury and so on.  They always had fantastic cover art, and mind expanding contents which led me to ask many interesting questions about people and what if?  And if you haven’t read the collection of Asmiov’s robot stories yet, you should. And you should google Kelly Freas, illustrator extraordinaire (click the pic to read more by someone else who likes him)

LOVE this book...

So there.

Composition is harder than it looks

I really ought to be writing more at the moment, for two reasons. It might straighten out my head a lil bit, and it certainly would be good discipline for me.  Admittedly there is a lot going on that I can’t control at the moment but that doesn’t excuse me from not getting on with the stuff which is particularly my own – I really ought to be getting on with making the shiniest CV in the world and deciding what on earth I want to do with myself workwise – but  composition of that sort is harder than it looks.

I haven’t been doing much in the way of new photos lately so I’ve raided the archive.

This is one of those photos that rather disappointed me when I took it but now I can see a few elements that I like.  It was shot at speed as I trolled past the Boxy fleamarket on my way to elsewhere, and I think that with stronger composition it would have been quite alright.  But as it is, it reminds me of Berlin and that makes me happy.

Neon and smiles too

Image

A few more neon words for you. I might have already mentioned that I like words. A lot. I like art with words in too. As I’m not much of an artist myself I can’t create the wonderful scripts/word pictures/… I admire so much from others but I can take photos of words. In neon is nice. Messages from around Berlin, maybe?

in honour of Alex - looking after me in Berlin

shop under construction near Alex (also had RUG)

very posh lingerie shop near Alex

outside the opera

and here is another smiley song. This lady has the best dimples ever, and I covet her umbrella almost as much as I have coveted the Steve McQueen umbrella, the Rossi umbrella, the see through umbrella with dangling strips of bubble wrap that was the most genius jellyfish costume I have ever seen. And I don’t even like umbrellas. Or jellyfish. Inconistency thy name is woman…

Goodbye Berlin

Just a quickie:

This is my last night in Berlin.  Sad times but good company, LTN has just performed a miracle of packing and we now are ready to transfer my life back to the island with 2 big bags, 2 items of handluggage and 2 laptop bags.  That’s particularly impressive because it includes 2 duvets and a big pair of curtains.  I hate this stage of moving, the room looks bare and miserable – but I must confess it’s a lot easier with company.

So here’s my final words before England – yes I’m very very ready to be home, but Berlin has definitely got a piece of my heart and I will be coming back to visit.   I’m not actually going to say Goodbye, Berlin, but of course, what else, auf wiedersehen, pet.

A christmas card tradition

As previously squeaked, it’s definitely approaching Christmas.  Like last year, I’m busy catapulting myself into a new and scary although eminently desirable and desired situation and am thusly almost 100% wrapped up in making the transition as smoothly as possible.  Once again I’m supported by my ever awesome Pierre and most lovely LTN, but I’m still managing to make a meal of it.  Which is to say, I’m so not ready for Christmas, but I am looking forward to baking goodies once I get home.  That’s assuming that the Rayburn is nice, always doubtful since I still think it hatesme.  Last year I was thwarted in my domestic goddess aspirations because I caught some evil flu thing and coughed, spluttered and slept my way through the festivities. Poor old family.  I shall do better this year.

This evening* I’ve been working on our Christmas card. Our family has a longstanding tradition of making our cards.  Now, don’t imagine that they’re all handmade, but the original is created specially each year and then reproduced the required number of times by mechanical means.  I’ve many happy memories associated with this, of long evenings spent at our long table with Mum and Manth, painting bits of the cards all kinds of colours.  And then came choosing the ‘best’ ones for the most appreciative recipients.  There are family friends who claim to have the whole set since forever, which is more than we do.

I’ve been struggling to come up with something fresh this year – last year had an inquisitive goose and snow covered trees and snowman but until recently I thought I was out of festive photos and bright ideas.  But then I posted the Weihnachts Markt snaps and had a thunk….so here is sketch 1, to be transferred to ink and proper paper.  What do you think?

*yesterday, can’t post too many things on one day so this got delayed…

Schon Dezember

The days are rushing past crazy fast at the moment.  As my lovely tandem partner/friend Sonja said: Die Zeit rennt-oh je es ist schon Dezember.  The Weihnachts Martks are in full swing in Berlin now, and they’re actually putting me in a good Christmas mood, despite the complete lack of present selecting I’ve done so far.  Well, just look at the pretty lights…

Gendarmenmarkt

Weihnachs Markts mean tented stalls and music and food and drink: Glühwein, Dresdner Handbrot, Germknödel, Thüringer Bratwürst, Lebkuchen…. nom nom nom.  What do you mean you don’t understand?  Okay, explanations:

Glühwein = mulled wine, basically, but somehow tastier cos it just seems more proper.  Plus it’s really cold here and I’ve decided that you need to be freeeezing to fully appreciate Glühwein.  I say this with all the authority of having been at Vienna and Budapest markets, altough I think Hungarian Forralt Bor is the overall winner in the hot wine stakes.
Dresdner Handbrot = quite probably my favourite snack here in D-land, tasty bread filled with melty cheese and ham, with sour cream in the split on top.  Lecker.
Germknödel = yeasty dough dumplings, eaten with hot sour fruit like cherries or plums, and vanilla sauce. Sooo good.
Thüringer Bratwürst = the sausage inna bun.  Top notch. Nuff said.
Lebküchen = spicy biscuits, often covered with chocolate or sugar, yum.  Have to be careful though, as they often conceal sneaky almond content. Naughty.

When you’re lucky, there’s also a giant tree covered in fairy lights.  This one is quite epic, particularly next to the Französicher Dom (right) and Konzerthaus (left).

Gendarmenmarkt

Christmas apparently also means little pop up markets inside, with all kinds of random stuff to buy.  Best named so far – Holy. Shit. Shopping.  It was huge!  A bit pricy but some very cool stuff, and so Berlin – taking place in random rooms in the old royal mint.   Suffice to say I’m having fun exploring….