Kitchen dancing in someone else’s kitchen

On Wednesday night after work I had a very strong need for a glass of red wine and someone to chat to.  Luckily Severin was in the living room ‘working’ so I made him my accomplice.  In the course of the chat which was mixed of Deutsch and English because I was trying but my brain was broken, he mentioned a potential house party outing on Friday.  Having no plans I was of course interested and said as much before toddling off to chat to LTN before bed and a lovely Thursday lie in.*

However, come Friday evening I was feeling a little bit sleepy and uninspired.  It had a been a long week into which I squeezed lots of work and some evenings in the pub, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for a house party in foreign.  I find it challenging enough doing the talking at parties of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend without adding a language barrier into the mix.  Severin was also dozy but we agreed that when there’s a party on offer two streets away you’ve really no excuse not to go.  And therefore we should, and we would. Besides, apparently there would be actual Austrian aristocrats there.  It wasn’t on my Berlin list to party with Austrian aristocrats but it should have been so I needed to tick it off…

So, we needed a battle plan.  Luckily there was red wine left, and Severin decided to introduce me to the stereo in our living room. Turns out the speakers are amazing, with quality bass.  We had a little techno moment to demonstrate power, and then moved through Nicolas Jaar (apparently DJ wunderkind of the moment) and onto some reggae for more bass appreciation. I was waking up at this point, happily reminded of kitchen parties with Cee, but tempted to continue chilling at ours rather than going on.  And then he played me this and I got the giggles.  It’s genius…I particularly like the ‘Obama!’ interjections and the ‘oy, oy’ moments.  Enjoy!

After a bit Kaspar came home and joined us, then Severin’s friend Bryn and finally his flatmate too.  We had a crew.  After fizz and some warm up dancing we went to rock the joint down the road.

Summary of the party: Many of the people were in bizarre clothes.  I threw a lot of stupid shapes, kitchen dancing and bedroom dancing and gurning for England.  I missed my usual accomplices for dancing-like-a-fool (Cee, Tea and Sam are all outstanding in the silly-faces-n-shapes stakes but the list of names could include all of you lovelies) but Severin was an excellent stand in.   I got twirled a little bit, which was much fun, and I remember demanding a piggy back during a beer run (I didn’t want beer but I fancied the outing).  I spoke Deutsch and French with Eva (Bryn’s French flatmate) and assorted Austrians, and I think I had an almost argument with a gigantic rugby playing German.  About rugby.  In German.  Weird.  Then at somewhere around 3.45 I ran out of dancing juice and ran home to bed.  Job done.

My conclusion – dancing really does put me in a good mood. I was positively prancing around this morning.  Then I got all tired and had to have a lie down in the sunshine!  Lazy Saturdays are alllll good.

*Thursday lie ins will be a thing of the past come May, I’ve just agreed to take on a class at 7.30 in the morning.  Am I mad???


Why don’t you do it in drag instead?

Well, that was the week that was.  I’m exhausted.  I’ve had good teaching and not so good teaching, and I felt like I’ve spent my entire week in and around the school so I’m more than ready for the weekend.  I’m actually at the stage where I almost feel dismayed when people invite me out to do fun things because

  1. it means I need to organise the invitations in my mind and work out which I can do and which I can’t do
  2. I’m going to have to talk to people and I’ve lost all the words so it’s looking challenging
  3. it reduces the time I have available for sorting my head and my life out, and since I’m feeling organisationally challenged that’s a worry
  4. it possibly reduces sleeping hours

Yes I do realise that this is ridiculous, and underneath all that I’m dead chuffed to be invited to things but I am feeling a bit frazzled.  On the other hand, there’s a cherry tree which cheers me up every day on my way to and from work because it’s so beautiful and so beautifully incongruous.

Which reminds me incidentally of something which annoyed me this week.  The potential US Government shutdown or whatever it’s called was threatening to halt all kinds of government type stuff and cost the economy billions of dollars, which I can’t bring myself to care much about.  But it was also threatening to stop the Cherry Blossom Parade, which is unacceptable.  Since I first heard about the gift of the cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington D.C. as a symbol of the friendship between Japan and the USA (full history here) I’ve considered it one to be of the most beautiful political symbols that I’ve heard of and I definitely want to go and see it in full flower one day.  To get in the way of celebrating something so lovely seems just plain wrong.  The good news is that I’ve just checked the Festival website and found that it’s going to go ahead regardless, thanks to the Met police.  Three cheers for them!

So, anything to report from the week?  I had a delicious and full of good company pizza and wine night yesterday with Margarethe and Claire which was my treat for the week.  Looking forward to putting some more dates in the diary to share more chat and Berlin highlights (cupcake place, gardens, abandoned theme park tour here we come, although the last will inevitably be annoying because I won’t produce such good pictures as the set on flickr from the guy who produced this one).  On the work side I staggered through, among other things, my first C1 classes as an official teacher, my first (pseudo)exam class, and my first mistakes made in writing a test – that was today – embarrassing and best learnt from and put out of mind I think.

But why don’t I do it in drag instead?  A very good point.  That was without a doubt the most outstanding question I’ve heard in the last 7 days.  I wish I could say it was a question from a student in a class but in fact it was credited to me while I was chatting with a wine obsessed friend of Alex’s.  And I didn’t even say it, I’d made a far more banal suggestion that the Dragon’s Den might be a suitable source of financing for the nascent wine importation/distribution business we were riffing on.   Goodness know’s how he made that out of it, but I couldn’t stop giggling and I decided there and then that it’s a question that can and should be applied to all walks of life.  Most walks would look better if you were wearing kinky boots after all!

Thanks should go to Alex for hosting me in his totally gorgeous flat and cooking me utterly scrumptious lamb.  He also produced charming and intelligent friends, who came with more than usually tasty wine and whiskey, so I was treated to a very convivial evening.  And there was reggae.

In fact the weekend was characterised by meeting great people and getting out of my depth in random chats on such diverse topics as design, stockings and suspenders, poetry, the signifiers/signifieds of hipsters (no I didn’t understand either), the dying art of writing letters and the characters of wines.   Oh and I stole a jumper from a guy from Bracknell when the weather tricked me by being super sunny for two days and then perfidiously getting all cold and raining.  ‘Sokay tho, we’d bonded over memories of the anaconda at Coral Reef, and I’ll get it back to him at some point I’m sure.

On which note, I’ll leave you for now, before my ramblings get even more erratic….but I’ll say before I go that if you decide not to go with drag (boys) then you could do worse than model yourself on these chaps.  As the Sartorialist points out, they look like gentlemen who would definitely have interesting stuff to say in a most excellently beautiful way.

p.s. the red elephant is just there because I found him on a wander, and I like him.  I couldn’t let the flickrman have all the elephant glory now could I?