Go outside

We took lunch out to the Downs today because we were lucky enough to both be working from home (I had a meeting in town).  It was sunny enough to be like a little holiday, which was lucky because neither of us is very good at planning real holidays so we’re in theory two weeks away from hoping for sunshine in the Lakes and have booked neither a cottage nor time off work.

I’ve a job application to write and rather a lot of cleaning and organamising to do so I stiiiiiill haven’t sorted through any of the several million recent photographs so I will share with you instead another lovely nugget of advice from Wendy MacNaughton

There’s hope yet that I may get myself sorted because the tall one is buggering off for a few days so I could potentially manage to be a tiny bit more productive.  I hope so, my to-do list is getting wee bit out of control….

Rope swing rediscovered

Sunshine makes all the difference for a lovely weekend, doesn’t it?  For the last couple of Saturdays we’ve had amazing leisurely and luxurious brunches which I’ve enjoyed immensely, and a wonderful flying visit to London for time with some of my best girls, but this weekend brought frisbee, pimms, a barbecue and sunlit walks in woodland….and a swing!

pointing your toes doesn’t actually make you go faster

We saw kids playing with a tyre swing and I was a tiny bit jealous, and then we found this rope swing I had to try it out.  Nearly 29 and not even slightly grown up yet.  And I’m not alone, the broken one had a go too…

going for the action shot, I may have missed a few essentials like face and toes

It was overlooking a really gorgeous pond which used to belong to the abbots so that they could have fish for their supper.

lily and the beech

It’s full of lilies and midges and surrounded by beech trees in acid green spring growth. LTN kept trying to tell me that it’s nearly summer, but as far as the trees are concerned I think it’s still spring.  There were some seriously gorgeous trees.

sunburst and green

We meandered happily through trees and meadows, exploring old camps, admiring bluebells and unfurling ferns, and generally being silly.  Just before we got back to the car we found an old orchard filled with fuzzy faced sheep and well managed mossy trees glowing in the last of the sun.

ordered rows of the orchard, whispering to the sheep

It was a good day.

It’s all just a balancing act

hold my hand and we're half way there

We’re nearly two weeks into take 2 of moving in together.  Sort of.  It’s still a share house but the ‘bachelors’ (all very loved up in truth) are tolerant of the girl so it’s a sweet share.  Plus it’s a bit cleaner around here than it was a few days ago.  Once I get my cleaning sorting groove on I mostly keep going until I’m done, it’s strangely therapeutic and I definitely needed to work some residual scratchiness out of my system.  Luckily there’s a lot to be done so I’m getting lot of cheap therapy.

And I have rediscovered something about myself .  I genuinely hate it when I lose stuff.  It’s bad enough when I can figure out roughly where and when I lost it, but when I can’t it nags and nags at me.  DIsastrously, the main lost thing at the moment is LTN’s library card, so I have no new books.  Plus I’m normally very careful with precious things like library cards so I just can’t work it out and it is driving me MAD.  Particularly since I’m still not sure when I lost my ipod charger (altho I think it has to be in France) and I just realised that I have lost a letter from Miss Tea and a hat that I was planning to remake.  None of these are as devastating as the library issue but it’s cumulative.  All this rushed relocation has taken it’s toll.

But it’s working out well so far, we’re managing the balancing act of finding all the fun in the unplanned doodah.  The up side of LTN’s brokeness and my uselessness at jobfinding is that we can mooch around together, exploring and plotting and having a higher than usual quota of hugs.  And that’s a good thing.

tad dah!

p.s. Thanks to Est for taking these pics in the sunshine by the canal x

getting reacquainted with my bike

Families enjoying Tempelhof

This weekend was definitely a good’un.  It was cold but clear and sunny, in fact the light was all syrupy and golden, wonderful.  It’s funny how the minute it gets cold you start to notice that the people in the sunshine are actually turning their face towards the light like plants, their eyes are usually closed and you know that they’re savoring the feeling of the warmth kissing their skin, in the hope that they’ll be able to remember it on the endlessly grey days that make you feel like it’s never going to be sunny again.

I was determined that I would use my bike this weekend, and use it I did.  I rode to watch the rugby match on Saturday morning, a journey that started off absolutely freezing and ended unfeasibly sweaty as there were some mini hills and I was late.  The rugby was showing in a deep dark pit, and poor Wales wuz robbed, so it wasn’t quite the sunniest possible start to the day, but the bike ride helped.

I left the bike alone for a little bit to get coffee with Kate and then took it off towards Prenzlauerberg, the market (falafels, crepes, nom nom nom) and the wool shop.  I’ve decided to try and knit myself an earflap hat for skiing, and want to try colourwork for the first time, so I needed equipment.  Hopefully it will result in something like this on the right.  Picture by Tienne Knits, the pattern designer.

Fernsehturm from the Wasserturm

I had a good bummel around the kiez, tried on lots of hats at a fabulous but pricey hatshop, and found a watertower and amazing view over the city.

As ever with Berlin, you have to be mindful of the history, the tower and adjoining machine shed were once a small inner city concentration camp, but it’s now a very peaceful place indeed with Berliners enjoying a quiet afternoon.

Sunday was a sun day indeed, absolutely gorgeous, and so I wobbled off on the bike again in a southwesterley direction, down to the Mehringdamm for a British Sunday Lunch with Danni.  Sadly no roast but the fish and chips and the company were fabulous.  We finally parted company around 4 which meant it was a bit late to head off towards Olympiastadion or the Grunewald, but it suddenly occurred to me that I was near Tempelhof, the ex-airport now park, which I’d heard lots about but never been to.  So off I went and found it.  According to Wikipedia it’s “one of Europe’s three iconic pre-World War II airports” (very interesting wiki actually, have a read) and it still looks fab, don’t you agree?

view of the radar tower and terminal

While the two main runways are still clear, much of the other hard surfaces are adorned with weeds, but this doesn’t stop countless folk from using the park in any number of ways: kiteboarding, windsurfing on wheels, rollerblading, cycling, running, ultimate frisbee-ing and playing a bizarre looking game which the internet tells me is called Jugger (watch, and be confused)….and those are just some of the energetic things. The sheer number of kites in the sky was mind boggling.   I had a lot of fun cycling around as much of it as possible, and taking silly pictures.  I particularly enjoyed shooting into the sun…

runway rollerblading

and the fact that even my leisurely cycling allowed to me to criss cross and circumnavigate, people watching all the while, without being overwhelmed by the scale of it.  Late afternoon autumn light is brilliant, the shadows are long and lean and it just feels like a special, fleeting, must-be-captured-before-it’s-gone treat.

fence between the terminal and where planes taxied to the runway

You’d think that such an empty place would be boring, but in fact I think it’s a boon to the city to have such a versatile space so accessible to so many, and for free too. So I’ve come to the conclusion that not all parks need flowers and trees.   I bet you never thought you’d hear that from me, did you?  I’m not alone, there’s a very nice article by the Independent about it, if you care for more words, but I must admit that I also loved my foray through Hassenheider Park on my way home, which was full of trees.  And now, I’ll finish this extraordinarily long post and let you go.  Auf wiedersehen, pet.

Doing motion, it’s very positive

Lessons I have learnt recently #1.  Check which airport your hotly anticipated guest is flying into.  Otherwise you run a high risk of standing in the wrong place while your longed for visitor waits patiently on the other side of town.

Yes, I did this to Miss Tea.  I am thoroughly ashamed by my lack of hostessing skills, but even more impressed by Tea’s triumph in the face of adversity.  Give that girl a sausage.

Saturday kicked off with a würst, coffee and küchen breakfast from the market.  As you can see we were treated to epic sunshine for the bank holiday weekend so we did our best to get out and make the most of it. We took ourselves to Mitte for a tourist type wander and certainly weren’t the only ones to be enjoying the day.

After working our way over to the Brandenburger Tor we discovered everything getting ready for the Tag der Deutschen Einheit.  A man in tails was singing bouncy music and there were many stalls with food and drinks.  We were going to buy some cool refreshing water but noticed a Capirinha airstream trailer and decided to go for cool refreshing cocktails instead.  And we had a little dance on the way to Tiergarten.  So, to get a full sense of the afternoon you need the music. Thus, I give you Placido Domingo with one of the tunes we heard:

No sooner had we entered the park than Tea’s sharp photography eye spotted a local (possibly) doing motion on a bike and started catching some snaps.  Pro.  She also pointed out that alongside the large helpings of rum and sugar, our drinks also contained 1 of our 5-a-day fruit helpings in the shape of lime.  All very positive.

But I’ve suddenly realised that this post is getting somewhat long and it’s way past my bedtime, so I shall leave you here and come back tomorrow with more words and pictures.  Küsschen xx

the King and Queen of Potsdam

This post is dedicated to Uli and Laura, summer flatmates extraordinaires, improvers of my German and generally fantastic people.  For the short time that we lived together they scooped me up and included me in feasts of German and Colombian yumminess, attempts at Shepherd’s Pie (we managed ok thanks to Nigel Slater and the Turkish supermarkets), architecturally orientated wanderings, kitchen salsa dancing, friend gatherings and Deutsch voll conversations.  They even tried to take me to Berghain but I kept falling asleep.

All of the times were good times, but since we have now come to the end of the 2nd era of excellent Mitbewohners it’s about time that I shared with you some of the many, many photos I took during our sundrenched outing to Sanssouci.  I paparazzied my way around the park in tow to Laura, who had a guidebook and wasn’t scared to use it.  Until that day I would have told you that I couldn’t learn about architecture and landscaping in German, but I was proved wrong, and very much fun it was too.  So here you, the King and Queen of Potsdam and the Park Sanssouci.  Be without cares and enjoy, with Mr Scruff to keep you company

from little acorns

Some days ago I was listening to this, the Mighty Oaks laying down some chilled out autumn sunshine feeling grooves.

Apparently it’s made in Berlin, so I’m going to have to try and find them live.  Incidentally, the oak trees round here are magnificent right now.  The eichörnchens must be having a ball.

This post has been a while in the making, I like to put music with pictures and I couldn’t decide whether to give you some more street art or a collection of new pictures from Sanssouci Palace.  The sundrenched park seemed like a good way to go but in the end I’ve plumped for the Berlin street style.

I’m not sure where all the words have gone to lately. I think they’ve deserted me because my head has been in a bit of a muddle.  Usually sitting down for a bloggedy blog session actually helps me to get everything straight but a combination of lots of work and a malfunctioning computer have conspired to put me off long stints at the keyboard.  I’m working to screw my head back on and cross some to-do’s off the list at the moment though, so hopefully I’ll stop squirrelling and start scribing again soon.  Bis dann, liebe Grüße xxx

p.s. what do you think of the new look folks?