Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 30 September 2012

We are back!

Britta Huegel
Dear YOU,
Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation”, said Elizabeth Drew, so I'll keep it short: we are back! 
Tanked up with sunshine, happy memories and good food. It is interesting how our holiday island has changed - decades ago we were there, four students, one happily blessed with an aunt who needed house-sitters. At that time many people on the island whom we showed a map answered: "Sorry, I have forgotten my glasses" - until we realized that they could not read. This time we didn't see many natives: the chamber maids were from Africa, bar keepers from India, holiday reps from Holland. 
We wanted these holidays just for relaxing, swimming and being a complete family with Son and Daughter-in-Law - so heart-warming, so much bliss! The staff thought that Son was the son of Husband, and DiL was my daughter - "So they thought that son married his sister?" "No - they thought we are a modern patchwork family".  
Back in Berlin I woke up early: a big fat moon was grinning through the windows, reminding me to get window shades, finally. Astonishing how one get used to makeshift during just plain living - one function of holidays seems to be to highlight 'things' one otherwise generously overlooks. 
I know that startled look in Husband eyes when I take down books with titles as "Domestic Bliss" - turning into alarm when they change to "Home Decorating" or, even more frightening, Elsie de Wolfe's legendary "The House in Good Taste." 
Yes, Dahlink: the holidays are over!  
Yours ever 
Britta

18 comments:

  1. We too have a big fat moon tonight, full moon shining down and it illuminates the whole countryside. So lovely!

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    1. Dear Jane,
      I rushed on the balcony and took a photography - and, surprise: it worked! The moon was so big that on the photo one can see more than a little tiny white spot on a black background :-)

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  2. Hello Britta:
    Indeed, welcome back and home once more 'in Berlin'!

    Now, we really are a little alarmed, along with your husband, that you may take up 'Domestic Bliss' or 'Home Decorating', neither of which, in the very nicest possible way, we associate with you. But 'The House in Good Taste' is rather different, for we see your home in our minds as exactly that.

    We very much hope that you will see fit to publish some pictures of 'the modern patchwork family' in a future post!!

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    1. Dear Jane and Lance,
      as so often your superb, hilarious comments make me chuckle - they have real E.F.Benson class, and I think he would have offered you to call him "Fred".
      As to the pictures: being a proud mother I would like to post them so very much - but Son&DiL asked me politely yet firmly NOT to post anything personal about them - and as both do their doctorate in Law now, I am a bit afraid of "Sentences", "Silk" and Such - and can, in this one case, even resist :-)... Au Reservoir!

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  3. Britta, this was a bon-bon. In these letters, you always give us just enough to leave us wanting more.

    Do you know, I rather imagined you as a young princess in a long nightgown rising in the silvering dark to peer at the fat, grinning moon? I suppose now you are picking up the threads of domestic bliss, you will soon have quite the window treatment to put good sir Moon in his place?

    Happy to have you back and posting. I shall look forward to more words from my favorite Berliner.

    xx

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    1. Dear Suze,
      I like your poetic image: a nightgown with lots of frillies - me looking at a Peeping Moon. Ha! Of course I appreciate especially the 'silvery dark' - see myself gliding through it. And every iota true - we only have to stretch the word 'young' a bit - let's say: 'young at heart', and 'princess in my kingdom' :-)

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  4. I went away and you pulled up stakes and moved! I'm glad you left a forwarding address by way of your visit, otherwise I'd still be looking for you. Welcome home - across the miles I have found that a holiday has given rise to alarm at home as I look at the house with eyes refreshed and spirit revived. The Great Dane is worried.

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    1. Dear Pondside,
      I'm glad you are back safe at home - and on my new blog. Yes - eyes refreshed see so much more. The Great Dane and Husband - as men do - might just want to sit and enjoy "as it is"?

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  5. Happy to have you back here on your blog! I've been wondering if you're doing fine. I could barely see the harvest moon last night as a typhoon was moving northward yesterday. Sounds like you had a great time during the holiday! A bit sad to come back to Berlin? or really glad to be home again? When I was much younger, I always felt sad to come back home but in recent years, I always feel very happy to come back.

    PS I've left a reply in the comment(my blog).

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    1. Dear Sapphire,
      a typhoon is quite a serious affair - no harm done?
      No, I'm not sad coming back to Berlin - I delve into a new project (lots of work) - and I like city life. And now, autumn coming, I like to snuggle in our rooms comfortably.
      I enjoyed your reply on your blog very much, thank you - and will answer soon.

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  6. Sounds like a lovely family holiday Britta, even if you are not a patchwork family!
    I find holidays always make you see things differently, for a little while at least. x

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    1. Dear Penny,
      my husband is tall (1.98m) and son even more (2.02m), both have dark hair, and really look like relatives. Well - and the staff was right too - not knowing us you might take Alina for my daughter: both slim and tall, both long legs, blond hair and large blue eyes - so it is a compliment for both of us. Though my proud mother's eyes see a resemblance between Lennart and me too :-)

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  7. Hello Britta,

    Nice to see you back and at your new space you found here.

    Illiteracy is a curse. It will be sad if you cant help a fellow being just because of illiteracy. Thanks for sharing your memories with us

    Tomz

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  8. Dear Tomz,
    thank you! Yes, that is the good side of tourism (which has many negative ones for the people living there): money comes in and they are able to get or give their children a good education. By the way: it is very astonishing that in Germany, a very rich country, in 2011 two million grown up people were complete analphabets, and around 7 million functional analphabets (they learned reading and writing as children, but forgot) They offer courses now for them - because one cannot imagine all the obstacles those people will met. (By the way: it is very difficult for the many, many people who don't speak English to find their way in a country which is overloaded with English - not only in advertisement and media, but everywhere. I love English - but why use it everywhere here?

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  9. How did I get so far behind in my reading? So, a tardy welcome back. This is perhaps my favorite line: "a big fat moon was grinning through the windows, reminding me to get window shades, finally." I wouldn't have thought it, thinking that sort of dilatory behavior about house and home more the kind of thing I would do! Anyway, welcome back, and happy reading, thinking, and doing, all refreshed.

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  10. Dear Sue,
    haha - perfectionism (me?!?) and procrastination often go hand in hand :-) As author of a book on HomeBasics, I keep it with Rosseau: "A signpost has not to run."

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  11. Sorry to be so late in wishing you welcome home. We had a journey of our own this past week, and I left the computer and the blog to fend for themselves. I agree with you. A little time away, and the little things that I barely noticed before (dirty windows, weeds in the flower beds...) are suddenly neon signs flashing at me to get busy.

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  12. Dear Walk2write,
    thank you for the welcome! I can feel with you, leaving the computer and the blog to fend for themselves (I had the whole time no Internet - and survived :-) Those neon flashings are good - after a time they dim back to normal.

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