Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A letter, written in the morning (in case you have any doubts...)

Britta Huegel

Dear Darlin',

yes - trust your eyes: I remembered!
Remembered - (in the back of my head I hear a song "Try to remember the kind of September/ when life was slow and oh, so mellow. ... and if you remember then follow, follow, follow me..." - - who sang that? Ah, yes - Barry McGuire - honestly, till this moment I didn't think of this chap for decades!) - I mean, suddenly (suddenly?? It took me a whole year!) I remembered why I had changed my flourishing blog "You are Witty and Pretty" to pining away "Berlin Letters".
I wanted a change a focus!
I wanted a bracket, a brace or a staple to give my random, rambling posts a sort of unity. But, much more important: I wanted my blog to be more personal. I mean: I have the feeling to know some of you better than just acquaintances, mere ghosts in the www - I have quite a distinct image of you, by your writing, through your comments, or even by meeting you in person - and I really miss you when you go on a holiday, especially such a long one as Pondside (who acts the part of "The Silent Traveler" in China)!
So in that year dot I made up my mind to write letters to you, Darlin'.
Tentatively I started out with "Dear" - as you'll still find in my comments to your adorable posts - but that sounded so very old-fashioned to me. I KNOW that 'Darling' might be even more old-fashioned, and if for a second I would believe that you associate it with "Dear Darling", that song by Olly Murs, I would be ashamed to use it - I mean: that song has a way to worm its way into your brain - and the only way to delete it that I know is to watch the silly video on Youtube: Olly is a pretender, my dear girl: I think it right to warn the young ones among you, though I know this sort of warning is utterly in vain - never has the warning of a well-meaning experienced (much nicer than 'older') friend (the futility is expressed in the word 'well-meaning' - we all know that it means: completely without effect) - kept a hot-blooded girl from running into - now this might surprise you: JOY (you expected: unhappiness, didn't you?). I found out, till this very day, that it is a good thing to follow your impulses/intuition. (Well, a bit of thinking in advance doesn't hurt). In the Threepenny Opera our poet Bertold Brecht wrote the beautiful Barbara's Song (part here roughly translated by me)

And if he has money, and if he is nice, and his collar is clean even on workdays,
and if he knows how to behave with a lady, then I say to him: “No.”
Then one keeps one's head up, and stays in the most general sense.
Sure, the moon shines the whole night,
sure, the boat is tied up at the bank,
but nothing more will happen.
Well, you know, one can't just lie down, one has to be cold and heartless.
Yes, so much might happen, but alas, there is only a: No!  

NO! But that other chap - no clean shirt, even on Sundays...
Well, I seem to digress (a speciality of mine).
What I mean is: how come that I forgot about writing you letters? 
In real life I write a lot of them - some even on paper, though most of them as emails now - and I love to receive them. Think with glee of the postman in Hamburg, who once rang at my door and delivered a very special postcard personally, saying: "I had to see the woman who gets such postcards!" (it happened four years ago - he must have read it - or at least looked at the front side - postmen are not the same any more in Germany since they lost their status as civil servants...).
And so I dare to be as daring as him, and write egocentric (yes, I know myself by now) rambling letters to you again, Darlin', and I hope that you like it and join in with Barry McGuire,
"and follow, follow, follow me..."



  1. Why yes, Britta, I follow, follow, follow you...

    I used to write a LOT of letters and loved using pretty stationery, and writing with a fountain pen. I even had sealing wax. But alas, I'm afraid it's a dying art. No one wants to be bothered anymore, I suppose. My friends and relatives prefer emails.

  2. Dear Susan,
    that's good! Isn't it sad that the art of letter writing - and the joy to select beautiful paper - is a dying art? As to sealing wax, I was always a bit afraid of it (though I had some), because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's wife died by using it...
    I do understand that some people don't want to fuss about writing - but: receiving? (On the other hand: they might feel obliged to respond in the same way, so..)

  3. Delightful and thought-provoking! I like the cartoon on the envelope --can't make out the caption, is it "see more...see not enter..."? I still exchange postal letters with some of my children, the ones who doodle. The art of letter-writing has always been alive but not always well and will remain so. I also like that you address me as "dear" in comments. Susan Flett Swiderski calls me "dude" and I like that too!

    1. Dear Geo,
      thank you! The cartoon is one I copied by hand on an envelope (or inside? I forgot) - it is about art lovers and their use of 'audio-guides' - it is the voice of the audio-guide that speaks these words, meaning of course 'hurry up, hurry up, nothing to see here' :-)
      What a wonderful thing to be able to say: (...) with some of my children"! We have 'only' one - but yes: I get letters, though at the moment there are more emails and phonecalls, because both (lovely daughter-in-law writes too) are close to the second Law-examination and PhD thesis defense.
      I saw that Susan adressed you as 'dude' and liked it very, very much - would nick it, but in my blog I have men and women to adress, though I'm still not happy with 'darlin'

  4. We faithful will follow you in all your endeavours. The art of letter writing has really fallen away. I remember as a young girl writing so many letters to friends after we moved away....and oh the notes we used to share in school, far more than a tweet or a text.

    1. Dear Janet,
      that reassures me, thank you! I just bought a heap of stationery - winter is approaching - but of course use emails more.
      Can you imagine: I have all these letters by my friends - four girls who started to write when we were 12 years old, until now.

  5. Dear Britta,

    I spent the day handwriting Christmas cards all day and I am spent! I can't stop yawning. Who knew penning letters could be such exercise? Thank you for this one that you have written, always with such style and class.


    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you! Cards are hard work - Ibecause they are so small, the event is the same, so what to say in an inventive way?