Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 16 December 2016

Thank you, Geo. and Tom!


©Brigitta Huegel

All of a sudden my blogs are there again - I don't know what happened - those quaint signs from Google were not helpful at all - and to think of the time and energy we put into it... good grief...
"With a little help from my friends" - "We can work it out!"
Thank you so much!
(And my old translation was better than the one I started desperately this morning - that will teach me to make copies...)





HELP - My Poem-Blog Vanished!

I'm a bit in a state (to be honest: I'm a nervous wreck -- I have made no copies...): I cannot open my blog "Happiness of the Day" - and I need to!
I remember that other bloggers (Tom, Geo.) had that problem too, and it was only temporary - what did you do to get your other blogs back??
I really, really hope you can give me a clue!
Thanks,
Britta


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A Stitch in Time...



©Brigitta Huegel

© Brigitta Huegel


At the moment I (re)read a book on the Swedish artist Carl Larsson, who lived with his wife Karin and their six children in Sundborn. The title of the book by Lena Rydin is difficult to translate -  "The Lust for Everyday Life" might do.
The couple created their home, garden, clothes - everything - in a very harmonius, simple yet elaborate way.  It makes you dream:



Well, and as often when I read something about interior design, I start changing my surroundings. Looked into a cupboard and took out an old tablecloth from my grandmother Elise von Kroge - hand-decorated by her in cross-stitch.
"Well - what a huge effort for decoration", I thought. "They must have had a lot of time on their hands."
And then, while rummaging with those patronising thoughts through that armoir, I found an Advent calendar - cross-stitched by ---  me!

©Brigitta Huegel


I did it when our son was about one year old - I had to count every stitch, because it was empty embroidery canvas without any print! Embroidering was something that allowed me to talk to him while doing something else - I can reassure you that after an embroidery period of half a year I never touched that stuff again (though I was very, very productive in that short time).
Then I looked at the table, decorated with that table cloth, and at my calendar, and I thought:
"Well, I'm not living in Sweden, and my name is not Larsson!"

And put both back into the cupboard.


©Brigitta Huegel



Sunday, 4 December 2016

Beautiful AND Useful

I thought about Cro's post 'using the valuable antique breadknife". I use a few things which haughtily believe that they should be standing cherished in a vitrine :-)
Here is my lovely Sheffield Grapefruit-cutter-set:

©Brigitta Huegel


The case is made of brown reptile-skin (maybe not allowed to be sold today) - inside beautiful off-white silk and a funny little device in dark-blue velvet to keep the knife in place. The knife has a Faux Bone handle, the slim spoons are Silver Sheffield and of excellent use even if you don't cut the grapefruit before, because they have little 'teeth' on one side.
But I do cut the fruit - always.
I, then being very young, was so impressed when at breakfast they served us the cut grapefruit in Gosford Hall Inn - a beautiful listed hotel in Cumbria (now 350 years old), - we were there in 1976 - coming back from Scotland in our old blue Merc (1969 with tail fin). Coming home (to Mainz then), I cut a grapefruit every day myself.
I don't know when the grapefruit-cutter was made - maybe around 1940 or the beginning fifties?
Anyway: they are beautiful AND useful - thus I use them.
Every morning.





Thursday, 1 December 2016

In Olden Times, When Wishing Still Helped...

©Brigitta Huegel


This morning I woke up (early as usual) and thought about fairy tales.

- Those I liked - the funny ones as "The Town Musicians of Bremen" (and that not only because I come from Bremen - no, even as I child I thought that their motto "You can always find something better than death!" might come useful some day :-)
- Those I disliked - the sad ones as "Little Brother and Little Sister" (even the beginning is heartbreaking!)
- those I had mixed feelings about - as "The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich" - I remember that I utterly detested that blackmailing frog ("..but if you will love me and accept me as a companion and playmate, and let me ... sleep in your bed" - hahaha), but was very much impressed by the fidelity of the Iron Heinrich ("Heinerich, the carriage is breaking apart!" "No, my Lord, the carriage it's not/ But one of the bands surrounding my heart...") and that I thought it just, but very strict of the King to say "What you have promised, you must keep".
I internalised that, (if necessary I forgo of my golden ball, if the price is a disgusting frog in my bed - till today I am unwilling to listen to their croaking that they are beautiful Princes under a spell) - and do only promise what I can keep.
And expect others to do the same.
Which shows that I am still very naively believing in fairy-tales :-) - but, on the other hand, have a streak of pragmatic realism too.

What really interests me: which were your favourite (or disliked) fairy tales? 


If you want to read them again:
- "The Town Musicians of Bremen" http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm027.html (great for old age optimism - after a little shock in the beginning)
- "Little Brother and Little Sister" http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm011.html
- The Frog King, or the Iron Heinrich" http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm001.html



Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Thank You All, My Blogger-Mates!

©Brigitta Huegel

I know that this year I was a bit unproductive in the blogger-world (I had a lot of other things on my plate, sorry).
But I want to thank you all for making my life richer: by reading your blogs, smile, getting ideas (thank you Elaine for the tip about the Christmas book - you see: I've got it!), lending an ear.
I hope that at least December will see more input of mine here.






Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Agony of Choice, Mr. Karl Lagerfeld

©Brigitta Huegel

Yesterday I saw this "KARLBOX" presented in the KaDeWe in Berlin. Hundreds of beautiful colour pencils, crayons and pencils. For the astronomically modest price of 2.500 Euro
Ridiculous. 
Every real artist - Rachel, Tom and Cro know that of course - needs good 'tools', and they have their price, but even a layman as I know that you mix most of your colour hues yourself - with a lot less pencils than those 72 in my Faber Castell Artists' Watercolour Pencils box

©Brigitta Huegel

When I stand in a drugstore in front of a shelf of 100 cream jars all promising everything under the sun - and we all know that in the end it all comes down to oil & water! - it happens that I walk out of the drugstore without buying anything. 

An overload of choice, scientists found out, stands in no correlation to happiness - it produces - and do I really need a scientist to tell me this? - STRESS
So: it is nice to have choice. But not too much. 
Because the most important 'things' you can't buy anyway: creativity and discipline and talent and inclination to work really hard for success. (And a little pinch of luck). 

The funniest thing, Mr. Lagerfeld, is, that YOU prefer BLACK. 
Which reminds me of a passage in a German children's book, König Mauzenberger: eagerly the King (Cat) mixed all the beautiful colours he had in his new paintbox. The result: 
Karl's Black. Single-coloured, monochrome, plaincoloured BROWN