Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 19 May 2023

The Song of the Nightingale


Dear You, 

when I looked out of my window this morning I saw that the farmers were very busy - and one of them is a landscape-artist. 

The view is changing rapidly: it seems to be yesterday that we saw lovely yellow fields of rape (many fields - rape-oil is in demand now because of the sunflower-oil-shortage). 

In my direct neighbourhood I spotted a nightingale - I am so thrilled, never heard one before. 

When I met the woman in whose garden&wood the nightingale lives, she looked slightly unnerved. "I would like to rehouse her", she said. "That bird is nestling directly under my bedroom and sings very, very long. And loud!

"And beautiful", I added, but she hastily changed the topic... 

Moral: "Was dem einen sin Uhl is dem andern sin Nachtigall" we say in Northern Germany - roughly translated: "What is an owl to one person is a nightingale to another." 

(You might say: "One man's meat is another man's poison")

Yours Truly

Sunday, 14 May 2023

""The Mirror and the Lamp" (or Change of roles, hopefully)


Dear You

tomorrow Amazon promised to deliver a book on "Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition" by M.H.Abrams. In a lovely comment this author was recommended to me - thank you! 

I am fascinated by the title. Makes me think about my life. At work, being a counsellor, I had to be the mirror, as they rightly taught us  - though I tried to bring a little bit of light too. 

At the moment, regardless of how I turn, I feel stuck - you might hear me mumble "Rule 12: "When You Don't Know What to Say...Say Nothing!" 

That stuck-feeling can change soon. If I get more control over my life (do I hear a gigantic laughter in the clouds?) I might put the mirror on a table and - for a while - be the lamp. 

Yours Truly (training hard to become a firefly)

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Sun, chocolate pudding and perception


Dear You

today was the first time this year that I used the sun-roller blind of my large balcony. I think they put it up in the year the house was built - it gives me a certain 60s-feeling.  

We had 21° degree Celsius, and sun. In the morning I was very active: made a chocolate pudding for the triplets, my daughter-in-law and me - Thursday is the day I cook for all of us, and I had prepared Ratatouille and fillet of pork and noodles, and because pots and pans were heavy, I drove them up the hill to them, though we are only one road apart. 

Before I went to the fitness center - so, this morning I had a lot to do. Surprise: the chocolate pudding was devoured in no time - the main meal was appreciated, but not that rapidly eaten. 

                  Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Erlangen at the university - each Wednesday I am a guest student (you see a lot of silver hair :-) and it was really interesting: a young professor talked about the psychology of perception, and I learned something (which I wouldn't have believed if you had told me, but I experienced it and thus my believe in being a very good observer was a bit shaken. I fulfilled the task 100% (ha!- so I AM a very good observer) - yet they had smuggled something else into the little video which normally would never have been overlooked - we did because we concentrated so hard on the task.(And Yours Truly felt a bit cheated - I mean: if you ask me to give you apples and then say: "Haha, but you haven't given me a banana!" I would look at you a bit petulant...) 

But it made me think of witnesses and universal truth, of my own belief in being right (of course...), and perception in general. And of the highly delightful pearl of wisdom which (sometimes!) comes with age: sometimes (to be honest: only sometimes, but I hope it will grow with even more years in front of me) I am so wise to choose happiness instead of being right. 

Well, the uni-lecture was refreshing. 

The fine thing is that after two hours of intellectual nourishment those who wanted (about 30 of 120) went to a very nice café, and there we laughed a lot discussed on a high intellectual level. 

Yours Truly,  Britta 


Sunday, 30 April 2023

On "Green grass" and fences, and thumbscrews

Yesterday we all didn't feel so well - but in the late afternoon I took a brisk walk through the neighbourhood, and saw with delight that the lambs had grown, and all sheep enjoyed the pasture. 

The goat stood and watched her goatling 

which proved once again: 

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!"

PS: I just wanted to test whether I am now able again to put my own photos (and I always use my own photos) onto this blog. That wasn't possible for three days because Google decided to force me to buy 100 GB for keeping my photos in their cloud. Some time before I had refused, and it worked - but now they decided to put their screws on me. 
And they won

Sunday, 23 April 2023

A Frog Who Turns into a Prince?


The triplets are now three and 8 month. We read a lot to them. They do not watch TV. 

I bought a simple little wooden theatre: you put huge sheets with pictures into the slot which in this photo shows the red curtain - and then I tell the story - with many comments from the audience. 

The audience was taught to behave: they show their little entrance card, sit in a row in front of the theatre, and applaud loudly before the curtain raises. 

A fairy tale as "The Frog King" is a bit diluted by the makers of the sheets - but "Nana" (that's me) does NOT let out the part of the King: "What you have promised, that you have to keep!" 

Interesting: little children, though oh so sweet, can be quite cruel: the threesome cries out loudly that they think it utterly right that the princess throws the ugly frog against the wall when he insists on climbing into their little bed... "But the princess promised...

Raucuous laughter: "We would throw him with gusto at the wall, yes, we would!!!" 

Come to think of it: good so. A very clear attitude, no rotten compromise. :-)   

Thursday, 13 April 2023

And this was the greatest surprise in "Flowers Forever": "Calyx" by Rebecca Louise Law


Do you remember the feeling when, as a child, you slipped into a pergola, an arbour, feeling hidden, protected, invisible and surrounded by many interesting smells? 

I saw so many happy faces in the huge room which felt just like that: a pergola made of thousands of dried flowers which hung from the ceiling, the special smell of dried roses lingered above all, a smell that said "gone",  "romantic" and "lost". 

Here the text of the Kunsthalle Munich: 

The British artist Rebecca Louise Law (...) made this installation of dried flowers. Together with many volunteers she dried and wired together far more than 100.000 flowers which would otherwise have been thrown away.  ...

Two aspects are the center of Rebecca Louise Law's artistic work: the conscious and sustainable use of natural resources and engaging people from a wide variety of backgrounds to create something together. 


Tuesday, 11 April 2023

The exhibition "Flowers Forever" in Munich swept me from my feet (almost literally)


 One week after Bremen I went to Munich - which, being already in Bavaria, takes me only two hours by train. 

I love Munich so much - and thus I went, because I just had decided to be more wild and spontaneous - and therefore the Gods rewarded me royally: 

On an advertising pillar I discovered the poster for the exhibition "Flowers Forever" - and whisper "Flowers!" into my ear and you will see me flourish even after a long strenuous day! 

I rushed over the Viktualien Markt, crossed the place in front of the Rathaus and "Woosh" - flashed into the exhibition. 

I walked through it as if I was in another world - so happy, so glad. I took so many photographs that I could feed you with them till Christmas - every day from now on. 

So many exhibits enchanted or fascinated me. 

Some were overwhelmingly luxurious, some brilliantly crafted, and some made all your senses jubilate. 

And some were a surprise. As the following one: 

When I entered a room I thought that I saw a collection of flower drawings - but no, it was something very different: 

And now, dear reader, I hope that you are so curious --- that I can lure you (look at the first photo of this post) at least once to my flower-blog