Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Tuesday 19 February 2013

No Gibberish!

At the moment I have a lot of entertainment - and that moment  will develop into a span of at least two years, mildly calculated - because I am writing about entertainment. (So bear with me if I am not always quick on commenting).
It is fun - to a certain degree. It is hard work too.
Sometimes - when my ears finally get used to the Geordie accent of Northumberland that Brenda Blethyn trained for 'Vera' (Blethyn comes from Kent), I have to re-learn: now Dalziel and Pascoe bring me to Yorkshire, or Rebus is waiting for me in Edinburgh.
As long as there are subtitles: no problem. Otherwise: Oh dear! You see this woman with a fountain pen, a pad (without " i-") and a remote control in her hand - STOP! Stop! - what did he mumble?
Thankfully a dialect in TV-series is always more garnish, not the real thing (then I would be lost).
                                                      Ah -watching those beautiful various landscapes I feel my blood tingle: high time to plan my annual GB-Adventure! As always I will visit for 1 month alone a town or city, totally unknown territory, totally unknown people. The last stations were Hastings (want to join the chorus: "Why Hastings?" - it was lovely!), Edinburgh, London. I have to find a flat share again (there daily life is so much more amusing then in a hotel or B&B).
Once a year I test how good I function on my own, how easily I find acquaintences and even friends (and I always did - nobody shall tell me again that the Scots are reserved - luckily they weren't).
Before I find the region that I will go to this year (suggestions are very welcome!), I will make a shorter trip to London: the tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show and the hotel are already booked. My friend Anne and I talked about doing it so often - now it assumes shape.
Maybe we'll collect a small bunch of Rosemary & Thyme  :-) 

Friday 15 February 2013

Cad (Welsh for fight), mael (Welsh for prince)

Oh no, you're not in Shrewsbury, nor in Budapest - where, as you might know, they built the TV set for 'Cadfael'. These (still) are Britta's letters from Berlin - and as I am writing about a tiny aspect of Cadfael at the moment, I thought: why not take a day off and look what Berlin has to offer from the Middle Ages
Above are the ruins of a Franciscan monastry, the building started in 1250, the three aisled basilica in 13th and 14th century, destroyed by bombers in 1945. 
The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at the Alexanderplatz overtowers everything: also the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church), built in the Middle Ages when Berlin and Cölln were twin towns. What wasn't destroyed by the war often was razed by the city planners of the GRD - they had not much money for restoring and wanted space and place for cars.

There is ample space now - right in the middle (Mitte) of Berlin (normal rush hour on a working day!): 

Without any hidden agenda about that they try to restore the Dance of Death in the northern tower vestibule of the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church): 

And if you come to see the Heilig Geist-Kapelle (Holy Spirit Chapel), also nearby, built in 1300 as part of the Holy-Spirit-Hospital, and now surrounded by the Humboldt-University of Berlin, mind that you come on Thursday from 12:00 - 13:00 - otherwise (as I) you have to peep through a little window at the beautiful  'starry sky' of it: 

Very near is also the oldest church of Berlin, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), built between 1220 and 1230, but I was a bit frustrated because today it is only used as a museum. 

Cadfael I haven't met, and, though we have the Berlinale film festival at the moment, I am sorry to say: nor Sir Derek Jacobi (oh would I have loved that, he has such a beautiful voice!). But even that voice couldn't have lured me into the Middle Ages which I see as DARK - I have a very distinct vision what they would have done with a woman like me :-) 

Sunday 10 February 2013

Advice seeking?

"I can't understand him", Husband often grumbled when a colleague had asked him for advice. "He asks - I tell him - and never - never! - he does accordingly.
I am adviser - so I do understand. Both. No need to follow an advice - for many it is just a way to become surer of their own opinion. Carl Rogers, who didn't give advice, quoted a student, who said (in words to that effect): "I am angry that you don't decide for me. I want an advice. When I follow it, and it doesn't work out, I know whom I can be angry with." And - as any adviser will tell you:  if it works out - it is his own doing...  
In my profession Rogers' was worn thin. I think we have also a duty to deliver information: where you can find it, speak it through, help weighing the pros and cons. Deciding is your job alone. 
But some advices don't become better only because people repeat them. A hundredfold. 
There are books and books and books on "De-Cluttering". 
"Throw out any garment you haven't worn in the last five months!", worse: "Anything that is older then 3 years: give it away!" - worst: "When you buy something new, threw out three other pieces!
Above you see a photograph of husband and I on our 10th wedding anniversary. Now: if I had followed that silly adice - and mind: I am only speaking of the second! - and had discarded him after three years -what a pity ...