Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Monday, 2 June 2014

A Call from the Muddler's Button Collection

Britta Huegel

Dear You,
what you see in the photo above is just one third of the things (here the books I took to Berlin) I had to move...
I suspect that the many sleep-disturbed nights (I told you some time ago that I made a big mistake when I exchanged two rooms, having overlooked - or underestimated - the 'elf' with the gruesome smoker's hack and her night-thumping husband above our heads) have made me edgy and losing perspective - so I blew up some more or less petty little incidents into major issues and moaned (publicly - Fie! Fie!) - but I was really sleep-deprived. (Husband is better off: his hearing gets a bit weaker - mine is still that of a bat).
But finally I sat down and thought really hard about it.
And reminded myself  of Hill's Law No.7: When you have made a mistake (which I had by exchanging the rooms), there is no need to stubbornly hang on to it. (It's just my foolish pride..). Yes, Bob Dylan sang especially for me:
Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin',
Help him with his load,
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.

Wrong! I grumbled (still over-tired). I need someone to carry my load! 
So I bit the bullet, and phoned the removal men. In Berlin they are known for their humour.
"Oh, we do know exactly where to put the furniture", they sniggered, "you can go and drink an espresso, my dear." 
Well - I stayed. Had to do a lot before (see above), and after. It is a mystery how much is hiding in seemingly fragile-looking slim cupboards. And on bookshelves. (Once again I found out that I seem to fear a total shortage of paper: I tend to hoard empty notebooks, empty diaries and a lot of watercolours, pens, inks in different colours, and pastels. Lots and lots. The drawers look like the Button Collection the Muddler lost some time ago...)
"We'll be pleased", my removal men said, "when you call us again. In a month or two?? We are athletically trained. Hahaha."  
Now everything looks nice. The balcony is again in front of my writing-table. Good!
And I feel home again - and can sleep (they only thump once or twice every night over my head - I can live with that).
And feel better already.


  1. Good - I am glad you fell better. I hope I didn't add to your burden.

  2. :-) Makes me think of 'Alice in Wonderland':
    `Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.
    `Exactly so,' said Alice.
    `Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.
    `I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'
    `Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. `You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!' (...)
    `You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'
    `It IS the same thing with you,' said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute,

  3. Ah, I am so deaf now I can't hear the neighbors cough or squabble . Strangely though, I can hear the Hispanic farmers across the south field singing ranchera songs. I go out there to hear better. And I can still hear birds. Frequency-selective. Norma, however, hears so well, she shares your need to rearrange for quiet places.

  4. Dear Geo.,
    sometimes I think a little less hearing can be a good thing (I would not say that about seeing). Music and bird songs are agreeable sounds (snoring of neighbours isn't). When I studied languages, a hearing test was mandatory - they couldn't believe their eyes when they saw my results. I can also most often tell which (natural) components are in a fragrance.
    Looking at the stunning photos Norma takes, I think she also has very good vision?

  5. Yes - it is not the complete 'sound of silence', but at least no snoring anymore.