Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 30 October 2020

Imaginary travels in lock-down times:


Dear You, 

you might remember this curious "map" which hangs on my kitchen-wall. 
I bought it at "Dussmann", the greatest bookshop in Berlin, Friedrichstraße - a boulevard that seems as far away as London in times of an almost complete lockdown in Berlin... 
That map was "only" a gift wrapping paper which I framed - but I love to sit at the table in front of it, studying the drawings which of course are not true to the scale :-)  
and know that I walked through all (yes: all!) those streets on my month-long stays in London. 

I miss it. 
I miss London, I miss England (and Scotland too). 
Green is the colour of hope, we say in Germany - 
so: it has the right colour. 

You asked me how I cope with being so much alone (as most people are these days). 
In the following days I will write what I do to avoid to not become depressed. The order is of no importance - I just like to start somewhere, so here it is: 
1. safe-bet (for me): 

1. Make a bucket list of places you want to see again

Look at your photographs, or your diary, or call to mind what you especially loved. Write about your imaginary trip, draw, dream. 
Be thankful that you had the chance to see it at least once. 
And: - I try to learn taking nothing for granted and  
 be grateful! 

What are you dreaming of, dear friend? Which Fata Morgana runs through your head? And what are your best hints?  

Waiting for your answer 

Yours Truly



  1. I seem to be getting through these times by embracing the home and hearth. My focus is making my home and garden a sanctuary. I have added new art and am continuing to personally design, source materials and renovate my home. It will be good to have guests and entertain again when COVID permits.

  2. Dear Susan, that is wonderful in two ways, I think:
    using one's imagination and hands to create something, make it more cozy and beautiful - and to do it with the prospect of future guests in mind for the time when Covid is tamed. Time of (busy) tranquility - and then time for merrymaking.

  3. I am not planning anything at the moment, not even dreaming, Britta. I prefer to wait for the future to be clearer. I have had one lot of travel plans cancelled three times which has put even dreams on hold. I enjoy being in my home and making occasional trips to London galleries and that in itself involves an enjoyable bit of planning for me and some travel. xx

    1. Dear Rachel, I know how you feel about travel plans being torpedoed. This year Madrid, the Provence and Torquay were aimed at - now, at this very moment, the quarantine regulations make even visits from Netherland to Germany so difficult, that you think thrice, cancel this very day (31.10.) - and wait for Christmas.
      I dream about travels I had - without forgetting to live in the present. XX

  4. A few years ago I took a real road trip to visit most of the places I had lived as a child. It was wonderful. I revisit many times in my mind. I also cherish specific memories of my children when they were small.

    1. Such a wonderful idea, dear Emma, to have visited those places in the "real world" when it was possible. That makes it even more vivid to dream about them now. Experiences that no-one can take away from us.

  5. Replies
    1. That, Tom, puts almost any other problem into the category of luxury problems. xx

  6. Ah, Britta. I can no longer travel alone, but I can dream of friends taking me travelling. Well, one friend. Maybe.

    1. Dear Joanne, as you know I always admire your way to cope. And I really mean it: I would very much like it to be that friend. Here in Blogland I only can accompany you on imaginary visits.

  7. I only lived in London for about 4 years, but I rather miss it too. I like the extremes of where we are now (in the countryside), and the hustle and bustle of inner city life.

    1. Dear Cro, four years in London is "something", quite a lot (though that time flies by in at the blink - I lived 8 years in Hamburg, years which in my memory contract to just beautiful fireworks).
      The longest time on one place I lived in Hildesheim - 20 years to raise our son - and I still yearn for my huge garden behind the house. I almost get envious when I read about your self-grown tomatoes, greengages (I had them too) and cooking preserving for winter-time.
      I still see "my" quinces before my inner eye, still smell them, still feel the coarse coating on their very slick cool sulphur-yellow skin, and feel the force which I had to use to cut them into small cubicles...

  8. I, too, lived in London for four years, leaving in 1980. Glad I loved there then. I think much of the new(ish) development hasn’t improved the capital. The first time I went to Canada Water, for example, I really did feel I was in Toronto. Not surprising I guess as O&Y folks built it.

    I am currently dreaming of one of my favourite cities, Mexico City and also Oaxaca. It is that time of year Dia de Muertos. I am dreaming of the wonderful food, incredibly friendly people and the art, oh the art! Diego Rivera....Man, Controller of the Universe, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon...all of his work. Oaxaca, I dream of the Panteon General...and the food.

  9. Wow, dear traveller - then you had a good time in London! Have you also been in the Canada Water Library?
    I've never been to Mexico - Dia de Muertos I only saw in a Bond film. Do you write about Mexico in a blog? Diego Rivera, I have to confess, I had to look up on Wikipedia - very impressive! I wish that we all in a not unreasonable time may be able to fulfil our dreams.

  10. I LOVE you map wrapping paper that you have on your kitchen wall Britta. You can look at it and know that, in the future you will be back here. My friend, who is an art teacher , uses gift wrap on all sorts of things. There are so many beautiful ones.
    As you can see, I’ve managed to comment .... let’s hope it lasts !!!! XXXX

    1. Dear Jackie, I am so glad that you can comment again!
      Yes, the "wrapping paper" - isn't it gorgeous? In that sort of drawing I can find my way much easier than on old-fashioned maps - my friend Anne and I belong to that group of women who almost always walked into the opposite direction which the map indicated - till we started to turn the map on its head... (To be honest: even with Google map I sometimes walk into the wrong direction, hahaha - many interesting discoveries by that...)
      So: glad to have you back! XXXX

    2. Good to be back Britta ! I am always reminded of Joey from friends when he ‘ jumped ‘ into the map when they were in London 😂🤣😂 I’m not brilliant at map reading .... I have to try and remember what they taught me in the Brownies and Girl Guides !!! Have a lovely weekend Britta. XXXX