Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Monday, 15 November 2021

"Look for something and you will even find something quite different"

 This is one of my favourite quotations of Karl Foerster, the famous German breeder of herbaceous perennials. A powerfully eloquent man and writer, born 1874 in Berlin, he died 1970 in Potsdam, and was an universally sophisticated man - my idea of a Renaissance man. 

And yes: he wrote "will" and not "might" :-) 

True: I looked for something different on that slightly rainy Sunday in Bavaria. I pushed myself to join a guided tour of the town (I hate guided tours! but do a lot to fight November-Blues) with the title "On the traces of the Hohenzollern in Langenzenn". 

The town Langenzenn (10.652 inhabitants in 2020)  was first mentioned in 945  as "cinna", a royal court by King Otto I.) and belonged since 1248 to the mighty Noble House of Hohenzollern

And this is what I found: a jewel of a church. The then wooden church is supposed to be built in 945, burnt down 1388 in the City War from Nuremberg. Only a wooden Madonna survived, now "The Black Madonna", which became a pilgrimage destination. In 1467 the cloister was built for Augustiner monks, a three winged complex, built with sandstone and cloister and gothic cloistered courtyard  wonderfully preserved. 

In 1533 the cloister was shut down by the Lutherian Reformation (though they had the decency to wait till the last monk died - of course no novices were allowed).  

Imagine: this beautiful place is in my very neighbourhood - just one stop with the little red train! I can even walk through the fields to get there - such a joy! 

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Inspired by Rachel's Heinz Beanz post I remembered the Afri Cola Werbung 1968 by Charles Wilp

When I read Rachel's highly interesting post about the death of Maurice Drake, creator of the Heinz Beanz slogan, I thought about advertisement - as funny as in Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey - novel "Murder Must Advertise" or as impressive as the above one - created by Charles Wilp

I looked that one up on Youtube and beg you to watch it till the end. It is - and there I am utterly sure - one that will bring the political correctness-police into the arena - well: we enjoyed it immensely (and drank Coca Cola - the artistic video did not change our habits). 

I am so glad to have been young in a wonderful time like that (even if you could take the video with a grain of salt - but look at the fashion! The make-up! You were allowed to be sexy! Men too! Me too!  đŸ˜‚) 

Some of the (not highly intellectual) slogans here: "Girl power - woman's lib: Marriage or no marriage - that is no longer the question" "Woman becomes woman - and free" - "People who enjoy their time consciously - being in their right mind" (hahaha) 

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Traipsing wildly round the world

"What nonsense!" The Panda gave an enormous yawn. "Traipsing wildly round the world when you could stay here with me." (Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers) 

But it was an oh so lovely week in the Netherlands! From Bavaria to Berlin, from Berlin to the Netherlands - and back to Bavaria now. 

Typical (and not only a cliché) for The Netherlands are:

- The Sea, as seen above

- a constitutional Monarchy (here the famous portrait of Queen Beatrix, mother of the now reigning King Willem-Alexander with his adorable wife Queen MĂĄxima)

  and my favourite Queen, her grandmother Queen Wilhelmina (1880 - 1962) 

                                                   - world trade (and colonies)
       (as you know: they founded New York - formerly Nieuw Amsterdam

             - lots and lots of water and the knowledge how to make that land under water habitable 

                                            - Grachten and beautiful houses 

                                 - and, as you see here: many, many bicycles 

                                                           - the famous Appeltaart  

                                                    - and beautiful restaurants at the seaside