Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Monday, 24 September 2018
Thursday, 20 September 2018
After I tried out all your advices, (and honestly: I do not know which one helped in the end - I saw stars in front of my overworked eyes) - but the result is here:
Google gave me my identity back!
(I feel a bit as the German philosophy booktitle: "Who am I - and if: how many?")
And I learned something which seems to me to be too profound to be applied only to computers:
"Sometimes it all goes a bit weird for me, but corrects itself later."
Yes - a metapher for Life!!!! So:
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP! Britta XXX
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
I wonder (and worry): I answered the comments of Gwil and Rachel - but cannot publish them, and my Google profile is not to be reached (thus I cannot comma on your blogs either). Has anyone here the same problem? And what can I do? Thank you for your help, Britta (hope I can publish this)
Sunday, 2 September 2018
Yesterday I went to Dussmann in Friedrichstraße - oh no: not a simple bookshop! - it calls itself a "Kulturkaufhaus" - a shop to buy culture, mmmh, mmm, mmh - would be a nice thing for some people in Germany...
It has a special section, the "English Bookshop" - and that most often gives me ideas, and I seldom leave with only one book.
(Nowadays - even if you buy for more than 20 Euros - they give you the book you paid for over the counter, just like that.
Then I put on what I call my Freiherr von Knigge-glance -- very haughty, very severe - and ask: "Will you PLEASE put it into a little paper bag, dear?"
(I had to ask at Peek&Cloppenburg too, where I bought an Armani-dress for summer: they put the dress into my hand and thought that I would walk away with it, just like that!
And if you do not pay attention, they forget to give you the receipt too - I mean: with all the security guards and detectives around: how will you prove you really paid for it??
The book above is a reminder:
spend more time on things you love - and not on chores you think you have to do.
And that reminded me that I love blog-writing (even if I have - as everybody else - little time) - and that I should just try to keep it simple, not being a perfectionist about photos e.g.
So I will give my blog-writing what they call it in modern relationship-babble:
Wednesday, 8 August 2018
It is summer, and it is hot, hot, hot.
So hot that people wear little nothings - men open their shirts and their huge bellies have the freedom David Hasselhoff was fighting for; and extremely well-nourished women wear mini-shorts, and thousands of them display huge tattoos.
Everywhere you look at their generously exposed bodies.
The University of Leipzig estimated that
19 million people in Germany have Tattoos. (A third of the people under thirty has at least one).
And these tattoos are not the teeny weeny Chinese ideographs (how come that I first wrote "idiograph"?)
(The photo above I found in a glossy magazine) In Berlin you can admire hole landscapes on legs, arms, shoulders, backs and sometimes even on faces.
Tattoos are not without risk.
Everybody (!EVERYBODY!) in Germany who owns a "starter kit" is allowed to tattoo his
- You risk an aesthetic disaster (just look around!!)
- You risk your health: There might be poisonous parts in the colours which are not designed for tattoos, but for car paint (honestly!).
And if you want to get rid of "I love you, Annicka!" for "I love you, Babette!"?
Well: You have to pay: sometimes thousands of Euros if her name was a long one (choose Babs instead next time!)
You can a) let somebody cut it out (iiiiih!); or b) let them use chemical etching lotions (ouch!) or - and that will be the choice of most: c) laser.
I hope that these three painful methods are used by doctors only.
So, don't hum Bob Dylan's song "Don't think twice - it's alright!" when you enter my tattoo study --- it might be the wrong song.
"Needles and Pins!"
Thursday, 2 August 2018
I saw it - and I wanted it.
„It will save so much space - and time - and it looks so cute!“
Though I live on 180 square meters, I bought it.
In the Netherlands I had learned The High Art of Boiling an Egg.
Which implies not just boiling- oh no: boiling the egg for precisely 4 and a half minute - after asking myself: „Am I - just now - above or below sea level?" How come that at that point I always had to think of M.F.K. Fisher and her fabulous book: „How to Cook a Wolf“ ?
In Berlin I found a few flies in the ointment of my new kitchen device:
- it takes an awful long time
- the outside which you have to touch to stop the high pitched "stop!"-button gets really hot
- AND: it is not only designed for a dwarf´s kitchen (hope that I do not use a political incorrect word - I’m speaking of fairytale dwarfs) - it also needs dwarf fingers (for my 1.78 m I have astonishing little hands, and they are very capable for everything in craftwork),
- no: it also demands utter precision (also no problem for me - for some time I wanted to become a pharmacist because I like using pipettes and tiny scales).
But worst of all: It cannot boil a soft egg!
Golf balls: yes, thank you: here it manages well.
But soft eggs - whatever I tried - NO.
When comes the day when you ask yourself:
Is it worth all the efforts?
In this case I decided after three weeks: NO!
(PS: Does anyone remember the hype in the Nineties (I think) about „Feng Shui“?
Change your fate by just moving some things around - and if you want a happy partnership, NEVER buy a single item, always (!) buy pairs.
A single-egg-cooker - I am sure - would have meant „bad Feng Shui“, even a thousand years ago.
Though I cannot verify that - I tossed out all my Feng Shui books a long time ago.
As I will do with that cute little egg-boiler!
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
The German word "Lebenskünstler" - which literally means "an artist in/of life" - has no real equivalent in English.
The dictionary offers me "hedonist" and "spiv" and "person who makes the best of things" - but that's not quite "IT".
Well - here you see one of my neihbours (no privacy intruded) - he is a real "artist" in life, meaning he works in varieté and does many, many surprising things with his body (walking on a high rope is only one of it).
And he kows how to live his life in the most creative and happy way.
He does not own much - but he has ideas. Sees chances - and grasps them.
A year ago he put two chairs into the wildernis of our Hinterhof (our absentee landlady does not permit to use it or make a garden out of it).
Then one of the chairs (if you stare hard you might find it at the left side) became what I will call "the poetic idea of a chair", a mere quote, because it misses the important part of a chair: the seating surface.
It is very Zen-like, very Buddhistic, this chair!
But our artist used it the other one today - the second chair, which still is sort of ok - and as we have the third day of summer in Berlin (28°C! in mid.May!), and he, different from us, has no balcony - uses the wildernis in a very creative way.
And, as you might have noticed:
He follows the sun!