A weekend earlier and I could have been in Berlin for the World Cup final, but never mind, all of Germany still talks about it like it were yesterday, and rightly so. WELTMEISTER!
The M&Ms have also changed colour just in case anyone wasn't aware or forgot that...
"Wir sind Weltmeister!!"
On the first evening I had the excitement of going to a friend's art show at her university, the KDU. All the student from first thought to third year were showing their final pieces and it was a pretty spectacular and varied display. I was so so impressed with Theresa's art (Design Technology)- both the skill and also the amount of thought that goes into each piece. It's a process that I don't think I would have the patience or imagination for. Well Done!!! This is only one of her pieces:
Here is another of the final pieces of one of the Design Technology students that made me smile quite a bit.
We had a lot of fun walking around the whole exhibition, I have to say, some of it went straight over my head, especially the videos, but I was nonetheless impressed by the exhibition.
One of the best things I saw had me laughing for quite a while. The artist had programmed an electric keyboard to play different lines of 8 or so Britney Spears songs which were also connected to various TV screens with a blacked out figure wearing Britney's costumes from each of the music videos. When a note was played the screen would light up and the figure in a black morph suit with costume on top would do the corresponding dance move. An amazing idea, piece of technology and sources of endless amusement for anyone who grew up with Britney Spears. The costumes included her school girl outfit, the air stewardess from Toxic, circus and of course the legendary red leather jumpsuit number. I had to leave the room after a bit to give my tummy and cheeks a rest from laughing too much as everyone took their turn on the keyboard. And here it is
We were able to sit outside on the grass for a bit in the beautiful Berlin weather and of course a butter brezel. All this was done to the extremely trippy music being created by some of the art students through moving their iPhones through the air. The music wasn't really my thing, but the technology behind it was pretty amazing.
Looking around whilst sitting on the lawn outside I couldn't help but think, anyone who considers themselves to be a hipster has to come here for a reality check, I felt incredibly uncool and square sitting there.
Saturday was spent catching up with people and a nostalgic wander around Kreuzberg, Prenzlauerberg and Mitte right by my old office.
I think I found heaven on earth in Kreuzberg in the form on this underground, hidden bead shop
Just so, so many beads! I bought a couple to make myself some earrings!
Better still, I even picked up some bowls I made ages ago at a pottery cafe type place but had forgotten to pick up (5 months ago!) at Paint Your Style in Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg
A look into Kollowitzplatz, where I hope to one day have a flat, and the market.
The sun-drenched market
And naturally I stumbled across a pop-up flea market. Berlin, you never disappoint.
And a traditionally unassuming 'Berlin' cafe
Then a chill by the river in Treptowerpark with some Sekt to celebrate the end of Hannah's exams. Berlin is so different in the summer and absolutely sweltering. The heat and sun makes Berlin seem much more friendly than it did in the winter. It's an incredible city either way, but it really is spectacular in the summer, I couldn't get over how different it was.
We then went for a lovely and very traditional dinner of Wienderschnitzel in Alpensteuck just off Torstrasse courtesy of Immie's very generous mother!
Feeling like a trooper, I woke up at 6.15 the following morning to get to the Hauptbahnhof to then catch a train to my grandmother's. I felt like a bit of an idiot when I arrived at the station at 6.45 for my train at 7.46....
Well, better safe than sorry, I say!
Now to Bielefeld / Bieledorf / Biele-existiertnicht. Or just Liebefeld.
Oh Bielefeld. This charming city of my youth where no wild oats were ever sewn (that would have required knowing people who weren't my grandmother's age). Alas, the only youthful indiscretions that I can report on this city having witnessed are eating too much haribo and either bouncing off the walls or being sick. Tricycle racing with my siblings when we were far too old to fit on them which involved quite a few knees to the chin. Illicitly sliding down the banisters of the spiral staircase ending in a good old-fashioned botty-smack. Watching my brother and sister racing on the tricycles (at an age when this was still appropriate) while I set up my mini traffic cones to practice parking my tricycle. Then progressing to reverse parking with a trailer (still tricycle here, I still can't actually drive). Marvelling at the pride with which the Germans strode around the Freibad changing rooms in the summer, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "the stride of pride", whilst I, in my prudish English ways struggled to pull off the knicker trick without letting my towel slip. And last but most certainly not least would be the day I knocked out half my front tooth on a waterside. All I can say is that the rules at water parks are there for a reason. Even in Germany, rules can serve a purpose other than just to annoy.
Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed a lovely few days with my grandmother in the aftermath of her 94th birthday (she'll kill me for telling you all how old she is, but thankfully the internet is still a mystery to her so she need never know). I went to the supermarket and bought many brezeln and haribo and passed by the annual strawberry hut selling the fresh produce of the farms in the vicinity.
The Germans go crazy for seasonal fruit and veg- just wait for the Pfifferling- and Spargelsaison to start. In the evening I even found the legendary tricycles in the basement! I actually stole my brother's - he had the best one being the oldest son and all that.
Naturally Ama (my Grandmother) and I watched the newest episode of Tatort - the German obsession. It's a crime series and you can't not watch it and still call yourself German.
We opted not to watch "How to be Indie" because it clashed with Tatort, and, let's face it, I don't need any tips, I'm totally already there
Ama's garden looked beautiful in the sunshine, but unfortunately she can't go outside and see it so I took some pictures instead
The next day saw me on an afternoon train to Dusseldorf Airport, where I was greeted with this charming sight
And then finally back in Milan at 10pm in Cadorna station, safe and sound back at casa mia.