Monday, 23 November 2009

rain rain

Stacks of rain made the ceiling leak, even though there is another apartment above ours. Right above the bed, the dripping soaked through the mattress before I came in and found it.

Broken roof, to add to the list of broken things.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I went for a ride in the Tiergarten and the air was full of white fluff

Some species of tree there is going crazy with Spring, sending out something like cotton wool or fairyfloss to hang on the breeze, catch the sun and gather thick on the water.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Recent viewing

- I went to see 'Vorspannkino', an exhibition of cinema opening titles at KW Berlin

Interesting exhibition design, 4 'kinos' set up in the cinema. In one, you walked through a curtain to what felt like the front 2 rows of the upper level of a cinema, looking across at a screen in the distance. It felt as though the floor below should be full of aisles and seats, but when you looked over the edge you saw only a big empty hall... the effect was somehow surreal. Another room had projections on the wall and you never knew which part of the wall would show the next sequence. So, in the dark, people moved silently around the room as each new sequence started. Another drew viewers along a trail of suspended screens...

I emerged after this into the sun. The building opposite KW has a facade is clad in scaffolding, some kind of work being done. This day, sitting up in the scaffolding, there was a man playing the cello and a girl filming him on the ground. A crowd of passersby had gathered to listen, sitting in the street. Two women got up and started to waltz in the road.

It felt like, after what I had just seen, this was the movie proper starting.

- Had a Volspark Hasenheide Picnic dinner and a movie night at Nora's. Saw Naissance des Piuevres, a French film, with German subtitles. Lucky for us, it is not so dialogue heavy. I liked it. The strange sport of synchronised swimming, as practiced by bored suburban/ small city teens. One thing that stood out was that the film often avoids establishing and long shots. Closeups and underwater shots detach the sport from the overall purpose it has and emphasise its surreal side. Then this is in contrast with a world of teens, bottled up and bored and harbouring secret crushes on each other, in a drab stretch of suburbia we never really see the shape of. This draws the viewer in, I think, to the limited perspective and subjective world of the film's main characters.

Lost Love

I lost the love of my life, Hanz Fritz. He is 52 and I am so lonley now, I sit at home all day and Pet my kitty - kat. I know no german and he spoke german. Hanz does not speak english and he is blind. If you have seen a blind old german man name Hanz, please contact me. I saw him in the bakery 20 years ago, that was the last time. I hope he still remebers me, my name is Joe Stal. Oh where is my Hanz?

(Somebody's ad in the Lost and Found section, Berlin craigslist)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Easter weekend list

- Sunshine
- Blue skies
- A walk in the countryside at the northern edge of Berlin
- Places from Annika's childhood
- Horses from Annika's childhood
- A good Friday backyard picnic with eggs that were just their normal colour because I brought the wrong kind of dye... oops...
- Getting dozy on the lawn and waking ourselves up with net-free badminton
- Magnus and Britanny Ann in smoky-crumbly-wallpaper-peely Neukoln bars
- Magnus' glasses
- Magnus' friend who looked a bit like a big version of Magnus from a distance
- Firm intentions to work fading away into a sun-hazy Sunday afternoon by the canal
- Watching a ptonk tournament with sausages and beer by the water
- Kyoka's friend's sound art exhibition
- Finding new people and following them into the night
- Experimental drum gig (really good!) at West Germany
- A picnic at the Volkspark Friedrichshain
- Erik playing soccer and the guitar
- Kudyo scouting the park for the best place to bury a bread roll
- icecream
- spanish ham

I shouldn't have said anything

Now it's gone a little chilly again.

Friday, 17 April 2009

spring makes it hard to concentrate

but i am doing my best






From all accounts it was a particularly long, cold winter.I liked the REALLY cold bit in the middle, ice and snow and 16 below. But apart from that, after 6 months of gloom PLUS a melbourne winter before that, and snow still falling in March, I was ready to sell my soul for a little sunshine.

Spring started suddenly on a Tuesday a few weeks ago. In a day, it seemed, trees exploded into blossom, the sun began to shine and there were people everywhere, grinning.




Things in England in March (a list)

* Sitting on chewing gum on the train from the airport. Welcome to England.
* My Mum and Dad, staying in a small village in Kent, and feeding us up like we couldn't possibly have eaten since we last saw them.
* Proper pubs with low dark woody beams.
* Proper pub meals.
* Mysterious ruins of a castle on a hill. Inside the hilltop too. It reminded of being a little kid when you would just pretend the hill was a castle; this was kind of the same, you had to look at the hill, and knowing that it housed a castle, kind've imagine the castle inside...
* Leeds Castle. It didn't need to be imagined. The big old castle had an even bigger castle built onto the side of it in 1822... many rooms inside were done up in proper 1930s salon style by latterday owner Lady Baillie who liked to throw glamorous parties there for princes, films stars and politicians. Fun to imagine, not quite the same following a rope around it beside a bunch of French school kids.
* Leeds Castle animals... peacocks, toucans, macaws. Also portraits of Lady Baillie's dogs on the walls, along with a collection of engravings of monkeys.
* Farm shops.
* Really delicious duck pate... the last ever tub, i discovered, when i went back to the farm shop to buy more... they said it was just a local farm making it and it had gotten too expensive. The effects of the economic crisis, perhaps?
* Hills, woods, fields, mud, wet feet.
* Old country town graveyards and churches where you can see where things were ripped out and smashed by the Puritans in Cromwell's time.
* London.
* Corinna.
* Corinna's big house and many housemates and funny little kitten who didn't have a name last time we visited - I thought Milly-Walky-Talky was a good suggestion but now she is called Birdy. I guess that's good too. Birdy looks more like an Anime cat than any other cat I've ever met.
* Salt beef bagels in Brick Lane.
* The V and A museum. Oh, I love it.
* A super exhibition by Haunch of Venison at the Royal Academy.
* Hackney Curries that turn into a brick in your belly.
* Boiled grapefruit lollies in a tin, Dad's gift for the journey home.

Saturday, 24 January 2009


... I didn't write. Why, I hardly know. I was lazy and the weather had turned warm. I thought of Arthur often; so often, indeed, that correspondence seemed unecessary. It was as though we were in some kind of telepathic communication.