Hurray, it’s summer! Berlin feels like it’s skipped spring and went straight to shorts-and-sunscreen-weather. And what a difference that vitamin D makes! The sun got me itching to change everything! Which would explain why my apartment is an absolute mess of stuff I want to get rid of and new wooden bits that are waiting to be built. Yes, in proper DIY style…
2017 has been a year so crazy and full that it’s incredibly difficult to summarise it in a few words or sentences. It wasn’t one coherent story, it was more like hundred wild stories without any structure or logic. It has been a loud, overwhelming whirlwind of so many feelings, ups and downs, tears, kisses and personal growth. It was by no means an easy year but why should it. Looking back now, it feels a little as if I’ve constantly been on a journey, never quite sure what I was actually searching for and then slowly realising that there is no quick fix for the big questions. So I guess that means I’ll be carrying those over into 2018.
2016 is currently getting a hard time and guess what, I’m also very relieved it’s over soon! But while looking through photos of this year as I always do in December, I was surprised by how many happy memories there were. It’s easy to join in with everybody’s 2016-bashing but a lot in life is what you make of it (even if you don’t feel like it), so I’m very determined to use that little change of seasons for planning a few long-overdue, new beginnings.
I’m travelling to Curacao and Japan this month (eeeeek!) and also find myself (and about five different notebooks) in the middle of two very exciting and intense projects, so my mind has already forgotten about anything that happened between August and September. Luckily dat ol’ iPhone’s photo roll hasn’t. Here are a couple of snaps from Austria (Alps), Bavaria, Austria again (Carinthia), England and mild summer days in Berlin. Also, I’d actually like to show you extracts from David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water” which has inspired me in so many ways recently. Here is the full piece.
My friend Klaudia’s style is effortless and uber-cool and I don’t just mean her looks. She has that certain air of laid-back Berlin chill that I wish would rub off on me. Klaudia grew up between Poland and Germany and lived in Warsaw for three years before making the move to big B. She’s been studying history here for four years and I’m one lucky girl having bumped into her this summer and getting to know her a bit better.
I’m currently sitting in the garden of Clärchens Ballhaus, an old Berlin restaurant and dance hall. The birds are chirping, some mosquitos are up for a battle (guess who’s winning). I’m trying out Snapchat filters, answering some questions for da Travelettes gang, texting with my sister (it’s her first long-haul flight to the US in a few hours and she’s all by herself. Crazy stuff. You can do this grrrrl ♥), there a glass of white wine next to me (day-drinking much) and it’s the last day of July. It’s been a great last three months because for the first time in a while, I somehow managed to shift down a gear or two.
Less photos, more meaning. That’s the pledge I made at the beginning of this month, hoping for a slow and beautiful summer. I want it to be less about big numbers, lots of photos or full diaries and more about real adventures, sleepless nights and books that take my breath away. In fact, I cannot wait for weekends of camping by the lake, crossing the Alps and cycling through the county of Brandenburg because more often than not, good things (strawberries) are so close.
Because I keep getting emails, tweets or comments on here with questions on how to do Berlin like a local (and not like your parents), I compiled some of my favourite places where you’re very likely to find me on weekends. I use Google Maps to “star” places as that makes it easy to rediscover places you love and to see when you’re in the area. Highly recommend that method also when you’re travelling!
I’m struggling a bit to find my routine at the moment because there is none, the only constant is the number of balls in the air that I sometimes manage to juggle better than at other times. I spend about one-third of my time in an office with other humans, one-third traveling and the rest at home at my desk. The latter is currently (and now in particular!) driving me nuts, but fingers crossed it’s a phase that will pass soon.
Anyway, back to the reason for this post: A colourful recap of the last few weeks powered by my photo roll. I was at the Leipzig bookfair and if you’re German and into books, here’s a selection of reads that I’ve either just finished or that are piling up on my bedside table and don’t get the attention (and time) they deserve.
My friend Anne is a mind-blowingly beautiful human being, inside and out. We’ve grown up just 20 miles from each other in western Germany but somehow only really started hanging out in Berlin. Unbelievable, I know. She’s an actress and I’ve been trying to convince her to maybe, perhaps, pretty please, think about modelling too because her eyes tell so many stories. Her mouth also says very wise things about life that always either inspire or calm me down. Thanks for that, girl. Anyway, Anne and I finally got up to that long-awaited shoot on a hazy Berlin Saturday in what still feels like winter – and here’s the result.