Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Looking Forward

The days are getting shorter. That wonderful smell of autumn is in the air some mornings and it's good .
My camera arrived back superbly cleaned . One lightweight folding bike has been bought and will be put to very good use .
Mode and Sparen my favourite boutique had this bright yellow top. Ideal for bike wear, warm and extremely visible at all times .
Then, wonder of wonders, IFA Berlin 2011 is due to start .The world's largest trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. It takes place from 2 to 7 September 2011 here in Berlin. No prizes for guessing who will be there with her camera .
First stop Panasonic ... where else ? Should you be in Berlin do try and get to this. It's simply fantastic .If you see me say hello and who knows I may take your photo .There's so much to look forward to .

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Day In Dresden

The weather was delightful, as was the train journey ,so what a thrill to arrive in Dresden and discover the city festival in full swing. It's a city with a history which goes way back as can be seen in the architecture still being carefully and painstakingly restored. The WW2 carpet bombing of Dresden destroyed much, but not the will to hold onto the amazing and cultural heritage. eg) Wagner's Tannhäuser and Richard Strauss's Der Roskenkavalier premiered at the Semper Opera .Robert Schumann lived in the city and wrote much of his work here. In order to view one of the finest collections of Old Masters I must return. The Gemaldegalerie housing these is to be found in the Zwinger, one of Dresdens most beautiful palaces. A steamer trip to Schloss Pillnitz not to mention the steam train to Schloss Moritzburg... These are but a few of the 'must visit' places on my agenda. Note,during the week there are many splendid organ concerts and of course Pfunds Molkerai will either give you the energy for the day or refresh you at the close. Tram 11 from Hauptbahnhof takes you almost to the door .Not only did this astonishing place survive the WW2 bombing but it came through the austerity of the DDR years. To walk in there is to step back 119 years ..... Dresden has much to see and savour . Take the 's' out of strain and use the 'train' to get there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Green-Piece in Berlin.

Berlin reflects a German passion ... flowers. By and large they are bought each week and a walk around the streets shows the smallest balcony is a blaze of colour most of the year . Though not an avid balcony gardener ( I travel too much), over the years here, flowers have become a regular purchase. Last week I went to film a very talented florist at work.
Frau Köhler is the owner of Green Piece ,a beautiful shop at Kaiserdamm 109 . Her training was three years, after which she worked as an employee ,then, over a year ago bought her own business.
She employs three others and they work well as a team . A working day begins at 8am and ends 18-00 Monday to Saturday.
Sundays the shop opens 9am to 13-00. Three times a week Frau Köhler is ready at 4-30am for a drive to the huge flower market In summer she likes to buy European flowers as this means lower prices . Roses tend to come from Equador as they are excellent quality .Her preference is for seasonal flowers when possible with not too many glass house blooms. Watch this film in the knowledge that as she works the following must take place. 1) The customer says how much they wish to spend, 2) they may want specific colour they may not, 3) the florist must then take blooms and greenery to create a work of art, at the same time calculating each item included. Whilst this mathematical element is important it must not detract from the creative process. What a balance . When I asked her why she chose her career the answer came that to work creatively and with nature was her dream . It's come true and with the flowers she is able to make sure that all who buy have 'sunshine' round the clock. Flowers do have a great power to lift our spirits and show us the beauty of our world . One single bloom can do that . Try it . For any new to Berlin try Green Piece .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slut Walk Berlin 2011 A March For Tolerance and Justice

A huge crowd gathered at Wittenberg Platz Berlin on the 13th August .Their reason -- the Sut Walk Berlin 2011. All ages, many men there to support women, terrific atmosphere , excellent placards , music and superb cooperation with the Berlin Police made it a huge success.
The walk made it's way via Nollendorf Platz , to Potsdammer Strasse, Leipziger Strasse and finished in Gendarmenmarkt .The main issue being that unwelcome sexual advances and rape are not only wrong, they are criminal acts . There is no way that a woman's choice of clothing is ever reason for such. We women have a right to dress for ourselves . No does mean no and the only appropriate kind of sex is consensual. As for me I wore my boots. One reason being that, in the not too distant past I was judged as being sluttish for wearing such.
For me boots have always proved an attractive and comfortable form of footwear and the fact that I also look good in such is pleasing not a crime on my part.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Die Badende ( The bather )

Yesterday I took the train to Hamburg to see, photograph and film the huge sculpture in the Binnenalstar known as Die Badende.
Created by Oliver Voss this is a spectacular and impressive work .As the wind blew the head would slowly turn thus giving an illusion of life . Here you see a short film made using a selection of stills. The best is yet to come via iMovie but this will take a day. By the end of this week she will have been lifted from the water and I,like so many others am oh so glad I made the effort to view .

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London's Burning

Remember the song we sang as children ? Seems today we have nasty ,uneducated thugs to blame and not a bakers shop in Pudding Lane .
If only the authorities had looked abroad they would have done as many continental countries do and made use of water canon to wash this 'scum element' away and at the same time put fires out befoe they got out of control. No good just saying these riots are unacceptable and failing to use a very acceptable means of control. It still isn't too late to hose these criminals down .Chances are it's the freshest they'll ever smell !
As for any sentimental do gooders , let them pay for the damage along with those they seek to protect+.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Toilets , Lavatories , WC's

Maybe it's because my late father was a plumber,or it could be due to a personal quirk caused by too much standing cross legged at concert halls and theatres in the interval. Whatever the reason, it's fair to say I'm fascinated by public toilets.Their design, cleanliness , accessibility are all matters which interest me. Lack of any the aforementioned --infuriates.
To some this may seem strange, maybe eccentric but on returning from France where I did film some rather impressive facilities what should I hear last week on BBC radio4 Woman's Hour but a heated debate on this very theme . It appears that rather than improved provision being the case, the opposite is the truth. So much so a serious UK seminar / debate was covered. The French film is at the top and you also see a clip made way up on the north west coast of Scotland .
There are good food guides and stars are awarded to restaurants why not a good toilet guide . So let's make a stand other than in a queue , raise our glasses , say 'bottoms' up and improve the lot for females. Meanwhile my pictures and movies file about such is growing. Good provision is worthy of note. Lonely Planet take note .