Nogatstreet, Berlin, Germany (16/06/2013)
Notes: 48 hours Neukölln, our new district and the current quarter of Berlin to be “gentrified”. There are good and bad sides to it. A good side is the cultural activities of the artists and creatives starting to take over empty spaces and associations that offer lots of culture for free. Such as the Werkstadt. Cathérine works there. I’d like to. They offer ateliers to artists, have an event space, workshops, program, small bar, and were also part of the 48 hours art festival taking place in the middle of June. I found a little Origami fish in a shop window aquarium, folded from a recycled page from the Frankenstein novel. Transformation can be brutal but seems to be part of everyday life, again and again.
My kitchen, Berlin, Germany (diverse dates and times, 05-x/2013)
Foundlings: Tea bag labels with wise sayings
Notes: My parents came over for my birthday. They brought me love-tea with little sayings on the back of the teabag paper labels. (No cheesy stuff, really!) I always wondered how horoscopes and fortune cookies always bear a grain of truth in what they say, fitting to the person’s life situation somehow. Those were pure magic with their positive messages! Or what else can you say to: “Nichts bereuen ist aller Weisheit Anfang.” (To not regret anything is the beginning of all wisdom) or: “Auch aus Steinen, die einen in den Weg gelegt werden, kann man etwas Schönes bauen.” (Even from obstacles in your way one can build something beautiful…)
See also: The Happiness Advantage
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland (29/06/2013)
Notes: We usually try to travel as slowly as possible so – after flying to Britain – we took a bus from London to Glasgow before continuing to New Lanark on the next day by train.
This should also be a note on chance – we stayed with two absolutely wonderful people that we had contacted via the couch-surfing network. I could write something very heavy with meaning about winding roads and unsuspected encounters, etc – but maybe it is enough to say that sometimes one is just indescribably lucky. Thanks a million to you both, K. & R., and see you soon!
On a side-note: Sauchiehall apparently translates to something like ‘willow grove’, though the idea of a ‘haugh’ is rather fitting; especially as Google Maps kept insisting that the motorway it crosses, is – in fact – a river. When asking where a specific house number might be located the baffled guy with the smart phone called it ‘Glasgow’s famous river of cars’.
Robert Owen Museum, New Lanark, Scotland (30/06/2013)
Foundlings: Embossed penny, Annie McLeod Experience
Notes: Not knowing that a place like New Lanark, a man with visions like Robert Owen, and a society studying the field of Utopia exists, you can imagine our excitement coming across one after the other. New Lanark, a small model village from the 18th century not far from Glasgow in Scotland. It was founded by David Dale in 1786 and taken over later by Robert Owen, a social entrepreneur with for the time very unusual avant-gardistic visions of an equal, happy and educated society. New Lanark was the place where the Utopian Studies Society organized a conference entitled “Topographies of Harmony” this summer. We visited, listened and left inspired – and as a Utopian talisman, a machine in the mill’s canteen flattened a penny into a playing child from over 200 years ago.
Walkway to Corra Linn, river Clyde near New Lanark, Scotland (30/06/2013)
Foundlings: Brass rubbings without brass but wood
Notes: As school children every one has to go through the inevitable nature project where one gets send out with paper and a handful of crayons to collect nature’s surfaces – though it ends up mostly being bark. (Similarly inevitable is the fact that the paper always rips when it comes to oak trees.)
The walkway to Corra Linn introduces some very basic facts of the valley’s environs through wood carvings in the numerous benches along the river. We recorded some of the info graphics in the above mentioned technique – an oddly contemplative thing all in all. In any case it makes you remember things way clearer than by taking pictures.
(And we did see the peregrines.)
See also: Falls of Clyde
Effra Road, Brixton/Lambeth, London, England (06/07/2013)
Foundlings: two red paper labels for Katharina (or: as usual – when working/travelling/… together – we both end up being called one ever-changing version of Kat by others)
Notes: A friend once told me that having a name like Cathérine is like being named ‘cocoa’. Every country has its own version of it and you can be sure that it will always be pronounced in funky ways. Twelve years of living abroad have taught me to react to the most butchered varieties of it including a fare share of versions of Christine and generally anything that vaguely rhymes with Erin.
Wikipedia alone lists around 230 versions of the name Katharina – each with their own ‘leitmotif’ of sorts. It has also tells you about it roots in the ‘pure’, the ‘summit’ and the unlikely Hecate-derivation. Well, I could have been a Joachim.
Passing through London on our way back to Berlin we spent a night in Brixton. The beds were marked with red labels doubling one name for simplicity’s sake (lazy!). The bunks shook and swayed like boats in a storm as people in animal masks played on steel drums at 3 o’clock in the morning.
See also: Hootananny
Brockwell Park, Brixton/Lambeth, London, England (07/07/2013)
Foundlings: poppy petal from the wildflower meadow project (by Brockwell Park’s Biodiversity Group)
Notes: By looking at the scenery in selective ways and disregarding all sounds or smells one can be transported to the countryside for just a few seconds.
Someone on the bus from Glasgow to London (he did a weekend-trip to visit ComicCon) had mentioned that he would never live in London as it would take him a day to walk from his door to anything resembling proper greenery. Being overdosed on city sounds and smells we also searched for a quiet spot to just breathe for a moment.
The meadow reminded us of urban beekeeping projects and a friend who tries to preserve biodiversity by taking pieces of endangered meadows, replanting them in a reserve, and later-on reintroducing them (if possible) to their original dwelling places.
Ferry terminal, Preko, Croatia (17/07/2013)
Foundlings: Ferry tickets
Notes: Suddenly without a car and two big backpacks at the shores of Zadar, we decided the only way to plan our further journey would be not to and just take the next ferry to the next island. So we did and found us in Preko on Ugljan island. The next bus we could find took us to the village of Ugljan (Preko was too touristic and we were in need of more adventure). The tourist offices are really great if you don’t have any idea of anything! The art of “scootering” as it was recommended in the local brochure on the island brought us to the views from the highest peak of the island, Utvrda sv. Mihovila, a fort turned into a TV transmition station (and some reggae radio tunes from the station’s guard).
Zagreb Airport, Zagreb, Croatia (21/07/2013)
Foundlings: Coffee spoon ring
Notes: What is the most crucial tool when you want to eat – a knife, a fork or a spoon? We did not have any of it (except a Swiss knife which is also quite useful), but finding a spoon became the mission of our days. They can be rings, too! (becomes more difficult to eat though)