Guten tag from Berlin! I've come over here for work for a few days. The last time I visited Berlin it was late summer, and the entire city felt like it was on holiday - the pavement cafes were full of people sitting in the sun, or in the shade of an umbrella, enjoying a cold beer, and the beer gardens were full of people sitting on communal wooden benches in the dappled shade of the tall trees, eating bratwurst with broetchen, or baked kartoffeln with kräuterquark.
I'm lucky enough to have some lovely friends in Berlin, who take me to different parts of the city every evening that as a regular tourist you wouldn't get to experience. G&W, vielen dank as always!
Berlin is feeling very autumnal at the moment, however - cool, misty and drizzly, with the trees all turning colour. I took some photos earlier - here's a sneak peek:
Yep, those are my feet. Got to love ballerina flats with big bows.
It's starting to feel like weather for sitting indoors with a glass of red wine, or maybe under a pavement cafe heater, wrapped in one of these blankets that cafe/bar/restaurant owners in Berlin offer to their customers to keep everyone nice and snuggled up.
In England this practice would more than likely put the cafe owner out of business due to the blankets being repeatedly swiped by drunken customers/passers by (I'm English, I'm allowed to say this!) - but naturally in Germany this doesn't happen, and the blankets are very welcome on these cooler evenings.
Autumn is also the time of year when I plant all my spring bulbs. Enrique in particular loves this activity - he is a born digger who gets thoroughly over-excited by the sight of his Mom actually digging holes in the flowerbed, and shoves his fluffy snout into every hole I prepare. He's a very helpful boy.
When we first brought him home, and he promptly dug up all the plants in the back garden, I googled one day to find out how to prevent your dog from digging.
The advice was that some dogs dig because they are bored. Some dig because they are lonely, others to release tension or aggression. There are some dogs, however, who dig for the sheer delight of digging. For the delicious smell of the fresh earth. For the pleasurable feeling of the soil between their claws. Yup, that's my boy:
And also the natural conclusion. Enrique does take a lot of baths!
That's our old bath, by the way. The new bathroom looks like this.
Anyway, so I ordered my spring bulbs yesterday from Floral Fireworks. This is a great company based on Somerset who sell bulbs to people who don't really know anything about bulbs - they promote themselves as "bomb-proof bulbs for busy people", which pretty much sums it up.
They have nice big pictures of everything they sell, grouped by colour scheme, with suggestions for other bulbs that might look good with the ones you have chosen - I guess it's kind of like a magazine about bulbs for people who are more accustomed to reading magazines about fashion:
So here's what I ordered.
Allium Caeruleum - lovely blue pom-poms:
Gladiolus Mirella - bright red bells:
Triteleia Rudy - violet and white stars:
Tulipa Spring Green - pale green cups:
I think this is a nice combination of colours and shapes. And it will co-ordinate with the hundreds of bulbs already lying quietly under the soil that I planted this time last summer.
I can't wait for them to start flowering - finding the first bulb peeking out in spring is so exciting!
OK, time for me to join my colleagues in the hotel bar - we're heading out for wine and pizza tonight, to celebrate the successful launch of the project we've been working on together for the past few months. Auf wiedersehen for now!