Saturday, 18 July 2009

Berlin fleamarket

You guessed it - another city another fleamarket....this one a mix of old and new, food and fun, a hippy, dippy, happening vibe that feels uniquely Berlin. I highly recommend it for chilling out and people watching. In terms of bargains, I bought a rose spattered tablecloth for 2 euros and after a spot of bartering, a little Eiffel Tower for another 2 euros. That's right - when in Germany, take home a bit of new European! There's great food on offer, from coconut milk served straight from the shell, to freshly-made Turkish spinach/cheese wraps and German beers, there are so many flavours to enjoy. Savour it all and mooch away the day. Musicians stroll up, tune up and draw the crowds. There are tightrope trippers and hippy collectives, pop-up picnics and dancing dandies. Check out Berlin's alternative artscene by reading this excellent article in The Guardian/Observer. Lots of options off the beaten track.


Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome! Last weekend - The Mobile Millinery went abroad for the first time. Am stopped at airport security on the way to Germany as my box of buttons sets off the metal detector. I'm told to wait as my rucksack is unpacked. Feel like drugs smuggler, but in fact am only a bead mule. Am released from interrogation by really rather friendly lady who relaxes into a smile once she sees my stash. With the help of my fabulous facilitator and friend Katharina, who speaks maybe six languages fluently, we put on the event at The Bilderbuch Cafe in West Berlin - and it's a triumph! Ten interesting women, all of whom speak excellent English(unlike my non-existent German) join us for the afternoon - and I lose myself in another world for a while. A couple of my clients sport fabulous 40's hair-do's, another, a 40's style dress that she's sewn herself from a vintage pattern. They all love the retro techniques I show them for designing their own little headpieces, and the results are great. I thoroughly enjoy my Berlin millinery moment - and hope very much to come back soon. There's such an exciting feeling in this city. It's the sense of history, creativity and forward thinking that perhaps sets it apart. A bit like New York, there's a buzz in the air. It rubs off like the "shining from shook foil" as Gerard Manley-Hopkins would say.