Berlin, a conker and the oddest of nostalgic moments


    Berlin! Berlin!

    A fortnight ago, I was in Berlin. I love that city. Over the last year, it's become my most visited city, and I enjoy every single trip. It has an edgy, interesting feel - like everything's changing, but nobody's quite sure what the finished product will look like. It's just fun.   

    But, oddly, while walking in a Berlin park, I had my first moment of nostalgia for my old job and office. You see, when autumn arrived in Sutton, the conker tree between the car park and the office shed its bounty of conkers, and I was the only one who seemed to care. I stuffed my pockets with them, satiating the desires of my inner eight year old, and built a little stack of them on my desk. It was a beautifully organic counterpoint to the digital focus of what I was doing. 

    There are no conker trees around where I live, or the various places I work. And so, I've missed those moments this year.

    Until a Tuesday afternoon, in Berlin, in a park, when those moments all came back. A single conker, lying in the leaves, in the crisp German early autumn. A world - a life - away from where I was then, but the feelings came flooding back. It's a mark of how happy I am in my new life that the principle emotional callback I've had to my working life of six years is a single conker in the leaves in a park.

    Life moves on. There are conkers everwhere - and I'd rather encounter them in Berlin than Sutton. 

    There was only one thing for it: head off and kill the nostalgia with a lunchtime currywurst


    Mmmmm… currywurst


    I appear to have arrived in Narnia

    I appear to have arrived in Narnia

    Presented without comment

    Presented without comment



    Taking a view

    Taking a view



    I'm on a (Parisian) Boat

    Somehow, I feel that I deserve more than the usual Foursquare badge for getting this one in Paris:

    Screen shot 2010-12-07 at 22.21.27

    Meandering down Exeter memory lane

    Today has been something of a stroll down memory lane. I'm in Exeter for a conference (which I'm busy blogging), but it's taken me to places from one of the most important few days of my life. For example, the hotel where this morning's immersive session was held:

    Exeter 3That'll be the hotel that Lorna and I were staying in the weekend we got engaged. And the restaurant for the lunch session?

    Exeter 1
    Yes, it's where we ate the evening of the day I proposed.

    The Cathedral I proposed in front of? 

    Exeter 2

    Under renovation. There's probably a metaphor there somewhere… :-)

    A New Traffic Light Feature?

    Interesting new road safety feature at the crossing near Holborn station:

    It counts down the number fo seconds until the traffic starts flowing again.

    I must admit, my first reaction to these, as I headed in search of a sandwich, was disbelief - do we actually need these countdowns? And then, I remembered the number of rather horrible accidents I've seen from the EG office, including watching the police setting up a tent over, presumably, a mangled body, while I was in a meeting in the publisher's office.

    Maybe we do need them.

    Journey to Hamburg

    Random iPhone photographs from my journey last night:


    IMG_2386 IMG_2387

    Fear of Flying course from Virgin. Admittedly, people trying to blow up aircraft isn't helping…

    The Most Fun You Can Have at St Michael's Mount

    So, we visited St Michael's Mount yesterday, and very enjoyable it was too. And we discovered the most fun you can have there:

    1. Wait for the tide to come in
    2. At the point the causeway starts to get covered in water, get a good vantage point on the hill
    3. With binoculars or a decent telephoto lens, enjoy the sufferings of the those who tried to beat the tide:
    The boat across, incidentally, is a grand total of £1.50, and a great ride.