Monday, June 18, 2012

Whirlin' in Berlin ...!

It’s Monday again … and I haven’t blogged for over a week. Not because there’s been nothing to tell, but because I’ve been too busy doing (and recovering) to write about it! I just slam a nice picture and two lines on facebook …

But now it’s Monday, and a day of ‘rest’. So I’ve prepared my article about Welsh singer Eos Morlais (1841-1892), I’ve answered all my testamentary letters, I’ve made myself cream-scrambled eggs (why not!) with German bacon, I’ve been shopping at Kaiser’s … and I haven’t had a single visitor or rendez-vous! Why? Because Kevin is in LA, the Pauls are in (1) Ireland and (2) Bad something-or-other, the Thomases are (1) on his Hochzeitreise and (2) in New York. Der Olli had an-all night work session last night, Hannes only left here at nightfall …

So, before the action starts again tomorrow, it time to chronicle … in pictures, I think, rather than too many words, what I’ve been up to!

We left me, last Sunday, writing up that radiant night at Radialsystem V, and going to an early bed. For, Monday, I had two dates. My friend Frank, who is stage manager at the Deutsche Oper, came by for a Nollendorfstrasse picnic, and in the evening Paul GB and I went to the Opera House to hear the brass and wind players of the orchestra playing a ‘Big Band’ concert. Well, I guess my Big Bands have always been American or British. This one was different. Relentlessly loud. No style. The guys and their comical conductor were obviously having a good time, but I wasn’t. Then the singer came on. Paul Kuhn is very elderly, and is apparently ‘a legend’ in Germany. Sorry, I’ve no time for that sort of thing. If an artist can’t do it anymore why should I pay good money to be disgusted by him. The most obvious American songs sung with iffy pitch and no quality …
It is many, many years since I left a concert at half time. This was the night. Instead, into the Deutsche Oper restaurant for far too much of their good red wine and a delightful light supper of (oh gosh, what was it) …

The next day I was mildly dull, to say the least, but my friend Anna was coming for lunch so I hauled myself from my bed and … she couldn’t find the flat! And I don’t have a phone .. So (hallelujh!) our date was rescheduled for the next day and I went back to bed. And the next day we had a nice little lunch and a big chat at the Café Berio ..

Rendez-vous the next day with Olli and Hannes, and Friday … back to the Deutsche Oper. But not for a show. Frank was going to give me a tour of the backstage. Now, I’ve seen loads of backstages in my life and career, I practically lived in them for a decade, but this one was a Big Boy. Rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, scenery stores, rooms for costumes, wigs, hats …even shoes … Up into the flies … down to the machinery under the stage, on to the stage where Tosca was shoved to one side to make space for the night’s Roméo et Juliette ballet ... so many stairs for wobbly me, but I was really interested, so I did it.

Home for a quick snooze, because at 6.30 I had another date. My best cavalier, Olli, picked me up and we headed right back to Deutsche Oper! Well, its only 4 stops on the U-Bahn. And again, not for a show. Paul GB and Uwe live just a hundred metres from the theatre, and they were making us dinner. The price for dinner was my now well-known photographic skills. Chuckle. They needed a duo portrait for a magazine. So my friendly Fuji was riding shot gun.

Delicious couscous dinner, gallons of wine, endless (very) good cheer and comradeship, and my photos weren’t at all wobbly! But I was glad to have my cavalier at 1.30am!

And again the next day! For Saturday was the ‘key’ to the season and the first fixed point I made when planning the points in my summer. April 16th was the wedding day of my dear ‘joli Tom’, composer Thomas Zaufke, and his longtime partner, Pablo. 110 people for a sit-down dinner, endless jollity and .. yes, endless wine! .. The whole evening was beautifully laid out … three cheers for Wedding-Planner, Helga! ... and the La Luz restaurant a wonderful venue for a party. And we were all sorts of a mixture! Family (I fell in love with Pablo’s beautiful mother!), neighbours, work colleagues, friends … and everyone had to be photographed with the happy couple ..
Fuji did his thing and … well, never has a photo of mine received so many facebook ‘Likes’!

After 4 hours and something, I left Olli and Hannes to it, and the happy couple to what was obviously going to be a very late night, and taxi-ed home to my cosy flat. Well, one has to behave like a 66-year-old occasionally!

And it wasn’t over yet. The next day was the occasion of the famous Motzstrasse Street Party. The Motzstrasse, I must add is adjacent to the Nollendorfstrasse. What is this Street Party? It is a very large, very well-known Gay Event. Last time I was here, I shut myself in the flat for the day and night, at the thought of several thousand gays en masse, but this time .. the sun was out, Hannes – a perfect cicerone for such an occasion as he seems to know the whole of gay Berlin! – was coming by, so out I went. With my walking stick. Because the crowds were enormous. You could do little more than shuffle amid the mass of humanity between the rows of booths and stalls. We had a beer and a good pizza and watched the world go by, and I was struck by several facts (1) where were the teenagers? the endless couples and groups of mostly men were largely 30 plus, and (2) where was the outrageous and merry fetish stuff the area is/was known for? and (3) where were the smiles! This was supposed to be fun! It reminded me of Sitges, full of holidaying American gays having a horrible time.
Well, I found my hero. A little bit of leather, a terrific smile and busily cheffing on the Fetish (not very!) stall. My friend, you were the star of the Party!

A couple of hours and I was able to wander the few hundred metres home … and by the time Hannes and his pal came by to say goodnight I was already in my djellaba .. the most madly social week of my recent years was ended ..

And I have had a day of rest! I’ll need it, because the out-of-towners start coming back Wednesday, and tomorrow I have a date … yes, there are still some pals I haven’t caught up with! And, heavens its 9.30 pm, boiling hot, daytime light … yes, the 21 June is near! Time for a glass of Sprudelwasser Gerolstein … and then, maybe, a curl up under (or on top of) my red and white check duvet …

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