We no longer do the big 4th party which is a shame. The house suffers. As an aid to house work, nothing works like inviting friends and neighbors round in broad daylight. So instead I can celebrate the Fourth by sitting, doing a blog. But first fight the feeling of how self important and time-wasting my whole blog thing is, rather like my attitude to housework, because everyone and their angry cat is dropping smart jokes and funny pictures all over the Internet. I should stick to my generation, (Generation Why aren't you married?) and celebrate home and all the nice old wooden furniture we have, ( mostly from the swap meet,) which gleams so gratefully, if ever I polish it.Which brings us to Berlin.
We spent two days in Berlin a week or so ago and I was riveted, checking every building, every facade. For I am also the "We will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the air..." generation, and the moonscape of Berlin, 1945. And the names: the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall.
Everywhere I rejoiced on seeing any old walls, windows, little extras on balconies and corners, like builders used to do. Hoping inside the old furniture had survived, the plates with flowers on them, the sweet little creamers you get in the thrift stores, with garlands and gilt edges, "Made in Germany."
Berlin is now Seattle, West Coast. Half the city on bikes, enjoying the June sunlight, leaving municipal flower borders to weeds and country flowers, a little sign telling you why, a reminder the Green Party is biggest in Germany. And outside our hotel window a blackbird singing in a tree, something I haven't heard since England.