July 16, 2016
May 1, 2016
We woke up on the 41st floor, surrounded by light (the kind of light that black-out blinds would have dealt with nicely thank you very much. I mean come on! It’s a bleeding glass box that is high enough up to practically be level with the flippin’ sun. And I was exhausted. Stupid light). This was our second day in New York. Or maybe our third if you count the day we landed I suppose. In any event, we were in New York and this was the day that Ralph was coming to hang out with us and we were going to smooch Sooz again…
And the sun was shining. Did I mention that already? Amélie decided to do some stretches on the waterfront while we waited for Ralph.Obviously, I had my camera with me. But I noticed something in New York: I’m clearly far too shy with my camera. I saw people actually climbing over complete strangers to get a good shot. This guy (below) was in the musician’s face for as long as we were standing there (which was a while) and in all that time, this is the furthest he got from him. The rest of the time, his lens was practically touching his face. No manners, I tell you! Young people these days. Tut!In front of the Met…… where we spent not nearly enough time but got to visit a fair amount of the museum thanks to a series of urgent hunts for the loo (they are surprisingly far apart – but nice views on the way).I wasn’t going to stop, I honestly wasn’t. But Ralph and Sooz wanted pictures… Really, that’s the only reason..Ahh! And finally a picture of two of my favorite people. I mean that very seriously. These guys are amazing and the more I look at these pictures, the more I’m grateful for the time we got to spend together. They are truly magical, lovely, kind, funny, smart, beautiful people. I know this because my children loved them and they are good judges of character! How ridiculous is that light? Look, Sooz’s glasses even got all steamed up about it!The giggles these two shared over Snapchat… Good times! Good times indeed. Can you see Charlie’s bird friend? They sat and chatted for at least 5 minutes with the bird hopping after him whenever he got up. I think he may have had a pocketful of pretzel crumbs as bait, but still… My little bird whisperer.Ralph, director of photography, trying to get Charlie into shot? Or maybe he was just telling him not to run down the side of the big rock (yes he did eventually fall anyway – it was almost so inevitable that I didn’t even bother to intervene). Spot the Charlie head poking up from behind the rocks. I love how happy he is in how own little world.
Hello? Yes, I’ve found a lone photographer wandering around the park… What’s that? The lost property office? Ok, we’ll be there soon. Have I mentioned that my children loved Sooz? Head over heals, both of them. Oh yeah, and Ralph too. But doesn’t he know it?! Look at that faceAnd finally, waiting for a table at the Brooklyn Dinner where we were served the biggest (and ever so slightly inappropriate) hotdogs ever.And finally not where we ate, but pretty flowers.Twas one of the best days ever. Sigh. Let’s do it again sometime. What do you say Ralph? Sooz?
April 16, 2016
From our room with a view to views from the High Line, from a slaughtered lamb to the deli of Han, from the subway to the PATH, from strong light at midday to a candlelit dinner, this was our second day in New York city.
January 10, 2016
We went for a long walk in the countryside. It was a little muddy. And then it got dark. Really quickly. And we walked the last couple of kilometers feeling more than seeing our way back to the car. It was fun (with hindsight).
November 13, 2015
OK, so day 3 started with me spotting this lovely backdrop of red which, as it turns out, was the garden of the North Korean embassy. Hanno waited until I had my camera out and then told Amélie that they’d probably come and shoot us for taking pictures. Amélie is incredibly gullible, thus the rather uncomfortable look on her face and Hanno’s evil, cheeky grin. It may be his way of protesting my constant photo-taking.This is Berlin’s New Synagogue. Amazingly, and in part thanks to one brave soul (local police officer Otto Bellgardt who dispersed a Nazi mob and allowed the fire brigade to extinguish the fire that had been started), it survived Kristallnacht in 1938. Unfortunately, it was then mostly destroyed during the Allied bombing of the Battle of Berlin towards the end of the war. The irony is painful. And that was the Holocaust Memorial. It is such an amazing place: overwhelming, claustrophobic, disorienting and scary. The big grey plinths swallow you up as you walk into the centre, towering over you at slightly uneasy angles, blocking your view of the outside world. You feel small, lost, helpless and alone. But what I found most poignant was that you don’t get any inkling of that from the outside. From the outside, it looks simple, unintimidating, regimented perhaps, neat and tidy. In fact, standing on the periphery, you wonder what all the fuss is about… And then you realise: maybe that’s the point. No-one did know. No-one cared to look close enough. You could only know the horror from the inside.
This was our first time in Berlin so I don’t know if it’s always this beautiful, but autumn sure does suit it. The Fernsehturm, built by the communists during the Cold War. It was apparently erected at the same time that many churches were being destroyed in a movement against religion and religious symbolism. It stands 368m tall and, when the sun shines on it, a gigantic cross appears on the ball. That wasn’t intended but apparently brought a wry smile to many East Berliners at the time.Have I mentioned (on day 2 perhaps) how spacious Berlin felt. The light and skies were amazing. Proof:On our way back to the hotel… Charlie, who for years, refused to walk anywhere and had to be carried instead, has taken to running everywhere with leaps and jumps and superhero “POW!” “BIFF!” “BANG!” sound effects. It is quite possibly one of the best things ever. On this particular walk, he had recovered an empty water bottle from one of our bags and proceeded to fight evil with it…
As the light caught in the bottle it reminded me of a lightsaber and so… well… I kinda had to didn’t I? Bonne nuit Berlin!