Deer Dale

And to think I was childishly pleased to see the three deer from the tram near Edinburgh Airport on Friday morning. I should have realised.

There was a stag party on my plane. Stephen was getting married. I’ve no idea who Stephen was, but I shocked Daughter by mentioning the best man by name. Dale. ‘How do you know?’ she wailed. Well, it was on his t-shirt, wasn’t it? If I met any of these stags on their own, I’m sure I’d find them as charming as, well, as anyone I meet. But together they were a noisy lot, rather drunk, and needed to go to the toilet very frequently. (I usually reserve that last activity for myself.)

We had a pleasant couple of days in the German capital, Daughter and I. Well, there was the nightly serenading outside our window I suppose; first from the karaoke, and later the happy groups of people ‘just passing by.’ Like the group of English people singing [surprisingly well] at four am. The acoustics were great down there, between the tall buildings. Made the singing really stand out.

I found myself lying in bed, wondering if that was what winning the war had been about. Making travelling to stag weekends in Berlin affordable, or enabling nightly singing in Berlin streets. And what effect will Brexit have on this wine, women and song stuff?

After mentioning M M Kaye’s Death in Berlin on Friday, I decided to reread the book. I always thought it was her weakest romantic whodunnit, and that opinion still stands. It was interesting to read from the purely Berlin point of view, though. Saturday morning found us standing more or less where the heroine was, in the Soviet part of the park, watching that woman behave suspiciously with that man. The fictional characters. Not us. That was quite fun.

We had drinking problems, too. As in how to get proper tea, with milk. After a highly unusual tea and cake session where we discovered – not surprisingly – that green tea with hot milk just doesn’t cut it, we tried to work out how to ask for black tea, as opposed to green, which is then to be made not black by the addition of milk, preferably cold. In German.

On a Sunday, when you don’t get ‘any’ open shops, you still find plenty of shops open, selling alcohol, juice, fizzy drinks, chocolate, postcards, etc. Just not milk. But it is perfectly possible to drink that black tea black. Not as nice, but perfectly possible.

A half marathon on the Sunday sent us to the zoo. When it looked like most of our potential routes anywhere would be blocked by runners, we walked the five minutes to the zoo and spent the morning looking at sad elephants and sad chimpanzees. And a panda.

Also antelopes and the head of a polar bear.

When it was time for your Witch to fly home again, by plane rather than broom, she discovered that the stags seemed to have survived the weekend and were ready to fly home with her, nicely lubricated. I recognised Dale, even without his t-shirt (=he was wearing something else), and the cute stag who actually had hair, unlike most of today’s young men, and who looked exactly as I have imagined Mary Hoffman’s Lucien, from City of Masks.

But I’d rather have flown home without them.

Berlin

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