Friday, 16 March 2012

I found a penny!

This day a whole year ago, I decided to see what would happen if I picked up all the pennies I saw on the ground. I was to put all the pennies in a jar.

As I suspect happens with many a loopy personal quest, I developed some rules along the way:

(1) if you spot a penny but picking it up would put you in genuine physical danger; or

(2) if the company that you're in would make it just too personally excruciating to duck down and grovel on the floor for a single penny,

then you're allowed to take the equivalent money out of your purse and pop it in the pot.


I've learnt that sometimes chewing gum can masquerade as a 2 pence piece (oh yes, there have been some near misses) and that whilst most people are happy to magnanimously indulge a girl who stoops to scoop up coins, some people are actually mortally offended by it and say so out loud.

I've learnt that people mainly drop 1p or 5p. But sometimes they drop whole pound coins. And once they drop a FIVE POUND NOTE.


Now I'm going to double it and give the lot to a charity. I haven't completely decided which one but I think it feels appropriate to give it to someone who works with London's homeless community. I'll update once I've found the right place.

It might be tricky to give the habit up - so perhaps I'll see you back here this time next year!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Berlin - Sonnenschein, eine Giraffe und ein Zirkus

In answer to Thursday's question, it turns out that a girl needs quite a lot of photos of shadows and graffiti and bare branches and paley, pinky, primrosy, prettyanduglyatonce buildings. If you don't like any of these things, look away now because they are about to come atcha in bulk.

Berlin is a great place. It is what it is. It gets on with it and expects you to do your own thing. We did.

We trawled flea markets and drank coffee in the sunshine. One of us ate smoked fish at brunch while the other one made yuck faces. We took photos of pigeons underneath bridges and stumbled upon a deserted circus at sunset. A castle was shut on a Tuesday but Berlin offered us a zoo instead - giraffes are so much friendlier than dead royalty anyway. We talked about graffiti and whether it was beautiful. We travelled the right way on the S Bahn every time except once. I wished for a bungalow in Hansaviertal. We spent hours photographing the mirrors in the Reichstag dome and a couple of minutes striking silly poses at the Brandenburg Gate. We ate Vietnamese soup and shrimp paper rolls. We got tipsy and gossipy on prosecco and giggled a lot. We made plans and then did something else. We had a lovely time.

Berlin, wir lieben Sie.

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