Friday, 16 September 2011
We came, we saw, we conkered.
Autumn is definitely on it's way. The streets of Berlin are beginning to tell us. In this city of avid smokers, in amongst the cigarette butts strewn all over the pavements, leaves are starting to appear. Leaves and those little helicopter things, and nuts and stuff for squirrels to scoff (when they're not cycling and smoking at the same time). In a little digression, I saw a woman cycling the other day while smoking with a baby in a papoose on her front and a toddler in the child seat on the back. That's multi-tasking Berliner style.
Everything is starting to change. The light is different, and jackets are starting to be worn (yes, yes, I know the German's were wearing fleeces under their jackets even during summer, but we're talking about Scottish people with good circulation). There are tiny baby pumpkins sneaking on to the outdoor tables of the florists shops, and ginormous stalls appearing in the markets selling socks, piled high in every colour of the desaturated slightly sludgey rainbow.
But more than that, it's conker season. Hamish and I have been on the prowl. He doesn't understand my excitement at discovering them under trees. I gasp "Oh. My. God! That's massive!!" as we race to collect them. In my mind, it is just sheer chance that we have discovered them before anyone else has, and nabbed the lot. Hamish is more discerning. He's looking for ones still in their casing, and the best ones are those which come with two or sometimes three in the one 'shell'. His joy comes from finding 'a mummy, a daddy, and a baby'. But so far we've only come across a couple of other people collecting conkers. There are huge conkers lying around under trees just glistening and calling for people to stuff their pockets with. How can this be? Don't they know there should be battles taking place between children (and adults alike who remember the thrill of finding the best conkers)? I fear I will never understand Berliners.