Monday, 10 September 2012

What's OCD in German...?

I'm not the neatest person ever to walk this earth but I like order and I like to plan things. I think this is something that has developed as I've got older. I don't like surprises. I like to know what's coming and I take great comfort from sticking to a schedule; it makes me feel secure. Some might say I take this to the point of obsession.

Take holidays, for instance. Many of you will know that I like to plan my runs using Google Earth. And my forthcoming trip to Berlin has not escaped this treatment. I've managed to plan one run which takes me along the Spree and past the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate and I'm already looking at alternative routes, should that one prove a little busy. Another thing I like to do before a holiday is plan my schedule of things I'd like to see.

At the moment, I'm planning my Berlin schedule; flicking through my guidebook, scouring the internet and talking to friends who have already visited. Below is an aspirational list of things that I'd like to see in Berlin and I've already started to shoehorn this schedule into the eight days that I'm there.

I have a spreadsheet called Berlin Itinerary with every day split into 3 periods: morning, afternoon and evening. Each day I open my spreadsheet and shuffle the items below to try and get a more efficient fit. Could this be OCD or what?

If there's anything I've missed that you think I really should see, let me know and I'll try squeeze it in. Here's the list so far...
Olympic Stadium
Le Corbusier House
Schloss Charlottenberg
Bahnhof Zoo
Museum of Photography
Story of Berlin
Neues Ufer
Bauhaus Museum
Berliner Philhamoniker – Eroica
Berliner Dom
Pergamon Museum
Alte Nationalgalerie
Altes Museum
DDR Museum
Alexander Platz
Real Berlin Experience
Eastside Gallery
Schloss Sanssouci
Sanssouci Picture Gallery
Neues Palais
Chinesisches Haus
Schloss Charlottenhof
Neue Nationalgalerie
Festival of Lights – Opening Ceremony
Festival of Lights – Lightship Tour
Pariser Platz
Brandenburg Gate
Unter Den Linden
Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum
Jüdischen Museum
Berlinische Galerie
Stasi Exhibition
Gay Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

1 Year Ago:Nevermind being Googled, I've been Street Viewed...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Don't Rain On My Parade (III)...

And so, after a rather damp Bristol Pride and a less than sunny Manchester Pride, Yahweh saw fit to bless Cardiff Mardi Gras with wall to wall sunshine on Saturday. Surely, if God agreed with Cardinal O'Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, that gay marriage is a grotesque subversion, he wouldn't have given us such a glorious day.

Maybe, instead, he chose to punish us in other ways; by ensuring that the the bar prices at the Mardi Gras were sky high whilst the quality of entertainment was abysmally low. I could've endured the worthy speeches had they been punctuated by something interesting to keep me occupied in between. However, some children dancing and someone from S Club 7 lip-synching and dancing rather badly just wasn't enough to keep me going. Indeed, the only thing that did sustain me was the excellent company.

In the end, despite the prohibitive prices, the alcohol won out. I was, by late afternoon, wide-eyed and legless. The promise of Heather Small topping the bill was, I have to say, a stretch too far. I had to be assisted off the field and, in an attempt to revive me, taken for something to eat at a restaurant in the town centre where I accidentally set fire to my napkin (or so I'm told).

I look forward to a better Mardi Gras in Cardiff next year where fast track queues for ticket holders move quicker than the queues for non-ticket holders, where there's a better show of entertainment throughout the day, where alcohol is priced fairly and there's more of a choice, where the food is a little more varied than chips with everything and where I'm not getting collared every 30 seconds by someone wanting me to complete a bloody survey. Having had my bitch, I must say that I'm pleased it happened and I'm glad I went. We all had a lot of fun.

1 Year Ago:A period of re-adjustment...