Went for a long wander in the forest with a local acquaintance to guide me. We climbed Berlin’s highest peak, which sounds more dramatic than it is. The lake is called Muggelsee and I had to use actions rather than words to explain what is a muggins, or muggles, in English: the kind of affectionate puzzlement you might feel while rubbing someone’s whole face with the palm of your hand. We stopped among some very tall birch trees and they were tinkling & tingling with tiny tiny sound. Very far up there was a hole, in the bole of the trunk. My companion pointed. “In that hole,” he said. “Bird kids.”
~ Four years ago today, I was shown a slight rise in flat as an omelette Berlin. I fell in love with a man who loves birds and since then we’ve been working it out. There is a German word for the displaced denizens of the East who feel a painful craving for the lost Ost: they combine it with ‘nostalgia’ to reach Ostalgie.