Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
My setting is the former GDR. My wife grew up there (she was sixteen when the wall came down) and I myself made several trips behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ during the 1980s, when there still was one. So it’s a world that’s been part of my world, in one way or another, for some time. But that’s not enough. Reality is made up of small details, but so much has changed in East Germany over the past twenty years, it’s quite a business rebuilding it, little piece by little piece.
And then there’s the issue of what it actually felt like to live there.
Yet people lived, or tried to live, normal lives: to maintain friendships, to harbour ambitions, to raise children. How easy was that? What kind of psychological adaptations (or contortions) were necessary? Or was it possible – indeed easy – to ignore the nature of the system, or to accept it?
After the Wall came down, the
Once I was content to know all this only in outline. But now it's too valuable a resource to ignore. All the same, I’m not sure how I feel about turning up in
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
I admit to not being very good at enforcing Leo’s boundaries, though I try to do my share. His strength is considerable, and his vocals could raise the roof off the Albert Hall. At the same time, he has such an appetite for life, such an obvious delight in the world around him, that it’s almost impossible to tell him off without breaking into a smile.
Of course, one day Leo’s misadventures won’t be my responsibility. He will have learned to respect the borders, herbaceous and otherwise. He will probably prefer not to be carried up to bed and tickled when he gets there, nor to fall asleep while holding on to my ear.