Stroke Bloke and The Fabulous Beth spent Thursday and Friday nights
in Düsseldorf, Germany…

Ja, denn ich liebe die Schwarzweißfotos!

…and our little break means a pause in considering how countries relate a vision of themselves through anthems (1, 2). ‘Cos that’s a big subject, as illustrated by The Prof’s awesome comment to last week’s post.

As we dashed headlong through Düsseldorf, I was instead reminded of #strokier posts. And, indeed, a tweet tweeted from my bed at The Hospital for Joint Diseases during my in-house rehabilitation:

Kinda wish Twitter would retain the profile pics that were in effect at the time of old tweets. That’s clearly not Stroke Bloke 1.0 in the embedded tweet.

End of the year? Good luck with that, mate.

Anyway, I don’t think we hit that madly ambitious goal. My brain was probably still broke when I posted it.

But it wasn’t as madly ambitious as what has since transpired. Moving to Edinburgh. Completing the Islay half-marathon. Performing at the Book Festival with Nerd Bait and Illicit Ink. Completing my Masters in Creative Writing. And not least, having T.F.B. around to indulge all this stuff!

I’ve written in greater detail about the importance of narrative and positivity (where available) previously: I Was Orwell’s Heir.

#2: Can the patient raise both arms? (photo credit, @chrisdonia)

It’s been supercool to have these unexpected things come to pass. It really helps maintain a positive mindset – as well as make the decisions that will help similar things happen in the future. So when Beth suggested that we buy a voucher for a mystery trip in Europe, I was all like

Sure, that sounds like fun!

The moment I realised “deeply disturbing” wasn’t a recommendation.

The message came back that our trip would be to Düsseldorf. I knew next to nothing about Düsseldorf. But it turns out…

  1. The wonderful, Brooklyn-ny and New York Times-recommended Bar Alexandra served up great cocktails just around the corner from our hotel.

    Hey! It’s like Brooklyn, but the Cheese Puffs taste of peanuts!
  2. You can take a romantic stroll through the Hofgarten and find an Art Palace!

    Der Kunstpalast – sehr Deutsch
  3. The Rhein bank is dominated by the Rheinturm (above). You can get a cocktail at the top of that, too.

    Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn
  4. And if you can decode the street signs…

    Kraftwerk ist hier
  5. …you can find your way to the original location of the legendary and secretive Kraftwerk’s original Kling Klang Studio.

    No, you can’t have a synth for The Prof – we’re closed!

It’s a lot to pack in, really.

But next week, my batteries will be recharged for a return to national anthems.


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4 thoughts on “Intermission

  1. Ahh, the treffpunkt sign. That was the word wasn’t it?

    I am saddened that you couldn’t buy some impractical bit of kit in the kraftwerk gift shop. But do you still have the critter and guilliani mini synth?

    1. It is! Although I hadn’t gotten around to following up on my curiosity to confirm that it was, in fact, a meeting place. So thanks for that. And my laziness – or post-stroke fatigue issues ;o) – means that I missed out on a great wordplay opportunity. Something about it being the Treffpunkt sign, but there are five of Die Toten Hosen.

      Ach, but what’s the Punkt?

      We do still have the mini synth. Will have to dig that out from the post-move detritus!

  2. Funnily enough, we have those “assembly point” signs here – often labeled in one or two languages as an “assembly point” and they’ve confused me for years even with a label. A lot of them are located at pump stations.

    I’ve always wondered what they were for and no one’s ever been able to tell me when I asked. Your pic spurred me to Google a few minutes. So apparently you gather there in case of emergency? Well communicated, that. And that’s the ISO symbol, hence having the exact same ones here.

    Also do people actually ever meet at these meeting points? Or is everyone just rebelling de Certeau style against urban planning and refusing to use them?

    1. Perhaps oddly, given my emergent theory of the British peoples’ susceptibility to a particular type of softly-softly authoritarianism, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed an assembly point sign here. Or, at least, not a pictorial one. I did see one in a parking lot when dropping off Mrs Stroke Bloke the other day, but it was expressed in text. “Assembly Here in Case of Fire” or some such. I guess if you can’t speak the lingo, you can just wade back into the flames, Johnny Foreigner.

      Speaking of, have you even seen Mrs Stroke Bloke walking through an Ikea? Anti-authoritarian walking made flesh, mate.

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