Back to Base

Nicholas Quirke was feeling watched on 18th May 2018 as he had visited the Stasi Museum in Berlin and was a little more than spooked by the procedures employed by the Security Police of Eastern Germany. He had started the day early and  despite only having 3 hours sleep felt well-adjusted. He knew though that he would pay for it later.  He fully researched replacing the broken part of the fridge and contacted the manufacturers for a replacement, though he wished the incident had not taken place, he did feel quite pleased with himself for having resolved his clumsiness. He could not however feel happy about the cracked screen of his I-pad which would have to wait till he returned home to be corrected. Once Kim was awake they made plans for breakfast, though Alistair declined to join them. It was new venue and Nicholas felt particularly hungry as he had only eaten a side salad and some chips for his evening meal, having a vegan rye bread tofu sandwich and a peanut power smoothie would fill that gap. Once again he was saying goodbye to Kim in a foreign town and separation anxiety overcame them both. Visiting the Stasi Museum, housed in the buildings used by the secret police took Nicholas and Alistair out of the city centre to a bleak soviet bloc vista. The museum proved to be fascinating, uncompromising visit to the a time before the Iron Curtain came down. It was exciting to see the world from the alternative perspective and it was both bewildering and chilling to understand why they bothered with this immense, complex and cruel organisation. It was also wonderful to walk through the authentic offices and spaces inhabited by the Stasi’s seniors, it really was like being in another world. The bleak surroundings of the Lichtenberg area offered no pleasant lunching option so they returned to Prenzlauer Berg and dined at Vietnamese. It was time for Nicholas to return home to base, he had experienced the city from a view of the past and he felt there was a contemporary Berlin that he had largely ignored which meant he would have to return to enjoy its rich and varied culture. He took the train to the airport through another strange and unreal vista and felt disappointed that he had packed his cameras away and could not capture views he was seeing. The airport process was completely second nature to him now and the journey to UK shores was easy and calm. He was used to the unfriendliness of plane travelers so it was nice, on this occasion to find himself between a Dutch brother and sister, flying to the UK to celebrate their parents 25th wedding anniversary. He was relieved he had booked long-term parking and could drive himself home rather than catch trains in the middle of the night. Finally back at base he took himself to bed to prepare for his long Royal Wedding Saturday in London,



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