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Too good not to share March 24, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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…in a temporary hiatus from events in Minsk. What a shame HRH Regina Fong,
last of the Romanoffs, is no longer with us. She could have taken this, which I’ve pilfered from fellow Berlin blogger Radio Free Mike and incorporated it into her show without reworking it in the slightest. Marvellous.



1. Geoff - March 24, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Thank you so much for that – that would have been 100% perfect for her. It’s a shame she’s not still with us to make the most of it.

2. BiB - March 25, 2006

Did you ever attend an evening with Regina Fong at the Black Cap? They were too marvellous. I don’t seem to be able to find any footage of one of her shows. Maybe she was never filmed…

3. Geoff - March 27, 2006

Only once in the Black Cap – far more often at the Two Brewers (i.e. the South London equivalent).

I also interviewed Reg (out of drag) while I was doing work experience for the BBC. It was my first interview, I was terrified of him, and I was useless. He was lovely though.

There must be footage somewhere, surely?

4. BiB - March 28, 2006

Well, not even on her site, mysteriously. Can her show have been lost to the annals of time?

Oh, I just fancy going to the Two Brewers now, although the beer here is so much better. (Dunno about the men.) Is it still going strong? It always seemed to be heaving with totty when I lugubriously made my way down to Clapham from Norf London a hundred years ago.

5. Geoff - March 28, 2006

Yes, the beer is one of the worst things about living in London compared to Germany.

The Two Brewers is still going strong, although not as busy as it was 5-10 years ago (can’t believe I’ve now been going there on and off for 11 years now), mainly because there is so much competition in south london – I am genuinely starting to feel like Clapham/Vauxhall/Brixton is the gayest place in the world.

How long ago did you leave London?

6. BiB - March 29, 2006

Gosh, it’s getting on for seven years. I’m genuinely worried I might NEVER make it back (although I think about it approximately twice a day).

What took you to Berlin? Can you tell me a Traumjob I should be doing while I’m here? Did you adore the place?

7. BiB - March 29, 2006

Love, fate and the cold war, I suppose. I studied Russian, went to Russia after my studies, inevitably fell in love with a Russian after five seconds, he, again inevitably, like any young(ish) Russian, wanted to get out of the place – and Russia’s a big place – and because of the cold war, the only western foreign language he knew was German. So it was the perfect East-West compromise, and we couldn’t end up in Dortmund or somewhere, so Berlin it was. Like you, I resisted the pleasures of the place for a good age. They’re beginning to rub off on me now, at last, but I am so chained to the computer these days that I might as well be living in Dortmund, actually, or Stevenage, come to that, for all the Berlinery things I get to do.

How glamorous of your parents to move to Berlin. Is there a German connection? Or was it just pure romance (or business)? (If it was business, make up a lie that it was romance, and that your parents are absinthe-swilling, chain-smoking, Otto-Dix-ian characters.)

8. Geoff - March 29, 2006

I (very reluctantly) moved to Berlin with my parents when I was 15, in 1989, and left when I was 18. I stubbonly resisted the appeal of the place for about a year before finally falling in love with it the summer after my GCSEs, and by the time we moved on I was absolutely gutted.

My big regret is that because I was so reluctant to move there in the first place, I was sent to boarding school in England rather than go to a local school, with the result that my German never improved above the very basic.

But the city still holds a very special place in my heart (and after having my, um, ‘formative experiences’ there, I still go weak at the knees whenever I hear a German accent).

I was always convinced I’d end up living back in Berlin at some point, although it’s feeling less likely now the older I get. What brought you there?

9. Geoff - March 29, 2006

Sadly it was business (although absinthe-swilling, chain-smoking certainly reminds me more of their children…) – my father was in the RAF, working (alongside the yanks, the french & the soviets – one of the few places in the world at the time where they all sat in the same office together) to help manage the air corridors that linked West Berlin to the rest of the world during the cold war.

The whole Belarus situation now particularly saddens my father – despite the official emnity, he became very good friends with one of the soviet officers from Belarus, who was so optimistic about the future when he left the army and returned home after the break-up of the USSR.

10. BiB - March 29, 2006

Kiss your dad for me. I’m (half-) heartbroken too at the difference between what Belarus is and what it could be.

I’m having slightly perverse (and highly unrealistic) images of your home in Berlin having a constant gaggle of staggeringly handsome and well-built uniformed soldiers strutting around it. And that the formative experiences you mention were with a platoon of young Russians. But then you mentioned German accents…

11. Geoff - March 30, 2006

To be honest, I sometimes have to stop reading the news as I get to upset at all the havoc that arrogant politicians cause around the world. The Belarus situation is particularly tragic though – although I do cling (perhaps optimistically) that it can only be a matter of time before things change.

I think most of my teenage years were spent *wishing* I had a platoon of well-built soldiers tramping around it. Although living on military bases meant even if they weren’t in my home, I was at least surrounded by them most of the time, which was rather pleasant, although somewhat frustrating for a teenage boy with hormones racing

12. BiB - April 1, 2006

Still, sounds like a nice dilemma to have had to put up with!

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