March started with a Jazz Brunch with Gaby and Mathias, to which Gabi had invited us. Mathias is the head of a Rowing club in Berlin and this was one of their fundraisers. While there we talked to some older people, one of whom was a photographer in London his whole life, specialised in American sized passport photos. It was a fascinating conversation, as you can imagine he photographed all sorts of celebrities over the years!

After the event we decided to go for a bit of a walk along the river, when we stumbled across this massive abandoned building.
Now, anyone that knows me knows that I’m not one to break rules. You could put a sign up saying “please only stand on one leg here” and I would probably do it. Manja on the other hand is fabulously rascal-spirited and sees things like “Don’t enter” as though it says “Enter here”. If there isn’t a big razor-wired fence to re-enforce the point, they are probably not serious.

As we walked across a fallen construction fence, I said “Funny, the facade reminds me of the old BLUB”, which was like a massive waterpark in the center of Berlin as I grew up. That was all it took for Manja to drag me into the building. I may or may not have squeaked.

As we entered, it became clear that it actually was the place. It was amazing to walk through it, and on the way back we checked out the history.  Turns out the place had a problem with a rat-plague, which infested the whole waterpark from a nearby river causing it to close down initially. They were not able to get it under control on the lower floors, but re-opened the upper floors as a modern spa for a few years before running out of money. It stood empty for quite a while until eventually a fire started inside, collapsing the roof of the largest pool hall. I would have NEVER done this on my own, and I am so thankful that I got to see this.

The following weekend started to get a bit more quiet as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in Berlin. On Saturday we spent some time outside and attempted to go shopping – with that weird feeling of shelves cleared out by people hoarding. So we did what any responsible person would do, we baked a plum strudel.

On Sunday we headed over to Ilkas for the afternoon. On the train Manja randomly found a snail, and took it back to the garden for a second chance in life.  We cut back a tree and Manja spent more time  in the garden while Ilka and I played guitar inside where it was warm 😅

We actually wanted to do gardening more regularly again in March; every Sunday in fact. But that was not to be. By the second weekend we started to self-isolate, spending the time sorting out the cellar and storage instead. By week three we were spending the whole week in Home Office, leaving only for grocery shopping and the occasional walk in the park in the afternoon.

As everyone caught on eventually, Germany went into lockdown with Coronavirus. Over here this meant that we spent most of our time at home and that we moved all of our social gatherings online.  We did occasionally visit Ilka in her garden and go for a bike ride to various areas just to get out and get a bit of exercise. We also got some surprise snow a few times – Odin was not impressed.