Back in Berlin

I am back in Berlin, looking after my much neglected bookshop. Once again the 'super-simple' window decoration I had in mind turned out to be a three day project, during which time I turn into Miss Grumpy and it is best if no one speaks to me. The result is attracting customers though. The ones I have chased off during those three days may dare to come back eventually, too. I hope.

Anyway, so here I am behind my 'Nobel-Prize' window, looking at the rain. I was about to complain about the wheather but have realized that I have revoked the right to do so when it came to me that I have spent 12 weeks freediving in hot places this summer. I guess I have used up my entire share of sun for one year, and am now condemned to darkness until January 1. Too bad for the rest of the people in Berlin.

After having lots of fun diving deep, with some new German records and a PB in constant weight (finally hit 60m, hurrah!) I am now supposed to train in the pool for the upcoming competition in Eindhoven. I am beginning to be convinced that pooltraining has been jinxed for me - whenever I want to go, something happens and I can't get out of work, or have to travel somewhere or similar. How to improve? Maybe start monofinning in my bathtub...thoughts?


Meanwhile, I managed to get to the pool at Down Under in Berlin yesterday. Thomas Schaal's dive center has a 4m deep private pool on the premesis which they kindly let us use to do some tests for a WWF event I am involved in. As divers, we naturally want to support the world wildlife fund in it's efforts to protect the underwater world. They have a new project: to highlight the problems with unwanted catch (bycatch) in commercial fishing, which plays a big part in the depletion of many endangered species. Next Monday the campaign kicks off with a press conference/ media event at a pool here in Berlin: six freedivers get turned into seacreatures by bodypainting artists and are caught in a net, which the press can see/photograph through an underwater window.

In answer to the question what kind of a seacreature I might be turned into, my charming friends suggested things such as dugong, seahorse and some kind of worm dwelling in the tideflats. Lovely. Anyway, two artists came to test which paint might stay on in the chlorine infested waters of a public pool and which might not - they painted me with all kinds of samples. I looked vaguely like a whaleshark, or maybe like the man from mars. Most of the paint stayed on. When I say 'stayed on', I mean it. Don't think that stuff that survives the pool chemicals just comes off with soap. Bits of me are still green and I have resigned myself to looking more the part of the fish-woman (apparently a mermaid is not an endangered species - damn)than ever for the time being. Watch the news on Monday and see me play the part of a huge whale.


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