27 July, Berlin – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’
I’d never heard of a Trabi until today. They’re notoriously unreliable East German motorcars from the Communist era and, as with most things, nostalgia has kicked in and now people pay good money to drive around Berlin in a car they wouldn’t have been seen dead in 25 years ago. Tourists can embark on a “Trabi Safari” where they drive brightly painted Trabis in convoy around all the famous landmarks, and we’d signed up for our very own one with an ‘All Over The Place’ twist. Chris and I were in safari gear, complete with pith helmets, and I spent half the day grinding the gears of a car I hated to begin with but began to feel did actually have a certain charm.
What made it all slightly more difficult is that we had to perform a song as we drove along, with cars in front and behind filming us as we went. But apart from a spot of bother with the police at the Brandenburg Gate it all went quite smoothly and it was great to see so much of the city in the sunshine, especially the big strip of Berlin wall that we did some filming next to. Seeing it for real brings home how bonkers human beings can be sometimes. How they managed to keep a city divided in half like that for so long is quite astounding. It was strange while we were gooning around in front of it to think how much misery it must have brought to all the families and friends it tore apart.
Once that was in the bag we had to dress up as Victorians and head down to the river to film a sketch about Victorian photography, constantly pausing for the sound of not so Victorian trains, tour boats, vans and bikes passing by throughout. I’m sitting in the hotel now feeling quite dazed and thinking that it’s probably a good thing I’m going to be having a week off in a couple of days. I think I need some time for my central nervous system to recover from all the ridiculous things I end up doing on this show!