My Berlin Airlift

One thing that has already happened with ‘blogging everyday’ rather than just ‘writing everyday’ is the ‘getting started bit’ – I thought it might start with a title, I have read soooooo many pages that say you need to start with a title. For me, at this moment in time it starts wherever it starts – because starting is half done. I have been walking around for about 30 minutes now getting ready to start.

I am saying that out loud because for me stupid things always become even more stupid and then vanish when I share them, that is why working on my own at home sent me mad. There was no one t bounce ideas off or confess something stupid like taking 45 minutes to decide which cheese to go with in my sandwich. 45 minutes? And then sometimes in the name of research I would look up “which cheese goes best with honey roasted ham”. After making the sandwich, which I made with such love and care you’d think someone was going to pay £8.00 for it, I’d really clean the kitchen so if #supercoolwife asked how today went I’d be able to look her in the eye and say ‘I got stuff done’ – I’d always listen to a book or a podcast while doing it so at least I felt 10% productive.

Then OuiShare and 90 Mainyard landed in my life, or maybe I landed in theirs? Then when we all met in Berlin in May OuiShare and 90 Mainyard connected by themselves and – as dumb as it sounds – realised all this was not something that happened in my head. Just before The OuiShare Summit in Berlin we’d been working on OuiShare Fest in Paris, at this point in my life I was just getting mended in my head and the biggest thing I’d done outside of making a sandwhich and cleaning my kitchen had been OuiShare Fest.

Berlin Airlift

By the time we got to Berlin and spend a few days sitting around talking about the collaborative economy and how the community was going I was had stopped thinking I was still in a dream or having a flashback and got stuck in. It was brilliant to have Elena and Tori along for the ride too, it felt like we could take some of this energy back to London between us and we did.

A few weeks later Pepe, the Chef from Agora in Berlin was cooking at the UK Food Assembly launch at the Number 90 Bar and Restaurant which is part of the 90 Mainyard family. You could not ask Pepe for a recipe for what he does, I am not sure you could ask many of us for a process, recipe, cookie cutter for what we do, I’ll talk about Pepe as he is the best, in fact he is worth a post on his own and there is one somewhere I’ll link to it here.

Friday Night Lunch

Every Friday Pepe asks people to bring in what is left in their fridges and he also goes around the local super markets and picks up food that is still good but not ‘good enough to sell’ AND THEN he sets up a table in the cafe at Agora and people wander up, cut up what ever they like in any shape they like and then pass it to him to cook with.

This goes on and on and Pepe – somehow – makes some of the most delicious food I have EVER tasted in my life from random leftovers and no menu planning, oh and if you want you can dive in the kitchen and help. At the end of lunch Fran summed it up by asking the group “How was lunch?” Everyone made sounds of satisfaction combined with awe, she then asked “does anyone know what they just ate?” No one did – accept that it was vegetarian.

We can be Heroes 

I’d always wanted to go to Berlin, if I had gone there and just drunk beer and gone to an art gallery to clear my hangover I think I would have missed out. Being thrown in a collaborative coworking space, sleeping on an authors floor, spending days debating OuiShare with people from all over Europe, eating a lunch cooked by Pepe (and anyone standing nearby) rounded of with a pop up BBQ and disco at a disused airfield I was as close as I was going to get to a David Bowie ‘Heroes’ experience.

I am happy to share that I arrived in Berlin with deeper sense of respect for what could be created because I grew up connecting the music of Bowie and Iggy Pop with Berlin.

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