I had rather random thing happen as a result of going to a needlework fair in Dusseldorf in 1988. It was the year before the Berlin Wall came down.
It is a long story, but I was working a show in Germany and met an English lady called Rosalind Parnell who was there as an interpreter for a German designer. Some months later, I asked Rosalind to accompany me to Germany for another stitching event where she was my translator. Rosalind’s husband was working in Berlin and was suddenly taken very ill and was admitted to hospital in Berlin. We flew to Berlin to see him straightaway and thankfully found him much improved, so much so that we ended up with some spare time to explore the city.
Obviously, things had become much more relaxed politically and we were able to travel though Checkpoint Charlie and drive around East Berlin. It is difficult to put into words, but it was like entering a black and white world and the pollution and car fumes were unbelievable. I did have my passport stamped and the only sad thing was that Bill did not share the experience.
In 2016 I returned, this time with Bill, and found it a very different and even more fascinating place. I must admit that after three days of visiting the museums, the no-man’s land memorial and the Holocaust memorial, I was definitely in need of something lighter and more frivolous so persuaded Bill to take me to the antique quarter where I was able to find pieces of Berlin woolwork embroidery.
I bought a beautiful piece with beaded decoration, but it has taken me until now to decide what to do with it. I have finally had this exquisite piece of Victoriana made into a delicious little cushion – all it needs now is a lovely new home!