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Snowy Laube…..

Hi everyone, not much to say at the moment, so here’s some lovely pics of our Laube and Fichteweise in the snow….

 Our Laube in the Snow

Frozen River HavelOlivia & Christian's LaubeRiver Havel

Longtime, No Blogging!

Huge apologies for not blogging anything regarding the Laube for a long time.  There are two reasons for this, firstly, nothing happens at Laube Communities in the winter, and secondly, I’m currently thinking of completely changing this blog and making it more vintage knitting related…….

Anyway, below I’m going to post a series of photos taken around the Laube area during the middle of November.  I was there during the week, on a very misty day, preparing the Laube for it’s first Knitting Laube Day.  A few days later, I duly took three knitting friends over there.  They loved it.  So, more Knitting Laube Days to come as soon as the weather gets a bit better!

Above, the Laube in November.

Below, gorgeous acid-yellow leaves litter the ground.

A while ago, I promised to post up some old pictures showing how the laube community was whilst the Berlin wall was in place.

The first picture shows community members ringing a bell in the Berlin wall, to gain access to their laubes at Fichtewiese.  Note the wheelbarrow carrying stuff.  Anything the community members were transporting to their laubes had to be searched by the GDR guards…..

Ringing the wall bell

The door from the GDR side….

The door from the GDR side.

An aerial picture showing the route of the wall and the area behind the wall which was kept covered with sand and free of any plants, (that people might be able to hide behind).  The door is clearly visible.  The Fichtewiese community is in the wooded area in the top right corner.

Aerial view.

This last picture is taken over the wall from the West Berlin side, showing the GDR guard tower and the path across to Fichtewiese, which is in the trees behind the tower.

Guard tower.

Crazy, huh?

We’ve also been very busy at the laube.  Last Saturday, the whole community was present to help in cutting down a number of trees which were in a dangerous condition.  It was hard work for the men and great fun to watch for the women!  The wiese (or meadow) has also been cut back now for the winter.  It really makes the space look so big!  It’s been a really beautiful autumn.  I’ve never really had the chance to look at the seasons before as I have this year.  I’ve always been too busy working in the urban jungle!  There are some good things to say about being unemployed!  Here’s a few pictures from the work day:

Rope

Guess what that rope was attached to???

Rope 2

Note the men with chainsaws at the base of the tree…..

Timber!!!

Timber!!!!  It sounded fab went it came crashing to the ground!

Meanwhile, I spent a very hardworking afternoon collecting leaves….

Leaves

There were a lot!

I was also at the laube today, during the week, it’s very quiet there.  I was getting it tidy and ready to hold it’s first knitting meeting on Saturday!  Hurrah!  The Knitting Laube is born!  More info and pics coming soon……

What Hard Work!

This post is a tribute to my lovely, hard-working boyfriend Robert.  Who always seems to have a never-ending amount of work to do at the Laube!

Robert painting

More painting….

Robert painting (again)

He seems happy…..

Happy whilst he works!

Then, more painting….

More painting!

Hmmm, not sure about that colour!!  Then, MORE painting….

For a change, chopping down a tree!

Chopping down a tree

And more work…

Finally, what a beautiful Laube!

Beautiful laube!

Thank you Robert, for all your hard work.  I love you!

Hi All,

So sorry it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything on here.  I have been very, very rubbish at updating this blog!  I can’t promise that this won’t happen again, but I will try to keep it fresh and more up to date from now on.

I bet you’re wondering what has been happening? Well, quite a lot!  Firstly, all major work on the laube house is now finished.  We have a completely waterproof roof, (thanks to our friend Tom for giving up his free time to help us with it), the carpenters have long since finished their work and we have begun the job of painting.

Now this is a big job.  There is a lot of new wood to paint!  So far we have painted all the window frames, (no mean task when you’ve got massive windows) and waxed the floor.  The next big painting job is the whole of the outside wood…..

But enough of boring work stuff!  I have more interesting things to talk about!  Namely, the Mucken.  Which is mosquitos.  Yup, this summer there has been a HUGE invasion of the little buggers into Fichtewiese.  Oh lovely.  Now Mucken (I like the Deutsch name for them, it sounds worse than the English name), absolutely LOVE me.  I think it’s the tasty exotic non-Deutsch blood.  Yum, yum, they think.  Ouch!  I think.  They drive me crazy every time I go there.  They even bite me THROUGH my clothing….  I have been given some very handy advice.  Avon Skin So Soft body lotion.  The little horrors hate it.  Even the Canadian Mounties use it!  I’ve done one little test with it and the areas of skin which I put it on did not get any bites.  However, every other part of me which didn’t have the lotion on did……  My latest bites are itching so much at the moment!  Next time I go to the laube, I shall dunk myself completely in the lotion….

Mosquito

Now, on the 27th of August, Fichtewiese celebrated it’s 90th anniversary.  Yes, 90.  The place actually has a very interesting history.  It was originally begun as a sport and weekend club, with the area being used by members as a camping spot.  This camping went on for a while and shortly before the second world war, little laube houses were first built on the area.  After the war, the area which Fichtewiese was in, was just inside the Russian controlled area.  When the Berlin wall was erected in 1961, separating East Germany from West Berlin, Fichtewiese fell inside East Germany.  However, everyone who had a laube there was living in West Berlin.  Apparently, the British Army negotiated with the GDR to ensure that the West Berliners could still have access to their laubes.  This was done by means of a little door in the Berlin wall, and a door bell.  When a Fichtewiese member wished to gain access to their laube, they simply rang the door bell and were let in by a GDR sentry.  I kid you not.  I shall try and post some pictures once I get access to them.

Butterfly Buns

So, on the 27th of August this year, Fichtewiese held a party.  Robert and I also made it our first night staying in the laube!  I made some British cakes to take with me to the party.  Button buns and scones with clotted cream and jam.  They were a big hit.  Infact, they all went very quickly leaving just the rubbish German cakes on the table.  Sorry my Deutsch friends reading this, but I’m not impressed with German cakes……  However, the main course at the party was Spanferkel.  What’s that?  Well, basically, it’s a roasted, whole, small pig.  Absolutely delicious.  There was also lots of free wine and beer.  Robert and I ended up entertaining the members with our jiving!  I think they rather liked it.  We then went  back to our lovely little laube, I got the fire going in the stove and we curled up under the mosquito net and went to sleep!  It was so quiet there.  I’m looking forward to many more nights, hopefully minus the mucken!  Here’s a picture of a Spanferkel…

Spanferkel

Lastly, I have become the proud owner of a bicycle.  With a little metal basket on the front.  It’s only for use at the laube.  At the moment, I cycle along the Mauer Weg (the old route of the Berlin wall, which is now a pathway and cycle route around Berlin) and am completely knackered after 10 minutes!  Ha ha ha!  I shall hopefully get better as time goes on…

Roofless!

Having gone through a spell of justified misgivings and apathy, coupled with the fact that we lost our carpenters for two weeks to another job, I’m now getting excited again about the Laube. 

Today, the carpenters returned to finish what they started.  We went to meet them there this morning and were amused to find two of them sat on what was left of the roof…..  With our lovely Laube interior exposed to the elements, we were naturally rather anxious to know how fast work is going to progress.  By Wednesday evening this week, all the woodwork for the roof will be complete.  So Thursday has been set aside all day, for Robert to fix the first layer of waterproofing to the roof!  We will soon have a watertight house and can stay overnight then!!  Woooo hooo!

Let’s hope that this week doesn’t provide any torrential downpours……  July has been a very soggy month and we have had to spend more than a couple of days mopping up the water from our new floor boards.

We also went for a quick walk along the cycle path or Mauer Weg, today.  There are some lovely spots by the river to sit and I also think to do some fishing.  We also discovered a rather out of place area of land planted with fir trees.  In very neat German rows.  It looked rather spooky.  Here’s a photo…

Spooky Fir Trees

We also found a rather handsome mushroom, splendid isn’t it?  Does anyone know if it was an edible one?

Big Brown Mushroom

Good and Bad…..

Hi All, sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but a lot has been going on, (including a trip to Switzerland)…..  But, I’m now ready to post again!

My thoughts about this post are rather mixed.  I have good news and some very bad news.  Let’s start with the good…

After our disaster with the worker, (which I posted about in my last blog), Robert found and employed a carpentry firm to work on all the woodwork aspects of the Laube.  The guys working on the Laube are great – not only are they experienced, reliable and competent workers, but they also really like the project and the location.  For them, it’s something very different to the usual projects they get.  Work is moving on fast.  We now have new floorboards, a partly replaced outside back wall, a new door, and new insulation in the walls.  However, they were reluctant to do more work on the walls until the roof is removed and replaced.  We have been trying to find a roofing firm to do the roof, but have had real problems finding anyone who has the space in their schedule.  However, the carpenters have volunteered to remove the current roof and do all the woodwork structure for the new roof.  We have quite naturally accepted their offer!  Hang the bill at the end of it all!

We have also sought advice from a close friend of Robert, Tom, who works for a roofing company.  He has instructed Robert on how to apply the first layer of waterproofing on a new roof and has kindly offered to give up a day of his freetime, to do the second layer, which involves burning the tar on to the roof……  So, maybe in a month’s time we will be able to spend our first night at the Laube!!!!

Here’s the latest pictures:

Work in progress on the Laube

Part of the interior...Note the large black bucket to catch the water dripping from the ceiling.....The roof of the Laube, covered in plastic (note the wrapped chimney stack... I had to climb up there to do that)!The new door to our Laube. We can now lock it!

 So, now on to the bad news…..  Yesterday was a work day in the Laube community.  This happens once a month during the summer, on Sunday mornings and involves all the male members of the community working on a project which is for the good of the whole.  Dutifully, Robert reported for work at the appointed time.  I sat serenely knitting and enjoying the sunshine with our Laube neighbour, Olivia, and her little boy William.  However, my serenity did not last long.

In a previous posting, I have told you about Ricky the Raccoon.  Well, it turns out that Ricky was actually Rickette.  About a month ago, she gave birth to five cubs!  However, Ricky had not made many friends in the Laube community.  She was stealing food from people’s tables, going into people’s Laubes and making a mess looking for food, scratching people when they tried to stop her doing stuff and generally being very badly behaved.  Her downfall was that she was not afraid of humans…..

She had decided to have her babies in a little nest she had made in the small hut at the back of our friend’s Olivia and Christian’s Laube.  When they discovered what had happened, thinking it was funny and cute, they told the other Laube community members.  However, they did not share the pleasure in this latest development.  A big discussion amongst the community ensued, which focussed on the fact that one Raccoon was trouble enough, but six was too much.  Suggestions of catching the family and moving them to another location were squashed and an awful decision was made.  They decided to kill her and her cubs.

Apparently, four male members of the community took it upon themselves to do this task.  In the meantime, Christian and Olivia locked the door of the hut with Ricky and her babies in it, to try to protect her and to buy some more time.  They were hoping to contact a friend who was a vet, who may be able to help re-locate the family.  However, their plan did not work.  The guys who had decided to kill Ricky, broke in to the hut.  Apparently Ricky put up a huge fight, but they eventually killed her and her cubs, painfully, with a garden fork.

I am horrified and appalled at such behaviour.  It is completely unacceptable.  I cannot understand how people can think this was the correct thing to do.  The Laube community is in a nature reserve!  What they did is illegal.  However, we can do nothing apart from say how we feel about it and wait a year until we are full members of the community.  Then I will do everything in my power to ensure that NOTHING LIKE THIS EVER HAPPENS AGAIN!  I’m so upset still, just writing this is making me cry.  Poor Ricky.  I’ll leave you with a picture of her taken when she was pregnant….

Ricky the Raccoon

Ricky the Raccoon

 
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