The problem with writing a blog is that you can’t relax if you ignore it. It constantly taps you on the shoulder, asking for attention. This time, it’s been three weeks since I wrote anything, and to say I’ve been too busy is understating it. Though I loved the winter in Berlin – cosy kneipes, visits to the cinema, cheap group dinners, walking in the snow, studying hard – summertime Berlin is completely entrancing.

I’ve just had Brigid, my sister, over for a week from Ireland. This was an opportunity to go tour my favourite Berlin spots all over again, and we had a packed schedule. Having had a glorious Spring and early Summer, I reckoned that the biggest decisions we’d be making would be which venue to visit for swimming on our bikes (I had managed to borrow a bike for Brigid for the week). However, the weather for the week of her visit was unbelievably dull, cold and rainy. On our first day out cycling, we had an idyllic morning in Templehof, looking at the community gardens, and reckoned we’d continue on through Hasen Heide. Right in the middle of the park, the heavens opened, and, despite sheltering under trees, we got soaked down to our underwear. I had blithely said that Brigid should bring shorts and tee-shirts, but just as well she’s had this experience before – when visiting a midsummer Toronto last year (which should have been hot and dry), she had to buy a raincoat.

So, we have just had a much more indoorsy week than I had planned – our swimsuits remained in mothballs, and although we did do a lot of cycling, Berlin looked less beautiful than it can. However, having said that, I did have the opportunity to see at first hand just how wonderful it is, and feel the infection of Brigid’s enthusiasm, and indeed utilise her photos. I’ve gone to places that I planned to go to when I arrived, and never managed til I got the excuse of going with my big sister. Apart from talking the legs off each other, this has been such a great week for seeing my own personal sights here – I took almost all of the week off from Uni, but brought Brigid to the one seminar I have in English, so that she could share a class with me.

Putting her on the plane for Ireland, I didn’t feel any of the sadness associated with other goodbyes. We’ll be seeing each other in three weeks, as I will be back in Ireland for good then. All good things must come to an end. There are messages coming through already telling me that there will be lots of farewell parties, drinks gatherings, one-last-all-night-dancing-events over the next two weeks. Lots of people have already left. My flatmates have found a new flatmate to replace me. I can see the credits about to roll. In the university, they have just produced the magazine with my interview, and a really nice picture of me  Classes are beginning to feel like the Silly Season, though I still have some work to submit. In my head, I’m only half-here now, the other half is meeting the family and friends, enjoying being home, walking the Barrow, picking up the theads.