More in the nature of a collection of crumbs, but...
First, there's the matter of the arboreal genocide on my street. The aftermath has been interesting: on the stub (it's not tall enough to call it a stump) where one of the trees was someone has taken a Christmas tree outline, made of stout bronze wire, and screwed it to the former living tree. On the end of each of its "branches," this decoration has a candle-holder, and various residents have stuck candles in there and lit them. There's nothing in them as of a few minutes ago, but this may change. In the meanwhile, it's been festooned with strings of tinsel and ribbon.
A few more trees on other streets have gone, too, and apparently there are plans for even more. One, I noticed, only got severely trimmed, perhaps in deference to a very large bird's nest near its top. Species-ism, if you ask me.
The comments on that item were interesting, too, as were backchannel e-mails like the one from Gary detailing a homicidal Californian tree. I suppose that kind of thing can happen anywhere, but maybe a tree living in a place where people retain a vestigal communion with tree-spirits makes it happen far less frequently. Makes me wonder if it happens at all in Latvia. I was also sent a tree-hugging joke by Friedperson, but if you know her, you know it's not the kind of thing one can post on a family-oriented blog like this one (stop laughing). Mature adults can apply via e-mail. The easily offended need not bother.
Across the street from the former trees, a local child is attempting a social experiment: hanging from one of the building's balconies by a stout rope is a small felt basket. If you look in it, you'll discover candies and a note asking you to take one and leave another behind. This has been going on for several days now, and I'm amazed to see that there's been a steady change in the basket's contents. Yesterday, someone left a banana instead of candy, thereby teaching the kid that there are health-food nuts everywhere. My guess is that the basket gets hauled up every now and again and the really good stuff is impounded.
It's not just the sap oozing from the tree-stubs that reminds me it's spring, though. The windows can be open most of the day now, and there is actually sunshine outdoors. Plus, of course, last night was Walpurgisnacht, which then segues neatly into May Day rioting, that old Berliner tradition. The park near my house was, for some reason, closed off and police stationed to check people coming and going, and there were helicopters late into the night. Now, I know there was also a Howard Carpendale concert last night, but somehow I don't think the security was about him. Today, broken empty bottles of horrific sorts of alcohol I didn't even know existed are all over the street, and, for the first time since I've been in this neighborhood, there've been police sirens at regular intervals.
All of which makes me nostalgic, because it now looks very much like I'll be leaving here come July. Details -- many, many details, you can be sure -- will follow as things fall into place, and no, I don't have the money yet, and yet it's more likely than ever that I will when the proverbial push comes to shove. The first item on the agenda is an apartment search, which will follow closely after a week in Morocco. After that, it'll be back here to pack.
And, of course, this scares me to death. I don't know many people in Montpellier, and two of the folks I do know are leaving for the summer; I don't have a job there (other than the writing I do which can be done from anywhere), and I'll be moving somewhere that's a bit more expensive than Berlin and where I'll be paying more rent than I am here. Plus the usual unknowns on this end. If experience is anything to go by, I'll both fall in love with someone who can't move and be offered a totally fantastic job here about three days before I roll out of town.
I also won't be living in a town with loads of brilliant artists who do events involving head-lice.
Not that, at this point, I'm going to let that stop me.