Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Welcome Home (The King's Sanatorium)

It's time for another delve into English Edwardian history for The King's Ginger. This time, we're going back to a darker time, when tuberculosis was a scourge. Men, women, children, rich or poor - no one was safe, and a cure was not yet known. But the luckier (and not necessarily wealthier) victims of consumption did have more of a chance, thanks to a state-of-the-art sanatorium that bore the King's name...




Back in my teens, all I really knew about TB was that the leading lady in La Boheme had it and I got a very painful BCG inoculation against it. But in the early 1800s, TB was the cause of an astonishing twenty-five percent of all deaths in England. By the turn of the 20th century, rates of death from consumption were still high, with a vaccination more than twenty years away and a cure, almost fifty. It was only a couple of decades previously, that the medical profession discovered that TB was infectious. It was certainly had no respect for money or class status. But it's fair to say there was a huge difference in the treatment of poor TB victims and the wealthy ones. Both were isolated from society, but the poor went into sanatoriums that were essentially prisons or workhouses and the more well-heeled benefited from plush hospitals, relaxation, fresh air and sunlight.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Snapshots of Berlin

After an insanely busy six weeks, last Monday I ran away to Berlin for a couple of days. One of the nice things about being a freelance copywriter and social media type, is that with a bit of preparation, I can theoretically do my job from anywhere in the world. So, off I flew!

My lovely man had gone to Hamburg the previous weekend to watch St Pauli play (I had to work, which was a convenient excuse to get out of watching football) and came to meet me in Berlin on Monday night. We stayed in the awesome Michelberger Hotel, a place that's 50% boutique hotel and 50% budget hotel, and 100% hipster, but in a cool way. The way East London was about five years ago, before it became too knowing about its own hipsterness! It's in Friedrichshain, in what was previously East Berlin, which was then the poorest part and is now arguably the most fun and creative part. We especially loved neighbouring Kreutzberg with its independent shops, bars, restaurants and venues.

What I present here are some snapshots of my trip, more for personal record than anything else. That disclaimer comes because I have a brand-new camera (a Canon 70D) which I haven't quite got to grips with yet, so these photos are really just holiday snaps and not beautifully-composed blog photos. And because sometimes it's better to capture moments with an iPhone than it is to grapple with a DSLR beast!


The most delicious German breakfast, at Tante Emma

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