29 June 2006

Back to life, Back to reality

So, I think these last three weeks have quite possibly been the most insane I have experienced in a long, long time. I'll try and give you all a brief run down.

I went to Berlin for a conference, three days of ridiculously late nights and even more ridiculously early mornings. The last day of the conference started with me hosting a 7:30 am meeting (thank you to all 10 people that showed up) after judging a Disco Dancing competition the night before in a fabulous camel-coloured three-piece corduroy suit and red platform shoes. "Solid!" one might say. The day progressed slowly, and included a presentation by me to about 800 hung-over attendees on the magic of online advertising (It's great, you should try it). In the evening we had a beach party (yes, in Berlin) across the river from the Reichstag (keep in mind that this was also the night of opening ceremony of the World Cup) where I was supposed to DJ for an hour or so. Just before I came on, a very special guest came on to sing - David Hasselhoff. That's right, the Hoff himself had been flown over from LA to sing at the party. If anyone ever tells you that the whole "Hoff is huge in Germany"-thing is a myth, don't believe them. The crowd went wild, as did the policemen on the bridges over the river to the Reichstag. When the Hoff sang "Freedom" it was like the Wall was falling all over again. And I had to go on and DJ after him. What a warm up act! I ended up playing until about 5am, and possibly had the most fun ever doing so. Until I had to get on a 7:45 am bus to the airport, and then go back into the office for the rest of the day.

So after work on the Thursday, we moved into our new apartment on Friday. It took about four days to move all our stuff, with the kind assistance of a number of our friends, and so Tuesday arrived and the Very Understanding Girlfriend and I were happy in our amazing new ecologically sustainable place. Solar panels, geothermal energy for the hot water, recycled rain water in the toilet, reclaimed wood throughout, organic paint on the wall, no curtains, no furniture, and a German houseguest arriving that evening.

Yup, we had arranged months previously for a really good friend of ours from the Have' to visit for a week. We assumed that by the time he arrived we would have long since settled in to our apartment, and could take some time off and enjoy his visit. No such luck! The week was spent ferrying the last few things from our old place and cleaning it up so we could get our deposit back. Our friend was incredibly understanding (especially considering we don't have a TV so he couldn't even watch the World Cup in comfort), and I would like to think he is still our friend after all of it (though there was an ugly incident involving a sudden distraction in the 2nd minute of overtime in the Germany v Poland game, something about a goal being missed. Best not to talk about it really).

Last weekend involved a trip down the country to see Bob Dylan (very boring) and the Flaming Lips (amazing - what an incredible live show!), followed by me doing an unexpected 5-hour iPod DJ set at a party when I got back up to Dublin (it worked, I was happy with it), and then me pulling numerous muscles in my back on Monday morning (probably not helped by the two weeks of moving and the five hour DJ set). Subsequently I have been lying flat on my back for four days in some amount of pain, and no small amount of irony, as anyone who knows the Very Understanding Girlfriend will appreciate.

Lessons learned from the last three weeks:
1) Don't Hassle the Hoff
2) Curtains are more important than you realize
3) Lift with your knees, not your back


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