Britishness German-Style - Living La Vida Gestaltungsort
German Reader Quizzed for Intelligence
Having cornered our German reader (and honorary Tweed Piglet) Nicolas, who had the temerity to get in touch with us about the Tweed television series, I wasn't going to let him get away unscathed. He needed to be squeezed for intelligence for my next trip to Berlin.
Milking our German Reader - Intelligence Gathered
After intensive questioning, here's what our highly-trained field operatives came back with:
- The name of an interesting club & shop in Germany
- A question to ponder
Chelsea Farmer's Club - Berlin
A recommendation for British ex-pats in Germany. The Chelsea Farmer's Club is a club and shop based in Berlin and Dusseldorf. Nicolas says they have, "enthusiasmus für das wahre in der ware", which is roughly translated as "enthusiasm for the good in goods". It's aimed at those with a taste for British classic clothing.
- Never wear short-sleeve shirts.
- Prefer regional cuisine and the British wardrobe.
- Never use an electric grill.
- In the city appreciate the bicycle, the diesel in the country.
- Rejoice in life and promote the arts.
- Be calm and keep dancing when your partner or partners cannot dance.
- For swimming or indoor sports events a healthy scepticism will prevail.
- Like classical music in the church. Other music should involve your legs.
- Walks without dogs are allowed - but not recommended.
- When enjoying summer in Weimar, a nap by the Ilm is essential.
- See the world as a wonderful gestaltungsort (place that can be shaped by you).
- Never forget the motto of John Ruskin: "There is no wealth but life. Life including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration."
Ponder-Piece: Do British Classics Travel?
Nicolas pondered whether classic British clothing travels well. Is a German in Berlin dressed head-to-toe in Cordings wearing a costume? That sort of thing.
Well we're all wearing costumes in one way or another aren't we? Here we may be straying into Jungian archetypes and ideas of self and persona.
Let's hover nearer to the boundary of pretension and bring in Kantian reasoning. What drives our choices? Could the choice of brogue over flip-flop be simply explained as an a priori intuition? Or, in the words of Sammy Cahn, is it a question of whether "you've either got or you haven't got style"?
Tweedy's Final Thought: To attune yourself to the right mental attitude for wearing British classics, just become an Englishman.