SHE'S not the first person to sing this song, obviously, and I don't even know her name, she's simply "The Woman Downstairs", named that because she lives on the floor below me. And every morning for the past week or so, I've heard her singing. She's got a truly lovely voice, and you can hear her all around the courtyard which is at the centre of the housing block I live in. If I were a film director, I'm sure I would do some nice atmospheric sweeping camera shots to indicate how her voice seems to come from her mouth and fill all the nooks and crannies of the courtyard. It's a really nice thing to know that around 11am, I should turn off my hifi, cos I'll be able to hear her singing. The last few days, she's sung this song, which is already one of my favourite Christmas songs, but having it sung beneath me every morning has meant that every subsequent bicycle ride has been accompanied by my own hummed rendition of Winter Wonderland.
  This makes a change, because usually I'm used to negative neighbour/music vibes. My upstairs neighbour is a young fellow who likes nu metal. Needless to say, I wish he would move to another flat far far away. And when I lived in London, the guy upstairs was an accordian player. He wasn't a bad accordian player, just an enthusiastic one. And he'd practice and practice and practice all his songs over and over and over and over and over again. On a Saturday morning. Beginning at 9am. Which was perfectly timed to annoy the hell out of me and my flatmate.
  Which, rather fortuitously, leads me to another strand of ramble:
  The other day I was making a train journey. At the first station of the journey (Friedenau) there was an accordian player busking. He was a middle-aged pleasant-looking fellow playing the Abba song, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do. Not a rare song by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly not one of the bigger hits of Abba. He was doing a great job too. The echo in the tunnel he was playing in was really helping him out too. At the other end of the journey (Jannowitzbrücke), physically and also metaphorically, (if we use the journey as a metaphor... which I'm not sure would be right, but I will do it anyway...), was another busking attraction. This time, it was two punks and a dog. They were the old school kind of punks, with tight black dirt-encrusted jeans, big boots and badly dyed flopped down mohicans. And the dog was, naturally, roaming loose. One of the punks was sat strumming his out-of-tune guitar as if he hated music. The other punk wandered in front of ever passing person with cap in hand. Joining this entertainment extravaganza was the dog, who barked constantly throughout their performance.
  I am genuinely intruiged as to who got the most coins thrown into their caps...
Wed 04 Dec 2002