Sorry for the gap in blogging folks but to say it's been a busy year is a bit of an understatement. I'm not really going to have much time between now and my next trip to Asia in November but here's a short burst... I'm in Berlin right now, relaxing after two days at Innotrans - which is a massive (and I DO mean massive (Google it and see the stats) rail trade fair. The weather's been fantastic, both cameras have been busy and I've also worn out a fair bit of shoe leather (the site is huge). The expression 'be there or be square' fits this event to a tee. It's a great opportunity to catch up with what's new in the global rail industry, meet up with colleagues and friends from around the world - and make new contacts. Plus, it's also an excuse to visit Berlin! Not that I need one to be honest. I really like both the city and the people. It's a fascinating place with an incredible history gathered over such a short existence. I could wax lyrical about it at length, but I don't have the time (surprise, surprise, I've a train to catch) I'm currently sat in a bar called the Alkopole which is under Alexanderplatz station in the former East Berlin. A group of us discovered it a few years ago after a previous Innotrans. It's a place where locals and transients meet and enjoy beer (although other poisons are catered for). Germans drink beer like other people drink water - and they're very good at brewing it because of that! Their enjoyment cuts across the sexes. Unlike in the UK, German women seem quite happy to go to a bar for a drink on their own and the atmosphere is better because of it. That said Germans seem better with drink all round. You can get a late night train or U-Bahn in Berlin and see people clearly 'merry' without turning into the aggressive and obnoxious arseholes we Brits seem to specialise in. Sadly, this is a short visit. September is always a busy month but jobs are back to back right now - including weekends, so I've got to go straight from photographing new trains and Saudi Princes to shooting all the winners at the National Rail Awards tomorrow night. It's always a great event but its a long day for me and the RAIL staff. That said - I wouldn't miss it for the world!