Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

21st December. Winter solstice.

May peace, warmth , light and love be with you over the coming festivities.

It is so dark and cold here tonight. We had 40cms of snow yesterday and it is sooo cold. It is definitely a time to snuggle down under blankets and or to go out and celebrate. I am choosing the reflection tonight at the night is too thick to celebrate in. It is the kind of night I yearn to sit in front of an open fire and gaze into the flames. If I were to go out into the street and inhale the coldness into the bottom of my lungs I'd be able to smell someone else's.

Funny, I am not a winter person at all. I know and love someone who really is, so I really know I am not. But on nights like tonight, it seems a shame that it will be getting lighter again soon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Hair

A leaf bathing in the sunlight. I'd like to be doing that right now. Escape the early December grey and lie by a pool in the sun.

Lots has been happening here, parental visits, parcels, fun and games, evenings with friends, but the grey has stolen my writing inspiration. Hopefully it'll come back soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Over the past few weeks I have regularly thougth of those five things to be thankful for and although on some days it took some looking for, other days were filled to the brim. Just to mention some of the ones that filled those days to the brim:

Going to Switzerland to Zürich on a long overdue trip to see two wonderful people. Thank you so much for a lovely weekend. Oh and Zürich is nice too. The sun shone, we had our first Glühwein of the season and the conversations were soulfilling.

Having the longest conversation whilst surrounded by bubbles about dreams. And re-discovering that there are people who will support you and even dream with you irrelevant of how crazy others think your ideas may be.

Spending an evening (well most of a weekend) with some friends over a table creaking with delicous food and drink. Where did the hours go? What did we talk about? When was the last time we hurried to bed as the kids would be getting up in two hours (if you're lucky)?

Friday, November 6, 2009


Who needs toys? Or playgrounds for that matter? Take a bit of waste land, a dry day and a friend. Oops I forgot to mention the sticks and the dirt. Fun guarenteed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some warming thoughts

Just found this. And really just imagine doing this for someone to wake up to
There were some other words on that blog just above this inspiring picture, that really struck a chord with me this morning. 

Please excuse the direct piracy please. And just remember it's okay to be
Good to have a reminder about that, specially if you spend too much time in voracious business environment. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Wiesbaden Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, some good friends got married. How happy do they look? Just like the cats that got the cream. Congratulations!! 


It is just great to celebrate with a couple who you just feel are soo happy with one another. The registrar talked about marriage as being an acceptance of one another as you are. Registrars don’t normally meet the people they are going to marry before they actually do. But this lady certainly hit the nail on the head. I regularly stay with these guys, so I get to see how they are with each other at home after a long days work. They are just at peace with each other. What more could one want in a relationship??

Oh and the party was good too! Thanks for letting us be part of your big day.

Between wedding and party, we spent the afternoon looking at Wiesbaden. The farmers’ market was very inviting. I took the chance to collect some pictures of heaps of fruit, veg and flowers. There is something very satisfying about taking pictures of them.


Mangold, manpink, manyellow…..

.... and flowers for the table.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Speed and Music

 Wednesday I spent a lovely evening with dinner, friends and sewing. Yes, Heather we will be finished with our tops by the time summer comes around again! Carried by that nice evening, I got into the car and sped through the night to hubby and bubby. Me, who thinks continuously about how to reduce her carbon footprint, how to reuse, recycle, gather etc etc… has one big weakness. I think it might be one of the reasons I love to live in this country. Well it certainly isn’t the autumn weather that keeps me here! It is German motorways. As most people know they have no general speed limits. That means on an empty night motorway heading out of town away from the city, they are empty. I really did speed into the night and chanced on Coldplay live from Roskilde (last summer) on the radio. Speed. Loud. Perfect.

The rest of the long weekend was spent doing earthy things like mushroom collecting and walking (and the last blueberries of the year), and kiddie things like playing on swings and speeding down the drive on a Bobby Car (my son and nieces have a taste for speeding in/on cars too).

There was one particularly great moment when Yorck put some of his cousin’s stones into a small watering can and started to make music. He used it like a drum, “banging” it to his inner beat, he danced for about 10 minutes. These kids never cease to amaze me with their creativity and zeal for life and all its opportunities. 

There was a music and speed theme to the weekend – even I was the only one to see it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Stolen Summer Day

What more could you want? A stolen summer day, the smell of freshly mown grass, great relatives, easy-going kids and a snail to match your clothes. Not much I don't reckon. Well maybe a collection of baths

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Small but Very Pink

Okay it has taken me a while. Now I know why people make things for kids.... it's because they are smaller so you can get them finished. I should be spending my sewing time on finishing those pjamas. Those ones for a birthday that happened in May. But the satisfaction out of starting and finishing something in one go is addictive. This is a small apron for a little girl who was given a play kitchen for her second birthday. Very pink, very girlie. No use for such items in my household. The chefs in my house don't do pink.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Presents, parcels..... the unexpected ones are the best

Thank you Jean and David, the parcel was great fun and the contents are great too. The jumper is perfect, especially for our little jumper fan. He'll be modelling it as soon as the weather cools down a bit again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Knitting - what happened to summer?

I can feel the winter lowering. Okay there are good things about autumn and winter. Invigorating walks in the autumn sunshine, beautiful leaves, and being able to wear day I'll learn to knit them myself. This great hat (I love fun knitted hats) was knitted by my knitting, stitching, quilting mother, Mrs. Crafts.....what would I do without her?

But right now I could just do with some more hot summer sun. Somehow there just wasn't enough this year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A jammy weekend

It was a real JAM weekend. How could it not be. Look at these plums….. We now have loadsa Pflaumenmus. It’s a sort of German plum spread. I love it. Ours turned out quite lemony (due to really strong lemon peel) which is alright cos my little family seems to love the taste of lemon. The smell of plum jam wafted through the house all day Sunday. Both of us realised how the smell of jam is an integral part of the smells and memories that conjure up home and childhood. Mmmmmmmmm...............

And there was a real JEWEL walk in the weekend as well. My little two year loves to go on walks. Not sure where he could get that from (neither his great grandparents….bless them, nor his grandparents (on either side) nor his parents like to walk, hike or ramble!!).Well after he had had enough plum picking, swinging and climbing on the climbing frame, this little guy decided it was time for a walk.

‘Dis way, ‘dis way….he rattled at the gate and wanted to go….so off we went. Papi was left in the house stoning plums. My son and Iwith our great new wellies on our feet (thanks Helen and Clive), what more could I want in life? We saw tall grass, we investigated creepy crawlies, looked at the sky, jumped in puddles (well I watched), walked down “new to us” roads, discovered old style electric pylons, met a man with a Jeep and a trailer, enjoyed each other’s company. And when we got home again, most of those plums had been stoned.

The thing that struck me all weekend, and yes it has been threatening for a while, is that autumn is upon us. The colours (and the temperature) outside reinforced that feeling. I love this time of year, even if it is kind of melancholic. The long summer days are over.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birthday Furniture 2

Here are the finished table and chairs. I am amazed for two reasons. Firstly because I finished them (anyone who knows me will understand this!) and secondly because they look as good as I imagined them to. Lots of white paint and some blackboard foil have turned these old guys into nice new shiney furniture. There is something very satisfing about making (and finishing) and giving presents.

What a Day!

He's been with us for two whole years. Amazing! And what pleasure filled years they have been. What did we do before he arrived? I suppose we slept longer and went out more (in the evenings). But to be honest you can get by with a lot less sleep than you think and I have been out more in the day, met new friends and generally enjoyed my life a lot more since Yorck has been around. Thank you, Sweetheart. You are such fun!

Yorck enjoying the first of his cake at 06:30 am. Well there do have to be advantages of a failed cake the night before! I reckon this is the way to start a birthday!

And here is the very same little boy picking the Smarties off his cake. Not interested in the presents, just interested in picking these things off his cake. How did we get him to the age of two without him knowing what they are!! We watched in amazement and stifled our giggles. Okay, we have spent a lot of effort keeping him away from Gummibärchen but not Smarties. After he had successfully removed them all, he then turned to the serious business of present opening.

Sadly there are no pictures of us in the park where we spent the rest of the day, due to a mother leaving her keys in the back of the door (and the camera in the flat)! But a good time was had by all. It was still 30°c here yesterday so we even got to play in the fountains in the park. Such weather on September the 8th is a birthday present in itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009


A Rowan Tree

Yorck and I went to pick up his birthday furniture last Wednesday (lazy blogger here!). It was a beautiful afternoon and I took the opportunity to shoot a few pictures I saw on the way home (or even over the past few years). We often drive home via Belgium as fuel is much cheaper there. The quickest way is along the back roads near Mützenich.

There is one field which is hedged or rather lined by rowan trees. This year they are bearing so much fruit, it surely is going to be a very hard winter (should get my curtains finished!). Everytime we drive past that field I think of Anne of Green Gables (in Anne of Ingleside): “A rowan tree? Whyn't you have it planted by the front door? It would keep the fairies out”.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Birthday furniture

Over the weekend I started to renovate a “desk” and some chairs for Yorck’s 2nd birthday. Somewhere for him to draw and paint. After deciding that I’d at least like something with a bit more history than the standard stuff from Ikea, we kept our eyes open at a couple of we’ve been to flea markets recently.

I already had the coffee table (and yes it is old Ikea. Thanks Andrea). To go with the rest of the furniture in his room, I decided it should be white (I do quite like the shabby chic look of that sanded blue paint though). The weather was so nice that I started the renovation outside. And guess who was so very enthusiastic to help? Seems a bit wrong, but who am I to stop his renovation fun?

We spent the weekend away in the Eifel (where there is considerably more room for such things) and it was great. I got to spend it with my family and choose when to sneak off and work on my crafting projects. What a combination. Apart from the furniture (which still needs more work) I finished a promised seat strap for my littlest nephew on his holidays. Thinking about it, I finished it more for his parents and their eating pleasures. Then I started and finished (!!) a couple of presents that I can’t show you yet. The birthday surprise would be spoilt so you’ll just have to wait until they arrive on the other side of the world…..hopefully in time for the 13th. Might be pushing it a bit, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5 Things

I once read that recapping 5 things good things that happened during the day before you go to bed at night helped you remain/become contented with life. Well yesterday when I didn't have to even think twice about those 5.

1. A friend with excellent interior design sense came up with a solution for the TV corner in our living room (it's not good at the moment).

2. I got to come home from work 3 hours earlier than normal. I got to play with Yorck before he went to bed (not normal for a Tuesday evening) and to watch TV with my hubby (not normal either).

3. Listening to the man standing next to me on the platform in Düsseldorf. He was approached by a guy selling Fifty-Fifty (Düsseldorf's homeless magazine). Not only did he give him way over the price, as he needed change and the train arrived whilst the transaction was going on, he reassured the guy selling that he was in no rush and could catch the next train if it took longer. He just treated that guy with more respect than most people treat anyone.

4. The cashier in my local Rewe City pointed out twice that the pluots that I wanted to buy were not in the best shape. I'd never had them before and so didn't really know what I was looking for. After me picking up a bad pack the second time, he went off himself to look for a good pack. That really is what generates customer loyalty.

5. I was greeted by my little boy with the biggest smile shouting Mummy, Mummy when I got home. And about 10 minutes later Arvid came home too.

It is the people you share your life with, the respectful encounters with others and the simple things that can make life so much more enjoyable.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a hot weekend, 28°C in Kalterherberg. No-one really believes it when those kind of temperatures are forecasted. A great time was had at Nadja and Collin’s August bash! They really do have interesting friends. Sorry no pictures as I really wasn’t in a photography mood. Don’t know what was wrong with me!!! Hot sun, beer, a tasty BBQ, good conversation, kids happy to run around until ten, what more could one want? If you ask me, not much.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This really is meant to be a blog about positive things and the good things in life. Well I had an exceptionally good chance to get to know Mainz Kastel rail station (bit of a big word for it) today. I thought I’d try a new way home. But the bus was late and I missed the connecting train. So it took an hour for me to get no further than Mainz Kastel. If you have ever been from Wiesbaden you know you can walk there in that. Honestly you can.

But I did see the most amazing cloud formations on the way (made me think about the book I’d like to dip into about cloud formations). And I got time to sort the pictures from the weekend. There are some good ones of Ari and Yorck at their Great Aunt Irmi’s 75th.

Here are the guys and their first tortoise experience

What a hot and urban week

What a wonderful week. Despite or rather because it was soo hot, the Düsseldorf had a completely different atmosphere this week. I took things at a nice slow pace which meant that the afternoons were just perfect. It was easily hot enough for paddling pool fun. And on Thursday, we met up with Derek. We wandered through the Hofgarten (Düsseldorf’s Central Park!) and looked at the ducks and chatted about life, particularly about silly Alex and Steve who moved. Well they would be scoffing at 30°C heat.

Waiting for the tram on the way home, Yorck and I watched some breakdancing kids. They were soo cool. And for some reason complemented the heat really well. Every one standing around watching was grinning. How great is that. Collective grins don’t happen that often.

The week ended perfectly with a wedding anniversary dinner in Benkay. We finally used the dinner voucher that I won at the FEDEFE in February. It was nice to go for dinner just the two of us and eat the most delicious fish ever. I can certainly recommend the place!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sometime has passed....

Well sometime has certainly passed since I started this. Time to get back on trap. You may ask yourself what made me want to pick this up again. Well several things. The first is I have some stuff to sell. Some good friends moved to China (sniff) last week and left me with a stack of stuff to sell. The idea is to find loving homes for the things and to support, well even start, my "Visiting China" fund. Three seats on an airplane to Beijing don't come cheap. Why not Ebay I hear you cry. Well Ebay is great, but some of these things are kinda heavy and bulky so it will be best to try find them local homes. I shall be back with a list and photos of the homeseekers. Most of the stuff is for babies.