Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

After 10 years, it is time to say goodbye to this beautiful place. My visits have been fewer than I would have liked and strangely, despite the pool, more often in winter than summer. I mean how much more can you want for a summer break than a pool and a big river, the clearest night sky to stargaze, roses, roses and more roses, peace and quiet, good produce to make yummy meals.... 

I know it sounds a bit like a pensioners paradise. Hihi.... but it is so nice to step out of my busy urban life and slow down here. When I am here, I always find it difficult to believe there are people running around in big cities, stressing about meetings, deadlines, projects and clients. Now it is time for others to enjoy this special place. I sure hope they do. They better had!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Weekend

We've been up to all sorts. The theme is enjoying ourselves.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trouble Waiting to Happen or a Trio Infernale

We spent the weekend with the whole family in Worpswede. It is a beautiful village near Bremen. Some wonderful artists have lived here including Paula Modersohn-Becker. I have wanted to visit since reading about the place and the people whilst learning German at high school. Well, it took a while to get here. And I have to say that I'd now like to go back. We got a good look at the place from the outside, but having five kids with us, the oldest being five, we didn't get to do very much gallery visiting, nevermind going in to the museum. 

The weekend was full of wonderful moments though. And I have discovered why we parents  are so into focussing on the beautiful and good moments (more about that later).

This picture, on the surface, of three little boys looking at an insect, is one that when I saw it for the first time on screen, reminded me just how important those moments are. Just  just how much one moment captured can make you think about now, the soon, the later and much later. Look at these guys. Between Yorck, the oldest (the one in Lederhosen) and Tjark, the youngest (the little guy in the checked shirt) are 11 months. Over the past 2 and a bit years, the difference between the three of them has been huge. Even the difference between Ari (the guy in stripes) and Yorck has been significant at times and they aren't even two months apart! 

This weekend the obvious developmental differences between these guys gave way to an amazing pleasure in one another. Tjark is still a tinsy bit little, but everyone could see that that is going to disappear very soon. Often all three of them were on their way somewhere, together, fast, without parents, shrieking with joy at being together (and up to no good!). There was also the fun watching parents run after them to stop them jumping in a river, tumbling downstairs or rushing out in front of a horse and carriage (yes this is a possibility in Worpswede).

It made me think not only about much fun they obviously had this weekend, but also about the years ahead. We all live in the same city, joint playdates, family occasions, birthdays and the like mean that they should play an important part in each others lives. Although unlikely that they will go to the same first schools, they may go on to the same high schools, let's see. Taking a step back and thinking about teenie years makes me shudder. I just have this feeling there are going to be high jinx and silly pranks (if we are lucky) going on there!

However in the mean time, it makes me happy to see that they like each other and have fun playing together (obviously there are moments when that is not the case!) Hopefully they will grow up to respect and care for one another. For some reason I like to think about them as old men cackling about funny situations together.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wishing you a good start to the week

Wishing you a good start to the week. May it be full of summery moments. I am still relaxed from the weekend.... and what a lovely weekend it was. More about that later.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Someone else's Stash

I told you about my award winning ebay steal. Now I am washing and airing it. Good that the weather is so hot (and now windy too). I now have a nice pile of material, such a nice pile that I have no idea where I am going to store it. Yesterday I ironed a lot and whilst doing that I thought about the woman who's stash this had been. Did she have things in mind when she bought each piece or did she just buy them? Some have obviously been reduced or pieces with faults. What was she like as a person? Did she sew for herself, for her family, for friends? 

There are two ways of looking at this collection of material (I don't know if there was more): it is what is left over after a lifetime of crafting, all the really nice pieces have been sewn, or there are plans and dreams in still in there. I think the truth, as ever, is somewhere in between. Some of the pieces literally shout out about what they want to become. A pretty pink summer skirt, a child's winter fleece, a Barbie dress (?? that must be the material talking as I haven't come up with such things before!!), a pair of grey autumn trousers.  I am sure you will end up seeing some of these things here.

Some of the pieces pay hommage to a certain period of time. There are pieces of spun nylon in purple, red, bright yellow and bright blue. There are some horrible beige nylon with light blue flowers raised on the surface. A bit like flocked wallpaper. In this heat it doesn't just look horrible, it makes my skin crawl. What would you do with them? The only idea I had was to ring a clothing museum and ask if they could use them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Building with the Neighbours

One morning a couple of days ago, the doorbell rang. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I'm still surprised when I'm not expecting it. It was one of our lovely neighbours who was clearing out. Everyone has been clearing out here as we are having some maintenance work done in the cellar. People that go through Sperrmüll were almost in fistycuffs outside our place recently. More about Sperrmüll another time though. Anyway it was one of our lovely neighbours with this set of building blcoks. I feel building blocks is a far too lowly term for them, especially after I looked for them on the net. (Browsing that site, they do have a lot of nice things. I just have this feeling that I might well be spending some of my "presents for other people's kids" money there. Just look at this bed). It is set of blocks that you can build fancy manor houses with.

Just look at those columns! And the big clock.  And those windows. If Yorck doesn't play with them, I certainly will. The term "building castles in the air" will just have to move aside for "building manor houses on the living room floor". I could deal with a manor house far better anyway. Castles tend to be draughty.

Thank You!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A home for an external drive

Somehow this picture snuck it's own way in here. So in answer to Helen, it is a felted sleeping bag for my external drive. Nothing special, but I think it is fun. And it keeps it from getting scratched when in the depths of bag.

Hot, hot, hot

It is ssooooooooooooooooo hot here. Somewhere around 38°C. The only way to survive is by eating ridculous amounts of ice cream. And as everyone knows that's no fun!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

drei-zwei-eins-meins BINGO!

Wasting time looking at material on Ebay wasn't quite so wasted. Look at the loot in this boot. 2€! I challenge you to get a better deal! There are some wild, some pretty and some pretty grim (70's nylon) pieces in there. And there are some that are already calling out to be turned into clothes. Clothes for me, clothes for Yorck, clothes for Karneval, clothes for little girls (don't have any of those at home)..... I shall have lots of fun! I do have one question though, what do you do with three meters of purple (or red or yellow or brown) nylon? Any takers?

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Week of Events

I intended to write every day or to at least post a picture. My excuse is that life got in the way. The events were (not in order of appearance)

Event 1: the new nephew arrived! No proper pics or details of him yet (he is a little new to be broadcast yet). Believe me though he is lovely and has that old man feeling about him that newborns often do. It is as if they are wise. The question that remains is though how do they go from wise old creatures to the crazy under threes?? He has been welcomed into our family (well at least everyone has viewed him) and found him to be satisfactory. The boys (you saw them last week), generally agreed he was good and then turned to the business of leaping about on the hospital bed and running down hospital corridors holding hands. Far more fun to be up to no good when there are two of you! 

Event 2: Germany beat Argentina. Now I don't have England to support (and we now theoretically beat Argentina 2:0) I can support Germany (at least a little bit). You have to acknowledge that they are playing very nicely, thank you very much. The whole country is a state of black, red and gold and serious excitement. Next round is Wednesday. 

Event 3: wild storm with flooding. About an hour before the match the heavens opened. We'd been in the garden playing and reading before hand. I was swinging Yorck and we were listening to it rumble around. It sounded a bit like far off artillery fire (we spend quite a lot of time near a Belgian military range. It sounded very much like that. My parents-in-law were reading the weekend papers. At some point we went inside as it was too dark to read and getting really quite threatening. All of a sudden, down came the rain. Stair rods are positively bend in comparision to what we saw. We stood for ages and watched the water lash across the garden. 

After about 20 minutes I went down into the cellar, just to check. And it was pouring in through the door. About 10 cms in places. What fun we had mopping it all up. Well the cellar floors are now clean. It turned out that all the houses in the area had water in their cellars, thorough their front doors, wherever there was a little crack to pour though, through it came. 

Event 4: discovery of the Pomodoro Technique A spectacularly effective way to increase your concentration skills. After just three "pomodoros" (yes the idea of measuring time in plastic tomato egg timer units is somewhat bizarre, I used my phone timer) I had reduced the amount of distracting thoughts to half. Just writing them down as you go highlights how many there are! It's worth a look, even if you can concentrate well.