Friday, August 31, 2012

Hiatus


Blogging mojo gone
Hoping it will return soon
Do stay tuned, my friends.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where I am



"I would wish to never want to be anywhere else. [...] what I want is to live in the moment. Don't you think that would be amazing? To never be wondering what will happen next and whether it will be better than this? [...] I wish I always wanted to be wherever I am.

[...]

It is impossible to be present in the present. [...] Which is exactly why is it the one thing I always want."

Melanie Joosten
Berlin Syndrome

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Snippets







{sunday snippets} is a collection of photos from the week (or, in this case, a tiny selection of the million or so photos I took of the CRAZIEST thing I saw in Berlin!!).  No need for words: let the pictures tell the story.  Be sure to savour more snippets, or join in, at {tinniegirl}.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Savouring my Saturday (it's Saturday?)



Is it just me or is the jetlag so much more brutal when returning to Australia from Europe than from the USA? Quite simply, I have no idea what day or time it is. I've been unable to sleep until 3am and forcing myself out of bed at 11am, sometimes midday.

It's surely disorienting but in some ways it is quite delicious, to be home but not quite yet inhabiting it.

So, today, I am grateful for all the things we are returning to:

1. A tidy and clean house, including freshly picked flowers on the table and a fridge full of food, courtesy of my Mum.

2. My nightly 1am date with my little 'un: snuggling under a nanna blankie, drinking hot chocolate and watching episode after episode of Mona the Vampire on DVD.

3. The first signs of Spring in our garden and in our neighbourhood, like the nectarine tree (above) that we planted in our front garden before we left.

4. Slowly trawling through 700+ photos from the past three weeks and reliving some delicious tiny moments.

5. Wearing some of my wardrobe purchases, mainly from my new all-time favourite shop Gudrun Sjödén (though please don't ask me how you would pronounce it!). I like to think of it as a Swedish version of Anthropologie. Beautiful fabrics and homewares, gorgeous garments that celebrate all shapes and sizes and stages of life.

6. Unpacking presents, ready to give to my nearest and dearest.

7. Making a coffee date with a colleague for early Monday morning at work. I am sure going to need it... and how I have missed good coffee!

8. My tax return arriving yesterday... beautiful timing.

9. Pondering all the things I learnt on this trip, about myself and the world. Particularly struck by the synchronicity of particular messages from the Universe. Some things are changing, slowly but surely.

10. Organising myself to plug back in to the things that I love about Melbourne. The Melbourne Writers Festival is on at the moment, and I'm heading to a couple of sessions next weekend. I am also extremely excited about experiencing the magic that is Antony and the Johnsons again in October!

For more celebrations of hearth and home, please be sure to stop by and share your gratefuls with my hearty friend Maxabella this week!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yes, this is a yellow loo


So we went to this fantastic and hip little restaurant called Yumcha Heroes for lunch. The dumplings were just heavenly and our little 'un got a real kick out of eating with chopsticks. Oh, and the prosecco aperol was to die for (like, it came with a sprig of fresh mint and everything!).


And, ummm... anyway... well, yes. It had the yellowest bathroom you will ever see in your life. I wasn't sure anyone would believe me so I took the risk and took some hasty happy snaps, so that you won't die wondering...







The things I do for you, friends. You owe me an aperol spritzer. Sprig of mint optional.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stop and go









It's hard not to have a soft spot for the former DDR's pedestrian lights, thanks to intensive public campaigns and an enterprising clothing and accessories company.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Great moments in German history (according to Lego)


Ich bin ein Berliner.


Wall goes up.


Wall goes down.

To be honest, after watching the above, I laughed so much I nearly peed my pants...


... thankfully the good folk at the Lego Discovery Centre had this eventuality covered.

Monday, August 20, 2012

She was happiest with the simple things:






Feeding bread to ducks
Throwing pebbles in fountains
Dancing with bubbles

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bier bier


Good coffee was scarce
But the sun was shining and
the beer was sublime.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Emerging


Memories like wine
Maturing over time, and
Best savoured slowly

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How long is now?


There is so much I want to share here. About how we are here. About how well we have been looked after, by colleagues, by the weather gods, by friends, by service providers, by strangers, by the universe.

There are so many numbers that I have been cataloguing: the numbers game that is travel. The hours of flight. The lost hours of sleep. The currency conversions. The number of times we have had to move to new lodgings. The increasing number of items in our suitcases. The days flying by.

Then there are the senses, the funny little memories that will always be attached to this time. The novels I am reading. The haunting song of the Romany family who performed loudly in the local square. The smell of fresh strawberries. The crunchy salt on top of soft brezels. The slightly soapy taste of tap water. The delicious Summer breeze. The eerie desertion of the weekend streets, Soviet-style buildings stoic in the sunshine. The first taste of quark. Proseco with Aperol, of course. Asthma that won't quite settle. The bedtime books I read my little 'un. The new sandals she chose on the first day and has insisted on wearing every day since, though always with socks underneath.

Then there's the fact that the shops and cafes we try to find, we never seem to find, despite the assistance of maps, guidebooks, GPS and one good sense of direction. But the shops and cafes that we stumble upon are more wonderful than we ever could have imagined.

And then there's truth that we're yet to do one touristy thing, if you don't count me paying an undisclosed sum of money to have my journal stamped at Checkpoint Charlie. Although we probably will visit a museum tomorrow.

For some reason, my words are deserting me here. It's partly through overwhelm, partly because I don't want to spend time glued to my husband's laptop when I could be out and about (or just resting), and partly because this feels like a rare private time for me and my family.

I am also conscious of my tendency to overstate things, or look for significance in things that happen when I am travelling: implications for my life at home. Certainly, I've noticed a few things about myself and about us, and a couple of tendencies/patterns have become clearer with a bit of perspective.

And the truth is, I am really enjoying myself here. Berlin is an incredible place. It was also a real treat to spend a few days in regional Germany, in a small town near the Swiss border, while my husband was working. I feel so blessed to have witnessed a couple of different ways of life and histories and cuisines since during this trip. I feel the familiar pang of envy: how wonderful would it be to live in Europe and have all this on our doorstep?

But this thought is always closely followed by the realisation that the freedom to dream and explore is something that is quite unique to holidays, for me at least. That is to say, I am not sure I would be any less focussed or driven or neurotic if I lived elsewhere.

So, utlimately, the thing I am loving most is the relaxed, intentional time we are spending together as a family. I'm rarely on my phone, as wi-fi is less available as I had anticipated. I occasionally look at emails, in the event I need to address something urgent. I've taken heaps of photos but all with my SLR (or point-and-shoot) and none with my iPhone. My husband is also less burdened by work, more available to me and our little 'un. And our little 'un has surprised us at every turn with her curiosity, her courage and her resilience. She's an incredible little traveller, and she is mushrooming into her own person in front of our very eyes.

So, for now, I hope you'll forgive me for checking into this space only occasionally during the week we have left. I am going to cheat a little and back-date some photos so you get a flavour of the trip so far.

Thank you for travelling along with me, as always. I hope that life is treating you kindly, wherever you are in the world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012