1 September 2014
Being a mum can be hard work. No, let me start again: Being a mum is hard work. But it has its rewards. Rewards that money can’t buy. I hold my son’s hand in all kinds of situations: crossing a busy road, in a bustling crowd, on a train platform, near a bonfire, balancing along a wall, when he’s scared, when he’s ill, when he’s been naughty…But the most beautiful moments of all are those, when he slips his little hand in to mine for no reason at all and whispers “Mummy, I like holding your hand!” Come to think of it, that is a reason. Perhaps, the best reason!
23 August 2014
Earlier this week, I marked my three year Berlin-aversary by attending a relaunch at the Jewish Museum Berlin of the ‘Kunstautomat’ - a vending machine that dispenses unique limited art to visitors willing to part with a few Euros. What a great idea to introduce visitors to new artists!
You can find out all about it over on Museum Diary!
22 August 2014
Children’s capacity for wonderment at the world never ceases to cause me enjoyment. This morning, the bus that came to take us to nursery was brand new. To most undiscerning eyes it will have seemed a lot like the old buses, just a little rounder looking and more shiny. But not to a 3.5 year old. Whilst everyone else was staring disinterestedly out of the window - had they even noticed? - my boy proceeded to list every single thing about the bus that was new and different, each accompanied by excited exclamations of ‘look!’, ‘wow!’ or ‘amazing!’ - the seats, the handrails, the buttons, the door handles, the steps, the displays, and - best of all - the noises the doors made on opening and closing. “I love the new bus!”, he exclaimed. Never had a bus ride seemed more exciting, a simple morning commute more of an adventure. Once at nursery, he continued on his wave of exhilaration, telling each of his teachers over again about his phenomenal experience on the new bus that morning, eyes sparkling. They could not but smile. I hope his capacity to see the beauty in even the smallest things will remain with him for as long as possible.
20 August 2014
During Oma and Opa’s recent visit, we again took the opportunity of having a car at our disposal to visit the Military History Museum out at Berlin-Gatow. It’s been on my ‘must visit’ list for a while, but is a bit tricky to get to by public transport.
With a vast outdoor exhibition area, as well as two hangars and the converted former Tower to explore, it’s a plane lovers dream. There are aircraft and helicopters galore to see, as well as smaller accompanying exhibits, including lots of historic film footage.
You can find a full review, alongside more photos, over on Museum Diary.
15 August 2014
Kids can be expensive, so as parents we all like to get our hands on something free, don’t we? The internet is full of resources to download or print off, but many corporate organisations also offer freebies you can send away for if you just know about them. I’ve been tracking down a few of these here in Berlin, and thought I’d share what I’ve found so far with you.
This week, I’d like to introduce you to “Oli’s Bahnwelt”. Oli is the children’s mascot of Deutsche Bahn (DB), Germany’s national rail service, whose role it is to explain to children how the railway system works and the different jobs that people do. On his website, he is the start in a series of short videos, each accompanied by online games as well as craft ideas to download and colour in or make.
Oli first appeared in 2001 in the Pixi book “Oli fährt Bahn” (Oli rides the train) - Pixi are a popular series of paperback miniature children’s books, about 10x10cm in size. Since then, several other titles with Oli’s adventures have been produced. We’d previously received the original title from a friendly DB ticket seller on a train journey to visit Oma and Opa, and the boy loved it. I’d heard that you could write to DB to request free copies of the other titles, so I did just that, thinking there were only three in total. What a lovely surprise then, to receive an envelope in the post just one week later, with not three but seven free Oli Pixi books!
Sure, some of the stories may seem a little contrived as they try to factor in the different train terminology and job titles, but if you have a little train loving bookworm at home, then these are just perfect. We’ve been reading Oli stories at bedtime for the past two night :)
If you live in Germany and would like your own set of Oli books, all you need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address, asking them nicely to send you some.