The last 10 days I spent in Germany. Mathilda and I toured the south of Germany to meet friends and family. We stayed at my parents at Tübingen which is a romantic university town with retro feeling. Hippies and incense sticks included. It reminded me of my own student days. Years, no, wait, decades ago.
Compared to Bruxelles the whole city was covered with children. A lot of fathers with their little ones on the playground, mothers breastfeeding at cafes and lovely toy shops. Felt like an oasis for children.
Mathilda ate her first Spätzle, the national dish of the south of Germany. Apparently she liked eating proper food so much that she now is growing her first tooth. Pommes de frites and Brezels watch out!
My culinary treat was a Cronut. Not very typical. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some a local bakery. To my disappointment it was very greasy. I don’t understand the fuss about it. It tasted like fried butter.
Traveling by plane was easy peasy with M. No crying and no ear pain. The flight to Stuttgart took only about an hour and you are allowed to take a stroller or a car seat for free. Only the other passengers – male ones – proofed to be quite ignorant. Nobody helped me with my luggage in the plane or made room for me. They only starred at us. Here in Bruxelles I always get offered a seat at the tram and got help when entering the bus with the pram.
I’m looking for a legal mum drug. Nice and convenient to take. Addiction free and not traceable. Mathildas smiles doesn’t work enough, I need hardcore. To combat chronic sleeplessness and reinforce attention. Inhaling, shooting, eating – whatever I will try anything.
But I need something, otherwise I will go crazy. Like yesterday when I nearly had an heart attack. Mathilda was sitting in her highchair in the kitchen. Unsecured. I admit. But she can’t fall out. She was sitting there quietly and inspecting a piece of paper. I went vacuum cleaning and heard a small sound minutes later.
My brain ran amok: Mathilda fell off the high chair.
I screamed and ran in the kitchen.
No Mathilda at the high chair. No Mathilda lying on the floor.
Instead she was sitting safely in her playing cot and was looking at me like: “Okay, keep calm. Only 17 years and 4 months to go until I can move out.” !
I simply forget that I had put her in a safe place, in her playing cot. I don’t know how I will survive the coming 17 years and I don’t know how Mathilda is going to survive a nervous, badly perfused and hysteric mother.
The late summer sun and the early autumn cold marks my favourite season: autumn. It’s still warm but kind of velvety and cold enough to wear cosy woolen wear. This sunday the weather was perfect for an amazing outing: the garden days at Abbaye d’Aywiers at Lasne.
After a 30 min drive south of Brussels and passing by a lot of almost bucolic sceneries like cows lying in a green hilly countryside it’s hard to believe that Brussels is so close by and that the city is actually surrounded by idylic landscape. Fête des Plantes et du Jardin takes time twice a year at the Abbaye D’Aywiers. The garden of the Abbaye is lovely and very informal. Like a big farmyard with an orchard complete with sheep. Nature wore it’s brightest colours and celebrated the last late summer days (Sorry, for trying to be poetic). We were early and wandered around the estate, bought marmelade and some plants at one of the numerous stalls, saw a lot of french looking belgian men wearing floral shirts and wellies and took (numerous) pictures when Mathilda picked her first apple. For a garden and plant aficionados it must be heaven.
Already marked for next year in my calendar: May 2014 when the next flower & plant market will be taking place. Bring you wellies.
My private hell starts on wednesday. My parents will arrive and we are preparing the moving for next week.
So a warm welcome for chaos! I embrace you with open arms, do whatever you like and try to smile even when I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I will talk softly in times of rage and thunder and will wave you goodbye when you leave. You will come back, that’s for sure. Because you like it here with me and I’m an easy target. But please be gentle with me this time.
Okay, it’s not really Bruxelles, it’s a 30 min drive away by car. The Hergé Museum at Louvain la Neuve just opened three years back and is a must-see for every Tim & Struppi aka Tintin & Milou aka Tintin & Snowy fan. Very impressive to learn about the process of comic making, too
Looking back again at all the familiar characters and stories from my childhood was like a trip on memory lane. I devoured Tim & Struppi when I was a child. It’s a timeless classic. The museum tells the story of the life and work of Hergé and of course of Tim & Struppi. The most fascinating and fan friendly rooms where the exhibition of the original decor like the rocket model from “Destination Moon” or the life size shark submarine which was build only for the books as a reference for Hergé and his fellow workshop artists.
Pic from The Comicsreporter (there’s also a more indepth review of the museé)
We spend a lovely afternoon in the museum and have to come back: every first sunday of the month is free entry! Although the location of the museum at Louvain la Neuve is a bit strange. It’s a superficial student town (catholic university) with a very sterile atmosphere. At the museum I missed a bit the critical historical connection between Hergé’s work and colonialism or the war. But I enjoyed the ride through Hergé’s and Tintin’s world.
I actually wanted to celebrate Mathilda’s 6 months with a whirlwind of daily blog extravaganza. But reality turned in: several appointments and preparations of our moving to another apartment. The new one is luckily only streets away – we love you, Vanderkindere Quartier – but a move is a move and will be extra hysterical with a baby.
Anyway, our little week of love started perfectly with the birth of Baby Cambridge on monday and brought back a lot of memories and emotions of Mathilda’s birth. I nearly melted when Kate and William presented their bundle of love to the world.
But now Mathilda is with us since 6 months. Since six months I’m a Zombie-Mama, I don’t sleep anymore, I share my bed with a musical frog toy and several cuddle sheeps, my supply of eye cream increased up to 150 %, I got a cupboard full of clothes still two sizes too small for me to wear, I’m already happy if I don’t fall asleep on the loo and if I get to brush my teeth before midday. I fell off the stairs twice because of my constant tiredness and I wear my clothes inside out.
All in all I feel like a retarded hippopotamus with a bad haircut.
These six months went way too fast and I wouldn’t want to miss a single moment.
Queen . Love of my life
Eels . Fresh feeling
Frank Sinatra . Fly me to the moon
Harry Belafonte . Mathilda
Max Raabe . Heute nacht oder nie
Georg Kreissler . Dein Kuss hat mir den Frühling gebracht