Fruchtallee, Eimsbuttel

I’m pleased to announce that I’d completely underestimated the honesty of the average human being, and yesterday afternoon we went on an expedition to the airport to collect our camera. Hooray for Emirates! From now on things will look a bit more interesting, but for now, here’ a pic of Otis reading Hairy Maclary with Granny and Opa. He loves reading books… well, he mostly loves turning pages (<tired = faster page turning), so we bought this NZ classic for the plane trip.

We moved into our new wee flat on Sunday, and I love it here. It’s small – only 50 m2, but it’s so nice to have our own space. We’re on the ground (or, half below ground) level, and share a small back yard with our landlords and their two children, who live above us. They have an old Alsatian called Che, a big softie who is very patient with being constantly terrorized by Otis.

Fruchtallee is a wide, busy street, but we back onto Bellealliancestrasse – pretty, leafy and partly cobbled. It’s nice to be able to get out of the house for a decent amount of the day, partly so Thomas doesn’t have to try to ignore Otis grizzling while he works, but also because in general he’s a much happier baby when out and doing something. Right behind our building is a playground which we’re making the most of. In the morning it’s used as a kind of kindergarten (you can leave your child there for €1 per hour!), but from 12.30 anyone can use it. On Monday I met a woman there called Michaela who was knitting a blanket for her sister’s baby. We started talking, and she invited me to a baby music group run by her friend that afternoon. Otis and I went along and sat with 3 other mothers (plus one Oma) and their children, and sang action songs. Admittedly I didn’t do terribly much singing, as it was in German, but it was such a nice welcome to the neighborhood. It was Otis’ first organised group activity, and he seemed kind of overwhelmed by it, sitting quietly with eyes wide, wondering what all these crazy people were doing. I think we’ll keep going though, because I don’t sing much with him, at home, and it’s something nice to look forward to.

I hear the boy calling from the bedroom, so will sign off!

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