Am Wochenende

Saturday dawned still and warm, and we felt the need for some beach time. The day before when we went to sort out my residency (sticker in passport: CHECK!) Otis fell asleep while we were there, so we decided to try sleeping on the go again, and set off early. We cycled down to the Strand Perle – a bar on the beach, and along a bit further, past pretty houses with roses growing up veranda posts. I think what’s special about these places is that they’re just single- or double-storey, one family residences. They often have front porches, which isn’t so common in Hamburg in general. The footpath bisects people’s properties – houses on one side, gardens on the other, with the beach over the garden fence. It feels intimate and invites daydreaming and nosy-parkering as we cycle past, imagining living here… or here. “Oh look they hardly use that bit of garden at all – what I’D do is…”

We left the houses behind and reached a quiet stretch of beach, with just one other family playing in the sand. It was stinking hot, and Otis headed for the water straight away. As looking quickly turned into touching, first pants, then t-shirt, then nappy were discarded, and pretty soon we had a naked baby splashing in the river. We played there for a bit and soon it was way past nap-time so we headed back to the Strand Perle. Thomas inflated Otis’s baby thermorest (so handy), and cuddled him to sleep. We toasted the occasion with Alster Wasser, sausages and potato salad… I’m pretty sure it was past midday.

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