Living in the Schanze

We’ve been all over the place the last few weeks – we shifted out of flat #1, and now live in the Schanzen quarter – lively, lefty and pretty hip. We’re house-sitting for friends for two months while they’re in Canada, and their apartment is fantastic. Open plan kitchen/living, which is not so common for apartment living, three bedrooms (one as an office for Thomas), and probably about 120 m2 all up. We’re on the ground floor, and share a garden with sandpit, slide and treehouse with the other 7 apartments. It’s part of a living project, which means that all the other people in the house are pretty cool too.

After shifting out of our old flat, going on holiday to the Ostsee for a few days, then on a cycle trip along the Weser River, staying with Thomas’s mother and sister at various points in between, and then living here for the first week with Martin, Nina, Jeroen and Jarik, it has been nice to spend the last week by ourselves. I think Otis appreciates it too – he was getting quite stressy, and a bit aggressive with lots of tantrums during the first week here. He’s definitely chilled out a lot over the past few days though, so that’s a big relief. He’s is also now officially down to one nap a day, HOORAY!, so that makes things a bit easier too.

We’ve had a nice relaxing weekend – yesterday was the Schanzenfest – a giant, noisy, and technically illegal street party with hundreds or fleamarket, food, and bar stalls all out on the street. It’s illegal because, while during the day it’s lovely and friendly and everyone is having a good time, by nighttime it can get really rowdy with protests and rioting. This quarter is historically quite political and anti-police, and things tend to escalate pretty quickly. Yesterday’s fest was deemed a success though, with only one bank being broken into, and a couple of fires started near the Rote Flora. We’re pretty central, and we didn’t really hear anything going on apart from one of the neighbors in the house having a nice birthday bbq in the backyard.

Today we had our old landlords over for coffee in the morning, which was lovely – Otis really likes them, and it’s nice to see him so affectionate with Anja. After lunch/ nap we cycled down to the Elbe and enjoyed the warm afternoon. The weather has been pretty rainy for the past week (feels like weeks), so it was nice to be out and about.

Things are feeling like they’re coming together now. For a couple of weeks I was feeling quite down and a bit lonely and sorry for myself, but I guess moving round and being unsettled, along with kind of crappy weather does have an effect on my mood.

There are so many other things that have happened since I last posted, but here’s a quick list of the major ones before I go to bed:

Otis turned 1 and also turned kinda chubby
I wasn’t in NZ for the combined antenatal group birthday party, boohoo
We cycled and camped for 4 days
Thomas bought an iPhone
We have a new (temporary) home
Otis fits a pair of big-boy shoes, and totally loves them
Otis is still not walking, but doing some excited balancing, and the odd one or two steps
I officially have a new friend
I also have a new niece, beautiful little Victoria June
German bureaucracy caught up with us (don’t ask)
It snowed in Wellington when we weren’t there

That’s all I can think of right now. Hope everyone is well – comment or email me, we miss NZ!

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7 thoughts on “Living in the Schanze

  1. We miss you so much. Email me your phone number so we can say hi, or else can we skype? You three are looking totally gorgeous and even though it can be lonely at times, Europe does look pretty good on you! Otis’ hair is amazing too! The snow was really cool, but after a week of sideways hail we were pretty over the weather. Yesterday was really nice, today it is grey, but starting to mellow out a bit. We even have washing hanging on the line for the first time in what feels like forever. I planted some flowers in the garden two weeks ago and the hail storms decided to eat them, but hopefully they will come back. Teo really misses you. He talks about you all the time and doesn’t quite realise that it isn’t so simple to come over for afternoon tea and a quick visit… but maybe one day! Ok… this is the world’s largest comment which has turned into an email 🙂 Talk soon! And email me a current address so I can get something off to you! xoxoxoxoxoxo We love you!!!!!!!!!!!! SMOOCHES AND HUGS (and a sly pinch on that chubby bum of your son’s!)

    1. Thanks Bonnichen! Haha, his hair looks pretty weird at times as it’s grown into a sort of mullet/ mohawk thing – still nothing on the sides. It’s usually a wee bit curly, but when it’s hot and humid it goes crazy. Yes to skyping – have just sent a request to Matt. Will give you our postal addy when we skype. Lots of hugs and kisses to you too, and to you men xx

  2. Oh my goodness, Otis is 1. That flew by ha? He’s looking fabulous with that golden mop. I’m really jealous of all your fantastic biking adventures, that has to be one of the best differences of being over there right? relaxed cycling in a flat cycle friendly city? My pregnant body hasn’t coped with cycling (or walking some days), so I’ve been missing my bike big time. 8weeks to go. wohooo.
    Miss you guys, sounds like you have found your niche in the lefty living project though! xxx

    1. Yeah, it’s a huge difference – cycling is actually safe here! The cycle trip was on a flat, dedicated cycleway, through feilds and villages – not even on a main road, it was excellent! You must be excited (or relieved?) to be on the final stretch huh? You’re with Helen Cussins, right?

  3. haha i was also thinking he was looking nice and chubby! ooh big-boy shoes how exciting! i miss seeing you guys, we must skype again soon. love lots xox Jess

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