Friday, September 30, 2011

Last post from Vienna (unless we come back?)

So this ia a quick update on the last post:

It's now nearly 10pm and the children are fast asleep. Their farewell parties went well, they both received t-shirts with their names on them and Emma also got a hand-made photo album with lots of children's quotes and drawings. Absolutely lovely.

Both the kids and I received a lot of love today. Lots of hugs and kisses, presents and kind words, happy wishes and compliments. I was able to say goodbye to everyone I intended to and we even managed a last ice-cream before coming back to the hotel!

I've been so busy trying to be positive for the kids and just so busy, I haven't yet felt too sad so far - only cried a bit once - I am still floating on all the love and functioning in efficiency mode so in a way, I can't quite fathom that we are about to leave all this behind... but I know that soon enough, in a week or two, maybe sooner, I will land and sadness and nostalgia will set in (along with frustration at a million new things not going smoothly).

All part of the (expat) life I guess. On the other hand, we would not have experienced lovely today if we were living here permanently. I wonder can one get addicted to this kind of life with arrivals and departures, intense reunions and good-byes and relatively short commitments? Oh but that's another subject... Nightie night!

Last everything in Vienna

Last coffees and lunches, last playdates, last Genusspfads at the market, last burgers at Orlando's, last Pilates class, last drop off at Kindergarden, last proseccos, last gathering of fond memories here...

Tonight is our last night in Vienna.
I'm now off to pic up the kids at Kindergarden here for the last time... (I hope their goodbye parties went well) then off to the park and perhaps a last ice-cream on Tuchlauben... Oh! So sad!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jeeves please!

Emma had trouble getting her rain boots off yesterday and as soon as his own shoes were off, William jumped to help her. They thought their heartfelt grunts were hilarious as they took turns pulling on the boot. It was really a wonderful sight!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday morning

Feeding the ducks

Aren't the park and pond gorgeous?!

Friday, September 16, 2011

the count-down has begun!

The countdown has started! This time next week the packers will be here! and this time in two weeks will be out last full day in Vienna and Emma will have her going away party at the kindergarden. Then on Saturday October 1st we fly off to Athens where Steph and our furniture will hopefully be waiting.

At times, I have a hard time really comprehending it all, and at others I just want to drink in all of Vienna while I still can.

It's hard thinking that my now home will no longer be my home in about 10 days. I know I go through a process of feeling slighty homeless and un-rooted before I can feel at home again in my new home.

Emma and I play a game where we list all that will be new and all that will be the same; new friends, news school, same Mummy, Daddy, William, Emma, new car, new house, same toys, same furniture... you get the picture. This is my attempt to prepare her for what is coming and so far she seems to be taking it well. In fact a couple of her kindergarden friends' Mums have told me that their son/daughter was very sad, crying, upset about Emma's departure and asked when they would see her again. Interestingly enough Emma has not yet had this reaction or question. I am not sure whether this is good or bad.

I asked her favorite kindergarden teacher to sound the waters with her to see what she was feeling and she told me that Emma was generally quite open about the move if apprehensive about the new kindergarden and friends.
Timing wise it's a shame for William too - he now feels so happy and at home in the kindergarden here. And it's lovely that they are both in the same one and can see each other at break time and when they are outside. In Greece, they will not be in the same Kindergarden at least for the first year.

I am glad that Emma and Will's aunt, Tata-yéyé, will be with us when we hit the ground in Greece to soften the blow and make it more fun and also that Emma has met some of the neighborhood children already. Hopefully this will soften the blow.
The "but when are we going home?" is the question I find the most daunting because I also find making a new home difficult.

Friday morning playing

Will's favorite kitchen cupboard

Still sleepy Emma and the lego doll house

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dear So and So

Dear So and So...

Dear So an So handbag designer,
how is it that you have not yet figured out that making the inside of handbags black, dark grey or brown makes it IMPOSSIBLE to find anything! Please consider using bright pink, yellow, orange, green, silver or tobacco colored lining and do your clients a favor.


Dear So and So packaging designer,
how about making it clearly visible on your packaging when the lotion is a body lotion and NOT a baby bath gel. Or when your butterkeks are "diät" instead of regular. Distinguishable packaging will not dilute your brand equity or image, only make your buyers and users happier instead of frustrated. Plus you might have an accurate idea of what product is actually being bought because we like it and not by accident.
Yours, with gratitude,


Dear So and So (you probably won't recognize yourself),
When I say "no" or "not now" -although the reason might not be obvious to you, please respect my answer. You do not know it all. I am anything but unhelpful but I am not at your service either and I do have a life. Not being heard and respected is what makes helpful people become unhelpful.


Dear Emma-sweetie,
When I insist you wear socks and long-sleeves in the morning it's because it's now 12° outside and your nose is sniffy. I know you like your summer dresses but it's no longer summer and it's too cold. Please understand I do not want to torture your arms and feet only keep you warm and healthy.

Dear Emma-chérie,
Could you please make an effort to dress in less than 45 minutes in the morning? We would then have more time to have breakfast together instead of me sitting through breakfast with Will and then rushing it with you (while trying to stop Will from climbing through windows/into the dryer/ dismantling furniture or emptying the bookshelf).
I hope you nevertheless have a happy day at school.

Monday, September 05, 2011

La rentrée or the moving blues

Today was the first day of school here (la rentrée in French means the start of the new academic year around which also marks the beginning of the French political season) administration and so there was absolutely NO parking spots to be had near the kindergarden.
Plus the actual
street the kindergarden is on was absolutely blocked with traffic and an empty tram that could not move ahead due to a very badly parked SUV. Then the fire-brigade showed up and had to move it. We had to park a mile away and actually ended up walking a longer distance than if we had walked from home.
Anyway... what I wanted to write about was that it's the first day of school and there are little kids running around everywhere still slightly tanned, carrying new school bags, books, pencil cases and sprouting large smiles. Little groups of 16 year old boys and girls in shorts and large handbags. Umph. I am not nostalgic of being 16 even if I am nearing 40! It's just that I used to love the first days of school and buying all the new stationary stuff and catching up with friends and kids form school again.

And now -although my kids are not school kids yet- I am wondering whether we will be able to order the last CD of kindergarden pics and reading about parent evenings and kindergarden outings that will take place when we will be gone (to Greece) and all this will be going on here without us. Isnt' that weird? And I don't mean that in a we-are-the centre-of-the-world-how-can-it-all-go-on-without-us? way. Just that we have been to the parents evening every October for the past 3 years and now we won't. We will be in Greece. Probably trying to find a decent coffee and a parking space. And not understanding anything.

Ok, that was my grumpiness for today.

On the happy side, we had a lovely week-end visiting friends in their new house
and enjoying the Montmartre party at Turkenschanzpark (we usually miss this due to our habitual week in Croatia).

William had his first ever train ride and hot-dog (!!) and Emma got a new sun-dress which I love and jumped her heart out.

that's all for today!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Nearly stepped on some angels

Yesterday as I was walking down the street I came across some angels. No, really, angels at my feet.

I wondered who had placed them there and what their story was. In any case, it was kind of neat to come across them like that.