5 things (with shiny newness)

1. Elf started kindergarten last week. It’s been a long, long time coming; of course in London she went to preschool two (full) days a week, so since May she’s been cooling her heels at home with mommy and getting a bit stir crazy. Not to mention lonely. I was a bit worried that the start might be difficult none the less, what with language difficulties and all. I shouldn’t have worried.  Image

2. I bought a sewing machine. The impetus for this was that my old machine – formerly my MIL’s, and state of the art about 30 years ago – decided it couldn’t be bothered winding bobbins properly any more, and I have curtains to hem. Arguably, I could/should have just figured out how to fix the bobbin problem, but frankly? As nice as that machine is, I was itching to choose my very own.


I have this fond notion that an up-to-date sewing machine might actually make it easier/more fun for me to sew. And since I have this lifelong love/hate thing with sewing (would love to, in theory, hate it in practice), well… got to give it a fair shot, right? At the very least I’ll have hemmed curtains.

3. Switzerland seems to be remarkably good for me in an unexpected way: I’ve been losing weight steadily. When we arrived I was back to my pre-Dude weight, but now I’m 10kg lighter than that – which is lighter than I’ve been in a loooong time, although still far from skinny (or even from what I once considered my “normal chubby” size). I don’t know what gets the credit; something in the water? Altitude? The natural effects of pushing a pram around bumpy farm and forest roads, plus a weekly run? Whatever it is, I feel great. (Got muscle tone, not just less pudge.) But I need new clothes. It’s a happy problem, but still a problem: apart from the lack of cash, I don’t know where to find the clothes I like (no Monsoon!), and I don’t have time to shop. Curses. (Not a lot of charity shops here, either.)

4. Nanny starts tomorrow, with a couple of settling in days before I start my job next week. We really like her. But it feels extremely strange (and impoverishing) to be a household with a nanny. No word of exaggeration: all my pay, after deductions, goes straight to her.* Whose idea was it to have two kids, anyway?!

5. We had a date on Friday. A date! We left the house and everything!** Such awesomeness. And get this: Elf wants to know when we’re going out again, because she’d really like Grosspapi to come babysit some more. 

That could maybe possibly be arranged. 

* Luckily I’m pretty clear on my motivation for working (things like integrating better/faster in my new country, and oh yes I’m going completely nuts at home), so I can sort of almost reconcile myself to this state of affairs. There’s also the long term to consider. I keep reading about how important it is for mothers to get back to work because of the the huge impact of long career gaps on long-term earning potential etc etc, and frankly these articles always focus on terribly high-flying women who aren’t so easy to relate to. (And check out this great response that points out the obvious: these choices usually aren’t real choices. Amazingly enough, mine is.) I’m not that ambitious and am never going to save or run the world. My chances of a six-figure salary are similarly slight. But still: there’s going to be an impact on my future if I just stay home. 
** “Everything” meaning a very rushed supper and then Before Midnight. Which is excellent, though a bit on-the-nose for a couple slap bang in the middle of Die Beschissende Jahre.***
*** Somehow I like this phrase, from the subtitles, better than the rawer English one. It’s going to stay in my personal vocabulary. Incidentally: the verb “vögeln”? Does not mean birding as in birdwatching. Just so you know.

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