3 years ago my husband got me to start using a social network called ‚Path‘. Path a is friends network like Facebook, but its appeal is the closed circle it provides for close friends and family. It has a pretty layout and its own photo filters which makes it nicer than a what’s app chat group to look back on. Self-congratulatory posts, constant baby updates and compromising pictures belong on Path.
This week I noticed that I had shared 1000 ‚moments‘ on Path. Round numbers always give me a sense of achievement. And flicking back through some of the many photos and comments did put a smile on my face.
And whilst we travelled on the train to Prague on a dark November Friday evening, a massacre took place in Paris.
Whilst we celebrated a wonderful wedding in the heart of the historic town of one of Europe’s beautiful capitals, another capital was in shock from a deadly terrorist attack in its fine streets.
And as we make our way home through what feels like a Europe without borders, those very borders are being closed, tightened and rethought.
It’s a sad day for Europe. Yes, horrendous terrorist attacks take place all over the world and much too often – but we somehow expect peace here in Europe. And hope very much that peace can still exist.
People often ask me if I miss life in the UK. Well, it’s been such a long time since I had an everyday life there that I can barely answer that question.
But the last couple of trips to the UK have been just about that. No darting about from place to place, no string of parties and bbqs – just quiet time spent mostly with family and the semblance of an everyday life. At least an everday life of someone on maternity leave. Far from being dull, there were quite a few highlights:
- Catching an early screening of the new James Bond (UK release date 1 week earlier than in Germany) and the pleasure of watching it in English (surprisingly, few cinema theatres in Germany show original language showings) and in the company of my dad and brother. It’s worth a watch!
- Strolling through Birmingham’s busy city centre and becoming familiar with the new commercial face of its main station. And a rainy morning walk over to the hip jewellery quarter area. The city has changed a lot since I lived here 10 years ago. The cafe culture has boomed in the past few years with many independent cafes with lots of charm.
- Meeting British mums at a playgroup and getting an insight into the world of maternity leave in the UK.
- A visit to a pub or two…and a portion of fish and chips or two.
- Several visits to several parks later, my little niece and nephew – who I sadly don’t get to see as often as I would like – finally got used to me. Is there a nicer feeling than when a 2-year-old suddenly asks to hold your hand?
- The wonderful christening celebration of our little man on a moody, wet, muddy and somewhat typically English autumnal weekend. The perfect family celebration to round up a lovely 2 week stay.