Want to find me.. I will be at the bar with a glass in my hand, but not eating the nuts... bar nuts are sort of scary.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I want a Shopping Mall!

The title says everything. 

My shopping list, which I had actually remembered to take with me, was pretty long.  Mincemeat for Mince pies has a lot of ingredients. 

There are several supermarket choices in this town, all have their virtues, but none are ‘one stop shop’.  Not such a bad thing unless you are biking it, like I do.  This becomes complicated and visions of hands on shoulder as I slink through checkouts, start to plague my good, honest self.  I carry a back pack…  German supermarket operators are, on the whole, some of the most unhappy people on the planet.  The only thing that can lighten their mood is making me open my backpack and show them the items + receipt, yep, those bought from the rival supermarket.

IMG_6873After I had searched through 2 out of the 3 stores, I gave up.  It was all too hard.  Most of the items on my list remain unfilled.  Don’t get me started on Brown Sugar! In the end I was saved by the bottle of Ruby Port. I was so frustrated by the time I came home, I was tempted to knock the top off and give it a good guzzle. So no mince made yesterday.

IMG_6871But with December knocking on the door, it was time to get that wreath ready.  Can’t say that I was all that enthusiastic about it. Miss Eight helped by tying bows, and we tossed a few decorations on.  Biggest problem was how to hang it up on our new front door… she of glass and steel.  I picked up a stick-on-hook and had the idea that I could stick it on the inside of the door… of course I messed up the first attempt by ‘not putting the hook above the red line’.  Miss Eight saved the second attempt when I cleverly hung the hook upside down.  Thank goodness she can read.  At the point that I was turning red and blowing steam out of my ears, she started shouting at me, “Mummy! Don’t touch anything!! Don’t pull of the hook…you can change it!”  and she was right… so you could.

I wonder why Nigella Lawson never has days like this…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do Nothing

At breakfast this morning, Mr Dear Husband asked what my plans were for the day. 

“Oh I have a whole day of washing ahead of me…” I whined and made that pained expression that all Keepers of the Haus make when facing a mountain of dirty linen. This attracted the attention of Miss Eight. 

“What is so hard about that?  All you have to do is put the clothes in the machine and turn it on!”

Hmmmm, now it is one thing to be a stay at home blogger mother, but a whole other ball game when the recipients of your labours take you for granted.

“Ok, so how about this.  For the next month, I will do nothing, and then we can see how hard it is.  For the next month I will do no washing, hanging up washing, taking down washing, sorting washing, ironing or putting away of clean clothes.  I will leave beds unmade, dirty clothes will no longer mysteriously be collected from off the bathroom floor.  No shopping, no cooking, no cleaning toilets.  For a month, the toilet roll will not be magically replaced.  Vacuuming, dusting, dishes will sit untended.  Windows will collect fingerprints from small children until we can no longer see through.”

“No problem.” she said.  “I will just go to McDonalds for lunch.”  There is a good chance she could pull it off too.  Underneath that sweet, blonde little head of hers, lies the cunning and intelligence to create havoc in small African countries. She has a rather cynical view of life for someone so young.  It wasn’t until my next comment that I managed to get her proper attention.

“Oh, and I will not be the morning alarm clock that gently wakes the child in time for school…”

“What!!!  Nooooo, you have to wake me up, I can’t be late for school!! Sorry mum, please, please don’t stop for a month.”

Nice to know where her priorities lie. 

On top of all the things I am NOT going to do today, I have plans to NOT do a little shopping.  I have decided NOT to make my own mince pies.  Germany has the greatest collection of Christmas biscuits know to mankind, but I have a hankering for Mince Pies.  The fruit mince has about 30 ingredients, and needs to sit for a few days to ripen. Now all I need to do is NOT find that bottle of brandy.

Fruit Mince Pies

Pre Xmas Training

Right.  So off we went, armed with garden shears and biscuits. 

The Church hall was full.  Not sure why, but when we are told to “be there at 4pm”… we always seem to be the last ones to arrive. 

There were a couple of ‘cheap seats’ left, and those nasty branches that nobody else wanted.  But we were a force to be reckoned with. Never underestimate the power of an Aussie when it comes to finding her place at the table.

I had managed to drag Mr Dear Husband along.  Drag, being the operative word.  Each Saturday afternoon, there is football in Germany… no man worth his salt wants to be dragged off to make Advents Kranz. 

IMG_6859 We worked like little demons and caught up with the others.  By 4:45pm the fun was over and men (those that had also been dragged along) were seen peeling off in their hurry to make it home before the 2nd half.

I liked it.  There was a nice Christmassy feel in the air.  The children were less interested, mainly because we, over achieving parents, took over the winding of the green around the ring.  All the Advents Kranzen were placed together in preparation for the big event. 


This morning they were collected and carried by each child to the church.  The priest blessed them. Now it has pride of place on our dining room table.

In the run up to the Big Event, I decided to start earning some brownie points with the Out-Laws.  As I have managed to wrangle away half of their traditional Christmas, replacing it with my own home made Australian-cum-International ideas, I thought it only right to invite them to Sunday lunch.

Roast leg of Lamb, mash potato, ratatouille, followed by baked apples…these were spiced up with some left over Crème de Marron from our summer holiday 2008.  All went well and I even managed to talk ‘others’ in to doing the dishes.


Ready for the oven….

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The crafty Lulu

My little town here has really hit the ground running. Christmas cheer is pouring out of every window.

Last night was the opening of the local Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas Market. It gets the whole show off to a bang. The smell of Gluhwein wafting through the little wooden houses, filled with sparkly goods.

Xmas Mkt It certainly transforms the whole (and I must admit rather dreary) local market square. Children were singing carols and I resisted the call of the chestnuts roasting over an open flame… This is, of course, NOTHING compared to the wonders that can be found in Bonn and Cologne. My first ever Christmas market visit was Cologne, Altstadt. It was snowing and cold. Like a picture book. I will never forget it.

This afternoon we are off to prepare the Advents Kranz. Sitting in the local church hall, drinking coffee and eating biscuits, in the company of all the other parents guiding their children toward their first Communion next year. I am not catholic, but the rest of the mob are. So I get to enjoy the bits that are fun. First Advent falls tomorrow, the first candle will be lit, followed by one each Sunday though to Christmas Eve. The wreath seen in the photo was prepared by my clever father in law. As we will end up with two, I am thinking of decorating and hanging this one on the front door.


I suspect my neighbours have been reading my blog. First thing this morning, they were up and about, going about the task of bringing Christmas cheer to our street. Here are a couple of features that were NOT there yesterday:

Walking Tree Santa breakin

Not only were the lights not there yesterday… but the tree has suddenly appeared overnight! As for Santa… I had to do a little super spy work and nicked a photo from behind a tree because they were still in the process of putting up the lights.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Step by Step Christmas

“Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.” Kin Hubbard

Indulge me this. We have a whole lot of family coming over Christmas, and I couldn’t be happier. We have done Christmas with the Germans in Sydney, a lovely warm, King Prawn, boxes of white peaches Christmas. But never in reverse.

I have always loved Christmas in Germany. It is softer and kinder than in Australia. The early evenings lend themselves to candles, open fireplaces, and twinkling lights.

So one could be prone to thinking that I am over the moon about this upcoming celebration, and I am, but … and isn’t there always a but… I having been pushing pretty hard just to make my new house liveable in time for the festivities (lets not talk about the leak in the stairwell coming from the upstairs bathroom that I discovered today) and haven’t had much left over when it came to the logistics of the actual event. Until this week. This week I decided it is time to start ‘getting my Christmas house’ in order.

There are about a million things to think about. My lists are legendary in this family, but I think I might outdo all previous lists when I am finished with the “Christmas 2009” list.

So here is where YOU come in. In an effort to push myself harder and faster, I am going to try and post each day, something that I have done to prepare for the holidays. I warn you now, I can get a little obsessive about such things. There is a deep yearning for perfection when I entertain, and nothing short of a miracle will pull that off, this year.

Here is where we stand as of today; Friday, 27th November 2009. Tonight is the opening of the Christmas Market in my hometown. I will be there to cheer on the carol singers and taste the Gluhwein and hopefully bring back some photos for tomorrow’s post.

I put together this little collage so you could see where I stand at home. There is much to be done.

Xmas Prep 2009 1 Top Left: My Xmas light, hanging in the kitchen window. It guides the children to school in the dark, early mornings.

Top Left: A Poinsettia. These just look all wrong in the heat of Australian Xmas, but here they are all right.

Middle Left: Yes, I ordered it on Amazon and it arrived yesterday. I am desperate and she makes it look so easy.

Middle Centre: Be impressed, carried this home on the back of my bike… it looks lovely on the terrace at night, and hides the fact that the garden is still a building site.

Middle Right: Pomegranate, just looks Christmassy sitting in that bowl. And tastes great with Lamb!

Bottom Left: Christmas Crackers. No Aussie family would be without a cracker and a silly hat on the big day. Cost an arm and a leg, but they are mine… all mine Hahahaha

Bottom Right: Not sure what sort of flowers these are, but they were a gift from a neighbour as a Housewarming present and I think they look very festive indeed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cake anyone?

I know, I know… a little off the beaten track, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

A friend recently had her third babe. Brave, from my perspective. With all the moving, renovating, unpacking etc, I have been a little remiss in my congratulations. In fact, this newborn is now over 2 weeks old… and they only live around the corner!

So I am inviting them to come and celebrate a little, my first real guests in fact, and join me in some wine and nibbles tomorrow.

The third child is the deal breaker, in my eyes. Those of you who chose to go down this path are made of stronger stuff that moi. Cars are built to seat three kids in the back. But as one of three sisters, all I remember about our Summer holidays, were the ferocious arguments about WHOSE turn it was to sit by the window, the middle spot being clearly marked LOSER!

But, I digress, in preparation for tomorrow, and putting aside all the myriad of chores that are piling up around my ears, I decided to tackle a Diaper Cake…that is a Nappy Cake if you come from Down Under.

I think it turned out pretty good… and only took me three hours… who knew that rolling nappies could be so time consuming!

Diaper Cake 2

Monday, November 23, 2009

I’m livin’ in a box….I’m livin’ in a cardboard box.

“I'm moving, but don't worry! [Someone once] told me we're all on the same planet, so I'll be okay!”  Takayuki Ikkaku

So, there I was with a little time on my hands.  Not doing much in particular, just daydreaming.  My fingers started to twitch as I started counting, striking off with each memory.  When my fingers ran out, I used my toes.  I made it to the big toe on my right foot.  “Sixteen times! Oh lord make it not be so!”  But it was true, and here I was, waiting for the big truck to arrive, again.

In over 20 years of being married to Mr Dear Husband, I have packed up and moved house so often, that the only place that truly feels like home is any airport terminal in the world.

Those of you that have been reading here for a while (you know who you are and I still LOVE your comments) will remember when my household was boxed up for the trip from Sydney to Cairo (what was I thinking!!):

IMG_1585 And then we spent a bliss filled 3 months with nothing but a couple of suitcases.  It is so much easier to live without material possessions.  You save yourself a heap of time when it comes to housework.  No dusting, whip over those floors lickety-split when you don’t need to negotiate furniture. And the good lord know how often those Cairo floors needed to be cleaned.  But there was no putting off the inevitable, the boxes arrived: Cairo Packing boxesI seriously contemplated NOT unpacking at all, but once the beast is unleashed, it cannot be contained.  Before I knew it, we had started riffling through looking for this and that…then there was no stopping the flood.  What I wasn’t to know at the time was just how short our sojourn in Cairo would be.  After a year, the call of the wild was heard and answered and we were shipping out again.  About here would be the photo of the boxes repacked again, if I had actually been in the country at the time.  I made an executive decision…left Egypt for Christmas, and didn’t go back.  This meant that for the first time in all 16 moves, Mr Dear Husband was going to have to ‘go it alone’.  Of course, on this occasion packing was little more than a phone call. 

And so we come to last Saturday.  The boxes finally arrived here in Germany, after being stored in Cairo for almost 12 months.  Eight of those months were fraught with stress and uncertainty, as we negotiated our way through the mess created by the Financial Crisis. So here they are again:IMG_6831 If you look carefully, you will be able to see that each box brought with it, a little piece of Egypt.  A layer of Cairo dust has permeated my entire house.  The boxes are not as pretty as the ones from Australia, but they survived the trip. Two days of non-stop unpacking has resulted in something resembling a home, just don’t look in the Cellar or the Attic.

Today it became just too much, I couldn’t face another box so I set out on my trusty cycle to gather supplies at Aldi. Although the sky seemed ominous, I decided to give it a whirl, anything to get away from those dreaded boxes.IMG_6832The bike was a gift from an elderly family friend, ‘elderly’ being the operative word.  When she told me she hadn’t ridden the bike for ‘a good while’ and then in the next breath mentions, ‘it is almost brand new’, I really should have put 2 + 2 together…IMG_6833  But she gets me where I need to go, and as I discovered today, works remarkably well in wet weather.  If you happened to be driving through Germany today and saw a wild-eyed woman peddling for her life, loaded up with groceries, looking like a half drowned rat, on a clapped out bike circa. 1945… yes, well, that was me!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hola Back Gal

"I tell you, it's time to write that book and sell millions! Stop telling the world for free and make them bloody well pay for your laughs!!" Mama Lisa

What to do, what to do? In the midst of the 'settling into the new house' stage, I find myself in serious need of some mojo... please send in Austin Powers. I can hear what you are thinking, even those of you that walk around with tin foil on your head, that I have a new house, therefore a blank canvas. And this is true. Unfortunately, to date, it has been all hard slog, broken fingernails, paint streaked hair... not much in the creative line.

Bemoaning my fate (if you stick around long enough, you will learn that I am whinger...whiner..complainer....never happy type gal), well I suppose it was more like screeching at Mr Dear Husband down the telephone line, he managed to come back with a reply that floored fact, I went so quiet that he thought I had fainted. At about the point where he was ready to call the local doc to come and see if I was still alive, I answered, "ahmmm Ok!"

Mr Dear Husband has a hard life, lots of travel, lots of meetings, lots of stress (and he is married to me). But it has been difficult to have a whole lot of compassion for him recently. You see, he has been hang'in down in Mallorca... a whole 3 weeks now. As we have just had 4 degrees and rain for the past two weeks, him sprouting off about 25 degree, warm, sunny days did not go a long way toward easing my self-evolved melodrama.

Truth be told, before he had time to change his mind, I had booked a flight on "Think yourself lucky we don't strap you to the wings" Airline... enrolled the Outlaws in a little One-On-One time with the terrorist Miss 8....packed my bag and ran like hell to the airport. Two hours later I was ripe and ready for three whole days of bliss. Spanish wine, fresh fish, fresh air and nothing to do....

I won't bore you with all the details, only to say, it is incredible what a change of scenery can do to reverse the condition of melancoly. And it beats spending 20 minutes lying under a sun bed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poppies and Puffer

There are an assortment of events on the 11th of November. Each year, without fail, it comes around and each year, I celebrate my 29.5th birthday, again.
This year, was no exception. But then there are the priorities, right? Must not forget to pause at 11:00am and take a moment to remember those gallant soldiers that fought so hard so that the future generations could have a life filled with Nintendo Wii, Starbucks & Microwave Cheeseburgers.
Overshadowed by that solemn occasion if you live in Cologne is the beginning of Karneval. In the days when I was being 'a-courted' by Mr Dear Husband, he casually enquired as to when my birthday would fall....

"On the 11th of November," I replied, visions of candlelit dinners and small shiny packages danced in my head.
His face fell.....
"What is it?" I asked.
"You're kidding me, right?" he whispered hopefully.
"No, it has always been on the 11th of November....pretty sure...Yep, the 11th." By now I am watching his handsome face starting to contort with excruciating pain.
"What is it? Is something wrong?"
"Well, it is like this....." he took a deep breath and in a rush came the words that would rule my birthday for the rest of my married life.
"On the 11th of the 11th, at 11:00am, in Cologne, is the opening of Karneval....and it is my favourite day of the year...." His eyes misted up as memories of past 11th of the 11th rush past his eyes... memories of him drinking copious amounts of Kolsch within the shadow of the Cologne Cathedral, and usually dressed in some insane costume. I thought his eyes were misting up because he was being romantic and was overawed by the idea of marrying a girl born on his favourite day.
He cleared his throat, leaned forward over the table, took my hand... "I am sorry to say, it seems that you will be spending your birthday alone, I LOVE Karneval and never miss it."
I thought he was joking. Twenty odd years later, let me tell you, he wasn't.

But all was not lost. Before the son, came the endearing father... now my father-in-law. When I am here in Germany, he never fails to come up with something to please on the 11th of the 11th.

This year, it was this:
Now, be honest, how many of you have ever been given a hand built Kartoffel Kiste for your birthday!! I just know you are keeling over with jealousy.... Can someone please tell me how long I need to leave the potatoes there before they turn into vodka........... preferrably in Grey Goose bottles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chocolate Box Town

Not feeling very funny today, so I thought I might show you some photos I took in the Summer. Not far from our town is a castle town. Built up high on a hill, the original inhabitants lived within its walls and I suspect some of them are still there.
It makes for a lovely walk, little houses nestled up against each other and cradled by the remaining walls. One of the members of my family was born in this tiny place and speaks (even today, some 50 years after moving down to the 'big smoke') a rough dialect that takes all my concentration to understand.
The people from this town are loyal to their ways. They know the history of the area, they know who was born and who is a relative. I suspect that knowing the geneology is a good thing, considering how few of them there actually were 50 years ago... never good to marry your brother. Sometimes, I hear the guitar riff from Deliverance in my head when I am walking around the castle walls.....
Entry to the town is either through a steep uphill, hairpin drive (terrifying in winter) or from the other side...but then there is the stone wall entrance, which is tiny, suitable only for Fiat Pandas or Smart Cars. It would be hopeless to try and bring in any heavy machinery. So everything is handled through small loads.
I think the town dwellers like it this way, it keeps the tourist buses away.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oben and Up

Hey, where did the Summer go? As if by magic, things have changed here. It seems to have happened overnight, or was I just too busy to notice. My neighbours have buttoned up their garden houses, tucked up their stone statues and raked up all their leaves.
Don't know why I am pretending, all the signs were there, clear as day. The first happened when I woke up and found that Mr Frost had come to visit. He left behind his card. All the lovely summer Geraniums killed with a single stroke.

Then the water buckets iced over. Miss 8 found this exciting, but it reminded me that I have now made my home in a country that requires you to change your tyres over according to the season -- unheard of in Australia. Why, we only change our tyres when the rims start scratching the driveway (or is that only in Queensland heeeeheehee)

And so it was, that we decided to start investigating indoor activities. There are massive indoor sport halls here on every corner. Clubs that meet at pubs (more my style), dancing, singing, more drinking, more singing.... all of this will eventually lead to Carnival, which is just about to come a knocking. I will post more about that later. As Miss 8 is still too young to take much pleasure in the drinking, singing, more drinking, more singing club, we took off to the movies.

I wasn't sure what to expect. The first shock being the prices... I did try explaining that I only wanted 2 seats, not buy the whole cinaplex, but it didn't help. Then there was the usual or might I say, not so usual Movie Snacks. Popcorn... the first mouthful almost landed on the back of the head of the person sitting in front of me. It was SWEET... blerk! No salt, no butter... I scanned around to see if anyone else had discovered this devilish mistake, but they all seemed to be stuffing it down as if normal. The then was the 'shared armrest' protocol. Hmmm... would this be different. Which drink holder belonged to me? Very confusing. As if that wasn't bad enough, it was a 3-D movie, which required me wearing funny glasses, and resulted in me embarressing myself when I kept constantly trying to swat things out of the air....that weren't there. This caused much merriment for 13 year old boy on my right....and distracted him enough so that I could plant my elbow firmly on the armrest!

In the end, it was fun, but I miss watching movies that haven't been dubbed. Somehow that little out of sync mouth movement v's sound distracts me from the movie. Might be time to invest in a home cinema.
PS. Photo of Miss 8 taken just after I had tried to swat a bird out of the sky, at the same time upending my bucket of SWEET (just can't come to terms with that) popcorn into the lap of Mr smartypants 13 year old spotty youth. She is NOT amused! More and more often lately she wears that same expression when she looks at me.....should I be concerned?

Friday, November 6, 2009

I am a Doughnut!

We haven't had a story lately, would you like another? I thought as much. Ok, get cosy, put your feet up...hey! not on the coffee table! Good, ready?
As a fresh young bride, I was whisked out of Australia, all the way to Europe, landing squarely in Germany. It was exactly 30 days after I got married. Everything was new, new husband, new country, new language. It seemed every conversation I overheard was about to explode into a full blown blood bath. The gutteral utterings all but nonsense for me at the time.

An exciting time to be in Germany, whispers of revolution were in the air and I was delirious with sensory overload. Finally the chapters of my well-thumbed history textbooks were coming to life. Names like Helmut Kohl and Honecker infiltrated my everyday conversations. I felt worldly beyond my tender years.

Watching the Berlin Wall fall was like sitting in a Master class. Even way before I tangoed with the German Mr Dear Husband, I had a unfathomable interest in everything to do with WWII. Triggered, I suspect, by two books read during my impressionable teen years. Diary of Anne Frank, and One day in the life of Ivan Denisovisch by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.

As life rushes by, it took us until the Summer of 1990 to finally have the chance to cross the border and take a look around The East. A trip was planned, heading through Frankfurt, toward Dresden, then on to Prague. It was our 1st wedding anniversary. In preparation, there was much discussion about whether I would need a Visa or not. Nobody seemed to know the answer, and that summed up the whole country, doused in confusion. The merging of East & West was still in its infancy.

Being a worrier, I took hold of the reins and asked Mr Dear Husband to drive me to Bonn. I would just go to the East German Embassy and ask them. Now, I am not sure what it was like before the Wall went down, but I could swear I saw a tumble weed rush down the driveway as we approached. No cameras, no guards, and nothing to indicate if we should go in or run for our lives. As we hesitated, a man in a East German police uniform opened the front door and beckoned us inside. At this stage, I am seeing pictures from John Le Carre books in my head.... we followed him into a large room. The room empty, except for a small, battered table and chair, placed deliberately in the centre.

Mr East German Policeman, sat behind the desk, straightened his shoulders, coughed once and said, "Passport".

By this stage, I had started to shake, having worked myself into an imaginary frenzy. I held out my little blue Australian passport, with the fearful worry that I would never see it again. Visions of KGB were dancing through my head, high-kicking to the title music from Hogan's Heroes.

Mr East German Policeman took my passport with his thumb and forefinger, a slight curling of the top lip and and ever so tiny sniff. He laid it on the table, and opened it to the first page, looked intently at the photo, then back up to my face. That curled lip remained.

Then, in a manic rush, he flipped the lid of a small cashbox by his side, containing a stamp, and a stamp pad. "Twenty Marks!" It sounded more like a barked command than a request, and we reacted accordingly, each of use stumbling to turn out our pockets and throw money at him. With a slight of hand, the money disappeared, there was a quick STOMP, and my passport was slid back across the table, again, using the least amount of bodily contact possible.

We did not talk or look back until we were at least 20 minutes away. To this day, I have no idea if the stamp was legitimate or not. On no occasion during the trip through East Germany was I ever stopped by anyone, nor did anyone ever request to see the stamp.

For all I know now, there is a good chance that we were scammed... but it made our trip to the DDR all the more exciting. A fruitful imagination is a wonderful thing.

Now let's me hear you..... get that David Hasselhoff hip action going.... come on, The Fall of the Berlin Wall will be forever linked to this song....

I've been lookin' for freedom
I've been lookin' so long
I've been lookin' for freedom
still the search goes on
I've been lookin' for freedom
since I left my home town
I've been lookin' for freedom
still it can't be found

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"It was one of those perfect English Autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than than in life." P.D. James

It started off simply enough. Riding my bike back from the market, taking a shortcut through a bike path. A perfect leaf, drenched in the colours of Autumn, drifted down and landed almost on my face. I grabbed at it, managing NOT to fall off the bike, and tucked it into my pocket. I rode on, and found myself giggling like a small child. A strange delight at finally being able to experience a whole European Autumn. There are memories tucked away from when I was nothing but a skinned-kneed girl, a yearning for the changing of the leaves, a pleasure that growing up in Sydney did not provide. My special leaf sat on my windowsill for a few days until someone decided to toss it out.
On the odd occasion I have come up for air in the past 6 weeks, from my daily toil of painting and wallpapering, I have noticed that the trees in my backgarden were slowly changing from lush green to gold. Each time I glanced at them, I felt a tingle of pure childlike very own Autumn leaves. A few minutes each day spent in the gentle art of raking, was better than any meditation, soothing for the soul. Satisfaction that the garden could be so easily restored to lush green. Then the wind arrived. It wasn't so much a storm, as a determined long winded gusting. It started in the morning and continued throughout the day. On this occasion, I was entrenched in clearing out the cellar... no windows and no chance to see that what was taking place outside would soon change my romantic notions forever.
It stopped me in my tracks. HUH? What was that? Had someone dumped a plush persian carpet on my lawn? It took me hours, of raking, bagging, raking, bagging.... the whole time muttering under my breath, "What the hell... grumble, grumble....damn leaves....damn if I don't have enough to do...grumble, grumble." Not even the crisp, clean air and sparkling blue sky could distract me from the massive piles of leaves that built up. My beautiful leaf had decided to throw a party and invited every mate within kicking distance.

What is it about life that all those romantic notions need to be knocked out of you, does this mean I have to grow up?


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