Monday, 18 Dec / Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006

My electronic round-robin letter.. (will anybody read this?? I think it's more for my own benefit)

It's time for my half-yearly update! As per usual it will be quite brief. This has been an exciting year for us, with the arrival of a new member of the family , Alex. He is now 9 months old and very capable of interfering with all the grown-up things that Chiara (now 2yrs 7 mths) wants to do. But even though she ocasionally knocks him over or threatens to strangle him, Chiara adores her younger brother, and vice versa. In the bath they gang up against us to make us soaking wet and won't stop giggeling.

In March when Alex was born, another significant change took place. Matin got promoted to editor of Physics World. He had been acting editor for 6months before that, so he didn't have to cope with an entirely new job in addition to the new baby. Anyway, he managed both very well!

There have been loads of trips again, of course. In May/June, to Germany with the car. We were in Munich for the opening match of the World Cup - though neither in the stadium or the city at the time, but rather following it all on TV. It all started well for England and Germany, but what sad endings ;) Anyway, I'm still glad that the two teams didn't meet!

In July, Matin was in Munich again for a conference - it must have been real bliss strolling through the city without children (or wife!). He also visited my parents together with his cousin Osman and keeps telling me about this moment when they said good-bye and "just got into the car and drove off".

It was my turn in August to go to Munich - with the kids -, as I had this preposterous idea of tidying up my parents` basement (it must have been some hormones left over from the pregnancy). It was easier said than done, because I had to look after the children a lot. Also, none of my family took the tidying up business quite as serious as me. To start with, I found that really frustrating, until I took the trip for what it was. A brilliant opportunity for me, Chiara and Alex to be with my parents without the usual rush to visit lots of people. And eventually we did tidy up, and my parents even continued after I had left. We had travelled to Munich on the train after flying into Düsseldorf (that in itself was crazy, me alone with a two-year-old and a 3-months-old baby) On the way back we again went on the train and met Matin at Düsseldorf. We then went to my grandmother's to spend a couple of days there.

In September/October a long- awaited trip to Italy. I won't write too much now, but it was just great. I thougt it might be difficult to relax if one always had to look after the children, but it wasn't. It was a truly enjoyable holiday.

There were some mini-trips worth mentioning as well. A wonderful three days in a cottage in Somerset, just before Alex was born - a last holiday as a family of three. A surprise trip to a cottage in Herefordshire end of April/1st May. Several trips to Birmingham..

This has to be enough now.. It's just getting too late.

There are lots of new photos on this website as well. I'm particularly proud that tonight I finally - after over a year of wanting to do this - put up the pictures of our 2005 Pakistan visit.

Anyway, for now good-night (well, good morning!)


Saturday, 20 May 2006

Unbelievable that I haven't written for 6 months, especially considering that it is so easy!

Anyway, the big event in the last half year happened 9 weeks back. Our son Alexander was born.


ALEXANDER   16 March 06   11.27 hrs


This has made us very happy. The birth was quick and although I still wouldn't call it easy it went very well.

I will leave it at that for the moment as I've got to go.

We are all doing fine and have already got used to the new situation (it looks like Alexander has, too).


Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Just a quick entry. I just want to write a little because recently I put up quite a few new pictures (Peter's wedding, Chiara's playpals and Susi visiting Bristol). This is so so much easier and quicker now that we have Broadband.

There's one big news since the last entry. We are expecting a second baby in March, and we have now learned that this time we are having a little boy! This is all tremendously exciting, it will all be a new experience again.

We had a very good summer, weatherwise and also generally speaking. I was out and about with Chiara a lot, and we both enjoyed that very much.

In September my parents came to visit and we went to Birmingham with them to see Matin's parents. We celebrated Inge's 65th birthday on a boat floating down the Birmingham canals for three hours. All the family (children and grandchildren) were there and it was good fun. Unfortunately Chiara got ill that day and remained so till after my parents left. Teething troubles, we suspect.

And now it's almost Christmas again. It all goes so quickly..


Friday/Saturday, 10/11 June 2005

Summer is here! While in Munich apparently the "Schafskälte" (sheep cold) has set in, we have enjoyed a couple of really warm days.

Half a year since my last entry. What has happened since then - sorry, from my perspective it is mostly regarding the baby, I spend the whole day with her - : One certainly noteworthy experience was our trip to Pakistan in February. I was a bit nervous about it, and even there I found it difficult to shake off this quiet little fear that something dangerous might happen. However, that probably had to do more with my imagination than the actual threat. In fact, it was a wonderful trip and there was zero exposure to any dangerous situation. And thanks to Matin's parents who live there over the winter months, this country opened up to us in a way that wouldn't be possible if we had just been there on our own. On our trip we saw a lot of ancient monuments - Lahore and Taxila were extremely impressive. We also saw lots of Matin's and Chiara's relatives, and I was glad to meet them all. Matin himself hadn't seen some of them for 20 years. Chiara was absolutely fine the whole trip which was a huge relief. I MUST put up some pictures. Soon..

In April we went to my grandmother's in Voerde, just for 4 days. And it was there that Chiara learned to walk. This was so nice for Omi to see, and besides my sister was there as well. A lot of witnesses for the first walks.

On May 12 Chiara turned a year and we gave a little party for her two days later. Unfortunately all this coincided with a minor plumbing disaster. In fact, Chiara spent most of her birthday (the 12th) in the presence of a plumber, who achieved nothing! It took two more days to sort the blockage out.

Later in the month I went to Munich with Chiara. With my parents we then drove to Omi's for a family gathering. Matin arrived in Munich a week later. It was the first time Chiara had been seperated from her daddy that long. And it's a long time since I was away from Matin that long, too! Anyway, we had a great time in Munich once again, and Chiara did definitely enjoy the huge garden - and watching the dog.

Sunday, 12 December 2004

Another 4 months gone by.. but in terms of chucking pictures onto this website I have more than made up for it tonight! This is really becoming an enormous electronic photo-album. But I suppose that's not the worst use you can make of a website.

You can see what we've been up to from the pictures. There were two big celebrations: My friends Bilhan and Sefi got married in Berlin - a marvellous wedding. And in October my father celebrated his 60th.

We have been on a few more trips and otherwise have settled into a weekly routine (Chiara and me) of German playgroup, swimming and seeing other mums and babies. I find it remarkable how busy one can get as a mother!

Chiara has been making good progress. She can move forward on her front now - I think in a few days one will be able to call it a crawl. She is also keen to stand up, but has to lean on something of course. And she is both very serious at times (especially on photos) and can laugh heartily.


Saturday, 28 August 2004/Thursday, 9 September 2004

Long time no see. I wanted to write after we got back from Germany, and that was 7 weeks ago! I have finally managed to put some pictures together of that trip (see here). We went from 26 June till 11 July. Chiara was 6 weeks old when we left, and 8 weeks when we came back. She changed considerably during that time. But nothing compared to now. She looks so much older, and is really taking part in what is going on around her. When we eat, she won't be quiet till she can sit on our laps, and once achieved that, she wants to discover with her hands what is on our plates. She also seems to like reading menus.

Our trip took us from the outskirts of London (Matin's sister's place) via ferry to France, on to Voerde (Nordrheinwestfalen) and finally Munich. On the way back we stayed a night in Brussels with Matin's friend Hans.

We saw a lot of people while we were in Germany. At first, there was my mum's 60th birthday. We had a really nice meal with close relatives and friends. In Munich we saw lots of friends, both from my and Matin's side. I felt a bit guilty dragging little Chiara around so much, but she didn't seem to mind. She liked looking at all the new faces.

(09/09/2004) Since we've been back we have had my friends Rosi and Barbara over for a visit - I'm planning to put up some pictures of that - and have been busy visiting people and places ourselves. (a wedding, a Roman villa, the grandparents, and our favourite 5star hotel ;) the Beeches)

I have recently engaged in more "mummy & baby activities" than to start with (that is, none):
- Signed up for a baby swim course
- started going to a "Deutsche Spielgruppe"
- going to postnatal classes where Chiara is the oldest (baby) because I waited so long.

That's it for now. To be up to date for once, these are three pictures taken last weekend.


Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Today exactly 6 weeks ago, it finally happened: Our girl was born.


CHIARA    12 May 2004    18.41 hrs


At birth she weighed 3220g (7lb 1,5 oz). She has blue eyes and dark hair. It is not very clear yet whom she resembles most - I personally think she doesn't look very much like her father OR mother - but Matin has been mentioned more often than me.

The birth went very well, and we could leave the hospital the next day. We then had a 3-week "holiday" with all 3 of us at home all day. This was great, as Matin and I could explore every aspect of "Life with a new baby" (title of our last antenatal class) together. It also meant that we could catch up on sleep in the morning. Yes, we did have the sleepless nights everybody had warned us of. But not too many, luckily. By now there is a routine of Chiara falling asleep at 11/12 and waking up only for feeds during the night. Another good thing - for me! - was that Matin was doing a lot of the housework and cooking. He still does, to be honest..

Everything has been going quite well so far and having Chiara has been enjoyable more than anything. At the antenatal class they had emphasised the "difficulties we would also face and might not be aware of", making caring for a baby look like an almost insurmountable task. Fortunately, it has proved not to be that bad. In fact, it is quite nice!


Sunday, 9 May 2004

Despite hot curries and lots of physical activity the little one still hasn't made an appearance and is now a week overdue. (S)he is obviously taking after the mother. Matin meanwhile is developing a strong "nesting instinct", tidying the house from roof to bottom. So the birth can't be far away anymore!

Monday, 19 April 2004

Today spent almost the whole day creating this new website. Hope to upload it successfully soon. 2 weeks till due date of baby.. Still feeling fine.