Thursday, 21 September 2017

World Children's Day

20th September is World Children's Day. Here in Germany, they make quite a big deal of it.

Our local area plans a range of events for children. We've taken Isabella to the children's theater at the local high school twice and we'll be doing it again in October.

On Sunday, for World Children's Day they planned all sorts at the mill in Südweyhe. We were there right on time in glorious sunshine. It started with a play which was fun. It was 50 minutes long but Isabella did well with concentrating.

The mill itself is a museum so Nico and Isabella had a look while I waited with Joshua. There were games and toys, food and drink, badge making, a rally and face painting. Isabella had her face done with pink glitter as a princess. Later there was a magic show and a musical performance. Unlike the usual Sunday theaters, this was free (except the food and drink).

We saw lots of people we know - the youth volunteer from nursery, a child from nursery with her dad, Nico's colleague, my friends from post-natal fitness, mums and kids from kindergarten and even mums from other kids events like the theater and library.

It was a lovely morning and a great way to celebrate the kids. Joshua even stayed awake the whole time!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

My Great Grandmother

Recently I've been delving into my family history again and, as those of you following my 40 things list may have noticed, lately my Mum and I have made some real progress.

As long as anyone in our family can remember, there has been a big mystery about my great-grandmother - Isabella Allan. We knew she came from up towards Jarrow and left her family there to move to Yorkshire in the twenties. There she met my great-grandfather and started another family.

We never knew why she moved or what happened until recently. With the help of my Dad's cousin who is a semi-professional genealogist, we have found some long lost cousins - the descendents of the children Isabella left up north.

Here's what we can piece together. She married Joseph Patterson at the age of seventeen and had two sons. Joseph went of to fight in World War One. When he came home on leave he discovered that Isabella was having an affair resulting in a third pregnancy. He took their two sons to live with his parents and returned to war where he was killed in Belgium.

Isabella gave her third son up for adoption but he did make contact later in life.

The next years are still a bit of a mystery but at some point she moved to Thorner and once settled, sent for her fourth (!) son to join her.

In Thorner she met my Great-Grandfather Willie and had three children with him before she passed away in the late 1950s.

It is a story full of scandal and shame and we've certainly had mixed feelings while learning all of this but I do believe it's the right time for this to come out. We're so over the moon to find that we have more cousins and that Isabella's older sons had good lives despite the tragic start.

I don't judge Isabella for what she did. We will never know why she had an affair but she was young and alone with two children in very unstable times. I never knew her so I can't say what kind of person she was. Plus, if she hadn't had this background, I wouldn't be here! Families and family histories are full of this kind of 'scandal'.

I'm so glad we finally know more about her and now we can start to look further back too.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Recipe: Albondigas (Spanish meatballs)


  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Seasoning
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Fennel
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato puree
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Rice to serve
1. Combine the mince, eggs, 1 onion, garlic, seasoning and herbs in a bowl. Form into balls and fry in the oil for about ten minutes
2. Fry the second onion with the tomato puree until brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for ten minutes.
3. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook for a further ten minutes.
4. Serve with the rice.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Make it Monday - Creative Lettering Quote

Last week I started my new calligraphy course and this was the first exercise. Lettering is quite an individual thing and I usually consider my projects something that looks very childish but I took my time with this and I really like the finished piece.

I'm going to put it up in the hobby room to keep me inspired.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Weekly Wisdom

Let's do what we love, and do lots of it!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Saturday Update

We've had a very quiet week here. It was a quiet weekend. Nico was home sick all week but is on the mend now. It was a week of little jobs at home, sticking to my new health routines and keeping the kids busy.

There was a playdate, library visit and baby swimming.

The weather was rubbish at the start of the week so we were a bit stir crazy and Isabella's discovering Disney - so far Peter Pan is the only one that doesn't make her cry! Little softy.

I've been doing more family history, picked up my crossstitch after months, and did more C1 revision.

We'll see a change of pace this week with Skype calls, World Children's Day, Kindergarten visit, parents' evening, brunch... all as well as the routine stuff!