Last year

Last year on New Year’s Eve, I was pregnant without knowing. I had my suspicions though. Kate and Liz were here with me. Along with the rest of Germany, we lit fireworks outside our house in the snow, and tried not to get blown up.

2011 was much more than I bargained for. I got depressed when the snow melted. I hated Germany, for a while. I went home to Australia, hugged my mum, and learned that not everything is better there.

I discovered Spring in Germany. I fell in love with the city I live in, it’s beautiful streets, it’s parks and canals, it’s horrific and glorious history.

Rose had her first hair cut, and made her first real friend. I found a fleamarket beyond my wildest dreams. I’m not going to say any more about it. I ate lots and lots of ice cream. Some I made with egg yolks and double cream. I wish I still had time.

I found out I was having a boy, and cried for several days. I did a lot of thinking, about men. I went to England, my favourite place. I slept in a tent with my daughter beside me. I ate pork pie and damson jam.

I experienced labour, it was crazy. I fell in love with my son. I waited and waited for summer to come. It did, the day I went into hospital. For three days it was 30 degrees. When I came out, it was raining.

I cried a lot. Theodore cried more than me. Rose cried a little, and Tony not at all. I watched two seasons of Downtown Abbey, twice. I started to sense my time in Germany was running out.

And now it’s time for us to go home. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be back in Australia, home to see family and friends, then off to live in a new place. I’ve never been to Brisbane. I hear it’s nice. But there are snakes, and floods, and no one I can call a friend. But that’s where I started here, so recently. And now here I am, thinking of the loved ones I’ll miss, and the wonderful times I’ve had here.

But enough of that, for now.

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12 Responses to “Last year”


  1. 1 Gerri Frederiksen January 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Oh Ally,
    I can feel what you are feeling.
    Remember, that home is where the heart is. Your precious friends that you have made in Germany, will no doubt, always be your friends and Germany will always be there to return to, one day.
    Who knows what the future holds…you might well be crossing those skies and oceans to settle somewhere else in this wonderul wide world of ours!
    Family and friends await your return with open arms.
    Love Gerri..xx

  2. 3 margareteaudrey January 15, 2012 at 8:22 am

    thanks for making me cry at quarter past nine in the morning…
    You’ll be so missed around here!
    What shall I do on wednesdays now?
    Who’ll come to the library with me?
    And who’ll have lunch with me at Maza Pita?
    Who will ask “why” to me all the time and let me find the funniest explanations?
    Who will finally fall asleep strapped to me in the sling after a long time crying and a lot of movement?
    Where will the man with the biggest selection of boardgames be?

    You all are so special and so important in our lifes and you’ve become a part of my family.
    Anne

    • 4 mavisandfrank January 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Oh dear, and now I am crying at 9pm. Who will come with me to the flea market and bargain down the sellers? Who will play with Rose and take her to the zoo? Who will come in when I’m reaching the limit of my patience and make me a cup of tea? Who will love Theodore in spite of all his crying? There will never be another you, my friend. We’ll treasure you always. xxx

  3. 5 Lizzie Young January 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I have been following your blog for a bit over a year, since I first found the beautiful things you made for sale on etsy (you made three georgous pairs of shorts for my triplets which they still where today), I have enjoyed seeing Germany vicariously through you and been inspired by the things you have made and shared. I live in Brisbane and rarely see snakes (even though I live on 5 acres in quite a bushy area) and only really saw much of last year’s floods on tv. It really is a great place to be – we have plenty of great flea markets and shopping and parks and great places to eat – any time you need any reccomendations feel free to drop me a line. See you do have a friend in Brisbane.

    • 6 mavisandfrank January 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment Lizzie. I haven’t forgotten your sweet girls. Glad to hear you don’t meet with many snakes, I think my time in Germany has made me overly sensitive to things like insects and reptiles, I lay awake thinking about snakes biting my children last night 😦 You’ve given me hope that I’ll enjoy Brisbane, and I’ll certainly be in touch for all the advice and tips you can give me!

  4. 7 Ferdinand de Sausage January 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I´ll miss you, you silly Aussies! the last picture is genius. I think for a scientist the world is quite a small place, so never say never.

    Maybe we will lust after some snakes, flies, floods and driving wrongsided and automatic after being married and – who knows – pop in to say hello in Brissie.

  5. 8 Margreet January 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Wow this has got me emotional. I’ve had the pleasure to meet you, Tony and Rose at Anne’s and i felt comfortable in your presence from the first second. I remember you liking the names Theodore and Edward for your baby boy…

    I’ve heard so many stories about you from Anne that i feel like i actually know you, as silly as that may sound.
    You are so blessed with your gorgeous husband, beautiful Rose and darling Theodore.
    I hope you enjoyed your time in Germany, with all the good and the bad things that have happened.

    I really enjoyed reading every blog, so thank you Ally, Tony, Rose and Theodore.

    Have a safe trip home. Lots of Love, Margreet

  6. 9 Jo January 16, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I remember when I first found out you were leaving to go to Germany and you cried as you told me and we had crying sessions in the foyer at church over the next couple of months. It seemed like an overwhelming adjustment to an entirely new situation.
    Yet you’ve had adventures and you’ve blossomed and grown to love Germany and your friends and had a wonderful experience of another world so different yet still home.
    I can picture you as you prepare for another big change that you will find difficult at times but will grow to love as you find your place there and make friends…and you will because you’re such an easy person to love.
    Hope your pack up and preparation to return to Australia is a little easier than your first big move (because you’ve already done 2 pack ups and moves) and hope all your fond farewells are a reminder of the special place you and your little family holds in the hearts of so many,
    I can’t wait to see you soon Ally!!!
    xoxo

  7. 10 Kim January 16, 2012 at 2:42 am

    You’re coming home???? Hooray for us, but I get the sadness 😦 Looks like I need to plan a trip to Brisbane 🙂

  8. 11 arthurkelly January 16, 2012 at 4:14 am

    What a year it has been Ally. So many adventures and so many experiences of what life can throw up when you least expect it. I know that leaving Leipzig and your friends there will be difficult, but I am sure that Brisbane will be fun and exciting too. It is also a lot easier for your Aussie family and friends to get to! You already seem to have a friend there too.
    As usual, your photos are amazing and capture some of your year in a beautiful way. That last one of a smiling Theodore and Rose is very precious.

    Lots of love

    Dad

  9. 12 Eibhlin January 16, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Hi Alison

    That was such a beautiful post. I’m currently living in Brisbane, and would love to catch up when you arrive, if you would like.

    Eibhlin xx


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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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