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Endlich Sommer - and time for a new Kaffeeklatsch thread...

(204 Posts)
LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 07:54:30

... for those living in Germany or Austria or anyone who just wants to chat/ask a question about living in or visiting this part of the world - all welcome. smile

Previous thread here

admylin Sat 22-Jun-13 16:19:39

fussy I bet you miss him. I dread the day my 2 set off into the world. Ds wants to go to Japan or Korea and dd wants to go and live in the US when they've finished school here in Germany!

itsMYNutella Sat 22-Jun-13 18:35:02

admylin those are adventurous children! I have a friend in Japan who has lived there about ten years now. I doubt he'll go back to Ireland - but he is rather handy if you want to figure out Tokyo! grin
The pekip thing I go to is run by a children's nurse and she recommended a "lauwarm" bath on hot days. DS really enjoys baths, we're not enjoying them as much because we get a soaking hmm trouble is we can't actually fit in our tiny bathroom with any sort of baby bath... Perhaps we should try showering with him...

Our flat stays cool ish. I would guess it was still at least 26-28 in here the other day/night.

Welcome fussy smile hamburg must be a great city to visit & study in. We're not far away (Hannover); hamburg is definitely more interesting though.

Better go, DS is almost asleep - he is supposed to be having a good feed so that he sleeps until 8 am <wishful thinking>... Ok 4 am would do! wink

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick one to rejoin the thread! We've been loving the hot weather, at the Freibad as much as possible - I love Freibads!! Just something that don't exist in the UK. I have got past caring about people seeing my body, there is always somebody worse, and tbh I don't take any notice of what I see, so why would anybody else except teens, who are another species anyway ;) (we had 37 degrees 4 days in a row, though yesterday was 25 and today it rained in the morning and was at least dry and around 18 in the afternoon - thank goodness as DS1 had a football tournament and has another tomorrow, and DD was at a birthday party all outdoors on a farm!). Sympathies to those with babies though - mine are all children rather than babies now, so old enough to enjoy the water and th the heat rather than by grumpy about it, and DS2 actually sleeps from 8.30-5am fairly reliably in temperatures over 36 degrees it seems quickly investigates the possibility of jobs in Singapore and ignores the possibility of heat stroke wink

Admylin we always drive and take the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull (my parents are about 1.5 hours drive from Hull) - it works out about 2/3 of the price of flying plus hire car for a family of 5 even including the diesel.

Outnumbered hope your landlord sees sense on prices! As you say, perhaps he's just chancing his luck and will come down to market value.

Welcome to the thread fussy - I left for India 3 weeks after my A levels, so I'm with your son -and that was 20 years ago when phone connections were very dodgy - I think I phoned twice in the first 6 months smile (I did write too). I moved to Japan straight after my degree too. I wouldn't have done things any other way tbh.

In shock news I think I am getting a motorbike - I had them pre-DC (first motivated by nightmare commute into London and discovering an hour on the tube could be replaced by 20 minutes on a motorbike) but gave up when pregnant with my eldest - fast forward 8 years and I think maybe I am ready for another bike smile We saw one today but it was just too big - going to look at one tomorrow though that I think may be just right - I really wanted the same bike 10 years ago, but it was a brand new model, maybe now I can actually afford one smile My boys are most impressed, DD not so sure...

fussychica Sun 23-Jun-13 10:24:56

MrTumbles wow very daring and exciting - this is a bit tame by comparison! He was told he'd have regular internet/Skype access but that's not been the case so far so his mobile has taken a hammering I wonder who'll be paying?

Thanks for the welcome everyone. He is loving Hamburg so far, especially now the mega hot days have gone, I think that heat reminded him of living in Spain toooo much. Sure it will return though.

LinzerTorte Mon 24-Jun-13 07:28:50


It's pouring with rain here this morning and about 15° cooler - why can't we ever have any nice in-between weather? It was far too hot for the Stadtlauf yesterday, although I still wished I could have taken part; I really need to start running again if my knee is amenable. DD1 managed to beat last year's time as she's been going out running with her class every week, but the other two were slower (the fact that we hadn't done any training at all beforehand probably didn't help either).

fussy Good to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg. I almost went there for my year out (after A levels), but ended up in Berlin instead - I wasn't a confident traveller or very independent at the time (I'd never flown with my family before, for example, let alone on my own, so was incredibly nervous about checking in at the airport and whether I'd manage to find the departure lounge!) but I had a great time - and I'm sure my German wasn't as good as your DS's must be either. I only remember phoning my parents once, to let them know I'd arrived safely, but like MrTumbles wrote lots of letters.

MrTumbles Keep meaning to check whether DD2 owes your DD a PM, as she's been asking but of course can't write out of turn. grin She does seem to have replied to the last one she had, but I know that they occasionally don't get through.

platanos Does your DS mind being the only one from his KiGa in the class? It seems a bit strange to separate the children like that. Were you able to put down names of other children that you'd like to be in the same class as him? Our headteacher said that they can't guarantee that they'll be able to keep them all together, but make sure that at least one other child from their list is with them. Poor DD1; I often think it's hardest for the oldest child as they don't know what to expect, whereas the others have already seen at least one older brother or sister starting KiGa/Volksschule, etc.

Nutella We have Indian curry weekend every single weekend. grin Still haven't managed to find any poppadums here that you can just heat up in the oven, though.

admylin That's useful to know about the aubergine. DD2 is a bit weird about cooked vegetables and won't eat courgettes, mushrooms, peppers or tomatoes (although is quite happy to eat the latter two raw), and I suspect that aubergine is probably on the list too so I haven't cooked it for a while, but will have to try your salting method next time.

outnumbered Hope you enjoyed your birthday and had a lovely day in Stuttgart! Have you heard back from your landlord yet? I suppose if he's not desperate to sell, then he's more likely to ask for a higher price - or maybe he's just being over-optimistic about what it's worth?

admylin Tue 25-Jun-13 09:56:14

Morning. Trying to get the place tidy for our guests coming on Friday and doing some batch cooking to get it out of the way. Just finished a big pot of 3 lentil dhal, chickpea curry next.

Linzer when do you break up from school? We are done tomorrow! Whoopeee...! It has cooled down here too. I feel abit sorry for the open air pool round the corner from us as it has gone from bursting at the seams to almost empty again. They were sold out of all food and drink the other day and had to even stop letting people in as it was too full.

Ds has found his work experience for next year (you have to start applying now or everything is full) and his friend is coming round tomorrow to get some help as his dad can't help him and he's stuck. It's another case of school setting a project and not giving any help at all - just expecting a result. Bit like that film/video project a while back that dd was expected to do without a single computer lesson or video editing being taught. I can't decide if it's just lazy on the part of the school or if they have some sort of educational trick behind it to force dc to research and learn independently? Still, it's unfair as dc who can, obviously get help from home an dthe others have to see how they can manage alone.

AntiqueMuppet Tue 25-Jun-13 13:07:06

Wow, is it really the summer holidays already, admylin? what is your DS doing for his work experience?

It's cooled right down here, too, Linzer. It's definitely preferable to the swelteringly hot weather we had the other week, but a happy medium would be a lot more pleasant.

Hi fussychica! glad to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg. I know a few people who live there and they all love the city.

Did you get your motorbike, MrTumbles? I think I saw you had posted a picture of one on FB but I can't remember whether you were still thinking about it or whether you had bought it.

The theatre was lovely, if a little warm. I came away irritated as I wasn't feeling too well and wasn't drinking which led to the usual raised eyebrows, nudging, is she pregnant etc etc. Not something that would normally bother me and a perfectly reasonable conclusion to come to, I think I was just a little more irritable than normal. All fine the next day though!

I can hear growling coming from upstairs so had best go and investigate. DS likes pretending to be a T-Rex at the moment.

Hello to everyone I've missed!

LinzerTorte Tue 25-Jun-13 15:28:21

Antique Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well enough for wine on your theatre trip; I can imagine the heat didn't help either. Still cold and rainy here, but I haven't given up hope of some nice late spring/early summer-type weather.

admylin It's good that your DS has got his work experience sorted; where will he be doing it?
We break up on Friday, but the DC are getting out earlier and earlier every day - DD1 will be home at 9-something on both Thursday and Friday, and DD2 and DS just have to go in for the church service and to get their Zeugnisse on Friday. What with it taking the whole of the first week of September for the DC to get back to normal school hours (with any luck, they'll all be at school for four hours by the Friday), I really need to take 11 weeks off work rather than 9.

Am still having no luck with childcare during the holidays; it looked like there might be space in the next town, but it turned out to be only two spaces in the second week and just one in the third week. Theoretically DD1 is too old to go anyway (it's for 6-10 year olds), but there was an 11 year old girl (and a 5 year old) there last year so I don't think they're too strict if they have the room. It does make me wonder how you're supposed to work in the holidays if you have a child older than 10/11, though - are they expected to fend for themselves all day? Tennis and volleyball camps seem to be the only option here, but I know that DD1 wouldn't want to go for one week, let alone six or seven.

Even more annoyingly, I've been offered a big translation project over the next two months but have had to tell the agency that after this week, I can't take on any work for the next nine weeks. However, they're hoping that the client might extend the deadline until mid-September, in which case it might just about be doable.

admylin Tue 25-Jun-13 15:53:50

Linzer how frustrating that you had to turn down such a good job. It's a shame you can't work out some sort of part time Tagesmutter or something or wouldn't it be worth it? My 2 have also been having really short days, apart from the Hitzefrei last week, they haven't had a full day of lessons since. Both were home just after 11am today and tomorrow they'll be back with the reports just after 10am (although the teachers are meant to keep them until 11am).

Antique shame you weren't feeling OK on your night out, typical eh. Even when I feel OK I can't take much drink and am constantly treated as if I'm some sort of wierdo or must be ill!

Ds is going to the 'Institut für Mikroelektronische Systeme' where they do all sorts of interesting stuff with computers and programming, micro robotics and developing systems for hospitals to measure and evaluate brain or heart signals etc. He's very pleased to have got it as they only take 1 or 2 a year. I'm hoping to help his friend get something in web design or media design but I think those areas are very popular so he might be too late.

fussychica Tue 25-Jun-13 17:57:30

admylin your son's work experience placing sounds really great - how old is he? (sorry everyone else probably knows)

DS also had good news on the placement front. He will be interning at a language school and will get free German lessons as part of the placement - it's run by a Spanish guy who also speaks perfect English. As DS is fluent in Spanish it all sounds perfect - they actually conducted the interview in Spanish - a bit of a test I think! He'll be assisting in lessons, working on their website and helping develop courses for businesses and meeting clients. Daunting but sounds great. Hopefully he will relax a bit now as he was concerned about having to take something which wouldn't do much for his CV.
I can breathe now toogrin

doradoo Tue 25-Jun-13 18:43:39

How did you ladies get on with the floods - are you inundated with mossies now?

We were down in Regensburg at the weekend and didn't see much evidence of flooding - but the DCs were bitten to death.....

Up here (NRW) we've not had any watery problems - save for the persistent drizzle - summer's been and gone it would seem - boo hoo!

LinzerTorte Tue 25-Jun-13 19:36:34

admylin Your DS's placement sounds really good - how long will he be there for? My friend's DS did work experience at a local supermarket not long ago; he's about to start studying music, so it wasn't exactly related to his future career!

fussy Great news on your DS's placement too.

dora Yes, loads of mosquitoes here - DD1 and I are really suffering, as we appear to be particularly attractive to them. hmm We didn't suffer too much from the flooding, though.

outnumberedbymen Tue 25-Jun-13 21:31:24

Hello! And told you I would probably not make it on here much grin

admylin your ds placement sounds good! When I was teaching English in Lueneburg,the teacher I took over from had set a task of writing their placement reports in English. When it came to marking then, I ad already taken over. Some placements sounded really interesting. Others did theirs at cafes for example. Some great examples f Denglish in their reports like taking 'tablets' to the tables etc grin

* linzer* wow, 9 weeks is long. My younger ds' had very long summer hols too in their last two years of school. They were at a public boarding school in the UK. But I guess it wouldn't have mattered that much to my mum, as they were already older then.

hupa your holiday plans sound great. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time!

fussy I'm from North Germany and do love Hamburg! Although Lueneburg is nicer still of course wink

mrtumbles dh would love to get a motorbike again. I told him we can discuss it again in 80 years time.

platanos that doesn't sound very positive about your ds class sad we may find out tomorrow which teacher ds1 is getting.

Our day off was just lovely!!! I think means h enjoyed it a little too much, as we both felt really depressed after our appointment t the youth welfare office regarding ds1' provisions. It was so nice to have a whole day without worrying things like that!

Our landlord has come back with a new offer for this house and had actually gone down 45k€! It I starting to get close to what we would want to pay. So now I ill need to find an architect to draw up plans for an extension, get quotes etc. depending on how high those are, how feasible our plans are etc, we will then get back to him.

I had quite a positive day today. Both ds1 and ds2 actually suggested changing some things in their bedrooms!! shock. Ds1 decided he doesn't need his wooden train tracks anymore so gave them to ds3. And ds2 said he wants a bigger bed. He had been sleeping in a cotbed ( without the sides) underneath his huge pay bed. So I got a spare mattress and just put it on the floor under the playbed for now. Ds3 then got the cotbed. He was probably the one who was most excited of them, which quite surprised me. He had never said a word about wanting a bigger bed, never once tried to climb out of his cot. And it was really odd too - up until tonight he had insisted on sleeping bags and wouldn't have gone to sleep without at least three bubbies (dummies) in bed with him. But now he is in a big boys' bed, he said he doesn't need either. And went to sleep straight away. Lets see if it will last wink

Hope everyone is having a good week!

LinzerTorte Wed 26-Jun-13 07:45:15

outnumbered That sounds promising re the house; it does sound like your landlord was pushing his luck before if he's prepared to drop the price that much. Good news on the sleeping arrangements too!

admylin I hadn't even thought of looking for a childminder for just a couple of weeks; the childminders here all seem to look after quite young children, so I don't know whether it would be any good for the DDs. Our neighbours have a Mobile Mami/babysitter once a week, but I don't know how easy it would be to find one for such a short-term arrangement. I've found a few things for the DC to do over the first three weeks and may even be able to work the odd morning, but am still waiting for the job to be confirmed anyway.

I've just dropped off DD2 at a handball tournament on the other side of town; she needed to be there at the same time as DS had to be at school so it was all a bit of a rush, but luckily they're coming back to school on the tram. Luckily DD1's trip into Vienna was yesterday rather than today, as she needed to be dropped off somewhere else again; I'm feeling like a taxi service in the mornings at the moment.

cheaspicks Wed 26-Jun-13 11:26:12

outnumbered good news on the house. Maybe the landlord was just trying to negotiate a better price for him by starting so high? In any case, it certainly sounds like he is serious about selling if he's dropped his asking price so much already.

I've also been thinking about changing a few things in dd's bedroom, although she's still fine in her toddler cot/bed. I'm wondering though about getting some different toy storage, as she has a small unit with open baskets on it which are now a bit small for a lot of the things that need to be stored in them. I would quite like to get her a storage chest like this one only a lot cheaper! Any ideas anyone?

linzer it's so hard when you do a job from home that requires concentration, isn't it? The neighbours' kids were here on Sat morning, but I still managed to vacuum and mop floors and deal with quite a bit of laundry despite regular interruptions. I hope your agent manages to get the deadline extended so you can take on that job.

admylin that job placement sounds great, as does the batch cooking of dhal! Is it a particularly tasty recipe? I sometimes buy different kinds of lentils when I'm at one of the well-stocked Indian shops near where my parents live, but then I end up throwing them out a couple of years later as I really only cook with the red ones. Hope your kids enjoy their school holidays!

doradoo our town didn't flood much at all this year, strangely. The town centre used to flood regularly, but they created a Flutgraben which is quite effective. It's still fairly common for the park to flood (and people's cellars), but it wasn't affected in the recent flooding for some reason (we had enough rain!)

fussychica good news about your ds. Hope he finds his feet quickly.

antique you've made me realise there are advantages to living in a small town - everyone drives everywhere, so people just think you're uptight for not wanting to drink and drive, rather than assuming you're pregnant! I've been making an effort to drink more red wine though lately after reading an article in the Guardian about blue zones (areas where average life expectancy is noticeably higher than elsewhere).

Hello to those I've missed, this post is long enough already!

outnumberedbymen Wed 26-Jun-13 11:41:23

cheas just a quick one as we have A busy day here ( is it ever not busy??) I really like the Stuva system at IKEA. Whatever needed replacing in terms of furniture in the boys bedrooms, we have replaced with things from the Stuva range. There is a Sitztruhe that I really like.

cheaspicks Wed 26-Jun-13 12:39:22

Thanks for that tip, outnumbered. I didn't know that range from Ikea, I will have a look at it. It would certainly be easier to get something from Ikea than from GLTC (and a lot cheaper).

admylin Wed 26-Jun-13 15:16:54

That does look like nice storage from Ikea outnumbered, never seen it before either.
Hope it all works out for you with the house now that the landlord is going down in price abit. Are all the plumbing, heating and electric up to date? If someone bought the house we live in, they would have to update everything as the evil old landlady hasn't invested a cent in years.

fussy is your ds being good and keeping in touch? Sounds like an interesting job. My ds is only 15 and it'll be his frst work experience so it'll be interesting for him. I'd say the full days and slightly longer trip (40 minutes) there and back compared to short school day and 10 minute walk to get there will tire him out!

doradoo ds had to take a detour to get to his class trip thing the other week as the Autobahn was closed due to flooding crossing over from Niedersachsen to Brandenburg. They still managed to get across and he said he saw flooded fields that looked like lakes with tree tops sticking up in the middle! All dc came back covered in mossie bites.

Linzer I know what you mean about the taxi service! I've only got 2 to drive around so I admire you for coping with the management and timings!
Ds has to go to his work placement for 2 weeks. I'm glad he did his application so early so he got his first choice. The ones who leave it late probably end up in more boring jobs. I've sent his friend off with what I hope is a suitable application for web design and media places. He's just got to scan his report in and then he's going to try and send some e-mail applications off tonight.

cheaspicks my dhal recipe is so easy, done in the pressure cooker and then spiced up with fried veg and spices later. I had red lentils and 2 different kinds of yellow lentils (mung dhal and chana dhal) so I mixed them.

I'm off to do some shopping with dd. She needs straws for her smoothies! She has made some lovely recipes since she got her mixer. Best one was her blueberry and almond milk drink and the watermelon lemonade! I had a peach and banana orange juice smoothie for my lunch!

hupa Thu 27-Jun-13 09:24:26

admylin I think I should buy dd a mixer for her next birthday and then drop hints about the lovely things your dd has been making.
The work placement sounds really interesting. I´m not sure what my two will want to do. We live in a pretty rural area, so there´s not a lot of choice.

doradoo We haven´t really been affected by the flooding. I did see a news interview with an Apotheker who said it didn´t matter how much insect repellant he ordered in, it was always sold out the next day because there´s so many mossies around at the moment.

outnumbered That sounds really hopeful about the house. Are the boys still happy with the changes they´ve made to their rooms?
We offered to redecorate dd´s room before she starts secondary school, but she started sobbing (she hates changes), so I think we´ll leave it for a bit.

Linzer I usually enjoy the school holidays, but 9 weeks would be stretching it even for me. Have you heard anymore about the job?

planatos Any more tips for northern Spain would be greatly appreciated. We´re off at the end of next week and although I´ve bought a guide book , I´ve not had a really good read of it yet. I think dh will be doing most of the driving, so I´m planning on doing my reading as we head across France.

Hello to everyone I´ve missed.

fussychica Thu 27-Jun-13 10:50:28

admylin yes DS is very good at keeping in touch - his Uni is 5 hours away so we don't see him at all in term time so he has got used to calling us at least weekly, often more. That sounds like a great work experience opportunity at 15 - we lived in Spain when DS was at school and there was nothing like that on offer.
He starts the job Monday week. It will be full days and 40mins to an hour commute so like your DS I'm sure he'll be tired out. He has been able to choose his hours so is doing 10.30 - 6.30 so a very civilised rising time!

doradoo Fri 28-Jun-13 18:38:57

outnumbered - we're in the process of buying a house in DE too.... in fact, have bought but not moved yet. Took three years of hunting to find the right one and it's not been all plain sailing since. But have a moving date now so fingers crossed it's all going to be OK. Roll on end of Sept as I can't wait to get in. Just got to sort out this place to hand back to the landlord beforehand - eek!

outnumberedbymen Fri 28-Jun-13 19:40:34

Hi dooradoo where in Germany are you? Good luck with the move!!

LinzerTorte Sat 29-Jun-13 05:52:29

First day of the holidays here, and I was almost at the end of my tether yesterday after the DC had been home for just 10 minutes as they were winding each other up and squabbling so much. Fortunately they spent most of the afternoon playing with the neighbours' DC; unfortunately, the neighbours are going on holiday today for three weeks.

hupa Hope you have a lovely time in Spain. I always get lots of reading done whenever we drive anywhere, although I usually drive for about a third of the journey (two hours or so) when we go to Italy. No, no news on the job yet; I'm hoping to hear next week.

admylin I only ever use my mixer for soup, so shall have to look into making smoothies. We do have a juicer that DH uses occasionally, but I find it too much of a hassle/mess.

Does anyone know how long you have to wait after having your ears pierced until you can go swimming? DD2 has an appointment to have hers done next week, but we'll be going on holiday two weeks later. I was googling yesterday, but answers seemed to vary between straight away and until the ears have healed after six weeks. She was in tears yesterday at the thought of not being able to go swimming, but also in tears at the thought of postponing her appointment until after our holiday. hmm

admylin Sat 29-Jun-13 19:48:25

LinzerI think it could be longer than 2 weeks with the ears. Your dd might have to decide to wait! Show her a picture on the internet of an infected pierced ear and she might agree to wait - although it might put her off completely!

Must dash, our guests are here from Texas and we're taking them out. We have exhausted them today as they really aren't used to walking much. Over there they drive door to door for everything! We took them on a public transport (novelty for Texans) trip of Hannover and Herrenhauser Gärten and city shopping all day.

I didn't know you there was any need to avoid swimming after ear piercing, its not something I've ever heard Linzer I recognize those logistical nightmares of getting kids to different places ten km apart at impossibly overlapping times - happened to us on Friday too. I think DD does owe your DD2 a PM blush I will remind her tomorrow.

Wish we'd broken up for summer already, we still have a month to go and DD really seems quite tired, despite being in bed by 7.30pm every night (stuck to 7.30pm this weekend too, although we usually let it slip half an hour or so on Friday and Saturday, as she just seems so tired). I find the kids fight more on term time afternoons, again because of tiredness and the relaxing of the pressure of school and KiGa, and get on much better and are just generally more chilled in the holidays.

admylin that is funny about your visitors from Texas - Wall-e comes to mind smile Great about your DS's work experience though, fantastic to have work experience that is actually interesting and useful.

hupa have fun in Spain - I've not been there since a month in Barcelona 18 years ago, so I have no useful tips at all, sorry!

doradoo good luck with the move. The flooding affected our area, but not us personally as our house is on slightly higher ground. It was just a lot of roads closed and flooded fields, car parks and cellars really around here, some phone lines stopped working, but everything is normal again now I think.

fussy congratulations to your DS on his job - is it for a year or just the summer, I think you said but I missed it.

Antique grr at the annoying nod, nod, wink, wink friends jumping to the wrong conclusions and making not being well enough for wine worse. Your DS sounds sweet being a T-rex smile My DS2 has a thing about abruptly stopping what he is doing and running at me full pelt, and throwing himself on me shouting "Help! Help! There's a dinosaur/ dragon/ pirate / gruffallo / monster over there!" Then if I ask him he supplies all sorts of details, in between trying to scrabble up me onto my head like a spider monkey... Toddlers are amusing and very strange grin

Yes, I got a motorbike - BMW F650 CS smile I'm taking my time getting used to it again, but am going a bit further each time and its coming back to me. DH is very willing to look after the kids while I go for a ride, in a way he isn't while I do almost anything else, as he's keen for me to get back into bikes.

Outnumbered are you one of those wives who bans things then? wink The wonderful, wonderful thing about motorbikes is the aloneness of riding one. I am never, ever alone, I always have a child with me, usually on me, and most of the day there are 3 of them on me, talking to me, often all at once, often more than one climbing on me grin and even when they are in bed DH is here, and the 2 evenings I work I am teaching a class so very much not alone. The drive to work is the only time I am alone in fact, and if I get to class early I feel unreasonably annoyed that students turn up early and want to chat in my stolen few minutes alone shock But riding a motorbike is by its very nature a solitary thing, and you do nothing else while you ride - you don't listen to music, there is nobody talking to you, you don't hear the phone and can't answer it anyway. It is a wonderful thing, and the freedom of a bike is something special on so many levels grin

That's great news about the house, hope it all works out and you can buy it - it certainly does sound an ideal arrangement if the price and extension plans work out. My Ds1 doesn't like any change either - he hates it when I try to have toy clear outs and cries if I suggest getting rid of anything - even when DD gets rid of stuff he gets upset and claims he wants the things she is sending to the charity shop. He doesn't really mind so much giving things to DS2, but he hates things to leave the house. I do manage to get rid of things he hasn't looked at in months, the upset only happens if he's told or notices! Oddly he manages to combine feeling like that with not keeping his room tidy, so it is easier to get rid of small things gradually as he assumes they are still there somewhere! shock We swap each of the kids to big beds for their 5ths birthday and make a big deal of them choosing their beds, so that never bothered him (and again his old bed is now DS2's bed so not actually got rid of, which helps).

That's an essay! Sorry if I've missed anyone! Think I'd better stop now smile

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