These last four and a bit weeks of living in hotel rooms and apartments has shown me a different side. We are settling here in Berlin and are loving our apartment. It think it is about 80 square meters which I thought would be quite pokey. Actually it is a great size. There are four rooms - main bedroom, lounge/kiddies room, bathroom/laundry and the kitchen/dining room. Each room is a decent size and the hallway is lined with cupboard space so there is a home for everything. We opted for a furnished apartment as we didn't want the stress of trying to furnish something for only a few months. Everything we could what is here. All we needed to do was walk in.
I was initially a little worried about the lack of back yard as the kids spend hours in their imaginary little world playing games at home, but on reflection there was no need to worry. As everyone is in the same situation, with no real yard at home, the parks are incredibly busy. It is such a pleasant change to see so many people out and about in the fabulous weather, spending time at the many wonderfully equipped parks. My kiddies are thrilled every time we get near a park as they are pretty much guarenteed it will be spacious and exciting. Parks are real community meeting places. On our wander through a park on the weekend we even saw people bringing their portable barbecues on the back of their bikes for a Saturday afternoon with friends. I am amazed with how many people use these spaces.
Picnicking and barbecuing by the canal
I had never been really keen on parks/playgrounds as quite often you could arrive only to find a swing and a slide, surrounded by dead lawn. We haven't come across any yet that hasn't seen the kids either squeal with delight upon arrival or moan in disappoinmemt when it was time to leave. I must quietly admit that we are pretty happy that one of the kids' favourite playgrounds happens to be attached to a biergarten. (We'd hate to disappoint the children by not going to their favourite playground.)
Playground in the foreground, biergarten in the background to the right. Perfect.
I must also admit that I am loving the smaller amount of housework there is to be done in an apartment. As we have very little of our own 'stuff', it is really easy to keep everything in order. Dishes can be done, clothes can be in the washer, the timber floors can be vacuumed and the apartment can be spotless just in time for us to head out on a new adventure.
There are people out everywhere during the sunshine hours. It is quite acceptable to sit on a park bench with a few mates and have a beer in your hand. Many head out to the canal in our neighbourhood and sit and socialise overlooking the water. What a wonderful way to spend time with friends, watching the world go by.
On a totally unrelated note, I received the latest newsletter from Jude Blereau at Wholefood Cooking about the upcoming seasonal seminar. If you are in Perth and haven't been to one before, I cannot recommend these enough. There are also some other upcoming events that may be of interest.