Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I've been home a week and am just about unpacked and am slowly settling in. I'm staying at my parents' while we work out what we're doing next - and where we're going to do it. As my folks live in a leafy suburb I am now adjusting to being woken up by wood pigeons instead of sirens.

The last week has been eventful.

On the Monday we were due to leave we went to the Cologne town hall to deregister (it's compulsory to 'sign out' if you're leaving Germany and you're not native). We were a bit crestfallen on arrival when we found that about fifty people were ahead of us in the queue. However, we were only there five minutes when Alexander managed to fall over in the 'soft play area' and cut his head. Interestingly, when I ran to the front desk to ask for help, we were whisked to the front of the queue to complete the de-registration forms. Taking our bleeding son (using the medical sense rather than cussing you understand) to the hospital seemed to be a secondary consideration. The staff were kind though, and ordered a taxi to the hospital after they'd seen all the blood. Alexander was treated immediately at the hospital and luckily only needed to have the wound glued together. He was soon running around as though nothing had happened.

Simon's colleague didn't need a lift in the end - he chose to stay a bit longer. Now travel seems to have returned to normal so I assume he's home now.

Luckily we got our ferry okay. We were interviewed on the boat by the BBC travel expert Simon Calder - he was making a video piece about travel via Norfolk Line ferries for a business conference. He asked us what we consider are the benefits of travelling from Dunkirk and we could only really think it's cheap and punctual (which are pretty good reasons), but I suspect he was angling for more.

On Sunday April turned three. It was great to be able to celebrate her birthday with all grandparents, aunts and uncles as that was never possible before. She even got two chocolate birthday cakes as both Nanas baked: so one for elevenses and one for afternoon tea!

I am still in a bit of a headspin at the moment and it will take some time to mull over the relevance of the last three and a half years spent as an English lady abroad. I plan to write one more post, giving a round up of thoughts and comments. Auf Wiedersehen!

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