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A Sausage Thief Stole my Rationality

The public square at Frankfurt’s ‘Konstablerwache’ is given over every Thursday to a farmers’ market. Produce from across the region is on sale: fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, delicatessen, and dairy products. I have so gotten in the habit of going there after work that Thursday evening has become the unofficial sausage night for the familyContinue Reading

A Bellyful of Good Intentions

Recently on the beach, I overheard the solemn pledge of a generously-proportioned Austrian. He adjusted his unflatteringly tight bathing trunks, leaned over to his equally corpulent companion, and promised: “By the time we go on skiing holiday, I swear I’m going to lose 10 kilos.” She didn’t seem to take the oath too seriously, asContinue Reading

A Dream Home with Flaws

Moving house is one of life’s most stressful events. It costs sweat, nerves, and usually a handsome sum of money too. For that reason, people tend to stay put, avoiding all unnecessary changes of address. For us, though, even though we moved into our rented apartment a little over a year ago, change is againContinue Reading

Getting to the Top

We live on the second floor of an old three-storey apartment building, without elevator.  From the street level to our floor, there are precisely 59 steps. I can’t remember the day I first counted them, but it must have been when my son was a little baby. I would bundle him under one arm, hoistContinue Reading

The Past Was Better Than I Remember

Radiohead in an open air concert at the legendary ‘Waldbuehne’ in Berlin, a babysitter on hand for our son in the form of my sister, who lives in the German capital, and the two of us enjoying a balmy July evening. Yeah – we had this wedding anniversary all planned out. At least, that isContinue Reading

The ‘Winners’ in Third Place

Third, second, third – this has been the series of achievements of the German national football team in major tournaments of recent years. It starts with the World Cup in 2006, followed by the European Championships in 2008 and then the World Cup again in 2010. Now, after a blazing trail in the group stagesContinue Reading

A Heart on Each Sleeve

My son came down with a frightful case of bronchitis recently. He wasn’t able to go to the kindergarten and I was obliged to stay at home to nurse him back to health. Skipping three days off work left me with a bad conscience. Even though I had a good reason for my absence, IContinue Reading

Legal Landslide

My friend has just switched jobs. She is a lawyer and decided to accept the offer of a former colleague to join him at his new firm. Things like that happen all the time in the law business. In this case, though, she was not the only one to have been lured away – manyContinue Reading

A Sacred Cow is Led to the Slaughter

That Til Schweiger, the German actor and filmmaker of Hollywood renown, is to take over the role of detective in the German cult crime series ‘Tatort’ later this year is already big headline. But not big enough, it seems. Schweiger is causing an even bigger stir among fans of the long-running series – a kindContinue Reading

A Wine-Glass Full of Regret

Before we became parents, my husband and I used to enjoy slipping across European borders for a weekend break. Since our son came along, though, the frequency of these getaways has noticeably shrunk. So it was great to get back on a plane – the three of us, this time – for a weekend tripContinue Reading

I Need a Hero

The glittery notice posted the past few days on the front door at my son’s daycare centre read ‘We’ll be celebrating a fancy dress party on Monday – please bring your child in a costume’. My inner reveller was instantly aroused – one costume coming up! But my initial euphoria gave way to disillusionment thoughContinue Reading

A Mother’s Fairy-Godmother

The only consistent thing about my eight-month old son is his inconsistency. Any time I get to thinking that he has settled into some kind of rhythm, I am proven disastrously wrong almost immediately. Up until recently, for example, he slept blissfully the whole night long. Now he has rediscovered the sleep patterns of aContinue Reading

If a Home Move Gives You Lemons…

I remember reading somewhere once that moving house was the second most stressful life event – only the death of a spouse was supposedly worse.  Moving house with a new-born in tow probably slots somewhere between those two. This not just because my son’s braying for food every three or four hours interrupts the taskContinue Reading

Waitlist Blues – Hunting for Day-care in the City

I battled for weeks to get my son into a baby swim course, and then when the time came for us to begin he got sick. We only have to wait a week for the next session, but it’s nevertheless a bit exasperating. The €108 bill for a ten-week course is nothing to sniffle at,Continue Reading

Two-bedrooms, bath, kitchen – or, on second thought

My baby already has a lot of possessions for a two-month-old boy: apart from the usual baby-bed, changing table, wagon, rocker, toddler blanket, countless clothes and stuffed animals, he has his own savings account, equity-shares in a bank, a tax identification number and a passport

Behavioural Economics for Dummies

I feel bad. No, that’s not true – I’m really doing well. I’m beginning to use the moments between nursing my child to read, or to enjoy a hot bath, or to ring up one of my girlfriends. Yesterday my baby boy started using a pacifier, a ‘dummy’ as the British like to call it, andContinue Reading


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