Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy 2007 folks!

Suhail and Shasha have arrived in Prien and are currently cooking up some delicious things in the kitchen while Feli is zooming around with his toy motor bikes, fighting fire breathing dragons, tending to injured knights and generally making a racket. Brigitte and Rupert from Switzerland should be here any moment.

For tomorrow we’ve planned just a small get together with friends over ghoulash soup, salad, chips and dip. The girls who are camping out at their grandmother’s across the road (learning to be “independent” will be back for the New Years Eve party.

Oh yes the big news is that the doc has now said that I’m ready to walk, the bones are all in place and behaving themselves. Marlis has ordered a walker for me from Ebay, which I expect will arrive here one of these days and I can start flexing my muscles again.

In case I don’t get back to this blog in the next day or two, happy New Year all of you and keep in touch.

Oh - for personal reflections on this past year click here

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Some pics

Lilly playing photographer on Christmas eve

Feli's meditation

The crib set up by the girls

Lilly and Lulu setting the table for Christmas dinner

Sammy the perpetual moaner

Lulu with her guitar

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Entertainment - not to be read by overly devout Christians

Four year old Felix

Tomorrow is Christmas eve and preparations for the evening variety programme are already underway. Lulu is scripting a play for us in which she and her sister are to play the roles of the three kings who come to visit Jesus while Felix and I are to play Joseph and Maria (Mary). So this morning we rehearsed a bit together and came up with the following impromptu version.

Maria (me) still faffing around in her wheelchair, is padded with cushions to appear pregnant. Joseph wants to know, how do we show Jesus being born? So we mull over the question and he comes up with a soft toy which he pushes underneath the cushion which is fattening me up. When the time comes for Jesus to be born, I whip out the cushion and toss it away while Joseph delivers baby Jesus, who turns out to be ... a teddy bear.

We both gaze lovingly at Teddy Jesus and think about how to hide him from the evil eyes of King Herrod who is out to kill all baby boys since one of them has been slated to be his successor and to rob him of his glory. So finally Joseph shoves him in the oven and (according to his own script) accidentally "turns it on" so that ... lordy lordy, we end up with a baked Teddy Jesus.

Down the line when the time comes to name the child, Joseph and Maria (according to Lulu’s script) have a little argument about what to call him. Joseph wants him to be called Joseph while Maria toys with a number of names like Thomas, Phillip, George and so on before finally settling for Jesus.

Maria: We’ll call him Jesus.
Joseph: No we have to call him Joseph.
Maria: Jesus
Joseph: (stubborn - but trips over the word) We'll call him Jesuph
Maria: Jesooph?
Maria and Joseph start giggling and decide this is not a bad name for their baby teddy who has now recovered completely from his bad experience in the oven.

At some point Lulu, suspecting that Felix might not be able to deal with the complex role of Joseph contemplates taking it away from him and playing the role herself together with Lilly in the role of Maria. That would leave Felix and me to share the role of the three kings. Unfortunately the very idea had Felix in a rage, so we broke for lunch at this point and so far we have not come further.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Spaceman's shoe

Thomas took this pic of me a few weeks back, to show to the officer at the immigration office who was going to extend my visa for Germany. It is much easier to get visa extensions around this part than say in Frankfurt, because there are not too many foreigners here. So when Ariela asked if they should bring me along apparently he was horrified at the thought of me being laboriously carted to his office and said "Oh no no no. That isn't necessary" and it would be enough for Ariela to turn up with my passport.

As for the fractured foot - well these days you don't have the old fashioned plaster any more to keep broken bones in place. They give you a removable splint which is every bit as strong as the plaster and gives as much support. Everybody said it looked like a spaceman's shoe. I am getting so used to wearing it, I can't imagine walking with a normal shoe any more!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Robber Hotzenplatz

Spent the afternoon in the winter garden watching snow falling onto the rectangular skylight. We were listening to an audio CD of children’s stories, about the robber Hotzenplotz who overpowers his victims with a pepper spraying revolver and whose main aim is to rob an old grandmother of her coffee machine. Felix loves this story and we have played it to death with him and me dividing the roles. Sometimes I am the grandmother and he is Hotzenplotz, sometimes he is the policeman Dimpflemoos and I am Karshpal one of the two good guys who fights the robber Hotzenplotz or at other times I’m the dumber of the good guys, Seppel, who is Karshpal’s friend. Then we all change roles and the drama goes on endlessly.

It is cold here and the heating has conked. For a few hours the house retained its warmth but now it is getting slowly colder. Luckily Thomas is back from Munich and we are hoping he will fix the heating soon. Brrrrrr.

Feli’s favourite theme right now around which many games and dialogues are based is “Kaka.” Everything is kaka. I am kaka, he offers me kaka sandwiches to eat, when I asked him what pictures he wanted to see on the net the other day, he said kaka pictures. I actually found some – of a shit sandwich and a shit ice cream cone and he was so impressed that he wanted to see them again and again. A. says he must be going through the anal stage and that boys seem to have it worse than girls. I agree.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas is still roughly three weeks away but the festivities have already begun. In the town centre an open air market has been set up where you can buy all kinds of goodies, chocolates, spiced wines, toys for children and so on. And typical Christmas candies are consumed here by the ton.

In most English speaking countries as far as I know, Santa Claus appears on Christmas Eve whereas in Germany, Santa (known as Nikolaus) comes ho-ho-ing on December 5th or 6th. Yesterday we had planned to have him visit Felix but the individuals who usually play Nikolaus, that is either Thomas or Ariela's mother, couldn't make it. Thomas is still working in his studio in Munich and A's mother lives too far to come at short notice. So A thought she would ask her friend Martin if he would play Nikolaus but Martin was busy reading "Dostoievsky" and said he couldn't.

Finally we decided Lulu should be "it." At first she was reluctant, thinking that Felix would probably recognise her straight away but A and I persuaded her to do it. After an early dinner last night she informed us, including Feli, that she was "going to visit her friend Hannah." A. went up too, to help her get into her costume and I was left downstairs to entertain Felix.
In about half an hour A came down again and said Nikolaus was in the vicinity and would soon be with us. She switched off all the lights and lit many candles to welcome him.

Lulu made a great Santa. She had the usual red robes, a wig of white hair, flowing white beard and was well padded with cushions all over. She looked like a big ball and I really had a hard time controlling my laughter.
We sang "Jingle Bells" for Santa after which he dug into his huge sack and gave Felix two presents and a scarlet stocking with some chocolates in it. Feli was most concerned about the fact that Santa had not brought any gifts for me but A said that it was okay, he could bless us instead, which he did, laying his hand on our heads like the pope. When Lulu "returned from Hannah's" about twenty minutes later Felix excitedly related all that had happened after which the kids were packed off to bed and A and I sat up chatting till midnight.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another peaceful day!

The whole gang went to Munich yesterday - primarily to drop of A. at the airport. She was off to Frankfurt to meet a TV producer who has given her some juicy assignments. Thomas drove her there, the kids accompanied her and everybody returned around half past seven in the evening. I spent a quiet day here catching up on my mail.

We have a new cleaning woman - Linda - from Morocco - a very tranquil and efficient person who leaves the whole house spotless. She cooked for both of us - some Moroccan dish with fish and vegetables. In the absence of the right spices it seemed a bit bland to me but she said she would make couscous for us and get her own spices along.

Right now, watching a Laurel and Hardy film with Felix who accompanies every action and bit of dialogue with his own commentary and action.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Peaceful Weekend

It is nice to be with kids and also nice to be without them. Felix and Lulu were out the whole day yesterday (Felix is still away and will be back with his dad towards evening I guess) and boy, was my day peaceful. Brings back home the need to balance things out - action with rest, interaction with solitude. I was able to do my exercises and to shampoo my hair without any interruption and it felt like a luxury. This life is so different from the one I lead in Bombay and I must say I am grateful to have had the chance to experience something so radically new. Being with kids! Playing non stop for hours with a four-year old! Playing utterly nonsensical games which at some level almost serve as therapy. Been standing up, sitting down, standing, sitting, shifting weight from one leg to another all day every day in anticipation of when I will actually start to move.