December 29

Happy Birthday” to wake me up, a fancy cake for breakfast that J and M had made …

IMG_0160… followed by two hours of reading and knitting in a lovely café.

IMG_0162Afterwards, all three of us went to watch Alba Berlin play basketball (sadly an ugly game due to fouls, trash talk, and whippings. Alba won though).

© Alba Berlin
© Alba Berlin

Finally at night, we had dinner at a tiny Italian restaurant …

© Trattoria Bocca Del Buon Gusto

… with a handful of extraordinary friends: the professor who mentored my master thesis in American Studies and her husband, a devoted basketball fan; my lively and charming Belgian friend, photographer and mother of 5 boys, with her sharp-witted Swiss husband, and J‘s former basketball coach, a very gentle young man from India who grew up in France and will go back to India next week to work with “sports without borders.”

Quite an experiment as they had never met before but we hit it off right from the start! I don’t remember having so much fun, so many interesting conversations, so much friendship and warmth at a long table in a long time.

I am inspired, grateful, and a year older! Thank you all 🙂


July 15, 2013

My little boy will be 9 tomorrow. 9! And he is so very excited. In the past we would celebrate his birthday at my parents’ in the countryside. This year will be different. For the first time ever J really wanted to have a birthday party with all his friends. So we sent out invitations …

“There were ten in the bed and the little one said, roll over” Are you familiar with the lyrics? In case you’re not: at the end it says “There was one in the bed and the little one said, ‘I’m lonely…[sigh]'” – that is pretty much were we are right now. French kids spend summer vacation at their grandparents’. And as we are in the middle of summer vacation most of his (French) friends are gone. If it wasn’t for two there would be no guests at all tomorrow.

Fortunately, J makes the best of it. He suggested we’d go to the movies (something I would have never done with 10 kids) followed by a barbeque in our garden. And that’s what we’ll do.

crochet heart

I started making a garland for him the other night. A heart garland … But after I made two hearts my son would catch me (unprepared), take those hearts and use them as bookmarks. There was no need for him to say anything. Even I understood: No more garlands for the beautiful boy he is – inside and out. He has outgrown heart garlands.

But if you feel like making one – here’s the easy and very lovely pattern.