The Power of the Picnic

This may be a weak excuse but I’m starting to believe that learning a second language makes you neglect your first. I have now memorised a couple of hundred German words but I still couldn’t string a sentence together if I tried. Meanwhile I am struggling to string a sentence together in English. The good news is we are all moved in, all the furniture is in its rightful place and most of the pictures are where they should be.

The workspace is starting to take shape. Over my desk I have busts of Shiva and Ganesh, the flag of Nepal, a poster from Raffles Hotel, two black and white photos of Dublin landmarks (Trinity College & Malahide Castle), a photo of the flying-boat my Grandfather worked and finally a picture of my hometown from space. I don’t need all these images for inspiration but they do serve as a reminder of where I’ve been and the multitude of possibilities that wait around the corner.

I have another blanket. It's magic too...in it's own way.

I have another blanket. It’s magic too…in it’s own way.

Completing the feeling of home apart from a well-stocked beer fridge and a recently neglected CD collection are of course the people that actually make this a home. After the weeks and months distanced from my wife it’s brilliant to have her walk in every day after limiting ourselves to fractions of weekends. The girls too, make this place a real home and we have introduced them to the delight of bunk beds. Who thought plain old furniture could be this much fun?

The girls have about a month left before they start at the International School. With recent rains it is fair to say that cabin fever has well and truly set in but when the sun comes out we make the best of it and do so with a simple instrument – A blanket. No not the Rugby Blanket but something similar. After all, the Rugby Blanket started life as a simple picnic blanket and became so much more. No this is just a picnic blanket but it is capable of magic in it’s own way. It has the ability to turn three warring sisters into three peaceloving sandwich eating angels. It has the ability to turn a hard working distracted professional into a doting relaxed mummy. See magic? And I didn’t have to do anything to it.

The truth is we have had these opportunities before but it is the way we have things arranged now. The formerly orchestrated act of throwing together a picnic has become so much more simple. And it can now be done in the middle of any day whether it be a weekday or weekend. All five of us will see now, we have things we did not have before and hopefully we’ll embrace this new way of life with both hands. There is a great big park between home and work and since we arrived we have forfeited a car for scooters and bikes. Will this transport arrangement last? For the summer it will most certainly. I can get used to this but if the weather begins to inhibit the picnic collective from gathering in the Rheinpark, those grey clouds will carry another silver lining – I might just get some writing done.

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