The big decision

Meißen, 1st of April

Frederic and familyWe left Nottingham with the intention of staying only one year in Germany. Unfortunately, we found out in my contract, in very small print, in the very far away section of an even more distant and obscure paragraph, that unless we stayed two years, we would have to bear all our removal costs, something which is financially simply not possible. We are far away from the financial comforts of a company move! The German administration have shown no flexibility and even less understanding in the matter. We had to face up to the fact that my job in Nottingham would no longer be secured for me when I'd get back and that we'd be here in Meißen for a second year.

Linguistic confidence

Frederic and familyThe thought of staying would have filled us with dread only a few months ago. We certainly did not know how to announce it to our son Kingsley who was missing his friends in England. But incredibly enough, it coincided with our sixth month in Germany and by then a definite change occurred: the family had got confident linguistically! And because of this, we went to the cinema more often, immersed ourselves more proactively into our new culture and community and consequently made more friends. Kingsley, who was definitely ahead of us in this area, simply said: 'A second year? Ja, prima! Yes, great! I’ll be able to learn snowboarding with my friends next winter!'

Concert for Imogène

ImogéneThe feeling of utter relief must have shown on our faces because Imogène started singing 'Schön’ Geburtstag viel Glück ...', 'nice birthday, lots of luck', her own version of Zum Geburtstag viel Glück, happy birthday to you! She was to repeat her performance from the 6th March when we celebrated her third birthday. We didn't invite other toddlers, but instead sixteen teenage boys of whom I’ve got charge here in the boarding school - as you do! They put on a surprise live performance of Imogène’s favourite nursery rhymes both in German and in English! The best birthday gig ever! Wessis, West Germans, and Ossis, East Germans, holding hands and showing no inhibitions to delight a 3 year-old child ... maybe there is a spring on the way for German unity?

Sent by: Frederic

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