The first day of school for any German child, even those that are far away in Australia, is a hugely important step! It’s a rite of passage!
Arguably THE most important part of a child’s first day of school is the Schultüte. A paper cone, often homemade, filled with sweets and presents. Germans believe that the thought of attending school for every day for the next 12-13 years needs to be ‘sweetened. Really, it’s much more than that: it’s a ritual that honours the child’s changing status and the many changes this entails for the rest of the family.
It’s filled with sweets, school supplies, little gifts and trinkets and the Schultüte itself is closed at the top so the child can’t see into it. It only gets opened once their first day at school is completed. Myself and many of my German friends here in Australia love this tradition. And I spent today making a Schultüte for Max, who starts school next week.
I just wanted to share these sweet pictures from 4 years ago when Luke started school. Often a sibling will get their own smaller Schultüte.
I knew I wanted to try and get back to reading this year. I used to devour books during my teenage years (and before that) and continued to read mountains of books through my BA degree (Journalism and English Literature). Which might be reason why I stopped reading? So what a better way to start again than with The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I vividly remember when I first read The Handmaid’s Tale, so was really keen to read the sequel, which Margeret Atwood released 35 later!
And it did not disappoint. I am sure by now most people with have read it themselves, but nonetheless I won’t give anything away. It’s wonderfully narrated by three different women, one of them being Aunt Lydia. It gives the reader a great overview of her backstory, maybe helping to explain why she is as cold and calculating as she is made out to be in both books.
The story picks up a few years after what happened during the Handmaid’s Tale, and it feels like it’s giving us explanations for some of the stories that were left open there.
I really enjoyed delving back into Atwood’s style of writing, I have always enjoyed it. She can draw me into the story and she makes me deserate to find out what happens next.
If you haven’t read it, I urge you to pick it up and read it!
On a recent trip to Milthorpe I went in and checked out Tambourlaine. I had previously been to Tambourline in Hunter Valley, and so it was nice to see their newest shop in Milthrope. And most importantly it’s organic!
For my ‘real’ job I work with young women who come over from Germany to support families with special needs children. When they leave to go back to Germany I like to make them a little something to remind them of their time in Australia. This little Koala Lady was one such gift.
The pattern is out of the Sweet Crochet Friends by Khuc Cay and it’s actually for a boy Koala in a little sailor, but as I was making it for a female friend I wanted to make her something sweet and girly.
l always have so much fun making these amigurumi toys, especially when I can add my own spin to them. The dress, the white collar and bow in her ear…so cute!
I was able to give it to my sweet friend in December 2019 before she went back to Germany.
Oh this one was fun! We had come to Bathurst to explore the region before school goes back next week, and it was so worth it! There are so many tracks and trails around here, but the Evans Crown Track, about 40 minutes drive from Bathurst close to Tarana, really intrigued us. From down below it looked majestic!
The way up was quite steep, lots of steps, we stopped counting at one point. But it’s so worth it. We saw so many butterflies and even a kangaroo hopped past us as we made our way up to the top.
And there was some incredibly fauna too….sooo pretty.
At the top the options are endless! So many paths, in fact there are no clear paths when you are at the top, but there are many ways to explore. We could have spent all day there!
Standing on top of the mountain was pretty special!
As we were on our way back down I insisted that I could climb a particularly large rock for a view of the other side of the valley… I did make it up the rock with some help, but unfortunately quite badly hurt my knee. Which meant that I had to hobble down the steps, down the mountain and was in quite a lot of pain. I am hoping that a few days rest will make it all better!
Not my finest hour…but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
The reason I put myself on a self-imposed hiatus of buying yarn is because I have a huge amount of absolutely gorgeous hand-dyed yarn that I need to use first. But before my hiatus started on 1st January, I put a couple of orders in…. Because it’s not just about buying the yarn, it’s also about supporting these small businesses.
The amazing Angela runs Blackwattle Yarn and Fibre from her Alpaca farm in Murrumbateman with her husband Matthew. She’s got such a great eye for stunning colour combinations. I have bought my fair share of skeins from her. This latest lot was in a sale and the colours are not my usual choices, but they really spoke to me… I think they will become a shawl or a couple of shawls.
These skeins are Qing Fibre, which I purchased from Yarn & Co, a store I visited in Melbourne a couple of times. Beautiful mother and daugther had to close their Fitzroy store during 2020 and are online only for now. I have not worked with the yarn before, but those sweet colours made me so happy!
The gorgeous Mia of Wren & Ollie always has enticing yarn colours. I used a kit of her yarn to make my Slipstravaganza Westknits Mystery Knitalong Shawl and the colours are just so wonderfully vibrant. This is a sock kit, which knits up into a stripy set…I can’t wait to make this.
I know it will be incredibly hard not buying yarn… It’s something I like to do whenever I visit a place and a new to me Local Yarn Store. But I also LOVE all the yarn I have purchased in the last few years and I NEED to make it into garments, socks, shawls, hats, etc. So really, I am making space for next year!
Some of you will have noticed that a few of the items on my list actuall overlap. This is true for number 15 on my list, regular outings as a family. I shared our hike at Fitzroy Falls from last week, we also spent some time doing other lovely things together as a family.
I love spending time with my people, especially when we are exploring new areas. I thoroughly enjoyed taking them around Bowral and Mittagong, where I was fortunate to spend a lot of my time each Monday and Tuesday of last year. While Max was at preschool in Bowral.
Papa also managed to join us on the Friday for one night.
And we caught up with family on the Saturday morning before our hike. Such a wonderful short trip, we are inspired to take more.