Apple pickin’

   
    
    
 
Being on The Apple Isle has got me thinking apples apples apples. Drawing together the apple memories and stories, such as….

Remember, not so long ago we where picking apples in southern Germany? On our friends hillside orchard, views out to the Uracher hills and villages dotted below. Blue blue sky, crisp air, wood smoke and birds a’twitter, Lily yodelling and general early autumnal happiness

 If we managed to bag an apple with the unwieldy picker instead of it catapulting down the hill and being too bruised to eat, we where cheering!. Sitting in an apple tree with a fresh scented apple to munch and crunch. Oh joy. One of my all time favourite fruits! This unnamed apple variety was crisp and tart/sweet perfection with a beautifully blushed skin. Somewhat like a Cox’s Orange Pippin. It was early picking days but our friends where away for the month and we where leaving for Australia in two days so we picked what we could to store in their cellar. Maybe I actually forgot to put them in the cellar after all…

I loved the talk of the apples, the different trees and when they fruited and which month or weather marked the picking and end of season, which apples stored until January, which ones needed eating directly, which ones where better after a few months in the cellar,  which ones where for stewing and which for brewing. 

Why are the ripest apples always out of reach? Shining up at the sun….

We just visited The Apple Shed museum, brewery and restaurant just north of Huonville, but that’s another apple story!

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Uracher wasserfall

So, just like that, not once but twice, a beautiful post vanishes! Gahhhh!

Just some photos then.

The children wanted their portrait taken on every stump! I soon started distracting them so they would walk past them…

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Above photograph by Lily.
    
  The fairies who live and play here are this big!  If I was a fairy I would live in this hole and that would be my slide to your house…
  
Well, maybe a few words because the walk to the Bad Urach  waterfall really is beautiful and an easy path of about 1.3 km. the woods are enchanting, the creek you walk beside burbles merrily and my children where so entertaining (and cute in that outfit Cedar) it helped lift me out of the mental mud.  Walking is good therapy. Especially when it’s somewhere gorgeous. Even though the forest Wass being loped that day, it’s shocking to see these beautiful mature trees cut down! Perhaps they are weed species like the camphor laurel on our area.

Things where really compressing for me, in our last days in Germany. The end of a four month chapter in Europe and beginning transitions towards home, tying up threads and feeling all the feelings. Hey, you’ll be happy to hear we sold our van the evening before we  flew  ! I know I know!

Keep calm and knit! I reconnected with my knitting pins to make lily this Little Sallops beanie. I enjoyed the pattern and have made it before, and will again no doubt. It’s satisfying to see something I have made, loved and worn, Cedars shorts I made from this pattern, and his wool/silk blend sunny yellow shirt is from Engel. The Engel factory is nearby and I relished seeing the origins of these wonderful clothes and the bargains in the seconds outlet! 

I’m so irritated my original words vanished, this is a mere ghost of it. Anyway, i guess it’s practice for non-attatchment…

I love this apply cherry berry part of Southern Germany and we are so blessed to have friends to stay with. I realised just before we left there is a thermal spring bath in Bad (bath) Urach, something to go back for…..

Oh my god. Do this again? I need a long time for the challenges to fade and the good memories to take the front seat! For all you sitting at home and wanting to travel abroad with a family! It’s amazing to soak up other cultures and history and be inspired for our own home and garden and community and education and speak other languages and see my eleven year old conversing in German with the village kids and eat wonderful fresh cold climate produce and visit nearly every living relative I have and eat ice cream and play croquet with my 93 year old grandfather and hold hands with my Grandmother and observe Cedar soaking up every element of Opa’s farm education and walk and walk and walk and sniff mountains and flowers and watch your children blossom and find their place in family and soak up stories and places and wonder at this big beautiful world and live into how other people live and be inspired and expand ones reality and mind and overcome difficulties and be more capable and resilient than I ever thought I was and cherish friends new and old and be courageous and be kind and and…. 

And far out! It’s exhausting and over stimulating and challenging and difficult to meet four peoples needs and live in a 2.5×3.5 m space and doubt your choices and wonder if there’s a darn good reason most people don’t do this and and to be ungrounded and find your way when you know nobody and no one is inviting you in and you are lost and can’t speak the language or find a decent cheese, I mean camping place…. 

So yes, maybe one day we will make a trip to Europe again.

Because really we didn’t get very far….

Have you travelled extensively with your family?

Where would you go if you could?

Travel well friends.

Roselinde

Geometry playground

Class 5 geometry lessons are underway! It’s exciting for me to revisit the beauty and symmetry of compass art, Learning about polygons, prisms, pyramids, solids, quadrilaterals, angles, lines and circle language. I enjoy the artistic focus in presenting this work with Lily through the Waldorf curriculum.

On an adventurous day out recently we were happy to find this playground in a small village. (Neustadt near Metzingen) Soon there where exclamations about how this whole place was framed on polygons, prisms and even a quadrilateral pyramid supporting the tree! We are all looking at the world through geometry glasses now!   
    
    
 

I hunted for four leaf clovers (unsuccessfully) and enjoying watching while the two spent half an hour cleaning the sand out of the water play basins and creating waterfalls. I know Lily gets lonely for friends her own size when we travel and I cherish the richness of her relationship with Cedar and their ability to play together despite 6 years age difference. 

They where really engaged with the water pump and this initiated more conversations about living in historical times, continuing on from visiting Lichtenstein Castle earlier in the day. Shall we detour there right now, it’s a lovely late summer day in Southern Germany….

   
    
    
    We took the tour so we could snoop around inside the castle. I was especially enthralled with the detailed paintings on walls and ceilings. Photographing strictly Verboten! So you will have to go there yourself.

Afterwards we sought out the Easter Egg museum, decorated not chocolate !unfortunatley closed but the glimpse in the door was inspiring for our own Easter festival. After studying ancient Egypt lily was taken with the egyptian artwork eggs in the centre. 

  
 Anyway back to geometry!

We have been playing with toothpicks and modelling clay to create a sample board. It began with lines, which naturally flowed into the exploration of what can you make with lines.   

  glimpses from Lily’s main lesson book.

 It is fascinating the different polygons and patterns which are made when you follow the times table…  
  

Draw a dozen intersecting straight lines, then identify and color the various types of triangles.

Mamas exploration.   Lily’s

  Cedar’s

   
  Practicing rays by imagining starlight that shines on forever.The city map practicing all different types of lines. See if you can spot them!  
    
    
  First freehand circle explorations before introducing the compass.  
    
    Cedar watched the above flower of life developing, later he sat quietly and recreated his own very beautiful version. I loved making and colouring this mandala as a child also.

  The hexagon creations are beautiful, followed by a dodecagon.
   The fun side of mathematics for us!

The truck house inspiration

                           
These dear friends are in the project of rebuilding this fantastic old fire truck with an add on cabin. Alongside rebuilding a beautiful old house in Southern Germany. Creativity, laughter and lots of child cuddles to be shared in this family.  I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of their holiday home. When I met them 7 years ago they lived in another wonderful fire truck and I was very inspired for our own travel bus. Simple solutions, lots of hand shaped timber. maybe I will have a truck one day. So spacious! I’m coveting the windscreen fringe….

The Treadle Machine

     
I am unsure how time passed so swiftly 

But here we are 

Thinking a lot of home and our return in a couple of weeks

What is happening in my garden?

Many stories not shared, I can’t claim I am a proficient travel writer!

Four people in a small space, so much outside to see and explore, where is the plug anyway?

Packing sorting packing

Being held lovingly by a friends home

Watching Lily make a travel bag for her birthday dolls and small things

The treadle machine is a new experience and has a gentle sound and rhythm

I am impressed with her independent skill revealing itself with sewing this project

She began as a wee girl sitting on my knee ‘steering’ fabric or ‘driving’ the peddle for me

Look at her now!

3,4,5 triangle

       While researching  Ancient Egypt in June for Lily’s studies, I came across the 3,4,5 triangle. Apparently the Ancient Egyptians used a rope of 12 (we used metres) knotted sections. With angles made at 3m and 7m a right angle or Egyptian triangle is made. Fascinating little insight into geometry without a compass or ruler. 

With my father we went out in the hof (courtyard between the house and barns) with string and sticks and measures and markers and  water cans, we created an Egyptian triangle in the dirt. After we marked the triangle we flipped it and made another triangle, for a rectangle, then marked the centre and made circles with 3, 4 and 5 m diameters. Finally we finished with a central post and made a pyramid! A really fun, visual exploration. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

          While we travel I homeschool Lily. I follow the Waldorf curriculum as closely as I can (with guidance from her teacher in Australia) while not being a trained teacher myself. It usually works really  well and it’s a fantastic opportunity to tutor Lily in areas she has challenges. Getting her motivated is not always easy though and the differentiation from parent to teacher is interesting (read challenging, inspiring,frustrating) for me. I learn so much alongside her and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and discovery in research also. It is difficult to maintain consistency when we are moving a lot so this 6 week interlude with my parents in Germany was a good foundation for studies. We visited the Egyptian museum in Berlin which inspired us with incredibly detailed and beautiful carvings and paintings. It is the home of the famous bust of Nerfetiti which cannot be photographed, so we took our sketchbooks and drew her. The guard commented Lily was the youngest artist he had witnessed sketching her.    

  Her drawing books are full of images of Egypt. 

  

Berlin Mauerpark flea market

Berlin
Mauerpark Flea markets Sundays from about 8-4pm
Well some unexpected fun jaunts have come from our unplanned 6 week long stay near Berlin with my folks here. One being Mauerpark flea market!
With 300 plus stalls, give this market lots of time!
I went a couple of times with Jesse when he was busking, and lucky me, once all alone!
I found it too busy for kids to enjoy after 11am and must confess I preferred fossicking on my own. Old things, lots of lovely dusty old things with only a few new made stalls. Some savvy Turkish dealers with rows of estate boxes to rummage, be ready to bargain. It took me a couple of visits to build my courage but it was worth the reductions! I wish I had a container to fill and bring home!!
Streets of second hand clothing stalls! So fun!
I found some fabulous cotton vintage dresses and a button accordian, Polish ceramic ware and olive wood bread boards.
In the midst is a walled, sandy eating courtyard where you can quietly retreat for a bio (organic) sausage with sauerkraut and a bun. Don’t be overwhelmed by the 15 choices of mustard! Or get a pizza or a delicious mixed plate from the Turkish ladies. Yummy!
There’s a big green (old location of the Berlin Wall, hence the name Mauer/wall park) running alongside with buskers of varying talent and lots of people seem to picnic there.
I ended up getting a cab back to The main station (Hauptbahnhof) for 8 € instead of navigating the connecting trams on the way home.
Have fun if you go I’d like to hear about your treasures!
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The beginning

This purchase heralds the beginning of our next adventure. Fiat Ducato home sweet home!

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We left Bellingen one month ago (gracefully and with the help of many friends, thankyou) and many tales have unfolded to get us here.
Today waking up and looking out at our new/old very old van posing against the old, very old barns i realise its sinking in. I am here, I really am here, in the warmth of my German parents home preparing to tour Europe for the next months. It sure is memory making time. I endeavour to keep myself creatively inspired and wordsmithing over this time. I hope you enjoy the journey with us! May we all travel our lives with ease, good humour and the courage to meet what comes.
Roselinde