Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My favourite Christmas ornament


Papa: Isabelle, je hebt een blauwe plek op je been, heb je je gestoten?
Isabelle: Ja.
Papa: Deed het pijn?
Isabelle: Ja.
Papa: Wanneer is dat gebeurt dan?
Isabelle: Om kwart over één. Nee, om tien over één.

Papa: Isabelle, you have a bruise on your leg, did you bump against something?
Isabelle: Yes.
Papa: Did it hurt?
Isabelle: Yes.
Papa: When did it happen?
Isabelle: At a quarter past one. No, at ten past one.

Birthday Party

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Last week, we discovered a poem by Annie M.G. Schmidt, called 'Isabella Caramella', promptly changed to 'Isabelle Caramel'. It goes like this (please to forgive bad non-rhyming translation):

Isabelle Caramel
gives her baby a bath
Isabelle Caramel
has a white woolen cat
and two white woolen mice
and a red-checkered bunny
and she has a crocodile,
called Petijn.
Isabelle Caramel
plays so sweetly in the sand
Isabelle Caramel
with some flowers in her hand
but as soon as nasty people come to visit,
she calls softly her crocodile Petijn.
And the crocodile Petijn
eats all the nasty people up
from their toes to their hair
hollihop and hollihap
For instance Miss Schoppetien
who doesn't like small children
Or the lady in the fur-coat
who nags and shouts all the time
and the crocodile devours
Mr Van Boven on the grass
to the last nasty piece of his nasty overcoat.
Isabelle Caramel, where is Miss Schoppetien?
Did you see Mr Van Boven, with his overcoat?
Do you know whether the fat lady left on her bike?
Isabelle Caramel knows nothing.
And she is playing there so sweetly
with her red-checkered bunny
while on the pavement next to her lies the crocodile Petijn.
Isabelle Caramel says 'there, that was that'
Isabelle Caramel gives her baby a bath.

True to character, we both had it memorized within a few days. And then one morning, Isabelle woke up and asked me whether I could make her a birthday crown (she'd seen this post, of course). As I was sewing, her job was to choose buttons and beads and things for me to sew on. At some point, she hands me the only crocodile button in our button jar. The following dialogue ensued:

me: tu veux un crocodile sur ta couronne?
you want a crocodile on your crown?
Isabelle: ja, dat is Petijn. Je moet hem op mijn koning doen, want als er nare mensen naar mijn verjaardag komen, dan eet Petijn ze op.
yes, it's Petijn. You have to put him on my crown (Isabelle uses the Dutch word 'king' to mean 'crown'), because if there are any nasty people at my birthday, Petijn will eat them up.

So to all of you who are joining us for tomorrow's celebration, I say:

"Beware! From the back of my daughter's head her crocodile is watching you!"

An end and a beginning

I cannot believe it's been a week since I last blogged. Seriously, this 30 Days of Living series nearly burnt out the blog instinct. Who would have thought it would be so hard? Maybe the whole thing about these 'one-month' challenges is that one should only have ONE of them per month?

Anyway, I really wanted to end it with a flourish; I had it all planned out, the 30th photograph was to knock you off your socks. However... the universe blew my plans to smithereens. You see, the 30th photograph was to be a positive pregnancy test. But although I am pregnant, by the time Day 30 arrived, no test would confirm it for me (too early...). So I waited, and waited and waited. And pondered, from my newly acquired frugal state of mind, the wisdom of wasting yet another 10 euro on a pregnancy test when I know perfectly well that I'm pregnant. Finally, on day 6 post-30th Day deadline, the dam broke, I gave in to the evil craving and ransacked the local drugstore. Only to lose the positive test. Actually lose it!

So, with some red winter berries to symbolise the news, I am delighted to announce that we are expecting a little fire pig sometime in August!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006