Before you read this, just remember, you know we are hopeless. So no eye-rolling, ok?
When we were packing to leave, we knew that some of our stuff could be sent air-freight and the rest would come by sea. Back then, all those weeks ago, I was keen to shed as much stuff as possible. 'We won't be taking anything,' I declared. 'Maybe just a single face-washer and a change of underpants.' So I didn't really take the airfreight stuff seriously. 'I'll just decide on the day,' I thought. Like I said. Hopeless.
So of course the moving day was frenzied and foul and Thieu and I ran around giving incoherent instructions to the removalists ('All the books with orange spines are being shipped. The white spines are staying. The forks are coming, but just leave the splades.' The removalists just rolled their eyes and shoved stuff in boxes. I was in charge of sorting out the stuff for air freight, so I had to make some very quick decisions about what to pack into the five boxes we'd been alloted. I had to isolate those items which would be of the greatest use to us once we arrived. The things that would make our life in Frankfurt complete and comfortable.
Well, yesterday our much anticipated five boxes of air freight arrived:
I have been dreaming about these boxes for the last week. It felt like Christmas, but better, because it was suff I knew I really needed (even though I couldn't exactly remember what it was). When I opened up the boxes yesterday afternoon, however, I thought 'What mad person decided that this junk was vital?' Some of the highlights included my winter clothes (and it's like, totally spring over here), a backpack, an ancient camera, a themometer. What was I thinking? Where were the sheets? The towels? The baby panadol? Madeleine's toys, for heaven's sake? Even a dvd or too would've been nice. But no. How about a finger puppet shaped like a panda and some stripy, knee-high socks?
It reminded of those stories you read about people who flee their burning houses, grabbing random objects on the way out. A salt cellar. The phonebook. At first I felt cross at my three-week-ago self for being so stupid. And then I remembered how hideously stressful the day was, and I (begrudgingly) forgave myself. Just this once.
The thing I felt worst about was the lack of toys for Mads, especially as I'd been promising her a bounty of goodness once The Boxes arrived. But then I remembered something important. For Mads, the best toy of all is a box, and now we had five.
So, with the aid of a marker pen and a stanley knife, we quickly turned one of the excellent boxes that Heidi gave us (thanks again for that, Heidi) into a submarine. Or U-Boot as they call them here.
And the bit we cut out for the porthole we turned into a pizza. (Smoked salmon with capers, because Mads likes a little salt.) Perfect.