Confessions from the gyno’s chair: What it’s really like to start maternity leave in Germany…2 weeks before Christmas

Whoever said maternity leave was easy obviously did not start their 36th week of pregnancy in soupy 5° C, surrounded by Stollen, ‘evenings’ that commence at 3:45pm, the heady scent of Bratwurst and Gebrannte Mandel wafting through the air at the Christmas markets and itchy wool stockings. And so it begins. Mutterschutz. This is the official period 6…

Darkness and Light. Time and Place in the life of a refugee

His body, lying flat. His arms and limbs, lifeless. This was the picture of that little boy whose life was taken by the sea, a little boy who compelled the world to sit up and take not just notice. But action. He was not just a photo. He was and always will be, a boy. His name was Aylan. His older brother Galip and his mama, they too were taken by the sea, for all the world to see.  I was wondering how to approach this blog post, as I had started it a few days before the little boy’s death when news emerged of the plight of the Syrian refugees who perished in a truck at the hands of human traffickers .And now I have added in some other parts to reflect my anger, hope and pride not just as a writer, but also as a mama, at what is happening in Berlin and Germany with the tide of new refugee arrivals.

It’s ok to bawl in the Bäckerei and a few other things Berlin taught me about Motherhood (Part One)

Thought I’d disappeared, gone to a kibbutz or started an underground urban gardening co-operative the last few years? Not really. Truth be told, I had a baby in Germany in mid – 2012 and spent eighteen months on maternity leave in Berlin.

Reflections on the unpredictability of life as a new mum in Berlin and what happens post-maternity leave.

A slice of Expat Life

A few months ago during the cold, dark Berlin winter, there was a little ray of sunshine that brightened it up. The lovely Valerie Khoo, Sydney-based award-winning  Journalist, Director of the Sydney Writer’s Centre and Editor of Latte Magazine (the magazine of Business Chicks – Australia’s largest female business and mentoring network) got in touch. She wanted to know if I would…

Better Urban Living- my blue wings April 2012 Column

(First published in blue wings magazine,Sanoma Magazines, Finland)  

In his 2007 book ‘Affluenza’, British Psychologist and Author Oliver James claims that our contagious, socially transmitted condition of debt and anxiety results from our efforts to “keep up with the Joneses”. As a result, many people in modern-day society fail to understand what promotes well being.