Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Summer update

I think it is really time for an update, as quite a lot has happened since my last post almost three months ago. Back in May we held the semi-traditional Camphill Blair Drummond reunion for friends we used to work together with in Scotland many years ago. In spite of months of tedious preparations, this time only Jiyeon turned up in the end.

But we had a lot of fun nevertheless, hanging out in Kunsten, the local art gallery,

meeting up with Katrine, another old friend from Scotland in Århus.

After Jiyeon left, l got really busy in order to conclude the first two years of my PhD contract in time. I literally managed it the last hour, so I got permission and funding to continue with Part B. This means another two years of job security and a handsome pay rise. Ane got promoted at the social work office where she works. From 1 August she becomes an internal adviser, supporting and training her colleagues, many of whom are quite new on the job. This is a new position, tailor-made for her. The change also means that she no longer will have direct contact with service users, which should make her working life a little less stressful - at least in theory.

As for Tristan, he is developing at a breakneck pace. He is still as inquisitive as a cat, and soaks up all impressions like a sponge. We really need to be careful what we show him, as he immediately tries out everything from changing light bulbs to watering plants or driving the car. Since May he has a day carer we all are very happy with. He simply loves being together with her and the three other kids she looks after, and also we feel very confident that he is in very good hands. Besides, his new place is just a few steps away from both where Ane works and from the railway station, which is very convenient for us.

Tristan can now say about 6-10 words. His vocabulary includes dad (both in Hungarian and Danish), car (also in both languages), mum (in Hungarian) and various greetings. His favorite word is mere ('more' in Danish), which is accompanied with heavy gesturing when he wants to get hold of something. His verbal comprehension is also excellent in both languages, although, curiously, still excludes all terms for no and don't. He is simply crazy about animals, and totally fearless when together with them, as seen in this video. He also has a keen interest in motorbikes, which he definitely hasn't inherited from me.

As usual, so far our summer has largely consisted of the usual mixture of various family functions and visits. This time also my mother made it here and helped out with looking after Tristan while his carer was on holiday. Ane has been working in June and July, apart from a week's holiday which we spent at the Danish east coast. But on the 8th August we're going abroad for a week. Originally we were planning to re-visit Scotland after almost 8 years, but we figured that Tristan wouldn't get much out of long hikes in the highlands (possibly in torrential rain) and extended car-trips. So Scotland will have to wait another year. Instead, we chose Malta, as a (hopefully) ideal place for both Tristan and his parents. He will enjoy the sea and the sand, and there are plenty of picturesque historical sights for us to visit, not to mention the Mediterranean kitchen we both are quite fond of. The apparent downside is that the place is really short of trees - but we'll just have to put up with that. We rented a three-room, 70-square meter bungalow in the celebrated "Danish village " (aka. the Mellieha Holiday Center) in Mellieha. I'll write about how we found it all in my next entry.