16 June 2011

From Leuven

Hallo from our new Flemish digs! Gabriel and I have been here in for just over two weeks now, and there's so much to write about...packing up our lives into a single carload, driving to Boston, the overseas plane trip alone with an energetic toddler and a staggering amount of luggage, long days alone with said energetic AND jet-lagged toddler in an almost entirely empty house while M. finished his dissertation proposal and worked full time (let's just say that we've taken a whole lot of walks), an epic (EPIC! or should I say EPICLĂ–RP) trip to IKEA, the pleasures of being back in Europe, the frustrations of being back in Europe, the joys of exploring our new town.

So far we're really super happy with our choice to live in Leuven instead of Brussels this go-round...it's a city of the size that we love (see: Oxford, Salzburg), a college town with a nice student vibe, just really beautiful with some amazing architecture and the exquisite beguinage right around the corner from us. We're also really happy with the location of the house--I love that we're within short walking distance of pretty much anything in the center, and that I can easily grab the stroller and go get what we need (well, if it weren't for the obstacle-course construction zone that is our street). Plus, our little backyard backs onto a park, so things are quiet and pleasant and perfect for a toddler running around. And hopefully the fact that we HAVE a backyard (with roses! strawberries! a magnolia tree!) will combat gray-skies fatigue. I'm excited to learn Dutch and really settle into a life that feels connected to the place we've landed--Brussels always felt so anonymous and international, everybody there temporarily. So far M. has made some good contacts with the University and I'm planning to do the same.

Today my parents-in-law arrived to help us out, which is why I am even able to write this... These days little G. is always begging (=whining, crying, clawing) to be in my lap if I'm typing and if he's in my lap he's either pulling on my arms or hitting keys which is about as productive as it sounds. So computer time requires sneaking behind his back during the short-attention-span play periods. Ah, the magic of grandparents to engage the attentions of a child. For the week they're here (and the following week, while we're back at home in Barcelona) I am planning to actually get some work done on thesis revisions and get that thing done!

Goody! The sofa guy just came and not only was the delivery truck able to pull up to the front door (you never know where the gigantic holes or massive construction vehicles will be on our street on any given day), the sofa fit just fine through the doorway (my two worries concerning sofa delivery). It looks great and now our living room actually has a piece of furniture in it!

Oh I know--In parting I'll show you the little polyvore scheme I had fun putting together this weekend while M. took Gabriel to the park to let me hang out in bed until embarrassingly late. We had just done our Ikea trip the day before so I was trying to see how the living room would all fit together. I think if you click it you can see my comments? Maybe?

Leuven Living Room


Anonymous said...

Robin, what a pleasure to read a blog so lovely and fresh. I also married a Barcelonés and have transplanted myself from North America (in my case, Canada) to the Condal city. I'm a painter but these days I work in editing and translation. We have 2 little girls, aged 1 and 4. If you're in Barcelona at some point and have the time, do get in touch. Among other things, I would like to speak with you about starting a book club when my babies are a bit older, and I could use a professional opinion, so to speak. Sabrina sabsphere@yahoo.com

Robin said...

Hi Sabrina, nice to hear from you! We should definitely get in touch--I'm always eager to find fellow cross-cultural moms!