Learning Dutch

I am on the road again, after a glorious Indian Summer weeks in Manchester. We were surprised by a visit from Sita, Jim and Faro on Friday night which allowed us to check out his increasing vocabulary. He now copies every word we say. He is retaining some Dutch word, which would probably have been incomprehensible to all but his parents and myself. I taught him about milky tea, een kopje thee, which sounds something like ‘kupatay.’ We know he is speaking Dutch and liking brown bread cubes withh Marmite and milky tea, just like a Dutch kid would.

My sister sent me a wonderful picture book that has all sorts of land- and seascapes, each one having four things in common, not always obviously so: a fakir on a flying carpet, a yellow balloon, a blue delivery truck and an prisoner on the run. Faro is entirely pre-occupied with the blue truck. His boy brain seems to be wired to recognize trucks. I keep telling him the Dutch word for yellow balloon, he recognizes it but speaks about a lello balou-balou. So we have a ways to go. But expanding the Dutch vocabulary in the face of such fast advances in English makes me wonder whether I can keep up with this. I went through this decades ago and gave up. But people tell me not to, this time.

I did not get the chair re-upholstered before my departure but I was able to put most of the chair back together, more or less as it was, without piping here and there. I am pleased with the results, recognizing the flaws that no one else seems to notice. Something stuck from my upholstery education all these years ago.

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October 2013
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