Tag Archives: London

Kurt Weinberg – tribute to an amazing man

In Nansen Village
In Nansen Village

In June 2015 I discovered, almost by chance, the place that would receive us as a family, for almost 2,5 years in London. It was very challenging to move to London and to join a Masters in a conservatoire. Living at Nansen Village was the support we all needed as a family.

Nansen Village was created by Kurt Weinberg, a man with a vision that I deeply admire.

We want to share with you a text that explains how a couple of Nazi Germany refugees setup an amazing 50 year old project:

The Nansen Village community both here in Finchley and spread all over the world, is thinking with sadness and gratitude of our founder Kurt Weinberg, who has died aged 93.

Kurt came to this country in 1939 as a Kindertransport refugee from Nazi Germany as a teenager. He, along with many other Jewish children, was welcomed and educated here.

Nansen Village Founder and Philanthropist

KURT W. WEINBERG 23 JULY 1924– 9 JANUARY 2018

UNIQUE MAN, UNIQUE VISION

Kurt showed his enterprising spirit early on. As a school boy he organised the collection of paper salvage all around the countryside in Cornwall where his school was evacuated during the war.

He decided not to go to University, though more than capable, his family did not have the means at the time. After working in a radio factory he set up his own business importing Dutch cigars. His family in Germany had been in the cigar business so he felt well able to take this up. Of course, being the man he was, full of determination, this was successful. All of you who know him are aware of his tremendous tenacity. When Kurt decided something would happen he made sure it did!

Kurt was blessed with a long and happy marriage to Charlotte also a refugee from Nazi Germany.

Having established their family home with their four daughters, Kurt and Charlotte started exploring ways in which others could benefit from the sort of welcome they had received as young refugees. They were advised that students from overseas, particularly couples and families found it very difficult to afford London rental rates.

This gave them the idea for the great initiative that is Nansen Village. They wanted to find a way to bring together people from different backgrounds and beliefs so that they could gain an understanding of each other. Together with a group of friends they formed the Woodside Project and began fundraising. Kurt approached a number of bodies for support and the family also raised money through stalls at local events. Eventually enough had been gathered and promised for a site to be found and plans were drawn up. Kurt was the main mover in this. He found the Woodside Park site and appointed the architect, with whom he worked closely.

The first tenants moved in in1970, and since then 1739 families have experienced life in the Village, with the chance to meet others from around the world and studying many different subjects and attending different Universities.

Kurt was the Chairman of the Project and remained so for many years. Even when he gave up the position he was always fully involved in the running of the Village, until ill-health overtook him in recent years. He and Charlotte were constant visitors to the Village, knew all the tenants and helped to support them. They made many long-lasting friendships and were able to visit ex-tenants in many parts of the world in their travels.

None of this would have happened without the tenacious and determined character of the amazing, impressive man Kurt Weinberg. So many people are thankful for the chance to live in a secure and supportive home in London, which leaves them with memories they hold dear forever.

Also those of us connected to Nansen Village in other ways have immense respect and affection for him.

Nansen Village is a memorial to Kurt and his vision, and all of us are committed to ensuring its continued success.

2018 or bye bye dear London

Hmmm our big 2017 is finished. And we are entering 2018 that doesn’t look less challenging :)
Goals of “17 :
  • Challenge “MMus in London” – accomplished.
  • New member of family “baby Vincent” joined our family!
  • Decision about next living place done.
Preparing to pack
Preparing to pack
Ready to move
Ready to move
“18 brings to us:
  • Challenge “MA In Arnhem”.
  • Keep learning about our boys and family as we did until now! To be honest we are so proud of our work as family even if sometimes it was not easy !!!

Happy New Year!

Let’s meet in the Netherlands!!

NEXT STOP: existential issues or How you would explain to a 3 year old child about death, growth, birth, planet earth and etc?

It’s midsummer and we are checking our achievements:

Challenge London: completed with success – for all of us it was a big provocation, and each of us took great responsibility and risk to fulfil their part.
Challenge Baby Number 2: as it was with London – difficult beginning of pregnancy, second part came with much calmer moods and the big pleasure to be in the presence of new life coming to this crazy world.
Challenge 3: Toddler Upbringing: hmmm – I think we can’t call it an achievement because it is an ongoing process, a never ending story :)
HERE we stop for a minute…
We had “sleep/eat/poop” period, “I want to stand up but I can’t” period, “not eating” period, etc. And each time I was thinking “that is hardest period in my whole life!!”
No, it s not. And still ain’t now… because with each year of life with Markus we learn more and more, and things becomes more complex and more tricky and involve more conversations and more things to discuss..
It’s much easier to sleep only 2 hours per day or wash nappies like crazy (oh yes, at that moment it does look like I CAN NOT DO IT ANYMORE) but when it comes “Mom, when I will die? Could you show me the date on calendar?”, then all the world stops and I feel like my tears are concentrating and getting ready to run down!
YES! I can change nappies, as much as you need!!  But it’s really difficult to listen and not to cry when I listen “You are getting old, so you will die. When you will die I will lay next to you”.
So, now we do have an existential period where we discover how people are born birth, from spermatozoid to fertilised egg, from cell until the moment the baby is pushed out into the world (YOUTUBE videos are really helpful stuff :-) ). How we grow, how our body changes and get more hairy and for what is used testicles. How we die and where the body disappears to, here comes “I don’t want you to die mum!” stuff and etc.
So after the training about human body I can easily answer to “Why don’t we fall of from the earth if it s round?” :-) I can speak and speak about it and change nappies :) but please no more questions about When I will die !!

Let us sneak into Markus cloakroom or a GIANT POST

Today I was looking for a hat… a summer hat for Markus. And since my research takes time I thought to write a post about some of our discoveries, without which we couldn’t survive!!

First. Our Markus is good in “sweaty feet”, “wet sweaty head” and more “desirable” skills :)…

Here in London the weather is not as hot as it was in Portugal, I still remember his wet car seat and how I had to learn some tricks to keep my son fresh and comfortable. One of most important strategies to keep him fresh is to choose the right footwear and clothing.  Normally this means as natural as possible: wool, cotton, silk or bamboo fabrics, but not always and it’s proven by ergo baby! We had a carrier made from 100% polyester and we were super happy with it (the father adds: that was very much due to the 3D mesh they use)!

Other things we can’t survive without:

HATS.

Sterntaler or Pickapooh: both are super cool producers of hats and allrounders. First I found Pickapooh and bought a sun hat that protects from UV and has an excellent sun protection for eyes, face, ears and neck. And it was super duper hat that we used all 6 months in Portugal. After it I got one Sterntaler hat from a friend and I fell in love with it! It also had UV protection and it was from Pure Colour collection so it had a strong basic colour that can save your kid when he gets is lost in shopping – yes, it happened to me, I lost Markus during my shopping and the colour helped my to spot him much faster. And in the winter time I came back to Pickapooh and bought helmet. And even if Portuguese winters are not so cold, still this helmet saved our lives because of the rain. It was made from natural wool so it kept balanced temperature next to Markus head and he was protected from the wind as well.

In terms of quality and design there is no big difference between Sterntaler and Pickapooh products so it depends on what you are looking for, budget and probably which one of them you have closer to your living place.

Ahh.. I almost forgot that we had one of Engel hat too. It was when we moved to London and I found out that is super warm and comfortable hat! So I recommend it also!

OUTFITS

While we were living in Portugal we were dealing with Markus and his super powers to be sweating and wet all the time. For this there was only one solution – MERINO WOOL. It was the times when we used only two colours because of Green-Rose, it’s a small company in Lithuania and they have weird way of visual communication (colours and even fabrics are different on their page then in reality and they also have different assortment in the shop and online) and I never understood the way how they take pictures of their products in a way that you just can´t see (black skirt in a black background). But still, each time when I go to Lithuania I go straight to the Green-Rose shop to buy wool trousers for Markus (all the time the same colours :) because they are light and regulates his body temperature and price is affordable! Even now when we live in London and Markus is sweating less he is using trousers at home and pyjama at night that are made from bamboo and cotton. The quality of pyjama is not the best because it ages very fast but it keeps my son warm when he kicks his blanket away and cools him down when he is covering himself too much.

Ruskovilla – is other brand that I’m happy to share. My english is just to poor to express how we were lucky to try bodysuit of this brand. I just cannot dream about anything better. Must have!!!

SOCKS

I found super comfortable socks that Markus is using all the time since we are in London. Again is a German company named Hirsch Natur. We have 3 pairs of thin knit socks and 1 pair of medium knit that we use as home shoes. It s completely enough because I don´t need to wash them each day. It s natural wool so during the night socks are resting and next morning they are ready for long walks with Markus! Best thing for sweaty feet and for London weather as well.

SHOES

When Markus started to walk we needed more then socks but still not a heavy shoes and definitely something fresh because of the Portuguese weather… It took time to find something that made me happy. But I found it :) Pediped Original… They are super flexible and protecting the feet but are not to heavy! They have super cool sales all over the year and no worries that is USA, they are sending from nearest shop so it’s no extra costs for European customers. Of course later we needed more than one pair especially that our Markus is walking a lot and destroying shoes as his mother, so we are alternating with Clarks shoes and with sandals with wool socks, he loves it. Next thing we will try will be Pediped’s Flex Adventure sandals!

RAIN CLOTHES

We like to go outside and be not affected by weather, so we bought rain clothes for Markus, but hmmm… It was the last time I saved on Markus outfit :) because I chose less expensive and I’m a bit disappointed with our Regatta rain suit, because after 1 hour of walk in the rain Markus was wet. My friend said to try Reima products because all her 4 children are growing with them!

I think for know it s all..if one day I will remember something I will add 😉

 

CLOSING THE SPRING TERM

The spring is coming to an end and we are making our reflection for this period of the year.

finishing his year at the school: starting to have new look of his place and role at the course.

becoming stronger as a father and a husband and being a good inspiration for his wife.

in general, you should see Rodrigo!! you wouldn´t recognise him! he become much more responsible, reliable and attentive person.

learnt that to be mother is a job and hard one. She was studying how to draw more than 6 years, but unfortunately she received no manual on how to be responsible for other person

understood that, if she wants to be good mother and inspire her husband, she needs to express herself as person.

has been a source of energy and strength for Rodrigo.
is super multi tasking, learning everything at any time!

So, lets reflect about our life more than once (not only in New Year´s Eve) to grow our relationships with ourselves and as family.

How is it to live with an Art Tutor and a Postgrad Student?

Some more details of life in London with The Walkabout Family

Last week started with some good news: I now have some students to work with! I’m very excited to start my career as an art tutor in London. And please wish me luck because it has already been some time that I wasn´t working, so I do need support to feel self-confidence!

During the week Markus had the experience of trying chalk eggs and make some drawing in the bathroom and outside! I was in love with those eggs!! They are comfortable to grab and to use for toddlers, also the funny shape makes all the process more entertaining.

We had lovely visit from Portugal! and Markus had opportunity to see his grandfather from Porto.

In the end Rodrigo had a didgeridoo moment in Musical Beacons by Sound Castle. He was invited to share some secrets of the didgeridoo with some nice families in the center. For Rodrigo it was an opportunity to get back to what he loves to do with the didgeridoo and families and also to get to meet more people involved in the same kind of work.

Going to work OR Who takes care of your child?!

We are in London already for 2 months and 12 days… We already have a flat, a bank account, the national insurance number and the rest of small things that was in our “must have in London” list. Rodrigo started his studies and is already sweating at his tasks, he also got a job as a steward at the school so sometimes he has the opportunity to play a very important role in events!

But this post is not about that… It’s about how expensive it is to have kid in London and HOW TO FIND CHILDCARE FOR HIM….

So, there are mainly two ways. One is hard and takes time, the other is easier but also takes time 😉 because I am sure you want to choose best place that fits all yours and your kid’s needs.

First one:

Speak with your friends, neighbours,  all the people who have or had kids, look in newspapers and job’s advertisements, etc… Maybe one day you will find someone…

Or use second way:

Got to childcare.uk.com and just sign in… here you can find nannies, childminders, babysitters, family support and etc… in shortly, everything you need!!! Using this platform I understood what are the differences between nannies, nurseries and childminders… and I choose the latter.

Childminders vs Nurseries. Childminders can have only 6 kids at once, it’s a smaller group of kids and much closer to the concept “home to home” and easy to adapt for kids that spend all their time with moms (Markus case). Childminders are also more flexible with times… you can find a childminder that receives kids at any time even on the night and nurseries normally have strict schedule and finishing quite early in the day (one close to our house finishes at 3pm).

Childminders vs Nannies. As previously said, childminder can have 6 or less kids. Ok, maybe some childminders doesn’t have more kids at a certain moment, so your kid will be the only one but in normal conditions kids are playing in small groups and can have some fun all the time. With a nanny the kid is alone unless she goes to playing groups or playing grounds but still for me is not the same.

So, each family can find something that fulfils their needs. We choose childminder.

The second step is to visit all childminders around our house! As much as I can!! Because I want to see what are the opportunities and choose place that fits our needs best!!!

London: 5 Challenges!

  • Hello every one!!!

    It has been some time since we wrote something here and the reason is simple: we have been completely occupied with all the new experiences in London.

    I would like to share some of them but I couldn´t decide which ones, so i made some topics for each member of the family!

5 Rodrigo‘s challenges:
5 Terese´s challenges:

5 Markus´s challenges:

  • ride bicycle with the father,
  • go to Barbican for concerts and library activities,
  • adapt to new parents madness moments,
  • learn english,
  • get use to rainy weather.

More challenges just to come!!!

We started moving

We are on the move to London. The next weeks will be crazy for The Walkabout Family!

We left the house in Portugal, now we came to Vilnius to spend some time with Terese’s family, after I’m still going some days to Portugal for Sonópolis and then we meet in London!

Yesterday we spent almost all day in roads, airplanes and airports and it was really cool to see Markus’ new insterests. Just one month ago we was flying to Cabo Verde and he didn’t seem so interested in the details like this time.

Saying goodbyes to Portugal

The time to move to London is approaching quite fast so we have been saying our goodbyes to Portugal! Let us share with you some images of this process…

Since we came from Cabo Verde, we’ve been closing chapters and preparing the new one. We moved to a house in a great place called Vilar de Mouros. It’s a small village in the north of Portugal that became famous because of the oldest portuguese music summer festival. My uncle allowed us to stay at his house for some time to save some money on rent and this has been our base for these times.

The place where we was keeping our things to sell was robbed a second time and now we left a sign on the door asking our friends not to break nothing more as there was nothing important left inside. We found ouselves throwing away a lot of things and always thinking about the amount of stuff we keep for “one day to be used in something nice”.

The days in Vilar have been spent between enjoying the portuguese sun before moving to London, visiting around showing the surroundings to Markus and Terese, working on the papers for the school, looking for ways to fund our stay in London and even though I almost don’t have any more tools and resources for working in the didgeridoos I couldn’t resist to work on a project I had unfinished.

There is still a lot to happen to us in the next weeks and those times are a delicious challenge to us as a family. We are grateful to be living this oportunity to follow our dreams.