Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home


Mum’s Pyjamas

It is warm, but not too warm, given the that we are in the tropics and things can get unpleasant. The palms are swaying in a breeze redolent of holidays, and there is a big blue pool a stone’s throw from our apartment. I have spent the past week in a pair of my mother’s pyjamas, barking aggressively and wetly into tissues, and die Lüdde is a sweaty, snotty little parcel with no interest in food, or indeed sleep before 3am.


It’s always the way, isn’t it. You pack a suitcase full of summer frocks and end up wearing your Mum’s PJs because your sleeping attire ‘doesn’t cover your chest’, and reeking of Vicks Vaporub. (My sleeping attire isn’t, as that sentence my suggest, some sort of of daringly scoop-necked nightie, but you know mothers and keeping warm.)

While I generally gad about Germany feeling very Australian, I tend to gad about other countries feeling increasingly Germanic, despite not being clad in functional clothing or shoes. Being sick over here has revealed a few little ticks that have embedded themselves in my general behaviour. For example, I keep referring to the chemist/Apotheke as some sort of healing haven that will be the answer to all our problems. ‘We’ll go to the chemist and see what they say …’ and ‘we can ask the chemist’ and ‘let’s just wait and see what the chemist recommends’ have all been comments that led my mother to gently remind me that the chemist likely won’t be the answer to all of our problems and we may have to see the doctor. ‘Oh, but you see, in Germany …’

(How tiresome I must be as a person. In Germany I seem to only ever say ‘but in Australia’ and anywhere else, it’s ‘oh, but in Germany …’ No one cares Liv.)

The chemist, while helpful, didn’t quite offer the ‘essentially a doctor’s visit’ experience German Apothekes do, although I was warned off anything remotely hardhitting, courtesy of still being my daughter’s primary food source. This means I have no choice but to embrace the natural remedies – head over a bowl of eucalyptus oil, alarming amounts of lemon and honey tea, vitamins – which brings me to my next adopted tick; suddenly the natural remedies are alright in my book. Back in Deutschland I can often be heard berating anyone who will listen about how sometimes (most of the time) the German homeopathy/natural adoration is just too much and no I don’t want eye of newt, I want codeine. Here, though, you’d think I regularly make bark tea for all that ails me.

Speaking of which, I also confessed to my mother I wish I had packed a ‘coughing tea’.

What’s happening to me?


What do you think?