23/02/2011 18:44 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or A Bat You Say?

It's fasching time and unbelievably I forgot again. I swore last time that we would book a holiday or feign illness this year. But my memory failed me and it crept up like a nasty rash that you're unaware of until the itch starts.

Fasching is basically carnival season. A time for the normally straight-laced Germans to dress up in daft costumes and drink lots of beer. Oktoberfest revisited. Rooted originally in pagan tradition, over the centuries it became associated with the Christian Church and is mainly celebrated in the more Catholic and therefore Southern parts of Germany.

As a teetotal atheist who lives in Northern Germany, why would I get my lederhosen in a twist? Well, not to be left out of all the "fun" the Northerners, having apparently no desire to dress up as babies themselves (worryingly one of the more prevalent costumes of choice) instead, dress up their babies.

So it's fancy-dress day for the kids. Fair enough. Just a bit of fun for the ankle-gnashers you say? Jollies for them.

Guaranteed mumfail for me.

As a bona fide, self-confessed incompetent when it comes to all things crafty this is my nightmare. Not like those other mums. The ones who have been relishing this day for months. Hardly able to wait for the moment to display the results of their stitchery prowess. They know what appliqué is and they are not afraid to use it. Producing costumes Danny le Rue himself would have been proud of, I wither under their expertise.

I failed O'Level needlework after sticking together the two pieces of a collar with blue tack and hoping they wouldn't notice. It went well enough until the time came to iron it. That stuff is like "The Green Slime". Except blue. Obviously.

Finje, innocently unaware of her mother's inadequacies, has informed me she would like to be a bat.


Trawling the web trying to find something to buy, I realized it was too late. In desperation I found some black cloth, borrowed next-doors sowing machine, wondered what on earth had made me think I could operate such a thing, returned the sowing machine and got to work.

The result was, by anybody's standards embarrassingly pathetic. Anybody that is, except Finje. She has been swooshing around the house for the last two days draped in her "wings" and trying to hang upside down from the bed.

She loves them.

I love her.