27/04/2011 16:44 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or Kitsch Or Culture?

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's hauntingly beautiful version of "Over the Rainbow" brought a tear to my eye yesterday. I adore the song and it seldom fails to get me all misty-eyed. Gazing out of the window, I pondered over the meaning of life, love and love lost, dreams and hopes for the future. Then,

"Ja, it's from a film I sink. Ze Sound of Music or something"

The hyperventilation eased eventually but the implications of my husband's explanation of the song to Finje were clear. Divorce. I could see no other way. The Sound of Music indeed!

Not yet aware of my consternation at this heinous crime and his position of soon-to-be-divorcee-sitting-in-a-hole-and-still-digging, he shoveled on downwards,

"Ach so, ja, wiz ze lionman and zat robot. Ja, I know ze film"

"Robot!" I cried, "Ro-bloody-bot! TIN MAN!"

Slightly bewildered at my despair and obviously unaware of a marriage collapsing before his very eyes, he continued loading the dishwasher.


After a decade of Teutonic living, this difference in our cultures remains the thorn in my otherwise pain-free side. Quips about his digging a hole that would have made "The Cooler King" proud, fly over his head like Mary Poppins.

My long suffering husband is, in seriousness, willing to learn and one has to feel for him. He has sat through hours of, let's face it, kitsch and still managed to avoid hurting my feelings with criticism. And all this, when many of the "classics" which I could watch on a loop given enough chocolate biscuits, do seem to cast ze Germans in rather a uncomplimentary light.

He may be a lost cause, but I'm determined Finje will not. After this recent conversation, I resolved to "educate" her on the finer points of her British side. I would buy The Wizard.

Amazon, the true friend of the expat, has a dark side. In order to buy one item alone, you must have will power of steel. As is always the case, I fought and lost the battle not to look down: Amazon customers who bought this, also bought....

In a daze of nostalgia, before I knew it, I had ordered not only The Wizard of Oz but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, My Fair Lady and a Dam Busters Special Edition.

Obviously they are not all suitable for young children.

Would be awful if my lass started speaking like a Cockney now, wouldn't it?