If you’d asked me before we moved I would have said the UK was a child-friendly place. But it’s nothing compared to what I’ve experienced here!

For example, shopping. Taking a small child shopping is often fraught with cries, whines, complaints, grumps, sulks etc. And with two that’s even more likely. In England when that happened other people would either ignore what was going on or look at you disapprovingly. Here they coochy-coo and talk to the children to try to entertain them while you get on with what you need to do. It’s a completely different attitude.

As another example, from when we first arrived we had to register with the municipality. When we did this we got given a welcome pack and my son was handed a small rubber duck – the pack contained one, and as we have two children we were given a second so they didn’t fight over it. This was without us asking for it, or even realising it was in there.

And I’ve already lost count of the number of times we’ve been in a baker’s and my son’s been offered a bread roll. Or in the butcher’s and he’s been given some cooked sausage.

And yet, none of these are seen as unusual. Why are the attitudes so different?

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