Given that we are coming to the middle of the fourth week of school over here, I have really enjoyed looking at all the bright smiles of young ones going off to start their new terms in the UK this week – I know that we all have our favourite back drop for pics and the children will tell you that I am always saying ‘ stand in front of the door so I can get a pic of you off to school/ going on a school trip/ going to a fancy dress party/on DofE (delete as appropriate) you know the pattern. I have a new chosen place here now and we’ve already had a couple of ‘first time’ pics, the children know the drill. Talking about back to school, I also love the fact that over here little ones, from the age of around 5 which is the first year of school are encouraged to walk to school alone or take public transport. They are given traffic training by the police where they practice crossing roads and road safety (drivers drive approx 10 miles per hour through villages at school times, or else face very large fines which are enforced by the police) and are all issued with a reflective traffic triangle that is worn over their clothing that can be seen from the front and the back. The attitude here is that children should have independence and given a safe environment to have this independence, this becomes the responsibility of not just schools and teachers, but the whole community too, from what I have seen it is really respected and works very well.
I am lucky enough now to be able to work from home and also to work part-time (getting used to not leaving the house every day is something that has taken some getting used to especially after working full time for the last 17 years). This gives me the opportunity, and I feel lucky to be able to do so, to get out and meet some lovely new people, a pattern seems to be forming and this usually involves coffee. I went to an amazing place this week with a friend; it is in the coolest of places an old printers workshop complete with a big old fashioned printer, vintage mis matched chairs and tables and a great atmosphere. It is only open on a Friday morning and is run by an amazingly charismatic Japanese lady, who I instantly liked. She is a coffee expert and proper barista (yep a proper one) and an amazing baker too. What more could you want? there was also an impromptu bit of salsa dancing and some great music, I can see this being a regular Friday haunt. Lovely scenery for the walk home too.
And talking of getting out and about, the latest in my driving saga (or not) is that I have booked some refreshers lessons with an English speaking instructor who will brave the Swiss streets with me with the benefit of dual control – there wasn’t enough time for us to get them installed in our car (ha). But I am also getting back in the saddle, bike not horse (now that would be catastrophic probably given that the nearest equine experiences I have had in the last 40 years are donkey related). Anyway, I digress, electric bikes are very, very popular here and given how hilly it is I can definitely see the benefit, but, as with many, many things here they are super expensive, so I think I will be getting back on the traditional push bike. It will also save me turning in to a Giant Haystacks looky likey before Christmas with the amount of shopping I am doing (food shopping, not clothes I’m afraid) I shop every day and go on foot but always shop as if I have the car with me – so hence the hefty shoulders being built up whilst I lug bag loads of shopping home. Whilst we are on a Saturday afternoon wrestling theme, did anyone else fear Giant Haystacks as much as me? terrifying and a tad hairy and sweaty too for my liking. Then again I wasn’t too keen on Big Daddy either, but loved the wrestling. There can’t have been many households in the UK during the early 80s that did not spend Saturday dinner time (or lunch depending on which part of the country you were in) watching these all-stars flinging their hefty girth round a wrestling ring and not forgetting the bushy tached Dickie Davies host of World of Sport, you couldn’t top it for entertainment, as usual I am now lost in another 80s nostalgia trip.
Bit of a busy week for me, I am off to Dublin for a work meeting later in the week. I am very much looking forward to it, never been before and the meeting is at Trinity College, so I am expecting it to be all Circle of Friends. I am only away for one night (never keen on being away from home for long when I am on my own). So will report back on my whistle stop trip next time.
So what else have I been up to when not bench pressing groceries?
What I’m reading: I have just finished All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I picked it up at an airport and it is an easy to read thriller about the unsolved disappearance of a girl from a small rural town ten years previously, the book starts as another girl has disappeared. Good easy reading.
What I’m dipping in to: At my bedside at the moment is this gorgeous little book, that was actually a gift when I left my last job The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, I feel inclined, now that we are not in the blazing heat any longer to look at well shot pictures of blankets and cushions and open plan cosy living areas, but it is more than that, it’s about living well and to quote the back of the book ‘You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends, It is those crisps blue mornings when the light through your window is just right – now we all want some of that don’t we?
What I’m watching: In the same vein as my previous blogs I have been watching some old Jonathan Creek, which is odd because as a comedian and game show regular I don’t particularly warm to Alan Davies, but I really like him as the character – strange. Anyway I love a murder mystery so I’ve been watching a few of these.
What I have discovered: again, more chocolate, this time a bit pricey so ‘for best’ chocolate like the patent shoes that you had as a child and only worn a special occasions, this is expensive, but if you ever get the chance have a nibble on some Läderach swiss chocolate – it is divine!
A trip back down memory lane; so my 80s spot this week goes to the one and only Stuart Goddard aka Adam Ant – now when you talk about musical heroes (along with Bowie) he well and truly was/is mine, his look, his dress, his moves, his music, Burundi drum beats, the videos, the dance moves (leaps across the room a la Prince Charming) and his attitude, he was like nothing that I had seen before. I am still a massive fan today.
So that’s me for another week, thanks for reading my ramblings, I really do appreciate it.