Wow! So, it has been months since my last blog post and I have been totally remiss! So I won’t go through everything that we have been up to over these months as this is a blog post and not War and Peace (distinct lack of Napoleonic influences anyway).
So a whistle stop tour through our last what must be about 4 months! I can’t believe that we have been here 10 months and the end of the first school year ends in nearly 7 weeks time, the time has flown by and what a lot we have packed in to those 10 months! Our first ski season has come and gone and what an improvement. This culminated with a trip to a proper resort and a lovely morning spent watching everyone coming down the slopes on their own – this was accompanied by some glorious weather and a great find of a café right opposite the bottom of the slopes, so I was happy there with a coffee and a book! We are all looking forward to next year now!
We had a lovely trip back to the UK in April for Easter and then had some very lovely family and friends to visit after that too, so we had a jam packed couple of weeks before settling back in to school and the on set of some gorgeous weather.
Now that the snow has almost gone from the top of our nearest mountain the activities have changed from skiing to hiking! When I am on flat ground I am like a greyhound (albeit one that is probably near retirement) but my first foray in to hill/mountain walking proved how unfit I am and whilst it was so lovely to be so high up and appreciate the views and the lovely company, the fact that I could hardly breath let alone take part in any conversations made me realise that I need to do this more! So that is my aim for the last weeks before the summer hols! But once you reach where you are going you can’t help but be a little overwhelmed by the views and you literally expect Heidi and Peter the Goat herd to be round the next corner (was it me or did the Peter in the televised version that was on around the early 80s always look really peed off?? Mind you having scaled some of the heights that he would have had to contend with on a daily basis I now understand why).
Along with hiking, our attentions have turned to lake swimming too, the lake looks spectacular all year round, but comes in to its own during the hot weather and it has been great that the children have been able to cool off after school by going down there with friends to swim. It is probably still a little on the cool side now (and they will attest to this) but they are very lucky to have this on their doorstep!
I have been getting my 80s music fix too on a regular basis (as well as watching old TOTP on BBC 4; how come there is so much of music from 1985 that I can’t even remember! One highlight was watching Russ Abbot’s ‘Atmosphere’ video, they certainly don’t make them like that anymore, thank the Lord).
The Swiss have to be applauded for their amazing choice of supermarket music! None of your ‘musac’ here, no, it’s mostly 80s stuff and I had to spend an extra 5 mins hovering in the wine aisle last week just so I could finish off listening to ‘Don’t worry’ by Mel and Kim. This was then followed by Babushka by Kate Bush, at this point youngest child was edging further and further away from me, probably anticipating that I wouldn’t able to stop myself from joining in! But, and this is a big but (and the reason for the title of this blog), there is one thing that I can’t get my head round (this is not in supermarkets but on the radio and in other shops and even at the bank) it is the fact that they do not radio edit their songs. You are happily sitting in the hairdressers and suddenly Kanye is talking about the male appendage and making all kinds of sexual references (the man doesn’t do subtle does he, poor Kim). Taking a taxi trip and the driver who (was well in to his 60s and oblivious to my horror) is happily tapping away to the tune which had one repeated phrase that closely relates to mother hubbard! But in this case the young chanteuse was not off to find any sort of snack for her small canine! Now I am not a prude but I don’t really want to sit next to my 12 year old whilst all sorts are hurled at us without getting the chance to filter. I have spoken to a few people about why this is the case and we have come to a sort of conclusion that certain words do not have the same impact if they are not in your native language. Some words that would have no resonance to us would be highly offensive to German or French speakers, I kind of get this, but talk about parental advisory explicit content, just didn’t think that I would need to put this in place whilst waiting for a fringe trim!
So when I have not been cavorting up mountains with an oxygen tank strapped to my back, what else have I been up to?
What I’ve been reading?
We have had some fantastic book club books to read recently and so lucky to have joined such a fab group. I have also read some other great books too, in fact one of the reasons for not writing too many blogs posts (correct that, any blogs posts) is that I have been reading too much. I have noted a few down.
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott, fantastic debut, a thriller with lots of suspense! When the body of a young girl is discovered friends who were Oxford students at the time are put under the spotlight of suspicion but who has been keeping the secret for so long? Can’t wait for Lexie’s next novel definitely recommend especially with Summer holiday reads coming up!
Let me Lie by Clare Mackintosh creepy and full of twists, the person who I thought was involved wasn’t and I love that in a book, don’t like to know who is responsible straight off. I also loved another book by the same author I see You, I would recommend that too it was a great suspense filled read!
The last book we read at book club was The underground railroad by Colson Whitehead given the subject, which is slavery, it was not an easy read at all, tragic and at times heart wrenching, but massively powerful. I would recommend. It certainly provoked some interesting discussion at book club.
What I have been obsessing over, binge watching, raving about to anyone who will listen (delete as appropriate)
This month I have been raving about ‘Keeping Faith’ which I think is in a class of it’s own with a fantastic Welsh cast, superb writing and story line. Seemingly happy family torn apart when lawyer husband goes to work as usual one morning and never returns! This was originally broadcast in Welsh on S4C and then re recorded and shown on BBC Wales (I watched via iplayer). I recommend highly, but I am not sure if it is still on iplayer so may be on dvd soon. Cast contained a high proportion of some of my fav Welsh actors and Eve Myles is stunning as Faith, big praise to writer Matthew Hall too.
My monthly 80s throw back ramblings!
The school disco
With May Day coming up it reminded me of the amazing May Day carnival events that we used to have in Llangollen in the 1970s and 1980s, full town participation, floats designed, decorated and then driven in a procession through the streets to the carnival ground where we would chuck things at coconuts, visit the many stalls and basically have a grand old time. The day was rounded off with a disco in the town hall, it was one of the highlights of my younger years. But it got me to thinking to how much I loved a good disco and I don’t mean a club disco I mean something that happened in a church hall, school hall or any makeshift space. The girls dressed up to the nines and lined up in rows to dance and the boys ran about sliding on their knees and generally getting in the way of the Billy Joel Uptown girl routine. It all went off without a hitch and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
So what were the hits that we looked forward to hearing and dancing to (or not).
Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
Step, step, step kick and back step, step, step kick, who remembers doing that dance routine in rows opposite your friend?
No disco was complete without this classic, and I don’t consider this a fav as such but I think even the boys joined in with this one!
D.I.S.C.O 1980 Ottawan
She is D – desirable She is I – Incredible etc etc
Hands up again by Ottawan 1981 – who seemed to have a bit of a monopoly on the old disco hits
I remember that this one had a bit of a routine too. That involved putting your hands up and pointing, obviously major chorographical skills used for this one.
Anything by the Kids from Fame – but Friday night was a fav.
If anyone else has a favourite, please let me know.
Well that’s all from me for now, I promise to not to so lax next month. We are scooting off to Italy next week because we have a couple of days public holidays so there is no school. We are lucky that we are not too far from the Italian border so we will be spending a long weekend in Brixen in Northern Italy.
Thanks for reading
A wonderful and funny read, as usual. I love your blog, Sarah. Hugs to all.
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Hugs back to you Bev and thank you for reading – guess what is on BBC TV again? Reruns of Are you being served I remember you were a fan xx
The photo of Lake Zug is a beauty. More photos of the idyllic countryside please – once you’ve got into the swing of walking it. Have you got hiking sticks yet?
We have also been watching the 80s TOTP and are amazed at the number of songs we have no recollection of. A wonderful blast from the past for me was Kissing the Pink, with The Last Film. Desperately trying to think of how that can fit as one of my blogpost titles…
Lovely to read the catch-up xx
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I’m glad it’s not just me with the old hits then we are all in the same boat. Promise more pics of Zug next time I’ve just sent you a message using a new lap top prevented me from adding too many – definitely user error – thanks for reading xx
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Loved Keeping Faith too Sarah, though Laugharne’s not that glamorous in real life as you might remember. It also managed to portray Swansea as very seedy, lol!
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Lovely to read about your latest adventures. Do keep up the walking. Your body will acclimatise in time and you will feel terrific.