I’ve been taking photos of the tulip garden near work almost every day in spring, to see how it changes. Well, it really changed during the week!
Delicate and intricate
There’s an ornate building next door to my work which I’ve loved ever since moving to Bern. It’s in the Langgasse quarter, which has lots of uni buildings, student accommodation and a laidback feel to it all, all conveniently located next to the main train station. I may have talked about this area, and building, before.
Walking along the main street, just past the building on the left, is a driveway. My eye was drawn to an amazing plant growing along the fence. Just like the massive building before, it was delicate and intricate in a different way. Balls of a fine swirly, white, starchy substance replaced any greenery and brown octopus/spider legs wiggled inside. What a showstopper of a vine!
I stole a sprig for closer inspection. Here’s what they look like magnified …
The spiders legs fall out very easily, and the feathery material feels almost little a cotton ball/make-up wipe thing – not as soft as you’d think, but not scratchy either.
Do any of my clever green-thumbed friends know what the plant is called? I had zero luck searching the internet.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
And Vale Alan Rickman. What a chameleon he was, with such an expressive face and that rich, smooth voice.
September 2-20: Oops … sorry about that!
Iiiiiiiii’m baaaaaaack …
It’s been a mental few weeks, and to top it off I had a chest infection which made me cough like a coal miner and sweat like a piggie. But I’ve almost kicked it to the curb, and am ready to, finally, write about what’s been happening.
Once I’ve written it all out, it will feel quite boring, I’m sure! But the best piece of news is …
As of October 1, I will officially be the Communications and Project Officer for PAGES, an organisation which disseminates scientific data/research/reports on past global (climate) change. This was the interview I had on September 1. I found out I got the job on September 7.
The office is in Bern city, a convenient walk then bus ride away. I’ve actually been working there quite a bit in the past few weeks, doing the handover. The previous employee had her last day on Thursday and will work externally from Norway until the end of the year. This means I won’t be thrown into the fire from the outset, which is wonderful – knowing she will be there to pass on all her knowledge over the next few months is such a relief. There are only five people working for PAGES, so everyone has a wealth of information stored in their heads. Here’s a link to the website if you fancy a read … http://www.pages-igbp.org/
I’ve also been writing the stories for my friend’s magazine, which was great except I was sick, then all of a sudden I didn’t have enough time. One story worked out really well, but I failed to get an interview for another story so had to change the concept a bit, and then – bless – my friend said I didn’t have to do the final story as it wasn’t coming together like I’d hoped and we agreed it wasn’t a story as such anymore.
Plus, I was working at the karate clothing website at the same time too. So it was a busy period. I hope the cough goes away soon; Leo has had an earful of it, and so have I. Juggling three jobs while hacking away was rather unpleasant. Going from minimal work to too much was also a challenge!
The other exciting news is … we’re off to Barcelona for six nights … tonight!! We won’t be going back to Australia at Christmas, because of the new job, so decided to have a quick one-week trip before I start officially. We’d thought about Iceland or the Jurassic (south) coast of England, but the weather didn’t look great, so we opted for sunshine and sangria instead. Really looking forward to eating loads of patatas bravas and maybe even having a swim in the ocean.
Rene lost his driver’s licence so has given me the keys to his car and taken back the keys to the Töffli. I think I actually got the chest infection from riding the Töffli in the early mornings to Maru Dojo, just after it turned cool very quickly. The car isn’t as easy to park as the bike, but it does mean I’m able to do a bit more with four wheels as opposed to two … and it’s dry and warm inside! Thank you, Rene.
So, time to get moving. I’ve packed my silver carry-on suitcase, which has one side empty, with enough for the week and more. See previous packing efforts here, here and here … I’ve taken the black and white heart dress; the black jacket; a (new) pink cardigan; the Japanese print skirt; a pair of mushroom coloured shorts; a pair of jeans; black belt; red, black and (new) pink t-shirts; two singlet tops; two scarves; a (new) denim blue thin poncho; bikini; minimal jewellery; black handbag; spotty green cap; umbrella; sandals; leather sneakers for walking; ballet flats; underwear and socks; mini iPad and iPhone. I’m excited to have these new clothes too!
Wishing you a wonderful week! I’ll write more when I’m back from Barcelona. Adios Amigos!
May 9: Cheering on the Bern GP runners … too late!
We had great intentions of leaving this morning for the start of our Swiss Camino trip, then realised why rush? We have plenty of time and Leo needed a day of nothing to wind down after some serious flooding problems he had to solve at work.
So we thought we’d head into town and cheer on the runners in the 34th Annual Bern Grand Prix, “the prettiest 10 mile race in the world.” Well, it probably wasn’t so pretty this year, because they had to change the route with the Aare river flooding/overflowing.
We didn’t know anyone running, but thought it might be nice to add some photos of the event to the blog. Here’s the photo we got.
By the time we actually headed into town we were a little late. They were deflating the finish line. Oh well, maybe next year!
We wandered around the city and had a late lunch at the markets in front of the Bundeshaus. My lunch consisted of some of these …
Plus some Mexican taco thingies. No photo of those – nowhere near as pretty! How about some peonies instead …
I didn’t end up writing any more Travelling Light stories as promised, but will do a post-walk debrief summary of the gear I took. Too much? Too little? I’ll have to wait and see!
Wishing you a wonderful day. Maybe it’s Mother’s Day where you are? If so, wishing you a marvellous Mother’s Day too. Have a peonie! xx
May 8: A slow walking and exploring kind of day
A short post today, without a silly song. Although I did talk jibberish with the cow above on my way to the bus to meet Claudia for lunch and then Pastora and Iva for ‘afternoon tea’.
My brain seems to have tuned out from the fitness side of things at the moment, probably because I know we’re going walking soon and that will be a really good workout for five days. So today, I just walked to and from the bus and wandered around an area of Bern that I’ve never been to before.
Claudia, always a great tour guide, took me to the Muesmatt Quartier. It’s very much a university area, being so close to various faculties, and it’s also very charming. In one part, all the streets are named after birds. Below is a good example of its sweet style.
Once again, Cafe Pyrennes provided some solid entertainment for Pastora, Iva and I this afternoon. We met a retired local sports journalist and had quite a few friendly arguments with him about all manner of things, but mostly women’s sport, of which he’s not a fan. Harrumph! But despite this jostling, it was a wonderful day.
Wishing you one too.
p.s Hopefully I can post updates from the Swiss Jakobsweg, or Swiss Camino, from tomorrow. We catch the train sometime before sunset to Constance and then should begin walking on Sunday, May 10. Just got to work out how to upload the photos onto my iPad while we’re underway!
May 6: Catch-up photos and postponed nervousness
The big news which distracted me from writing yesterday’s post is … I have a job interview. It was supposed to be this morning, via telephone, but it has been rescheduled for next Wednesday. I’m not going to say anything more about it for fear of jinxing myself. Please cross all fingers and toes.
As a catch-up for yesterday’s simple post, here are a few drab-looking photos.
Monday night was the final of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield. I was lucky enough to be at the Crucible Theatre in 1995 for a night and day session – amazing to be there after watching it for so many years on television. It’s always sooo quiet! Congratulations to perennial underdog Stuart Bingham on his first world title! It was a fantastic final (against Shaun Murphy) and I’m glad Bingham won because he beat my favourite player Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-final.
Yesterday was a very social day – lunch with Leonie and then drinks and dinner with Claudia (not my old German teacher Claudia, who I meet once a week, but Leo’s friend Dani’s girlfriend Claudia, who lives in Basel). In between the two catch-ups, I went to the library and finished this beautifully written, memorable book.
I was amazed to see the unusual pink and green tulip from our local tulip field in a recent post from Freda at livesimplysimplylive. I’ve never seen them before and then twice in three days! Freda’s grow in her garden. How wonderful! Must try and plant some too.
I’ll post again with some fitness stuff. This is really more of a catch-up from yesterday, where my exercise was walking around the city looking at the flooded river.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
May 3: Another Sunday walk
We had a great time at the BEA with everyone yesterday, and a quiet, relaxing time home alone today.
Seems to be a Sunday tradition at the moment, going for a wander in the neighbourhood. It’s been raining so much the past few days, we made a break for it during a rare break and headed out. Again, the walk was leisurely, but they say 30 minutes a day is all you need.
At home I spent a bit of time in my garden, admiring the blooms. We also watched the first season of Broadchurch, which I really enjoyed. I’ve long been a fan of Olivia Colman – she never disappoints. She was amazing in Tyrannosaur (not for the faint-hearted) and Green Wing too.
Oh and Mayweather beat Pacquiao. I didn’t watch the fight, just read about it. The more I know about Mayweather, the less I want to retain.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
April 29: What a great afternoon!
It feels like Pastora and I have a good-time angel or a fairy godmother or something/one looking out for us. Every time we go to Cafe Pyrennes in Bern we always meet entertaining people.
We’ve met the Everton Football Club fans, a famous Swiss sculptor plus many more. It’s a hub of activity. Today we sat near (but didn’t talk to) the Swiss singer Polo Hofer (you can just see him to the side of Pastora in the photo) and shared a bottle of wine with his friends after he left.
My exercise today is a bit of a cheat – I had to run for the bus this afternoon before meeting Pastora. It took me 12 minutes to get to the bus, instead of 20 minutes walking, and I wasn’t puffed when I arrived early. I also walked 20 minutes home again.
Normally I don’t count walking to the bus and back as part of my fitfor15in15 but today I’ve been blessed with other kinds of fitness – mental fitness. It was a classic afternoon chatting and laughing with new people and that’s always good for my soul.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
March 29: 20-minute yoga workout and food dilemmas
What a lazy day it was! The wind was howling, it rained non-stop and the low-hanging clouds made it feel like it was dusk all day. It was hard to separate my arse from the couch. So I didn’t try much.
Now, it’s late and I need to exercise. Sadie Nardini comes to the rescue (again! Search for her name in the search tool on the blog and you’ll see some of her other workouts) with a 20 minute Booty Booster Flow. Seeing as mine had been flat all day, I figured it could do with a boost. Shake that booty.
Can someone else please do this and let me know if you sweated as much as I did? Maybe our heating is up too high? I had to strip off my socks, then my leggings, and then my t-shirt in order to get through this. How strange! Hopefully my arse will be awake tomorrow. But thanks again Sadie, for another good workout. (I did have to cut her short though, because for the first time, her constant talking really, really did my head in. I’m sure it’s because it’s late. I think.)
I’ve also been thinking about my diet, and by diet I don’t mean lettuce leaves and air but what I currently eat. The idea of changing my nutrition, which isn’t all that bad I don’t think, has always been part of the fitfor15in15 plan. But as I’ve mentioned before, things are slowly being changed in order to not be overwhelmed and fail everything at once.
After three months of daily workouts, an exercise habit has been formed. Once again, before the start of a new month, I think about when is the right time to tackle the nutrition side of things. It’s time to really start thinking about cutting out the crap. Even just for a short amount of time – say one, two or even three months.
Years ago, I did the Liver Cleansing Diet and felt quite healthy. By the end of three months, I even craved an apple instead of a chocolate bar as an afternoon snack. Unheard of for me! Now I’m thinking about encorporating some of those elements and additional things like smoothies and nuts and … oh it’s all so overwhelming!
Generally we eat quiet well (Leo jokes that he’s gained every gram of fat I’ve lost in the past three months) but it’s the snacks and treats which are the killers. Chips, chocolate, biscuits, pastries … mainly anything sweet and delicious. They’re not part of the everyday, but they’re definitely around a bit too much. It’s a constant battle against a sweet tooth.
Do you think it’s a good idea to try some sort of diet? Some kind of plan? I’m a bit loathe to do that, because buying new ingredients and making new meals every night is a bit overwhelming and tedious for me. I have a tendency to want to do things by the book or not at all, but the thought of all that time in the kitchen … ugh … I should be more positive about it, right?! Once again, I’ll keep thinking about it for a while longer. But I think the time has come to make a decision/change. Let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter!
Here are some photos from my trip to meet Claudia in Bern on Wednesday, that I said I’d post when the internet worked again.
And please stop by tomorrow when you can read the next guest contributor installment, from Sal Book, who has a lovely story about her change of heart from being a ‘never never’ to a ‘let’s do this’ exerciser.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
March 10: Five-hour walk to Bern
Well, that was a turn of events. I thought I was staying home today to study but Thursday’s plans with Pastora and Iva switched to today so we could also catch up with Kanjana. It’s not often the four of us get together (we’re all from the same German school).
Kanjana wanted to meet in the city at 3pm, after she’d finished work. Iva suggested we three should walk from my village into the city to arrive in time, and finally complete the plan we’d made in January, when the weather gods were against us.
So, full of the joys of spring, Iva and Pastora arrived in Wohlen bei Bern just before 9am and we started walking along the Aare river, direction Bern.
It was a beautiful day, sunny but cool – perfect walking conditions. When we’d been walking for an hour, I stated as much, and both of them groaned in disbelief, thinking we’d been walking for at least two hours. By the time we made it to the restaurant at the halfway point, I think Iva was ready to kill someone. By the end of the walk, she didn’t have the energy! 🙂
But for people who don’t walk often, both of them did really well. Iva said she’d like to buy walking shoes for next time, rather than wear her sneakers again. And she has a feeling she might be coming down with something, because she couldn’t believe she could feel so poorly just from walking. Pastora said she’s lying on the sofa right now, and joked she’ll probably sleep there too, because it’s too hard to get up.
Hopefully they’ll want to do another long walk again, but maybe we should do some shorter training walks first before we hit the harder stuff?! Today was about 22km, so a very good effort. We’re all proud we made it to Bern … now we just have to see how we feel tomorrow!
Wishing you a wonderful day.