November 6-8: Weekend wrap

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When the solar panels heat up, she sways her hips, with her arms going in the opposite direction. She moved this weekend. Woo hoo! Warm sun!

It was a very social and outdoorsy kind of weekend. Unseasonally warm weather has lulled us into a false sense of hope that we’re heading into summer rather than winter. What glorious temperatures we’ve had for three days!

Friday morning, I went to work at the dojo and now have a lot on my plate with some additional things to do. Not sure how this is going to pan out as I can’t do everything needed to be done just on Fridays, so will have to work at home at nights, after work!! Hmmm … not so sure this is going to work out well. By the end of the year, a decision will have to be made!

Friday afternoon, Iva and I went to visit our friend Kanjana who had a baby boy, Alessio, one month ago. He’s gorgeous, Kanjana is enjoying being a mum, and we had fun ‘falling asleep’ with Alessio on the couch.

 

Saturday morning was spent in the garden, pruning and tidying, and then BAM! These little fellows (below) came out of nowhere! I think they might be Soay Sheep? We have no idea where they’ve come from, but they have ear tags, so they’re a known quantity. They’ve never been to our place before and they’re welcome to come back anytime. Very timid, happy to move along together, not worried about us standing around gawping at their sheepy fur and goaty heads. An hour after they left, three came back into the garden, closer to our house. Such a nice surprise.

It was a glorious day but we had to leave the garden and blue skies to jump in the car to drive two hours to near Zürich for a combined birthday party for Leo’s sister and nephew. A quick stop at the shops, where I saw (but didn’t try) these cute bread figures, called Grittibänz mit Branchli (has something to do with 6 December and St. Nicholas. Gritten means spread legs, which is also a saying for old people, and Bänz is a short version of Benedict, who also has a relationship to St Nicholas. Mit Branchli just means its with this certain brand of chocolate called Branchli, a special addition for what is normally a plain figure with sultana face features. They’re baked from around the start of November until the end of December). Then the frivolity with the family began. Arrived home about midnight.

 

Today, the sun was still shining, with temperatures around 17 degrees, so we walked one of our favourite walks to Aarberg. We did this walk in reverse in March, when we met the lovely dog Luna. This time we walked from home and caught the bus back. Glorious! My hip gave out on the walk from the bus to our house – couldn’t bend it properly so had to walk with a peg leg to get up the hill. Not good. But the views were.

 

Wishing you a wonderful day.

July 15: Close encounters

No, not on the bike! With the camera! 🙂 (I can hear my mother breathing a sigh of relief from here!)

Today, after work, Iva cooked a barbecue lunch for Pastora and I on the terrace at the office. And then Iva and I jumped in the Aare. I need a waterproof case for my phone so I can take some action shots as it truly is a wonderful experience I want to share! The water was a gloriously refreshing 19.5 degrees.

My 15 minutes of exercise today was walking along the river and then swimming back to the office. We were gone for about 40 minutes, and I think 10 minutes of that was swimming.

Here are my afternoon ‘close encounter’ snapshots from the garden. I enjoy the results of the olloclip we bought in Strasbourg for my birthday and should use it more. Several of the cacti have flowers at the moment. What a treat.

Wishing you a wonderful, colourful day.

July 10-12: Weekend wrap

Sun, sun and more sun this past weekend. Combine that with not much inspiration to write, and you get another weekend wrap!

Friday I went to work and then for a quick drink with Iva and Pastora afterwards. Claudio, our regular waiter at Cafe de Pyrennes, was amazed we only stayed for one drink, but we all had things to achieve in the afternoon.

Mine was to mow the lawn for Rene, but the lawnmower is having petrol flow issues, so we canned the idea. That night, we went to dinner with The Usual Suspects (minus Eve, who is in Finland for a gymnaestrada event) which was very lovely. Leo and I ordered a tower of food, literally, which was a nice summer change to what we would normally choose.

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I almost caught Rene smiling!

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Lotti, Leo and Paul

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With Fritz and Liliane

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Leo and I shared a tower of cold food. The gazpacho was delicious

Saturday, Rene spluttered the lawnmower into life long enough to do the job and I cleaned the pool. We then spent the afternoon and evening by the pool with The Usual Suspects again, playing cards and enjoying a delicious barbecue. We watched a little bit of the women’s Wimbledon singles final but mainly we were outdoors. Congratulations Serena!

Sleep and repeat. Sunday we spent time by the pool again, but without the combined dinner. We watched pretty much all of the men’s Wimbledon singles final too. Poor Roger. I feel so disappointed for him on his quest to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles. Maybe next year? Djokovic was just too good.

I started and finished a sweet book on Sunday too – Waiting for Doggo. I’ve written a review here.

All up it was a very relaxing weekend. Very quiet. Not a lot of exercise, just some light swimming. But plenty of socialising!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

July 3-5: Weekend wrap

We’ve had a bit of a heatwave here in Switzerland and for the past few days the thought of sitting in the office and writing at my desk has made me wither further. So, here’s a wrap!

After Thursday’s ‘disaster’ day, Friday went very smoothly, thank you! Work, then home for a swim with The Usual Suspects who were here to enjoy the pool and look after Boy, the dog, while Rene is in hospital and Liliane is at work. We played cards (we’re addicted to rummy) and sat under the tent, and jumped in the pool often. What would we do without the pool? Because the temperature has hovered in the mid-30s for a week, I’ve been jumping in water as often as possible!

Friday night we went to Kanjana and Sandro’s for dinner which was great fun, then yesterday we rode the Vespa to meet Iva, Marko, Pastora and Leandro at the karate dojo for an afternoon catch-up and swimming in the Aare.

We did the swim twice. You walk a bit upstream and then the current takes you down the river quickly. In this section of the Aare, near the dojo, the water flows slower than where I was on Thursday with Claudia. It was Pastora’s first swim in the Aare ever! She did well to control her fear of the rushing water. On the second pass, Leandro, Iva and I jumped off the steel footbridge into the water. I managed to touch the bottom of the river with my feet and emerge with bikini intact.

Last night we met The Usual Suspects (Lotti, Fritz, Eve, Paul, Liliane, Rene) at home for dinner under the tent, and more cards. Rene was allowed out of hospital for the night, so we all enjoyed sitting and talking with him. The full moon – a glorious orange – came up just after we called it a night.

Today has been another lovely, outdoorsy kind of day. My sister called to say hello (and to check if I was alright, seeing as I hadn’t blogged for three days!). Thanks for calling Judy! Then Leo and I booked the first part of our holiday to Sicily. We leave July 26 and come back August 7. We’ll rent a car (hopefully a Fiat 500!) from the airport in Catania and drive to Leo’s dad, who has a holiday house at the foot of Mt Etna. We’ll stay with Tony and Bossy for three nights, then head north to Taormina for three nights. That part is all sorted. Then we’ll have seven days to sort out where we go. We’re big fans of the Inspector Montalbano series so we hope to see a few of the villages where the show is filmed.

It’s 8pm and still 32 degrees. We sweltered eating another barbecue dinner with The Usual Suspects and swam all afternoon. Rene has just gone back to hospital and after I finish this, I’ll swim with Liliane when she’s home again. I really think she enjoys having company when Rene isn’t here. He’ll have more tests tomorrow. The two mini strokes could have something to do with him being bitten by a tick in Alaska a few years ago. He’s had a lot of problems since then.

Here’s a random collection of photos from the week that was. I’ve swum for the past three days and that counts for my fitfor15in15 – especially the Aare swim which is very active. I like swimming against the current to slow down – if you swim with the current you’re at your destination way too quickly!

Hopefully we’ll be able to sleep well tonight. The mosquitoes have been out in full force and seem to find my head, and ears especially, a great place to buzz around. Plus it’s been close to 30 degrees in the bedroom every night, which makes sleeping under the covers hard. I always have to have something over me to combat the mozzie bites!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

June 19: Work and play

I didn’t write the blog yesterday because I was having too much fun! 😉

Work went well, I was there for four hours and played around on the ‘back end’ of the website, learning what does what. I’ll go back again on Monday to learn about the email orders.

Afterwards, Pastora, Iva and I went to Cafe Pyrennes, our favourite bar, and had another excellent afternoon which turned into early evening. Sandra and Kanjana joined us as well, and we saw Marion, who we’d met there a few months ago, and met Werner, who at 70 is still fighting fit and working as a stage designer in European theatres. All very interesting people!

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On the way to the bus. I think that’s potatoes growing?

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So many slugs and snails on the walk!

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Looking back at the steps down to the Dojo. There’s another set this long at the top, to the right. They’d make a good workout

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Recent rain has made the Aare brown again

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Can you see the patterns in these pieces of wood embedded in a fence?

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Iva and Pastora on the footbridge over the Aare

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Sandro with Pastora. I forgot to get a photo with Kanjana, silly me

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Werner, the theatre stage manager/designer

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Pastora and Marion

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Cows on the way home

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Corn and lovely light over Wohlen

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.