I see faces

Today is the beginning of the blog without dates. Not the edible kind, but the time-frame kind.

Dates at the front of my posts put a time “limit” on them and I feel bad when I miss days. Without the daily exercise thing, there’s no longer a date dependency, so from now on I’m just going to write. Whatever comes to mind. Hopefully fun things, inspiring things, interesting things. Today let’s start with something silly.

Do you often see faces in inanimate objects? I love when stuff has a life of its own. Here’s the window latch/catch in our lounge room. I only noticed a few days ago what a great face he has, with his long shoot of plastic wheat. *chew, chew, y’all*

fitfor15in15

What a face! I think he has a story or two about living on the land

I’ve given gifts of books with photos of faces in random objects as the subject matter, and always thought it was a good laugh – almost a challenge – to see and find faces, but never wondered if this “phenomenon” has a particular term or reasoning. Ta-dah, the power of the internet – I now know seeing faces in objects is called pareidolia (link to Wikipedia explanation).

Leo had never “seen” the man in the moon until we met, but now he knows where the eyes and mouth are. I have always seen the face, and the rabbit in the moon. But should I be admitting this? A study has concluded that people who see faces in stuff are more likely to be neurotic! Me?! Neurotic?! 🙂

They could be right. I’m always looking two steps ahead for danger and often pre-empting an accident situation, much to Leo’s annoyance when we’re in the car. “Brake!” “Pedestrian on the crossing!” “Slow down, please!” I admit I’m not a good passenger sometimes. Nervous Nelly. I say it’s all part of my previous job as a producer/production manager on television shoots. You’re always on the lookout for something that could injure someone. Hell, I paid wads of cash each year for personal liability insurance, and never wanted to test if it was worth it.

Here are some interesting stories with further explanations and examples on the pareidolia subject here (NY Magazine), here (Huffington Post) and here (BBC – the woman in the toast). If you’d like to see a whole Twitter feed dedicated to the topic, go here for some laughs! But only if you’re neurotic 🙂

On the theme of faces, this could possibly be the last photo of all these faces together at this table. We had fondue on Friday night at Liliane and Rene’s with The Usual Suspects, Liliane’s mum Hertha and Liliane’s good friend Lene from Gemany. A great night.

fitfor15in15

Happy faces, in a familiar setting. How many times will we all be together here before Liliane and Rene move house?

Wishing you a wonderful day … filled with faces in inanimate objects … Brake!

No!vember 10-30: Lust for life, lust to write

No!vember came and went faster than I could put fingers to keyboard. I haven’t lost my lust for life, just my lust to write!

And exercise? Well you can pretty much forget about all that, just like me. I can’t even say I’ve been walking 40 minutes a day, because lately I’ve been getting a lift to work with a neighbour in the mornings and with Leo on the way home. Slack! But, happily, I haven’t had to walk too much in the cold.

Snow arrived when I was in Bonndorf, Germany, with the female Usual Suspects plus a few extras. Every year for about 15 years, this group of women has been going to the Black Forest for a long weekend of wellness and spa treatments. This year, I was lucky to be invited. And I’ve been sworn to secrecy – what happens in Bonndorf, stays in Bonndorf! I’m embarrassed to say I was the youngest of the group, and always the first one in bed. Ha! I think speaking German, and listening to Bern-Deutsch being spoken, for four days may have knocked the wind out of me a bit. But it was wonderful, and I can’t wait to go back next year, if they’ll have me. Must lift my game.

On the 30th, we went to see a unit for rent in the centre of Wohlen bei Bern (one minute to the bus and shop!) and we hope we receive a contract soon. Fingers crossed. If we get it, I’ll tell you all about it.

Here are some photos from the past 20 days. *shaking head in disbelief at how slack I’ve been with the blog.*

Wishing you a wonderful day.

August 28-31: Last of the summer sun

Have been very lazy with the blog recently! Got to get back into a rhythm soon!

The last of the summer sun blessed us all weekend, which was fabulous! A last lie on the sun lounge, the last swim. I say last, but maybe we’ll have some ok weather again, just not at the moment!

Friday, I worked, then had a quick beer at Cafe Pyrennes with Pastora – we hadn’t been there for more than a month! Then Leo and I had dinner in Uetligen with Liliane, Rene, Lotti and Fritz.

Saturday morning Leo and I went for a five-hour walk, which I’ve calculated would cover my 15 minutes a day for a few weeks! Doesn’t work like that? Oh, ok then …

We walked to a village called Schupfen and home again, on a slightly different path. Then we had a barbecue with Liliane, Rene, Lotti and Fritz for dinner and enjoyed the full moon. Poor Liliane was bitten on the lip by a wasp (we’ve had plague proportions this year), and ended up going to emergency on Sunday morning because the left side of her face swelled overnight. Poor thing.

Sunday we were very lazy, watching episodes of an Australian series called “House Husbands” and then Liliane and Rene came over for an early dinner.

Monday I spent at home, enjoying the last warm sunny day, with a swim and reading by the pool. Liliane cooked too much dinner, so we joined them again!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

August 19-23: Finding a rhythm after holidays

Going to Sicily and London were lovely additions to this year’s fitfor15in15 escapades, but it’s taken me a few days to get back into the swing of blogging every day. I don’t think I needed a break, but it was lovely to just enjoy the time for what it was.

At home, the grass has turned green again and the weather is cooler but still nice.

fitfor15in15

Leo outside our house. Look at all that green grass!

fitfor15in15

Not sure if we’ll use the pool again this season – the water is now just 17 degrees. Too cold for most and definitely too cold for me!

fitfor15in15

A beautiful sunset on my way home on Wednesday night

I went to work on Wednesday then went back again in the evening to celebrate Maru Dojo’s 10th anniversary. Congratulations to Marko and his team for a great event, and 10 years of success. Here’s to the next 10, 20 …

Thursday, I spoke with a friend in Australia about some writing work he’d like me to do and Leo’s friend Dani came over for dinner. I made a baked chicken pasta dish which was mostly made up, and thankfully it worked!

fitfor15in15

Leo and Dani

Friday I sent in further documents for a job application that’s currently on the go, and helped Rene in the garden pulling weeds, using the electric trimmer and finishing off the mowing. It’s been a while since the lawn’s been mowed, because it was burnt to a crisp over summer. Leo was feeling poorly with the flu on Friday night and didn’t come to Fritz’s birthday party. I was only supposed to go for an hour, but Rene ended up staying much longer than he intended, so I got home about 10.30pm instead of 7.30pm. Thankfully, Leo didn’t mind!

fitfor15in15

Freshly mowed. Friday was a lovely sunny day

fitfor15in15

Dinner with Lotti, Fritz (hidden), Rene and Paul

fitfor15in15

Ueli and Anna-Marie celebrating Fritz’s 78th birthday

fitfor15in15

Eve, Liliane and Hani, laughing at the boys because …

fitfor15in15

They sculled a shot of whisky! Rene said it burnt his nose and throat

Saturday, I cleaned the pool and enjoyed some warmth, then The Usual Suspects came over for a barbecue and we played cards for most of the afternoon and evening. Poor Eve, who is normally very good, lost six times. She was devastated! I managed to only have to pay once (two Francs, which goes into a kitty to be used on holidays in November) so felt pretty chuffed. Leo joined us only for the meal as he was still feeling rubbish with the flu.

fitfor15in15

Sleeping beauty, where he spent most of Saturday afternoon

Sunday, Liliane, Leo (who was feeling much better) and I walked the lovely path behind our house (which I only ‘discovered’ this year) to our favourite restaurant in Wohlen, Restaurant Kreuz. They were having an outdoor lunch celebration with a traditional brass band, so The Usual Suspects met once again for another afternoon of laughs. For some reason, this one turned into a riot. The restaurant owner decided we should all have shots, and because we oohed and ahhed about how nice they were (a warm caramel/amaretto and cream concoction), we bought another round, and then another, and then he gave us something different to try, and then we had Red Bull and JĂ€germeister drinks and and and … Phew. I’m glad it wasn’t necessary for me to go into the Dojo today. I feel fine but riding in the rain with a slightly foggy head wouldn’t have been the smartest plan.

fitfor15in15

10am in Wohlen bei Bern, looking at the Alps

fitfor15in15

Liliane and Rene’s dog Boy joined us on the walk to Restaurant Kreuz

fitfor15in15

Luckily when we walk to the restaurant, there’s lots of downhill

fitfor15in15

Liliane said this red berry clump was quite rare to see in the wild. The leaves of the plant were long thin strips, but I can’t find any references on the internet

fitfor15in15

What an amazing, massive hibiscus in the garden with all the decorations, which I’ve mentioned a few times

fitfor15in15

Liliane in the elaborate garden

fitfor15in15

This was one of the smaller blooms

fitfor15in15

Boy with ball = happy Boy

fitfor15in15

The band played in slight drizzle but it cleared up after lunch

fitfor15in15

We moved our table under the tree so we wouldn’t get wet. Cheeky!

fitfor15in15

All the other tables

fitfor15in15

The gang. This is the first time I’ve sat outside at Restaurant Kreuz

fitfor15in15

Leo killing any lingering germs with a JĂ€gerbomb

fitfor15in15

They call this drink a ‘Flying Deer’ here, because Red Bull apparently gives you wings

fitfor15in15

Lotti enjoying the warm shot with cream. I can’t remember the Bern-Deutsch name for it, but it means Marmot Fart. Charming!

fitfor15in15

Eve isn’t normally a dairy fan, but she thought this was pretty tasty!

fitfor15in15

Rene pretending to be our waiter

fitfor15in15

I had a shot at being the waitress, but the first friend of Rene’s I spoke to said, “Can’t understand a word” because I spoke to him in German and not Bern-Deutsch. Ahh, the daily challenges!

fitfor15in15

Restaurant owner Peter handing out more drinks … really? Really? I’m well over them by this stage!

Overall, it was a great social weekend, but I’m looking forward to some quiet days ahead!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

July 24: What a crazy day!

Funny how best laid plans can go awry … the day was definitely not what I expected.

I expected to be at work! I arrived just before 10am, but no one else was there. Door locked. No chance. So I waited for half an hour and still no one, so I thought I’d waste a bit of time in the city until midday training (I work in the office at a karate centre which also does other kinds of fitness training too).

Wandering around town was ok, because I had time to finally find a red t-shirt. It’s been on my wishlist for a while, and at 20 Francs, I’m very happy. It goes perfectly with everything I’m taking on holiday (floral pants, shorts and skirt).

So I’m adding it into the holiday list. Totally throws out the three things in each category concept, but I can live with that! No joy finding another oatmeal coloured t-shirt to replace the cowl neck one I love, which has truly seen better days.

fitfor15in15

Finally found what I was looking for!

In front of Parliament House, there were plenty of kids and barking dogs cooling down.

fitfor15in15

The water feature provided welcome relief on another hot day

I went back to the office just after midday, and it was still locked. So I jumped on Bruce the Töffli and came home. Almost immediately, Rene asked when we were going on holiday. I told him tomorrow and he said he wanted to mow again. What? Mow hay? But what Rene wants, Rene gets, so I mowed the extremely dry grass at the front and covered myself in dust. And after it was all done, you couldn’t see one scrap of difference! Just a film of crud covering the pool, tent, table and chairs. Crazy! I drew the line at mowing behind the main house because it would have spat dust all over Hertha and Lene, who were sitting in the shade outside.

A quick shower then jumping in the pool was a welcome relief. The Usual Suspects joined us and we enjoyed the last of the sunshine and prepared the barbecue. It was sort of our bon voyage gathering, which was lovely. Just as the steaks and racks of lamb were put on the grill, the rain came belting down, which was also lovely! Wow, was it warm.

fitfor15in15

The calm before the storm …

fitfor15in15

Boy enjoying the shade on a very warm afternoon

fitfor15in15

Then the clouds started rolling in …

fitfor15in15

Moody blues

fitfor15in15

Remember the beautiful magenta coloured plant I bought recently (behind the lavender)? Fried!

fitfor15in15

Beautiful rain. I can say that because we haven’t had much this summer!

fitfor15in15

Liliane taking her mum Hertha out of the cool weather

fitfor15in15

Leo in holiday mode!

fitfor15in15

Fritz and Lotti

fitfor15in15

Paul, Eve and Lene

fitfor15in15

We’re going on a summer holiday!

After dinner, we adjourned to the pergola (small wooden shack designed to be used for group dinners) and played cards. It’s now 11pm and it’s time for bed!

Wishing you a wonderful 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.

fitfor15in15

I almost caught Rene smiling!

fitfor15in15

Lotti, Leo and Paul

fitfor15in15

With Fritz and Liliane

fitfor15in15

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.