October 10-27: Mishmash of photos

Well, who’s been a slacker on the blog then, huh?! Me!

To make amends, I’m going to keep the waffle to a minimum and load up a photo gallery of all the lovely things that have happened in the past few weeks.

My job’s going well, I’m enjoying the brisk walk in the fog to work, but since we’ve lost daylight savings, I’m not enjoying the walk home in the dark. There are no street lights and I was nearly hit by an idiot driver who couldn’t see my torch shining in the night. So now I’m wearing a yellow safety vest on the walk home. Stop laughing! It’s pitch black! 🙂

More posts to come!

October 1: Taking the bad with the good

Well, well, well, it’s been a long time coming! Today, I donned my glad rags and went to my job. Even though it was the first official day, it didn’t really feel like it, because I’ve been going to the office, on and off, for the past three weeks to do the handover. But today, it was official.

Luckily, I can catch the bus from the closer bus stop at the right time in the morning. After walking on the road, past the flower field, I walk down the little path to the right of the cows, along a stream and then through some houses. Takes about 12 minutes. Then it’s about 20 minutes on the bus and a 30-second walk to the office.

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Got my work face on as I walk to the bus … our little house in the background

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A grey day …

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The path past the cows

My direct colleagues total four. The group is small, but good fun, and it’s a very relaxed environment. We work in an old house, and share the first floor with another climate change organisation. On the ground floor there’s another. I think I’m going to be very happy there, once I get my head around all the scientific words!

I haven’t ridden the Töffli much since I had the chest infection and I don’t think I’ll end up riding it to work much. Maybe a few times while the weather’s still ok, but definitely not in winter. So there’ll be at least 25 minutes of exercise each day walking to and from the bus. I know I said I wouldn’t count walking to the bus as part of fitfor15in15!! Fingers crossed, I get into a good routine again which includes some morning exercise. Still getting used to getting out of bed so early! Ahahaha 🙂

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At the flower field, taken on the walk home. Recently, I bought a butternut pumpkin from here and made a great soup. Love the little weird ones, but they’re not for eating, just decoration

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A good-looking weed

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My Buddy … the Holly (groan!), next to our house, with the garage in the background

So, that was the good news …

And now for the bad news …

The property is pretty much sold. Liliane told us a few days ago. Our time in the Stöckli ends about April next year, if not earlier. Rene and Liliane have sold to a group of tradespeople, who are all friends, and they’ll do the renovations and upgrades themselves – there’s a builder, a roofer, a tiler, someone who does the floors and so on. It’s a dream community and they’ve scored themselves a great deal. I just wish we’d had the money to buy it all, so we could continue on in our blissful little house, surrounded by our blissful forest and grass and fields and cows and and and …

We’ll try to find another place in this area, but I think we’ll have trouble trying to compete with what we’ve had! I’ve been here nearly four years, and Leo for about 13. He’s not a happy camper. I’m happy for Rene and Liliane, but it’s hard not to be a bit sad too!

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.

February 9: A momentous day!

Well, today goes down in my Swiss history as a very important day. This morning, I collected from the local council office … my very first Swiss working visa!!!

After three years, I am now allowed to apply for any job in Switzerland (before a company would have had to prove to immigration that I was the only person in the EU who could do the job, because there are no work agreements between Australia and Switzerland. I’d applied for several jobs with no luck) – that’s two years earlier than the standard five-year waiting period for non-EU people.

And I can now volunteer as well! Without the work visa I couldn’t even offer my services for free. Hopefully there’s an animal shelter nearby that could use some help … or a farm that needs apples picked in season … or people who require assistance with their English … the list goes on. It’s such an incredible feeling! Endless opportunities.

I walked down to the council office feeling a huge amount of trepidation. The letter arrived last Thursday, saying my visa was ready to be collected, but it didn’t say if it was the work visa or just my regular yearly visa (which didn’t allow me to work). I couldn’t go on Friday, because I was in Lausanne, so today was the day.

That walk will stick with me for a long time … the feeling of what if … or maybe what not … but I was almost unwilling to arrive for fear of bad news. I took photos on the walk … wasting some time perhaps/putting off what felt like the inevitable … and then I walked in and the woman said “Yes, it’s a work visa!” I told her I could almost cry, and I almost did. Instead, I did a little happy dance in the foyer, which is a very un-Swiss thing to do!

So today, things have changed. I’ve even applied for my first job already!

Now for a quick 15 minutes of fitfor15in15 exercise, so I can celebrate with champagne when Leo comes home! Maybe I should just dance around the lounge room like an idiot?!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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In the distance, they’re chopping down trees from the forest. Hopefully they’re also planting some new ones too

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Until now, this little pond has been free from ice. It was a cold weekend

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A local artist has many figures in his or her garden

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This little shop, in another garden on the walk to the bus, sells eggs, potatoes and so on, using an honesty-box system