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.


A glorious full moon from May 4


We’ve had so much rain in Bern and surrounds that the Aare river is flooded and the walking paths on both sides have disappeared


Looking towards the city from the Lorrainebrücke (bridge). The water is normally crystal clear


Grey skies in Bern at Waisenhausplatz


Markets in Waisenhausplatz


Across the tram lines from the wares in Waisenhausplatz is Bärenplatz, home of the food markets


Lovely fresh, unpackaged products


Bring your own container! Zero Waste!


At the top of Bärenplatz is the Bundeshaus (Federal Palace of Switzerland) where Parliament sits. Most people think the Swiss capital is Zürich


Looking towards the Gurten (the small hill) from the viewing platform at the Bundeshaus


The building in the distance with the spires is the Einstein Museum. He was a lecturer at the University of Bern in 1908


There are several street chess boards in the city

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.

April 3: Minimalism, mindfulness and living intentionally

Judy mentioned the buzz word “mindfulness” in a comment on March 30 and it got me wondering, what exactly is it? Can we put a finger on what makes someone mindful? For me, mindfulness means being present in, and making the most of, the moment. It’s a huge part of being mentally fit. Adding just 10 minutes of meditation each day to my morning routine has helped me with awareness and honing my thoughts. It may not mean the to-do list gets done faster (or written for that matter!) but I do feel more centred and focussed when needed.

There are many great blogs and websites promoting mindfulness in its many forms and I tend to gravitate towards the ones about living, and being happy, with less. Recently I came across this great site from Ariana Schwarz. I think I binge-read almost everything within a few days.

Part of me would love to be as extreme as she is with her wardrobe, with about 40 items in total, but when I look at the clothes I have, I love them (thanks to Marie Kondo’s method of asking “Does it spark joy?”) and couldn’t imagine parting with so much.

But then I do a 180 again and think how liberating it would be to have everything I own fit into my backpack, and then I flip again and think of all the current variety which allows me to be a chameleon. And as much as I’d love to live with just a few pieces, I love being able to change my look.

Other great blogs and websites I enjoy – about being mindful of our environment, our resources, our consumption, our health, our finances – are listed below. This is in no way a definitive list – there must be so many more out there, but these are the ones I look at regularly.

Living intentionally/Minimalism:

The Tiny House Movement/Living Small:

Conscious consumerism:

Minimalist Fashion:

Travelling Light:

Financial goals:

These are all saved on my phone as my favourites, and wow, when I look at them all lined up like that, I now know where all my time goes every day! Ha! Not everyone posts regularly, so I should set up a system where I get an email when something new comes in, rather than checking on the sites all the time.

So there you have my reading list to do with minimalism, living with less so you appreciate more, living mindfully and trying to make as little impact as possible. I hope it leads you to new resources and ideas if you’re also on an intentional living journey.

Exercise today was 15 minutes on the step machine with the hand weights. I’d just had a shower and slathered myself in moisturiser (I know, all wrong!) and, boy, did I sweat! Leo was cooking tortilla too, so the heat from the kitchen added a few degrees to our warm little house and sweaty little me. It’s still horribly cool, windy and rainy outside.

Pastora and her husband Leandro (Leo and Leo in da house!) arrive soon for an afternoon and evening of painting hard boiled eggs, food, drinks and laughter. And all in German! Very much looking forward to that.

Wishing you a wonderful day. I hope you’re having fun with family and/or friends wherever you are.