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Productive Day

I was a whirlwind of activity today :-) Juicing going well, still to find the fabled new burst of energy, but let's see :-)
Christmas cards, gift tags, mini cards designed and delivered. Christmas presents ordered for the boys. Weekend away booked before Christmas.
Next research project is our skiing holiday next March!


Prepping for Advent

Today I bought my traditional "advent calendar" of tea bags :-) I bought all the ingredients for our christmas cake, christmas pudding and homemade mincemeat for those mincepies. And to top it all off, Markus brought home an advent ring from Kindergarten which he had made - sorted!
The first Sunday in advent is this weekend, so all we have to do now is make the advent christmas tree pictures!

In other news, I feel in love again with Zürich today :-)

I was pottering through the beautiful old town to get to Schwarzenbach - which is the original grocer's shop. 150 years old, roast their own coffee, stock every exotic delicacy and have handwritten bags with your ingredients in.Staff are really helpful and knowledgable, and when you step through the door of the shop, it feels like you step back in time. Christmas baking ingredients sorted :-) Except for Atora Suet. That had them stumped :-)

I kept walking through the old town and discovered the Münsterhof in full building site mode. It's the market place / assembly area of medieval Zürich - Frauenmünster (big old church on one side), guildhouses on the other. And until recently, a car park in the middle. It's now being renovated and will be a pedestrian area from 2016. Can't wait - it's a really beautiful part of Zürich, surrounded by amazing buildlings and history on all sides. An excellent example of city planning actually working for the people :-)

They had some info boards up and I learnt that a tram line used to run through the market place across the bridge over to the Grossmünster! Plus, William churchill gave a speech there in 1946 - who knew? :-)


I am feeling pretty run down after some really busy months at work, so am happy to have 4 days off now to look after myself...

Here was my list for today - I did pretty well :-) Am trying to get a balance of tasks and treats and looking after my health :-)

And I bought myself 2 new books to read (not that I don't already have a stack waiting at home!)


Paradeplatz and Christmas decorations

Alan met us on the way home this evening at Paradeplatz and we checked out the decorations. Credit Suisse building - beautiful, traditional, big tree. UBS building - moving pictures and sound!

Boys loved it, but they also loved posing under the tree. We wandered home eating "Marroni" ie sweet chestnuts - Patrick is a chestnut conneusier. Markus won't touch 'em!

My little Posers...


Juicing and Rebooting

My weight has been steadily creeping up this year and I have been drinking more wine that i would like to admit, and SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE! I have a week off work , so I have organised myself and am doing a "Reboot" aka drinking juice only for a week (or longer, but we'll see how I get on first)

Got me a juicer, bought the book "The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet" and watched the film "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"
The first few days have been a bit tough, had quite a withdrawal headache from no caffeine, but I think I am now over the worst!
The boys are fascinated by the juicer and love putting the food in. It is amazing what you can juice and eat. Parsnips, apple and cinnamon anyone?
This is "Sunrise" - beetroot, carrots and apples - the boys would have drunk it all, if I hadn't yelled "Get off my breakfast, you thieving pirates!"


Double Standards

At the tedxzurich 2015 event on Friday, Jennifer Miksch spoke about working and caring for a child. She wondered at the gap between media's expectations of high achieving career women (Melissa Mayers etc al) and the actual reality of it all.

In response, I retweeted one of my favourite twitter feeds of the moment: manwhohasitall
As he puts it - Top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood. By reversing the narrative, he shows what a ridiculous stream of "advice" we get bombarded with. See below for recent selection...

In a similar vein, this spoof article from Buzzfeed does exactly the same - shows us the nonsense that is peddled when female celebrities are interviewed by women's glossies. "If male actors were described the way female actors are..."

And from today til the end of the year women effectively work for free, "thanks" to the pay or earnings gap", according to the Fawcett Society.


Autumn Afternoon in the Park

It was so hot and sunny, it was hard to believe it is autumn and November. Relaxing afternoon in the park with my boys. I sat and watched, they played. Swings, roundabout, climbing frame. We had MASSIVE chocolate biscuits in the cafe.

"Life is good. Enjoy the little things. One day you might look back and realize they were the big things"

Our cheeky chappy is loving the autumn, mostly because he can't get enough of the roasted sweet chestnuts you can buy everywhere. His favourite song at the moment is "Marini, Maruni, Maroni" - all about those sweet chestnuts ("marroni" in swiss german). His "r"s aren't guite there yet - so he sings "malni, maloni, maloni" :-) He has a bit of a stutter at the moment, talks to fast, trips over his words etc , so we're watching it to see if he grows out of it. His favourite expression (usually said loudly, to get heard over the hustle bustle) is "You know..."

Months 51, 50, 49

His english is charming eccentricly swissified at the moment, some favourite phrases
you know...
you know I like cuddles and kisses
good night spider
I had done it
Had you saw that?
Can you put that off?

He still loves Kinderkrippe and enjoys looking after the babies. At home, he often roleplays being a baby and he is still very cuddly and affectionate. And most nights still creeps into our bed. which is lovely and frustrating at the same time.


A few more milestones this autumn. We finally (literally overnight) stopped using pull up nappies at night with Markus. One night he needed them, the next night we ran out and M stayed dry. Hurrah - a nappie free honse finally. At Hallowe'en he lost another tooth - the top front one. And now the other top front one is wobbly as well!

Months 74, 73, 72

Both he and Patrick sing a lot and Markus is starting to match new words with an existing tune ie "see you later alligator, in a while crocodile" to the tune of Brahm's lullaby. Now that it's getting darker and nearly winter, we have lots of "jingles bells" and "oh tannenbaum" - to my delight. Markus is getting really interested in words that ryhme. So the game goes like this - "Mummy, say goat" "goat" "you're in a boat" etc

Other games include the "Water / solid / gas" game where we choose an object and then Markus categorizes it! "Good night spider" is the new goodnight routine, whereby I tickle their back like a spider three times in a row. We also play the fortune cookie game, which is where we make up the "fortune" at the end of the meal when the cookie is eaten, and not unsurprisingly, the fortune always goes something like this "Markus, you will get to sleep very quickly and have a lovely sleep!"

Markus seems to have a new confidence at Kindergarten, now that he is one of the big boys in year 2. We are having lots of playdates and inviting friends over. The new Friday routine is "boys & toys pizza party kino abig", whereby Alan and the boys sit in the living room on the floor, eat pizza and popcorn and watch a netflix film together. Occasionally Markus generously permits me to join in. I really enjoy cycling wtih him to kindergarten, or even walking there and back, we have such interesting conversations. And whilst the weather was still nice in Sept/Oct and it was still light, we had a few sneaky walks to the lake and an icecream on the way home.

We are now starting to talk to him about 1. Klasse (1st class at school) - he wont be going to the same school as his friends in Kindergarten, because we are out of that school's catchment area. I was really worried about telling Markus that he wouldn't be going to the same school, but he is very unconcerned.

Words & Phrases
Can you go out of the way?
Why do we don't do that?
Just cuz...

me to markus: why do you ask so many questions?
markus: I'm a question man!

Happy, gappy Boy at Hallowe'en


Who is nice-cup-of-tea?


I am tea-drinking, book-loving, gadget-girl, british expat, who writes about living, working, running and bringing up my family in Zurich.

You can find me online @


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