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10 Years Today ...

....I came back after my first day at work for a big bank in Zurich.... I was terrified but survived. I badly wanted the job and fought for the job. It took me about 6 months to go from online application, to first day at work, but it was worth it :-) I could not have imagined then, that I would still be with that company, or even still in the country ten years later! Mr.ncot now thinks I am officially institutionalized.

Since then I have ....

  • run hundreds of projects, worked with hundreds of colleagues, internal clients, external partners

  • had good days and bad days

  • been promoted twice

  • Had 4 different line managers

  • had at least 9 different workplaces at one address

  • travelled to our offices in Raleigh (US), Singapore, Wroclaw (Poland), London

  • Given hundreds of courses, attended a couple

  • been out on maternity leave twice and come back twice!

  • sent and received thousands of emails

It has been a blast so far, thank you to everyone who has shared the journey with me so far.


Voter Virgin....

well, my first time voting by post anyway!

After long and protacted battles with Barnet Council, I finally got myself on their electoral roll as a postal voter and today, an envelope turned up!

1. Making a choice as to whether to stay or go, was easy....
(I am a european, born in 1973 when the UK voted in the first referendum to become part of Europe, I did German A level, swept up by the Mastricht Treaty of 1992, did a "Germanistik" degree, have travelled and studied abroad, am now bringing up my family in the heart of Europe... yes, I know Switzerland isn't EU, but we are surrounded!)

2. Figuring out how to but 2 bits of paper in 2 envelopes the correct way was ridicously hard - check out the complicated instructions below!


Blogging about bubble wrap...

My team and I are having a shocking time at work at the moment, for a variety of reasons.

We are all working hard to keep up our good humour and energy. Today I provided some extra stress busting resources for the team - however, there is now no bubble wrap left on my whiteboard!!

I may need to bring in reinforcements tomorrow :-)


Resolution Update - May 2016

This year so far has been rather more down that up. The weight has not consistently shifted, but then to be fair, I have only just started to tackle the food. And I haven't managed much running or gym either. Work stress has been bad and my work/life integration is sadly lacking.

BUT, I have joined a facebook group called "club soda" and am working on dramatically moderating my drinking. At the moment, this means stopping altogether. I have done 44 days AF out of 49. My weight hasn't shifted much, but I am sleeping better, feeling calmer and my skin redness is decreasing. Baby steps. I am back on a detox cleanse thing as well.

I have been to the gym about twice this year, but have now set up another appt and a physio appointment. I have also found a wonderful massage therapist, so this is my treat for keeping off the booze. Finally, I am going to the do the Greifensee 10K in September.

2016 Resolution = Lose 20kg in 2016
*Lose 20kg in 2016 - so far, no change, but I feel better
*100 Books in 2016 - 32 so far :-)
*100 Blogs in 2016 - 24 so far :-)
*100 Runs in 2016 - 13 so far
*100 Gym visits in 2016 - 2 so far :-(

New Trainers and my feet have grown again!!

Today I finally said goodbye to me purple Brooks Adrenalin GTS13s which got me round all my runnnign and training in 2013/14 and got me round New York. They now have multiple holes and they need to go to the running track in the sky.

I said to Markus that I had to throw them a way and was a bit sad, but he said "But mummy that's good, because you used them so much" - ah, the wisdom of kids.

But not so sad, I still have my trusty pair of Garmin Adrenalisn GTS14s and a little while back, I had orthotics made and bought a pair of Asics Gel-Nimus 17 in blue and pink. BUT my feet seem to ahve grown AGAIN, I am now in a size 43.5, ie UK size 9. WTF!
See below for the updated history of my trainers :-)

Trainers New & Old

Running Shoes History
May 2016 -->
Last year i got v expensive custom made orthotics, and when I went to Runners Need in Feb 2016, they said I should get a neutral shoe to use with these
Asics Gel-Nimbus 17, US 11 / Eur 43.5 / UK 9
I have huge shrek feet, but at least they are a nice colour combination...

From post July 2013 / 2014 sometime - now
Another pair of Brooks which are still going strong...
Brooks Adrenalin GTS14 in UK size 8 / Eur 42 / US 10

July 2013 - Dec 2014 (but finally thrown away May 2016) - got me through the NYC 2014 Marathon!!
Brooks Adrenalin GTS13 US size 10 wide (B), ie UK 8.5/Eur 43, £100 from Run and Become

Previous history of trainers here....


Oh such a perfect day!

Oh, I love my boys, but I love it even more when I get a day to myself and I can think fond thoughts of them, and then get home to find my boys sharing and playing nicely...

The weather this morning was grey and rainy and I almost didn't go up the mountain. So glad I did, the clouds lifted and the alps were so clear, it was amazing - the photos don't do them justice.
I did everything that I had planned to do, but didn't feel rushed. The spa was perfect, didn't want to leave! It was a beautiful summer evening picking up Markus, we walked by the lake, blew dandelions, played with our shadows.

So, pictures - Uetliberg, Starbucks stop, picking up M and then walking home along by the lake

And my favourites a bit bigger!

Day Off Tomorrow....

To round my celebratory weekend off nicely, I have managed to get P an extra day at Kinderkrippe and therefore bag me a rare day off WITH NO CHILDREN.

I hereby promise to not do any housework :-)
The planned list of fun is as follows...

* 0800 Take M into Kindergarten
* Take train to Adliswil the cable car and walk back along the Uetliberg
* 1245 Destressing soother treatment at my favourite place Labo Spa (thanks to mr.ncot for the birthday present!)
* Go to Apple Store and finally figure out which mac laptop to buy
* Free birthday cup of something at Enge Starbucks
* Catch up on bloggin
* 1800 pick up both kids
Actually, not quite in that order, but it has been a lovely long weekend of reasons to celebrate!
And tomorrow I get a day without kids, here's the plan :-)

Last Wednesday my team and boss suprised me with a cake (traditional dutch apple tart, thanks Jeroen!), card and present to celebrate both my birthday and also one year in the role. I was exteremely touched... I particularly love the t-shirt - this is now my new phrase....

Then on Saturday, my birthday, my boys spoiled me rotten - flowers, pictures, spa voucher, and of course the traditional singing hamster:-) I think Markus was more excited about my birthday than me...

In the afternoon we went to Circus Knie, which was fab. Traditional circus - real mix of laughter, awe, animals, showmanship. M sat there with his mouth constantly open and amazed! Then a pizza at our normal restaurant.

Today was Mother's day (Muttertag) in Switzerland and I got more presents from the boys. A plant (not sure what it is) in a plant pot. Patrick's picture is hilarious. He is holding a poster saying "I love you Mama" but he is looking very unimpressed and not very loving at all. Markus made me ladybird paperweight, plus a handpainted egg cup. I got a sleep in, then mr. ncot made me Sushi for my supper.

Favourite Zürich Walk & Reflections

Today was a day off work with the boys - we spent all day at home playing dinosaurs, chilling, reading books, watching stuff on youtube. But by the time Alan came home I was ready to escape.

I did my favourite walk in Zürich - along the canal (Schanzengraben) to the lake, sat on the wall and pondered things: life, the universe and everything. The answer of course is 42! I sat at my spot and said goodbye to being 42. It's been a good year. Boys have got more independant. Alan found a new job and has just started working in Berne. I learnt a lot in my first year as leader of a team, learnt lots of about online and eLearning and faced countless challenges. On the less positive side, I gave so much energy to job, team and family, that I didn't look after myself as well as I could. No exercise, unhealthy eating, way too much red wine.

So hello 43! I have been off the booze for just over a month now and am deciding on whether I learn to moderate, or basically just give up drinking for good. For now I am enjoying sleeping better and feeling more in control and more calm. I am starting a monthly long cleanse detox and really hope to start shifting some weight. I have so many clothes that I currently can't wear. I don't feel good at my current weight - I feel heavy and old. I want to properly get back into exercise again. I want to spend more time reading and blogging.

But step by step. For today I sat and watched the lake. I have lost count of the times that I have come here over the years. You can hear the sound of the city behind you and you see and feel the calm of the water in front of you. Crystal clear. Bobbing boats. And snow capped mountains that you feel you can touch - but are very hard to capture - but that is probably as it should be :-)

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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