A Cup of Tea and a Nice Revolution

tea break
I subscribe to the Guardian's Women in Leadership Series and this week's editorial was titled "A Nice Cup of Tea and a Revolution", and is about how men should also change in the workplace. My favourite bit? The concluding paragraph....

"And finally, pour the coffee! Are male hands too large for this? Has no-one ever taught you how to put a teabag in a cup and add hot water? Ladies, we need to help on this. Do not offer to fetch the drinks. Eventually one of the men will break and we'll have changed the world through tea."

A No Pram Family

Once upon a time I wrote about becoming a three pram family (for a short period of time!). We packed away the double pram at least 18 months ago, might even have been 2 years. And for the last while we have been down to just using the cheap travel pram (best bargain ever - 20chf secondhand and we've used it non stop for about 3.5years!) Best ever return on investment. And this weekend I finally packed this pram away. It is ridiculous, but i feel very attached to it. It was a member of the family almost! Markus loved pushing Patrick in it, or sometimes the other way around. I am not quite ready yet to give it away. So it is languishing outside our cellar with the double pram.

It's strange, but we miss the "last times" of everything. We record all the firsts, but the "lasts" ust slip away and you look back and think - When was the last time I pushed Patrick in that pram? And you realize that you honestly can't remember. And that does make me feel a little sad. We are leaving the baby/toddler/small child pram zone, but entering a new (faster!) phase...

I have to admit though that it is now a lot easier to get around town. And for that, we are now a two bike with child seats family. And we did our "first" family cycle on Saturday which was lovely - all the way to the fork and bottle for our Saturday supper. The boys were egging us on to go faster. I think Markus was a bit disappointed that Mummy couldn't outcycle Dadd for very long. And Patrick just sat in his chair and roared with joyful laughter as Daddy sped past us!

Working versus Being at home with kids

Just read this wonderful piece on Huffington Post UK about the different challenges of working in an office versus being at home with kids. If anyone ever asks me why I work 80%, or "Is that not too much?" then I will point them to this article.

I am actually very okay with our setup. Our boys have really gained from being at Kinderkrippe. Markus is settling well into Kindergarten. And I enjoy my day at home on a Monday, even if it is sometimes harder work than work (as the article also says). But I loved her comment in the article that you don't get hugs at work or sloppy kisses - well, not at my workplace anyway :-) But at home for sure. And now I am blogging, cleaning up, checking work emails whilst Patrick is happily playing away with the cars in the front room. Balance achieved for the next 20 minutes at least.

But the downsides for me? Always a logistical rush to get everyone where they need to be. Both Mr.ncot and I have meetings tomorrow at 8am, which means a really early start for everyone. My 80% at work is not enough time to get my work done. 80% is good and bad. People basically treat you like a full-timer, which is great for projects and challenges and responsibility and visibility. Not so good for getting your work done. 4 days just does't give you any wriggle room if anything goes wrong. And I end up working from home in the evening, or on a Monday, or at the weekend :-(

But all in all, we are happy balanced campers - at least for the time being!
Today I ran for the first time in about 3 weeks (bad combination of holidays, school starting for eldest, stress at work) and boy do I feel achy now! I did 21km (ie 13 miles) in 2hrs 40mins and it was hard work.

nyc badge

And now I realize that I only have 10 training weeks to go before NYC marathon on 2nd Nov - and only 8 weeks until my longest long run. I can run a half marathon now at least, but need to increase my mileage and time on my feet in the next weeks. I would ideally like to do 22 miles ie 4.5 hours before the big day. Time to get cracking I fear. My final race before marathon in the Greifenseelauf Half Marathon on Sept 20th.

In the meantime, I have downloaded the New York course map and laughed hysterically at the 21 minute video of the entire course, which I will prob. take 5.5 hours to complete :-)

I am not running the marathon for charity, I am running it for me, as part of my @40 challenge. My best mate Sal and I have a few days holiday in New York (my first time) and a marathon to run. What a luxury for me to have this time to myself and to be able to afford to travel there. I cannot wait. Just need to get my butt into gear and increase the training!


Biking Selfies - Before & After

In the last month my cycling to work commute has changed:

then - 10 min sprint along the river path to work, take bag from basket at back of bike, walk to desk
now - Get M on bike, get me on bike, squish bags into basket on front, no sprinting on bike, slowish 10min sprint to Kindergarten, unload small child, leave bike in hallway, settle small child for 5 mins, leap back on bike, up and down a steep hill, 5 mins later arrive panting at work, stagger to desk

But I love it! Markus loves cycling with me, tells me "can you go fast mummy?", chats to me all the way and prods me in the back if he thinks I am slowing down! We have matching helmets and high-vi jackets and I proud that we get to work and school under our own steam!

final solo cycle IMG_9245


My year of mentoring...

The best thing to have happened this last year at work, has been the HR mentoring scheme. I have been mentored by a senior manager and it has really helped! 11 meetings Sept 2013-August 2014 and now at an end. I made a word cloud from all my notes - I think it's pretty clear what we talked about! Next week I get to present at the kick off for the next mentoring round.

mentoring word cloud


5 years ago...

I cannot believe that Markus is 5 tomorrow! He brings such joy to our life, is such a loving brother and makes us laugh! The cake for tomorrow is baked and iced. The tshirt and proper cake will be made for his party on Sunday.
My beautiful, quirky, gorgeous boy...


Endings and Beginnings

July and August this year has been a time of endings and beginnings! I have to constantly remind myself that this is the way it has to be and that our kids are always in the process of growing up and away from us.

Markus had his final day at Kinderkrippe on July 25th and it was a bitter sweet day, full of lots of good memories, cup cakes, hugs goodbye and a few tears (from me!). I think Markus was the most balanced about it all!

final pick up (4)final day (2)final day (3)
final day (4)final day (6)

The day before his final day, I picked both kids up (mr.ncot usually picks up and drops off) and we enjoyed a final walk home together from nursery, which takes a variable amount of time, depending on how much wall walking and jumping goes on!
final pick up (1)final pick up (2)final pick up (3)

Today was Markus' first day at kindergarten. The entry age is 4 or 5, so Markus will be one of the eldest in his year. In the first year of Kindergarten, the children have to attend for 15 hours and in the second year, for 20 hours a week. Doesn't make being a working parent very easy, hence our decision to send him to a private kindergarten which is open 0730 to 1815 and only closes for 3 weeks a year! Anyway, we all took him there this morning, Mr.ncot left, then Patrick and I stayed with Markus to settle him in. Markus stayed until 1330 and got good feedback from his teacher! The first two weeks he will do shorter days, but will then go 4 days a week to the Kindergarten. Mondays we will still have together, Mummy, Markus and Patrick.
first day kindergarten (1)first day kindergarten (2)
first day kindergarten (3)first day kindergarten (4)

Having two kids in two different child care locations, means that the logistics just got trickier! I will cycle Markus to Kindergarten using my new child seat, then will cycle back up the hill to my work. Alan will take Patrick, since the nursery is quite close to his workplace. Last weekend we bought a secondhand bike for Alan, so it may be that he also ends up cycling.
This was a selfie taken during my last solo cycle to work - i always enjoyed my 10 min adrenalin sprint on my bike. But now I have a passenger on the bike - more a workout, less a sprint!
final solo cycle

I am curious as to how Patrick will deal with these changes. Up til now, he has always been with Markus, at home, in nursery. Now he will have 4 days a week alone at nursery. But today it was really nice just to have the time alone with Patrick and to really talk and play with him.
patrick alone (3)patrick alone (1)
patrick alone (2)

Here's to the melancholy of changes, and the positive outcomes that come through letting go of our old patterns.

Patrick at 32 to 35 Months

Month 36, 35
month 36month 35
Month 34, 33, 32
month 34month 33month 32

Patrick has changed so much over the last few months - he really is a proper little boy now. he has shot up in height, and looks freakily like Markus. In photos sometime I can't tell them apart, particularly when Patrick's hair is longer and wavier. Month 34 above is the spitting image of me at that age! The last months I have had lots of people asking if they are twins!

They do get on quite well now and can play together nicely for some period of time, along it doesn't last long before there are arguments. Patrick is often the "aggressor", although he often just gets a bit too physical and then Markus overreacts! On the other hand P can be very sweet and loving. One morning (sitting alone finishing his breakfast) he said: "I want play with the Markus!". I do wonder how Patrick will get on when Markus leaves the kinderkrippe. Some mornings they wake up and play together, without waking us. Although not as often as I would like! One day i went in to wake them up, and they had both chosen their favourite books and were sitting on their own beds, "reading" q
morning routine, someitmes play quickly together in bedroom before we wake up
went into room one morning, to find that both of them had got a book and were sitting on their respective beds reading quietly!

Patrick is the action type, we reckon he will be a stunt man. He knows his limits, but scares the live out of us. He loves the water and is convinced he can swim, even though he can't. In the bath, he practises "diving" and putting his head in the water. He loves to dive and given the chance will "dive" off the sofa head first onto the floor!

Nightime is still tricky, he is the master of distractions. He is completely inseparable from his pillow, teddy, muggie ("Nuggi" ie dummy). When upset during the day, he will often fetch these things to comfort him. At night he uses every trick in the book. He wants water, will then say "Mummy, i love water" - beautific smile. One night he woke up crying, "Mummy, Zog flew away!" And in desperate times he will ask for "cuggles" and will ask "mummy, you sleep with me?" Hard to resist him! Has also learn to poo in the toilet, so every evening I get to witness half an hour (at least) of poo performance art - "Mummy, you hear that? That's mine bottom. Big big splash! I do a BIG poo poo" etc etc

June - first bike (without pedals)
22.6.14 first poo in toilet
15.4.14 one deep cut in chin at krippe, one real stitch without anaesthetic
28.4.2014 Finally pottytrained - in pants all weekend, But not yet for poos!

It's the weekend
Rainbow Song
dum dum dum
Twinkle Twinkle
mit der fingerli

words & phrases
Walk to the plank
splash in the water
That's perfect
snuggle down (when going to bed)
It was only an accdident (this is said a lot!)
Funky monkey juice
I like mine teddy
likkle likkle teddy
my teddy is very very beautiful
All by mine self
I really like water
the train is on the track
me too
ipeed train
Watch likkle likke funny? (ie watch television?)
schmiedi wiedikon
bahnbof wiedikon


Markus at 55 to 59 months

Month 59, 58
month 59 month 58
Month 57, 56, 55
month 57 month 56 month 55

As I posted earlier this week, markus is in his last week of Kinderkrippe (nursery) and starts Kindergarten on August 11th. Time is flying past so fast :-)
He got his first (proper) bike in June from his mate Jamie. Markus has been riding an isla "like a bike" ie without pedals for 2 years now. It took him less than 60 seconds to get on bike and ride off - I was completely unprepared!

We have been working hard on learning the days of the week and what happens each day. We have a chart on the fridge which tells everyone where they are each day. He had been asking lots of questions before this, trying to get a handle on the shape of our week:
Is it the weekend?
Is it Kinderkrippe?
Will Venus be there?

His drawing and letters have really improved in the last months. He draws and draws and draws (and pictures are beginning to look like pictures) and then he explains what it is!
He is also into role playing, the favourite at the moment is being a shop keeper. He sets up shop, but no doesn't put any goods on display, then gives you one choice of car, plane, penguin and always charges me 100chf - right little swiss shopkeeper!

We discovered a while back that he did have some hearing loss and on 1.4.14 he had two grommits put in under general anaesthetic and now he hears a lot better :-) the day after the operation he said "Mummy, don't talk so loud!"

Actions and songs
Walk to the plank, walk to the plank
It's the weekend
Rainbow Song
dum dum dum
Twinkle Twinkle
mit der fingerli

Other words and phrases
Mummy, why dont' you like your hair bumpy? (on watching me straighten my hair with hair irons)
I told him that i had gone for a run in my lunch break - "Mummy, why did your lunch break?"
thats amazing!
He remembered today that aunty cake doesn't like mushrooms (like him) and that i don't like peas
"Mummy, you told me that once"
"i am like an elephant, aren't I?"
Talking about visiting Josefswiese park with padding pool
"Mummy, that's a marvellous idea!"
"opening an egg" (rather than cracking an egg)
Did you have a nice sleep? What did you dream?
Let me think
put it off (for turn it off)
put it out (for take it out)
"tell me why..."
"i always like going to jamie's house. that's my best place"
jaffic jam
all of a suddenly
sofa room (for living room)
Can you push me bit further please?
Me - Do you want to watch in Ger or Eng? "I want to watch like we talk"


Just another (perfect) Monday

Today is my last Monday in the old routine, ie Markus and Patrick at Kinderkrippe & I had a day at home with the boys. It was perfect in its "normalness". They actually played nicely together and separately for most of the day. They watched "Planes" then spent the rest of the day throwing planes to the floor, whilst yelling "mayday mayday mayday!" There was drawing, stamping (also on the tablecloth), balloons, bubble blowing and books. We played shop. I sneaked in some work emails. We played in the garden, it rained :-)

"Life is good. Enjoy the little things. One day you may look back and realize they were the big things"
As usual, mr.ncot was right. A few friends. no elaborate food. One game (pass the parcel) and a lot of playing at being pirates. Perfect party and the adults slumped on the sofa with a glass of prosecco :-)
I was pretty happy with the matching cake and tshirt!!
Now to plan a "minions" / despicable me party for Markus in august!

One of the hardest things I find about being a parent, is accepting the end of each stage. Markus has one week left of Kinderkrippe (nursery) and I am finding this really hard. Granted, I sometimes find it quite hard to deal with change. Markus is more than ready for Kindergarten (2 years of state pre school which starts at 4 or 5 here) and is really excited about taking the next step. Plus, the nursery has been doing a special "kindergarten" project with the leavers, preparing them for the next step.

But.... I don't feel ready and I feel so sad that he is leaving Kids&Co. They have cared for him 4 days a week since he was 6 months old and have done so a great job. He got a glowing report from them at my last parent meeting. He leads other kids, has a highly developed sense of right and wrong, stands up for other kids etc. He has two best friends there, and they are going to a different Kindergarten. On Friday I saw their wall chart, where the kids in boats float up the chart and then leave. Got a big old lump in my throat.
IMG_8622 IMG_8623

The krippe has really brought Markus up alongside us. He has learnt so much there and been so happy. I cannot believe it has been 4.5 years. We have trusted them completely, he has thrived there and this security allowed me to go back to work. I always enjoyed taking him and picking him up there. I loved creeping in and seeing him at play. I love it when he seems me and yells Mummy and charges over, followed by Patrick and I have two small boys clinging at my legs. I love catching up with the staff. I love seeing this "second home".

So why am I so sad the he is in his last week there? I guess because it means he is growing up and moving on. Because generally, I find leaving the status quo hard. But he is ready and happy. And I keep reminding myself of my favourite quote about change:
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
Anatole France

Here are two photos of Markus celebrating Fastnacht (carnival) when he was about 18 months old
2011 (1) 2011 (2)

And here is here with this best friends Venus & Mila at the start of this year


Happy 3rd Birthday Patrick

Well, as tradition dictates, the evening before Patrick's birthday, I'm baking cakes and painting tshirts!
He is entering the pirate phase, hence the design! The cake has been baked and will be iced tomorrow. Then I will do a new cake for his party on sunday.
I find it hard to credit, but he is a proper little boy now. By no stretch of the imagination is he a toddler. He talks A LOT (we understand about 60%!), he throws the odd tantrum, he comes in for kisses and rapsberries on the neck and he is my little charmer.

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY PATRICK - we will have a lot of celebrations the next couple of days. Mummy has been running around like a mad woman, buying presents and getting the party ready....

Updating my Twitter Bio....

I looked at my twitter bio today..
A tea-drinking, book-loving, gadget-girl who aspires one day to be a runner again, but in the meantime charges around after her two small boys!

Yesterday I ran 16km (10 miles) in 2 hours, with a phone app tracking kilometres and my new garmin watch tracking my mile splits. I am slow and steady and strong. I am most definitely a runner....

A tea-drinking, book-loving, gadget-girl, in training for the New York Marathon 2014, who is slow and steady and trains by sprinting around after her two small boys!



Am finding it hard to keep on top of my online life at the moment. I only seem to blog about running, but running is taking over 2014 somewhat :-) Work is busy for Mr.ncot and I, the boys are fine and I try to spend as much time as possible playing with them and enjoying the moment. Blogging, photos and reflecting is taking a back step and that makes me somewhat sad.

Can someone wave a magic wand and given me an extra hour a day in which to blog?

And before Markus starts Kindergarten (ie start of school system here in CH) I desperately want to create and finish his baby book :-)

hastags for today #wheredoesthetimego? #howcanmybabybenearly5? #lifeisgood #butstoptheworldIwanttocatchup!



Frauenlauf 10K in Berne

Yesterday I ran the 10K Frauenlauf in Berne with a friend from work, who was experiencing her first ever race :-) The atmosphere was fantastic, thousands of women, female power and energy everywhere, and a beautiful sunny day in beautiful Berne. The organisation was swiss and seamless :-)

I had wanted to beat my 1:07:55 from the Zurich 10K in April. But it was not to be. Hot, hilly and I started out WAY too fast! For that I did a personal 5K best - 32:31minutes. My previous 5K pb of 35.36 miles was 2 years ago in Berne, when my sister took care of the boys and helped me get back into running. That race seems like a lifetime ago. So grateful that Kate kicked me back into running!

Yesterday I was proud to be a runner, was inspired by all the other women around me giving it their all, and was grateful to be fit and healthy and training so well in 2014.

Next steps? Buy a second pair of Brookes trainers, a garmin forerunner 220 and learn how to consistently pace myself. I also need to get some new orthotics sorted. My next race is the Greifenseelauf in September with Sal, but will see if there are any other summer races I can do. Would love to get my 10K under 1hr 5 and my 5K under 30 minutes.

My marathon training plan starts officially mid July, but from here on in, I am focussed on my @40 goal of 2nd Nov 2014 and NEW YORK NEW YORK :-)

Frauenlauf Berne 2Frauenlauf Berne 4IMG_8370

Nailed it! Running result of 2:33:25

I finished the Winterthur Half Marathon in 2:33:25 which was quicker than planned - I was hoping for sub 2:40. I did get slower, but my splits were consistent and I had a few walking breaks. But I got round 13.1 miles in good shape and with a sprint finish.

As I suspected, I was right at the very back - I overtook 7 slower runners, but at times lost sight of the rest of the field. the marathon runners started 30mins earlier and did 2 laps. At kilometre 16 I lost sight of runners in front and was lapped by the lead marathoners :-)

But I just ran MY RACE following MY STRATEGY and when I couldn't see anyone else, I just thought - "IT's just a training run, you just want to run your 13 miles". And being alone at the back - you get fantastic support. Smiles. "Hopp Hopp" and swiss cow bells being run. I love Switzerland! And there were free leg massages at the end. Plus, there were a few lovely runners that helped me along!

And when I looked at my average speed later - it was 7:12 mins per kilometre. 3 weeks ago at the Berne 10 miler with my friend, we averaged 7:22 and I struggled the whole way round. So running alone, for 5k further and I managed to speed up!

The worst happened - I was pretty much last - but it was fine.
And my best banging track? "BIg Noise Remixed" by Paris Blue

winterthur HM 1 winterthur HM 2 winterthur HM 3 winterthur HM 4 winterthur HM 5

So, another @40challenge done and dusted. Half Marathon run, tick :-) Next race is Berne 10K where I want to run sub 01:05. Need ot work on my speed. And the word from my "running coach" aka my sports scientist work colleague - "Steigerung" ie Improvement. Each run should show some progress, either in time or distance.


Running scared and stupid!

Tomorrow I am running the Winterthur Half Marathon and I am stupidly nervous. There are probably only a few thousand (or less) people running it & I have this vision of everyone running off and leaving me behind! The last few weekends i have run 10 or 10.5 miles and have felt pretty good. So actually, my only goal is to run the distance and get it under my belt. I am running with a tactic of 8 mins running, 1 min walking, trying to average 12 minute miles and get in under 2hrs 40mins. Last time I ran a half marathon it was 1999, I was a lot younger and did it in 2 hours 29mins :-)

The only person I am competing against is myself and I just need to settle in and run my own race, treat it like a training run :-) I have just made a playlist of 49 banging tracks which takes me to 2hrs 45! I need to start increasing my mileage for the New York marathon which is in November. Sounds a long time, but my 16 week schedule starts July 14th! I just need to get round the 13 miles in good shape. In September I will run another half my with my best mate Sal and then I can start to improve my time.

Wish me luck - will report back on the other side! and if I do this, it's another @40 challenge knocked off the list!


Today, a bit more than 40 years after they finished building the house and moved in with my Grandma and I, my parents move out of "The Anchorage" in Frenchay. It is the only family home I have ever known. The house has been on and off the market for several years and my parents are delighted to be moving on to the next phase in their lives. I have had really mixed feelings the last couple of weeks, and have been working hard thinking through my memories and photos. I have a twitter feed on this subject (click here for loads more photos and tweets, choose ALL at the top and scroll slowly down to the bottom of the feed to start reading!) But to mark moving out day, here are some of the best photos and my thoughts!

My parents got married in 1969, my Dad was a builder, so they decided to build their own family home. My Dad had lived in the same house as his Mum (separate apartments) after she was widowed, and so my Mum, Dad, Grandma pooled their resources and found land to buy. Their goal was to create a safe haven for the family they had and wanted to have in the future, plus my Dad's dad was a merchant sailor and my Dad a sailor, hence the nautical name "The Anchorage".

They found land in Frenchay and pulled down the derelict cottage that stood there. Work started autumn 72, Mum had me (her first child in May 73) and they moved in February 1974. And my brother was born in September 75. My parents had a few projects on the go! Dad designed, project managed and built the house with my mum, with a little help from his building mate, whilst holding down a full time job. My Mum was pregnant, gave birth, looked after me and once they had moved in, got pregnant with baby no 2! I love the photo of me in the midst of the building site.
2.thehousemartinbuilt 9. Baby Helen supervises 4. clearing 6. foundations 16. Helen moves in

My sister was born in April 1978 and the family was complete. We had a garden at roof level (the house was built into a quarry, so the land available was at third floor height. To get to the garden, you walked up 3 storeys onto a flat roof, then walked across planks (not fixed) into the garden. Health and safety obviously not an issue in the 70s and 80s. We lived opposite woods and the village was a gorgeous place to grow up. We played on the forecourt, I learn to ride my bike there, and we all had photos showing us walking away from the house as we started the village primary school (3 mins walk up the hill and cross the common).
17. Helen & Jibby 21. On the roof with Chris 22. Kate was on the way 25. And then we were three! 27. Pushbike 28 Helen to school 32 New playframe 33 getting to garden

The house was always full. My Grandma (Dad's mum) had a granny flat built at the back with a separate door, and a separate door bell at the front. As kids we were very clear that this was her house, and we had to know on her living room door before entering. 3 generations in one house worked amazingly well. As kids and teenagers, it was great to have another adult to turn to. As a stroppy insomnia teenager, but Grandma would make me proper cocoa with milk and give me proper posh biscuits! There was a constant stream of guests, visitors. My Mum would open the house to all and sundry! Her parents lived about an hour away, so were also regular visitors. Many happy sunday lunches with family and friends. Dad built an extension onto the granny flat at the back in about 1983 or 84, which meant I then got my own bedroom. With a desk and bookshelves and everything!
37. Advent 43 New room 1984 44 1987 Sunday lunch 46 1989 studying GCSEs 47 1991

I left home in 1992 to go to University, I came back in the holidays and then lived back at home for about 6 months after graduating, before getting my first proper graduate job in London in 1996. After that, I never lived there again. We had lots of happy weekends there, bringing home boyfriends, celebrating successes, including kate returning from her round the world trip, Alan and I getting engaged etc. I was married from the anchorage and was driven up the hill to the common by my Dad, then I walked the rest of the way to my parish church. The day after our wedding, we invited family and friends to meet at the house and walk round Frenchay. My very last visit to the house was in April 2009. I was 5 months pregnant with Markus and had to finally sort the last few boxes of my stuff from the attic!
52 2000 Kate returns 54 engagement celebration - Copy 58 walk 61 2009

This final photo is the view from my bedroom window on the third floor. I would kneel on my bed and lean out the window, looking out to the woods opposite. The silence at night would be almost heavy. Sometimes you could hear owls. But it was such a special peaceful sound. I seem to remember spending a lot of time as a teenager gazing out the window! The night before my wedding I slept in my old room. Around midnight I looked out the window, to see it softly snowing!

I am sad that the house will no longer belong to us, I am scared what the new owners will do to it. But I know that my Parents are so happy to be moving on. I am so proud of them for what they achieved there and the wonderful family home full of love, security they built for us. The haven of the anchorage allowed all 3 of us to spread our wings and fly away. I hope one day I can build the same home for my boys and I wish "The Anchorage" all the best for the next phase in its history!

This post was kindly "sponsored" by my wonderful friend Kerry, who looked after my boys for a few hours today, so I could get some writing done. She knows that when she doesn't have any new blog posts from me to read, I need some support! Thank you my friend :-)

Who is nice-cup-of-tea?


A tea-drinking, book-loving, gadget-girl, in training for the New York Marathon 2014, who is slow, steady & trains by sprinting around after her two small boys.

I am a british expat who writes about living, working, running and bringing up my family in Zurich.

You can find me online @


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