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Pre Christmas Clear Out and Build!

Today I kept with my pre-Christmas tradition of buying new stuff for the flat, then getting someone in to build the stuff!

Last year I did this on 21st Dec and it involved completely re-organizing the boy's room!

So here's the result of today's aching back and 14'500 steps!

New shoecupboard (to hide all the foot-related junk), new stool for me in the kitchen and new Dyson installed in the corner of our bedroom (no room anywhere else!)


Lovely new chair for our bedroom, so I have somewhere to read and knit, plus some lovely orla kiely cushions for our sofa (passed on from a friend!)


I then cleared out half the cellar and stored it in our laundry room - thankfully no complaints from our neighbours :-)


And then I played cellar jenga! Mr.ncot still needs to sort his books and get all of them on the shelves... But we're getting there and at least we can get in the cellar now to look for stuff!


And now my back aches, but the flat is looking pretty good!

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Blog List - December 2018

- Conversation we had on our way to school today
- Monthly update M
- Monthly update P
- Twitter update
- Why we should learn German
- The joy of not finishing books
- blogs versus ebooks
- Friendships are forever
- The tiger who came to tea
- November Sal's visit
- November UK travels
- November ELN conference and speech
- November Brussels
- Portugal Herbstferien
- Uetliberg with Patrick
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Work week, workshops & wroclaw
- Wroclaw in May & August
- Sharon's visit, June
- End of Kindergarten
- End of school year
- Lugano holiday
- Horgen walk with Kerry et al
- Uetliberg walk with Kerry et al

2017
- lj review - first sentence of each year for 2017
- Caro's visit last October
- London visit October Herbstferien
- Summer holidays

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On our walk to school today the boys and I had a fairly typical conversation. We covered the following topics :-)

- Why we dream and why P dreamt about Harry Potter last night
- Finders fees for finding Patrick's "Turnsack" (gym bag) and Markus' gloves
- Why Mummy shouldn't get a finders's fee in the (very likely) event that I find said lost items
- Why crocodile watch straps are wrong
- Why crocodiles are Markus' favourite animal
- Why and how crocodiles do a death roll
- What to have for tesa - Spaghetti bolognaise but with tagliatelle
- P said " I probably won't like it, but I'll try"

Going to work after that was a rest in comparison...

Advent, Advent

"I am a complete sucker for advent, on the one hand because I love the preparations for christmas, the candles, the build up. I like taking time to reflect and prepare for the arrival of that baby in the story. With both my boys, I found out I was pregnant in advent, so each year I look back with gratitude to Advent 2008 and 2010." Me in 2014, from this blog post

Here we are, the first Sunday in Advent! Preparations are well afoot in the Palmer / Moran household and for once, I feel optimistically quite organized!
- I have done 80% of the christmas shopping
- Cards and printed and ready to be written
- Advent House is set up at work, with a posted version sent to my Poland team
This weekend we've put up our traditional christmas tree posters, with numbered stars for each day. For the first time ever, I gave in to pester power and they also have a lego advent calendar each!

We went to the CS Christmas party for Kids on Saturday, made our advent ring (stick 4 candles on the wooden base!) and in pride of place, our new singing reindeer, whose antlers flash!

The rest of Advent will be busy - next weekend it's the Samichlausfahrt, the weekend after the Silvesterlauf. This year after Christmas we're going to the UK to catch up with all the UK Palmers. New and old. There's some IKEA furniture to be built, handyman booked, cellar to be organized. Why does Advent make me want to clear out the flat and then build IKEA furniture? Who knows :-) And then it's just food to organize, but this being Switzerland, I can do my online shop on Dec 22nd and still get it delivered on time!

Our new Advent Arrival, named "Fred" by the boys :-) and our traditional advent ring


Cards & Advent posters,& Lego Advent


Advent Calendars & Advent House at work


Christmas Trees, Sihlcity Deer!

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Advent Challenge!

So, i'm doing my own Advent challenge! Getting Active and Get Writing! The last time i did this was in 2014 and it was pretty successful in helping me get my sh1t together before Christmas! I miss actively blogging, but my backlog of blogs, is stopping me blogging actual stuff.

Here's me having done my first run tonight, the first one in months and months!
"Get Calm and Run" indeed - when I'm under pressure, when everything else is outside my control, I have to remind myself that I can control whether I move myself and go out for a walk / run!


So here's my challenge to myself
- 150 Intensity minutes a week
- Reach my goal of 10'000 steps a day
- Run three times a week
- Blog once a day
- and here's the updated list, taken from my last challenge, which didn't quite get going in November!

- Conversation we had on our way to school today
- Monthly update M
- Monthly update P
- Why we should learn German
- The joy of not finishing books
- blogs versus ebooks
- Friendships are forever
- The tiger who came to tea
- November Sal's visit
- November UK travels
- November ELN conference and speech
- November Brussels
- Portugal Herbstferien
- Uetliberg with Patrick
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Work week, workshops & wroclaw
- Wroclaw in May & August
- Sharon's visit, June
- End of Kindergarten
- End of school year
- Lugano holiday
- Horgen walk with Kerry et al
- Uetliberg walk with Kerry et al

2017
- lj review - first sentence of each year for 2017
- Caro's visit last October
- London visit October Herbstferien
- Summer holidays

Christmas Quotes


                                         Patrick Moran, 2018

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance — each beautiful, unique, and gone too soon
Deborah Whipp

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
W.T. Ellis

Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.
Helen Steiner Rice

Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.
Dr. Seuss

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
Benjamin Franklin

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Clement Clarke Moore

Christmas is a stocking stuffed with sugary goodness.
Mo Rocca

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
Alexander Smith

At Christmas, all roads lead home.
Marjorie Holmes

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly.
Andy Rooney

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Will Ferrell, "Elf"

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.
Charles M. Schulz

Christmas waves a magic wand over the world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
Peg Bracken

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
Mary Ellen Chase

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.
Winston Churchill

Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.
Edna Ferber

Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving.
B.C. Forbes

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
Shirley Temple

May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve
Anon

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
Theodor Seuss Geisel, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
Calvin Coolidge

I don't think Christmas is necessarily about things. It's about being good to one another.
Carrie Fisher

At Christmas, play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.
Thomas Tusser

Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.
Pindar

Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.
W.J. Tucker

Hallowe'en and the Witch of Wiedikon!

For the first time ever, we actually did something for hallowe'en yesterday! It was a somewhat last minute affair of inviting kids and buying in decorations, food etc,  but it came together at the last minute! The numbers of kids change dramatically upwards on the day and when I picked up the boys from school, excitement was at fever pitch. Never seen them walk home so fast / run! "'We're late, we're late!*

I bought some costumes for Alan and i - so of course went ot pick them up wearing my new hat and my black wool winter cape. Witch of Wiedikon. Got some smiles as we walked home together. All the boys came dressed up. There were costumes, lights, decorations, tons of hallowe'en confetting, zombie games, apple bobbing, eating pizza and junk food, and watching Hallowe'en Simpsons. Result!

The boys then had a sugar crash, temper tanturms and mr.ncot and I tried to clear up the flat! But a good evening and proof that we can throw a party together at the last minute and it still works! Plus I worked from home during the afternoon and actually balanced work and life, so that the balance worked in the family's favour for once!



Not Nanowrimo November Blog challenge 2018

I've done this before ( in 2012 and 2015) and blogging every day for a month is definitely do-able but also challenging enough. Looking forward to filling the gaps of this year and last and getting in the habit of writing each day!

Here was the last list of blogs to update

And here it is updated....

2018
- Halloween (01.11.2018)
- Portugal Herbstferien
- Uetliberg with Patrick
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Work week, workshops & wroclaw
- Wroclaw in May & August
- Sharon's visit, June
- End of Kindergarten
- End of school year
- Lugano holiday
- Horgen walk with Kerry et al
- Uetliberg walk with Kerry et al

2017
- lj review - first sentence of each year for 2017
- Caro's visit last October
- London visit October Herbstferien

- Summer holidays

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Tasks done using Google Reminders

Just as I had got everything nicely setup in Inbox, with Reminders and Google Calendar, Google announces it will be decommissioning Inbox next year :-( So now i'm setting up Tasks and Notes in Google Mail and Calendar.

Anyway, the last couple of months were productive -here's what I ticked off with Google Reminders :-)

Stuff I got done Summer 2018 with Google Reminders

Markus' 9th Birthday Party!

Today we finally celebrated Markus' Birthday - only 3 weeks late!

The placement of the gummy bears players onto the pitch could only be done by Markus!


Finished cake and T-shirt, plus an alternative angle (photo take by Markus!)



The party went smoothly, Alan in Charge, me on catering and hiding when it got too noisy!
How many boys can you fit on our new sofa? 8 apparently :-)



Presents!


And cake :-)

Who is nice-cup-of-tea?


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 @
helenpalmer.co.uk
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