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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....

- 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

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

- Summer holidays


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 :-)


And cake :-)
We've all survived the first 2 weeks back at school and work!
However, my desk looked like a post-it explosion when I left the office this week!

I got called in yesterday to pick up P from school as he wasn't feeling well.
He made a miraculous recovery once we got home and spent the afternoon being a Jedi Warrior! I managed to do some work.....

and finally... when I picked P up, i went up to his classroom. Each kid had drawn a lovely name plate for their coat hook.
Cars, Animals, Flowers - you get the picture.....

What did Patrick draw? Well, dearest second son is a "Querdenker" (""sideways" thinker as we say in German) - ie he genuinely thinks outside the box.
In this case, he definitely thought ouside of the box :-)
He drew a multicoloured toilet - complete with toilet roll on the left of the picture :-)


Patrick's 7th Birthday Party

We survived the birthday party today! 7 boys, lots of energy, football, party food, a "tischbombe" and presents.
Then a bit of slobbing on the sofa.

Mr.ncot and I have this division of labour down... I do the cake, the t-shirt, he is the party organizer, I then clear up!
And next weekend it's Markus' party - who's idea was it to have kids with birthdays less than a month apart, smack bang in the middle of the Summer holidays!!

Busy but successful weekend!

It's been a busy, busy (but strangely satisfying Saturday and Sunday....

On Saturday I had a slow start and read in bed, then I got all busy and....
On Sunday I ....

Patrick is 7!

Darling Patrick, how did you get to 7? we love your cheeky ways - you are always so full of energy. Loving, fighting, playing with Markus. Lego, Star wars, football!

This year was definitely a football theme - from the cupcakes for your kindergarten class, to your birthday cake at home We had a small family party - we'll celebrate with your old and new school friends after the summer holiday! FAvourite presents? Scooter, pink pig that moves, more dinosaurs and dragons for your collection!

Football cupcakes for Kindergarten class! Decoration and instructions in the flat!

Football birthday cake!

Here's to your 8th year...Patrick in pictures, 0 - 6


Back to School 2018!

So, compared to 2 years ago (Markus starting school, Patrick starting Kindergarten), this school start was smooth in comparison. I still admit to feeling a bit apprehensive on Patrick's behalf - but he's been at the local Kindergarten and Hort since Jan, so he has friends and knows the environment. Having said that, he's going through a struggle-y, frustrated phase at the moment, so anything can happen. I took him in, and he was silent and grumpy and shy for the first half hour, then found his mojo just as I was leaving). Picked him up for swimming and he had nothing to say about school, then at home this evening, he did his first home work and explained everything to Alan. Typical!

Anyway, here's the photo selectoin...

Mr "too cool for school" as he left early this morning wtih Alan - ready to start 3rd class.
And for some reason he brought this sunflower home with him from school today. Still haven't got to the bottom of WHY?
me.: That's lovely, did you grow it darling?
him: no
me: Hä?
him: look, here's a huge whole in the leaf where the caterpillar ate it

Family of bags at the front door!

And Patrick checking timetable with Alan, then leaving home, then getting to school ready for Klasse 1 with hideously expensive nice school bag.
But hey, it has dinosaur stickers which can be moved at will!

School playground, up 3 flights of stairs

Hang up your "Turnsack", change your shoes, then sit at your desk looking bored!

First homework!

And my friend posted this on her facebook page, which just made me laugh!

Boxes, letters, bags of love...

It's no secret that I've been struggling and feeling sorry for myself for some time. This weekend I finally cleared my bookshelves and sorted out all my boxes of "stuff" that have been waiting to be sorted for MONTHS. I give myself a hard time for being a hopeless horder, but today I realized that I keep things to help me remember and to make sense of my past. And that's okay. Everything I keep has a reason and a meaning.

I dipped in and out of letters and cards from friends and family, reminded myself of my previous life - at University, my travels, the start of my career. And I felt nourished and blessed by the life I've led so far and the people I've met and the friends and family who love me. I then had fun scanning a few bits and pieces and whatsapping them to my best friends and to my siblings.

When I took everything out of all the boxes, and then the final finished bookshelves!

My mum is a bigger horder even than me  - I found a stack of letters that I had written to Father Christmas, and that she had kept and returned to sender!
This was the letter to make my little sister still believe in Father Christmas (even though my brother had spilled the beans!) Still makes me laugh....

my univ library card (well loved and used), union card, and a quotesI liked and kept

A postcard that was always kept close to my desk - a sentiment I should keep in mind now...

This was the poster I kept on the door of my room in halls! Some of the writing has faded in the scanning - but my philosphical influences as you can see were Garfield, Winnie the pooh (but in German) and the poem about Marvin the paranoid Android (thanks to the late great Douglas Adams)

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.

And this page which was photocopied from a magazine and which accompanied me throughout university - sadly, we don't seem to have achieved much...

And the page from the University prospectus which featured me in the computer lab!! This also makes me laugh, since I was rarely in there, but still got in the photo looking studious...

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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