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Grateful for...

Way back when (aka 2008/2009) I wrote a list of my 100 Favourite Things. It made me happy to add things to my list, and then afterwards, when I experienced one of those things, it made me happy all over again. The list then ended with the arrival of Markus!

So what am I grateful for 8 years later? To be honeset, I'm finding life a bit tough at the moment, so this is a good way for me to focus on all the good things that I do have and experience :-)

1. Finding my favourite Caran d'Arche silver pen at work in a meeting room, a week after I'd lost it!
2. Our new sofa
3. Swooping down to the ski lift and finding no queue
4. Tossing the perfect pancake
5. Getting a mega hug from Patrick
6. The joy on Markus' face when he opened the box and came face to face with Digipigi!
7. Marking off another sober day on my Leaf App
8. Getting comfy with Markus and reading him another chapter of Harry Potter
9. Finding the right costume for Bob the Unicorn
10. Seeing my boys land safely at the bottom of a toboggan run!


That was the Christmas Holidays!

and it's back to school tomorrow for all of us ... but we've had a good, if busy, christmas break.

For me, running, a long walk with a friend yesterday, time to blog, and lots of time in my jimjams, staying in bed reading (4 books read already in 2018!).

With the family, trip to the circus, time to read books together, play games, go out a couple of times to eat together (sushi, italian), visited mr.ncot's office in Berne, plus lots of time for lego building, dressing up, watching films


And in between I sorted out the cellar, gave away of lots of baby and toddler clothes and equipment, we re-did the boys rooms, bought a new sofa and cleaned the flat :-)

I think going back to work will be restful in comparison!

Let it go, let it go....

The last few weeks have seen a massive decluttering operation in the flat. I have cleared the cellar, sorted out all the baby and toddler clothes and started to let go of the last precious toys. And tomorrow we're letting go of our sofa of 17 years, for a new one.

I find it hard to let go, particularly of concrete things that remind me of a particular happy time, ie baby clothes. But I know this about me and I know what helps. Passing things onto a good home (ie the toddler clothes to a friend, the baby clothes to the charity shop, the scooters to the boys' old nursery). And I know that I have to document this process, and accept the emotions that come with it. And then move on, perhaps singing that annoying "let it go" song!

So, then and now.... Markus as a 1 yr old with his brand new cow scooter, as a small child "lassoing" the horse scooter whilst sitting on the cow scooter, the boys this Christmas posing on their old scooters, the bags of baby clothes, the old play tent with my sister hiding inside one Christmas with a book and a glass of wine, boys in the playtent...

Something's Gotta Give

I need a fresh start. 2017 was a tough year. Work was challenging - lots of people changes, lots of projects. I worked harder and harder to try and make things perfect. I looked after everybody else and forgot to look after myself. I didn't find time to run, to read, to write. And my stress relief of choice was downing the red wine, every evening almost without exception. Who am I kidding? Without exception.

And now it's January 2nd. I've given up alcohol again. I know that it's addictive, a depressive, but somehow I forget that every time I pour the first glass. I need time to figure out what I need to find balance in my life. So January is about not drinking, about running every day, about blogging every day. Finding time for me and not using the mind numbing of drink as an excuse to sit on the sofa and do nothing. And I hate the petty, mean, depressed person the wine witch turns me into. I hate the shame that goes with it.

To look after myself will take some effort, but I am hopeful with no booze will come better sleep, better balance of moods and more patience (less shouting with the boys). And less crying, less feeling that I'm heading for a burn out, or depression, or menopause.

I want to write that I'm not drinking ever again, but somehow that feels like too big a statement to make. I'll do Jan and then set my next goal and then the next one, and then who knows? Wish me luck. I know I've been here before, but this time it feels more important. And going for a walk / jog / stumble / run makes me feel optimistic, that I can at least still put my runners on and can move myself forward. There's lots of things I can't control, but deciding to get out there is something I can influenc.e


Running Review 2017

Running didn't happen in 2017, but in 2018 I will do the 10K Cityrun on April 22nd!

No of Runs: 12
Total Distance: 39.18 km
Run Time: 5:55:39
Avg Distance: 3.26km
Avg Run Time: 29:38
Average Pace: 9:05/km

No of Runs: 25
Total Distance: 124 km
Run Time: 18:53:47
Avg Distance: 4.77km
Avg Run Time: 43:36
Average Pace: 9:09/km

No of Runs: 42
Total Distance: 217.68 km
Run Time: 27:05:33
Avg Distance: 5.18km
Avg Run Time: 38:42
Average Pace: 7:28/km


Resolutions 2018

2018 is going to be my year. 2017 was a difficult one - lots of stress, change, I didn't look after myself, I just worked harder and harder to try and make things right. My 2017 resolutions didn't happen and I didn't review them monthly.

I need numbers and concrete goals and need to hold myself accountable. Will update my resolutions monthly.
These are the things below that make me feel better

1. No alcohol in January & then review / set next goal
2. Run every day in January & then review / set next goal
3. Blog daily in January & then review / set next goal (I have about 20 posts from 2017 to catch up with!)
4. Read 100 books - I am loving the goodreads website and my kindle

And as an outcome, I want to finally shed the excess weight (20kg) and run 500 kilometres.

List of Books Read in 2017

Books read 2017: 74 books

Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train
Diane Chamberlain: The Lies we Told
Colleen Coleman: Don't Stop Me Now
Douglas Adams: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Lucy Diamond: House of New Beginnings
Stephanie Butland: Lost for Words
Jane Fallon: My Sweet Revenge
Maeve Binchy; A Week in Winter
Gill Sims: Why Mummy Drinks
Nancy Stearns Bercaw: Dryland
Jules Wake: Covent Garden in the Snow
Miranda Hart: Peggy & Me
Hendrik Groen: The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 and a quarter years old
Ranulph Fiennes: Cold
Timur Vermes: Look Who's Back
Andy Puddicombe: The Headspace Guide to... Mindfulness & Meditation
Harriet Evans: Butterfly Summer
Tina Campanella: Sarah Millican - The Queen of Comedy
Tim Marshall: Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flags
Nina Stibbe: Paradise Lodge
Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate: Susan Calman
The Kicking the Bucket List: Cathy Hopkins
Lie with Me: Sabine Durrant
Tell Me: Abigail Strom
Far From the Tree: Andrew Solomon
A Streetcat named Bob: James Bowen
The Friend: Dorothy Koomson
Strictly Between Us: Jane Fallon
How Reading Changed My Life: Anna Quindlen
How I Changed My Life In a Year: Shelley Wilson
Not My Father's Son: Alan Cumming
Don't Stop Me Now, 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession: Vassos Alexander
The End of Your Life Book Club: David Schwalbe
The Shipping News: Annie Proulx
What I know for Sure: Oprah Winfrey
The Life and Loves of a He Devil: Graham Norton
The Everything Store: Brad Stone
The Summer Seaside Kitchen: Jenny Colgan
Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe: Debbie Johnson
The Other Side of the Story: Marian Keyes
The Seven Dials Mystery: Agatha Christie
Back Story: David Mitchell
Thanks for the feedback: Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: J.K.Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Akzaban: J.K.Rowling(read to Markus)
1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part In Its Downfall: Peter Millar
Love Warrior: Glennon Doyle Melton(read sometime early 2017)
All I Ever Wanted: lucy Dillon
a Year of Marvellous Ways: Sarah Winman
Tempting Fate: Jane Green
My Animals and other family: Clare Balding
Lessons I've Learned: Davina Mccall
Business Exposed: Freek Vermeulen
Lying on the Couch: Irvin D Yalom
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: J.K.Rowling
The Making of Us: Lisa Jewell
A year in the life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess: Amanda Owen
1st to Die: James Patterson
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: J.K.Rowling (read out loud to M)
I see you: Clare Mackintosh
The List: Joanna Bolouri
Homecoming: Cathy Kelly
One small act of Kindness: Lucy Dillon
Willpower: Roy Baumeister & John Tierney
The Stranger in my home: Adele Parks
An Astronaut's guide to life on earth: Chris Hadfield
How to find love in a bookshop: Veronica Henry
House of Cards: Michael Dobbs
Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear: Elizabeth Gilbert (read in 2016)
Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit and Other Stories: P.G. Wodehouse
Eat That Frog: Brian Tracy
All Creatures Great and Small: James Herriott
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: J.K.Rowling (read out loud to M)
The Gifts of Imperfections: Brene Brown

That was the year that was 2017

2016 answers / 2015 answers / 2014 answers / 2013 answers / 2012 answers / 2011 answers / 2010 answers / 2009 answers / 2008 answers / 2007 answers / 2006 answers

What did you do in 2017 that you've never done before?
Nothing really new, but started yoga again

Did you keep your New Years Resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I made some, but didn't keep them. 2018 will be better

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Sandra had Sophie, Melinda had Luis

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?
Ireland, UK

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
More time for myself and more time for my boys, all of them - same as last year

What dates in 2017 will remain etched on your memory and why?
no one particular date

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Keeping my work team together in spite of resourcing problems and workload

What was your biggest failure?
Not looking after myself, not losing weight, drinking too much (as last year)

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Constant ache in my right arm and lower back

What was the best thing you bought?
iphone 7

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Still my wonderful sister...and my wonderful Alan

Where did most of your money go?
Childcare - still, followed by a few holidays to the UK

What did you get really really excited about?
a few of the kids films - ie Paddington 2, Despicable Me 3 (yes, sad I know!)

What song will always remind you of 2017?
"You're welcome" from the Vaiana film

Compared to this time last year are you:
a) happier or sadder - sadder
b) thinner or fatter - fatter
c) richer or poorer - richer

What do you wish you'd done more of?
more running and exercise

What do you wish you'd done less of?
work and worrying

How will you be spending Christmas?
We spent it here in Zurich just the 4 of us

What was your favourite month of 2017?
finally getting to the end of the school in July and gong on holiday

What was your favourite TV programme?
House of Cards, Unabomber, Limitless, Crossing Lines, Dirk Gently, Ray Donovan

What was the best book you read?
Best Book (Fiction): Timur Vermes: Look Who's Back

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Playlists on Spotify!

What did you want and get?
books for christmas

What did you want and not get?
More time to myself

What was your favourite film of this year?
Paddington 2

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 44, no bid celebrations

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
more time to myself, to read and blog (same as last year)

What kept you sane?
my kindle, oh, and Alan :-)

Who did you miss?
my sister, we seem so far apart (same as last year)
my mates sal, mags, caroline, jane (but now she's closer!)

Who was the best new person you met?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016
I need to "brake", otherwise I will break. I need to be be kinder to myself.


Wishing all my online friends, near and far, a fantastic start to the new and fresh 2018!
Lots of blogs to follow in the coming days...
We've having a lovely quiet family time here in Zurich, with still a week to go. Check out our matching oneseies!

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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