December 3rd, 2013

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Elizabeth Gilbert @ the Literaturhaus, Zürich

I have just heard the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert speak at the Literaturhaus, Zürich about her new novel "the signature of all things".

She talked about the three years she had spent researching the book, how her original ideas about the main character and plot changed, how her "fear" made her research the field in such detail. Also, that this novel is more autobiographical (by indirect means) than her bestseller "Eat, Pray, Love" was. I could have listened to her speak all night, and as always in Zurich, found it very frustrating that the floor wasn't opened up to questions. Also that so much of the evening was in German and that the moderator (to my mind) talked too much. Her TED TALK about writing and creative genius is still one of my favourite talks. I would have loved to have asked her about that!

The Literaturhaus was founded in 1838 and didn't allow women to be members at first, but gave them the job of choosing which books to hold in the library! Power in purchasing. Interestingly, the building was the first one in Zurich to have artificial light, which made its library and reading rooms very popular :-) We take the ability to read whenever, wherever, for granted.

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The World According to Markus...

... consists of his house, the kinderkrippe and the number 8 tram, plus the following 5 playgrounds (as seen on map, we are spoilt for choice!)
The geography of a four year old!



  • The "Train park" (aka the one next to the railway line, full of kids shouting "ZUG!" every 4 minutes)

  • The "Fire Engine park" (aka the one which has a climbing frame with a firemans pole to slide down)

  • The "Roundabout park"(aka the only one with a roundabout, they will play on it without end, then get off and stagger around)

  • The "Pirate park"(aka the one with a boat in)

  • The "New Park" (aka the one we just discovered!)

playgrounds

Below are the photos taken over the last nearly two years of Markus at the Fire Engine Park :-)
Markus, March 2012
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Patrick & Markus, Sept 2012
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Patrick & Markus, Sept 2013
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Patrick & Markus, Nov 2013
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Weekend in Manchester

My advent this year started in Manchester - just spent a lovely weekend with my lovely little sister, who spoilt me rotten. I had such a great, chilled out time, that I failed to take any photos. But spent the time gossiping with her, doing some christmas shopping, editing photos, writing blogs, going to the flicks (can highly recommend "Saving Mr Banks") and having a chinese take out - how I've missed it!
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Weeks 27-30 & the halfway mark

Life has been so busy the last month or so, that here is a round up of the last four weeks. Lots of progress on ongoing goals.
Really happy about my weight loss and running. Have lots of goals that I haven't started yet though.

Here is the summary of where I am with my 40 challenges

Done
1. Reflect on the 40 best things I have done in my life so far
2. Find a userpic for @40
8. Visit Cheryl
12. Weekend in Brussels
13. Weekend in Manchester
14. Visit Parents on barge
15. Swim across Zurich lake in summer (and/or limmat river swim in December)
21. Attend TED zuerich in Oct 2013
31. Relive my student days in Sheffield
27. Attend 4 cultural events

In Progress
4. 40 cups of tea with friends
6. Monthly dates with Mr.Ncot
16. HalfMarathon Genf 4 May 2014
17. Learn 40 new recipes
18. Find and reach my ideal weight for health and fitness
19. Walk on Uetliberg once a month
23. Blog weekly
28. Redesign www.helenpalmer.co.uk (using flavors me)
38. Find my next job
39. Become a mentor
40. Alan's Joker

Started but postponed
24. Nanowrimo 2013

Not started yet
3. Plan a family holiday in Canada in 2014
5. Family Palmer weekend in UK
7. Night away with Mr.Ncot (without boys!) at Montana Hotel, Lucerne
9. Plant a Tree
10. Create a time capsule box for when I'm 80! (40 photos / cards / momentos)
11. Replace engagement ring
20. Find spiritual director / church / nourish my spiritual self
22. Sail on Zurich Lake
25. Family Photo Shoot
26. Create album for me about being 40
29. Go to a radio or tv recording in London (have I got news for you, the news quiz, the now show etc)
30. Complete my patchwork quilt
32. Create photo album of professional shoots
33. Cake baking / decorating course / cooking course
34. Take a private skiing lesson (either downhill or cross country)
35. Finish wedding sampler for M&M
36. Finish our wedding album !
37. Find a PhD supervisor (and therefore a topic)

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