December 31st, 2017


The Whoopee Cushion & the Love Declaration

My dear son 2 has just tricked me into sitting down on a comfy looking chair, which was hiding the whooppee cushion (thanks Father christmas!). Satisfying farting sound, followed by hysterical laughter from both boys. Not all bad, because said prankster child Patrick, then gave me this love letter, complete with drawn flowers!
Ich liebe dich / I love you!

Review of Books Read in 2017


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.

2017 in Snapshots

Life is good, enjoy the little things. Someday you will look back and realize they were the big things.

I try very hard to be mindful, to appreciate my life and the blessings I have. This is not always easier in my self induced panic and rush and stress. But when I look back at my daily snapshots, I appreciate the little things :-) And I remember how much love, beauty and fun surrounds me each day!

Snapshots 2007 - 2017


List of books read in 2017 (74)

Books read in 2016: 74

Books read 2017: 74 books

Books Read in 2017
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

2017 in pictures

2017 has been busy - we're all still the same kindergarten / school / jobs as before and life is good.
Thanks to our visitors this year – Mags in June, Caro all the way from Australia in October. We went to the UK in July/August and caught up with my sister & Family, my brother & family, and our friends the Young Family. We went to London in October and met up with the Swetes, then onwards to Derby and Manchester. As is our advent tradition, we took the steam train into the forest to meet Santa and the following weekend, ran the Silvesterlauf through the old town. We are looking forward to a two week Christmas break in Zürich, with time to play, build lego, read a few books and get ready for 2018`!

1st row, left to right
Jan: Markus is King for the day
Feb: Catching up with my parents
Feb: Ski holiday champions
Apr: Fun down by the lake

2nd row, left to right
Apr: Easter with the Swetes
May: Trip to the UK with Sabine
June: Goodbye to the Swetes!
June: Mags comes for the weekend

3rd row, left to right
July: Patrick's 6th Birthday
July: UK Holiday
August: Markus' 8th Birthday
October: London

4th row, left to right
October: Caro comes to stay
November: LT awards in London
Dec: Silvesterlauf
Dec. Our Christmas Spirits!