Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


35 Before 35: Attend a world cup rugby match

I’m baaack! I see you’ve all been busy guessing what I’m stitching (those of you who haven’t yet should go here and do so now), and I will put up a new picture for you soon, but right now I would like to talk about rugby.

I had to take a photo of the Newcastle United sign without the horrid adverts!

I had to take a photo of the Newcastle United sign without the horrid adverts!

Number 20 on my 35 before 35 was to attend a world cup rugby match. I thought since it was taking place in England it was an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed! As it turned out, I actually attended three matches – all the ones that were taking place at St James’ Park (Newcastle United FC’s home ground). We got to see South Africa vs Scotland, New Zealand vs Tonga and Samoa vs Scotland. The two Scotland ones had the best atmosphere – so many Scots had come down for it that it was almost like a home game for Scotland! The best match, surprisingly, was Samoa vs Scotland! New Zealand won theirs but were fairly disappointing – obviously they ran all over little Tonga but they didn’t play nearly as well as I was expecting them to. Scotland played terribly against South Africa and thoroughly deserved the beating they got! But Samoa vs Scotland was a fairly even match and definitely the most exciting of the three. In the end Scotland deservedly won – although I was actually torn with that match as if Scotland had lost Japan – who had been doing surprisingly well during the group phase – would have gone through to the next stage. Anyway, enough talking – here are a few photos.

South Africa v Scotland

New Zealand v Tonga

Samoa v Scotland

It wasn’t always that easy to tell what was going on from the stands (especially when we were nowhere near the screen!), but all three matches were great fun to attend and I would definitely do it again!

So, another item off the list. What’s next?


Guess the Christmas Cross Stitch – round 5

I promised you I would put up the next image for Guess the Christmas Cross stitch before I went on holiday, and since I leave tomorrow here I am keeping my promise. I don’t think this game has ever got to a round 5 before! Last year’s picture was nowhere near as intricate – and nobody ever did get it right ;-)

As usual, I’ll start this round by revealing everyone’s answers from the last one. Here’s what the guessers had to work with:

Guess cross stitchFirst up was Meredith, who said: “I had a new idea – maybe a Christmas sleigh with Santa inside a SNOWGLOBE?!” – I love the snowglobe idea!! Sadly, it’s not the right answer.

Becster said: “I’m thinking the brown and red is Rudolph or a reindeer now. And I like Kaffee und Kuchen’s snow globe idea though!” – More love for the snowglobe :-)

Berlinda guessed “It’s a yeti in a Santa hat being attacked by bats – on a sleigh” – As usual, I have no words for her guesses.

As a reminder, Lady of the Cakes‘ last guess was: “Oh my! It’s a waterskiing body builder garden gnome on steroids!!!”. This week she said: “Oh my… now the gnome has crapped himself”. Poor gnome!

NancyTex said: “The dirty polar bear is not, in fact, surfing. He is riding a magic carpet.” – I can definitely see the magic carpet!

Holly guessed “Santa in his sleigh?”. A popular guess that one.

Elaine said “I’m sticking with my sledge/sleigh with curved structure at the back and a furry creature/teddy bear. There’s now a sack of presents on the sleigh.”

And the final response was from Katrin, who previously guessed that I was stitching a squirrel wearing a Santa hat sitting on a sleigh. This week she said: “Now the squirrel is accompanied by a little ghost.”

So, there you go. Has anyone got any closer to the right answer? I’ll let you decide that for yourselves. I added a bit more stitching before taking the picture this time. Maybe it will help ;-)

DSCN3060Alright, over to you lot. What am I stitching?

I can’t publish blog posts from my tablet, so you have all the way until I get back to get your guesses in. Off you go :-)


Foodie Penpals September 2015 Reveal

My foodie penpals package for September is heeere!
I was excited to receive it this month (even more so than usual I mean) because the person sending to me is someone I know pretty well from blogging and even met once – the lovely Charlotte. This month’s parcel was a giant envelope, so on opening it I tipped it all out on the floor:

FoodCheck out those noms! Here’s a more detailed look at what my parcel contained:

Fruit bearsA strawberry bear and a raspberry bear. I’m not 100% sure what these are but I can’t wait to find out!

ChocolateBritish chocolatey goodness <3

GrazeThis is really cool! Chocolate pieces, raisins, dried cranberries and cherries in a little pack. Immediately after I finished taking the photos I ripped this open and devoured it. It was delicious – and it counts as one of my five a day!

Food mixesThe savoury stuff. A sausage casserole mixture and some Jamie Oliver stuffing mix that sounds amazing!

Skittles“The dark side of Skittles”. I’m very intrigued by these.

Green tea Finally, some fruity green tea that says it’s good for my immune system. Charlotte said she included this so I wouldn’t catch another bad cold – how thoughtful is that?

She also sent me this cute pasta postcard (the rules say you must include something written with the food – it is supposed to be “penpals” after all!).

Pasta postcardI’ve been totally spoiled with this months package. So many treats! Thank you Charlotte :-)

As for me, I was again sending to somebody without a blog. Alice, from England, told me she’s gluten intolerant, which ruled out a lot of the traditional Swiss things I usually send. This is what I ended up putting together for her:

Swiss parcelAmazingly, I managed to squidge all of that into one rather small box. Check it out:

Food parcel

If you want to take part in Foodie Penpals, you can read the rules and sign up here. (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.). Matches go out on the 5th of each month and the deadline for sending packages is the 20th. It’s a lot of fun and if you do decide to sign up I promise you won’t regret it!


Guess the Christmas cross stitch 2015 – round 4

It’s time for round 4 of Guess the Christmas Cross Stitch! But first, as usual, a round up of last week’s guesses for your amusement :-D

Here’s what you had as a basis for guessing:

cross stitch 2015And your guesses:
Elaine said “I’m still going with the small furry creature, possibly a soft toy. It is on a sledge/sleigh which has a curving structure at the back with a star hanging from it.” – A very detailed answer. Will she change her mind this week?

Constance guessed “Christmas tree to the left side and a present.” – Is the Christmas tree grey or still to be stitched, I wonder?

Simone (Lady of the Cakes) said: “Oh my! It’s a waterskiing body builder garden gnome on steroids!!!” – yup, you can tell she’s German. It’s always garden gnomes with them ;-)

Zoe‘s guess was “Dancing monkey wearing a Santa hat with a king wave about to break on him (look out, little guy!)” – Oh no, poor monkey! I’m pleased to say it’s not this!

Becster said “Yeah I’m thinking that the brown might be a teddy bear with a Santa hat. The rest of it I don’t know!” – Maaaybe. Or maybe not ;-)

Katrin said “Homer Simpson has vanished. Now it is a squirrel with a red hat on a sleigh.” – Cute! Sounds like something from Narnia!

Kezzie had two suggestions: “The obvious choice would be a curved sleigh at the back (white witch style) but in my head, I can imagine Father Christmas surfing on a Hokusai-style tsunami in red and white shorts!!” – I love both of these answers and can totally see the sleigh. In my mind it’s beautiful.

Jess said “I see an octopus, but that’s not very christmassy.” – I can see what you mean Jess, there’s definitely a look of an octopus (or jellyfish!) about it.

Kerri mentioned a chicken, but only to mess with me ;-)

Chiara said “I see red and now all I can think is Rudolph!” – maybe this week’s addition will help her?

Holly had a similar answer: “I don’t know..I did think Rudolf, I still kinda think that? Or the dog out of the Grinch?” – I had forgotten there even was a dog in the Grinch! Clearly I need to watch that again.

Meredith‘s response was “I still think it could be sledding of some kind…but maybe on a tsunami?” – sounds dangerous ;-)

And finally, NancyTex said “Clearly it’s a dirty polar bear surfing in the azure waters of Antarctica.” – An excellent answer, but not quite right ;-)

Lots of surfing and sleighs this week. Will the next picture change your minds? We’ll see….
Here it is:

Guess cross stitchIf enough of you guess before Thursday I’ll get a new picture up then for you to work on while I’m away.
As usual, answers in the comments :-)


A Photo an Hour: 26 September 2015

I finally remembered to take part in photo an hour again! Sadly it turned out to be the most boring day ever, with Jan away for a practice weekend with a choir he’s joined and me being ill. But oh well -at least I remembered!

10 a.m. Out of bed, and possibly for the first time in the history of photo and hour posts, I’m not starting the day with a cup of tea. Instead it’s Lemsip. Uhh, yay for something different?

11 a.m. Working on a self-designed cross stitch project for a pen pal exchange thing I signed up for. More on that in a later post.

12 noon. Time for a shower!

1 p.m. I decided to walk into Basel because I thought the fresh air and exercise might do me good. Also, there’s a post office there that’s actually open til a reasonable time on Saturdays! At 1 o’clock I was crossing the bridge over the tracks at the SBB train station, so this is an awful photo of that.

2 p.m. Still in town. Photo of a random street. The red tower you can juuust about see on the left in the background (next to the crane) is the town hall.

3 p.m. Home and before anything else I need a cup of tea!  (What? You didn’t think just because I missed my morning cup tea wouldn’t feature at all in this post? If you did, you’re clearly not British ;-) )

4p.m. Time to sort out the disaster area that is my kitchen – step 1: load the dishwasher

5 p.m. Peeling potatoes for tea.

6 p.m. (ish) I confess I took this photo ten minutes early so I could just eat and not worry about stopping for a photo. Tea time!

7 p.m. Packing the suitcase. Jan is coming back from his choir weekend today then immediately leaving for a conference in Germany. The next time I’ll see him is at the airport in England! So I had to get all my stuff packed ready for him to take away with him. The birthday present is for my godson – I posted a small one and this one is coming along.

8 p.m. Preparing to watch the rugby build up. Beer would probably be a more appropriate drink, but my choice was some hot ginger and honey thing.

9 p.m. It’s rugby time!

10 p.m. Still watching rugby. Half-time analysis.

11 p.m. Now that England have managed to lose the match at the last minute (should have gone for the points/a draw!), I can finally go to bed. Here’s Eeyore waiting for me.
And that’s it. I managed to take an even number of photos this time. Woo hoo! I hate when my symmetry is messed up!

I will provide a link to the roundup post of everyone’s days once one exists.


Friday letters

Good morning! I hope you’re all well and that those of you who haven’t guessed already are busily wracking your brains for guess the Christmas cross stitch round 3! I’ve been suffering from a horrible cold all week. It started on Sunday with a bit of a sore throat, on Monday I didn’t feel any worse, which gave me hope that a sore throat was the worst I was going to get. Then on Tuesday I had to actually go into work for various meetings, which involved two hours on a freezing train. Why must Deutsche Bahn turn the air conditioning up so much?! I’m sure that didn’t help matters at all, because by the time it came to the journey home swallowing really hurt and I could not get warm at all! I went to bed with a cup of Lemsip and woke up feeling so terrible that if I was still actually going into the office regularly I would have called in sick. But since my “office” is only a few metres from the bedroom and my colleague was already off sick (for the second week), I wrapped up warm and powered through with the help of ALL the hot drinks and several packets of tissues (I could not stop sneezing!). It seemed to work as yesterday I wasn’t sneezing as much and my throat was back to being more scratchy than sore. How today will go remains to be seen, but I’m consoling myself with the fact that it’s almost the weekend and then I only have to work Monday and after that I’m on holiday – finally! Apart from one day for my cousin’s wedding, I haven’t had any time off since April, when I took a week to move! This cold just better have gone by the time I have to get on a plane… Anyway… sorry to ramble on so much. I know you’re only here for the letters ;-)

Mail boxDear cold. I was serious with what I said up there. I fly on Thursday and you had better be gone by then! My ears hurt enough on planes without a half blocked-half runny nose getting involved in matters!

Dear British food. I am coming to eat you, oh yes I am!! Proper chips, pies, decent bacon, pasties and yummy crisps… get in my belly!

Dear godson (and your mum). It’s been far too long! I can’t wait to see you.

Dear October. I’m actually not going to complain that you’ve arrived far too quickly (even though you have) because with you comes holiday!

Dear rugby matches we’re attending. Please be as exciting as the South Africa vs Japan match. We want some action! (For reference, that’s the three that are taking place in Newcastle. Now get on it, rugby Gods).

Right, that’s all from me for today. Keep placing your guesses on this week’s cross stitch post and I’ll get the next picture up for you soon. In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend!


Guess the Christmas cross stitch 2015 – round 3

Guys, I have a confession to make… I made a slight mistake on this cross stitch picture! By the time I noticed I’d done too much to unpick, so I had to start again. It was a really minor mistake though, so it makes no difference to our guessing game. I’m only telling you this in case some clever clogs notices that the fabric colour has changed ;-) I started stitching in the exact same way as before, so everything that was there last time is back. Then I of course added more so you would have something new to help you guess. But first a look at last week’s answers. Here’s what you were basing your suggestions on:

cross stitch 2015Becster guessed “An elf riding a sleigh” – a good suggestion, but not the one ;-)

Alie went for “surfing santa” – there were a lot of water-based guesses this time round

Simone (Lady of the Cakes) went for “Pebbles Flintstone taking a bath”. A cute image, but not right.

NancyTex chose not to guess, bowing down to Simone’s greatness instead.

Katrin said “Now Homer is on a sleigh”. Looks like he’s gone a bit of a funny colour as well!

eadouglas asked “Is it Santa? Wearing a Haiwaiian shirt?” – nope, sorry!

CJ guessed “A toy boat in a puddle. It’s sail is red”. Interesting, but not right.

Elaine went for “A small furry creature (not sure which one yet) wearing a winter hat sitting on a sldge”. Oooooh, intriguing!

Meredith said “Ahh, the blue changes everything! Maybe a pair of kids on a toboggan/sleigh?”. Well Meredith, let’s see what this week’s picture does to your theory…

And finally, Kelly suggested “a rocking horse. With blue rockers and a red saddle”.

Blue clearly means water in most people’s eyes. Also, I have to admit I’m disappointed that nobody said a chicken. That’s all I can see when I look at this picture and last week’s – and I know what it’s supposed to be!

Anyway, I think this week’s picture is going to change a few people’s minds!
Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer…

cross stitch 2015

So, what am I stitching? Answers in the comments, as usual. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with this time. :-)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,026 other followers