A Photo an Hour: 19 May 2018

It’s taken a couple of days, but finally here is my post for Saturday’s photo an hour. The link up is hosted by Louisa and Jane.

9 a.m. Yes, you read that right. I was up before 10 on photo-an-hour day. Breakfast time!

10 a.m. Off for a shower – this is the shower curtain over the bath since Jan was using the actual shower

11 a.m. Jan left for a choir practice (hence me being up so early – practically my only chance to see him!) and I started hoovering.

12 noon I temporarily gave up on housework and decided to walk into town.

1 p.m. In town.

2 p.m. Home and about to have lunch – it was in the oven at this point so I took a photo of the packaging.

3 p.m. Decided to sort out some of the shelves on my bookcases. No idea what possessed me!

4 p.m. Still at it. I put together a nice pile of books to get rid of, but the shelves are still practically full. Also, I realised I can’t bring myself to get rid of any BBC Big Read books, even ones I hated, until I’ve actually completed the challenge!

5 p.m. The bookcases still aren’t exactly as I want them, but I needed a cuppa by that stage.

6 p.m. Contemplating my shelves of unread books. They never seem to get any less… hmmm I wonder why that could be?

7 p.m. Jan’s practice finished early so I walked back into town to meet him. Stork was in residence!

8 p.m. Dinner at a restaurant. Rösti with cheese and ham. This is why I’m failing miserably to lose weight!

9 p.m. Home. Jan immediately switched on the laptop to sort out some bills so I thought I might as well read.

10 p.m. Almost finished my book – just a few pages to go.

I could have taken one more photo after this, but I didn’t because I hate it when my photo-an-hour posts aren’t symmetrical!

Did you do anything nice on Saturday?

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Recent doings #28

Another month has been and gone… does anyone else feel like life is passing by too quickly for them to have a chance to do anything? Please say it’s not just me! Anyway, it’s link up day with Kristen so I’m here to tell you what I did in April.

whats new with you

Eating. I think I actually managed to eat fish twice a week in April, so yay for that! At the beginning of the month I ate way too much ice cream, then I made the mistake of getting the tape measure out so for the last week of the month I got back on My Fitness Pal and started trying to eat healthily again. There have been a lot of salads…

Drinking. Still too much black tea. At the beginning of the month I tried to cut down, limiting myself to one cup of black tea in the morning and drinking strawberry cheesecake tea (which is really an infusion) in the afternoon, but that only lasted maybe a week. Since then it’s been all normal tea all the time.

Reading. Show us your books is coming up so I’ll tell you all of them then, but a book I started reading in April was The Godfather. I’ve actually finished it now, but it was already May so it will be recapped in next month’s round up.

Watching. We’re still keeping up with Young Sheldon. I tune in to Pointless and Eggheads occasionally. And Jan has started putting CBBC on for Dragon Riders of Berk (I think that’s what it’s called), so slightly randomly I’ve been watching that. Toothless is the cutest!

Making. Many more birthday cards for Post Pals children.

Cross stitching. I stated a wedding card for a friend, but I didn’t have all the colours so I will be finishing it in May when the new threads I’ve ordered arrive. And while I’m on the subject…

Booking. Flights to England for the wedding of the aforementioned friend.

Buying. All the books, all the time. Also, a dress (I couldn’t resist – it has butterflies on!). Also, three-quarter length leggings to go under skirts in summer. I spent too much in April and have now put myself on a spending ban for May. *sigh*

Receiving. Don’t you love it when things come in the post that you don’t even remember ordering? That was the case with these Super Mario themed fridge magnets. I love them!

Mario magnets

Seeing/hearing. Jan performing with a choir… a different one to the one I saw in March.

Walking. On Easter Monday (which was just about in April) I went to a nearby town and walked up to a castle ruin on the hillside. I’ve also walked into town and along the river a few times (about an hour of walking). And, as evidenced by Saturday’s photo an hour, I walked half an hour through the woods (uphill!) to St. Chrischona, then we walked some more in the woods at the top of the hill. And that has basically been my exercise in April… my poor yoga mat has yet to justify its existence by being used!

Listening to. Yeah I actually remembered the existence of the music player on my phone… Anna Nalick’s Wreck of the Day album. Billy Joel’s greatest hits. The Eagles.

Playing. Mini golf. I started off okay but Jan still ended up beating me by loads. I will achieve my 40 before 40 goal though!

I can’t think of anything else I did in April so I’ll stop here. What have you been doing recently?

Check out the link up to see how everyone else spent April.

A Photo an Hour: 28 April 2018

I meant to write this post yesterday, but clearly I did not. But today is a holiday (May Day) and Jan is too busy to do anything with me so I actually have time to resize all the photos. Here’s what I got up to on Saturdays photo an hour day.

10 a.m. Making breakfast… porridge and a cuppa.

11 a.m. Helping Jan look for a receipt he needed to pick up some trousers he was having mended. It turned out to be very sensibly on the notice board… where neither of us had thought to look!

12 noon. Starting some cross stitch, even though I was missing half the colours I needed.

1 p.m. I had a shower and now the walking shoes are on because we’re off out.

2 p.m. On the smallest bus ever!

3 p.m. After a half hour walk through the woods, we’re at St Chrischona!

4 p.m. We walked around the woods some more then stopped for a beer.

5 p.m. Heading home… waiting for a tram.

6 p.m. Back to my cross stitch.

7 p.m. Jan was off to a barbecue, so I heated the oven ready to make my dinner.

8 p.m. Finally food! If I’d realised it needed so long I would have started earlier. (Also, I slightly overcooked it, but it was okay)

9 p.m. I started a jigsaw puzzle while I was waiting for dinner and continued after I ate.

10 p.m. Still puzzling. Got a bit further.

11 p.m. Time for  bed, where Eeyore already awaits.

And that was my Saturday. I hope you all had a good one!

Switzerland, three years on

Basel

Today is exactly three years since we packed the last of our stuff in a van (the rest having been taken a month earlier when Jan moved), said a final goodbye to our flat in Karlsruhe and I came to join Jan here in Basel. So, what’s been going on?

I still have the exact same four friends/acquaintances as last year, but our friends who moved here from Karlsruhe will probably be returning to Germany soon and I’ll be back down to two. I was hoping Jan would make friends for both of us, but despite him being involved in more choirs and singing projects than I can count I rarely get to actually meet any of the people he spends time with. I’ve been to every single one of his concerts and even joined the performers for dinner after some of them, but once it’s been established that I don’t (can’t!) sing, the rest of the conversation goes on without me. Basically I need to find some less antisocial hobbies… and the courage to go out and meet people by myself.

Other than that, we have visited even more places in Switzerland, including Geneva (finally), Spiez (in the dark!) and Castle Chillon, tried quite a few new restaurants in Basel, watched the fireworks for Switzerland’s national day and attended both Fasnacht in Basel and the Liestal fire parade again this year. We had fewer visitors in 2017, but have already had one in 2018 and will hopefully be seeing more later in the year.

basel-rhine

All in all, I am still very much enjoying living here and I hope we can continue living here for a very long time!

If you go down to the woods today…


Es war einmal
“Once upon a time…”

No, you won’t see any teddy bears… not in these particular woods anyway! Last year, at around this time, we wanted to do something on a sunny day that just happened to also be a public holiday in both Germany and Switzerland. I had read about a fairytale sculpture trail in some nearby woods, so we hopped on a tram to Reinach and went exploring.

The sculpture path originally opened in 2005 with 12 sculptures. More were added in 2008, 2009 and 2011, for a total of 46 fairytale characters by 22 artists today. Obviously the later ones are in better condition than the earlier ones. Some of the sculptures represent specific fairytales that I recognised, some are Swiss tales that I didn’t know and others seem to just be general fairytale themes, for example a palace or witch that didn’t seem to be from any particular story.

fairytale palace

The palace above is actually a marble run, which is pretty cool. We found a marble on the floor and managed to give it a go. Then, later on the trail, we found this:

We spent quite a while playing with it because… well, you just would, wouldn’t you? So fun!

Poor Puss in Boots appeared to have fallen victim to a madman with an axe, and Pinnochio had lost his famous nose completely. Does that mean he had been telling too many truths? Telling tales unnecessarily, perhaps?

We found Red Riding Hood, hiding from a rather young looking wolf.

I immediately recognised the following sculpture as a mirror and assumed it was SNow White, but its sign informed me it’s actually Momo’s mirror. Momo is a fantasy novel by Michael Ende, which I started reading ages ago and never finished so I’m not sure where the mirror comes in!

Momo's mirror

Of course, no fairytale trail would be complete without an actual fairy!

fairy sculpture

We didn’t bring any food with us, but there is a picnic area in the woods including a place where you can “grill” over an open fire. The sculpture trail is only in a small part of the woods, and there is also a nature trail throughout the whole thing – the signs are only in German but I’m sure you can still have a nice walk. The photos I’ve shown here are, obviously, just a few of the sculptures. There are plenty more to discover. I can recommend this to anyone visiting Basel who has children or – like me – just loves fairytales!

To get to the sculpture trail, take tram number 11 from Basel to the stop called “Reinach Süd”. The start of the trail is a short walk – about 10-15 minutes. Follow signs for “Schulhaus Fiechten”.

A gathering of thoughts

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a nice Easter? I was home along for the long weekend – and still am, actually. Jan is away with one of his choirs on a trip that covers Vienna, Belgrade, Sofia, and Istanbul. Jealous? Me? No, not at all… Anyway, as you will have seen, the tag line of my blog is “Just a place to gather my thoughts” and occasionally I like to do just that, i.e. put together a list of random things that have occurred to me but don’t merit an entire blog post of their own.

lost-in-thought
Image from: https://openclipart.org/detail/263006/lost-in-thought
  • Or building is being renovated next year and one of the things they’re doing is giving everyone a washer and dryer in their flat. I am way more excited about this than the new bathrooms they’re also planning on putting in… no more getting up early to put on a load of washing because certain people feel the need to reserve the evening washing machine slots months in advance so nobody else gets a chance! (Side note: most rental apartments in Switzerland have a shared laundry room and you either have an assigned day, a specific slot (e.g. Monday mornings) a sign-up sheet or, in some cases, it’s a free-for-all. In our case, it’s a sign-up sheet).
  • Sort of related to the above… if I’m not allowed to do laundry or hoover on a Sunday does that mean it’s also illegal to dry my hair?
  • After two whole delivery-free days in a row (Sunday followed by Easter Monday, which is a holiday), how is it possible that I had no mail today? The post person had obviously been because Jan had a letter from his health insurance, so where was my post? I want my books and I want them now!
  • Speaking of books… I picked one up today that had been on my shelf for a while and realised that someone had ripped out a page in the middle (I buy almost all my books second hand). It’s an ex-library copy and is otherwise in good condition, so I can only assume the seller didn’t know. Who on Earth does that? I’m really annoyed now because I finally felt like reading that book and now I have to wait for another copy to arrive. Also, I’m going to have to throw the book away and I hate throwing books away, but with a missing page it’s no longer any use to anyone.
  • I have two acquaintances who are currently pregnant with their fourth child. How?! (I mean, I know physically how but a) what are the chances of two people I know announcing this within a week and b) how do other people manage to have four children at the drop of a hat when I don’t even have one?)

Hmm, I thought I had more than that but I seem to have run out of steam, so that’s it. Not the most exciting post, but if I can’t talk to an actual human being I’ll just have to throw my random thoughts out into the universe instead 😉 And now I need to go and cook tea (by which I mean let the oven cook it for me). Have a great evening, friends.

A Photo an Hour: 24 March 2018

Hello friends! As some of you know, Saturday was this month’s Photo an Hour day. I took part on Twitter and now I want to add the photos to me blog, too.

10 a.m. Jan brought me a cup of tea in bed! Don’t be too jealous… it’s only because I was on day 3 of a sore throat 😉

11 a.m. Time for a shower! I used the one above the bath this time since Jan was in the other one.

12 noon. The sun was shining for a change and it was actually warm so we decided to go for a walk in the woods. On the way there we passed this field, which is usually full of horses. You can just about spy one at the back, by the tent thing.

1 p.m. After leaving the woods we reached a café where we stopped for a drink.

2 p.m. Heading home. The train is on its way to Basel from France.

3 p.m. A late lunch. This interesting looking twisty thing had bacon pieces in it. SO tasty!

4 p.m. Jan was busy doing something for his choir, so I started a new book. My final one for Erin’s challenge!

5 p.m. Time for another cuppa.

6 p.m. Doing some colouring. Jan laughed at by baby dragons colouring book – mean!

7 p.m. More reading while the potatoes cook for tea.

8 p.m. Eating baked potatoes and watching Pointless Celebrities

9 p.m. Still watching TV (although we switched it off 2 minutes after this photo was taken!)

10 p.m. In bed with my book. I’m determined to finish the challenge this month!

11 p.m. Refilled my water, now it’s time to sleep.

So, that was my Saturday. How was yours?

As always, Photo and Hour was hosted by Louisa and Jane.