Autumn walk 2019

Every year since we moved to Basel I’ve gone for a walk at the end of October and taken photos of the autumn colours. The second year, it was pure coincidence that I took the photos on almost the same date, but since then I’ve done it on purpose…. what can I say, I like the direct comparison. This year I had to overcome a certain amount of reluctance to leave the house since it’s been raining for days*, but I gave myself a stern talking to (along the lines of “it’s only water” and “skin’s waterproof”), put on my raincoat and got out there.

(* I hope everyone who’s been wishing for this weather since mid-August is currently out stomping in puddles and singing in the rain… I would like to think that somebody is enjoying the fact that my time off work has been a complete washout so far!)

Anyway, enough rambling – here are this year’s (rather soggy) photos.

This year the trees are all either already bare or still green, with the occasional splash of yellow or brown here and there. None of the vivid reds and oranges I found in previous years. Also, apologies for any blurry spots on these photos – my lens got wet!

And now here’s the comparison of the same date on all five years (sadly not all the exact same stretch of path, but you get the idea).

The 2017 and 2019 photos are in basically the same place, so that’s nice. There’s definitely more green in the background this time! Hopefully next year I’ll be able to get out there again and continue the experiment.

A Photo an Hour: 16 December 2017

Happy New Year friends! I hope you all had a good start to the year, whatever you were doing (I was in Geneva getting soaked – the heavens opened just before midnight!), and 2018 is an amazing one for every single one of you. Today I wanted to post my final photo an hour of 2017 before we get too far into January! I actually almost missed it, but luckily I was browsing through Twitter in the morning and saw other people doing it, so I waited until the next full hour and then started mine. As always, I am linking up with Louisa and Jane.

11 a.m. I had been awake for more than half an hour and hadn’t even had a cuppa yet, so clearly that had to be remedied…

12 noon. Cross stitching the last few Christmas cards for Jan’s family – none of which are actually pictured on this page of the magazine 😉

1 p.m. Showered and now getting dressed.

2 p.m. In town in the rain – I had gone to track down a last-minute Christmas gift.

3 p.m. Just managed to leap on a tram before it left. Phew!

4 p.m. Home, drying out with tea and candles.

5 p.m. Cross stitching away.

6 p.m. Still stitching… thus far it looks like nothing!

7 p.m. Emptying the dishwasher while “cooking” dinner. (Okay, the oven was doing the cooking…)

8 p.m. Jan put on “Being John Malkovich” while we ate.

9 p.m. Still watching. How messed up is this film?!

10 p.m. Film over, time for a hot chocolate. And when we switched the DVD off Home Alone 2 was on German TV.

I then went to bed before 11 p.m. to make sure I wouldn’t have to take another photo and mess up my symmetry 😉

The next Photo an Hour is on 20 January 2018. If you want to join in, all you have to do is take a photo every hour and then either upload them to Twitter or Instagram on the day using the #Photoanhour hashtag or save them and write a blog post like this one afterwards. Or you can do both (I usually take part on Twitter and then write a blog post later).

Friday letters

Ah Friday… you wonderful harbinger of the weekend! I’ve been having trouble falling asleep all week, so you’re even more welcome than you would have been anyway. To celebrate, let’s have some letters.

Friday letters

Dear Yankee Candle. That is not what a crackling wood fire smells like! Have you actually been near a fire lately?

Dear weather. I take it you are trying to convince me that it really is November and not May at the absolute latest, as my brain is still convinced it must be? I can think of no other explanation for this constant rain 😉

Dear baked potatoes. I will never cease to be amazed (and grateful) that something so simple is so good.

Dear blue tits. Hello! How nice to see you gracing the balcony again. I’m not sure where you disappear to over the summer, but I’m glad you’re back! (But please stop trying to eat my parsley!)

Dear Christmas. You are sneaking up way too fast and I really need to decide on gifts for my family before it’s too late…

That’s all for today. Happy Friday everyone… and happy weekend!

Friday letters

Hello everyone! Now I’ve posted once this week, I thought I should at least try to keep up. So Friday letters it is. Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

Friday letters

Dear boyfriend. If you’re going to wake me up snoring/grinding your teeth does is really have to be within 2 hours of the alarm going off so I’m pretty much guaranteed not to get any more proper sleep before starting the day? After two days in a row of that I am tiiiired today!

Dear biscuits. I should not have bought you. Once I start tucking in it’s soo hard to stop!

Dear autumn. Well, it looks like you are truly here now with all your cold, wet miserableness.
As an aside, do any other Brits remember singing a little verse in school that went “Here comes autumn, bringing the mists and rain“? I’m sure that’s why I associate autumn with cold and dark and soggy, slippery leaves rather than the gorgeous colours, long walks and crisp leaves everyone else goes on about. Or maybe it’s just that Britain really is miserable in autumn? 😉

Dear post person. I am not impressed that you sent my order back to the sender claiming that I had failed to pick it up from the post office. I requested for a second delivery of everything I had a note for, so that means there was no note for this one!

Dear flat. You’re actually still looking half decent right now after we cleaned for visitors last weekend. I wonder how long we can keep it up?

Dear birds. I’m guessing by constantly coming and perching on the empty bird feeder you’re trying to tell me something? It’s getting colder now so I’ll buy you some lard balls soon.

Dear kettle. I’m sorry I keep boiling you so many times before I actually manage to make a cup of tea. Please don’t decide you’re overworked and go on strike – and I promise to try and actually make my cuppa the first time!

Dear autumn fair. It looks like it’s going to be cold for your opening day tomorrow but the forecast is currently not saying rain. Maybe I’ll consider popping by for the first Glühwein of the season.

Dear readers. Thank you for sticking around even when I fail to post for weeks on end or don’t even have anything interesting to say. I appreciate every single one of your comments.

And on that soppy note, I shall stop typing and brave the rain so I can get something to eat. This is supposed to be my lunch break, after all and my fridge is looking rather uninspiring. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Friday letters on Remembrance Day

It’s Friday at the end of what has been a bit of a weird week for me. On Monday I had a doctor’s appointment, one that had been arranged for a while and was nothing special. Tuesday I called a doctor because my left knee had swelled up again after being almost normal for weeks. They had no appointments and suggested I call their emergency clinic, which I did and was told to come by in the early afternoon. I duly did so, waited around for 20 minutes, was shown to a bed and had blood taken to check for signs of inflammation and thrombosis then waited around for even longer to see the doctor before waiting around some more for the results of my blood tests to come back. Luckily I had a book with me! Bloods were all fine and I was referred to an orthopaedist. On Wednesday I called my GP for a referral, which they promised to send me, then contacted the orthopaedist they recommended. They managed to fit me in yesterday afternoon. The doctor says nothing is broken and he would expect an injury like that to take at least six weeks to heal. So I have some gel and instructions to be patient. So hopefully that’s the end of the knee saga! And now for some letters.

mailbox

Dear rain. Okay, you’ve made your point… you can go away now! (And take your friend sleet with you.)

Dear Christmas market. I saw some of your stands already up and waiting when I passed on the tram the other day. Only 13 days to go!

Dear birds. You don’t seem to have seen the nice ball of fat we’ve hung outside for you now that the temperature has dropped again. I hope you discover it soon!

And, to end on a more serious note:

Dear soldiers and veterans. I don’t have a proper Remembrance Day poppy, but I’m wearing my poppy earrings and poppy necklace. To all of you who are still fighting somewhere, or who are out there on peace-keeping operations. To all of you who gave your lives for your country, or who made it back home but will never be the same. To all of you who have made sacrifices. We shall remember you!

I hope all my readers have a wonderful weekend, despite everything that’s going on in the world. Love and virtual hugs to everyone.

 

Autumn days…

We woke up on Saturday to rain, which continued for the rest of the weekend and is forecast to carry on until at least next Monday so I thought I would upload some photos I took a few weeks ago to remind myself that autumn can be nice when it tries.

All the photos were taken between the 16th and 30th of October, and it was actually not that easy to find signs of autumn! The first time I went out, the trees were still mostly green, and by the end of October a lot of them had lost their leaves completely… it seems they changed directly from green to brown this year. To prove my point, can we please just consider the following two photos, which were taken precisely one year apart along the same stretch of path (although sadly not in the exact same spot so we can’t get a direct comparison)

Apparently Basel used up its best colours last year to welcome us to our new country. I shall have to make a point of going out on the same date next year to see what the trees are doing then.

Happy new week, readers. I hope Monday is less grey and miserable where you are!

Friday letters – the autumn weather edition

Aaah, it’s that time of the week again… the day that I bombard you with mini letters to the universe and you pretend you find them entertaining.

Shall we get started?

Postkasten

Dear clocks. I hear you’re going back this weekend. That always feels like the beginning of the end of the year. To be honest, I’ll be quite pleased when it’s over. Not because of all the celebrity deaths… I’m just hoping for good things in 2017.

Dear nuthatch. That’s twice I’ve seen you on my balcony now and both times I was nowhere near my camera. Come back soon, okay?

Dear tree by the balcony. Was it really only two weeks ago that I was praising the beauty of your yellow leaves? They’re almost all gone now and you look so sad with only mostly naked branches t show for yourself.

nearly-naked-tree
The last few leaves are still just about clinging on

Dear rain. I blame you for making all the leaves fall off so quickly. The poor things didn’t stand a chance with you bucketing down on them for 2 whole days!

Dear winter reading challenge. You’d think I’d be all challenged out by now, but I can’t wait to get stuck into you!

Dear comfort food. Your time has come! Now that it’s not too hot to cook I can make soups and curries and chillies to my heart’s content! Hurrah! Also, this is the perfect time of year to drink all the hot chocolate!

That is all. I have work to do! Have a great weekend, dear readers.

Friday letters

The weekend has (almost) arrived and with it the incredibly crappy weather. Not that it’s been particularly nice for most of the week, but at least the rain had seemed to be holding off… until today. I hope this isn’t the way it’s going to be now until winter sets in! After a mostly crappy summer, it would be nice to at least have a somewhat sunny autumn! Oh well, here are some letters.

Eye'm watching you...

Dear godson. Happy birthday for tomorrow. I can’t believe you’re already turning two! Time goes so fast.

Dear rain. If you think you’re going to prevent me from going to the wine festival tomorrow you’ve got another thing coming! I have a waterproof jacket, and there are tents. So there!

Dear red pandas. You never fail to make me smile, no matter how tired I am or how heavily it’s raining. You rock!

Dear certain customer. Please stop with all the express jobs! I’m tired of interrupting whatever I’m currently doing because you’ve sent something that needs to be worked on right this second. I mean, we did sign up for this and it’s okay occasionally, but the last two weeks have been extreme. Give me time to breathe occasionally.

Dear coffee seller on the train. Is it really necessary to advertise your wares quite so loudly? Some of us are actually trying to get in a few extra minutes sleep on the morning commute and being startled by you yelling practically in our ears is not fun!

Wow, lots of complaining this time! I blame lack of sleep. I’ll try to be more cheerful next Friday 😉 In the meantime, have a great wekend everyone!

Neuschwanstein and Augsburg

Schloss Neuschwanstein

My previous post about our long weekend away ended with Jan and I driving along the Romatic Road on our way to Schloss Neuschwanstein…
Castle Neuschwanstein is actually located in the village of Hohenschwangau, or rather above it… but if I’d put that in my title nobody would have known what I was talking about! We arrived at the carpark for the castles (there are actually two at the site) in the rain… but that hadn’t put the tourists off! When we tried to buy tickets for the castle, we discovered that the next possibly entry would be in two hours time… all the tours before that were already fully booked. Not wanting to hang around for two hours, we decided to just have a walk around instead. There were signs pointing to a lake, so that’s where we headed. To get there, we passed the second castle at the sight – which was actually there first! Schloss Hohenschwangau was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.

Neuschwanstein Castle itself was Ludwig’s baby… he paid for it using his own money (rather than funds from the state of Bavaria) and it was built in the architectural style known as castle romanticism (Burgenromantik in German). The foundation stone for the castle was laid in September 1869 and by the end of 1882, it was completed and furnished to the extent that the king was able to move in and observe the remaining construction. The palace was dedicated to the work and life of composer Richard Wagner, but he died in 1883 without ever having set foot in the place. In the end, King Ludwig hiself only spent a total of 172 days in the castle. These days, Neuschwanstein is famous as being the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, among others, and millions of tourists flock to see it every year… even on cold, rainy days in November! I took a lot of photos of the castle, working on the principle that at least one of them would have to turn out reasonable! Here are a few… I like to think the clouds make for a mysterious look, rather than just a dull, grey one 😉

When we left Schwangau, it was still quite early so instead of driving straight home we took a slight detour via Augsburg. As we drove, the rain got less and less and by the time we arrived in Augsburg it was quite sunny. It was even warm, as long as you stayed within the shelter of the buildings… on the open squares, the wind was blowing something fierce! We walked around Augsburg for maybe an hour and a half before grabbing a coffee and Lebkuchen (the first one of the year!) at a cafe called Dichtl. Here are some of the photos I took walking around Augsburg. Note the blue skies… the first we had seen since leaving Austria!

And that was the end of our trip. Once we left Augsburg, we drove straight back to Karlsruhe (where we found our landlady trying to contact the boiler company because we had neither heating nor hot water… but that’s not a story for this post!).
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with photos in this post. I tried to achieve a happy medium between not showing enough and cramming the post full!

That’s two trips down on #Take12Trips… I wonder where the other ten will take me?

Friday letters

I have one more post to come about last weekend’s trip, but first it’s time for Friday letters…

English: Disused letterbox, Callow End A disus...
Disused letterbox (Photo: Wikipedia)

Dear J & M. It was lovely to see you again at the weekend and meet your baby boy!

Dear Austria. You have shown me again exactly why I love you. I will be back!

Dear weather. I know it’s November, but is all this rain really necessary? Also, please make up your mind what temperature you want to be! 10°C one day and 17°C the next is just confusing!

Dear self. If you really want to stop putting on weight, you need to stop eating every piece of food you can get your hands on! Christmas is coming soon and you’ll be doing more than enough eating then…

Dear Christmas shopping. I hope I can put a large dent in you next week. The number of people I now have on my to buy for list is scary!

Dear hot showers. Having no hot water for a couple of days has made me realise how grateful I am to have you in my life!

Dear tea. Without you, I could not cope with these cold, rainy days! Once again, you are my saviour.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend (hopefully dry) everyone! I’m going whiskey tasting. Should be interesting…

Photobucket