Thursday, 22 February 2018

London


For the first time in six years we didn't go skiing during our winter holidays. A year ago, we had planned to go to Tschiertschen again this year but alas, it wasn't meant to be. For a while I considered going to another location for a skiing holiday, but neither Antonia nor Yannick seemed very keen on snow and mountains and spending time on the slopes is far too expensive to do it half assed.

Then, while we were sitting in the cable car up to the Flumserberg right after christmas, we started dreaming about other places we could go instead and very soon London was at the top of Antonia's list and she convinced me to give it another try. We checked the flights and found three seats on an easy jet flight in the middle of February.



We stayed in a small appartement next to Gloucester Street. The location was perfect, very close to the tube and there were lots of restaurants and a mall in walking distance. The accomodation was ok, there was a living room at street level with a kitchen nook and then there were two bedrooms and bath below street level. There are a lot of this below stairs appartments in most of the big London houses, I guess, they used to be for servants. Frankly I was a bit scared in our bedrooms. I could hear so much noise from the street and from right outside our window in the middle of the night and it felt as if the wall was far too flimsy to keep anybody from entering. Nothing happened though, I guess it was just my overactive imagination ;-)

We were lucky with the weather. Apart from a bit of rain on the day we arrived there was a lot of sunshine and while it was definitely still winter, it felt a tiny bit like spring as soon as we were out in the open. We spent a lot of time outside so it was a very welcome surprise to be dry most of the time. Among our highlights of the three and a half days we stayed in London were:
  • a long, wet walk along the Themse 
  • a visit to Tate Modern Museum and especially the view from the eleventh floor

  •  a tour with the river bus to Greenwich
  
  • the view from the Shard at sunset
  • a day at the Harry Potter Museum 

  • a sunny walk across Hyde Park

  • watching Black Panther at a London cinema
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner at different coffee shops and pubs

Definitely a lot of typical touristy stuff ;-)

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked London. I've been there a few times and it always felt too big and busy and slightly scary, but not this time.

I really enjoyed spending time with Antonia, she is an excellent travel compagnion and I can't wait to go to Cananda with her and I was rather sad that Yannick and I didn't manage to find a good connection very often. I think we both wanted to get along, we just couldn't figure out how to.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

New Year's Yoga Retreat in Feldis

I spent the last three days in Feldis in the mountains with lots of yoga, snow, sunshine, some knitting and lovely ladies.




It was my second time at the Sternahaus. Since last February they remodeled part of the house and added a new part with a great yoga room. I especially loved the big windows in it that made me feel so close to the mountains. It was beautiful to see the sky get darker in the evening and in the morning to feel it getting lighter slowly while we were meditating.


The yoga was great, I love spending time with Katharina. She has so many interesting thougths and perfectly fitting quotes and her yoga always feels new and fresh. I can feel my muscles a bit after all these practices but in a nice way. Fortunately I won't have to wait too long till I can do more yoga with Katharina. In April I will get to spend a whole week with her in Formentera. I even met my roomie already, she was also in Feldis.

Yesterday there was enough time for a lovely hike at Mutta, a little further up than Feldis. There was a lot of snow and also ice up there since it had been raining into the fresh snow intensly and then it had all frozen together.




I am pretty sure that this won't have been my last time up there ;-)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

2017 resumé

This is the fourth time I will answer the following questions on my Schnickschnack blog. Here are 2014, 2015 and 2016

1. What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before?

I went surfing. I don't even know of this counts, because it was only on the Citywave but it was definitely a lot of fun. (I'm the one on the right, the others are two of my students)

 
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I finished the 30 days yoga challenge and a few other yoga challenges as well. Though sometimes I didn't have time to do daily yoga, I found my way back to the mat again and again. I quit my journaling again but at least I started a yoga journal where I write down what I did, stuff that inspires me and I even started planning my own practices. I tried to enjoy life and I tried not to fight stuff I couldn't change. Sometimes I managed that better, sometimes less so, but I tried.


My resolutions for next year: Say no to more work as often as possible, do yoga wherever I can, actually do nice things for others instead of just thinking of doing it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend Anja had her second baby boy. As you can see she was very excited (it was such a muggy day when we took these photos and we had a lot of fun trying not to melt)


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately it was a more quiet year and nobody I knew closely died.

5. What countries did you visit?

In January I went to Germany for a day to have a late birthday lunch with my parents.

In April we went to California and did a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I loved driving along the coast for two weeks and stopping in so many beautiful places.



In July Yannick and I went to Hamburg and to the North Sea. The tide and the wadden sea and all the ships were so beautiful. 


In October I went to Portugal again and did lots of yoga and daily walks along the Atlantic. 


Being close to the sea was definitely very important for me this year. I am glad that I will be spending two weeks at the Mediterranean Sea next April.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

Finding better connection to Yannick again. I hope it's just a long intense teenager-y phase that we have been going through for the last few months. We had our good moments, but they were few and far between.


7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Walking / sledging down the Üetliberg with Y&A and my brother.
Sitting outside in the winter sun at Furgglis with Y&A.
The Yoga Retreat in Feldis.
Giving my mom an iPhone for her 70th birthday.
The sunrise at the pool at Twenty-Nine Palm Trees.
The walk along the beach next to the Moro Rock.
Encountering a snake on my way back at Harmony Headlands State Park.
Seeing lots and lots of dolphins and a big group of orcas on our whale tour from Monterey
Drinking coffee with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Depeche Mode concert at the Letzigrund with Ste. 
Watching Game of Thrones with Antonia and doing a drinking game.
Knitting outside the Schopf in the heat of summer. 
Hanging out at the harbour in Hamburg with Yannick. 
Bike tour along the dyke with Yannick.
A magical place at the Hallwilersee with Christina, Anna-Lina and Jonas.
Swimming out to the fountain at Seebadi Enge and ending up in Öerlikon.
Seeing the sun rise and watching it go down at the end of the day in Portugal
Having to fight for money when I thought we'd found a solution years ago.
Drinking coffee with my mum and talking and listening.
Looking for the sun in the mountains with Antonia.
Right now watching the last of this years' candles go out and smelling the burnt resin.


There were many more little moments and encounters that I remember. I am so glad to have so many great people in my life!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

That I stayed true to myself. 

9. What was your biggest failure?

That I let myself be shaken up by things that were out of my hands.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, it was a good year. I've been having a bit of a cold for the last few weeks but that's all.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

If I bought it this year (which I think I did): My Bosé boom box. It made so many cooking and cleaning sessions a lot more fun.


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My mum's. She got diagnosed with breast cancer and has really surprised how she accepted her illness and keeps dealing with it.


13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

The men in my life were rather too intense for my liking (and I am not talking about new interesting romantic partners here).

14. Where did most of your money go?

Every day stuff and holidays. The latter is an excellent way to spend money, the best way really! I kind of relearnt that money isn't all that important, even though it helps for long trips.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

Sledging makes my heart sing ;-) Enough snow is a rare thing in Zürich and as soon as it starts to stay on the ground my body gets all excited. 


16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Somebody by Martin Gore


This was recorded in London, but it was just like this in Zürich. A truly magical night that brought back so many memories and showed that some paths just keep crossing.

 17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier, though it leans more towards content.
b) thinner or fatter? About the same. This is the worst possible time of the year to ask ;-)
c) richer or poorer? I don't know and I realised it's not that important.


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Not done so much. Gone outside a bit more.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Worried. And second guessed myself, so nothing has changed.

20. How did you be spend Christmas

We celebrated three times. With my cousins on the 9th, with my other cousin on the 18th and with most of the family on the 23rd. It was better than expected, some of it was actually really nice.

 

21. What were your favourite months of 2017?

April and all of summer and October.

22. Did you fall in love in 2017?

A little bit. Alte Liebe rostet nicht ;-)

23. How many one-night stands?

Nope.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Better Things - Big Little Lies - Brooklyn Nine-nine - Game of Thrones  - Good Behaviour - Life in Pieces - Shameless - Stranger Things - The Handmaid's Tale - This is Us - Top of the Lake - Wilder

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Hate doesn't solve anything.

26. What was the best book you read?

I can't decide, so here are the two best books I read:

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas



27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Whatever I find on Apple Music. I love the diversity and the surprises.

28. What did you want and get?

Many good moments that I lived mindfully.

29. What did you want and not get?

I don't know.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I remember "Die göttliche Ordnung". Again I barely went to the cinema.

  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 46. My parents invited me to a pizzeria with Y&A. I was very tired after an intense couple of weeks but it was nice to go out anyway.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

No clue. It was a good year.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Very elegant and put together at all times. Haven't you seen me...


34. What kept you sane?

Friends and family, laughter, meditation and yoga, travelling, not taking it too seriously. 


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I would spend time with Xavier even though he is probably two heads shorter than I and he is a paid assassin.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

That weird American president who managed to stay, even though it doesn't make any sense from far away. In the beginning I thought he'd be gone quickly but it seems he can do whatever he wants without facing any consequences. #metoo made me think about the power between men and women and what it means for my own daughter.

37. Who did you miss?

My Grosmi. 


38. Who was the best new person you met?

Patric, Nadine and Philippe at school (I knew them the year before but now I know them better). Christina (I also knew her before but this year we spent so much time together)


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017

 
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

She will listen to me
When I want to speak

...
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

My books 2017

Last year I read 69 books, in 2015 I read 73 books, in 2014 I read 69 books and this year I read 60 books. The reading year started well and kept in flow till around October, then it was slow during the last three months. I finished my reading challenge early but then I got stuck on a few books that didn't really pull me in, so I only read occassionally. I am currently still in the middle of three books (which aren't counted).

My statistic is almost the same as last year -  mostly English books, a few rereads and I almost exclusively read on my iPad.


My favourites of 2017:

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (a reread)
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Girls in Translation by Jean Kwok (also a reread)
The Things about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Finished Object: Spate

Pattern: Spate by Jane Richmond
Yarns: Malabrigo Arroyo, Purl Soho Line Weight, Swans Island Worsted
Colours: English Rose, Oyster Grey, Teal
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm Round Needles
Start of project: December 17th, 2017
End of project: December 27th, 2017

On Ravelry

This is the last project I want to write about for my frenzied blog catch up ;-). I can't explain it, but it felt wrong to start at the end or in the middle, so I did 8 blog entries to be up to date again (yep, I am a bit OCD...)

Anyway, these mitts will be for Carla, a dear co-worker. She lost the first pair of mittens I knit for her a little while ago and every time I saw her at school, her fingers looked all cold (she used to wear the other mittens all the time because she's always cold). Of course I had to knit her a new pair.


I decided to go with a pair of Spate, because I really love mine, they are the ones I wear most often and I am sure they will will excellent for both indoor and outdoor. I dove into my stash and tried to find suitable colours of roughly worsted weight. At first I went with the teal and an off white but that didn't look right, especially because that Swans Island yarn always loses colour, every time I knit with it, my fingers look as if I belonged in an Avator film. I replaced the off white with a combination of a pink Malabrigo Arroyo and a fuzzy grey Purl Soho Line Weight (two strands of Malabrigo Arroyo were too thick and didn't feel comfortable.



I quite like the combination of the dark cuffs, ribbing and thumb with the pink main part. I hope Carla will like them as well and will be able to work with warmer finger again...