...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Friday, July 31, 2009

One Big Giant Cliche


Swiss fam left this morning for their holidays.

Mum and Dad arrived this week on Tuesday and it's crazy that they're here in my little world over here.

Swiss fam has been lovely about having Mum and Dad here...and I was so proud of the girls for using the English with my parents and they have been so good at talking with my parents.

MLF3 even wanted to call them on the phone last night when they were out - to tell them to come home.

Have been showing Zurich to them this week and they've gone off exploring by themselves this afternoon (will they come back alive?!)

We're heading off to Venice tomorrow morning - (rather early, what was I thinking?!)

Had the most amazing weekend last weekend in the mountains. It was like one big giant cliche. Green hills, snow capped mountains, mountain huts, cows, cow bells....always cow bells....so many cow bells...

Seriously if I was a cow and I had to hear the bell in my face every time I moved I would want to hurt someone....

We cooked over an open fire, slept in the straw and didn't shower. Ahhh.
We had to apologize to the lady who had to sit with us on the train coming home...I learnt how to apologize for stinking in German!

We also went rock climbing - on real rock walls - out in the mountains! So crazy.
It's completely different to indoor rock climbing. You spend this time practicing at the climbing centres, but when you're out on cliff?! it's a whole other game.

You can't really prepare for it - you can try, but until you get out there and do it, it's hard to understand what it is like.

And it's so much better. The view is amazing - and it's worth it.
It's worth the effort, the sweat, the strength.

So much better!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

During a late afternoon game of Yatzee today I put a CD on. MLF1 really liked the song and turned it up rather loud. Half-way through the first song Mami came home.
Kinda looked like we were blasting music and playing betting games.
Alcohol, kids?

We're on School Holidays!
I finished The Little Prince today.
We made bread.
This bread ended up becoming 1 horse, 1 dolphin, 1 starfish, 1 cat, 2 turtles, and 1 Spanish looking guy.
Today I wore my shirt backwards.
This was pointed out mid morning by MLF3.
MLF1's friend (German-speaking only) understood what I said today.
Even if it's not perfect German, I can be understood. Yesssss.
The girl's friend is here visiting for the week. She speaks French.
I really like her. I think if we spoke the same language we'd make good friends. She's 12.
I had to rescue a butterfly, a lizard, and a mouse today from the cats. The butterfly will live to see another day. The lizard will find life a bit hard without a tail. The mouse - well, it probably saw better days and will not see anymore days.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Is Most Important Is Invisible

Meine Schweizer Familie has been away for the last four days and whilst it's been lovely to have a quiet house and some unexpected time off, I think I missed them.

And tonight, when I came home and went upstairs to say hello I had a 4-year-old run to hug me because she was happy. And the rest who seemed genuinely glad that I was there. And this made me glad.

Cos there has been moments over the last four days when I wondered what on earth I was doing here...and it was good to be reminded tonight. And I'm glad I'm here.

I've been reading The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery over the last few days - and loving it.
And I wanted to share an excerpt that I read today.

"The desert is beautiful," the little prince added.
And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams...
"What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that sometimes is hides a well..."
..."Yes I said to the little prince. "The house, the stars, the desert--what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!"
..."What is most important is invisible..."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tourist-ing it up with the Sound of Music! (Salzburg)

The hills were alive with the Sound of Music in Salzburg last weekend.

I probably should start this blog with a warning. I'm not going to pretend that the Sound of Music setting didn't form rather a large part of wanting to visit this Austrian city - it was.
I admit it.
And so I took the tour. Had I know about it, I would have also taken the Fraulein Maria's cycling tour of Salzburg where you sing your way through the city.
(Seriously, there is such a tour!)

And so, WARNING: Some Spoilers may follow. Also, some references to the Sound of Music.

We spent a lovely 33 hours in Salzburg and I took in the biggest gulp I could.
These hours included, but were not limited to:

Reinforcing my hardcore status. Rain with lighting bolt symbols was the forecast for the weekend. Undeterred, Steph (my accomplice) and I decided we would go hardcore and see everything anyway. We bought awesome yellow ponchos to support our hardcore status.

every mountain and fording every stream.

Mozart's birth house. He was born in Salzburg (but rumour has it that he wasn't too fond of the town).

Mozart. 'Cept he was the younger, more hip version of Mozart. He even had an IPod, and he juggled, did some interpretive dance, and fire-twirled to the music. He is pictured here with his IPod.

every rainbow, and searching high and low.

tourism and the Lonely Planet. I would just like to take a short moment to give thanks with a grateful heart to Lonely Planet, without whom I would have been lost on the weekend. (Oh, and for Steph - great map following!)

Lonely Planet recommendations. Living in Zurich really limits my eating-out possibilities (hence the 'I could live off cheeseburgers' label) and on the weekend I got to eat.so.much.good.stuff. Who would have thought Italian Restaurant owner with credentials from the Love Boat could make such good Pizza? Who could have known that the all natural-vegetarian-vegan-organic-bio-healthy-kill-me-now Indian Restaurant would be so good?
Lonely Planet, I lift my glass of water to you!

'These are a few of my favourite things' whilst eating Italian ice cream x 3.

for Japanese(?) tourists in the Mirrabel Gardens. As featured in the Sound Of Music. We did not share a common language, and so when they gestured towards me with their camera I assumed they wanted me to take a photo of them.

However, it soon became clear that this was not the case. I was dragged into their photo (I still have the bruise marks on my arm to prove it!) and made to smile. Seriously. And then a line started to form....and a new bunch of people surrounded me and grabbed my arm held on tight. I saw my life flash before my eyes and knew I had to get out of there. I think maybe they thought I was Julie Andrews. My singing did kind of sound like her. And I was doing all the right dance moves in the correct places around the garden so I guess it was an easy mistake to make.

Uncanny resemblance.....?

Practicing my moves for the Sound of Music 2. Here I am doing my audition piece on the water fountain. Unfortunately, Steph cut me out of the picture, but you get the idea.

to the Sound of Music soundtrack on the bus as we drove through the hills out of Salzburg. It was just one of those ironic moments in life where you just want to laugh at yourself. A year ago? - I never would have dreamt that I'd be living in Switzerland, on a weekend trip to Salzburg, on a Sound of Music bus, listening to 'How do you solve a problem like Maria....'

Seeing all the places from the movie was pretty cool. You may not be able to see it, but behind my head, Julie Andrews -aka Maria Von Trapp - and the kids are falling out of the boat and Gretl is almost drowning because she didn't know how to swim. You may not also be able to see it because it may have happened 45 years ago.

Biking along the Salzburg River during the late evening. We had to wait until almost 1AM for our train, and so why wait at the train station when you can ride along the river? I love the summer months when it stays light for so much longer!

And, at the end of the 33 hours, it was time for the train home. Rather unfortunately, a supposedly sweet older lady was sleeping in my reserved seat. (Unreserved seats are never mentally the same!) Also unfortunately, it was 1AM and, unfortunately, I was feeling too nice. In the spirit of the unfortunate I think she slept the whole trip. I know this because I didn't. She was also warm under her blanket. (Note to self: Bring blanket next time!)

So Long, Farewell Salzburg!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

While Mami is Away, the Spaghetti Cats Do Play

'Twas a good afternoon. We went to the Library - the girls rode their velos and I rode the trotinet. (I think these are French words - no wonder my brain is so mixed up - I learn German in class and French in day-to-day stuff).
Actually I half rode the trotinet and half pushed MLF3 up the hills. I am going to be fit. I am going to be fit. I am going to be fit.

And! Victory! We finally found all the books and cassetes and CDs and DVDs that we had borrowed from the library and we could have a clean start with the Bibliotech. That is, until it was realized that we had left the cassette of Pingu in the Cassette Player. Nooooooooooo!
Darn Penguin.

MLF3 and I hung out in the kitchen while I made spaghetti and we learnt that you can use carrots as microphones. I asked her if she wanted to listen to a cassette and she asked for ABBA.
And so we rocked out to Dancing Queen with carrot microphones. And then I put a few holes in the carrot and she played her 'flute' to Voulez Vous.
I'm thinking of patenting the idea. Anything to help kids with their veggies eh?

Then we had spaghetti sucking competitions (how fast can you suck a length of cooked spaghetti into your mouth?) And MLF3 made some very cool pictures with spaghetti which I just have to post.

She told me that they were my pets from home (PussPuss the cat and Tessie the dog). She also keeps asking for stories of them with my sisters and brother. (Like I just can invent stories!) She also thinks that I liked these pets...Miscommunication.

She wanted to keep the cat on the table until Mami got home, however when I later cleaned it up there seems to residue imprinted on the table in the shape of a cat. Funny that.
Please be gone by breakfast, please be gone by breakfast.

And, in other exciting news (don't roll your eyes, having a clean slate with the Library is exciting!) looming is the possibility of Cuba and the Caribbean.
Kind of rates right up there with carrot flutes and spaghetti sucking competitions eh?