Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Warning: This blog has a slightly cheerful note

Too many good things are happening to keep up with them all on this blog.  I know, I know, a First World problem if there ever was one.

Today it was a beautiful 10°, I didn't need a jacket, and I went swimming! (Indoor, but whatevs).
I also got to talk to my Mum (hey Mum!), my sister for a slight minute (hey Em!) and a beautiful friend (hey Kiri!) who will hopefully be over here before she knows it.  I got my last remaining mark for last semester, and hello HD!  I made delicious berry smoothies, an apple raspberry pie/crumble (yum! - you wish you were there) and a pretty good Butter Chicken.  I was also the favourite Au Pair of the minute by making Crepes for supper (a pretty big award).  There was a spectacular sunset, discussions of summer holiday plans and a wonderful time playing guitar and singing with the girls after supper (after, not for). 

I think the sun being out created a day like the moment when your favourite song comes on the radio. (Today, however,  although I changed the station a bazillion times, people kept speaking in Swiss German...give me a song!!)

As visual proof of a beautiful day, I offer this photo.  A, doing her homework, had just said, "I never want this smoothie to end."

Which is pretty much the same as wishing for a never ending packet of Tim Tams...   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

7 Ways to Impress a 7-year-old...

How to impress a 7-year-old

-Play Snap.  Have hands which snap at the speed of sound.  "You're so fast.  You're so good." (I may have got so carried away with winning this game that I cut her hand with my fingernail).

-Make Cauliflower Soup.  Yes, I know it sounds dubious (it's not - it's really good and it's made in 10 minutes!).  However: "This soup is my best soup.  Of all soups, this is my bestest best."

-Make Sock Puppets.  "Wow.  You have such good ideas.  You always have such good ideas!"

-Mend the hole in her stockings.  "What?!  I cannot see the hole anymore.  You are so good at this."

-Fix the broken DVD player.  Open a hard-to-open door.  Sharpen all the pencils.  

So, as you can see, it's not so difficult, and it's kind of like having your own little fan club following you around all the time.
In other news, it's still cold. 

My favourite swimming spot - covered in snow!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm glad I'm not a duck

It got down to -14° today.  Burr!  This  might be the coldest I have ever experienced Zurich. 
But it was lovely and clear and sunny and I went for a (chilly) walk to the lake.  It's crazy to think we swim down here in summer and have picnics and bbq's.  I've never seen snow down here before and I'm glad I'm not a duck. They looked kind of cold.
I read in a very reliable source that many places in Switzerland are having their coldest February in 30 years.  Which makes me feel cold just thinking about it, so I shall now take myself off to my warm, happy place. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I found this beautiful arrangement of oranges waiting for me on the kitchen floor.  It's a love heart, in case you were wondering, and it's because she "likes me sooooo much". 

I'm back in Zurich.  Sorry for not telling you here in Blog Land.  It has been a crazy and wonderful few weeks, hopefully a couple of blog posts to come on that.  I spent 3 weeks in Kassel, Germany, at the Universitat Kassel, learning all sorts of things about German culture, language, history, and literature.  I even got to practice a few German folk dances and learn how to make a traditional German meal. 

But now I'm back in Zurich, pretending I'm an Au Pair again.  Just for a few weeks, before I start my semester in Munich in March. 

For those who have forgotten that I have a Swiss family, or who did not read my last blog...I live with a family with 3 girls, My Little Friends 1, 2 & 3.  However, due to the confusion which kept appearing in the last blog (www.chaupair.blogspot.com), henceforth these beautiful girls will now be known as N (13 yrs), L (10 yrs) and A (7 yrs).

It is A who continues to make beautiful love hearts for me everywhere.  It's so lovely to come back and find the girls are still the same, even though it has been 2 years since I lived with them.  They are still quite sweet, sometimes vague, with excellent English, and are blossoming into kind and warm-hearted girls. 

We were listening to music the other day and A asked if I knew the song "Hang...Hang...something"?  She then hummed the tune, and I realised she was talking about 'Hangover' by Taio Cruz.  I hid my horror that she had been listening to this song and said yes, I did know this song.  She wanted to play it, and then I heard her singing...."I've got a Handy* cover...wo-oh...I've da da da da da da da...I've got a handy cover, wo-oh..."  It made perfect sense to her, who wouldn't want a handy cover?

(*Handy is German for mobile/cell phone)

It's freezing outside.  -7° today, to be exact.  We've had quite a bit of snow, considering we're in the city, and it does make me a little homesick for the sun.  But the white blanket that is currently covering everything does make it quite beautiful and fresh and (quite) crisp.

I took this photo quickly when A and her friend were picking up another friend on their way to school.  Their matching coats and hats make me laugh, becuase A particularly asked for this hat in the shop, and her Mum (M) only found out later that it was because quite a few other girls in her class have the same one! 
Peer pressure, it gets 'em early.

"When love is most extravagant, it is least wasted.  Hope and love don't know the meaning of efficiency"
 ...I read that this week, and a heart of oranges has been a beautiful reminder.