Tuesday, 30 November 2010


So cold and so pretty!
Although it is sort of wreaking havoc with our pram, which has very small and uncooperative wheels that tend to get all clogged up and stop rolling whenever they are faced with mud or fallen leaves or even humid air. Or snow, as it turns out. I may stay indoors for the next few months.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Being Unpatriotic

Things that are better in Switzerland:

Television. Not really, but television ads are definitely a step in the right direction. I don't know exactly what the rules are, but if the show's less than an hour and a half or so long, you won't see any ads in it. Hurrah.

Food you buy at outdoor events. Pluto pups and other revolting versions of things on sticks. Hot chips, fairy floss, meat pies and sausage rolls. Versus raclette, a sausage with a really nice bun and mustard, älplermagronen (or whatever the spelling is. pasta and potato and a cheesy sauce with onions and apple sauce. mmmm, perfect when you're on top of a mountain and it's freezing) and käsekuchen (a savoury quichey thing, not to be confused with its literal translation, cheesecake, which is not even remotely the same thing), not to mention all those deep-fried desserty things, like apple rings with vanilla sauce (aka custard). Switzerland definitely wins here (although I would never say no to a nice warm cinnamon doughnut from the Lions Club vans of my youth).

Cheese. There's nothing worse than suddenly finding yourself in the mood for some interesting cheese on the way home when you're in Australia, and finding that all that's on offer in Coles is 8000 types of cheddar and a splash of feta. Not that there's anything wrong with cheddar or feta, but a bit more readily-available variety never hurt anyone.

Christmas. I feel bad for saying that, and actually I'm not sure that it's even true, but I really do enjoy the wintery build-up to christmas here, the glühwein and christmas biscuits (even if I don't associate them at all with christmas myself), all the indoor eating-based activity. Not to mention the christmas lights and candles and decorations that all look so much more charming in the grim wintery weather. Actually, what I think I might be saying here is that traditional christmas things are much better in Switzerland than they are in Australia, and that it goes without saying that an Australian christmas should not try to confuse itself with a European christmas, because it's in no way the same thing.

That is all.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Calm Before The Snow

What delightful weather we've been having lately, especially on the weekends! Last Saturday we went on an excursion to look at the Eiger, and had a lovely time forcing our extremely urban pram to cope with dirt roads (!), puddles (!!) and patches of snow (oh, the horror!). We were also accosted by tourists (I'm kinda loath to say they were Japanese, because it seems like such a cliche, but they were so there you go) who were so swept away by No's cuteness that they insisted on taking her photo a lot, which was hilarious and weird and lovely.
(The pram endures the outdoors)
Oh, and we ate fantastic Swiss mountainy food (lots of potato and meat and things. We resisted the call of dessert, but really, you should have seen the meringue on offer. It was topped with what was described in the menu as "viel schlagrahm" (=lots of whipped cream. The menu was mostly translated into english as well, but the english translation for this bit left off the "lots". Maybe tourists in Switzerland will think that that is the standard amount of whipped cream on any dessert. Hmm), and they weren't kidding. The finished product was easily the size of my head, and every time one was brought out by a waiter, everyone turned and stared and giggled a bit. Which was nice.

And then this Saturday we wasted the nice morning by doing a bit of Christmas reconnaissance in Bern (we've decided to put up christmas decorations for the first time ever, which means we have to buy some christmas decorations. R had very firm and surprisingly conservative ideas about what is and isn't acceptable in a christmas decoration, but I won him over in the end and now it seems I am going to have to talk him out of buying all the revolting jokey cat head/psycho squirrel/doughnut/ostrich-on-a-tropical-holiday type baubles that we saw. For crying out loud. He still refuses to consider tinsel, though. And I think he secretly wants real live candles with flame to put on the tree, but refuses to take responsibility if our house burns down) and then went to Thun and had a delightful time in the afternoon sun with the mountains and the lake and the apple strudel. How much longer can this last?

(Dwindling afternoon sun near Thun)