365:174 A Gift


A neighbour of mine rang my bell. Not that neighbour (the one I had a whine about yesterday) another neighbour. She brought me a bouquet of flowers to say thank you for having removed the apple tree from our allotment, the apple tree which had been bothering her for years.

She also felt the need to say sorry for any slight I may have taken while were at the meeting of the homeowners. At some point, during the rainy and sorta cold evening (we held the meeting outside, under the shelter of the entrance to the underground garage), I felt too warm and took my jacket off to tie it around my waist, leaving me with bare arms because I was wearing a vest-top.

I didn’t know this but at the same time, or perhaps just after I did that, she felt the need to pull her jacket closer and wrap her scarf more tightly around her neck, feeling the cold*. I think she thought that I had taken that as some sort of insult. Of course, I hadn’t even noticed, so wrapped up I am in my own head. Still it was a nice thought. And flowers are always welcome.

*After the meeting, the secretary who was taking the minutes told me, “I wish you could give me some of your warmth, I’m always so cold!” I get this a lot. I suspect I am a naturally warm person because of my size. I love being a warm person.

365:172 A New Friend

IMG_7880.JPGOh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What have I done? I suppose I just got fed up of saying, “No, we’re not having a dog.”

Mr Mac and Ewan have been nagging me for years for us to get a(nother) dog. I’ve always been (and am still) hesitant because, as we all know, the dog will end up being something else for me to look after. And still, I gave up.

But wouldn’t you? Isn’t he just the most precious furry thing you ever did see? He’s a boxer and his name is Odin* (that’s the name we chose for him. His litter name is Dusty. But as soon as we told the breeder that we wanted to call him Odin, she started to call him so which I thought was a lovely, professional touch.)

We went to meet him on the weekend. He’s somewhere around three-four weeks old in these pics. By the time we get him he’ll be around 8-9 weeks old. He’s going to be a lot of work and Ewan and Mr Mac have both been warned, “You can not half-ass this puppy thing.” I’ve been assured they won’t.

To their credit, they have both attended the compulsory dog course, the certificate you get at the end of which, you have to have before you can even be a dog owner in Switzerland. Once Odin comes to join the family, they will have to take him to another puppy school, where they’ll learn the practicalities of taking care of a dog. Odin will also have to attend puppy socialisation classes, which I suppose I’ll be responsible for.

Nothing’s easy in Switzerland. Which, in this case, is a good thing.


*When we were discussing what to name our boxer puppy, we wanted to stay away from all the typical boxer names, like Bruno, Rocky, etc. We were watching one of our fave shows, Vikings, and thought about Ragnar, Rollo or Floki. But Odin, the Viking god won out.

365:171 Protea

IMG_7864.JPGMy Swiss BFF went to South Africa and all she got me was….. 😉

I have finally got around to planting my protea seeds. The instructions in the packet said to soak the three seeds for 30mins in warm water. Done.

Then, plant them 6mm deep into the (very dry, sandy, presumably South African) soil provided, in a little clay pot. Done.

Place the little clay pot into a bigger pot, filled with soil. Done.


*waits patiently*

Watch this space.


365:170 Edelweiss


Heavy on the balcony gardening right now. The weather is so changeable, I have no idea whether I can get dowm into the allotment from one hour to the next.

I saw these Edelweiss on sale in Coop so I had to have one for my front balcony, right by the front door. I hope it’ll live over the winter. Given that it’s usually found above 1800m high in the Alps, I have hopes that our mild-ish 700m high winters will be easy for it to tolerate. Isn’t it lovely though?

365:169 Fuchsia Update

IMG_7859.JPGI am so excited by my balcony fuchsia. It’s absolutely covered in flower buds. The branches are so heavy with buds, I’m wondering if I should support them somehow.

Honestly, I look at this wee corner of my balcony with its fuchsia, the no longer blossoming cytissus and a wee rose bush and I feel joy.

The simple things.

365:168 Tour de Suisse. Not. 

IMG_7857.JPGWe took Red Leader out for a wee drive this afternoon, just because we could. While we were out, we started to see people lining the streets, waving flags and cowbells. Before long, we saw an SRF Sports vehicle coming in the opposite direction and we figured out that we were probably witnessing the Tour de Suisse coming through town.

Despite the route being lined for a good twenty kilometres, we never saw the peloton; only this pair of Gruftis and, later on, a team of six or so. Still, the anticipation was a wee bit of excitement for the day.

365:167 My Balcony


That’s mine, the one with the red (of course) balcony boxes.

I got out for another walk today. Slow and steady is winning the race. I miss the days before we went to Scotland, when I could walk 15km and feel fabulous afterwards. I’m getting back there but it’s slow going.

365:165 French Martini


A French Martini! In Scotland a couple of years ago, my Scottish BFF introduced me to a cocktail called a French Martini. It’s made of vodka, pineapple juice and a liqueur called Chambord which is made of black raspberries. Despite it being a French product, you cannot find it anywhere in Europe so the last time I was back in Scotland, I brought home a couple of bottles (they’re tiny, I needed two for sure.)

We had friends over to celebrate our Swiss BFF’s birthday and we cracked open the Chambord and made happy with some fabulous French Martinis.

The recipe Mr Mac followed is:

15ml Chambord (actually, when you up this a little, you get a tastier cocktail)
50ml vodka
60ml pineapple juice

Shake over ice, strain and serve with a twist of lemon or raspberry as garnish.

Try it, you’ll thank me.