Saturday, December 10, 2016

My inspiration for the day

Or should I say inspirations as there were many.

Sometimes we simply need to sit back and enjoy life; enjoy what we come across. Today was one of those days.

I set off to the new tearoom for breakfast, as is my want on the weekends, not knowing if M would join me (we often do have coffee together of a Saturday morning, but her husband was having the company’s yearly dinner last night and she might need to sleep in) or not.

I ordered a drink of coffee and milk that here in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, is called a “turned over” or “tipped upside down” and lacking my usual sandwich settled for a roll of grains with one pat of butter. Lovely way to start the day even if I was on my own.

Then it was pick up the mail and make a trip to the grocery store in anticipation of baking Christmas cakes and cookies. Looked at tins, but prevented myself from accruing any more as I certainly have enough for this year’s giveaways (they were very tempting though so there is no guarantee that I might not crack later in the week).

Lunch was leftovers after I un-thawed the upstairs freezer (see, feeling productive always improves the mood), then I had time – and the need – for a “pause” (my husband always refused to call them naps or siestas and he was right).

Then it was off into town for a lady’s coffee at I’s house: an occasion never to be missed – I would even return early should I be elsewhere as she is from Vienna and makes and bakes everything herself. I didn’t care to interrupt the feeling of friendship and joy as we first enjoyed a glass of champagne followed by canapés of all sorts, then coffee or tea and home-made strudel and a nut cake specific to Vienna covered in chocolate.

not my friends - her's was even better!

In amongst all that there were beautiful views of the Jet d’Eau – I got plenty of inspiration for continued enjoyment of life.

Dec.10 around 15:30

Dec. 10 around 19:30 Blue for the UN's day of Human Rights

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A blast from the past or

Baby shoes

On a recent “adventure” my former housemate and I came back via Bern specifically to see the fall Flea Market, which had been set up in the Paul Klee Museum. We arrived there to absolutely beautiful views of the Alps through the fall haze so first took a walk around the parameter of the grounds and enjoyed the first rays of sun that we had seen in a week.

When we did finally enter to a fairly high-class flea and antique market (some parts were even paying – those we did not enter) it was to discover on the table of one of the very first stands one bronzed baby shoe!

Ah the memories. The stand owner had no clue as to where it had come from so for once in my life I was actually able to give information instead of receiving it. Would surely like to know how come he came to own that one lone shoe!

I have mine (and as the first child they were turned into bronze) as well as my little sister’s (white leather, but then she was the third child) on the bookshelf in my bedroom. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The importance of spelling

In order to not end up in the wrong place or insult someone unintentionally.
Today’s “A.Word.A.Day” offering of “afflatus” reminded me of a recent article in the local paper. Two persons decided to go on a holiday whilst attending a conference so transmitted to their airline (no names mentioned – I am sure that every airline has done this at least once) various airport codes, a route and used almost 400’000 miles to also have first class.  As they boarded the second flight and started seeing what had come up on the screen they realized that they were headed for Granada in Spain instead of Grenada in the Carribean! They have been fighting ever since to recuperate their miles.  That is a one-letter error.

There are often problems when people book airline tickets online instead of at an agency when they don’t pay attention and end up at San Jose in California, USA instead of San José in Costa Rica – that’s only an accent on the last e.

But back to afflatus: I, mistakenly, although the roots are the same, thought that they were going to be describing “flatulence”.

A noun labeling “A creative impulse or inspiration” should not be taken for the results of flatulence!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Subject lines

If my husband was renowned for his capacity to think up slogans or other witty and fitting jokes/advertisements etc., I often note that any particular phrase or set of words coming out of the mouths or pens or e-mails of those around me make very interesting subject lines. Some are good enough to write a whole book around: unfortunately most are forgotten as soon as they are remarked.

A friend with whom I shared an evening at other friends used the following in the subject line of her e-mail:

“Leonard and S and Brussel sprouts”

One could make up some very good stories about that line: die Leonard and S have an evening of Brussel sprouts only? Did Lenard deal with the Brussel sprouts and S with more Brussel sprouts? Did the Brussel sprouts become the main feature of a song, story or meal???

I, of course, knew exactly whom she was speaking of and actually even probably why by simply reading the subject line: anyone else would be clueless, but someone with imagination could develop the subject. Anyone up for the challenge?

All photos below are from Google Images
Leonard Cohen

Brussel Sprouts

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It’s still the little things

That make me happiest.

Waking up slowly on a Sunday morning after having had dinner with good friends the night before; picking up the bedroom after a hectic week that had me simply dropping into bed at night without a thought for the piles of papers, clothes and sundry items that one gets out over a few days; having breakfast in my pajamas (can’t remember the last time that happened); sweeping the accumulated leaves off my balcony before the snow or rain can get to them; changing the colors and photo in my kitchen; thinking of close friends and family as I finally read through recent e-mails.

December has started – I will put up lights – get out the wreaths and perhaps even get the tree up and decorated: anything to improve the dark, gray days and lighten the spirit.

I hope that all of you too will stop to enjoy those little pleasures; the ones that we tend to ignore or discount. The best of my day? Finding a crumpet in my freezer and one last piece of Stollen for breakfast when I had neglected thinking of bread or anything yesterday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I flocculated the brownies or…

According to today's « word-a-day » from, turned them into an aggegrated lumpy mass.

Intentions were good when I started cleaning out cupboard space yesterday, when I took all my scarves out of my drawer with the goal of sorting and tidying up that particular mess, which was in itself a flocculated.

Then got distracted and never finished (the scarf drawer that is, the three linen cupboards are done) so the thrust of my energy this morning was to finish that, until I remembered that one of my best friends is going to spend two weeks with her daughter and family and that maybe making brownies would be more fun.

First batch of the season and truly, it can only get better as what with leaving out one square of chocolate, 25 grams of butter and adding too much baking soda (couldn’t find the baking powder and don’t have self-rising flour), they boiled over making not only a mess of the oven, but reducing drastically the amount of brownies that actually look o.k.

So the far away people will get the best, but reluctant to throw out the burnt edges and crumbling bits have dumped them all into a tupperware and will take them to another friend as icecream toppings. If they throw them out I won’t have to know !

Then this word – flocculate – showed up in my daily word distribution and I couldn’t resist. Such fun to just repeat : I am flocculating, I have flocculated, they are being flocculated…

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ode to a sister

Where you are

Do the leaves flutter?
Does the brook babble?
Does the wind flirt with your hair?

Where you are

Do the mountains rise high?
The lakes shine in the sun?
The ocean roll onto its shore?

Where you are

Do the seasons change?
Do storms arise or
Dessert winds blow?

Where you are

Do children play in laughter?
Do adults go about their tasks?
Do teenagers still have moods?

Where you are

Do cats and dogs still fight?
Do polar bears still fish?
Do birds still migrate?

Where you are

Are people gentler?
Are anger, jealousy and hate
A thing of the past?
Does love prevail?

Where you are

Is there a past?
Is there a future?

Where you are

Do you remember me?

I held her in my arms, I still hold her in my heart
 Patricia Jeanne Aitken
Sept.27, 1952 - Sept.19, 2012