We’re part of a community

Something amazing is happening here…children from our apartment complex are ringing our doorbell to invite our children to play. And they’re going!!! It is lovely and awkward all at the same time. They can’t speak to each other so it is essentially parallel play but it is sweet and affirming and warms my heart so much!

I told Manolo earlier that this was one of those days that I really liked living here. Not all days are like that, many are. Today had all the great elements to allow me to exhale. Happy morning at home before school – no need to bribe or force anyone to eat, dress or get along. Then a tour through the Friday market with my hubby which generally makes me feel like I’m living in someone else’s life. I was even brave enough this time to purchase things! Golden beets & spinach which were much cheaper than I expected. Also some dried fruit and delicious Italian cookies which were dreadfully more expensive than I had thought. Thankfully not as bad as the woman before me whose dried fruit order came to 149CHF! Oops-a-daisy, awkward…she had to put some back.

My market date.
A strange vegetable at the market. The size of a coffee table…pretty sure this is what the BFG eats for those of you familiar with that Roald Dahl children’s story.
Fromage & Pain…really, what more does one need?
Everyone is gifted with floral arrangements. They can make everything beautiful.

Then back home to unpack the market wares and pack the picnic lunch for the kids – the golden beets & spinach were not for them; I’m not that mean of a mom! Must hustle to make it back to the train station to meet them for lunch. A warm (still +27 here) picnic with loads of idle time to practice cartwheels, yoyos and hacky-sacks. These are the moments I’m certain we will look back on with such fondness; the Swiss seem to value slow time and it feels like an incredible gift to our family during the years we were all so consumed with our busyness. Then the kids were back on the bus for the afternoon at school. I hustled back home for a few German lessons before returning to meet Helena to while away the hour until D would join us. We found a few friendly market vendors handing our samples and a nice fountain-turned wading pool to cool off. 

Love how it is kosher to climb right into the fountains. Young or old, hop on in.

Since starting school I’ve established that on Friday afternoons we go immediately for ice cream once the weekend has officially begun. There’s this super quirky place at the end of our bus line with the yummiest flavours of soft serve. It is a place that time forgot, old-school kitschy Swiss, with old timers bent over their beer and cigarettes. So much character. It’s set on a lake (read: pond) on the edge of a forest – such a pretty view if you keep the weird old place behind you. And then we walk through the forest, past our cows, apple trees, cats and fountains and find ourselves back home.

Not kidding about this place being a throw-back time warp. Remember these old cigarette machines? this one still works, sitting right beside the jukebox.

Checking the apple tree on the way home for signs of readiness. Winterthur stretches out beyond the hill.
Cows with bells, plus one very thin electrified line keeping us apart.
It’s official, we are becoming cat people.

And Manolo and I have a date at the gorgeous orange restaurant in our neighbourhood that we’ve only ever ogled at. A place close enough that we can leave the kids at home and tell them to just wander down the street if they need us. 

The “orange” restaurant. When you come visit this will be one of the first places we show you.
Since arriving in Switzerland I have wondered what the pretty orange drink was that I saw on patios everywhere. Finally had a chance tonight to try it. An Apero…quite yummy, lots of delicious stuff in it. A Campari based drink I believe, not too sweet, just nice.

So really, with a day like today, what’s not to like? It isn’t real life though. True, today it WAS our real life, but it is not a scenario that is sustainable. It won’t always be +27 with farmers’ markets, slow picnics, ice cream and Aperos. But while it is, I’m doing my very best to ensure that we’re soaking it up. These days are a rare gift and I hope that we can take with us this wonderful appreciation of time. Please don’t hate me for it, believe me, not everyday is bliss and I promise you that there were also toilet scrubbing moments woven in between.

And as I’ve learned through this blog, I now need to brace myself for the wailing and gnashing of teeth that tomorrow will bring. Sharing too much of our bliss always comes back and bites me in the ass…life has a way of keeping you humble that way.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Melanie McKenzie says:

    Love your stories. 🙂


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