Category Archive: Story

May 06 2017

Views from our surrounding

Last weekend we took a walk around the area where we live.
When we was doing so. I tested our new camera which is a Nikon Coolpix B700.
Why we chose this model was because of the compact design. The objective which is mounted is Nikkor 60X wide optical zoom 4.3 – 258 mm.
So we never need to change objective.

As most probably everyone knows there exists much better cameras but on the other hand we are no professionals.

We need a camera for quick operation and then without zoom as well as for far away objects.
As you can see on some of the pictures here below, the quality is in my eyes quite impressive.
Bare in mind that I am a 100% amateur and have just started the interesting journey within photographing.

Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding Views from our surrounding

 

Apr 28 2017

Intruders in the House!

My friends! I was hoping. I wouldn’t have to write about THIS, but now it seems like a longer story. Which I thought, it’s worth a post!

During winter, my mum said that she hears “something” on the roof of our house – almost every night. And she knows, because her sleep is not very deep; she wakes up often and usually stays awake for a while.

Dad is different: He usually sleeps very soundly. (Almost) nothing wakes him up – lucky bugger!

I might have to mention, that our bedroom lies directly under the roof without an accessible attic.

So, of course one can hear a lot….My mum and I used to look at each other, every time the noises start. And believe me, sometimes it sounds as if an elephant herd races back and forth the roof – chasing each other. Or whatever the heck they are doing!

Well, since we live in the countryside. It’s not unusual of course, to have foxes, mice, squirrels, birds, edible dormice, hedgehogs, martens…..you name it….in the garden and on the roof.

These visitors keep me very busy during daytime (when I’m not asleep). Me snooping around in our garden and try to find out, who visited us during night time. It’s quite thrilling, detecting all these different scents and sometimes even marks. But I’m not sure, I would actually like to meet one of them…I heard, some are bigger than cats and have sharp teeth as well *gulp* 

Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House!

 

Anyhow, one day my mum claimed that the animals are not only ON the roof, but IN it. She said that she hears them scratching and scraping on wood, not only on roof tiles. My dad laughed and told her, that she was seeing – well, hearing – ghosts and that such a small animal wouldn’t be strong enough, to lift a tile and get into the house.

At least, meanwhile, they’ve both agreed that the intruders must be beech martens (martes foina)! Because sometimes, particularly at twilight, we were able to see a shadow or two hurry past the roof windows! And believe it or not: Some are even that cheeky, they stop and have a look inside!

Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House!

Also, my humans share the opinion, that martens are super sweet-looking animals (well, not as sweet as me, of course!), although they can destroy cars, by “eating” cables or/and the attic of a house, by damaging isolation – amongst other things.

Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House!

Anyway, the noises became more and finally  – around February – my dad also heard the difference between the scratching noises, outside and inside, but he couldn’t find a displaced tile or a suitable entrance for these animals.

March has arrived and my mum reported, that the noises are different now: Beside the usual scratching, running and playing sounds, there was newly whimpering, squeaking and whining above us…..

By now, my mum read and collected all kind of information about beech martens. She found out, how clever and playful these creatures are (well, THAT we knew by now!), their size (58-84 cm long, very slim) and weight (1.7-2 kg), the colour (brown-greyish with a white throat) and that they are loners.

She also learned that between March and July the females have their offspring (between one and four babies)!

Aha, so there we had the explanation about the new noises!

It also meant that it was too late to scare the martens off. An animal protection brochure says that, while the martens have their pups, it’s not recommended to disturb the mother. She could disappear and leave the babies behind.

 

Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House! Intruders in the House!

They would die of course, which not only would be very sad, but also a problem: Sooner or later “the” smell would start…..

Meanwhile my dad discovered the loose tile and a roofer was ordered to replaced it – making sure the mommy-marten is still able to get under the roof and to her babies.

Yeah well, my mum told my dad, what a funny phone call that was to the roofer company. Explaining the whole situation about the marten family and that, when fixing the roof, the worker had to make sure, the mother still gets to her pups. A definitive solution has to be found after July – after the marten family (hopefully) has moved out.

We also learned that beech martens are not an endangered species and therefore, – sadly –  many are being killed, before any possible damage happens.

My mum and dad didn’t have to discuss that topic: No animal would be killed or harmed in our house  – despite the costs they would cause! Oh Boy, I just hope the martens appreciate that…..

Nevertheless, it’s almost May and the sounds are different again: It seems like the baby martens became teenagers (still don’t know how many we are accommodating) and are big enough to play their wild chasing games. I guess, they even follow their mother outside, exploring the roof and neighborhood.

My mum told my dad, she wished we could film them, or at least take some pictures! Unfortunately, these fellows are pretty shy, and my dad’s new camera GoPro hasn’t got such a strong battery, which lasts a whole night. Otherwise he could mount it on the roof, which surely would produce excellent pics!

Therefore, and much to my regret, the beech marten pics are from the internet – but no less adorable! Wouldn’t you agree?

Wish you all a peaceful week   =^.^=

 

Apr 21 2017

Horsepower

I think I’ve never told you. But – usually – once a week I enjoy the company of horses and go horse riding.

These beautiful animals have been haunting me ever since I was a little girl. And believe me, my poor family has been terrorized by me. Because I wanted to be around horses ALL the time and ride them of course.

Luckily, my parents made it possible for me to take riding lessons. Since they never bought me my own horse (which, in the little girls opinion, was very mean of them!).

.Meanwhile, I understand why: It’s so much work and it costs a fortune! And of course, it’s not only the buying and the daily costs. The really big expenses start with insurances and vet costs, in case your horse gets sick! Not to mention all the other costs, which come together in buying this and that.

Anyhow, after almost 20 years of riding the English style. Never tournaments, though, only for pleasure and leisure – more than 20 years ago I decided to take lessons in the western riding style. Proper trainers and horses had finally arrived in Switzerland! And that style convinced me at once and ever since.

Well, since a bit more than a year, I’m accompanying Sabine, who owns two horses, once a week, exploring the nature!

Horsepower

She is actually more into endurance riding with her 12-year-old Criollo mare “Yapeyú” and her 24(!!) year old Welsh pony “Kelly”. Both – well, all three of them – are in top condition and right now she’s planning some endurance riding tours for this summer.

As for me, I’m glad I can spend a few hours a week with her, have a good chat and many laughs together, while enjoying the always fascinating nature on horseback.

Horsepower Horsepower Horsepower Horsepower Horsepower

Right now, I believe, the most beautiful time of the year has arrived (when having to do with horses): Spring! No mosquitoes yet, but with all its fresh scents, birds are chirping, countless shades of greens and if you are lucky, you can meet a fox, a wild boar or even a deer in the forest!

So, I do hope you enjoy spring as much as we do….well, when it’s coming back again! It’s been a bit FAR too cold for the last few days…..

Apr 14 2017

Hoppy Easter!

Hello everyone!

We wish you all a very HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!

Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter! Hoppy Easter!

 

….and don’t eat too much chocolate 🐰

Mar 17 2017

Patrik’s got a new Toy!

Lately, Patrik raved about the idea to own a new camera!

One, we could take with us to Sardinia!

One, to document our vacation – not only with pictures, but also with short movies!

One, not too big!

One, which even is waterproof!

Well, of course, he wouldn’t purchase four cameras, so he actually found the perfect one, which fulfilled his ideas and he simply couldn’t resist buying it.

It’s a GoPro HERO4 Silver

When I first saw it, I was a bit skeptical, that such a tiny camera should be able to satisfy our demands – I mean, we are talking here the size of just under a cigarette packet!

But, look at the pictures Patrik has made…amazing! Even though he is still learning and testing what it can do.

He mounted it on the rooftop in order to document the fantastic sunrises and sunsets! And he made some movies too…..He even tried it out under water, when we went for a walk last Sunday!

Patrik's got a new Toy! Patrik's got a new Toy! Patrik's got a new Toy!

So, in summary, I believe we will have a lot of fun with this tiny camera. Be ready for some cool pics and movies!

 

Mar 10 2017

The Chocolate Box

“Life is like a box of chocolates…….” well, who wouldn’t know this legendary sentence?

Once again it proved to be true and, sadly, not in a very charming way.

In November 2016, my boss informed me that my current position will be eliminated.

That was so unexpected and took me totally by surprise. I was devastated, so it took me quite a while to digest the bad news.

Meanwhile, I received the notice with a cancellation period of three month. They really mean it!

Of course I started looking for a new job immediately after I got the message, but  apparently – for the job market – I’m slightly too old. You have to be twenty-five, with 20 years working experience and under no circumstances have some salary expectations…tricky, tricky….

Well, well, instead of being disheartened, I now see this new situation as an opportunity to get a step closer to Patrik’s and my dream, called “Freja theCAT”.

The Chocolate Box

Could it be fate?

Of course, we don’t want to rush things without proper planning and we surely don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

Since this crazy exciting “sailing idea” popped up in our heads, we have gathered loads of information, read books and blogs, did our sailing training (and still do) and thought about all kind of necessary (and unnecessary) details. But most of all, we never had any doubt about our dream.

The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box

So, right now we fancy the idea moving to Malta.

Why Malta? Well, we have been there several times on vacation and fell totally in love with these islands and its people. Then, the language there is English – very practical – , the climate of course and it’s not too far away from Switzerland and Sweden. Which makes it easier to keep in touch with friends and family.

The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box The Chocolate Box

Why not…….?

At the moment we are collecting all kind of information about Malta, such as job opportunities, tax system, health insurance, real estate possibilities – it has to be cat friendly of course – and a lot more.

But our next step is to get a rating of our house, after that we know more and can plan further….

Life is exciting, isn’t it? Is that maybe our chance to quit the rat race and finally follow our dream?

Hopefully it is 😀😎

Mar 03 2017

Who is hungry?

We realised that we have quite a few unpublished recipes, which we would like to share with you.

It takes a good amount of time, to write down all recipes plus get everything ready, including pictures,

We decided to do a recipe post this week.

The result is pretty satisfying, We must say……

We hope you like it too and maybe try one or two of our cooking inspirations!

You’ll find them in detail under the tag “Frejas Galley”, among other recipes, of course.

 

Spätzle Pfanne

Who is hungry?

Potato Pizza

Who is hungry? Who is hungry?

Garlic Soup

Who is hungry? Who is hungry? Who is hungry?

Tajine

Who is hungry? Who is hungry? Who is hungry? Who is hungry?

 

Be creative and enjoy – bye for now!

Feb 17 2017

An unusual Shopping Trip!

Patrik and I realised that we actually need a bit of equipment, when we go sailing in May. 

At least some basic stuff.

Amongst other things (such as sailing ), we have learned in Malta, how important it is to have a functional jacket (called “tarpaulin” – stands for pants and jacket). Even when the temperatures are around 25 degrees C or more and the sun is shining, when sailing and getting wet, you quickly start freezing and it’s nice to have a warm water- and wind-tight jacket you can slip into.

Also, a pair of polarizing sunglasses are very important (as I painfully learned) and of course a proper hat (my fake straw hat was torn to shreds after three days…), or some other useful sunprotection for your head.

We even thought about buying our own life vests. I mean then you know at least, in which condition this lifesaving piece is in. Maybe not all charter companies service theirs as they are supposed to (just guessing…).

So, after searching the internet we discovered a trustworthy boat-accessories shop in Switzerland,

which apparently sells all the necessary (and maybe not so necessary, but nice to have) stuff you need on and around a boat. And it was true: From A as an anchor to Z as a zinc anode, one would find everything there …..

The good thing is, a lot of their products are on sale right now. Therefore, we decided to have a look there on Wednesday afternoon and almost couldn’t wait until the day finally arrived!

 

It was a wonderful and sunny day and it took us about an hour to get there and – Boy! – were we surprised when we walked in: A grand shop with about everything you can wish for…. awesome!

….erm….no, it was not! Except of all kind of clothes and shoes They sell books, maps, all kind of galley equipment, ropes, fenders, tools ….. and of course a lot of lovely deco stuff.

Nevertheless, in the end we’ve found what what we were hoping for!

An unusual Shopping Trip! An unusual Shopping Trip! An unusual Shopping Trip!

We even tried on different kind of life vests, but didn’t buy one. The by the way, very kind sales assistant told us. That on charter boats, the safety gear is good maintained. She wouldn’t worry about that. OK then!

But to my own surprise, I bought a pair of sailing pants! It was such a bargain, I couldn’t say “no”. Plus – since I’m a bit superstitious – I believe that HAVING such an item with me, it won’t rain in Sardinia in May. But if I don’t, it surely will be pouring and I would regret, not having bought them, when I had the chance….know what I mean?!

Well, it truly was an exciting week…with Wednesday as its highlight!

We wish you all a wonderful weekend  

Jan 27 2017

To charter a cat – what a challenge !

Well, since Patrik and I did the RYA Day Skipper Tidal course last year. The next logical step is, to charter our own yacht, right?! We are talking about bareboat! Of course we need to practice what we’ve learned so far. We also want to proof to ourselves that we are able to handle a sailing boat – and each other on it.

No doubt about the type of vessel: It has to be a catamaran, in order to finally find out, what a multihull feels like.

So, the first task was to find an area we both like, not too far away from Switzerland, ideally reachable by car. We prefer low season, sunny and hopefully (already or still) reasonably warm weather, with only a modicum of tourists. The Mediterranean around Italy seems perfect, with its beautiful and many islands. Malta is unfortunately too far away to reach by car….

To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge !

We soon settled for Sardinia, one week by the end of May, since friends of us travel there often and we, therefore, saw many spectacular photos of this isle. Plus it has been on our travel-bucket list for a while.

The good thing with Sardinia is, we can travel by car to either Genova or Livorno and take the ferry from there. Taking the car means, we can take our own bedding with us, plus towels, kitchen-stuff (we actually have a complete camping set, with dishes, glasses and pots) an even some food in the cool box – mainly vegetarian specialties, such as seitan- and/or soy-“meat”, which could be tricky to get in Italy.

Of course, charter boats do provide bedding, towels and kitchen gear, but a) often you have to pay extra for that and b) how clean is is? Yes, I admit, I’m a bit fussy when it comes to “that”. But hey, rather being like that that otherwise!

Anyway, back to searching a charter company, which offers catamarans on Sardinia. Sure enough, we found a choice of companies with suitable yachts – Leopard 384 was our N°. One, or a Lagoon 400 S2. The prices varied roughly between CHF 3’000.- and CHF 4’000.- per week, and each had different “T&C”. Then, there was the jungle about security deposits….

We started contacting the most promising ones (about four or five). First by asking a couple of questions through their chat-service on their websites, then by requesting an offer. Most of all we wanted to make sure, that our RYA certs were valid in Italy for bareboat charter, and – as we would have our car with us – if there was a car park available near the marina.

Soon it became apparent that it was very difficult for some companies to read our emails properly….Some answered not at all to our questions, but sent a copy/paste email back, others sent a 3-page offer with their whole fleet – including the ones, available skippered only *sigh*. Then, we also realized that many of these “Sailing Specialists” could hardly understand English (although one can choose from several communication languages – English was one of them), and Patrik and I doubted soon, if some of them knew what a vessel actually IS. To put it mildly, it was a bit frustrating with some of them.

To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge !

I think it took over a week until we finally had the necessary answers from two charter companies. We settled eventually for the one. Who offered a Leopard 384 for the right price and service (the other one had a nice Lagoon 400 S2, also for an acceptable amount, but since we love kitties….  =^.^=….).

So, right now, the 50% down payment has been done. So we can concentrate on finding an attractive ferry connection to Sardinia. There you could also get a few surprises, if you don’t read and understand the small print.

I am a bit nervous, I have to confess, but Patrik is so certain and confident. He takes my little doubts away in a whoosh and reassures me that we will take it easy. Just have fun and practice and improve our gained skills.

At the moment he is preparing for the RYA SRC/VHF radio certificate. He is doing that online again – as he did the RYA Day Skipper Tidal theoretical course. For the exam he will have to travel to Constance (just over the border, in Germany, about 30-40 minutes from us) – which will be in March 2017.

It seems we will be well prepared and ready until May – Sardinia, we are coooooomin’    !!

To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge ! To charter a cat – what a challenge !

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