Category: Story

A summer day in Zurich.

When I was in Sweden beginning of June I received information that my passport had arrived at the Swedish Embassy  in Bern. As it would take a few day before it arrived the Consulate of Sweden in Zurich it was no stress really.

The week after I came back from Sweden I had a lot of work to do and no time either to pickup the passport.

Anyhow the day came and it was a wonderful day with approx. 30°C when I left with the train to Zürich Stadelhofen train station which is close to Lake Zürich and maybe 200 meter away from the Consulate.

As it was really warm outside with no wind or any cooling effect at all It was nice when coming inside the consulate which is laying really beautiful on a green inner yard.

It was quite forward to get the new documents. Only hand over the old one for destruction and then sign that you have received the new once, of course pay some handling fee😉. All in all it took 10 minutes and cost me CHF 17.

When I had received my documents I took a short stroll down to the Lake of Zürich which is 100 meter away from the Consulate.

When I was down there I took some pictures as you can see in the post.

Of course as everyone else I have an ice-cream as well.

A (Crazy) Weekend in Luxembourg

It was Friday, the 14th July, and finally the day had arrived, when my dear friend Pascale and I should meet again. We are not sure, but it must have been at least six months ago since last time….so yes, a get-together was more than overdue!

Since the journey by car would have taken between five and six hours, I decided to fly (that only takes approx. 45 minutes in the air!!). Yes, yes, I know, it’s absolutely not environment friendly and believe me, I felt guilty….but driving so many hours alone….I really didn’t dare to do so!

Travelling by train would have been another option (Patrik and I did that once), but that journey takes at least as long as by car – if not longer, plus it even costs a more than flying!

Anyway, the flight from Zurich Airport was scheduled for 13.15h – planned arrival in Luxembourg 14.20h. In the end, we had a delay of approx. 20 minutes, but nevertheless touched ground again on 14.15h – very impressive!

Luxembourg Airport is very sweet and well arranged, so it didn’t take long until I was through the customs. On the other side, Pascale was waiting and we had a hearty reunion, with hugs and kisses! The weather – and its forecast for the weekend – was OK, sunny and around 24 deg. C.

After paying for the parking at the ticket machine, we went to her car, threw my bag in the trunk and ourselves onto the seats and wanted to leave….BUT, where was the bloody ticket now? Unbelievable…the ticket machine was 50 meters away and we had already lost it? The searching started, through our handbags, the trunk, under the car…..until I went to the ticket machine and – ta-daaaaaa – there it sat, saying nothing! *Stinker*

Typical us, not even five minutes have gone and already chaos has taken over!

It took us about 20 minute to drive to her place, which was filled with laughter and talking. After the arrival, we had about two hours, until we should meet two friends in town – Philippe and Jessica! So we had a glass of Crémant (prosecco) and freshened ourselves up a little. Then it was time to leave.

 

At the beautiful “Chocolate House” we were supposed to meet Philippe, which we did. After saying hello, we finished our drinks and went to another place to meet Jessica. There was some kind of music festival going on (in the whole country apparently), stages with bands were everywhere, playing all kind of music, food- and drink trucks were available and people strolling around and enjoying themselves. Really cozy indeed!

Jessica arrived and after we were introduced (haven’t met each other before), we had a couple of drinks and then it was time for dinner. Pascale had booked a table at a vegetarian restaurant (I wonder whose “fault” that was…haha) and we looked forward to something to eat!

All in all we enjoyed a very tasty dinner with a nice bottle of wine. Sadly, there was no room left in our tummies for dessert, only an espresso could squeeze in. Afterwards we went to a pub and…. well, did what you usually do in a pub!

Later we made the fatal decision to visit another pub….We all had a blast, but around 3 a.m. we called it a day (night) and decided to go home! Everyone was ready I guess!

It must have been 4.30 a.m. until Pascale and I were in bed – absolutely battered! Gooooooooooooood niiiiiiiiiiiight my friend!!

The next day it was almost lunchtime when we got up! OMG – half the day had gone! In the evening we were invited to a BBQ party at a friend’s house of Philippe and Pascale. Apparently, it was just over the border to France and huge. The guy – Steve – living there had already sent pictures of the bar truck he had rented, the tents, parasols, couches, tables – it actually looked like a proper festival ground….CRAZY! Approx. 50 people were expected!

Well, Pascale and I spent the afternoon quiet (category: unusual), walking in the park close the her apartment, then went for a bite to eat. Soon it was time to return and getting ready for the evening (with jeans and warm clothes, since it was outside).

We drove to Philippe’s place which was approx. 40 minutes away and from there his daughter drove us to the place in France, about 15 minutes away.

Not only the entrance of his villa was impressive, the whole house was – including his garden of course. Many guests were already there, drinking prosecco and beer, scattered around on bar tables or couches, talking and laughing. Many dogs were also present, Steve’s beautiful big one (called Dayo), and some of the guests had brought their chihuahua, border collie and pomeranian. Luckily, the garden park was big enough, so the animals could run and play! Even Steven’s cat showed up, probably making sure who was the boss in the house!

It was a great party, but my stomach felt a bit….hmmm….sore. So – to everyone’s horror – I only drank water (except of one glass of red wine). I didn’t want to get wasted, since I had to fly home the next day (OK, in the evening, but nevertheless…)!

The “Grill Masters” succeeded not to burn my veggie steaks, although not being sober anymore and, accompanied by some salads, I’ve had a tasty dinner! *yummy*  And hey, the water was veeeeery delicious, all right!

Around 1.30 a.m. Philippe’s son picked us up (what well-behaved kids he has!!!) and we drove to his place again. Wisely, Pascale and I had already earlier decided to spend the night at his place.

It was almost five again until we finally slept – Pascale just wouldn’t shut up and we were giggling around – like a couple of silly girls!

It was not even ten o’clock when we woke up – WHAT?! – and when we went downstairs, Philippe had already been at the Boulangerie (bakery), to buy croissants, different kind of pastries and some normal bread rolls. So we enjoyed some breakfast and around twelve o’clock, Pascale and I said our goodbyes and left. Thanks Philippe, for your kind hospitality!

It didn’t come as a surprise that Pascale felt a bit tired, after we came home. I started to get my stuff together, had a shower and slowly getting ready, while she was lying on the sofa, watching TV and reading some Whatsapp messages…Yeah well, understandable! Exactly THAT was the reason why I stayed with the water the night before! Lucky me!

There was short flaring up, whether we should do something, but since it became more and more cloudy outside, we decided to watch a movie. We arranged ourselves under a blanket, drunk some coffee and enjoyed doing nothing.

After five (evening this time) we were getting ready and she drove me to the airport. Amazing – it felt like she only just picked me up yesterday…..

Many hugs and kisses later we had said our goodbyes and I went through security. The plane was half an hours delayed (19.30 instead of 19.00), which was a bummer, because now I would miss the train to Frauenfeld by 30 minutes – where Patrik would be waiting for me.

Of course I called my beloved husband and told him that the train would be in Frauenfeld at 21.15h – no problem for him, he was there in time, giving me a big hug and a kiss!

I was glad that I took the day off on Monday….since I’m not 20 or 30 or even 40 anymore, such weekends take its toll! But it was worth it and that’s the main thing, isn’t it?!

Cheers and take care xxx

 

 

Ready for the “Trunk Market”

About a month ago I’ve received the mail with the acceptance to the trunk market on the 29th of June *YEAH*!! Needless to say how happy and excited I was *unicorn-like*!

Luckily, I’ve been planning ahead and have been busy producing, plus created new things…so, thumbs went up when the message came, and I didn’t feel stressed. I was ready, with a certain selection of jewelry and new created key rings, in different colors and models.

It was also important to test my new booth, how to arrange everything. Questions about lighting (or better none?), is it too much decoration, where to put the price tags and how should they look? So to array the my little table was a bit of a challenge and it took more time as I expected.

Well, in the end it turned out beautiful and very stylish. Also thanks to my mum, who brushed aside my last doubts – thanks again for your time and opinion!

Anyway, now I’m ready for the big day, which is the 29th of June! I feel confident with my creations – a lot has changed since last time – and I look forward to the happening.

But now I have to go, sorry! This weekend Me, myself and I will go away, visiting a dear friend abroad… My next post might be about this trip. Or perhaps Odin will interfere and will write about some exciting stuff in his highly secret life!

So long and take care

Running out of senior high school (gymnasium)

As my godson was ending senior high school I was up for the event in Helsingborg, Sweden. Running out of gymnasium as it is called (freely translated). This is a really big event in Sweden it is a must to one day in life. So if anyone have the chance and are in Sweden beginning of June I recommend to take a look.

Anyhow Diana drove me to the train-station Tuesday morning and left me there, as she could not take off from work due to colleagues who had holiday. I had to go alone this time. So I went by train to Zurich airport which takes me 25 minutes. Everything went smoothly concerning the trip including security and flight.

It was first when I was waiting for my luggage in Copenhagen it stopped a little. This must be one of the slowest airports in the world handing out luggage. Looks good when coming to the belt (It’s written 20 minutes) the last 1  min takes approx 30 minutes though. In the end this time I had a new speed record…. it took only 43 minutes (earlier record was 55 min). Now I knows why they have restaurants in the luggage area. Only airport have seen this on during all my travel.

After receiving my luggage I took the train up to Helsingør in Denmark. From there and beside the train the ferry for Helsingborg, Sweden is leaving. I arrived Sweden 3  pm and headed for the hotel.

Check-in at the hotel and had a shower. Then my parents  picked me up and we drove to my sister which son is my godson and who was to end school the day after. We stopped only to say hello and see you tomorrow.

After we left for my parents place where we had a nice dinner and a good chat. Took the bus back to my hotel about 11 pm and headed for bed 10 and out. The day after I woke up to a blue sky and a wonderful day 30°C. was promised.  Which I love but thought could be quite hot when standing outside the whole day.

I was picked up at apron 12 o’clock by my parents again. We drove to the place where the students for this school was running out of gymnasium. The name of the place was Sundspärlan which is in a nice park.

We did not have much of shade even if it was in a park. Of course were we was waiting not many trees were around.

Later we drove down to Råå Marina for lunch my parents and I. Was nice to take a stroll down there as well after lunch and cool down a little.

Then back downtown for me to make me ready for the evenings event at my sisters place. On my way to the hotel I arrived in the middle of the parade for all students as is common in Sweden.

Back to the hotel and the second shower of the day changing of cloth again. Good that I had two sets of shirts with such a heat.

At 6 pm  I was picked up once more for the ride to my sister and husband for a nice dinner. Here I meet my  own kids as we who came in from Gothenburg for this event. It was wonderful to meet everyone and we had a great and funny evening. The food we shouldn’t forget which was outstanding and made by my sister and her husband.

We where going on until close to midnight before it was time to head back to the hotel again.

Thursday morning at 10 am my home journey started with a short walk down to the ferry. Blue sky and 26-28°C which fitted perfectly to the Swedish national day.

When arriving home Diana was picking me up at Frauenfeld train station which was covered with clouds and a temperature of 17°C.

 

 

Passport challenges at renewal

.My passport was on its way to expire and as it nowadays is mandatory to book a time for renewal of the passport. I thought that I will book a time really good in advance this time. 

What a surprise I had when I realised that it was 4 month waiting time at the Embassy in Bern, Switzerland where I do my passport !!!! 

I didn’t had a clue that there lived so many people in Switzerland. 

Anyhow I come with the smart idea to do it in Sweden as I will be in Helsingborg between the 4th -to6th of June.

Went to the platform where you shall book your time …. and … As well fully booked for the next 3 month in the complete southern Sweden!!! Seems like everyone needs a new passport in Sweden.

Anyhow I thought why not call the Embassy and ask if there might be an error in their booking system. 

The person answered at the Embassy did confirm that they where fully booked and she asked if I shouldn’t travel to Sweden soon and could do it there?  I explained that I had already checked that out but no chance (fully booked). 

Then she asked if I shouldn’t travel to some other country and be close to a Swedish Embassy…  I had to say NO on that suggestion as well. Last she asked if I would travel much for the next months. If there was no chance to wait with a new passport. I had to tell her that I cannot wait either.

Then she gave me the email address direct to responsible person for passports at the Embassy in Bern and told me to explain that I am travel a lot and need my passport and if could help me. 

This I did plus informed here of my next 3 trips which I had booked in plus asked if she could squeeze me in somewhere.

The day-after she answered and told me that I could come when the Embassy was closed for lunch. This I accepted and confirmed direct. I was impressed that the Embassy was so flexible and helpful.

I got my time and the information that I must fill in a document which state that I am Swedish citizen. Thought it strange though I have a Swedish passport already. 

But anyhow that done all other papers filled in. Off I went to the Embassy in Bern and did my passport.

In the end everything went good. Now I am waiting to picking it up at the Swedish consulate in Zurich.

NOzeanium in Basel – A Victory!

A few years ago the “Zoo Basel” came up with a crazy idea: Let’s build a huge aquarium!

 Costs: 100 Mio. Swiss Francs. With that amount of money, an ocean national park, with 1’850 km2, could be protected and supported for 20 years!

Plus, imagine the costs for maintenance! How much energy would it use? Talking about CO2….

When I for the first time heard about it, approx. 2 years ago, I immediately thought, they must be kidding! Doesn’t everyone know these days, what a criminal business the trade with tropical fish is? Also with the big fish like sharks and rays, or mammals like sea turtles!

It’s of course a billion dollar industry and everyone involved want their share…But a zoo, who is supposed to protect animals and their habitat was planning to be part of this dirty business? Their arguments were stone age, such as education and conservation of the oceans…..erm….what?!

That was the believe 100 years ago, but today?

Nowadays, we know that millions of animals are dying in fish tanks – and have to be replaced again. Since most of these creatures cannot be breed, the coral reefs are being plundered – including destroying corals itself, sharks and other animals are brutally ripped off their habitat. Only to die a miserable death, sick and deformed because they can’t perform their natural life. So in the end it would be a continuous destruction of the precious wildlife!

It’s are very emotional topic, of course! (And I try to keep it short).

In the end, people in Basel could vote about the project “Ozeanium” – the 19th May was D-Day! Weeks and months before, the theme was in the medias. Politicians and scientists discussed the subject hotly and well-known nature- and animal protection organizations, such as Ocean Care, Animal Rights, Fondation Franz Weber (to mention only three), did everything possible to fight about this insane plan! People were in the streets and performed peaceful demonstrations against the “Ozeanium” and explained the massive impact it would have in the nature, in case the project would be adopted!

Well, to cut a long story short, the people in Basel decided wisely and voted “no” – with 54.56% – BRAVO! It’s a milestone and shows that people start to think differently! They are more sensitized about what happens to our planet, to the animals and their habitat! Finally it’s also about our own survival, right?!

Needless to say, how happy I am about the result – together with thousands of others! It’s such a relief and I do hope these 100 Mio. Swiss Francs will be used for ecologically worthwhile projects, such as the protection of our oceans and rainforest, or perhaps give the animals in the zoo in Basel more space, by renovating the site?

We’ll what will happen – maybe the zoo considers a project, similar as the new “ZOOXXI” in Barcelona.            A vision about education through zoo’s, developed by Fondation Franz Weber                                        (https://www.ffw.ch/de/projekte/zooxxi).

Good luck, in any case!

 

WHAT A NERVE-RACKING WEEK !

Honestly, this was one of the most troublesome weeks!

Some of you know that our new bimini annoyingly hasn’t arrived on Easter. So instead of  getting some work done, we were “forced” to enjoy a week holiday…well, of course it was fun, but not the plan!

After our return at home, we received the good news that the bimini had finally been sent from Germany on the 26th April, and within 5 working days it was scheduled to arrive in Loano. Sweet! We immediately started to plan our trip and I booked a room at the Yacht Club for the weekend from 18th – 19th May.

With plenty of time for the transport we weren’t worried, but looked forward to see Luna Azzurra again and to finally assemble the new item! Since we have guests who booked our boat, it was just in time to get the job done – before the high season starts!

Well, almost a week passed and no news about the parcel delivered at the marina office. The forwarders track and trace system did show the pick-up and some further movements and that it arrived in Como/Italy on the 30th April. But that was it – nothing more happened after that?! When I contacted the forwarder and asked about our consignment, I was told that she would try get information and shortly be back with me… I haven’t heard more, so I sent a reminder or two…nothing.

Still quite calm and not too worried I patiently waited for an answer. Somehow another week passed – without any progress – and Patrik and I started to get nervous about the whereabouts of the bimini! Where the hell is it and why don’t we get a reliable answer? Is it lost, damaged, sent back to Germany, stolen…?!

I mean, it’s a big parcel which weighs 25 kg. Hard to lose it under a pile of paper…

Meanwhile, it was the 10th May, and I’ve started to be in telephonic contact with the forwarder in Germany! At least she was very understanding and kind, but it didn’t help much in our situation. I also was aware, of course, that it wasn’t her fault and she just could just pass the information to me which she got from her partner firm in Italy! BUT IT WAS NERVE-RACKING!

On the 06th of May I finally got the “Hurray-News” that the parcel will be delivered tomorrow, on the 07th *yeah*! But when asking the marina office on the 07th, they didn’t know anything about a delivery for us. Back to the forwarder, and they promised to send me a proof of delivery asap! Two days later I’ve been told that – oh sorry – it wasn’t delivered and apparently they needed our and the boats name. *arghh*  We knew that the paperwork and address sticker on the parcel was correctly filled in, so we simply couldn’t understand the problem….just deliver the bloody parcel, man!

Mails went back and forth and phone calls were made….still no result and by now it was Monday, 13th May! It was too late to cancel the hotel room and get the a refund, but that was the smallest of the problems, because the bimini still wasn’t delivered! More mails and phone calls followed and from being puzzled I began to be really annoyed and worried and had to pull myself together to not to shout at the poor girl at the other end of the phone! On the 15th I even sent a copy of the delivery note to her, in order to proof that the correct address was mentioned in the shipping documents!

Then – finally – on the same day I received the news that their partner in Italy had all necessary documents (didn’t they have them already before…??) and the delivery will happen in the afternoon, or on Thursday morning! She would keep me informed and let me know when the parcel had been delivered.

I didn’t jump to the roof yet, one disappointment was enough, so I waited patiently anxiously for the liberating news…..

During Thursday….nothing happened again – no news that it has been delivered or of any progress at all ! I even called the factory in Germany and asked them for some help. They assumed it had been delivered on the 07th May, and were more than surprised that it hadn’t.

She promised to call the shipping company and try to find out more. Since it is their regularly appointed forwarder, they might have better connections than I have…

On Thursday evening, just before I left the office, I received an email from the forwarder, that the package had been delivered this morning… I drove home and immediately called the marina office and – HALLELUJAH – they confirmed the receipt of the goods!! WOW, what a relief, un-***-believable!

After a three weeks odyssey our bimini had finally arrived at its destination! I thanked the woman at marina and mentioned that we see one another on Saturday!

Afterwards I called Patrik – who was in Gdansk / PL from Wednesday until Friday – and told him the fantastic news! He also almost couldn’t believe it, but was soooo happy!

So on Friday, after work I picked up Patrik from the train station, then we had to pick up our Chevy from the garage and started packing the few things for one night, plus some stuff for the boat!

Unluckily, the weather forecast for Saturday in Loano was not so good – rainy and pretty cold with only approx 14 deg. C.  So our rain jackets and my wellingtons were also added – I even bought a pair of rain trousers (for nothing, as it turned out…. but rather like this, than the other way around).

Five o’clock on Saturday morning we left home, after kissed Odin good-bye, and arrived at the marina in Loano at 11 a.m., luckily, the journey went super smooth! We immediately picked up the bimini and started assembling. According to Patrik it shouldn’t take longer than 3 hours, so the task was completed just after three, good job! After a short visit at Matteo’s shop, we finally checked-into the hotel at the Yacht Club and enjoyed a well earned prosecco. After a shower we got ready for dinner – which we had at “Shardana Wine and Sea”…….. change of plan, “Shardana” was fully booked, so we went to the pizzeria a few meters further away, called “All’Acqua Pazza”. Although, the ambience isn’t as charming, the food was fantastic!

Today is Sunday and the weather is – well a bit better than yesterday! We just had our breakfast and at 11 a.m. we’ll check-out and prepare our journey home! If we are lucky, it shouldn’t take much more than six hours….

The bimini is where it supposed to be and Luna Azzurra looks very proud, I believe she is!

So this nightmare has a happy end at least – thank God!

Bye everyone and see you next week!

Stop the Bloodbath

http://stopthebloodbath.afd.org.au/petition

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