I’ve decided that instead of moaning about returning to work on Monday, that I would use Sunday blogs to talk about a place I would like to visit or one that I would like to revisit.
Lakeside in Zug
I love Switzerland.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit for the first time in 2011. With my job as a
nomad tax auditor, I was sent to Biel/Bienne in the canton or Berne some hours from Geneva, the multilingual city (German, French, Italian) was absolutely stunning and diverse. Our hotel was situated about a five minute walk from the lake which as well as being peaceful and picture perfect, featured some of the earliest forms of street art I had photographed on my travels ( I’m obsessed with photographing graffiti), friendly lake fauna and local residents.
Next I was fortunate to visit and work in Lausanne in the canton of Vaud. This predominantly French speaking part of Switzerland possessed the same type of charm as Biel but more…well French. I frequented a bar called Bleu Lezard (http://bleu-lezard.ch/) for the live music but I understand that it is a very popular eaterie. Friendly local vibe and great music! The Ouchy waterfront was constantly busy with a life size chess board, local youngsters hanging out and tourists taking photographs.
I also visited Geneva and Zurich ( The Christmas market at the Hauptbanhof was amazing! ) but was taken aback by the beauty of Zug and its lake culture. The town was so clean and the air ridiculously fresh. Breathing the fresh air and photographing the snow-capped mountains are experiences that I can’t forget in a hurry. Even the ducks were friendly!
There’s something so wholesome, clean and homely about Switzerland. It’s so hard to post about an entire country but of what I have seen, I love it and would love to visit again soon!
In which direction is your wanderlust pulling you this year?
Lakeside in Zug, Switzerland
Cue the Violins
So I might be a little late to the party but in the soundtrack of my life so far, the following pieces from Muse perfectly sum things up and bring me out in fits of melodramatic tears when I relate them to incidents and moments in my life.
That said, I’m biased. I love Muse.
There would also be ‘Knights of Cydonia’ to accompany my frustrating commutes to and from work in London. I imagine myself to be walking in slow motion, hair flowing behind me as I defeat the hostile crowds of travellers.
I think there is a song for every moment in life. Every smile, heartbreak, success or failure. Loss, friendship, family, love, hate, peace, war. It’s endless.
The running theme in any song that describes my life would be dramatic crescendos, instrumentals, violins, orchestral classic pieces.
Mediocrity has no place here…
Growing up in a house with two older brothers in the 80s, naturally as a baby sister, you inherit the old consoles as your brothers move on to the latest gadget upgrade.
My first console was a NES and my favourite game was Super Mario Bros 3.
Super Mario Bros 3
What’s not to love about this game? I have played previous Mario games but with the added benefit of being able to fly in this version as well as the improved graphics, this was the cause of many late nights playing in the dark, trying to avoid being told off for playing when I should be sleeping. The new suits: frog, raccoon, statue thingy all add the the awesomeness of the thing.
Forget the fact that you are a miniature Italian plumber and you’ll love this. If you haven’t heard of this cult classic, where have you been hiding for the past 29 or so years??
I love games but this one never ceases to please me!
Grateful and Guilty
You’ll probably look at me differently, even though it’s safe to say that you don’t know me personally. It started when I was very young and living in St.Lucia with my parents. I enjoyed my own company and was never bored with the company of my imagination and a notebook, I was endlessly entertained and amused.
I would lock the door and sit for a while, thinking of my next short story or limericks, or just to read a few pages in the book I was currently reading. My Game boy Colour (in deep purple) would often accompany me. I’d try to get to the next level in Rayman or complete the latest ‘Driver’ mission.
Sometimes, I didn’t take any props with me but it would always help me gather my thoughts.
In my adult life, I began doing it first thing in the morning and when I returned from work of an evening. It would help me psyche myself up for the day or wind down after a particularly stressful day at work.
My guilty pleasure is sitting in the bathroom (with the seat down I hasten to add. I wouldn’t blog about daily ablutions and bowel movements!) as a place for reflection.
Everyone has that place they go to to self-reflect, be it a spot on their couch, in bed, or during a long shower. Mine just so happens to be the bathroom. I feel strangely comforted by the confined space and quiet of the smallest room in the house. I feel oddly meditative and relaxed by the time I have evacuated, much to the amusement and often concern of Bear.
…I love spending time in the bathroom. My less than conventional meditation room!
Don’t judge me.
I recently finished reading yet another galley via http://www.netgalley.com and wanted to share my thoughts on yet another pleasurable read. Perhaps I have great taste in galleys or perhaps I am a generous reviewer.
I haven’t been reading galleys with the intention of reviewing them but when I read something that I feel touches a nerve, I’d like to see if it has the same impact on others.
The story follows the mishaps and successes of Katie-Lee and her double-barrelled Cajun family when a bereavement forces her to face her past demons and the reality that time moves on but some things never change.
Katie-Lee is 50, single and hopelessly awkward and the book opens with K-L engaging in a classic case of ‘putting her foot in her mouth’ when she takes a joke with her work colleagues, about her family too far, accidentally copying one of her many sisters into an email chain.
A sudden freak accident involving a large zoo animal changed everyone’s view of what is really important, exploring themes of death, forgiveness, family and grief. One of my favourite juxtapositions was the injection of humour in the story at a highly emotional moment,
“The dog barks, then runs up to the casket and starts sniffing at the open end . I cover my mouth, unsure if it’ll be a laugh or a scream that comes out, convinced Karen-Anne’s not going to even make it to her grave before she starts spinning. A dog! A Tooth Fairy-murdering dog. “O. M. G.” Catherine says. “Son of a bitch,” says her grandmother, before turning to the younger kids sitting behind us. “Yall stop laughing. It’s not funny.” Try convincing a bunch of bored-out-of-their-head kids that a dog tearing ass inside a funeral home isn’t funny. For them, this is the height of hilarity. A troop of farting clowns would pale in comparison.”
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this despite the fact that I often got confused by the similar sounding character names. I loved the humour and situational comedy and would recommend to a friend looking for a fun read. I only realised that the author was male after I had finished reading so a very believable, neurotic but totally loveable character left a sizeable impression on me.
Details can be found at Amazon:
Bear and I enjoy T.V. programming we can get lost an involved in. The sort that makes us shout at the screen and each other in bemusement, shock, awe and sometimes incredulity. The latest addiction?
Under the Dome
I don’t usually like serialisations of books because I often feel that they aren’t quite being portrayed on screen in the way in which they were imagined whilst reading. After the season finale of Under the Dome, we naturally engaged in a conversation about Stephen King. His fantastic mind.
Stephen King is one of few authors whose books unsettle me, chill me to the bone and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The first one I have ever read, ‘The Shining’, ensured that I wouldn’t sleep soundly for a week, not through shock factor, gruesome description or supernatural occurrence but through vivid, gradual building of a feeling of dread. Of suspense, with not very much activity but with a dreary and eerie setting.
If you haven’t read under the Dome, have you seen the television series about a mysterious invisible dome which suddenly appears over the small town of Chester’s Mill? Nothing can get into or out of the dome and unexplained phenomena are common. As the food supplies begin to dwindle and tensions run high between the townsfolk, how will they ever escape alive? King’s endless attention to detail is comparable to the ever descriptive, literary diarrhoea that is Tolkein ( Maps?? Really Tolkien??) Engrossing and indulgent.
You can discover more about literary giant at the link below:
What is your favourite Stephen King film or book?
At the start of a new week, apprehension as to the type of week I was going to have had set in early.
215 unread emails??
I nervously began working through the numerous emails sent with disregard to the Out of Office notifier and whereabouts email I had sent earlier in the week, letting everyone know that I would be away from the office.
By lunchtime, I was overwhelmed. Complaints as to my incompetence at completing tasks on time emerged. Urgent requests. Being pulled in several directions. Enough!
During my lunch, I decided to escape into a few chapters of the latest egalley I am reviewing (review to follow in a separate post) as well as to watch a few of CloudyApples’ vlogs. She’s a Canadian lifestyle blogger. Really straight to the point, sensible logic. Great to listen to. I felt more relaxed by the end of my lunch break.
By 4pm I was totally anxious again.
I dragged myself to the gym and some good old-fashioned cardio and weights brought those endorphins rushing about.
Now as I start winding down for the night, I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
How was your Monday?
Find out how to keep Monday blues at bay. Check out this Forbes article: