Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Hours Hike

I am pretty proud of myself. Yesterday, I did a five hours hike! We started in Rapperswil, by the lake, and ended in Einsiedeln. I don't know the difference in altitude for sure but I suppose it's about 900 meters. That is why I am so proud of myself. We started near the lake and up we went! Oh my! Up and up and up.  The view was worth it though:


Fortunately, after the first steep hill the path got easier to walk on.

 
this bridge is called "the devil's bridge" - no idea why!
Luckily it never rained and we arrived in Einsiedeln tired but happy! All in all a wonderful hike and a wonderful day!


the signboard says "4 hours and 10 minutes" - it took us 5 hours though.


Addicted To Shopping?

The way I go on about fashion and shopping must make you think that I am some kind of shopaholic.

Actually, I am not.

Really, I am not.

I do love to shop.
And I absolutely love fashion.
But when it comes to actually buying stuff I am rather reluctant. I think about it once, twice and sometimes even three times before actually buying anything new (and most of the time I just put it back).
Are you surprised?
Don't be.
You couldn't possibly know that some years ago I decided that ... less was more. It was when I started working less hours and ... to live more. It was hard in the beginning, I have to admit. Especially the tight budget was hard to get used to. I adapted rather quickly though and surprisingly well. Quality of life has nothing to do with big money - at least not for me. I need enough money, that yes, but the question is: how much is enough? Every single person will have a different answer to this question. I found mine.
That is why I own only a two-door closet for my summer AND my winter clothes and another two-door closet in the entrée where I keep all my bags and my coats (the latter being partly empty).


I love my way of life with the "less is more" motto but doing without shopping? NEVER EVER. To pass on walking from shop to shop, thinking about what to buy, what can be worn with what, which colors and patters fit and which not, etc. etc. makes me happy.
And I would never want to forgo being happy :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Shopping Spree In Milano

What a day! I rose at 5.30 in order to catch the 7 am train to Milano. Arrived in Milano around 11 am, taxi to Piazza del Duomo ... then ... you know what followed (just one short stop to have lunch!) ... at 5.30 pm taxi back to Stazione Centrale, etc. etc. I was back home at around 11 pm!
Exhausted, as you can imagine, but blissful.
I have found the shoes of my dreams! Really :-) I have been wanting white flat pointed slingbacks for some time now but never have been able to find any. You can imagine my happyness when I saw these in a shop-window sometimes during the afternoon. They even had my size (41 is not easy to find in Italy!). That was a sign. Oh yes, a definite sign SMILE. Can't wait to wear them!
Got lucky at the Gap as well. I found a very nice dark blue blouse and then another one (see picture below). The pattern evoked "SUMMER!" and when I saw that it was on pre-sale (half price), I had to have it! It's white (the picture looks more beige-ish) and worn with my dark blue jeans and my new white shoes it gonna look so nice :-)

 

One pair of shoes, two blouses - quite a reasonable shopping spree, don't you think? The numerous fashion magazines and books don't count, do they?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Outfits

Summer is playing hide-and-seek. Two days ago summerly temperatures, today rain. But well, it's almost June and summer will well arrive, won't it?
Anyway.
In case it'll decide to definitively show up, I want to be ready.

First thing to do is to clear my closet which I have done today. I put away my winter clothes and washed / ironed the summer dresses / t-shirts / skirts / blouses. My closet is now in summer mood and looks great!

Secondly I'm making a (mental) list on what is missing (blouses, in my case).

Thirdly it's about going shopping :-) My favorite part, you guessed right! Monday I am off to Milano for the day. GAP, COS, & other stories, OVS and many other shops to check out, looking not only for the blouses mentioned in point 2 but for some other outfits that I will want to wear this summer. No idea what they are gonna be. That is the miracle of shopping. Inspiration. Thinking about possible outfits and how I will want to look like coming summer.

Ah, the greatness of shopping and of a new season!

Our World ... is Lovely


Friday, May 23, 2014

Feet

Warm temperatures bring ... feet in sandals or flip-flops.
Feet shown off to the word. Shamelessly.
Feet in terrible condition (after a long winter wearing boots and closed-toe shoes).
Feet with long nails (number one of the disgusting things I can think of - especially long nails on men's feet - double ick!!), yellow nails, callused skin, ... you don't want me to continue my list, right?
Why do people seem to forget that well-kept feet are part of the outfit? Why are they so often neglected?

I agree that not everybody can have beautiful feet. I am the first person to know because mine aren't beautiful either - quite the contrary actually. My feet arent't gracious but rather large and my toes are kind of too short. And let's not talk about my short "curved" nails!
I didn't wear sandals for many years until I learned how to take care of my feet and nails (and found sandals that suit my feet). I made them look the best they could. In my opinion, this goes for any other body part that isn't "naturally beautiful" (whatever beautiful may mean to you). Take special care of it! Care coupled with attention somehow ... brings change.  At least in my experience.
I took care of my feet. They didn't become beautiful but they are ... mmmh, well, let's say, ... bearable SMILE.
So, please, everybody out there?
No long nails, no callused skin and, girls!, don't forget the nail polish!

Have a wonderful summer start!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Next Trip

My friend A. and I were traveling by train from Genova back home. When the train stopped in Stresa, I pointed at the Isole Borromee which are on Lago Maggiore just "in front" of Stresa and said: "This is going to be my next travel destination."
My friend responded, in impulse: "Well, I'd love to visit these islands with you."
Me: "That would be cool."
She: "Good. Because it's cool to visit places with you in Italy as you speak the language."
Me: "And I wouldn't mind not paying for the single room supplement."

We looked at each other and started to laugh.
Well, that came out funny. She who just wants to travel with me because I speak the language and me because I don't have to spend on supplements! Travel companions due to mutual benefits. hahahaha hilarious

Obviously, it was implied that we love to travel with each other. The stuff we mentioned is just a very nice side-benefit :-)

PS: Guess where my next trip will bring me to? Obviously to Stresa / Isole Borromee! Just booked the tickets on Monday :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Volunteering

I've spent another Saturday morning volunteering at the city's nursing home. Mrs B (remember, the lady with the e-reader?) didn't show up. I asked why and found out that her best friend, a French lady who would have been 100 years old in two weeks, passed away. Apparently, that was a hard blow for her. The two ladies spent a lot of time together, I found out, and ate all their meals together as well. It must be hard for Mrs B to be alone now. Getting older is also about ... people you love passing away all around you. My heart went out to her :-)

I spent some time with Mr P. instead. A smart, slender, good looking guy of about 92 (if I recall correctly). He lives in the nursing home with his wife. He told me that he married when he was (I quote): not a young guy any more. Apparently, he lived with his mother until she passed away and in addition, didn't have time for a relationship because he was away on different montage jobs, all over the place, all the time, installing telephone stations (back in the fifties when telephone was THE modern thing par excellence!). He was so proud to have been part of a team that made sure that all inhabitants were able to have telephones in their homes :-)
Imagine! Other times! Another world altogether!
But then his eyes got all misty when he started telling me about ... sailing. I quote him again: "That's what sucks with being old - not being able to sail on the lake any longer!"

You know, volunteering is so much more than answering questions about the internet or the computer. It's also about ... listening to stories!
I LOVE a good story.
And I love even more hearing about old times.
That makes this whole volunteering deal the perfect Saturday morning for me!

PS: Don't you think I should start a series of interview with these people? I am really thinking about it. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Hearing all theses stories?

Our World ... needs Lateral Thinker


Friday, May 16, 2014

Different Roads


People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.

Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they are lost.
 
- Dalai Lama

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting Lost ... and Finding

Life should be about going forwards. Right?
But you and I both know for sure that it's impossible to move forwards ALL THE TIME.
Sometimes you are stuck or even go backwards.
Reading the words of Imma Vitelli (in the April edition of MarieClaire Italia - I love her column!), where some elderly nun gave her the following advice, made me think about "the direction of life":

"L'arte della fuga consiste nel capire in che direzione andare. Spesso, per arrivare, occorre perdersi, anzi è necessario. Tutti dobbiamo prendere la strada sbagliata che ci conviene."

"The art of escaping consists in understanding which direction to take. Often, in order to arrive, one needs to get lost, in fact it's necessary. All of us need to take the wrong road that is convenient to us."

I tend to forget the notion of getting lost. How important it is. To re-think, re-evaluate situations.
In life it should be like discovering a new city/a new place; at some point getting lost is pretty inevitable.
What do I do when I get lost? First a slight panic, like "oh, shoot, how did I manage to get lost this time? How will I find the right way again?" Then my panic is usually followed by my being practical: What now?
I, for my part, simply keep on moving. The very best things can happen then. Maybe because I am not focussed on my goal any longer. I just don't want to be lost any longer.
There is this German saying: Suchen heisst, ein Ziel zu haben. Finden aber heisst, offen zu sein.
(To look for something means to have a goal/destination. To find though means to be open.)

So, let's get lost!
And let's embrace whatever follows then.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mindfulness

Loosing my purse made me realize that it couldn't have happened if I had been more mindful while taking out my bag from the locker. So, I remembered this interesting article read on the Huff Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/habits-mindful-people_n_5186510.html

13 ways of becoming more mindful

1) Taking walks

2) Turning daily tasks into mindful moments

3) Creating

4) Paying attention to my breathing

5) Unitasking (instead of multitasking)

6) Knowing when NOT to check my phone

7) Seeking out new experiences

8) Going outside

9) Feeling what I'm feeling

10) Meditating

11) Being conscious of what I put into my body ... and my mind

12) Not taking myself so seriously

13) Letting my mind wander

I am pretty good at some of these points, like number 1 or 3 or 6 or 7 (yes!!!! number 7) or 8 or 11, 12 and 13. I totally suck though at other points like number2 (!!) or 4 or 5 or 9 or 10.

Well, life is about learning, right?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Life in a Purse

Yesterday evening I went to a museum (an exhibition that showed the differences or rather the similarities of the Expressionism in France and Germany - wonderful by the way).
But it's not about art, I am afraid.
It's about losing my purse. After the exhibition we went for a drink when I suddenly realized that my purse wasn't in my bag any longer.
Oh my.
With my friend we tried to rethink about everything we did and where I put my bag and finally we came to the conclusion that it must have slipped out of my bag when taking it out of the checkroom box. Or I least I HOPED that it slipped out there and I didn't loose it during the short trip to the tram or the bar.

Needless to say - my evening was ruined. I kept thinking about my purse and everything that I had in it. It's not the cash but all the cards - ID, credit card, debit card, driver's licence, card of health insurance and so on and on and on. My life in my purse, actually. I kept imagining how it would be - calling all the companies and having my cards replaced!
Nightmarish!
My friend had to lend me money to buy the bus ticket home (and had to buy for the drinks as well!). At 8 o'clock sharp this morning I called the museum (after a restless night) but ... the lost and found opened only at 10!
Two hours later I finally got hold of the "lost and found" lady who personally went to check the box (me, who tends to forget details, remembered that it was box 108!). She called me back with the good news!
Yipee!!
I have to go now and pick up my purse e.g. my life :-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Present Time

I've spent my weekend with an almost 13-year-old and an almost 16-year-old girl (you know how important the almost is at that age SMILE).
Spending time with them, I realized how totally they live in the present time. I suppose it's a thing of being young. With them (at least with the two girls I baby-sat) the only valid moment is the present moment.
Talking about what we're gonna eat for dinner or do tomorrow?
Please, can we talk about it when it's time to decide?

I don't know how conscious they are about their living the present time.
The past is not important and more so a thing of embarrassement (please! you wanna talk about when I was a baby??).
The future on the other hand seems (and actually is) far far fffaaaaarrrr away.
That leaves them with the present time.
And that present time is lived at 100% (sometimes it's even more than that and that's the moment when it gets exhausting for us adults!).

I love teenagers (as I do love cool people in general aside from their age) and I love their ability to live the present time. I think it's wonderful and something, we older people, tend to forget. It should be more about "right now" then about "how it was" and "how it's gonna be". Easy to say but NOT EASY at all to do. Don't you agree?
Let's keep trying and let's at least be conscious that we are NOT in the present time. I think that helps and it's like a first step to actually BE in the present time.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Plastic

Yesterday evening I watched "Trashed", movie by Jeremy Irons (www.trashedfilm.com).
Oh wow.
Admittedly, I felt a bit depressed and overwhelmed after watching it.
Totally overwhelmed and quite a bit depressed, to be honest.
All that trash. Mountains of it. What has our world become?
I have always been interested in environmental issues but actually seeing these mountains of trash in the movie (and please let's not talk about the deformed children of Vietnam they show in the movie - heart-wrenching) made me very sad.
I recycle, I do not use plastic bags and whenever I can, I try to avoid plastic in general.
Watching the movie though made me realize that I want to do more.
Time has come to be more conscious - not only with regard to my nutrition and my health in general (physical and mental).
But how to do it?
I found this article on Facebook:

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/photos/16-simple-ways-to-reduce-plastic-waste/plastic-problem

Interesting, yes, but not all points apply to my way of life. I will have to find other ways to reduce plastic. To do so, I will have to figure out first "where do I still use plastic?" and the second question "can this item be replaced by an item in glass or any other material that can be recycled?". And the most important question: Do I need all this (plastic) stuff in the first place?