Wednesday, October 29, 2014

R.I.P.

I have just learned that my uncle passed away. I went to see him at the hospital on Monday and I am glad I did. He recognized me even though he was in too much pain to talk. But I am glad I held my promise to go visit him (I had told him two weeks back that I would visit him before I left for Hong Kong).
He stopped suffering. I am glad for that. Because he was suffering. A lot.
I will miss him though.


Taking Decisions

Sometimes, when I need to take a decision, I hear my heart and my reason argue like there were no tomorrow.

Do you know the feeling?

There is this decision you need to take.
Your heart says X.
Your reason says Y.

Whom do you trust more?
Whom do you believe?

For me, it depends on the situation - I have learned that, life has taught me that.
Each decision is different. Each decision is unique.
Experience helps, for sure, but finally it's about knowing yourself. Your wishes. Your desires.
Sometimes it helps to talk it over with someone you trust. It helps to hear yourself actually "talking" about it.
It helps me, at least. To actually "hear" my thoughts.
But then, you know it, the thinking part is over. You just go for it. With courage and determination :-) Hoping your heart or your reason were right!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

At The Gym

How do you definitively know that summer and fall are over? Definitively over?

When you're at the gym and on TV they show ... a skiing contest.

Then you simply know. It shouldn't surprise me but it does. Each year anew!!

Our World ... is Seraphic


Friday, October 24, 2014

eReaders

I had been thinking about buying an eReader for some time now but I somehow never actually bought one. I couldn't make up my mind. Yes or no? I wasn't convinced and therefore couldn't decide whethere I wanted to spend money on an additional gadget or not. (Sometimes I am terrible that way - when I am not 100% convinced I can go on and on, pondering on the pros and cons!! I have to work on this one day...)

I have to admit though that each time I went on a trip ... I regretted not having made that decision. It would have made
a) my life easier (especially the times I didn't take enough books with me ... I could have simply downloaded a new one!) and
b) my bag lighter (4-5 books take up space and weight!).

Finally, someone else took that decision for me (probably had enough of my "should I?" / "should I not?"):
I am now a proud owner of an eReader (in a pink cover - so totally cool). Thank you S. for that gift :-)
It's really cool. You wanna know the best thing? I can download books and a minute (even less) later there the book is!!!
Amazing.
You know, I usually buy my books either online (because the choice of English books in my hometown is not that big) or then randomly when I am shopping (I LOVE book stores!!). When I buy a book online I always have to wait until the book actually is being delivered and that takes a few days. Now, with my eReader, if I want to read the new book of XY let's say tonight, ... one minute later ... there it is.
I found that quite amazing.
And my luggage for my Hong Kong / Angkor Wat trip will be so much lighter!!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wintertime Is Here

We went from balmy fall days to cold and windy winter days in one day.
One day? Hell no. One night, truth be told.

We went from sitting in the sun short-sleeved to being inside with thick socks and warm sweaters (and still not feeling warm enough).
And suddenly the mountain peaks that surround the place I live in are white again.
I am wearing boots and coats and scarves as if I had never worn anything else.
Oh my.
Luckily, there still are two things to be grateful of:
1) It has snowed only up in the mountains (way up in the mountains!!!)
2) I will be off to Hong Kong and Angkor Wat in three weeks. Sunny and warm days ahead of me :-)

Dachlawinen = roof avalanches

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Heartfelt Thanks

Have you noticed (or is this just me??), there is always a lot of talk about money. Earning money. Spending money. Saving money. Having no money. Having not enough money. 

Those with no money would like to have more.
Those with tons of money would like to have even more.
Funny, don't you think.
I usually try not to limit my life to the question of money. There is sooo much more to it :-)
But these last couple of months, I'm afraid, part of my life has been about money as well.
Earning money.
And spending money on stuff I had been wanting to buy for a long time like eyeglasses and a photo camera for instance.

It feels good, I have to admit. It feels good to spend money on stuff I needed / wanted for a long time. It felt good to settle my taxes on time. And it felt good spending money on some extras ... like my upcoming trip to Hong Kong and Angkor Wat! Or my future trip to Mexico!

Do you wonder why I go on and on about this whole money issue even though at the beginning of this post I said that I try not to limit my life to the question of money?
I am not becoming a money-addicted person, don't you be afraid. I was just thinking about something when I started this post.
Thinking about how grateful I am.
To everything.
To everybody.

I don't say it enough: thank you!




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kindred Spirits

Found this picture on Pinterest. Made by someone who sees life the way I see it :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Remembering


I fell in love with the French language when I was a kid. I remember my first grade teacher telling me that "dimanche" was the French word for "domenica" (Saturday) and I loved the sound of that word!
At 12 I had my first french lesson in school. Love at first sight or hearing! I always tell the story that the French language saved my (scholar) life because it ... simply boosted my ego.
The why is simple.
I have been a mediocre student all of my life. That changed with my first French lesson because suddenly I was the best of my class. All my schoolmates struggled with this language. Not me (being bilingual helped a lot!). I was a good student - at least in this subject. And this made me believe that I could actually be an overall good student (I became one afterwards - not an extraordinary one but a good one - and I discovered that I actually liked to study and to go to school).

There aren't many moments in life where there is a before and an after. I like to think that my first French lesson was such a moment.

There is more.

I found my love for traveling during my first French lesson as well. Our teacher showed us diapositives (remember those????) of Paris and I fell in love! I remember thinking: I have to go there and see for myself! What I did, BTW, with my first self earned money. 5 days in Paris with my BFF of back then. Best trip ever (because it was my first trip without my parents!). It was clear to me that I had to somehow find a way to go and live there.
Which, again, I did. I found a job as an au pair girl and lived in Paris (6ème arrondissement - near Saint-Germain-des-Près - so totally cool). A year in Paris! Imagine! How wonderful! How cool!
Best year of my life. Obviously, there have been other "best year of my life" since then, but that year in Paris has been my first, that is why I remember it so clearly.

Why do I tell you all this? Well, because last Saturday, in Colmar, I went to Monoprix and what did I see? Pain Poilâne! I love Pain Poilâne and it so totally reminds me of my year in Paris. The boulangerie that sold this bread was near to where I lived. Once in a while my Madame would ask me to go buy some bread there. It was a rather expensive bread (still is BTW!) but once in the while she decided that it was OK to indulge in some bread-luxury (the family had money but not THAT much money). I remember standing in line to buy it (imagine!). People came from all over Paris to buy this bread. Incredible, don't you think?
Well, on Saturday I had to buy a loaf of Pain Poilâne.
For old times' sake. :-)
And after eating several slices of it ... I had to write this post!!

Full Moon


Full moon yesterday evening - seen from my appartment.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Colmar

Ever since I have been to Strasbourg, people all around me kept telling me that, if I had liked Strasbourg, I'd adore Colmar. Well, I had to go and see for myself, weren't I? I asked a friend of mine (one of my few french speaking friends!) if she wanted to have lunch with me in Colmar and then maybe doing some sightseeing and a little shopping? She said yes. Plus I was lucky because she knows the place pretty good (living in Basle and going over the border to France rather frequently).
My friends were right. I loved Colmar. It's much smaller as Strasbourg but cute! They actually call it the "little Venice" because of all the canals and the water. Obviously nothing but nothing at all compares to Venice ... but Colmar was charming nevertheless :-)
Judge for yourself:







Our World ... is Nostalgic


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Having a Strange Day

Up until two hours ago I had a wonderful day. Feeling good - all around. But then I called my uncle (I had told you about him - it's the one who has cancer). And ever since I have been feeling strange. I am feeling sad. I feel sorry and sad about him. About this life of his that seems to come to an end. It's about regrets. And it's about not being able to ask others for help. About being too proud. I can't put the right words on this feeling of mine yet. Today, I leave it to others to say it: