Apparently the 29th November is much more than Black Friday.
Its is also
- Flossing Day. Get in between those teeth.
- Electronic Greetings Day. I have absolutely no words.
- Buy Nothing Day. Given who slow our internet is and the lack of any money in the bank account this is a day I’m supporting wholeheartedly.
- Throw out your leftovers Day. If that’s my own cooked leftovers then it could also be Accidentally poison your garden wildlife Day.
- Customer is wrong Day. Otherwise known in Britain as trying to deal with British Telecom….
- National Chocolates Day. I’m happy to endorse.
- National Lemon Creme Pie Day. And another one I’m endorsing
- National Square Dance Day. And why not let’s endorse this one.
- International Service Engineer Day. Sorry can’t endorse this one as I’m still waiting a call after two weeks from a British Telecom Service Engineer.
- International Sinkie Day. A day when you give your Kitchen Sink a day off. As we are having Pizza then this will be observed.
Can we think of any other International Day we can introduce today. Maybe
- National Don’t Rain in Yorkshire Day. So far so good.
- International Burn Your Home Made Bread Loaf to a crisp Day. Already celebrated that one here today.
- National phone up British Telecom and get no answer Day. This is a daily event.
- International Can’t get your washed clothes dry Day. Yep getting behind this one.
- International Pour an ice cold bucket of water over your countries most self serving, lying and annoying Politician Day. In this country that’s renamed as National Slap Boris Johnson with a Fish Day.
- International Pets be nice to other Pets Day. My cat and dog are sponsoring this one.
Before we just focused our holidays on beautiful Switzerland we had trips to France. Some great times. Times before our son. Times before grief rode in. Times even before digital. So occasionally I’m going to do turn the clock back to the start of this century. Go down memory lane.
This was a long weekend trip. A car trip from Yorkshire to the Loire Valley. We pre booked the accommodation but didn’t quite expect to be staying in a mini chateau.
Even before brexit the English always received a warm welcome in France.
Inside was just staggering. I was under strict orders. ‘Don’t touch anything in case you knock it over’.
The chateau stood next to the Loire River.
It must have been hot. No jumper.
Why the long weekend. Why the 620 mile drive. To watch the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.
Not the greatest of views but the budget had been blown on the accommodation and petrol. It was hot. Mid to high thirties. Wow it was noisy.
The race was won by the great Michael Schumacher.
Yorkshire weather. Good running weather. Why would I want to run in dry warm windless conditions. Well that’s what I tell myself. Maybe I’m like Count Dracula. I would turn to dust in direct sunlight. I wonder what I would do if someone offered me the chance though.
I’m mind wrestling with something at the moment. My partner was an epic traveller. She visited so many countries. It was her extravagance. From her late teens she would save up during the year for one great adventure. Family and her adventures was what she lived for. The adventures only stopped when we became a family. Her dream was that when our son became older we could have adventures together. The two places she always talked about was New Zealand (would have been her first time) and Chile. She always said that we would all love Chile.
Then life happened.
I really want to complete those journeys for her. Our Autism World may preclude that. Circumstances may preclude it. But we will see. I most admit a part of me doesn’t want to do those trips. It’s just not right that it would only be the two of us.
Sorry I digress. Back to my mind wrestling. So many adventures and so many photographs. All sat neatly and well organised in carefully stored albums. Here is the dilemma. Part of me wants to do a retrospective photo journal. Tell her travel story. Her trip to the Soviet Union (gives you an idea of the timeframe) maybe would be a great starting point. YET another part of me recoils at the idea. What if she hates that idea. What if I’m breaking some unwritten bond of trust. It’s like having two competing voices on either shoulder each shouting differing viewpoints on life.
She’s not here anymore. What’s the problem!
YOU KNOW SHE WOULD SAY NO. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOUR SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT THIS!
But this feeling is something I’ve grown used to over these three years. On virtually every major decision I have these doubts. ‘What do I want to do’ balanced against ‘what would she do’. I try to see the world through my eyes and at the same time through her eyes. Problem is that we were two completely different characters. We each had our own unique take on the world. We would frequently disagree on the right answer. Often we would compromise. I’m still trying to compromise now. Yet I can’t replicate her thought process. I never could and I never will. I’m probably getting her point of view completely wrong. But I still do it.
Maybe other people do this. Maybe it’s just me sinking further into cabin fever.
So am I going to publish this travel journal? I don’t know. WE still haven’t decided.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of beautiful Switzerland.
Our family Aspergers holidays often heavily featured reassuring repetition. Sunday mornings would see a trip across Lake Thun to Interlaken. A walk round the beautiful town. Maybe even a game of crazy golf. Switzerland loves its crazy golf. Then the first hot chocolate of the trip while sat outside watching the Paragliders fly off the local mountain top.. Finally a trip to a wonderful Swiss gift shop. Clocks, Calendars and Schleich toy animals.
Only once did we vary the Sunday routine with a trip to Lenk. A stunning village set in a wide valley with picture postcard views of The Alps. Walking heaven and beautiful waterfalls.
How did we negotiate the change in routine. The promise of the finest ice cream on the planet with the added clause that on Monday he could buy three Schleich Toys.
Was it too soon to start him on wine….
Lenk is such a peaceful place to visit especially on a Sunday morning. Your not shopping, your not watching paragliding, your probably not playing crazy golf. Your chilling out, going for a walk, skiing in the winter, going to church, or sitting having drinks and tasty ice cream. What else do you need on Sunday.
It’s Sunday. We are still clinging to our mad old planet. So it’s time to breathe and visit a place seemingly immune to the growing madness. A place of peace and beauty. It’s Switzerland.
I’ve been so fortunate to visit this wonderful country on a number of occasions. So many stunning locations. But I have a soft spot for one mountain. It’s called The First.
It’s not that big. It’s classed as a minor summit of the Schwarzhorn. But it would be massive if it was in the UK. It’s all relative.
The trip starts with a beautiful train journey to Grindelwald.
The First is special to me. It was the first Swiss Mountain I went up. It’s the one I’ve been on top the most. It’s the one I stood on top in a T-shirt and shorts in the middle of a massive snow drift. In fact it was the first adventure I ever had in this great country. On a Sunday 17 years ago.
So forgive me. Lots of photos.
Once in Grindelwald you take a small cable car to the top. The views are epic.
And they just keep on coming.
The higher you get The Alps slowly reveal themselves.
How can a country be this beautiful.
Eventually you arrive at the top of The First.
Next week the adventure will continue.
It’s Sunday and it’s time for a bit of Switzerland.
Just something about this wonderful place that is so uplifting for the soul.
Looking at the photos something occurred to me. How the varied architecture and buildings blends in perfectly with the stunning landscape. How many times these days do you see a potentially wonderful view ruined by an ugly inappropriate building. Not here in Switzerland.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for a bit of Switzerland
Spiez is like many Swiss towns and villages – nestled between beautiful lakes and imposing mountains. In summer the weather is often glorious with blue skies and hot weather. Although places like Spiez definitely have a seaside feel the word you don’t naturally associate with this great country is beaches.
So when we heard someone in the hotel mention the upcoming Beach Football Tournament we kinda of laughed. But how wrong we were.
Switzerland has a well stablished and successful beach soccer league. The finals weekend was being played 200 yards from the hotel. Within a couple of days a grass field had been transformed into a beech with stadium.
Beach soccer is a great sport to watch especially with a cold beer. Our son loved the experience. He loved watching the games, he loved kicking a ball on the sand, he loved the music, he loved the fanpark and he really loved his free hat. He still wears it today.
We didn’t get to see the league final as we had to leave on the Saturday. BUT…
On Friday night we got to see a beech soccer International. Switzerland v Germany. A brave soul paraglided off the local mountain and onto the pitch. Then it was the national anthems.
Then the teams showed amazing skills while kicking lumps out of each other. It really is a fabulous sport. Sadly I don’t think Yorkshire has the weather for it to catch on here. But if you get the chance do check out the sport.
But definitely if your looking for a seaside or beach holiday don’t automatically discount Switzerland. It really is an amazing country.
It’s Sunday so let’s travel to beautiful Switzerland again.
My partners parents would always holiday in Switzerland and after a few visits they picked a small town on the banks of Lake Thun to be their base. The tradition was carried on with our holidays. To the extent that I have been to Spiez probably more times than I have been to London.
It’s the perfect base. The town is a major rail junction point. From here you can easily access the rest of Switzerland. It’s a 20 minute journey to Bern. You can also get direct links to Milan and Berlin.
You could also just opt for a relaxing lake trip to Thun or Interlaken. The Alps are almost in touching distance.
The walk round the marina and lake are worth the visit to Spiez on their own. It’s definitely the most beautiful run location I have encountered. Unbelievably for Switzerland it’s flat….
The Town is dominated by a beautiful old castle and a pristine marina. The hotel we always stayed at was located on the marina. It’s the building below the castle in the next photograph. The picture above is taken from the hotels restaurant. That’s some view to have with your breakfast.
On a Sunday the only sound you hear is the lapping of water and the ringing of church bells. It even has its own vineyard. I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be on this Sunday morning than here in beautiful Spiez.
A couple of miles from our village a large TV event has been taking place. Something like 20000 people have been attending. But we haven’t seen a soul. The dog walk felt like we had the land to ourselves. Isolation.
This summer is probably going to be my most isolated ever (so far). Outside our gang I would be amazed if I have spoken more than 30 words to the outside world. Probably had more conversations with the plants (weeds) in our garden. It really is starting to show. Even something as simple as buying a couple of entry tickets leaves me a gibbering wreck.
Not had a single conversation with anyone in the village in months, Suspect the village are celebrating that. Even the postman has gone into stealth mode. Absolutely no sign of the neighbours.
A few years back I remember a clinician telling us that we should probably get used to the idea of becoming isolated. Get used to your own company. She had seen a lot of parents in our position get cut off from friends and the outside world. That seemed fine as I had my soul partner with me. Didn’t realise how applicable own company would become.
This afternoon I checked if our phone was still working. It’s not rung once during the entire school holidays. In fact my mobile has only had two brief work calls. As the months go on my isolation from the world gathers pace. I’m not sure if that scares me or delights me. It’s got to the stage that I’m not sure if anyone would notice if I replaced the phone with a large bust of Boris Johnson. Probably not.
I would hope that the Boris bust would become a favourite cock a leg spot for the dog. Suppose I would need to move it outside. Wonder if Boris would tell the migrating birds to bugger off back to their own country. Sorry should really give Boris his full name
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
Ironically Boris wasn’t born in this country. Given his position on immigration maybe he should send himself back to America. Anyway I bet his phone rings more times than mine. A man who currently wants the UK to be isolated Internationally probably doesn’t understand what isolation really means.
Maybe I should offer my services. I could be the Governments expert on isolation. I did think about being the Government expert on talking gibberish but they have already got that position well and truly covered.
It’s Swiss Sunday. Which means it’s Sunday and it’s time to indulge in a bit of Switzerland.
When my partner first took me to Switzerland I’m not sure what I was expecting. Mountains definitely. A beautiful country definitely. Brilliant transport without a doubt. Chocolate. Much Swiss cheese – probably. Yodelling – hopefully. Hardly any water – surely as it’s landlocked.
Now I can confirm it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It has mountains – lots of them. The transport is beyond precise. It is Chocolate Heaven. Swiss Cheese is very nice. Yodelling does happen but Swiss Culture is so varied and puts our culture to shame. It’s still treasured.
But I was hideously wrong on the water assumption.
If water is your thing then Switzerland is perfect. Waterfalls, Lakes, Rivers, Rapids, Streams. All stunning. All with a unique Alpine Colour and Sound.
Lakes and mountains are the perfect combination.
One warning. The alpine water can be on the chilly side. Brace yourself.