Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday here in Yorkshire yet my thoughts are drifting to a country a 1000 miles away. A country which I haven’t managed to visit for nearly 6 years now. But it’s still very much on my heart. On our little families heart. A place with so many happy times for my son. One of the most stunning lands on our wonderful planet. Time for a bit of Alpine Heaven. Time for Switzerland.

I’m now seeing those mountains and those lakes. The mesmerising landscapes. I’m hearing the peaceful sounds of this land. Relaxing running water. Often the only other sound is the distinctive ringing of cow and church bells. Other than that it’s the sound of silence.

One day I will hopefully return. I hope you will join me as well.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to an alpine wonderland. To beautiful Switzerland. One of the most stunning countries on our planet.

I have been looking at photos of The Alps in old climbing books since I was a teenager. My home town’s old library didn’t have many books in BUT it did have three about scaling mountain peaks. Every Saturday morning on my trip to the one record shop I would stop off and look at those books. Dreaming of one day standing by those great peaks . The Eiger, The Matterhorn. The Monch.

So how excited was I when I flew into Switzerland for the very first time. Wow those mountains were as fantastic as I had dreamt of. But there was something else. Look at those lakes. Look at the water. I had no idea just how many stunning lakes this place had.

Here’s a fact for you. Little Switzerland has over 1500 lakes and has 6% of Europe’s freshwater stock….

Let’s hear it for those lakes.

Thank you Switzerland.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to an alpine paradise. To a country which is staggeringly beautiful. Let’s take a trip to Switzerland.

2015 was our families last trip here. Things have changed for us so much since then and certainly not for the better. But life has to go on. So I’m going to look at these treasured old photographs and remember just how beautiful our planet can be. And then dream of a return and the creation of new memories.

Swiss Sunday

It’s early Sunday here in Yorkshire. I can hear the wet and windy weather outside. It’s grim. So my mind is wandering. Wandering to a beautiful country. A country which is so special to our little family. Let’s spend a few moments taking a virtual trip to stunning Switzerland.

Hopefully one day we can return in person. Create some new memories. I so want that. I so wanted to go last year or this year. Sadly life has construed against that. Let’s set my sights on 2022 then. The last time we went as a family was when Hawklad was 8. Now he’s a teenager. It would be good if he can visit again during his childhood.

There is always hope.

Whip

The sun almost shines down on a Monday morning. So the schools are now open again.

A real media blitz is underway telling parents just how safe things are and also reminding them of the fines that can be given out for keeping children off school. The Education Secretary is talking about change. Changes he thinks are necessary. Ways to extend the school day so children learn more. Changes to the school year drastically cutting back on school holidays. Finding ways to get pupils to keep studying during weekends and those reduced holidays. Changes he thinks are long overdue.

Strangely no mention of changes to make schools better places to learn and have fun. No mention of changes to the Government’s dogmatic national curriculum. No mention of investment in home schooling. No mention of changes to the funding cuts the Government has made to child mental health services. No mention of more input from pupils, teachers and parents in shaping a better future. The only change required is clearly to make children work longer.

But what do we expect from a politician who is supposed to be in charge or our schooling system and who makes a point of having a horse whip on the front of his desk. Photo from The Guardian

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to stunning Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. A family link which started when Hawklads Grandfather was sent here to recover from a really bad chest condition when he was young. Strengthened when he returned here to work for a charity helping servicemen recover from long term war injuries. Switzerland then became the go to place for a family holiday with his growing family. It became our go to destination.

Times have changed and now the family is much smaller now. Any future family returns are now down to just Hawklad and me. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we return again.

Swiss Sunday – Let’s Walk next to a Giant

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to alpine heaven. A country which might be 900 miles away from our home but to this family will always be within our hearts. So many trips here as a family of 3. So many memories. Let’s visit Switzerland.

Today I needed a walk. A special walk in the mighty Alps. It’s a Sunday so let’s be kind to our bodies. Let’s make it downhill all the way. Why not let the brilliant Swiss transport system take us all the way to the top. To beautiful alpine village of Murren standing at 5700ft above sea level. A special village which CANNOT be reached by public road. Yes it is car free.

Then it’s downhill all the way. Walking through along mountain tracks and Forest trails. One of the world’s greatest mountains, The Eiger towering above you. We finally reach Lauterbrunnen. Another stunning alpine village 3000ft below Murren. Set in a stunning steep sided valley. Next to the village is the famous Staubbach Falls. It’s waters crashing 970ft to the ground.

This is a truly epic area. Staggeringly beautiful. That good it was used as the principal filming location for the James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. One day I so want to come back here. In fact these two villages would be just about at the top of my dream home location.

I can dream….

Worry about it

The thaw has set in. No more snowy sun roses this week, maybe not until next winter.

I wrote a few hours ago about how I was missing the snow when it’s gone. You only really miss those things that are special to you.

There’s a difference between missing something and worrying about something. The disappearing snow is also worrying me a little. During the national lockdown the snow helped create an impression of a really small available world. What we can see and touch is all that is available. We are not missing out on much.

But is the thawing snow a symbol of change?

Some Governments are keen to reopen and relax restrictions. Is that way too soon. Who knows. But the message that it will be soon open for everyone misses the point. It’s not going to be open for everyone. Anxieties and Fears don’t get fixed overnight. The vaccinations won’t have reached many people including the kids. Many will only have had one shot. We have rapidly changing mutations. Some will continue to wear masks others will ditch them.

The works will open for some.

For us the lockdown will continue. In a few months I will have had one of the two vaccine shots. So I will be partly covered but that’s not the point. Hawklad’s fears are actually rising. He knows that I and other vaccinated people can still pass the virus onto him. He knows that he won’t be getting and vaccine protection. He can see that children can get covid and the more severe long covid. He is fully aware of the associated serious disease that is affecting some children. He can knows that some people will drop their guard. Basically his fears are not going away. So our lockdown will continue.

So the disappearing snow kind of symbolises something else. A world is out there. It is opening again but not for us. It’s not a small available world anymore. It’s a big world again but one that we are locked out of. Beyond our reach. That worries me and makes me sad.

Sad to see the snow go.

But then another thought. A better thought. Other people, other families can hopefully start to enjoy these places again. To have adventures. Other young ones can have holidays again. Have more fun. Can be safe doing that. Memories can be born.

Maybe the snow going is a good thing.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to Alpine heaven. A land which we haven’t been able to visit since the summer of 2015 but which still has a special place in our hearts.

Time for a bit of Switzerland love.

It’s school half term week here. If life had turned out differently then there would have been every chance that the next time we visited here would have been at this time of year maybe in 2017. Wasn’t destined to be. Maybe a much smaller family will try in 2022? Always hope. Switzerland is always there.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday here in Yorkshire so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A place which is so special to our family. Four generations now. Due to life we haven’t been able to visit since 2015. Since then our family is much smaller but hopefully we have many more alpine holidays still to come.

Recent months have been so constrained. Often so hemmed in. That’s why photographs are so important. They remind of a world filled with beauty, amazement and adventures. Evidence that this still can be a wonderful life. No better place than Switzerland for demonstrating this. That’s why we love this place so much.

Thank you Switzerland.