Swiss Sunday.

The morning has broken here. It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. A place we haven’t been able to visit since 2015 but which means so much to our little family.

WE will return.

But this morning why don’t you join me in spending a few moments remembering why we fell in love with Switzerland.

Childhood

Do you remember when school holidays meant time off for our kids….

Hawklad and I received emails from school this morning. The emails set out the times of the upcoming year exams. Straight after the half term week holiday. The emails listed all the areas which each pupil are expected to cover in revision. The revision also includes mandatory online tasks that won’t be marked but will be monitored by teachers. All tasks are expected to be completed. The email stressed that they are expecting pupils to undertake significant work levels over the week off…..

To be fair to school they are only following Government guidelines and instructions. The Government has repeatedly spoken of its desire to increase the length of the school day and reduce the number of school holidays. It believes children have too much time off. They have it too easy…..

Parents will have differing views on this. I think you might be able to guess my take on this. I think it’s all BS…… Making pupils work harder and longer is just a smokescreen for covering up the failings of our current school system. Too many trumped up experts getting jobs as politicians, thinking they know best. It shouldn’t be about the quantity of teaching, it should be about the QUALITY of the education.

Ban politicians from education. Let teachers teach… Let Headmaster run the school. Involve the pupils and parents fully. Reverse the trend to test at every level just to populate government performance league tables. We are even testing 5 year olds for pity sake. If the politicians want to do something useful then they should concentrate on finding the resources to help specialists deal with the growing mental health crisis amongst our children.

And above all. Let children enjoy their childhood.

Advertising

Technology is definitely trying to take over. On the last post I did about ‘Sunday’s’ my autocorrect was clearly not impressed with the overall message. That would explain its desire to change every SUNDAY to SUBWAY. That would give that post a very different feel. But hang on… Is it on to something.

Maybe I’m missing out on a real money spinner. Product placement. Hidden advertisements. How much would SUBWAY pay for some subliminal advertising. Maybe it’s not too late to dream of that apartment overlooking Lake Lucerne.

WORDPRESS is really playing up. Randomly refusing to accept any editing and posting the first, rough cut of posts. Refusing to let me comment or like on some sites. Messing up the formatting. Deleting comments and removing some of my posts. Unfollowing without telling me. So frustrating that is MARS my day. What a great idea, I fancy a really healthy and tasty chocolate bar.

We soldier on with WORDPRESS. So the school at home week starts again. The last one before the Easter holiday. No actual holidays this break again. No trips to the hills and FjORDs. No need to hire a fine FORD car. At least I won’t need to worry about cutting my hair. No SAMSON nITEmares at the barbers required. But if I was going on holiday I can’t think of a finer brand of luggage to take with me than SAMSONITE.

The NEXT benefit of no holidays is I don’t need to do any holiday clothes shopping. Shopping to the wonderful and certainly not overpriced NEXT clothes stores…

But a couple of weeks will hopefully allow me to catch up on some MARVELlous DISNEY offerings. Enjoy the wonderful story telling and the hidden alLEGOries. More time to play with our LEGO sets and never stand barefooted on those really value for money LEGO mini figures.

Anyway that’s enough of me waffling on. I will get back to my grAPPLEs with WORDPRESS. But I can’t think of a finer technological platform to fight those battles on than APPLE. Thinking often requires a large amount HEINZ -sight.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual visit to beautiful Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. To me. Life happens and it’s meant that we haven’t been able to get to our little bit of alpine heaven since 2015. Our next visit can’t come quick enough.

I’ve been thinking about what it will feel like when I’m finally back there again. It’s going to be at least 7 years since that trip in 2015. Maybe it will feel like the return of a wonderful friend or maybe it will feel like the first time. I still remember what it felt like on my first trip. A flight into Zurich and arrive at the hotel in the early afternoon. Cold and cloudy. The mountains shrouded in mist. But that fresh alpine air. Wow.

Then the next day we headed on the train to Grindelwald. All those books about the massive mountains I head read since childhood, suddenly they were real. I was amongst them. Then a trip up my first Alpine Peak. Not a big one, in fact it’s only a minor summit. But now always a special one to me. The First. On that a Sunday I was up high surrounded by giants like The Eiger.

What a great name for my First Swiss Mountain. FIRST. Yes to me it’s a Mountain. Always my favourite mountain now. Just one of the most uplifting and exhilarating feelings of my life.

Yes the next time I visit Switzerland I hope it feels like the FIRST time again.

A trip to a castle

I was looking for batteries. Why are batteries so pesky. You spend most of the year cursing who many batteries you find on shelves, pockets and cupboards. But when you actually need them, the little blighters hide. When you do find them you can guarantee that they are the wrong size. Anyway I was looking for batteries with absolutely no success then ….

An old and forgotten box of old photos. It’s times like this that I am so happy that I had a habit of taking too many pics. This box was from a holiday we had way before our son was born. We arranged a last minute week long trip to Northumberland in the North of England. For those who don’t know England that well – find the most northerly English city (Newcastle). The bit above this city and all the way to the Scottish border is Northumberland. It’s a beautiful and often desolate place. With few large towns, rolling hills, moors and some of the countries finest castles.

For the week we rented an old Gypsy Cottage. The weather was so Northumberland like. Very windy, cold and often exceedingly damp. Today’s photographic memory trip was a day trip we had during that lovely week. A trip to Dunstanburgh Castle.

It’s a stunning castle ruins set right on the windswept North Sea coast. To get to it you park up in a small fishing village and walk along the beach. The walk started wet and basically added increasing amounts of water to the mix. The photos brought the memories flooding back. Wow we got wet.

It was a wonderful day. We had the place to ourselves. Hours spent walking along the coast, scrambling over history and even time for sand castle building. Finally we got back to the fishing village and looked round the local fish smoking business. It would have been rude not to sample the produce and chips. Then it was back to the cottage to a roaring fire and an attempt to dry out. Happy Days.