Return of the muppet baker

The sky that keeps on giving.

That’s so unlike our kitchen which certainly does not keep on giving. We are not having much luck with shopping over the last week. No pumpkin for Halloween and now no toffee apples for bonfire night. Our local store is only stocking essential items. Clearly they don’t have children – toffee apples are most definitely essential. Our supermarket is not stocking them this year. But most helpfully are stocking toffee apple flavour breakfast bars (not very good on a stick) and toffee apple flavour strong alcoholic cider. Actually cider might work for some teenagers but again not very good on a stick.

So the only option was to try and make them ourselves. I’ve had major issues with toffee apples before. Looking good as we had golden syrup and caster sugar in stock. Attempt 1 and 2 arc welded to the pan. Attempt 3 had the stickiness factor of water (even after 20 minutes boiling away).

Attempt 4 produced a little bit of stickiness so we took that one.

Dad I will get the wooden sticks, where are they?”

Oh no I forgot to get them. We can just use forks stuck in the apples….

What a muppet.”

Sorry Son.

“Dad where are the apples.”

Pants I didn’t get any apples as well….. We’ve only got the ones from our tree. They taste super sour.

You are a gigantic muppet”

We could just eat the toffee with a spoon….

AND THATS WHAT WE DID….

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country we haven’t managed to visit for 5 years but is very special to our family. It might be 800 miles away but it feels so much closer.

Yesterday I was talking to our son about visiting this wonderful country again. Without promoting he simply said ‘shame we can’t just move there’. I’m so with him on that. Imagine waking up everyday in a country that looks this good. Imagine that clean, fresh mountain air. A country which is so friendly, where everything works perfectly and one which still feels so safe. Living there would be a dream come true.

Swiss Sunday

We haven’t been able to visit Switzerland since 2015 but it still remains very special to our little Yorkshire family. One day we will return but in the mean time let’s take a virtual trip to this beautiful land.

In these troubled times there are certain thoughts that I cling onto. Thoughts that are so dear to me that they always part the clouds and make the sun shine. One such thought is that Switzerland is there. It’s still there and is most definitely still that beautiful.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country which we have not been able to visit in person since 2015 but still means so much to us.

This week I was talking to our son about Switzerland. I asked why he loved it so much. He thought for a while and simply said.

“It’s so big. Everything is bigger than I’ve ever seen before. You feel so small there”

He’s so right. In terms of area it’s not that big. The United Kingdom is six times bigger than Switzerland. But once you get there, it hits you. In Switzerland everything is on such a grand scale. It’s completely breathtaking.

Swiss Sunday

Spiez and The Niesen

It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country we haven’t been able to visit since 2015 but it’s still very close to our hearts. The family link started just after the Second World War when my partners worked in the country on charity work aimed at helping injured service men. The link has stated strong since then.

It’s such a friendly and utterly stunning place. It’s a clique but everything does work like clockwork. Once you visit those mountains and lakes the place just stays with you. Gets into your soul.

So here’s the thing. Those in the family with the strongest links to Switzerland have now sadly left us. So the baton has passed to me and our son. To maintain those links. It won’t be easy. Single Parenting, Aspergers, Finances and European Travel will make it difficult. But we both respect family tradition and so love Switzerland. We will find a way.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. A place we haven’t been able to visit for 5 years now but which still holds a special place in our hearts.

Times are tough. Travel and seeing the world is almost a nonstarter. That actually applied to many even before a pandemic kicked in. It certainly feels that way for our little part of Yorkshire. A little piece of the world that seems to contract just a little bit everyday. But some things still provide hope. Shine a light in the darkness.

To Hawklad and me Switzerland is one of those beacons of hope. A land which is almost too beautiful to seem real. As if you are visiting a land formed in an old art masterpiece. Maybe a perfect fantasy world created in a brilliant mind.

But Switzerland is real. It is that perfect. We endlessly look at old photos of our family trips there. Those memories brighten and expand our world. Sustain us through the dark days. Provide hope.

The thing about having hope is that it keeps you going until the clouds of life start to part. When it does for us there is always Switzerland.

Keep that special place close to your heart.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it’s must be time for our weekly trip to beautiful Switzerland. A country which we haven’t been able to visit in a few years but which still holds a special place in our hearts.

Someone asked why we love this country so much. Well the first thing is that is has so many links to our Hawklad. His mum’s family have had links to the country for nearly 80 years now. That’s so important to our son.

Another reason is how the Swiss villages just look so perfect in the alpine landscape.

Another reason is the country’s beautiful lakes. They have a magical quality.

Another reason is those walks through the wooded mountain valleys. They are simply breathtaking.

We hardly get much snow these days where we live. The excitement of coming to land where the snow is always there. Even in summer.

The mountains are nothing short of epic.

Finally its not a bad place for an 8 year old to have breakfast.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to one of the worlds most beautiful countries. It’s time for a little bit of Switzerland. So while we are wandering amongst The Alps let’s consider a few random facts about this wonderful country.

  • Switzerland is one of the main filming locations for Bollywood movies,
  • Einstein’s most famous equation about Energy was developed while he lived here,
  • Guess where the Swiss Army Knife was invented…..
  • It has the largest nuclear shelter in the world,

  • The majority of the world’s luxury watches come from Switzerland,
  • It has four national languages. Romansch, German, French and Italian,
  • Most transport announcements are also made in English,
  • It has its priorities right. Education is really well funded and teachers are well paid.

  • It’s original name was Helvetia,
  • The country does not have an official animal. Many think it is the bear but actually if you spend anytime here then you will quickly realise that it should be the Cow,
  • Monte Rosa is its highest mountain at 15203ft,

  • Switzerland has many laws protecting animals. Dogs can eat in restaurants. Social animals must be kept in pairs. If one of the pair dies you must replace it. This applies to small animals like Guinea Pigs,
  • Switzerland is always in the top 3 countries for life expectancy,
  • The worlds largest particle physics laboratory lies beneath Switzerland,
  • The Swiss love chocolate. They eat over 11 kilos of chocolate per person each year. Yet they have the least obese population in the whole of Europe,

The final random fact. Many believe that Scotland is the home of golf. Wrong. It’s Switzerland.

Friday memories

This is a photograph that I always keep coming back to. Especially today. It’s a photo that can take me in two different directions. Sadness or Happiness. Currently it’s in the direction of happiness.

A meal and a drink outside while gazing upon one the worlds most epic mountains, The Eiger. Then a walk from Kleine Scheidegg down to Lauterbrunnen. Snow on the tops but wonderfully warm. Walking down listening to our son talk about Dr Who and monsters. A two hour walk was just not long enough for him, he only scratched the surface of his Time Lord memory banks. Listing to my partner laugh at our sons numerous monster jokes.

Yes a beautiful day. All flooding back thanks to a treasured old photograph.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly visit to that most beautiful of countries. A virtual wander to Switzerland. A place we haven’t managed to visit for a few years but which is very much on our hearts.

It’s a land that is dominated by the mountains. The Alps.

In every direction your eyes are drawn to the mighty snow covered peaks. How do you squeeze so many mountains into such a relatively small country.

60% of Switzerland is mountainous. That includes 451 mountains. 24 are over 4000m. That’s a lot of mountains to either climb or just enjoy from the beautiful valleys.

Apart from the monumentally stunning views the thing that strikes you is the quality of the alpine air. It feels so crisp, so fresh and so clean. It’s a staggering feeling. No wonder doctors would often recommend a trip to The Alps to recuperate.

Yes it’s good to reach for the heights some days.