Tulips in January?

Oh dear.  Its been over a year since I posted anything on the blog. Tut tut. But rather than offer up any excuses I’m just going to show you a picture of a tulip bulb that we brought in from the cold a couple of weeks ago, which had started to sprout but hadn’t been planted deep enough in the ground.
I’m glad we did as although it had been extremely mild up until Christmas, on the 27th December we had 30-40cm of snow and the temperatures plummeted to -8C.

Two days ago, this little beauty flowered.


When I grow up, I want to be…..

….a doctor.

At least I did when I was about 12. I was a clever child, top of the class sort of material.  And therefore I figured that the only thing I was meant to be was a doctor or a lawyer. (Of course, I couldn’t have been that clever if I thought those were the only two careers open to me!)

Trouble with being a lawyer was that I wasn’t much good at arguments.  I tended (and still do) to get very emotional at the first sign of confrontation, and even now you will find that I won’t complain about bad customer service, or send food back in a restaurant (I’m aware that this isn’t the only quality a lawyer is desired to have, but remember this is my 12 year old self you’re talking to).

So I would HAVE to be a doctor.

Now, technically I might have made an okay doctor.  Where I would’ve failed would be the nursing aspect of it.  Empathy is not my strong point.  In fact I would go so far as to say that I am really quite a selfish nurse, particularly with The Hub.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I think that maybe 50% is due to concern that the patient is in pain, (could it be something serious?) and the other 50% is impatience. I don’t want you to be ill, I have things planned, this is messing it all up, it can’t be that bad, yada yada.

Give me a crisis and I can handle it.  I will organise people.  If you slash your finger with a broken glass, I will talk to you calmly, have a plan, and everything will be fine.

In other situations though, its different.  I’m a borderline emetophobe.  I’m not so bad that I think about it all the time and it seriously impinges on my life, but for example, if a drunk gets on the bus, my one concern is that he/she will vomit.  Sometimes I get off the bus early as it bothers me that much.  If you feel sick near me, please don’t expect me to help, I will probably be heading for the nearest exit.

Poor Dino Girl was ill last week.  She managed to decorate a shop in town (who were very kind and understanding about it all) and then took a few days to recover.  By Friday I was a nervous wreck and she must’ve been completely fed up with me, constantly asking if she was okay, waking up at the slightest sound coming from their room.  Finally, she was better. Phew.

But then it started again with The Hub.
When The Hub is ill, I feel a sense of injustice.  If he is ill, as he has been from Friday until today, he can come home from work and get into bed until he feels better.  Me? Not so much.  Unless I am ill on a weekend, I still have to get up and at the very least make sure the children are fed and don’t kill themselves, or each other.  Its just not fair.  I want someone to look after me. *stamps feet* (see, I told you I was selfish)
The thing is, I wouldn’t change a thing about our set up.  I know that I am very lucky that this is our lifestyle, and I do not have to take a job outside of the home.
But when illness strikes, well I tend to get a bit wistful.  Just allow me this little pity party won’t you?

And be thankful that I never did actually become a doctor.

(At 12, I was also going to never get married. I would live with a man until I got bored of him and then move on to the next one, probably every few months.  Just like that.  I remember informing my unmarried aunt of this whilst standing in my grandparents bedroom.  She was not impressed (not sure whether it was due to my impending ‘loose’ lifestyle, or if she thought I was passing comment on her marital status).
I have been with The Hub for 19 years now, which is half of my life, so that didn’t really pan out, did it?)

Sales Day

I guess if I’m going to be more serious about this blogging malarkey I shouldn’t leave posts in the draft folder. Not much use there.
As is evident from the first sentence, this was originally written a few days ago.

Today is the 3rd of January.
After the shops being shut for 2 days, (I know, the Swiss are a strange lot 😉 ) I thought I’d take some time to myself, take the train into town, sit in a café for a while and then mooch around the shops for a bit, if I could stand the crowds.

I needn’t have worried.  Although some of the bigger shops were open, and have sales on, most up to 50% off, the place was really quite empty.

I’ve never understood the desire of people to queue at 5am for the Next sale.  What makes Next so wonderful that you would disturb your sleep to go out in the cold just for a few things that you probably are only buying because they are a bargain?

But this was something else.  9am and there were only 2 other people in Starbucks.

And the Coop City wasn’t much better.  I was almost disappointed.  I’m not a fan of shopping.  I’m getting better at nick-nack shopping, and things-I-don’t-really-need shopping and I love food shopping but all other kinds leave me cold.

Still, I was disappointed that I didn’t have to get my elbows out.

I had sharpened them especially.


Do you resolve?*

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to New Year celebrations.  It started in my late teens when I was outraged at how much I had to pay to get into the local nightclub, pay for taxis etc for that one night.  After all, it was just that, right? Just another night in the year.

I wonder whether by putting so much emphasis on the turn of the year, we set ourselves up for failure.  Our ideas and dreams are grandiose, we publicly articulate our desires and although many of us joke that our resolutions will be broken by mid-January, we must be slightly disappointed when we fail, that we have let ourselves down in some way.

Of course, all of you may be completely happy and comfortable with the notion of resolutions, I’m overthinking it, and you’re all just thinking, WTF Clare?!

But what is so important about the changing of the date on a calendar?  Do we think about what our resolutions will be in say, mid-December, and then wait to begin them until the magical January 1st date?  Shouldn’t we just make the changes we want to be when we decide upon them?

A popular resolution is to lose weight, become more healthy.  After the excesses of Christmas this would seem like a good one, but a lot of the time we take draconian measures, banning this, that and the other from our lives and perhaps after a few weeks of having what we want, a better approach should be “A little of what you fancy” to ease you into it.

So, after that, have I made any resolutions? I know that I have weak resolve, I expect to fail, and therefore in my head I don’t want to choose anything that I want to succeed at, because I ‘know’ it won’t happen.
So, I want to learn how to drive a train in 2013. There, something I won’t mind if I fail at, but something that would be really cool if I actually did it.

In all seriousness, I had a bit of a tough time in 2012, which hasn’t really resolved itself now, so I think the only promise I want to make is that I will keep on looking after myself.

So, do you resolve?


*I’m aware that the verb ‘to resolve’ may be used in the wrong context here.  I apologise.  Engineering never really put much emphasis on written English.  If I’m wrong, I hope you know what I mean and will forgive me my error.

All About Me

I thought that as I intend to write more in this blog, (its not a resolution, as I don’t have much resolve) I should introduce myself and my family to you. I’ve put this in the About Me page so you’ll always be able to see it easily, and after all, I’m sure you’ll want to keep reminding yourself about me ;P

I’m Clare and I live in Switzerland with my family, and have done since 2004.

I’ve been married to The Hub since 1998, and have two children, Lego Boy and Dino Girl (not their real names…)

We educate the kids at home in a style that has been described by a friend as eclectic (it was a compliment, honest! )

I grew up in a small town, and even though my mother knitted and sewed, including a delightful dusky pink cord matching waistcoat and knickerbocker ensemble for a wedding for my sister and me, I was more of a science/maths type, studying Chemical Engineering at university, where I met The  Hub.

I dabbled a bit in various crafts as I grew older, but it wasn’t until I quit my job at the end of 2002 as The Hub had a new job that promised to take us around the world, that I took up crafting in any serious way, starting with bead/swarowski jewellery.  I also did a short course in silversmithing.

I became pregnant with Lego Boy and at about the same time The Hub was sent to Switzerland for a 3 month contract.  This was extended for a total of 18 months, and during this time we made some great friends here, including one that I went into business with making Swarowski jewellery. When she moved to England, we folded the business and I didn’t do much bead jewellery after that.

Eventually The Hub’s contract came to an end, but we had fallen in love with Switzerland and decided to stay.  So he quit his job and struck out on his own.  We’ve been here ever since, adding Dino Girl to our family in 2010.

As regards to crafting, I took up crochet whilst pregnant with Dino Girl.  After failing for many years to get to grips with knitting, I totally fell in love with crochet.  Just before that, I bought half shares in a simple sewing machine with a friend, and we started a weekly sewing session.  She went to Australia for two years, and in that time I well and truly got the sewing bug.

Which brings me to my current life.  Obviously home educating the children takes up a lot of my time, but I still manage to set aside time to sew, incorporating some of my other loves, bags and recycling.

I intend my blog to be about many things; I don’t want to label it as one thing or another, but occasionally I will link to things that I have made for sale, in order to fund my crafting obsession. I hope you will forgive this little indulgence.


I went to a baby shower yesterday. A friend from the Stitch n Bitch group I go to is 8 months pregnant and we gathered to celebrate her impending birth.

We all made handmade gifts (will link to a pic of mine later) and drank champagne and tea and became comatose on sugar thanks to beautiful yummy cake, coconut ice and scones.
The mummy to be (for the second time) had two friends visiting from the uk, one of whom was LLG. To hear her speak with such passion about what she does and the risks she’s taken to do what she loves was so inspiring. I couldn’t help but be motivated.

I am extremely lucky that at this time in my life I am surrounded by very talented, creative individuals (as was in evidence with the babyshower gifts). Even though they may not know it (and I really should be more forthcoming with my praise and thanks, but it’s not something that cones naturally to me) they inspire me and spur me on.

I think this time round with starting a ‘proper’ business, I’ve wanted everything to be just right before I get going properly, but I realise that that day may never come. I need to jump in, get my stuff ‘out there’ and be brave.

So, watch this space!