Archive for the ‘Switzerland’ Category

Catchy title no. Oooh it’s been a busy week and knackering week. Bea has been teething (fabulous fun) and has had a very runny nose so she’s been grumpy and tired all week.

The almond milk that I mentioned in my last post turned out really well. It’s super easy to make so if you fancy having a go take a look at this video I don’t have a nut bag, so I just used a muslin (find a friend with a baby…they’ll have tons of them they can give you…if not you can get them really cheaply at Ikea).

I’ve finished the Little Sister Dress that I’ve been working on for what seems like forever (although in fact I only started it at the beginning of January so it took just a few of days over a month).
Little Sister Dress
I decided that it was a little boring so embellished it with a felt bird and a little bit of embroidery. I’ve never done this with knitting before but I think it’s a really easy was to make something look a little more interesting and twee (and for me twee is always a good thing in relation to children’s clothing).

There are more pictures on my Ravelry page (linked to above). In all honesty this dress bored me to tears…rows and rows of stocking stitch in such a tiny yarn do not make me happy. Also I completely buggered up the pattern several times which is why the opening on the wrong side of the neck for some reason. Oh and I didn’t have quite enough yarn so had to rip the bottom back THREE TIMES before I managed to get it looking OK. Pleased with how it looks now though…sorry the picture is crap, too cold to go outside hence rubbishy indoor light.

The January baking challenge fell by the wayside, but fear not I haven’t forgotten it. My sour dough starter is on the side in the kitchen and I’m waiting for it to start bubbling away. I’m using the method described in the River Cottage Everyday, if anyone reading has had success (or not) with this then leave a comment and let me know as I’m really interested to see how it’ll turn out.

In other news it has been incredibly cold here. So here’s a couple of pictures to make all you Brits realise how warm it’s really been with you. Thankfully I’m told it’s going to heat up a bit this week…which is good because I’m beyond bored with being freezing cold and indoors.Ice sculpture Nyon 2012Ice in Nyon January 2012Nyon 2012 Ice
Makes me realise how lucky I am not to live in Siberia to be honest!


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A Trip to Annecy

I hope you all enjoyed your bank holiday weekend. We had a little expedition across the border to Annecy in France. It was lovely, and very picturesque.

Palais De L'Isle Jail

Palais De L'Isle Jail

Canal Annecy

Canal Annecy

Annecy Lake

Annecy Lake

I’ve also been enjoying…

A spot of knitting (should have something to show you in the next week or so)

This fantastic mushroom soup recipe from Run Quilt Knit Write.

Ice-cream from the fantastic gelateria in Nyon.

And organising my bakeware and tupperware (I know I’m sad but this really made me happy!).

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Easter Fountains in Nyon

I’m loving the fact that the Swiss (well at least in the part of the Switzerland where I live) have lots of local traditions. One of the customs here in Nyon is decorating all the water fountains in the town for Easter. This is to celebrate the melting of the snow in the mountains and the return of the water to the rivers and springs.

Chicken and Egg Fountain

Chicken and egg fountain from a local school

Chicken and unlaid egg

Chicken and unlaid egg

The snow melted way back in February, and Easter was also late this year but I’m a fan of any tradition that involves local businesses and schools doing a bit of craft. Here are some pictures of my favourites (and one that Mark thought ‘could do better’).
Daffodil Fountain NyonTransport water fountain
Fountain from local primary school
It's just a bit of pink ribbon

Mark was not impressed with this one as it was 'just a bit of pink ribbon'

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend and had some fantastic weather.

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Recently I had a lovely visit from my Mum and Auntie. While they were here they made themselves incredibly useful (Mum hemmed a pair of curtains and did out ironing – you are wonderful Mum!).

We went to an incredible garden centre called Schilliger, which looked like something straight from the pages of Country Living or any of the Martha Stewart magazines. At said garden centre we purchased the makings of a couple of large pots for our balcony, which my lovely Auntie then planted up.
Spring Pots
I’m super pleased with how these pots look, partially because the pots are actually plastic but don’t look hideously plastic, and partially because I think they look really designery. I think my mistake in the past has been being a little mean on the plants. I love the grape hyacinths and the rosemary and lavendar should make sitting outside in the evening with a glass of wine a very fragrant experience.

Muscari and French Lavender

These always remind me of the flower fairies, they look like they could be used as umbrellas

Today Mark, Bea and I all went to the lovely Morges Tulip Fesitval. It’s meant to be on until the end of the month but to be honest I think most of the tulips will be dead by then. All the tulips looked gorgeous, Mark mentioned that we should have sneaked some scissors in to take some home but I don’t think we’d have got away with it. I was amazed by how many different types there were.
Morges Tulip FestivalPink TulipsYellow Frilly TulipPointy TulipsFluffy TulipsStriped TulipsI’m aware that a more committed blogger would have got all the names of these tulips for you so that you could order bulbs for your garden next year…alas I did not do that so you’ll have to just take the pictures to a garden centre, or try matching them up with a catalogue.

Hope you had a lovely weekend whatever you did, and Happy Birthday Mum!

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On Saturday we went to one of the villages up in the Jura, Genolier, for their Carnaval to celebrate the end of winter.

Mark was mainly interested in going due to the fact there was going to be a burning of the Winter Man (I think he had visions of it being similar to the Wicker Man, those of you that have seen the film will be pleased to know that it wasn’t!).

There was a marching brass band…

Marching band

Marching band in funky costumes

Marching with a full drum kit...impressive!

Marching with a full drum kit...impressive!

a parade from local nurseries…
A float of insects

A float of insects, or maybe aliens

A nursery of African animals

A nursery of African animals


This nursery were dressed as clouds, the teachers had cardboard suns on their heads - so cute!

A pirate ship

A pirate ship...another cunning way of keeping the kids all together

And the burning of the Winter Man (papermache icicle type thing).
The burning of the winter man

The burning of the winter man

And at that point we left because the program said their would be a talk from a local politician, which we didn’t think we’d understand.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this carnaval. The first was that most of the children who weren’t in the parade came dressed up in fancy dress anyway. I’m not sure if this is a tradition here but I think it’s a lovely way for everyone to participate in the celebrations.

The second, and this would never happen in England, is that there didn’t seem to be any opportunity to spend money! There were no rides/games/hot dog vans/candy floss sellers etc. How brilliant is that! (Although I wouldn’t have said no to a vin chaud if I’m honest).

Bea took it all in her stride

Bea took it all in her stride...although slept through a large part of it

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Boxing day and an outing

It’s been very cold here, and this combined with the fact that both Mark and I have suffered from some sort of virus has meant that we’ve not really wanted to leave the house very much over the last few days.

Mum, Dad, Kathryn and I did venture down to take a look at the lake in Nyon on boxing down and these photos should give you some idea of how cold it was.
Nyon on Boxing DayLac Leman with iciclesIcicles on a bushIcicles
And yesterday we went to Gruyere to learn how they make the cheese (which is pretty much the same way as all other hard cheeses if I’m honest). The village itself is very pretty, although we were there a little late so my photos are quite dark (also it was soooo cold I just didn’t want to take my gloves off to take pictures).
Houses in Gruyere
The view from the village of Gruyere

Also for those of you that are interested here is a picture of the back of our house.
Our house

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Yet another amazing recipe from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. This lemon trickle cake cooked beautifully and tastes really good. According to my chief taster it’s light and very lemony. And you are all in luck you do not need to buy the book in order to try this recipe out, you can get it on the River Cottage website.

River Cottage Lemon Trickle Cake
I’m a big fan of cakes that don’t require complicated fillings and this one definetly ticks this box. You make what seems like a relatively thick lemon icing, then skewer the top with holes and pour the icing over gently so that it soaks into the middle of the cake. I had planned to make a ginger cake but then I realised that I don’t have any golden syrup…and you can’t buy golden syrup in Swiss supermarkets. Mmmmm annoying.

I think the fact that there’s a decent oven in the new kitchen has helped somewhat. I made another loaf of bread a couple of days ago – the shape looked better (as I followed Kimberly’s advice and used a tin to cook it in) but the texture wasn’t quite as open/as good as the last one.

In other news I went to the Geneva Stitch ‘n’ Bitch last night and had a very nice time. I’m also reading the Age of Innocence, which I’m enjoying considerably more than when I had to read it in order to write an essay.
Heidi Milk
And here's something entertaining and Swiss for you. This is the milk that we have been buying…hilarious isn't it (it seems the Swiss have more of a sense of humour than we thought).

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