Michaela Merz


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Anyone can be a carpenter


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The Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur has a new exhibition of cupboards. Last Sunday one could learn to be a carpenter at speed and construct a small cupboard oneself. We all went there with my youngest. It snowed the whole day and the temperature was low. We were happy to arrive in the warmth of the museum. A small group of curious people gathered on the second Sunday in Advent for a carpentry afternoon. Continue reading


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A sunday in November


When I was a child, at the weekend I could sleep until midday. But from a certain age that no longer worked. However late I go to bed, I always get up at about the same time. By half past seven in the morning I’m already wide awake. For night-birds that must sound terrible; but I’m an early bird and enjoy the absolutes peace in the morning. No telephone calls, no traffic, no stress. I wake up between five and six in the morning, every day, without an alarm. On Sunday morning everyone is still asleep. Then I go swimming, because the indoor pool in Zürich opens at six. I love swimming a few lengths when the first light and sunbeams break through the water and conjure up wonderful pictures. It is a wonderful, meditative feeling, that feels like an inner cleansing. Only, unfortunately, on this Sunday I was far too enthusiastic or had too much energy. At any rate, when pushing off the wall, I had knocked my big toe. Au, that hurt! Now it is black and blue and I can only hope that a bone is not broken. On Saturday morning also, another swimmer had hit me on the hand so hard with his hard swimming aids he was wearing on his hands that today I can still feel it and also have a blue patch from it. And swimming is supposed to a non-dangerous, injury free sport. Thank God I don’t play rugby.
After the swim, despite the painful toe, I felt light and free. I hurried home, but that was hardly necessary. Shortly before eight my youngest was still asleep. I had to wake him up, but with a delicious smelling breakfast that worked easily. Because at nine we wanted to be at the ice-rink. Right on opening time we were there. My toe was protesting, because to force my left foot into my narrow ice-skates, which I had received on my 18th birthday, is even in normal circumstances a demanding exercise. With a painful toe it was a real challenge! But I didn’t want to spoil my youngest’s pleasure. One more try and it’s in! The ice-rink fills up quickly at this time of day but it is definitely not so over-crowded as on Sunday afternoon. Those who come in the morning are the hard core – little girls practice pirouettes, boys who were trying to hit the goal just for fun, old men, who glide elegantly over the ice. My youngest and I are not elegant. I taught myself how to ice-skate and have played with colleagues for hours on the frozen stream. I have no technique, but I’m fast. I watched the little girl, as she received her training and I felt the urge also to learn something. Skating backwards. I watched her and tried to copy it. It didn’t really work. No matter, the important thing is to enjoy oneself. And suddenly he was standing next to me. A gentleman, perhaps a little younger than my father. He was very elegant, I had already noticed him earlier. He said something to me, but it was in French. His well- intentioned advice failed for my lacking language skills. And so my youngest and I received a one-hour free lesson from Eric. Eric is retired and comes from Lausanne. He has time and so he travels by train with his general season ticket and visits artificial ice-rinks throughout Switzerland. He has more than 65 years’ experience of ice-skating. We noticed that and he was also remarkably patient enough to demonstrate it again and again and for the hundredth time. It was great fun with Eric. Simply great and that in the sunshine. We got red cheeks, laughed a lot and now and again landed on our bottoms. Reluctantly we parted from Eric.

We had tickets for the Tonhalle for Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. That was one of a series of family concerts, at which small children make their first contact with classical music. My youngest is no longer a small child but we still enjoy going. That children cannot sit still and now and again a small child yells, is a fact of life and doesn’t really disturb me. But today in front of us sat two mothers and their daughters, about 10 years old. It was terrible. Both mothers chatted quietly with one another incessantly and regardless of what was happening on stage. Even if one couldn’t hear the content of the conversation, it was simply disturbing. And their daughters were even worse. They couldn’t sit still and listen for a single minute. They behaved like four-year olds, but that is an unfair insult, because next to us sat a very small boy, who was about four years old and watched with great concentration throughout the performance. What does one do in such a situation? I saw how the mother of the young boy next to us had admonished the girl in front of her. But that didn’t help much and her mother didn’t even react. How could she, when she was chattering herself? But why go to a classical music concert at all, when she was clearly not interested at all and she was also not prepared to listen to the music even for five minutes? I solved the problem, probably like a coward. We simply changed places quietly. I‘m not going to have the experience spoiled.

We spent the afternoon in a glass atelier. Looked at beautiful things, listened and watched how they come into being. A festival for the eyes.

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Street party


I moved from the area ten years ago. There had been no reason to go back in the meantime. As far as the location was concerned, it was wonderfully quiet but off the beaten track. And therefore in the last ten years I have passed through probably only about half a dozen times. On a single occasion, more than five years ago I met my former neighbour in a shop.

Last Saturday there was a party there. It was advertised on sheets, which were displayed in the area. I would never have heard about it, unless my oldest daughter, informed by her childhood friends, who still live locally, had taken me with her. Not much had changed in the area. It was as if I had returned from a long vacation. Continue reading


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The story of the three brave princesses


As my youngest is growing up like an only child, it is frequently necessary to take someone with us so that he has a colleague to play with. As long as one is playing, wandering and doing something, homesickness is not a topic. But in the evening it can become critical, that’s why I tell stories. That is how the following story of the three brave princesses came about. Continue reading


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Green fingers


As a child I was forced by my father to weed his fruit and vegetable garden. That was uncomfortable, boring and for me quite senseless. I would have preferred to play with colleagues, instead of making a contribution to the economic success of my father, the hobby gardener. His successes were also mixed and it seemed to me that that the cost far outweighed the benefit. Once condemned to gardening, there was no escape. Continue reading


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Grindelwald – 50 years Pfingsteggbahn


The Pfingsteggbahn cable railway is celebrating its 50th anniversary on 2 July 2017.   The prices are the same as in 1967: Fr. 3.60 single, Fr 5.40 return. A bargain. Everything else is free: the view of the Eiger, the mountain air, friendly and down to earth locals, a calmness that is missing in city dwellers, the fantastic view down to the valley, the toboggan run, the play area, the bells of small goats grazing, the mountain bar and perhaps a few yodlers practicing. Continue reading


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Art


Cycling along the wild Maggia in Tessin we enjoyed with my youngest the day off, the warm sun, the fresh air and the scent of summer. There is always something to discover and so it was not long before after half an hour my youngest stopped by a stone mosaic beside the cycle trail. Continue reading